September 21, 2021

YOU STAY CLASSY, JEN: Psaki Invokes Biden’s ‘Personal’ Losses After Botched Airstrike Killed Seven Kids.

ON LOSING A BELOVED PET: Twister, RIP and what it all means.

COMING SOON: In Trump Time: A Journal of America’s Plague Year.

WELL, HE’S GOT US THERE. “Early this year, when Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. took down former U.S. President Donald Trump’s accounts, Mr. Xi saw yet another sign America’s economic system was flawed—it let big business dictate what a political leader should do or say—officials familiar with his views said.” (Sorry it’s from a paywalled Journal story.) I’d call that a flaw in our political system – nobody has yet explained to me how anyone will believe we had a free and fair election if one candidate were to end up locked out of social media during the campaign – but it’s definitely a flaw.

As for the economic policy described here – “‘Xi does think he’s moving to a new kind of system that doesn’t exist anywhere in the world,’ said Barry Naughton, a China economy expert at the University of California, San Diego. ‘I call it a government-steered economy'” – I am pretty sure it did exist, and it was called national socialism. As with all command economies, it will ultimately flop.

THOSE AT THE TOP OF THE HIERARCHY WANT TO MAKE DAMN SURE YOU KNOW IT: The COVID Hierarchy Is A Power Hierarchy And Everyone Knows It. “So confident are they in this power, they flaunt it on national television. They don’t fear the unwashed masses. What are they going to do, stop watching the Emmys? (Done.) Refuse service work in states like New York and California? Elect Republicans where there are none?”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: ‘Action could be taken’ against students using wrong pronouns at PPU.

NOW OUT FROM GEORGE WILL: American Happiness and Discontents: The Unruly Torrent, 2008-2020. We had a delightful lunch in Georgetown almost exactly 5 years ago, but his instincts utterly betrayed him regarding the Trump presidency.

FLASHBACK: Angelo Codevilla: America’s Ruling Class. Probably the single most insightful piece on American society written in this century.

A VERY PUBLIC EDUCATION: Students Protesting Severe Bullying, Suicides Hit With Mass Retaliation by New York School District. “Students walked out of class on Friday and held a protest in support of students who are facing cyberbullying and other incidents of bullying in school, including by teachers, they say. The district locked the children out of the school and refused to allow them transportation home, leading parents to scramble to find them safe rides home.”

WE WERE PROMISED BETTER RELATIONS WITH OUR ALLIES: The NATO Glue Has Gone.

THE VACCINE SEEMS TO BE UNDERPERFORMING:

Amid persistent concerns that the protection offered by COVID-19 vaccines may be waning, a report released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that America’s workhorse shot is significantly less effective at preventing severe cases of disease over the long term than many experts had realized.

Data collected from 18 states between March and August suggest the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine reduces the risk of being hospitalized with COVID-19 by 91% in the first four months after receiving the second dose. Beyond 120 days, however, that vaccine efficacy drops to 77%.

Meanwhile, Moderna’s vaccine was 93% effective at reducing the short-term risk of COVID-19 hospitalization and remained 92% effective after 120 days.

Overall, 54% of fully vaccinated Americans have been immunized with the Pfizer shot.

Of course, for most people the risk of being hospitalized with Covid is very small anyway.

DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN: To bail out or not to bail out: China’s Evergrande dilemma.

The Evergrande Group, one of China’s biggest real-estate developers, owes more than $300 billion to a number of lenders. Its interest liabilities are rising by an average of $28 million daily. On Thursday, Sep. 23, alone, the company needs to pay around $120 million as interest payments to bondholders.

If Evergrande begins to default, it will present the Chinese government with a dilemma. Should the company be bailed out, or should it be allowed to fail?

The markets are worried about the contagion effect that an Evergrande collapse will have on the economy; comparisons to the 2008 insolvency of Lehman Brothers, and the financial meltdown that ensued, have already been aired. There’s no good time for an economic crisis, but a particularly bad time for one is when the world is already in the grip of a pandemic.

If Evergrande does go into a bankruptcy court and has its debt restructured, its investors will all take significant haircuts on what they’re owed. But according to the so-called “seniority waterfall”—the pecking order in which creditors get paid—the Chinese government itself makes money first, since state-owned banks are among Evergrande’s biggest creditors.

Developing…

IF WE TAXED STUPIDITY, HOGG WOULD BE IN THE POORHOUSE:

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEFING: LOL — Beto O’Rourke Wants to Be Embarrassed Again. “Way back in the day, Beto would have been laughed off of the political stage. The 21st-century mainstream media is so riddled with leftist bias, however, that he’s kept in the national conversation. The MSM hacks actually believe this guy is smart.”

