January 26, 2021

FLASHBACK: Revolutionary Drinking: A Day-Long Experiment in Colonial Boozing.

FROM MY COLLEAGUE MICHAEL HIGDON: If You Grant It, They Will Come: The Enduring Legal Legacy of Migratory Divorce.

He’s done a lot of fun research into the culture of people staying in Reno, and he found a number of amusing postcards from the era, some of which appear in the piece.

LIFE IN THE BLUE ZONES: Death of NYC’s most beloved restaurants puts landlords in danger.

Related: City, state and federal leaders are all giving us pandemic chaos.

Go ahead, bite the Big Apple. Don’t mind the maggots!

UPDATE: In the comments, someone notes that no one ever proposes a property tax jubilee for the benefit of landlords, even as they’re trying to block evictions of nonpaying tenants. The government is very protective of its own receipts.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Yesterday’s mental illness is today’s social policy.”

MCCONNELL VOTES TO DECLARE TRUMP IMPEACHMENT TRIAL ‘UNCONSTITUTIONAL:’

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) voted in favor of a resolution declaring the impeachment trial of former President Trump “unconstitutional” on Tuesday.

The point of order resolution was put forward by McConnell’s colleague from Kentucky, Rand Paul, and effectively forced Republicans to declare on the record whether they consider the impeachment trial constitutional, given that it’s taking place after Trump has left office. The resolution failed after a majority of senators voted against it, meaning the impeachment trial will go ahead as planned.

However, only five Republicans voted against the resolution: Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. At the close of the impeachment trial itself, at least 17 Republican senators would need to join Democrats in order to convict Trump.

“I think there will be enough support on” the point-of-order resolution “to show there’s no chance they can impeach the president,” Paul told reporters before the vote on Tuesday. “If 34 people support my resolution that this is an unconstitutional proceeding, it shows they don’t have the votes and we’re basically wasting our time.”

More here: Watch: Rand Paul’s Fiery Speech Denouncing Trump Impeachment.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): My take:. The only remedies in impeachment are removal from office and disqualification to hold positions of “trust or profit.” The disqualification vote can’t take place until after the removal, and you can’t “remove” someone from an office they don’t hold. What’s more if you’re impeaching the President the Chief Justice must preside. The Chief Justice isn’t presiding, so this can’t be a presidential impeachment. But if you’re not impeaching a president, and you can’t impeach a private citizen, then there’s no power to impeach Trump.

Shame on Mitt Romney, et al., for throwing the Constitution under the bus to score points.

ON THE FRONT LINES OF THE AMMO SHORTAGE.

Related: Ammo Shortage Creating Lines at Gun Shops.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS: Portland Mayor Pepper Sprays Man After Maskless Confrontation.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said he pepper-sprayed a man who confronted him at a pub Sunday night. The man allegedly confronted Wheeler as he left the pub and chastised him for not wearing a mask while eating.

* * * * * * * *

While running for re-election against a self-proclaimed Antifa candidate, Wheeler joined in a violent protest at the federal courthouse in Portland. He ended up on the receiving end of tear gas deployed by federal agents protecting the building, Breitbart’s Joel Pollak wrote.

In September, he ordered Portland Police Bureau to not use tear gas for riot control, Joshua Caplan reported for Breitbart. The order allowed police to continue using pepper spray and mace.

Earlier: Portland Mayor Offended When Reporter Asks Him If Portland’s Months Of Riots Were A Precursor To The DC Riot.

BREAKING: Not So Fast: Judge Blocks Biden’s Deportation Moratorium.

A LACK OF COMPREHENSION: “I realize that in the Manichaean environment of modern politics, everybody’s somebody’s fascist or communist. Surely, however, people who make a point of commenting on politics would have a basic grasp of the viewpoints of those they consider their ideological foes, right? Not so fast.”

To be fair, in 2021, it’s increasingly difficult to distinguish satire from reality.

MINDS WANDER: Study reveals what the brain does during daydreams.

WELL, GOOD: Moderate alcohol consumption does not up stroke risk in A-fib.

THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE YOU MAY EVER READ ABOUT HOW MAINSTREAM MEDIA GOT SCREWED UP:  Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi continue to be the last few remaining honest (read “classical”) liberals left. Taibbi’s piece today, titled “The Echo Chamber Era” outlines what conservative and libertarian First Amendment lawyers have said for years, only to be ignored, ridiculed, and (in my case) occasionally blacklisted.

