September 18, 2021

MY COUNTY MAYOR, Glenn Jacobs.

#Resist!

Also:

Direct link to the interview here.

THE AMERICA THAT WORKS: SpaceX’s private Inspiration4 crew returns to Earth with historic splashdown off Florida coast.

THE POWER OF NONCOMPLIANCE:

#RESIST:

THE FBI INFILTRATION DONE WITH USUAL LEVELS OF FBI COMPETENCE:

In the words of Marisa Tomei from My Cousin Vinny: “Oh yeah. You blend.”

UPDATE: From the open thread:

Also:

ANOTHER UPDATE: HEH.

MORE: It gets better:

IT’S ALL GRIFT AND GRAFT AND BULLSHIT:

OPEN THREAD: Dreams unwind and love’s a state of mind.

UPDATE: Some really great 1970s camerawork there, and Stevie Nicks shows that she can belt it, even if she never does on the studio stuff.

JUST BE SURE TO PHONE THE ENEMY BEFORE ATTACKING: U.S. generals planning for a space war they see as all but inevitable.

JUST A REMINDER: I get paid based on ad revenue now, so if you wouldn’t mind whitelisting InstaPundit if you run an ad blocker that would be great. Or some people hit the PayPal donation button, which is also great.

SCIENCE: Studying aging through metabolite changes in saliva.

IT WON’T BE THE LAST: Joe Biden’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. “By any measure, Friday, September 17, 2021, will go down in the books as one of the worst days of Joe Biden’s presidency. (At least so far, anyway.)”

So far.

UPDATE: Don Surber: President Fubar.

OUCH:

Related:

“FUCK JOE BIDEN” CHANTS ARE EVERYWHERE:

UPDATE:

The left always shows you what it’s afraid of. And they’re afraid of this phenomenon. It shows people aren’t afraid of them, even on college campuses.

And the “legal experts” going on about the dangers of “violent speech” after the four years of actual violence over Trump are hilarious, pathetic, and a disgrace to the profession all at once. Hacks. Or maybe this is a parody. Who can tell anymore?

UPDATE: Folks in the comments say it’s a parody. Like I said, who can tell these days, when most of our betters speak in parody all the time, whether they know it or not. The chants, at any rate, are sincere.

SPLASHDOWN SET FOR 7:06 PM ET: SpaceX’s private Inspiration4 astronauts will return to Earth tonight and you can watch it live.

COLOR ME SUSPICIOUS: Powell orders ethics review after Fed presidents disclosed multimillion-dollar investments.

Do I believe that the Fed presidents have conflicts? Probably. But do I think this is coming out now to provide an excuse for a purge and replacement with loyal henchment? Yes, yes I do.

WHEN SPORTS TRASH-TALK GETS NASTY:

SCIENCE: Studying aging through metabolite changes in saliva.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER SAYS VOTERS WERE RIGHT TO RETAIN NEWSOM, CALLS GOP FIELD ‘DISASTROUS:’

Arnold Schwarzenegger, who became California’s governor in 2003 after a recall, said he was relieved that Gavin Newsom kept his job.

“I think voters made the right decision,” Schwarzenegger said in an interview on Wednesday, the day after Democratic Gov. Newsom beat the recall. “It’s better to stay with someone who you know what they’re going to do, rather than someone who comes in wacky and is changing everything around.”

Still, the Republican added he was hopeful that the special election was a “wake-up call” for Newsom that “makes him perform better.”

Regarding anti-maskers, Schwarzenegger uttered the words “screw your freedom” last month, which also neatly sums up Newsom’s approach to Californians in general.

Which brings us to this headline from America’s Newspaper of Record: Californians Desperate To Escape Cling To Landing Gear Of Last Jet Leaving LAX.

EVERYTHING SEEMINGLY IS SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL: One stunning afternoon: Setbacks imperil Biden’s reset.

WASHINGTON (AP) — It was an hour President Joe Biden would no doubt like to forget.

On Friday, the Pentagon acknowledged that a drone strike in Afghanistan killed 10 civilians, including seven children, not terrorists. A panel advising the Food and Drug Administration voted to not recommend COVID-19 booster shots for all Americans over age 16, dashing an administration hope. And France announced it was recalling its ambassador to the United States out of anger for being cut out of a secret nuclear submarine deal Biden had struck with the United Kingdom and Australia.

The headlines, all within an hour, underscored the perils for any president from situations that can define a term in office.

Already, Biden has seen public approval numbers trend downward as the pandemic has deepened and Americans cast blame for the flawed U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The passive tone in this AP article is just incredible — but it all makes sense when you remember that it’s written by Democratic Party operatives with bylines.

And the hits just keep on coming: Number of Americans Trapped in Afghanistan Exceeds Biden Admin Claims, GOP Lawmaker Says. Rep. Darrell Issa says at least 200 individuals stranded, double Biden’s public claim.

(Classical reference in headline.)

DISPATCHES FROM THE INTERSECTION OF THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE AND THE MEMORY HOLE: Emory newspaper edits 20-year-old article written by Biden nominee.

The Emory University student newspaper edited an article written by the now-U.S. Solicitor General nominee to remove a quote they described as “harmful for some readers.”

Editors at The Emory Wheel, the student newspaper of Emory University, removed a quote given to then-student editor Elizabeth Barchas, whom President Joe Biden nominated to be the U.S. Solicitor General in August.

Elizabeth Barchas now goes by Elizabeth Barchas Prelogar.

“It’s really disappointing because we think we live in such a modern culture but there’s still so many primitive people out there who think violence is an effective way to show anger or prove a point,” then-freshman Justin Karp originally told the Emory Wheel in a now-archived version of their story after the September 11, 2001 attacks. “We’re better than that.”