Well, to them he might be.

THE MARTIN CENTER INTERVIEWS WENYUAN WU: Wenyuan is the Executive Director of the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (I am Executive VP.) CFER Foundation is the organization that grew out of the 2020 campaign to defeat Proposition 16.

COME SEE THE RACISM INHERENT IN THE LEFTISM: Dropping SAT helps whites, hurts Asians. “Asian students outscore whites by 100 points on the SAT, and the gap is growing, writes Jay Caspian Kang in the New York Times. So who benefits when colleges drop the SAT and ACT for admissions? Is it blacks and Hispanics? Or is it white students, who’ll find it easier to compete with high-scoring Asians?”

PROJECT VERITAS EXPOSES insider doubts about the Covid vaccine.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Only Nine Months In And The Biden Presidency Has Failed Spectacularly.

YEP: Emmys takeaway: ‘Masks are for peasants’. “This is the tale of two emerging societies in America: those who have to obey coronavirus restrictions and those who don’t. And guess which category you fit.”

Related:

READER RECOMMENDATION:3×5 First Navy Jack Sticker 3-Pack Dont Tread on Me Sticker.

MARK JUDGE: Rubin Is Not Good for the Jennifers: The WaPo NeverTrump columnist is a sexist stereotype, come to life. “Jennifer Rubin is not an ideologue. She is an emotive teenager. A Marxist, for instance, is someone with a deadly serious worldview. Rubin, the Washington Post columnist, is a middle-schooler picking her favorite and most hated boy bands.”

Plus: “The irony of Resistance is that Rubin attempts to celebrate women while depicting them as emotive, irrational and dangerous to democracy.”

MISSING IN ACTION: VP and ‘border czar’ Harris AWOL in Texas to watch football, appear on The View.

AND SO IT BEGINS: The Commission on Civil Rights released a report last week that asserts women are 50% more likely to die as a result of childbirth today than they were a generation ago. In my dissent, I explained why that assertion is false. Nevertheless it is being repeated in the press (as this item from the Tampa Bay Times shows). I guess it’s now officially a meme.

Here’s the weird part: At the bottom of the Tampa Bay Times piece, it says, “The Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg provides partial funding for Times stories on equity. It does not select story topics and is not involved in the reporting or editing.” What the heck is that? Are progressive 501(c)(3)s really funding “stories on equity” in supposedly independent newspapers? What would happen if a newspaper announced that a conservative foundation was funding “stories on the plight of working whites”?

WHO ARE ILLEGALS GOING TO BELIEVE, MAYORKAS OR THEIR OWN LYIN’ EYES? DHS Secretary Mayorkas in Del Rio, Texas: ‘Our Border Is Not Open.’

BAD THINGS COME IN THREES: Beto III: The Betoing. “Spider-man 3. Aliens 3. Godfather Part III. Very rarely is the third installment in a series the best. What brings this to mind is word that Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke, hot off losing a senate race and a Presidential primary, has decided to run for governor of Texas.”

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

Matt Margolis: Trump Is Reportedly Trying to Oust McConnell From GOP Leadership. Is This a Good Idea?

AJ Kaufman: Ilhan Omar Demands Democrats Disobey Senate Parliamentarian on Immigration. “This ruling by the parliamentarian, is only a recommendation. @SenSchumer and the @WhiteHouse can and should ignore it.”

Yours Truly (Plus the Missus): Cocktails with VodkaPundit: The Perfect Margarita. “I spent years futzing around with various ingredients and ratios, and the final result is so simple and so tasty that I don’t hesitate at all calling this margarita ‘perfect.'”

September 20, 2021

SUPERFICIALLY SHE LOOKS GOOD, BUT SHE SEEMS SQUISHY IN PRACTICE: WILL GOV. NOEM FIX THE SOUTH DAKOTA TEACHING STANDARDS FIASCO?

OUR LOSER RULERS:

HOW THE FAKE NEWS GETS MADE: Border Patrol Debunks the Fake ‘Whipping’ Haitians Story but Media Doesn’t Care About the Truth.

OPEN THREAD: Hey, hey, hey — whatcha got to say?

EVERGREEN HEADLINE: Joe Biden Is Out of His Depth.

That inventory of leftwing wish-list items—a package that is known more for its price tag than for any of its actual aims—is still being negotiated among Senate Democrats, and the prospects of its passage through an evenly divided Senate are bleak. Inexplicably, House progressives appear to believe that holding Joe Biden’s chief domestic priority captive will convince their party’s genuine moderates to give in to their demands.