“Media critics who work in the corporate press, like Margaret Sullivan of the Washington Post, seem determined to look everywhere but inward for solutions. The dominant legend in our business is that if Republicans believe in fairy tales like Q and “Stop the Steal,” the traditional press can do nothing but stand its ground. Sullivan’s reaction to at-times “embarrassing” Inauguration Day coverage was an injunction to reporters to resist the temptation to try to appear more balanced by showing “toughness” with regard to the incoming Biden regime. If anything, Sullivan said, the press should stand even taller in its opposition to red-state lie merchants like Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, “without fearing that they’d be called partisan.”

The coverage of Biden’s inauguration was […] a monument to groveling sycophancy. John Heileman at MSNBC compared Biden’s speech to Abe Lincoln’s second inaugural, and suggested that the sight of “the Clintons, the Bushes, and the Obamas” gathered for the event was like “the Marvel superheroes all back in one place” (this was not the first post-election Avengers comparison to be heard on cable). Rachel Maddow talked about going through “half a box of Kleenex” as she watched the proceedings. Chris Wallace on Fox said Biden’s lumbering speech was “the best inaugural address I ever heard,” John Kennedy’s “Ask Not” speech included. The joyful tone was set the night before by CNN’s David Challen, who said lights along the Washington Mall were like “extensions of Joe Biden’s arms embracing America.”

As the Good Professor says: “Read the whole thing.”™

THINK THE NATIONAL DEBT IS BAD? JUST WAIT: Hans Bader at Liberty Unyielding sees soaring deficits and debt as far as the eye can see and beyond. Plus inflation. And recession. Maybe worse. Other than that, Mr. President, what’s in your plans for us?

GOOD: Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine effective in blocking new strains.

THOSE 70K KEYSTONE JOBS BIDEN KILLED WERE JUST THE START: The Lid’s Jeff Dunetz says a new study from the American Petroleum Institute (API) expects millions to be lost.

I LOVE ALL THE OUTRAGE FROM PEOPLE WHO DON’T REALIZE THAT’S HE’S JUST REPRISING MAXINE WATERS’ COMMENTS ON TRUMP’S CABINET:

TOTALITARIANISM AND REPRESSION OF SPEECH AND ASSEMBLY:  When They Come For You.

(There appears to be a fundraiser for legal expenses, but I have not had a chance to investigate it. I shouldn’t even have taken time to write this post. If anyone knows and can vouch for it, let me know. We’ve had fraudulent fundraisers pop up in the past.)

HE HAS TO WORK BOTH SIDES OF HIS MOUTH: So no wonder Dr. Anthony Fauci is the highest-paid federal employee. Open The Books strikes again.

WATERGATE? RUSSIAGATE? NOW PAGERGATE? Austin, Texas, is likely not the only jurisdiction in America in which taxpayers are still paying for pagers that are almost never used. If you aren’t following the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), you should be, even if you don’t live in the Lone Star State. It may be liberty’s last safehouse.

 

UNWITTINGLY: Joy Reid Unwittingly Explains Why Joe Biden’s Unity Talk Just Won’t Work.

INTERNET NERDS VS. WALL STREET SUITS: A bunch of Redditors crush a short. “We can stay retarded for longer than they can stay solvent!”

NOW CHINA SAYS CHRISTIANS ARE SPREADING COVID: Don’t miss my latest PJ Media Culture column, this one on how China is a——, I mean, imitating Nero.

I CAN’T GIVE IT AWAY ON SEVENTH AVENUE: Bob McManus: The push to decriminalize ‘streetwalking’ follows a deadly run of NYC ‘reforms’.

VODKAPUNDIT PRESENTS YOUR DAILY INSANITY WRAP: Biden Reportedly ‘Furious’ with Newsom Over Loosening Lockdown.

Insanity Wrap needs to know: Is the COVID science is so settled, why is Gavin Newsom loosening his state’s draconian lockdown restrictions?

Answer: Politics.

Before we get to the sordid details, a quick preview of today’s Wrap.