The article, “Students react to national crisis with disbelief, hope,” was re-published on September 11 and omits the quote provided by Karp, with an editor’s note stating that his words “may be harmful for some readers.”

Not least of whom include Comrade Ogilvy.

 

UNEXPECTEDLY: AOC’s ‘Tax the Rich’ dress designer Aurora James owes debt in multiple states.

The company racked up three open tax warrants in New York state for failing to withhold income taxes from employees’ paychecks totaling $14,798, the state Department of Taxation and Finance told The Post. The debts — which were incurred before the pandemic — stem from 2018 and 2019. The company has been hit with 15 warrants in total since 2015.

The company got into a deeper hole with the feds. Between April 2018 and April 2019, the Internal Revenue Service placed six federal liens on Cultural Brokerage Agency totaling $103,220. The liens specifically cite the company’s failure to remit employee payroll taxes.

* * * * * * * *

While James apparently has no problem stiffing the Taxman, she isn’t shy about taking money from taxpayers — her company received in $41,666 in pandemic relief aid.

Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it.

WORD IS THAT THEY WERE CHANTING “FUCK JOE BIDEN” AT THE TENNESSEE GAME AGAIN TODAY. The #Resistance continues!

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Why Defensive Firearms Training Is So Important.

USCCR’s REPORT ON MATERNAL MORTALITY:  In its report released this week, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights tries to make the case that racial disparities in maternal mortality are caused by racism.  As one of my colleagues put it, “Black women are treated differently in the maternity ward than others in terms of being listened to, and recognized as custodians of their own care, and advocates of their own care.”  In my dissenting statement, I point out that Hispanic and Asian mothers have lower rates of maternal mortality than white mothers.  Make of that what you will.

STILL #1 IN ARGENTINIAN HISTORY: The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse.

JIM TREACHER: It’s the Same Vaccine, No Matter Who’s President.

Joy Reid is a shameless hypocrite. She keeps screaming about people who are hesitant about a vaccine, which she was also hesitant about until she wasn’t.

Reid has been trying to defend herself, but unfortunately for her, she has to rely on the logic and rhetorical skills of Joy Reid:

Yeah, here’s the thing about that: IT’S LITERALLY THE SAME VACCINE. It didn’t magically transform from a bad vaccine to a good vaccine, or vice versa, just because we elected a new president. There’s not a “Trump vaccine” and a “Biden vaccine.” It’s literally the same stuff! It’s the same physical matter residing in the same universe. The only thing that’s different now is a few misfiring neurons in the brains of partisan morons like Joy Reid.

This is the woman who managed to keep her awful MSNBC show after claiming that some homophobic posts on her old blog, which she wrote before anybody even knew who she was, were planted there by a hacker. That’s right, some hacker got into a time machine, went back to 2010, and tried to ruin Joy Reid’s career by making it look like she hates gay people. She’s always loved science fiction.

More here: Reid Lies About Ben Shapiro, Insists It Was Good to Be Anti-Vax Under Trump.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Data Study: 18 Months of Ammo Sales during a Pandemic, Protests, and the Biden Presidency.

To give a pre-pandemic baseline of sorts, over the past 18 months our overall sales have increased as follows:

590% increase in revenue
604% increase in transactions
271% increase in site traffic
77% increase in conversion rate

This data is from February 23, 2020 – August 23, 2021, when compared to the previous 18 months (August 24, 2018 – February 22, 2020).

Much more at the link.

THE L.A. TIMES KEEPS ROCKIN’! Smear Campaign Against Larry Elder Reveals Fraud by Woke Media:

Elder, who would have become the state’s first black governor had he won, was smeared continually by California media at the behest of the left in the most absurd and often quite offensive ways.

The Los Angeles Times ran an opinion column in August headlined “Larry Elder is the Black face of white supremacy. You’ve been warned.” Another Los Angeles Times columnist linked Elder to the politics of David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan.

* * * * * * * *

It got worse.

Late in the campaign, Elder was subjected to an assault by an unidentified white woman in a gorilla mask who hurled an egg at him. It was a disgusting act.

Imagine, for a moment, that this identical attack had occurred against a black Democrat. Kyle Smith, writing for the New York Post, was spot on with this analysis:

We would be treated to multiple news analyses about the history of the usage of gorilla tropes against blacks. Joy-Ann Reid, Rachel Maddow and Don Lemon would be doing hour-long broadcasts on the attack, convening panels discussing just how the attack pulls the scab off racism in America, and proves we have so much work left to do in dealing with the problem. Vox would commission a series about California’s grim history of racism dating back to the Chinese Exclusion Act, and Asian-American and Latino writers would hasten to explain that California’s historic hostility to all sorts of persons of color is as traditional as its Tournament of Roses parade.

Absolutely.

Just think of the L.A. Times as Democratic Party operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.

Evergreen:


(Classical reference in headline.)

UNIVERSITIES HAVE NO BUSINESS DECIDING WHETHER RELATIONSHIPS ARE CONSENSUAL OR NOT: 2 Women Dated for Years. After It Ended, JMU Said Their Relationship Was ‘Nonconsensual.’

They dated for two and a half years, living together for much of that time.

The relationship ended badly, causing both women much consternation. Almost a year later, on December 4, 2018, Lese filed a Title IX report with JMU. This report then became the basis of a sexual misconduct complaint, and Reid was accused of engaging in a nonconsensual relationship with her former girlfriend.

JMU suspended Reid from teaching. Then, following a hearing where Reid was given no meaningful opportunity to rebut the allegations against her—Lese did not even attend it—the university determined she had violated an aspect of the sexual misconduct policy that had not even existed during the time period in question.

The finding made it impossible for Reid to continue working at JMU; indeed, she had already been denied a promotion and barred from campus. She was hired at another university, sold her house, and moved—but when her new employer found out about the sexual misconduct finding, the offer was abruptly rescinded.