Few seem to believe that this threat is genuine; it’s one thing to issue an ultimatum, but it’s quite another to follow through with it and suffer the consequences. But progressives have lined up behind this power play, and they have not budged since they initially issued this challenge over the summer. And given the narrowness of the Democratic majority, even a handful of defections could imperil the infrastructure bill—or, worse, force Nancy Pelosi to rely on Republican votes to pass the president’s chief priority.

The question is: Why is Joe Biden letting this happen? He could use the power of the presidency to marginalize his party’s restive progressive flank today if he so chose. If taking to the podium and forcing the Democrats who are holding his agenda hostage to explain their rationale isn’t Biden’s style, he could use his authority to convince, cajole, or compel progressives to get on board. That kind of deal-making is, after all, what America thought it was getting when it elected a “deal maker.” But Joe Biden is not doing any of that. We’re left to conclude that he either has no interest in these, the messier aspects of his job, or that he fundamentally agrees more with progressives than the moderates who helped produce a bipartisan hard infrastructure bill in the first place.

Curiously, the trunalimunumaprzure option isn’t explored by the above article.

Earlier: Staffers Trying to Build ‘Wall’ to Stop People From Seeing What a Mess Biden Is.

THE NEW SPACE RACE: China moon rock studies include fusion energy analysis, volcanic history. “Several science institutions in China are now studying rocks collected from the moon by the Chang’e 5 mission for research that includes evaluating the material as a potential source of fusion power. . . . The Beijing Research Institute of Uranium Geology is now studying a 50-milligram sample of lunar rocks to look for an isotope called helium-3. Helium-3 has been promoted as a potential fuel in future nuclear fusion power plants. While extremely rare on Earth, helium-3 is thought to be more abundant on the moon, with the isotope delivered into the unprotected lunar surface by the solar wind, a constant stream of material flowing off the sun and across the solar system.”

RULE-BREAKING ELITES LET THE MASK SLIP ON COVID PROTOCOLS:

Remember all those saccharine paeans to the common good? Those Pecksniffian appeals to do the “right thing”? Those badgering reminders that “we’re in this together”? Yeah, those couldn’t outlast a single letterpressed invitation to the Met. In one hand, our elite class had its longstanding message that masking is crucially important; in the other, it had the chance to go to a really lush party. And the party won in a landslide.

Not for everyone, of course. That would have been gauche. No, the party won for the sort of people who were invited to the party. The staff? They were masked up to the eyeballs, because these days you just can’t be too careful around people carrying trays.

In San Francisco over the weekend, Mayor London Breed explained that the video of her enjoying herself maskless at a jazz club doesn’t count when you really think about it, because, unlike you, she is really into music. “My drink was sitting at the table,” Breed said when pushed on the matter, and “I got up and started dancing because I was feeling the spirit and I wasn’t thinking about a mask.” Which is an absolutely spiffing excuse if one assumes that the mayor of San Francisco is alone among her fellow citizens in desiring to spend her evenings without a large piece of cloth strapped across her face. Exonerating herself further, Mayor Breed suggested that “we don’t need the fun police to come in and micromanage and tell us what we should or shouldn’t be doing.” Which, again, is a ripping justification if we assume that everyone else in San Francisco is just dying for close supervision.

Related exit question: “Simply put, if we empower the government to police our intimate behavior, we shouldn’t fool ourselves—the elite will never have to play by the rules like everyone else. And if elite celebrities and politicians get to live their lives unrestrained, why shouldn’t we all?”

UNEXPECTEDLY: The Biden presidency is in free-fall.

This is not a joke. It’s not an overreaction. It’s not about Biden’s opponents pouncing or seizing. Biden’s presidency has a very real chance of completely foundering within its first year. After a promising start where he inherited a vaccination process that was already in progress, albeit briefly, under Trump, his vaccine strategy has stalled to the point of him now demanding mandates on private businesses, a step he assured the electorate he would not take. Last Friday, an FDA panel bucked Biden’s booster rollout program, which was slated to begin this week.

That was one of many self-inflicted wounds that Biden suffered at the end of last week as he took off for the Delaware coast for a long weekend of bike-riding and ignoring reporters. In the span of that single afternoon, the Pentagon also revealed that a retaliatory drone strike for the deaths of 13 US service-members at Kabul airport did not kill any Isis-K terrorists, as Biden and his State Department had claimed, but instead killed an innocent US-linked aid worker, as well as seven children. Neither Biden nor his press secretary Jen Psaki have answered questions on this matter. Their strategic silence is all we need to evaluate how they think this looks – and they are correct.