  • Asking for the data is racist
  • Democrats stealing Harriet Tubman’s anti-Democrat fever
  • Lena and Hunter sittin’ in a tree?

Bonus Sanity: An answer to the question of which POTUS is the real authoritarian.

And so much more at the link, you’d have to be crazy to miss it.

LETTING THE CHINESE GET INVOLVED WITH OUR GRID, AS BIDEN HAS JUST DONE, PROBABLY WON’T HELP: The Still-Untold Story of Electric Grid Insecurity.

WHEN WE DON’T KNOW THINGS ABOUT GOVERNMENT AND BUREAUCRATS, IT’S USUALLY BECAUSE THEY DON’T WANT US TO KNOW THEM, BECAUSE THEY REFLECT BADLY ON THEM: Why Don’t We Know How Many Vaccine Doses Are Being Thrown Away?

IT’S GOOD TO BE THE NOMENKLATURA: Canadian casino mogul, actress wife pose as motel workers to cut COVID-19 vaccine line.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The Washington Post Tried To Memory-Hole Kamala Harris’ Bad Joke About Inmates Begging for Food and Water. “At a time when legacy publications are increasingly seen as playing for one political ‘team’ or the other, this type of editorial decision will not do anything to fix that perception.”

That’s because it’s not just a perception.

TRUMP’S LEGACY: Emirati builds bridges of peace through business.

Al-Shirawi spoke to the importance of being a propagator of peace. He believes that the signing of the Abraham Accords is just the first step, and now it is the people’s turn to build the relationships and create a “new band of brothers.” He wants to turn talk into action through successful business partnerships, and he believes that others will follow suit.

When asked about specific areas of cooperation, Al-Sharawi said he is looking forward to the environmental sphere and exploring Israel’s success in water filtration technology. Both the UAE and Israel face the problem of water scarcity and filtration, and while the technology is emerging in Dubai and other parts of the UAE, businesses, and industry can benefit from the Israeli mastery of this technology.

He also discussed cooperation at the cultural level, saying that it is more than just signing contracts and memorandums of understanding (MOUs), but a beautiful display of learning and unity between Emirati and Israeli communities. He noted the importance of places such as the Abrahamic Family House, an interfaith center that serves as a beacon of coexistence, peace, and goodwill. Places like this emphasize the familial bond between peoples that Al-Shirawi believes has existed for a long time.

Read the whole thing.

TRUMP AND THE FAILURE OF THE EXPERT CLASS: They were right about his character, but his defects were obvious to almost everyone. They were wrong about virtually all else.

The great theme of the Trump years, the one historians will note a century from now, was the failure of America’s expert class. The people who were supposed to know what they were talking about, didn’t.

The failure began with the country’s top consultants and pollsters. Candidate Trump did almost everything lavishly paid political consultants would have told him, and did tell him, not to do—and he won. The most respected pollsters, meanwhile, predicted a landslide for Hillary Clinton. America’s best and brightest political adepts turned out to know very little about the elections they claim to understand.

Also during the 2016 campaign, an assemblage of top-tier academics, intellectuals and journalists warned that Mr. Trump’s candidacy signified a fascist threat. Timothy Snyder, a historian of Nazism at Yale, was among the most strident of these prophets. “Be calm when the unthinkable arrives,” he warned in a Facebook post shortly after the election. “When the terrorist attack comes, remember that all authorities at all times either await or plan such events in order to consolidate power. Think of the Reichstag fire.” Many experts stuck with the fascism theme after Mr. Trump’s election and throughout his presidency. That these cultured authorities couldn’t tell the difference between a populist protest against elite contempt and a coup carried out by powerful ideologues will go down as one of the great fiascoes of American intellectual history.

The fascism charge was only the most acute form of the claim that Mr. Trump was carrying out an “assault on democracy.” Some semantic clarification is in order here. When intellectuals and journalists of the left use the word “democracy,” they typically are not referring to elections and decision-making by popularly elected officials. For the left, “democracy” is another word for progressive policy aims, especially the widening of special political rights and welfare-state provisions to new constituencies. By that definition any Republican president is carrying out an “assault on democracy.” . . .