“I was let go a week before the semester began,” she says.

Reid is now suing JMU, as well as the U.S. Department of Education, which pushed colleges and universities to adopt unfair sexual misconduct adjudication policies during the years of Barack Obama’s presidency. The lawsuit comes at a time of profound national uncertainty about the trajectory of federal education policy as it relates to Title IX, the statute that prohibits sex and gender-based discrimination in schools. Under Obama, the Education Department instructed campus officials to vigorously investigate sexual misconduct, define it broadly, and give accused persons very little recourse. Then, under former President Donald Trump, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rescinded the Obama-era policies and made basic fairness a central component of Title IX adjudication.

Now Joe Biden is president, and he has selected Catherine Lhamon as his Title IX enforcer. The name should be familiar to readers: Lhamon had the exact same job during the Obama era. As assistant secretary for civil rights within the Education Department, she enforced the policies that prompted hundreds of students and professors to sue their institutions after being removed from campus following the sorts of ordeals that Reid faced. No single government official bears more responsibility than Lhamon, and Biden would like to give her back her old job.

Complaints of sexual assault should be referred to law enforcement. Universities lack the expertise, and the moral stature, to resolve this sort of thing on their own.

Also, I disagree with the claim that these policies are the product of “good intentions.”

YAHOO FINANCE: “7 ways men live without working in America”:

Almost one-third of all working-age men in America aren’t doing diddly-squat. They don’t have a job, and they aren’t looking for one either. One-third of all working-age men. That’s almost 30 million people!

How do they live? What are they doing for money? To me, this is one of the great mysteries of our time.

Someone should write a book about this great “mystery.”

HOW IT STARTED: America is back with Biden, France’s Macron says.

—Reuters, June 12.

How it’s going: “Furious.” France withdraws their American ambassadors.

The fallout from the sudden announcement this week of a secret deal between the United States and Great Britain to help Australia acquire nuclear submarines is not calming down yet. If anything, it’s escalating. China is obviously upset since they were specifically called out as the reason for the Aussies wanting that sort of naval power. But French officials were reportedly “furious” over the arrangement. They had assumed that they would be supplying the Australians with their next fleet of (conventionally powered) subs. Rather than being able to calm the waters in private talks, the argument has been carried out in a very public way, culminating yesterday with France withdrawing their ambassadors to the United States and Australia.

* * * * * * * *

I’m not opposed to the Australians obtaining nuclear submarines if their government feels that’s the appropriate action to take. And I’m fairly sure that the French aren’t objecting to the idea in principle either. They’re upset because they anticipated cashing in on a nearly $100 billion deal that’s suddenly been yanked out from under their feet.

—Jazz Shaw, Hot Air, today.

Related: How bad is it? So bad that even Jake Tapper is calling out his boss: Jake Tapper notes that it doesn’t seem like Biden’s living up to his promise to restore alliances.

ERIC CLAPTON GETS LOUD AT TOUR OPENING IN FORT WORTH, BUT STAYS QUIET ON VACCINE STANCE:

He did play a half-dozen hits, including “Tears in Heaven” and a drowsy acoustic shuffle version of “Layla.” And he chased them with his usual flurry of blues standards, including a slow, swinging take on Willie Dixon’s “I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man.”

Some of the high points arrived in unexpected tunes, like the funky Derek & the Dominos outtake “Got To Get Better In A Little While” and a pair of lovely unplugged tunes: the new instrumental “For Kerry,” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Man of the World,” which he dedicated to the late Peter Green.

He got impeccable backing from his 8-piece band which featured veteran drummer Steve Gadd, bassist Nathan East and Paul Carrack, who stole the spotlight with his gospel-tinged organ solos. But the star of the group was his longtime left-hand man, Dallas-born guitarist Doyle Bramhall II, whose semi-dirty textures provided the perfect contrast to Clapton’s more fluid style.

Clapton ended the show on a high note, with another Big D native, guitarist Jimmie Vaughan, adding fuel to the fire on Joe Cocker’s hit “High Time We Went.”

I was there, and was thrilled to be back seeing live music in an arena. Walking across the pedestrian bridge from the parking garage to the area, it appeared that perhaps one out of 50 early arrivals were wearing masks. However, as opening act Jimmie Vaughan took the stage, the late arriving audience members appeared to have a much higher percentage entering wearing masks. Perhaps the early crowd took their cue from seeing so few masks, and vice-versa.

This is the third time I’ve seen Clapton live. The first was in 1983, when Clapton, then newly-released from rehab in Hazelden (his first of two stints there) was on his “Money and Cigarettes” tour. The second was in 1988, when Clapton was in his Miami Vice-style Gianni Versace phase.

Today, at 76, Clapton looks the part of the grizzled road warrior, but unlike other septuagenarian rockers, his voice is still strong, and he’s still got his fabled guitar chops. Dusting off “Gotta Get Better in a Little While,” a once fairly obscure song from Derek and the Dominos’ 1973 live album, is both a timely message, and a reminder that Clapton’s playing can return to his fiery early days when he wants it to.

There were a couple of disappointments, though. Clapton’s switch to acoustic guitar mid-set is a nice way to break up the concert, and thanks to his best-selling MTV Unplugged concert, went down well with the audience, aside from a few drunken hecklers who want to get back to the electric boogieing. (The live version of “Tears in Heaven” was quite moving, knowing the song’s tragic backstory.) However, while the acoustic version of “Layla” that Clapton worked up for the MTV concert is quite pretty, nothing beats the hard rocking original, and its magnificent piano coda.

Also, Clapton’s set was over almost exactly 90 minutes after it began, after only one perfunctory encore, leaving many in the audience disappointed. (not least of whom me!) After one year and nearly seven months on the sidelines thanks to COVID, presumably a younger Clapton would celebrated his return with a much longer set.