Along with the self-imposed Afghanistan debacle, which has created an enormous refugee crisis in a foreign region, Biden has caused another one on our southern border. Drone footage and photos splashed all over social media this weekend showed thousands of migrants, some believed to be Haitian, crossing the Rio Grande river into Del Rio, Texas, unabated. They had to be corralled under the Del Rio Bridge, with several even crafting makeshift tents and shelters.

How bad is the Biden (p)residency right now? It’s come to this: Poll: Biden Underwater By 19 Points in Texas…Among Hispanics.

Perhaps America’s Newspaper of Record offers an explanation as to how we’ve gotten here: 4D Chess: Trump Reveals He Let Biden Win So His Presidency Would Look Amazing By Comparison.

 

I’VE SEEN THE LOCKDOWNS AND THE DAMAGE DONE:

FASTER, PLEASE: Bacteriophage and Antibiotic Combined to Fight Drug-Resistant Infection.

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Is the Coronavirus Stronger Than White Guilt? We’re about to find out:

Presto! In the blink of an eye, this story just magically transformed from “Stupid Anti-Vax Texans Literally Punch Science in the Face” to “Black Women in NYC Restaurant Latest Victims of Racial Profiling.” (Remember that Starbucks incident? Remember how the whole company shut down for an entire afternoon to do “anti-racial bias” training?)

And if those dueling narratives aren’t confusing enough for the average liberal mind, it gets even better: The hostess is Asian. So, here’s yet another victim of the anti-Asian violence we’ve been hearing about for the past 18 months. #StopAsianHate, anyone?

Anyone? Hello?

No, that’s not the narrative this time. Which is what this is all about: narratives, not facts.

Earlier: “Now in NYC you’ve got a vaccination-passport requirement that disproportionately affects black people, who are much less likely to get vaccinated than whites and Asians, and you’re surprised that the response is violent? Once you teach people that it’s okay to be violent if they feel mistreated, you don’t get to choose when they feel mistreated.”

 

 

ANALYSIS: TRUE.

IT’S SEPSIS AWARENESS MONTH: What to Know About Treating Sepsis. “Nearly 270,000 people in the U.S. die each year as a result of sepsis, and one-third of people who die in a hospital have sepsis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Flashback: Sepsis causes more deaths worldwide than previously thought.

Related: Vitamin C infusion may reduce sepsis death risk. It sounds like this is just vitamin C, not the vitamin and steroids cocktail that has been so successful elsewhere.

Neither of these is mentioned in the not-very-informative article linked at the top.

WHEN POLITICAL PORN EXCEEDS ITS SHELF LIFE: The Handmaid’s Tale Sets Record for Most Emmy Losses in a Season.

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY:

GLENN GREENWALD: The Indictment of Hillary Clinton’s Lawyer is an Indictment of the Russiagate Wing of U.S. Media.

It has long been known that the Trump/Alfa-Bank story was a fraud. A report issued in December, 2019 by the DOJ’s Inspector General revealed that “the FBI investigated whether there were cyber links between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, but concluded by early February, 2017 that there were no such links.” Special Counsel Robert Mueller thought so little of this alleged plot that he did not even bother to mention it in his comprehensive final report, which admitted that “the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” Even the more anti-Trump Senate Intelligence Committee report acknowledged that, while unable to explain the data, “the Committee did not find the DNS activity reflected the existence of covert communication between Alfa Bank and Trump Organization personnel.”

Despite all this, this fraud — one of so many that formed the Russiagate scandal — played a significant role in shaping media coverage of the 2016 election. Spurred on by Hillary Clinton herself, the liberal sector of the corporate media used this fake claim to bolster their narrative that Trump and the Russians were secretly in cahoots. And the story of how they spread this disinformation involves not just the potential criminality outlined in this indictment of Hillary’s lawyer but, even more seriously, a rotted and deeply corrupted media.

More like this, please.

DON’T RAISE THE RIVER, LOWER THE BRIDGE: Low achievement? Dump the tests. “We’ve been denouncing and canceling the metrics by which achievement (and its shortfalls and gaps) have long been monitored, declaring that tests are racist, barring their use for admission to selective schools and colleges, and curbing their use as outcome measures (e.g., states scrapping end-of-course exams) without substituting any other indicators of achievement.”

MORE COVID-19 HYPOCRISY: San Francisco Mayor London Breed Partied Maskless at a Jazz Club.

The video makes it look like a really hopping time. But notice that there isn’t a mask in sight, even though Breed’s own COVID-19 orders require bar, restaurant, and club customers to wear masks when not actively eating or drinking. A local news channel asked Breed about this, and here’s what she said:

No, I’m not going to sip and put my mask on, sip and put my mask on, sip and put my mask on, eat and put my mask on. While I’m eating, and I’m drinking, I’m going to keep my mask off,” Breed said.