America’s foreign-policy elite didn’t perform appreciably better. For decades, they had insisted that peace between Israel and the Arab world was impossible without a long-term solution to the Israel-Palestinian problem. It was an axiom, no longer up for debate. Mr. Trump followed through on a promise long made but not kept by the U.S. government to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Foreign-policy experts the world over predicted hellish payback from the Arab world, but the recognition went forward, the U.S. Embassy moved, and the payback consisted of a day’s worth of inconsequential protests.

Meanwhile the administration pressed ahead with a diplomatic push to strike commercial and diplomatic deals between Israel and Arab states. The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco announced they would establish formal relations with Israel, and Saudi Arabia may do the same. The foreign-policy clerisy, having been wrong about the central question of global diplomacy for the past four decades, predictably ignored these achievements.

Then there are the public-health experts. We are still in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, so it is difficult to write about it with the perspective it demands. Yet political talking points aside, this much is apparent: No nation—or anyhow no nation that values individual liberty and isn’t an island—has managed even to slow the spread of Covid-19 without causing economic ruin and attendant disorder. . . .

The most regrettable part of this class failure is that, with rare exceptions, the experts themselves acknowledge no error. Nothing about the Trump years has occasioned soul-searching or self-criticism on their part. But today’s experts will eventually retire and pass from the scene. A newer, fresher generation of pollsters, academics, think-tank scholars and journalists will care more about the truth than they do about aligning with today’s consensus. They will feel no need to disguise their ignorance by signaling hatred of Donald Trump. And they will not fail to note that their most accomplished and revered forerunners were, at crucial moments, idiots.

Related: The Suicide of Expertise.

YOU’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BLOG: Here’s The Full List Of Every Lie Joe Biden Has Told As President.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, RACIAL BIGOTRY EDITION: U. Colorado equity and inclusion official: White people need to ‘fix their freaking families.’

Why are “equity and inclusion” offices such cesspits of bigotry and discrimination?

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, SEXUAL BIGOTRY EDITION: California prof: Heterosexuality is ‘tragic.’

‘TIS A PITY THEY CAN’T ALL LOSE: Some Silicon Valley donors’ next political fight? Trying to oust California’s governor. “To be sure, Newsom remains liked by many tech industry leaders. But now, some people from that same industry are proving to be a political thorn — with some supporters even turning on him.”

CROWDSOURCING GOODTHINK: Twitter launches ‘Birdwatch,’ a forum to combat misinformation. “Twitter said it hopes to build a community of ‘Birdwatchers’ that can eventually help moderate and label tweets in its main product.”

THESE PEOPLE ARE CRAZY: Liberal Media Scream: Nuremberg trial for Trump?

HEALTH: Apple says to keep your iPhone 12 away from pacemakers. “The handsets and MagSafe accessories can cause interference.”

I REMEMBER WHEN DARK MONEY WAS SUPPOSED TO BE BAD: ‘Dark Money’ Helped Pave Joe Biden’s Path to the White House.

President Joe Biden benefited from a record-breaking amount of donations from anonymous donors to outside groups backing him, meaning the public will never have a full accounting of who helped him win the White House.

Biden’s winning campaign was backed by $145 million in so-called dark money donations, a type of fundraising Democrats have decried for years. Those fundraising streams augmented Biden’s $1.5 billion haul, in itself a record for a challenger to an incumbent president.

That amount of dark money dwarfs the $28.4 million spent on behalf of his rival, former President Donald Trump.

That’s different because shut up.

Plus: “Democrats have said they want to ban dark money as uniquely corrupting, since it allows supporters to quietly back a candidate without scrutiny. Yet in their effort to defeat Trump in 2020, they embraced it.”

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Trump Opens Rent Free Office Space In Liberals’ Heads. “The Democrats never could see through their Trump Derangement Syndrome clearly enough to see the fun guy that those of us who supported him did. I saw him speak live during the first month of his presidency and it was an extemporaneous blast filled with a lot of laughs. The Dems see him and us as angry and bitter all the time. Of course, it’s textbook projection. They’re the pinched, miserable ones.”

IS IT MORE LIKE 1984, OR MORE LIKE BRAVE NEW WORLD? Your online activity is now effectively a social ‘credit score:’ Especially when the Morality Police get acquired.

GOOD AND HARD:

Shot: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the clear choice for Indian Country.

Indian Country Today, October 21st, 2020.