As the above Dallas Morning News article noted: “The Clapton COVID Kerfuffle marks an unexpected chapter in the career of a musician who’s long presented himself as apolitical. You have to go back 45 years for the previous chapter, and that one was a doozy: the infamous 1976 anti-immigrant rant he made onstage in England during the height of his drug and alcohol addictions. That tirade inspired Britons to launch the Rock Against Racism movement.”

Or as this recent Rolling Stone headline screamed, “Eric Clapton Takes Break From Slagging Lockdown to Release New Music.” (Apparently Rolling Stone’s current crop of writers and editors don’t realize that the venerable magazine exists for, and was created to publish crazy quotes from rock stars.)

I’m vaccinated, and I disagree with a fair chunk of Clapton’s take on this topic. But I’ve been used to rock stars having err, offbeat takes on a myriad of issues for my whole life. However, the lockstep left cannot process anyone disagreeing with whatever their current stance is. Or as William F. Buckley famously said, “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”

I’m not all that interested in the medical advice of a legendary rock star — and conversely, I really don’t seek music opinions from medical experts. But I’m glad he’s back out on the road, and live concerts have finally resumed.

(Or to put it another way: 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.”)

THE POWER LINE WEEK IN PICTURES: Met Gala Edition.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21st CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Someone Placed a Sports Bet From Space.

You would think someone who’s in space for the first time wouldn’t worry very much about how many points were scored in Thursday night’s football game between the Washington Football Team and the New York Giants, but Jared Isaacman had a lot on the line.

Isaacman, the billionaire founder of Shift4 Payments Inc., paid a vast sum of money to purchase the first all-civilian space flight for his crew and is commanding the Inspiration4 mission until the conclusion of its three-day mission, likely sometime on Saturday. Not content to merely go to space or be part of this historic all-civilian flight, Isaacman brought along 66 pounds of hops that will eventually be used in a limited edition space beer brewed by Samuel Adams. He also figured that as long as he was engaged in risky spaceflight, he might as well risk $8,000 on a couple of sports bets

“As [sports business reporter Darren Rovell] said after placing the bets, ‘That’s one small bet for man, one giant leap for mankind.’”

SEEMS LIKE THEY SHOULD FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION: Princeton freshmen forced to view video about university’s ‘systemic racism.’

It’s clearly time to abolish higher education. By their own admission — hell, by their own proud assertion — they’re cesspits of rape and racism.

KIRSTEN MORTENSEN: Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy…on a societal scale? “I started asking this question because of something I’ve noticed when I watch ‘experts’ on television talk about disasters. Maybe you’ve noticed it, too. The ‘experts’ sometimes give off an odd vibe. They sometimes seem inappropriately ‘up’ and excited.”

Well, it’s normal to be excited when something you’ve studied comes to the forefront of issues and you get a lot of public attention. For bureaucrats, it’s also a chance to boost budgets. But that’s not inconsistent with the idea that these people are getting off on this in a selfish and shady way.

AIRBRUSHING IS NOW THE NORM IN INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION: Emory newspaper edits 20-year-old article written by Biden nominee.

If you think historical quotes are “harmful,” well, you’re both utterly unqualified to do journalism, and perfectly suited to fit in with the people who are doing it now.

AMERICA’S PAPER OF RECORD: General Milley Is Releasing A Revised Version Of ‘The Art Of War’ — And We’ve Got Exclusive Excerpts.

My favorite: “He who turns on bad orange man gets big book deal.” Much more at the link, of course.

LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH AND SOCIALIST: AOC: A closet capitalist.

Just so we’re all on the same page: Ocasio-Cortez, who trades on a carefully crafted “working class” image, indulged herself this week in an exclusive party infamous for its extravagant displays of power and wealth. She attended wearing a “Tax the rich” designer dress borrowed from the upper-crust girlfriend of the billionaire Seagram heir. The congresswoman, whose admission was waived by the taxpayer-subsidized Met, also showed up to the event toting a customized $995 “Tax the rich” handbag, likewise provided by the Canadian-born designer.

Ocasio-Cortez’s office then responded to criticism of her presence at the gala by sending an email hawking her own “Tax the Rich”-branded merchandise. Now, Ocasio-Cortez’s designer friend is using the congresswoman’s appearance at the 2021 Met Gala, including a photo, to advertise $995 “Tax the rich”-branded handbags.

Everyone involved is making a profit. Well, everyone except for the working-class people Ocasio-Cortez claims to represent.

I’m not even mad. This is the grift in its purest form.

Flashback: “In a famous Soviet joke, then-leader Leonid Brezhnev shows his mother his luxury apartment, his limousine, his fancy country house and his helicopter only to have her object: ‘But what if the communists come back?’”

FROM THE AMERICA THAT WORKS:

CENSORSHIP IS EVIDENCE OF WEAKNESS, NOT STRENGTH: Nicki Minaj asks ‘what in the world scared y’all so much that it made you disable my f*cking Twitter?’

READER RECOMMENDATION: Make Orwell Fiction Again Bumper Sticker. The funny thing is, leftists think this is an anti-Trump message. Hah!

WHY THE DEMOCRATS WANT TO DISTRACT PEOPLE WITH COVID THEATER: Shame: 70% call Afghanistan withdrawal a ‘national humiliation.’

GREAT MOMENTS IN PERSPECTIVE: General Milley told Trump the George Floyd protests were no big deal.

“We’re a country of 330 million people. You’ve got these penny packet protests,” he said, using a term for something insignificant, according to the book being published Sept. 21.

Milley insisted it was not an issue for the US military — and instead said the protests were understandable given systemic racism, according to the Fox excerpts.

“That’s pent up in communities that have been experiencing what they perceive to be police brutality,” Milley reportedly told Trump.