In response to getting up and dancing without the mask on while at the Black Cat, she said she was sitting at her table with her drink but got up to dance because she was “feeling the spirit” and she “wasn’t thinking about a mask, I was thinking about having a good time, and in the process, I was following the health order.”

Breed is right: It is ridiculous to require vaccinated people to mask up under such circumstances. But the obvious solution here would be to rescind the mandate. Breed shouldn’t have to follow it, because no one should have to follow it.

“Feeling the spirit” and “thinking about having a good time, and in the process, I was following the health order,” should be every vaccinated person’s cri de coeur when the mask nazis come in 2021.

Flashback: The rich and powerful thrived as the rest of us suffered in the year of lockdowns.

ACTUAL REPORTING FROM ED MORRISSEY: Sussmann indictment: “Bizarre coda,” or harbinger of deep-state exposure?

This isn’t just a game of “telephone” gone wrong, as McQuade later argues. It smells of a deliberate political dirty trick that worked far too well, tying the nation up for two years in a pointless hysteria over supposed Russian collusion. The allegation that Sussmann deliberately lied points to a larger argument that the Clinton campaign and DNC may have cooked the whole thing up — perhaps with the participation of the FBI, or at least a handful of its agents.

Well, and the whole 7th floor, probably. Plus:

It might get even worse than that. Over the weekend, I spoke with a senior Trump administration official with access to intelligence regarding the significance of the Sussmann indictment. He pointed to House Intelligence Committee transcripts declassified in a fight between the White House and Adam Schiff last year. Pay attention to those transcripts, the former official advised, because those made it clear that the FBI knew the Alfa Bank theory was nonsense — but used it to push forward nonetheless on the Russia-collusion theory. That was one reason Schiff tried to stop declassification of the transcripts, and those are the reason that Durham could get the grand jury indictment on Sussmann at all. Some of the agents that worked with Sussmann remain in the bureau, he also said, and that will go to McCarthy’s larger point about the “deep state” and the effort to push Trump out of office. There may also be a broader scope involving former officials in the Obama administration regarding politicization of intelligence, a few of whom have returned in the Biden administration — notably in the State Department. Stay tuned.

Clearly, more is happening than a mop-up for Durham.

Stay tuned. Lots of heads should roll for this deliberate partisan assault on an American election result.

KAROL MARKOWICZ: The United States of Fear.

Our leaders have set an impossible goal: containing a virus that was quite possibly created with humans in mind. After 18 months of COVID-19, and despite mass vaccinations, the travel taboo remains in place. The US has some of the strictest entry restrictions – tougher than Iceland, the UK and most EU states. The Biden administration even prohibits visits to the US by family members from the UK and EU.

When the restrictions began to loosen, masks were (briefly) removed and distances between people began to condense. But travel remains a separate category. Masks are still required on planes even though many countries require airlines to check vaccination status as well as evidence of a negative COVID test. Planes are seen as flying chambers of COVID, even though little spread has been linked to air travel. In October 2020, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that the risk of contracting COVID-19 on a plane is ‘lower than from an office building, classroom, supermarket, or commuter train’.

People who travel now are morally suspect. They’re lax, unserious. Their motion stirs up the virus, endangers us all. Last winter my doctor in New York City sent an email to her patients that she would not be seeing anyone who had recently traveled. She didn’t shut out anyone who had been to a bar, a casino or, ahem, a massive protest, but getting on a plane meant you were unclean. We’ve turned so much about COVID into a morality test that a good person wouldn’t take a trip. Those who do travel are skittish about sharing on social media.

Earlier: Ignoring Them Is the Only Way Out. “Public-health authorities don’t know how to stop giving you extra-restrictive advice. And they can’t learn how to stop giving it if we don’t learn how to stop asking for it. Or until we start ignoring what they say, and start punishing politicians who translate their guidance into nuisances.”

Related: Biden Admin Lifting Travel Ban on Fully Vaccinated International Travelers in November.

SOMEHOW NOT THE BEE: The Taliban is now riding in swan boats with rocket launchers.

OOPS: Biden Is Desperate to Regain Bases, Intel, Allies He Threw Away in Afghanistan. “The missing context: We already had all of those things prior to Biden’s petulant decision to fully pull out of Bagram Air Base.”

BARI WEISS: Everybody Hates the Jews.

Everybody hates the Jews. That’s the refrain from the brilliant satirist Tom Lehrer in “National Brotherhood Week,” a song that I had memorized by the time I was ten, given that I was raised by the kind of dad who made sure songs like “The Vatican Rag” and “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park” were the soundtrack to our lives.