Chaser: Utah tribe blasts Biden’s drilling freeze on federal lands as ‘direct attack’ on sovereignty.

—The Washington Times, Friday.

WHISKEY ON THE AMERICAN FRONTIER.

ANALYSIS: VERY, VERY TRUE. Our Pandemic Fears Are Killing What Makes Life Worth Living.

IS THIS EVEN ALLOWED NOWADAYS? Democrats question election results: ‘We just trust the machines, and we shouldn’t.’

Matt Luceen didn’t vote for former President Donald Trump in 2020, but he came to Washington last week to protest President Biden’s inauguration, saying the election was flawed.

Mr. Luceen, a supporter of Sen. Bernard Sanders, said he toted signs that read “COUNT OUR VOTES BY HAND,” and “End the charade.”

“We don’t ever really put the paper into piles and count them by hand anymore,” the 34-year-old computer programmer said. “We just trust the machines, and we shouldn’t because we have documented proof that these machines are vulnerable.”

While Mr. Trump and his supporters have been explosively vocal about their distrust of the election system, discontent runs through a broad swath of voters from across the political spectrum.

In 2016, it was Democrats complaining that the election had been tainted by Russian interference. Two years later, the party complained that Stacey Abrams had been denied the Georgia governorship because of shenanigans with voting rolls.

Ms. Abrams never conceded, and Democrats — who took control of the U.S. House in those 2018 elections — made her cause a rallying cry, vowing to repair elections.

In 2020, it was Mr. Trump sowing complaints early and often.

The above is from this week. But remember this? Democratic senators warned of potential ‘vote switching’ by Dominion voting machines prior to 2020 election.

In a December 2019 letter to Dominion Voting Systems, which has been mired in controversy after a human error involving its machines in Antrim County, Michigan, resulted in incorrect counts, Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Ron Wyden, and Amy Klobuchar and congressman Mark Pocan warned about reports of machines “switching votes,” “undisclosed vulnerabilities,” and “improbable” results that “threaten the integrity of our elections.”

“In 2018 alone, ‘voters in South Carolina [were] reporting machines that switched their votes after they’d inputted them, scanners [were] rejecting paper ballots in Missouri, and busted machines [were] causing long lines in Indiana,’” the letter reads. “In addition, researchers recently uncovered previously undisclosed vulnerabilities in “nearly three dozen backend election systems in 10 states.” And, just this year, after the Democratic candidate’s electronic tally showed he received 164 votes out of 55,000 cast in a Pennsylvania state judicial election in 2019, the county’s Republican chairwoman said, “nothing went right on Election Day. Everything went wrong. That’s a problem.”

The letter continued: “These problems threaten the integrity of our elections and demonstrate the importance of election systems that are strong, durable, and not vulnerable to attack.”

Dominion’s suing Rudy Giuliani, but not these Democrats. But an “unbiased” voting machine company that only sues Republicans has kind of blown its credibility already.

From the day before the 2020 election: USA Today: Will your ballot be safe? Computer experts sound warnings on America’s voting machines.

All election systems are for the most part black boxes: proprietary software and hardware jealously guarded by the handful of companies selling them. But state reviews and court cases opening up DRE systems of all makes and models for examination have for years flagged problems. . . .

“The whole community of computer scientists is mystified why election officials will not listen to experts about technology but will listen to the vendors (selling and maintaining it),” said Duncan Buell, a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of South Carolina who examined that state’s system.

Nobody should buy voting machines from Dominion, or anyone else, using secret “proprietary software and hardware.” And, really, nobody should buy voting machines at all.

Flashback: Biden Was Concerned About Manipulated Voting Machines, Called for Paper Ballots. “How are you gonna keep it from us being able to be in a position where you can manipulate the machines, manipulate the records?”

Well, he had a point.

Related: New York Times, Feb. 4, 2020: The Only Safe Election Is a Low-Tech Election: The Iowa caucus debacle proved that a 21st-century election requires 19th-century technology.

Every piece of technology involved in the voting process is a possible point of failure. And the larger and more interconnected the technical system, the more vulnerable it is to an attack.

“Many of the leading opponents of paperless voting machines were, and still are, computer scientists, because we understand the vulnerability of voting equipment in a way most election officials don’t,” said Barbara Simons, a computer scientist and board chair of Verified Voting, an election security nonprofit, in an interview with The Atlantic in 2017.