But when the Jan. 6 Capitol riot happened, Milley believed it “was indeed a coup attempt and nothing less than ‘treason,’” the book said.

Related: Stark Contrasts: RealClearInvestigations’ Jan. 6-BLM Side-by-Side Comparison.

EVERGRANDE: WHY THE CHINESE PROPERTY GIANT IS CLOSE TO COLLAPSE.

The Hong Kong-based developer is sinking under a mountain of liabilities totaling more than $300 billion (€254 billion) after years of borrowing to fund rapid growth.

Evergrande has stepped up acquisitions in recent years, taking advantage of a real estate frenzy.

But the property giant began to falter after Beijing introduced new measures in August 2020 to closely monitor and control the total debt level of major property developers.

Evergrande relied on presales to finance itself and keep its activities afloat, and the crackdown forced the group to offload properties at increasingly steep discounts.

Investors have made down payments on around 1.5 million properties, Bloomberg reported, citing data from December.

Many buyers have expressed concern on social media about whether they will get their money back after housing projects were suspended.

Evergrande was downgraded by two credit rating agencies last week and its Hong Kong-listed shares have collapsed by more than 80% this year.

On Monday, the Shanghai Stock Exchange paused trading in Evergrande’s May 2023 bond after it fell more than 30%.

* * * * * * * *

The Hong Kong-based developer is sinking under a mountain of liabilities totaling more than $300 billion (€254 billion) after years of borrowing to fund rapid growth.

Evergrande has stepped up acquisitions in recent years, taking advantage of a real estate frenzy.

But the property giant began to falter after Beijing introduced new measures in August 2020 to closely monitor and control the total debt level of major property developers.

Evergrande relied on presales to finance itself and keep its activities afloat, and the crackdown forced the group to offload properties at increasingly steep discounts.

Investors have made down payments on around 1.5 million properties, Bloomberg reported, citing data from December.

Many buyers have expressed concern on social media about whether they will get their money back after housing projects were suspended.

Evergrande was downgraded by two credit rating agencies last week and its Hong Kong-listed shares have collapsed by more than 80% this year.

On Monday, the Shanghai Stock Exchange paused trading in Evergrande’s May 2023 bond after it fell more than 30%.

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

THE BOYS WHO CRIED WOLF:

The media throughout 2020 reported a “scientific consensus” that the pandemic was a result of a zoonotic jump that is unrelated to lab activity without providing information on what questions the scientists it surveyed were asked, how many scientists were surveyed, and whether or not these scientists conducted investigations into the origin of COVID-19. It is clear that journalists have a powerful tool through which they are able to declare a scientific consensus before a matter is rigorously investigated.

Amplifying ignorance and absolutism in order to enforce unproven opinions as unquestionable “facts” is the opposite of how the scientific method functions. Irresponsible reporting and nonfactual declarations of scientific consensus on developing matters endanger public health just like a virus does, by undermining public trust in science. We should learn something from the boys who cried wolf.

XI’s gotta have it!

JUST WHEN YOU THINK HIS FRAUDULENCY HAS HIT BOTTOM: He finds another shovel. This one is funding a wall in Tajikistan to keep out Afghan refugees fleeing from the Taliban, even as he keeps the U.S. border with Mexico wide open to all comers.

OUR POLITICAL CLASS FAVORS A MONARCHY: Biden’s Vaccine Mandate Is the Latest Sign of the Presidency Becoming a Monarchy. From their perspective, a monarchy only involves sucking up which is a cornerstone of their skillset. A democracy involves accountability, which they abhor.

THAT SEEMS ABOUT RIGHT: Commercial spaceflight industry sees Inspiration4 as a pathfinder but not a model.

OBVIOUSLY, IT WAS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE: Portland scraps Texas boycott plan over state’s abortion law.

LAW: Justice Clarence Thomas: 2021 Tocqueville Lecture, Transcribed.

September 17, 2021

ADVICE FROM A FRIEND:

Related: In Exclusive Interview, Trump Calls Sept. 18 Rally A ‘Setup,’ Says GOP Senate Should Fire ‘Disaster’ McConnell.

Also: “Conspiracy theory of the day: Democrats are planning to provoke a riot at the coming protest over the 1/6 detainees, and Bush is trying to protect himself.”

WHITE HOUSE: We offered to call Nicki Minaj and have her talk to one of our doctors about the safety of the vaccine.

Why are they worried? Nicki Minaj tweets spark protest outside CDC headquarters. “The demonstrators – who all wore masks and medical gloves – chanted, ‘Nicki Minaj told me the truth! Fauci lied to me!’ according to footage taken by WGCL-TV.”

So I guess banning her on Twitter didn’t work.

Plus, as a famous African-American leader said, get in their face, punch back twice as hard: Nicki Minaj Sics Her Fans on Reporters.

And: Nicki Minaj Just Tried to Dox Two Reporters.

Given the way the press — *cough* CNN *cough* — has gloried in doxing and smearing ordinary people who threaten the narrative, a bit of turnabout seems fair.

Related: Rose McGowan supports Nicki Minaj for standing up to ‘powerful elite’ amid White House drama.

So for the record, I’m not particularly concerned with the safety of the vaccines. The Insta-Daughter even took part in one of the clinical trials. But I am particularly concerned with the government-fostered bullying and intimidation aimed at anyone who doesn’t follow the party line. If Nicki Minaj can give them some heartburn over that, it’s well-deserved heartburn. And really — if you want people to believe you, don’t send Jen Psaki.

The real failure — and I’ve warned about it since the beginning — is that our “public health” establishment has been so obviously corrupt and politicized that people who would have trusted it a decade or two ago now don’t. And the reason they don’t is that it’s been so obviously corrupt and politicized as to be untrustworthy.