But these days, the idea that “everybody hates the Jews” feels like less of a punchline and more like an accurate report of public sentiment. It seems every other day a new study or survey confirms what so many American Jews are feeling, as the old joke had it, that they are hating us more than is necessary.

Today, came the latest study from the Brandeis Center, which released a poll of “openly Jewish” college students. Seventy percent of the students surveyed reported that they experienced antisemitism. Half of the students said they have felt the need to hide their Jewish identity at school, explaining that they felt doing so would protect them from harassment, bullying or social exclusion. This is the kind of thing we would expect to hear about the Jews of Europe. But not here.

Read the whole thing.

GREAT MOMENTS IN INTERDEPARTMENTAL COOPERATION: Armed Person Arrested During J6 Rally Was Undercover Cop.

Was anybody there who wasn’t a cop?

WHY GOD CREATED DOGS.

DON’T GET COCKY: Biden could lose 41 House seats, bad as Trump.

As Glenn has written, “Really, don’t get cocky…If you want to win, donate and volunteer. Winning takes work, and commenting on Internet blogs, even this one, doesn’t count.”

DON’T GET COCKY: 2024: A Trump Landslide in the Making?

BECAUSE THEY’RE CHINESE TOOLS? Why World Bank is under fire over set of rankings.

Under fire for allegations that it bowed to pressure from China and other governments, the World Bank has dropped a popular report that ranked countries by how welcoming they are to businesses.

The report is important to many companies and investors around the world: They use the World Bank’s “Doing Business” report to help decide where to invest money, open manufacturing plants or sell products.

Eager to attract investment, countries around the world, especially developing economies, have sought to improve their rankings in the World Bank’s report. . . .

In an investigation conducted for the bank, the law firm WilmerHale concluded that staff members fudged the data to make China look better under pressure from Kristalina Georgieva, then the CEO of the World Bank and now head of the International Monetary Fund, and the office of Jim Yong Kim, then the World Bank’s president.

Collusion. To be fair, it’s hard to find a major global or Western institution that hasn’t been suborned by the Chinese.

HOW IT STARTED: HERE’S A DRUG THAT WILL HELP YOU STOP SMOKING SO YOU WON’T GET CANCER!

How it’s going: Pfizer recalls anti-smoking drug Chantix due to potential carcinogen.

To be fair, the risk is low. It sounds like another bum Chinese pharmaceutical factory is involved, though that’s speculation on my part.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Your Manners And Competence Are Deeply Problematic.

At a time when, despite increases in school funding, almost 80% of black and Hispanic eighth graders have been deemed “not proficient” in maths or reading, it’s unclear how improvements might be made while simultaneously graduating high-school pupils regardless of their performance, or even their attendance, and while shying from the existence of such terribly oppressive things as correct answers.

But as we’ve been told, more than once, “suspending proficiency requirements” will – in ways that are somewhat unobvious – “benefit” those on whom these things are inflicted.

And parents will doubtless take comfort in the feats of mental contortion performed by those to whom their children are entrusted – including the self-satisfied insistence, by high-school teacher Josh Thompson, that behaving in class is “white supremacy.” You see, paying attention and not being disruptive, so that things might actually be learned, if only by some of those present, is “passive” and a product of “white culture.” And expecting basic standards of behaviour – say, respecting other pupils who are trying to hear what’s being said – is “the definition of white supremacy,” and therefore very, very bad.

Read the whole thing.

I’M SURE THE PROFESSIONAL FEMALE GRIEVANCE INDUSTRY WILL GET RIGHT ON THIS: Not So Inclusive: Taliban Removes Women From Kabul Workforce.

THE HEADLINE IS MISLEADING — IT’S AT LEAST SIX MONTHS: Study: Moderna COVID-19 immunity lasts 6 months. That’s a product of the study limitations. It’s probably much longer. And for a proper grasp of the immunity involved they need to study T-cell-mediated responses, which people don’t seem to be doing as much as I would have expected, for some reason.

BOOK RECOMMENDATION: Trigger Point Therapy Made Simple: Serious Pain Relief in 4 Easy Steps.

#RESIST: VIDEO: Someone put up a dozen Joe Biden Taliban billboards near I-83 in Pennsylvania.

Via a friend, here’s a screenshot of a local TV story:

The national media want to forget the Afghanistan debacle as quickly as possible. Don’t let them.

Related: Americans mourn the dead in Afghanistan, even as the media move on.

Google “making the Taliban great again” — it’s already made the Hindustan Times.

RUSSIA: Apple, Google drop Russian opposition app ahead of election.