Remember when they told us to “listen to the experts?”

But look, for elections to work, people — including the losing side — have to trust that voting is basically fair. Something like 40% of Americans have serious doubts. That’s destabilizing, and trying to pretend suddenly that only kooks have doubts, and trying to silence critics with legal thuggery a la Dominion, only makes the problem worse.

I APOLOGIZE TO BALDRICK WHO AT LEAST PROVIDED SUPERIOR TURNIPS:  They Have A Cunning Plan.

MENTALLY DEFICIENT TODDLERS:  DOJ Inspector General Announces Investigation into DOJ Effort to Influence the 2020 Election.

…on LSD, playing with plastique.

THE RIOT WASN’T. THE ARRESTS ARE POLITICAL PERSECUTION:  Founder of #WalkAway Movement, Brandon Straka, Arrested For Participation in Capitol Hill Riot.

I stand with Brandon Straka. Any regime that would deprive citizens of the right to protest is an illegal and dictatorial regime.

MENTALLY IMPAIRED TODDLERS RUNNING WITH PLASTIQUE:  House Delivers Article of Impeachment, Trump Warns GOP of Primary Consequences.

SURE:  Teen Suicides Major Reason For Schools To Reopen.

But making asthmatic kids wear masks while attending is going to take those same schools to the cleaners, when the madness passes and everyone remembers ADA.

WHICH MEANS WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO RESIST:  American Exceptionalism Is Our Birthright. We’re Keeping It.

Because actually Bai Den Zhou’s puppet government is inimical to everything America is.

TO BE FAIR, AT LEAST THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO PRODUCE FICTION:  ‘No Man’s Land’s’ Own Studio Lies About the Immigration Drama.

Still, CNN is not likely to appreciate the competition.

WE’VE LEFT THE REAL WORLD BEHIND: Journalists Mobilize Against Free Speech.

We’re living in the drugged fantasies of some LSD addict. It’s still 1970 and any minute now we’re going to wake up on the green shag carpeting next to some guy who has been growing his chest hair since before he was born.  And I’ll be wondering what I’m doing there, at eight.

THE LEFT WOULD CANCEL ALL OF US: Today’s blacklisted American: A blogger about babies.

So they’re not constantly reminded of their miserable and petty smallness.

IT IS NEEDED:  The Battle for Moral Authority.

Let me put it this way: morality is not race. When you start investing any race with moral worth, while stripping it from another, you’re the one who has no morality. The end.

THE COUNTRY IS IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS:  ‘More like a snack for a toddler than a meal for an adult’: How our National Guard troops are being fed at the Capitol.

AMERICANS DO EVERYTHING DIALED TO 11:  Rule by Decree: Joe Biden Sets Record for Executive Orders in First Week.

Not even the Romans had an Emperor this senile proclaim so much crazy stuff. At this point saying he’s marrying his daughter and declaring his dogs citizens would be piddly stuff.

THIS REGIME, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: A genocide, by any other name.

This regime holds the leash on vice-roi Bi-Den-Zhou.

TODDLERS, RUNNING WITH PLASTIQUE:  Schumer: Biden Should Consider Declaring ‘Climate Emergency’ So He Can Do Things without Congress.

January 25, 2021

REALCLEARPOLITICS: Democrat Prospects of Convicting Trump in Senate Fade Away. Drag it out as long as possible, waste their momentum and make them look dumb on TV. Then crush it.

SEEN ON FACEBOOK:

FAILING UPWARD: Dr. Anthony Fauci: The Highest Paid Employee In The Entire U.S. Federal Government.

JUST SENT OUT THANK-YOU NOTES TO PEOPLE WHO DONATED VIA PAYPAL. Sorry that some were a bit late; I got a bit behind with the Covid and other stuff. I very much appreciate your support, especially now that the Amazon stuff is no longer happening as before.

(Bumped).

COOL: Elon Musk Is Leasing Land to Drill for Natural Gas In Texas. Near SpaceX’s launch site in Boca Chica, Texas.