That’s a colossal institutional failure. It’s what you get when your institutions are controlled by people who are smug, inept, and lacking in moral fiber or self discipline. Which, sadly, is most of our institutions today. And that’s a much bigger threat to America than Covid, and one for which there are no vaccines.

Flashback: CNN Analyst and Yale Lecturer Asha Rangappa Under Fire For Doxxing A Journalism Intern.

Also: Journalists are having a meltdown over journalism being done to them.

Plus: Pro-Trump Memesmith Carpe Donktum says Buzzfeed is threatening to dox him and his family.

And: “In 2014, the Times published Officer Darren Wilson’s address at the height of the Ferguson riots.”

And: CNN Threatens To Reveal Identity Of Reddit Man Who Made Trump-CNN Bodyslam Meme If He Disobeys Them.

UPDATE: Oh, and the reporters in this case made the doxxing threats.

Journalists: If you don’t want to be treated like garbage, stop being garbage people from a garbage industry.

And, from the comments: “Don’t expect to hear any F Nicki Minaj chants.” Right?

Also in the comments, people are calling this “Ballsgate.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Via a friend:

MORE: From the comments: “Trump was right again. The press is the enemy.”

Plus:

OPEN THREAD: Who’s got the pain?

AUSTRALIAN NEWS: “TOTALLY EMBARRASSING.” “I’ll personally write a check to anyone who can decipher what Joe Biden is trying to convey here.” “How is that man dressing himself, let alone leading the most powerful nation on Earth?”

@giovannasullivan

##foryourpage ##joebiden ##fyp ##Biden ##embarrassment ##weneedtrumpback ##lordhelpus

♬ original sound – Giovanna Sullivan

Remember when they told us Biden would restore respect from our allies? Related: France Recalls Its Ambassador.

Everything is going swimmingly.

CLOWN SHOW HAS TRAGIC CONSEQUENCES: Administration Admits Drone Strike Error.

NO ON BOOSTERS: FDA Panel Wants to Deny Adults the Right to Decide How Much COVID Protection They Want. “The Food and Drug Administration’s scientific advisory panel recommended against approving Pfizer/​BioNTech booster vaccinations for the general population aged 16 and above. The boosters are currently only approved for immunocompromised individuals and patients in nursing homes—patients who are more vulnerable than the general population to get breakthrough infections that result in hospitalization or death.”

FEMINISTS ARE ALWAYS YAMMERING ABOUT WOMEN’S UNPAID “EMOTIONAL LABOR.” IT’S TIME MEN GOT PAID TOO: China’s hottest new rental service: Men paid to actually listen. “The sessions cost over 400 yuan ($60) each time, but Zheng says they’re worth every cent.”

But note: “Some butlers, meanwhile, privately admit they dislike China’s feminist movement. Though they treat their female customers like royalty at work, several make clear they’re only doing so for money. Junxi hates when women talk about feminism online: ‘They’re too irrational,’ he says.”

Hence the need to be paid. Hey, nobody thinks the Hooters waitresses are listening for free.

OUR OVER-THE-HORIZON CAPABILITY IN ACTION: Biden’s Drone War in Afghanistan Seems to Be Killing More Civilians Than Terrorists.

SCIENCE: Refrigerator blindness: selective loss of visual acuity in association with a common foraging behaviour. “Three male offspring, aged 9–14 years, of one of the authors (M.B.) were observed to experience visual problems profound enough to imply functional blindness. The visual deficit was evident on almost every occasion when any one of the children of this physician went to the refrigerator and opened the door. The acute visual problem encountered was noted to be part of a consistent behaviour pattern, wherein a few seconds after the fridge door was opened a cry would be heard from the affected child of ‘Mum, where’s the milk [or any other item being sought]?’ This vocalization was made without regard to the physician’s distance from the fridge or engagement in any other activity. Shouted directions as to the location of the object only occasionally led to it becoming visible. Even with calm and constructive maternal encouragement and direction the desired object typically would remain unseen until the mother-physician attended the fridge-side and physically identified the precise location of the item.”

This is moderately humorous, and since it’s women making fun of boys it can’t be sexist.

TIN EAR: A Cheney imperiled. “Since her vote to impeach Trump and her appointment by Speaker Pelosi to the January 6 Committee, she has, to my knowledge, made no publicized visits to the state, save to attend the funeral of former senator Mike Enzi a couple of months ago. Word has it that she does fly occasionally into Jackson (which is to Wyoming what the Hamptons are to upstate New York), where she spends her time with friends, benefactors and perhaps a Republican politician or two while sedulously avoiding the rest of the state, 70 percent of which voted for Donald Trump last November.”

DON’T UNDERESTIMATE JOE’S ABILITY TO F*** THINGS UP: Biden’s Drone War in Afghanistan Seems to Be Killing More Civilians Than Terrorists. “On Friday, the Pentagon admitted that a drone strike in Kabul last month killed 10 civilians, not ISIS-K terrorists, as was originally claimed.”

More here: Pentagon acknowledges Aug. 29 drone strike in Afghanistan was a tragic mistake that killed 10 civilians. “The explosives the military claimed were loaded in the trunk of a white Toyota sedan struck by the drone’s Hellfire missile were most likely water bottles, and a secondary explosion in the courtyard in a densely populated Kabul neighborhood where the attack took place was probably a propane or gas tank, officials said. In short, the car posed no threat at all, investigators concluded…Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had said that the missile was launched because the military had intelligence suggesting a credible, imminent threat to Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, where U.S. and allied troops were frantically trying to evacuate people. General Milley later called the strike ‘righteous.’”

THE NEW ANTIRACISM LOOKS AN AWFUL LOT LIKE THE OLD RACISM: Woke English Opera Fires 14 White Musicians for Having Wrong Skin Color.

GREAT MOMENTS IN SIENCE: Medical School Hosts Seminar on ‘Body Terrorism’ Against ‘Fat LGBTQ+ People.’