Russia’s “Smart Voting” election app has been removed from the App Store and Google Play, in what an opposition spokesperson calls “political censorship.”

Following Russia’s demand that Apple and Google remove the tactical voting app, and then threats of fines, Apple and Google have dropped the “Smart Voting” app in the country.

The app, devised by imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny, was intended to boost candidates with the best chance of succeeding against incumbents. Apple and Google’s removal came just hours before election voting was due to begin.

I wonder what would happen if Putin were ever to allow an honest election.

BIDEN VOTERS POSTING THEIR L’S ONLINE:

● Shot: This Virginia Conservative Republican Is Ridin’ With Biden.

—Matt Lewis, The Daily Beast, March 4th, 2020.

● Chaser: Joe Biden Is a Kinder, Gentler Destroyer of American Norms.

—Matt Lewis, The Daily Beast, yesterday.

ROGER SIMON: The Democrats War on Blacks Keeps Growing in the Pandemic.

Democrats calling Republicans “racist,” as they do on a ritual basis, is literally one of the more nauseating examples of projection in human history.

But before I go into the egregious details of today’s malfeasances, it should be noted that Larry Elder—the estimable black conservative talk show host who makes videos for The Epoch Times—is in a near-tie with Arnold Schwarzenegger for the percentage of votes garnered in the California gubernatorial recall election. Schwarzenegger got 48.5 percent and Elder, so far, 47 percent. And they’re still counting. (In both instances, they were competing against dozens of candidates.)

Readers will—excuse the redundancy—recall that one made two votes in that election, the first deciding whether to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom and the second for whom to replace him if recalled.

Elder won the latter in a landslide. But just who were the people (along with the predictable corruption) who blocked his way from the governor’s office by voting to preserve Newsom?

I submit that many of them were what we used to call “limousine liberals” and might today be called “Tesla-crats.” They are the rich, often mega-rich, almost always white, people who drive by the myriad horrific homeless encampments of California, trying not to look, as they head for the next trendy restaurant or their magnificent home.

And what is the largest group on a percentage basis in those homeless encampments? Well, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that it’s blacks.

How can we not have contempt for the hypocritical (to say the least) “Tesla-crats”? But they’re only the plutocratic tip of the Democratic war on blacks we’re watching at this very moment.

Read the whole thing.

OUCH:

#RESIST: America’s Farmers Fight Back Against California’s War on Bacon. “‘The EATS Act would prevent states from impeding agricultural trade from other states within the United States—consistent with the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, which provides the federal government with the duty to regulate interstate commerce,’ said Sen. Hyde-Smith in a press release. ‘State and local units of government would still be able to regulate farming and ranching within their own jurisdictions, however, this legislation makes it illegal to impede trade from fellow states.'”

CLIMATE CHANGE FOLLIES: Biden Wants to Beat the Heat: Old Man Yells at Sunny Skies. “It all sounds very tragic and — if you’re a progressive for whom every problem is a nail in need of a big government hammer — a great excuse to shout ‘Hammertime!'”

MESSAGING: So I’ve noticed that just about every story encouraging people to get vaccinated features a needle. Sometimes it’s actually being stuck into someone, sometime it’s just being held up.

A lot of people are afraid of needles — some say it’s over 25% of the population. Does every story featuring the “jab” (maybe also bad marketing — “jab” doesn’t sound very gentle) have to feature a needle? If your goal is to encourage people to be vaccinated, does it make sense to accentuate the part of the process that lots of people fear, and that nobody really enjoys?

It’s like illustrating car ads with a picture of someone changing a tire. Bad salesmanship. But it’s everywhere.

SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO GET OUT: Jeffrey Carter: A Handy Guide To Moving From A High-Tax State To A Low-Tax State. “As my friend observed, most people don’t mind paying some money for good government services. But what I also have observed is that the highest tax states also have the worst infrastructure and services. . . . The trickle that was leaving high tax states has become a river. Nowhere in the country is untouched by it.”

#RESIST: Is Australia Not Going To Take It Anymore? “This video from Melbourne suggests that Australians have had just about all of the lockdowns they can stand.”

MAYBE JOE SHOULD JUST SHUT UP: His Fraudulency in his September 9 speech all but called people morons who have thus far declined to get the jab, according to Issues & Insights. But guess what, the vaccination rate went down, not up. Still, the good news is Covid infection rates are headed downward. So much for unity and leadership instead of mean tweets.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: U. Alabama theater department adds ‘diversity statements’ to its play productions.

TWO AMERICAS:

And blacks are paying the price for the Democrats’ War On Covid. Which is going just about as well as the War On Drugs and the War On Terror.