TRUMP’S NOT PRESIDENT. THEREFORE HE CAN’T BE REMOVED, WHICH MEANS HE CAN’T BE IMPEACHED. AT LEAST, THAT’S MY TAKE. Did Chief Justice John Roberts decline to preside over the Senate trial of the Trump impeachment? “I think it means John Roberts arrived at the view that there was no occasion for the Chief Justice to preside, and therefore he has a duty to refrain from participating. That’s not ducking and it’s not skipping. When he presides, it’s because he must, and when he refrains, it’s because he must. It’s based on an interpretation of law. But I can’t tell, reading this article, if he was asked to preside and communicated a refusal, or if Senate Democrats decided that the Constitution, Article I, Section 3, does not provide for a role for the Chief Justice.”

The thing is, if you’re not impeaching Trump as President, then you’re impeaching a private citizen. And you can’t impeach a private citizen. If you’re impeaching Trump as President, then the Chief Justice must preside. And since he isn’t . . .

WHEN YOU PUT CLOWNS IN CHARGE, YOU’RE GONNA HAVE A CLOWN SHOW: If You Thought the First Impeachment Was a Circus, Just Wait for Impeachment 2.0.

WELL, OBJECTIVELY THEIR PLATFORMS PLAYED A BIGGER ROLE: House GOP: If the FBI Is Investigating Parler for the Capitol Riot, Let’s Include Facebook and Twitter.

Though the notion that a communications platform is responsible for what its users say, even aside from Section 230, is pretty novel and unAmerican here.

OPEN THREAD: Be happy.

WAIT, IF TRUMP INCITED IT, HOW COULD THE SON HAVE TIPPED OFF THE FBI ABOUT HIS FATHER’S PARTICPATION BEFORE IT HAPPENED? “Weeks before the riot,” in fact. Son Tipped Off F.B.I. About His Father, Who Is Charged in Capitol Riot.

What sort of awful crime did the father commit? “The elder Mr. Reffitt, who was arrested on Jan. 16, faces charges of obstruction of justice and of knowingly entering a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority.”

Also, I’d disown the little turd. He’s 18, he needs to move out and support himself. No home for Stalinists. . . .

A FRIEND EMAILS: “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Trump Mar-a-lago wgah’nagl fhtagn.” Heh.

UPDATE: From the comments: “That is not politically dead which can eternal lie, and in strange eons even deplatforming may die.”

Plus, something stirs.

FLASHBACK: The Cautionary Tale of Samantha Power.

POLITICS:

UPDATE: Now that Joe Biden is President, COVID is Over and California Will Re-Open. Well, also Gavin Newsom’s “looming recall election.”

NO THANKS, I’M STILL SOCIAL DISTANCING: Meet the Woman Behind Salon’s Sloppy Tom Cotton Piece. San Francisco-based researcher Michelle Pettigrew was renovating her Georgian mansion while Cotton was in Iraq.

NO ONE WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE: Surge of Student Suicides Pushes Las Vegas Schools to Reopen.

(MUCH) SLOWER PLEASE: Why the Biden Agenda Might Come to a Screeching Halt in the Senate.

Related: Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) “is against eliminating the filibuster, and she is not open to changing her mind about eliminating the filibuster.”

More: Report: Trump Impeachment DOA in Senate.

Which likely dovetails with this announcement: Sen. Leahy Expected to Preside over Senate Impeachment Trial, Not Chief Justice Roberts.

SURPRISE BIPARTISAN SUPPORT FOR GUN-TOTING REPUBLICAN WOMEN: Biden Admin to ‘Speed Up’ Efforts to Place Harriet Tubman on $20 Bill.

And the design work is all set to go!

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Budweiser will sit out Super Bowl, funneling marketing dollars to boost vaccine awareness. “Budweiser isn’t the only iconic brand sitting out the game. PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have said they won’t be running in-game ads for their namesake sodas.”

#FIGHTFOR$15: New Research Debunks Claim That a $15 Minimum Wage Would Not Reduce Employment.

GO BROKE: NBC Sports Network Is Shutting Down.

AMERICA’S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD: Triple-Masker Looks Down On People Who Only Double Mask.

MARK JUDGE: America’s Spiritual Quest Doesn’t Lead to Las Vegas.

FASTER, PLEASE: New DeLorean, and Other Replica Cars, One Step Closer to Reality.