It’s also a great moment in timing: More Severe Obesity Leads to More Severe COVID-19 in Study.

BREAKING: FDA Panel Rejects Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Booster.

TAMARA KEEL: Better Guns Than Karate.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE REASONS:

So are the mandates BS or does Los Angeles have a death wish for the homeless?

CORRECTION: I mis-ID’d the photo. That’s the Texas border crisis, not the LA homeless crisis.

HMM: Biden Can’t Budge Manchin on Budget-Busting Infrastructure Bill.

BUT SINCE THE FAA HAS BANNED DRONE FOOTAGE, IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING? 12,000 migrants wait under Del Rio bridge to surrender to Border Patrol.

Related: Can’t stop the signal!

ROBOTS THAT CAN OPEN DOORS: SKYNET SMILES. Boston Dynamics’ Spot can now handle push-bar doors and dynamically replan in complex environments.

A NATION RULED BY A CABAL OF ITS ENEMIES: Federal Court Ruling Just Made the Border Crisis Infinitely Worse. “It doesn’t seem to bother the ACLU that the government does not have the facilities to house and care for the tens of thousands of families who will now make a mad dash for the border.”

DAVID BARON, CALL YOUR OFFICE: Wyoming to ask US to lift Yellowstone grizzly protections. “Wyoming will ask the federal government to remove its protections for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone region and permit the region’s three states to manage and potentially allow hunting of the big bruins in certain areas, Gov. Mark Gordon said Thursday. . . . The Fish and Wildlife Service considers Yellowstone’s grizzlies ‘biologically recovered.’ The Yellowstone region’s population has rebounded from about 100 in 1975, when they were first listed, to as many as 1,000 today. As they’ve recovered in number, the bears have been showing up ever farther and more frequently away from their core habitat in and near Yellowstone National Park.”

The good news is that if people shoot at them now and then, they’ll become much more shy of people.

THE CAYMAN COMPASS EDITORIALIZES: It’s time to take the reopening leap.

We’ve heard the phrase “guided by the science” over and over during the past 18 months, which is why government’s decision to “pause” Cayman’s border reopening plan makes little sense. It’s a decision we believe was based on fear rather than logic; one that will have dire consequences for all of Cayman. . . .

It would be sad and tragic if Cayman were to open its borders and we were hit with a dozen or so deaths from COVID among the unvaccinated – something other small island territories have experienced.

But the elevated risk is something that many of those who insist they will not get the jab, say they are prepared to take.

In the same way that we don’t ban cars because some people drive without seatbelts, we can’t continue to close the island off to the world because of COVID-19.

The vast majority of people in the Cayman Islands have willingly accepted and respected enormous limitations on their own freedoms during the pandemic.

The right to travel, the right to a family life, the right to make a living are all fundamental entitlements that continue to be impacted. It is time for those rights to be restored.

Most of Cayman’s tax revenue comes from banking and insurance, and of course that’s where most of the rich people’s money comes from too. Most of the employment, though, is in tourism. That’s been basically destroyed, to the point where one major dive operator just relocated to Turks & Caicos.

IT’S GOOD TO BE THE NOMENKLATURA (DENVER EDITION): Tay Anderson to get time out for flirting with school girls, intimidating board member.

What’s next for Denver School Board Director Tay Anderson now that he’s been deemed super creepy, intimidating, and clearly overstepped his bounds by trying to date and flirt with two high school girls?

The school board plans to censure him, which carries about as much weight as 10 minutes in the time-out corner.

Then we just have to wait and see if Anderson has learned his lesson and stops hitting on girls in the workplace or schoolyard. Not at all assuring to Denver school parents.

Plus: “Investigators also examined complaints by two witnesses and a school board member who believed Anderson was trying to intimidate them in tweets while the investigation was underway this summer into remaining silent.”

I HOPE WE’RE NOT TOO MESSIANIC, OR A TRIFLE TOO SATANIC: Spanish bishop known for exorcisms resigns after falling for writer of satanic erotica.

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Thousands of Migrants Huddle in Squalid Conditions Under Texas Bridge: The temporary camp in Del Rio has grown with staggering speed in recent days during a massive surge in migration that has overwhelmed the authorities.

To be fair, the authorities at the top want us to be overwhelmed. Still it’s bad:

Thousands of migrants were crowded under a bridge outside the border community of Del Rio on Thursday, part of a massive surge in migration across the Rio Grande this week that has overwhelmed the authorities and caused significant delays in processing the arrivals.

The U.S. Border Patrol said that more than 9,000 migrants, mostly from Haiti, were being held in a temporary staging area under the Del Rio International Bridge as agents worked as quickly as they could to process them.

The temporary camp has grown with staggering speed in recent days, from just a few hundred people earlier in the week. The authorities and city officials said they expected thousands more to cross the ankle-deep river between Mexico and Del Rio in coming days.

But hey, no coverage, no problem: FAA grounds Fox News drones near where thousands of migrants are sheltering under a bridge. That’s an abuse of authority, by all appearances. “The FAA’s website said the temporary flight restriction (TFR) over the Del Rio Port of Entry and the International Bridge was put in place for ‘special security reasons,’ but did not elaborate.”

Trying to secure the Biden Administration from the consequences of its disastrous policies is certainly special.

SUPPLY CHAIN: Why a record number of container ships are backed up off the coast of California. “The implementation of COVID restrictions caused many of the problems at the ports.”

MASKLESS SAN FRANCISCO MAYOR BREAKS HEALTH ORDER, SEEN PARTYING WITH BLM CO-FOUNDER AT NIGHTCLUB.

As Stephen Kruiser suggested: Let’s Start Jailing Lawmakers Who Violate Their Own COVID Restrictions. “Imagine the pure, poetic justice of seeing Newsom, Cuomo, and some of the other Hitler youth (stole that from Animal House) cooling their heels in a holding cell after being caught with their masks off and their pants down.”