CRISIS BY DESIGN: For U.S. Residents Hiding in Kabul, Help Is Slow In Coming.

THEY’D NEVER DO THIS TO MUSLIM STUDENTS: Barnard tried to force Jewish students to violate religious laws for COVID monitoring.

I’D MISSED THIS ONE LAST WEEK, BUT IT MIGHT REVEAL COLORADO’S CURRENT MOOD: GOP slams leading state Democrats who bailed on President Biden’s visit.

What Coloradans didn’t see during President Biden’s Colorado visit on Tuesday is even more important than the slurred, awkward speech he stumbled through at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Arvada.

Missing at the wildly unpopular president’s side were U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, and U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, the dean of the state’s Democrat delegation.

It’s not that they don’t support Biden’s mission to spend trillions of your taxpayer dollars to enact AOC’s Green New Deal, because they do.

Eight months in and he’s already becoming toxic, even in a state as blue as Colorado has turned.

SEEN MORE AROUND TOWN: Gadsden flag Don’t tread on me Bumper Sticker. (Bumped)

JOE BIDEN’S SWAMP: The Biden Family is in Deep. “President Biden told Americans to expect an era of unity and normality after four years of disruption. What they got was a chief executive unable to cope with the overlapping crises of the coronavirus pandemic, consumer price inflation, illegal immigration, crime and a botched withdrawal from Afghanistan. Yet there is one thing that Biden has restored to good working order: the DC gravy train. In Biden’s Washington, well-connected liberal Democrats in the influence industry have no problem enriching themselves. The world is a mess but the Swamp is as fetid as ever.”

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEFING: Idiot Joe’s Neglected Border Crisis Is Getting Even Worse. “By any objective measure, Joe Biden hasn’t been doing well as president. The media and the brain-dead Democrat electorate can’t be objective, of course, but that doesn’t change the fact that the rest of us have to live in the dystopian toilet that Biden keeps clogging.”

THE NEW SPACE RACE: China launches Tianzhou 3 cargo ship to new space station.

FROM SARAH HOYT: Disjointed Observations. “These are idiots-arrogants. They’re too dumb to figure out they stick out like sore thumbs, and smugly satisfied in their stupidity. How do they get like that? The left’s takeover of their field.”

OUR INCESTUOUS ELITE: Judge in case of anti-Trump mudslinger is married to attorney for ex-FBI lawyer Lisa Page. “Officials say Judge Christopher Cooper’s ties to leading Democrats and key figure in discredited Trump-Russia probe should disqualify him from case of Michael Sussmann, lawyer who fed anti-Trump dirt to FBI while hiding connection to Hillary Clinton campaign.”

WELL, THESE DAYS “THE MEDIA” AND “AMERICANS” ARE DISJOINT SETS: Americans mourn the dead in Afghanistan, even as the media move on. “Many in the media mistakenly believe people are now upset about Afghanistan because of politics or because they believed we should have stayed. They think all this will go away because they have stopped covering it. They believe Americans will turn away from the imagery of Afghan women being beaten for demanding their rights or of American citizens trapped, helpless, in what can only be described as a hellish existence. They could not be more wrong.”

To be fair, by downplaying the Afghanistan debacle, the press is just doing what it sees as its job.


DEVELOPING: Trudeau to Go? Election Day in Canada Beckons. “There is also backlash because the election, originally scheduled for 2023, occurs during a pandemic. When Trudeau called for a vote five weeks ago, polls were in his favor, with both liberals and conservatives supporting many of his coronavirus mandates, but more recently, voters perceive the moves as a draconian exercise.”

THEY FIGHT, AND NOT JUST TO BE ACCEPTED BY THE SWELLS: In Defense of Barstool Conservatives:

At college football games across the country the past two weekends, student sections erupted in “F— Joe Biden” chants. Thousands of unruly fans expressing their discontent with the president packed Alabama, Tennessee, Indiana, and dozens of other football stadiums. Many conservatives I know found it impossibly crude. Others found it amusing. They all missed the point: The chanting did more to break the progressive narrative on campus than God and Man at Yale ever did.

Well-funded think tanks and decades of conservative activism failed to yield results. But two weekends of college football anarchy and a social media trend popularized by Barstool subsidiary “Old Row” has normalized conservatism on campus again. College administrators accustomed to threatening, brainwashing, and harassing their students finally met their match: ticked-off football fans. . . . The broader movement would be wise to heed to lessons.

Yes. The bowtie era is over.

SARAH HOYT’S SHOCKED FACE MIGHT HAVE TO BE PERMANENTLY RETIRED: AOC’s ‘Tax The Rich’ Gown Designer Is A Tax Scofflaw.

InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.