DUTCH ANTI-LOCKDOWN PROTESTS MOSTLY PEACEFUL: Hundreds arrested after riots in 10 cities in the Netherlands. “Police in the Netherlands arrested hundreds of rioters, mostly in Amsterdam, as groups of young men in multiple cities vandalized shops and set fires Sunday night. . . . Earlier this week, the Dutch parliament announced new coronavirus restrictions including limits on social visiting and a 9:30 p.m. curfew.”

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: In 1110, The Moon Vanished From The Sky. We May Finally Know Why.

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS NO ONE IS ASKING: How Miley Cyrus’ ‘Preference’ Remarks Show Underlying Transphobia.

“Girls are way hotter. We know this,” the 28-year-old bisexual said in an interview with Sirius XM’s Barstool Radio. “Everyone I think can agree that from ancient times d*cks makes wonderful sculptures. Other than that, I’m not as interested. I like d*cks as art pieces. And sculptural, I love the shape, I think it looks really good on a table.”

The singer continued: “It’s good if it can just get in and go away, because I don’t want it eyeing me up. That’s how I truly feel. I felt really good about saying that.”

She dug in even deeper, adding, “everyone knows that tits are prettier than balls… That’s what ended up making female relationships make more sense to me.”

I wish I could say this news makes me excited and proud to be a woman and a lesbian, but Cyrus’ quote is littered with transphobia. This kind of gender essentialism was left behind by most of the queer community years ago. Genitals do not equal gender, and Miley should know this.

And from satiric* Twitter account “Titania McGrath:”

* Well, I’m pretty sure it’s satiric. In 2021 though, who can tell?

OF COURSE, THIS IS BASED ON LIKE, WHAT, 12 THEATERS OR SOMETHING? ‘Marksman’ tops North American box office for 2nd weekend. $2 million in box office for a #1 movie. “Few new movies have been opening in theaters this past year due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

JOEL KOTKIN: Making America California. Now that Californians are filling top spots in the Biden administration and Silicon Valley is an arm of the Democratic party, they’ll be working together to ruin the rest of the nation’s economy — and impose California’s new version of feudalism.

PETER HITCHENS: “Covid ‘denier’ is a disgusting, dog-whistle slur:

[I]t’s a revolting, dog-whistle slur, designed to suggest the person involved is equivalent to those who deny the Shoah took place. One of the first principles of political argument is that if you are explaining, you are losing. So my response to this is not to explain. If anybody actually thinks I am a denier of the Holocaust, let them say so somewhere public, where we can deal with it.

He’s not wrong — it’s simply an extension of the old “climate denier” slur: In January 2007, CBS’s Scott Pelley “was asked why he refused to include global warming skeptics in his reporting. He responded, ‘If I do an interview with [Holocaust survivor] Elie Wiesel, am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?’”

REP. LAUREN BOEBERT EXPLAINS WHY SHE CARRIES IN D.C.: She’s only five-feet tall, but I wouldn’t mess with her. She’s Video #2 on Thom McKee’s Daily Gouge for today. A little further down, check out Thom’s response to NR’s David French.

NO. JUST NO. How Is This a Good Idea: Car Dashboard Video Games.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Nothing to see here, just Bay Area teachers impersonating health care workers to jump the Covid vaccination line: Bay Area hospital won’t receive COVID vaccine after teachers given doses before frontliners, elderly.

According to investigative news outlet San Jose Spotlight, Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Gatos offered district Superintendent Paul Johnson and staff the vaccine as a “gesture” of kindness after the district raised funds for a program to provide frontline workers meals.

“The COO of the hospital says we can access the appointments … and has cleared [Los Gatos schools] staff to sign up under the healthcare buttons,” the email from Johnson to district staff obtained by Spotlight read. Educators are part of Phase 1B in California and Santa Clara County, behind frontline staff, nursing home residents and those 65 and older.

Teachers, per the email, were told to impersonate health care workers despite the threat of perjury — with the approval of COO Gary Purushotham — in order to obtain access to the vaccine. “Remember to register under healthcare initially,” Johnson’s note read.

The district did not immediately respond to a request for comment from SFGATE. Schools in the district are closed for in-person learning.

Now, Santa Clara County is withholding vaccines from the hospital after the offer was extended and an estimated 65 doses were offered to district teachers and staffers.

You stay classy, Bay Area teachers.

 

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