MATT TAIBBI, NADINE STROSSEN, AND AMNA KHALID RESPOND TO NPR’S SMARTY-PANTS ATTACK ON FREE SPEECH. On FIRE’s excellent podcast, So To Speak. (Or catch it on YouTube if you love Google.) Yes, I know, “government-owned station attacks rights of people opposed to government” is one of those dog-bites-man stories, but the level of smugness NPR brings to the table (“Harpsichord music will tell people something is old and therefore dumb, hyuk yuk yuk”) has to be some of the weirdest kind of propaganda known to man.

THE BLACK FACE OF WHITE SUPREMACY: CNN Clown Don Lemon Shames Unvaxxed People (i.e. Majority of Blacks in NYC).

WELL, OF COURSE. HE’S INCOMPETENT AND TREASONOUS. Howie Carr: Gen. Milley is now the Democrats’ latest crush.

Why is that the most reprehensible person in any big national news story always seems to be from Massachusetts?

C’mon down, Gen. Mark “Thoroughly Modern” Milley, the 63-year-old Winchester-born chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

It turns out that last January, in the final days of the Trump administration, this bloated beribboned buffoon phoned the head of the Chinese military, took the proverbial knee and basically begged for absolution for non-existent sins:

“Gen. Li, if we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise.”

In other words, the groveling generalissimo was going to surrender before the war — any war — began.

Never mind that there was no such armed conflict in the works anywhere except in Milley’s unhinged mind.

The fact is, when it came to committing the U.S. military to foreign entanglements, Donald Trump was the least bellicose president since Eisenhower. Apparently Milley, suffering as he did from a full-blown case of Trump Derangement Syndrome, never noticed this.

Milley was — and is — far crazier than even the fictional coup-leading general in the old movie Dr. Strangelove, Gen. Jack D. Ripper.

Sadly for Milley, he didn’t get the opportunity to surrender to the Red Chinese. He had to wait seven months before he could preside over the greatest military humiliation the United States has ever endured, in Afghanistan. . . .

Think back in history — what usually happens to a general who conspires with his nation’s foes to defeat his own military.

Usually they’re allowed to smoke a cigarette, after which they are blindfolded and rudely pushed up against a wall …

How is that single phone call alone not disqualifying for the nation’s top uniformed military service member?

But it’s not. Milley is now the Democrats’ latest crush, their flavor of the month. He’s the new Michael Avenatti, the next Robert Mueller.

By the way, Milley is the same guy who just described the Predator drone strike in Kabul last month as a “righteous strike.” Now we find out the dead were not terrorists, but 10 Afghan civilians, including seven children. The driver of the car that was bombed was a worker for a humanitarian nonprofit who’d been picking up not explosives, but water bottles.

Imagine if a Trump general had described such a misguided hit as a righteous strike.

It’s called Trump Derangement Syndrome for a reason. But why are we allowing ourselves to be ruled by the deranged?

HOW ABOUT A 40% TAX ON MONEY PAID TO POLITICAL CONSULTANTS?

I’VE SEEN THE LOCKDOWNS AND THE DAMAGE DONE: Pandemic-related screen time increases tied to rise in kids’ near-sightedness.

TO ASK THE QUESTION IS TO ANSWER IT: Today’s Cowardly Liberal Comedians Loved Norm MacDonald, So Why Can’t They Be Funny Like Him? “Norm wasn’t a great comedian because he was conservative. He was a great comedian because, without any boasting or self-aggrandizement, he actually did what most comedians merely pretend to. He challenged the sacred beliefs of the society and particularly the privileged elites around him. He deflated the arrogant, the smug, and the self-righteous. He was honest, consequences be damned.”

THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS:

Shot: AOC wears ‘Tax the Rich’ dress to Met Gala.

—The New York Post, Monday.

Chaser: SALT Break Would Erase Most of House’s Tax Hikes for Top 1%.

High-earning taxpayers would face much smaller tax hikes — or even cuts — if Democrats decide to restore the federal deduction for state and local taxes in legislation that’s now moving through the House.

If the SALT deduction were fully reinstated, the top 1% of taxpayers — those earning at least $401,601 — would face a tax increase less than half as large as that if the current cap on the write-off were retained, according to data from the right-leaning Tax Foundation.

* * * * * * * *

The figures shed light on a key debate among House Democrats over how to address the politically important tax break that benefits residents of Democratic strongholds, including New York, New Jersey and California. The tax portion of the economic legislation that passed the House Ways and Means Committee earlier this week omitted any plans to address SALT, instead leaving the issue to be negotiated by Democratic leaders.

Bloomberg News, today.

Hangover: Sorry, AOC, The Rich Already Pay Their Fair Share.

You don’t have to agree with me that (over)taxing the wealthy undermines job creation and growth, or that a tax system that relies so heavily on the fortunes of the few creates more cronyism in Washington and more volatility everywhere else. But the idea that the rich don’t pay their “fair share” is absurd.

At this point in the conversation, progressives will set aside their calls for a “wealth tax” and start complaining about capital gains. Here, we simply have a point of disagreement: Ocasio-Cortez would see investment profits in the hands of Bernie Sanders, head of the Senate budget committee. I would rather see them in venture-capital projects and private-equity funds that churn investment dollars and boost technology and jobs. Progressives grouse about accumulation of wealth and then want policies that dissuade risk.

—David Harsanyi, Jewish World Review, today.

HOW THE MEMORY HOLE GETS BUILT: Border Crisis: Biden’s FAA Bans Drones Over Migrant-Packed Texas Bridge.

AN ARMY OF KARENS: Deaf Woman Terrorized by Mask-Obsessed Store Clerks After Asking to Read Their Lips.

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