January 17, 2022

RIGHT NOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CONSPIRACY AND NEWS IS 2 WEEKS:  Conspiracies as Realities, Realities as Conspiracies.

THERE IS NO RATIONAL REASON FOR THIS:  Aussie Climate Activists Still Rejecting Nuclear Power.

BEHOLD, MY SHOCKED FACE:  The EU has lost its mind: Private jet/yacht emissions are totally fine, the rest of you can go cuddle your cats to stay warm.

Also, I wish to enjoin our EU friends to learn some vital French.  To wit “Aristo, Aristo, ala lanterne.”  It tends to have salutary effects on this kind of jumped up self-importance amid self-regarding elites.

LET ME BE RIGHTLY UNDERSTOOD, NOTHING IS WORSE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT THAN MARXISM:  Claim: “Organized Labor”, “Moderate Democrats” Impeding Californian Climate Efforts.

WHAT THEY SAID:  That senile fucking Jew-hating bastard in chief.

JUST WHEN YOU THINK THIS IS THE STUPIDEST TIMELINE:  Teacher alleges she was fired for not ‘meowing’ back at student who identifies as a cat.

It gets dumber.

NEVER HAD A MORE PATHETIC FUHRER HAD MORE EAGER SYCOPHANTS:  Big Tech Accelerates Politicized Purge As Biden Issues “Special Plea”.

OH? WELL, WELCOME TO THE PARTY PALS:  CNN Skewers Biden’s Voter Suppression Lies. Yes, CNN.

GIVEN THIS AMOUNTED TO A BIO-WEAPON RELEASE BY CHINA:  The New Fauci Emails May Be Even More Damning Than You Think.

And that they’re already our declared enemy, can we call it treason now? And treat it appropriately?

BEHOLD! MY SHOCKED FACE:  U-Haul Growth Index Confirms Blue to Red State Exodus.

January 16, 2022

YOU DON’T NEED A WEATHERVANE TO SEE WHICH WAY THE WIND’S BLOWING BUT HERE’S YOUR WEATHERVANE ANYWAY: 1 bad week for President Joe Biden? Mitt Romney says it’s more like 52 bad weeks.

SPOILER: NO. No, they aren’t. And it’s not so much a thought as a repeated slogan.

YES: Bob McManus: Eric Adams needs to address senseless crime in NYC after Times Square subway shove. “Whose subways are they, anyway? Michelle Go of Manhattan, dead at 40 beneath the wheels of an R train in a Times Square station Saturday morning? Or Simon Martial, 61, the apparently insane vagrant with a violent history who police say shoved Go to her death?”

The #StopAsianHate folks told us that violence against Asians was from white-supremacist Trump supporters, but this murder by a mentally ill black man seems more typical of NYC.

I FELT THAT WAY WHEN I GOT COVID OVER A YEAR AGO, BECAUSE IT WAS NO BIG DEAL: An unexpected emotion arises for some who are catching this wave of Covid: Relief.

Not long ago a former student posted on social media that having not gotten Covid yet felt like playing middle school dodgeball and seeing the front line get really thin. A few days later she posted that she had Covid. I asked how she was doing and she replied that it was basically like a mid-grade cold: tired, stuffy, sore throat, basically no big deal. I wonder if there will be a Covid-fear backlash as millions have that experience. Yes, some people get really sick or die. But that’s true with flu too. Something more like Ebola or smallpox might have been worth the kind of punishment that the establishment has inflicted on the world; this clearly was not.

DEMOCRATIC TOOLS: MLK III family rally in Arizona targeted Sinema over her position on the filibuster.

OPEN THREAD: Get the party started.

THAT’S NO MOON: China builds ‘artificial moon’ for gravity experiment.

IF THREE SHOTS DOESN’T DO IT, HOW LIKELY IS THE FOURTH ONE TO? ‘Waste of Time’ to Keep Vaccinating People: Ex-Head of UK Vaccine Taskforce.

Dr. Clive Dix, who played a key role in helping pharmaceutical firms create the COVID-19 vaccines, told LBC radio on Jan. 16: “The Omicron variant is a relatively mild virus. And to just keep vaccinating people and thinking of doing it again to protect the population is, in my view, now a waste of time.”

Dix said the focus now should be on protecting vulnerable people, such as those over 60, 2 percent of whom remain unvaccinated.

“We should have a highly-focused approach to get those people vaccinated and anybody else who’s vulnerable,” he said.

Though he supports the ongoing booster campaign, he said he has been “critical” of boosting everybody as he is not convinced “it was needed or is needed” for younger people.

Dix said, “I think the thinking of the time was very much to stop infection and transmission where clearly these vaccines don’t do that.”

He said the government needs to be “very focused” on educating itself for the “future vaccination programme” next winter.

He suggested that an “immune status study” should be conducted to “understand exactly where everybody’s immunity is,” so that “by next winter, we can really have a policy of vaccination that’s educated, using the right vaccines at the right time for the right people.”

Dix told The Observer newspaper last week that mass vaccination against COVID-19 should come to an end and the UK should focus on managing it as an endemic disease like flu.

“We now need to manage disease, not virus spread,” he said. “So stopping progression to severe disease in vulnerable groups is the future objective.”

The UK government’s medical advisers have already acknowledged that it is “untenable” to jab the population every three or six months.

The existing vaccines are clearly underperforming. A new vaccine that worked better might be worth getting; umpteen doses of the same inefficient vaccine not so much.

‘270 DOCTORS’ CALLED OUT JOE ROGAN, BUT THE AUTHORS OF THE LETTER AND THE VAST MAJORITY OF ITS SIGNATORIES ARE NOT MEDICAL DOCTORS:

Well, I reviewed this open letter, and it turns out that only around 100 of the 270+ signatories to the letter are people with qualified medical degrees. And a large chunk of that 100 or so medical doctors are MDs employed at universities who are not in fact practitioners of medicine.

Yet part of the letter reads:

As physicians, we bear the arduous weight of a pandemic that has stretched our medical systems to their limits and only stands to be exacerbated by the anti-vaccination sentiment woven into this and other episodes of Rogan’s podcast.”

Paradoxically, the disseminators of this petition are guilty of the very misinformation label that they’ve attached to Rogan. In fact, neither of the two reported co authors of the letter — Jessica Rivera and Ben Rein — possess medical degrees. Rivera holds a master’s degree and Rein is a PhD academic who researches psychiatry.

The legacy media is happy to amplify misinformation to attack Rogan, given his numbers: Joe Rogan podcast reaches millions more than cable news: report.

 

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): If Rogan fans operated like the left, they’d be complaining to the signers’ employers and professional licensing boards about their deliberate spreading of misinformation.

HMM: What Is The ‘Lunar Effect,’ And What Does It Have to Do With Shark Attacks? I’m inclined to think that people get in the water at night more when the moon is full. The best night dive I ever did was under a full moon on Cayman and we could see perfectly with no lights. It was amazing.

THESE DAYS, IT SEEMS THAT EVERYONE WHO MATTERS, WHO’S TRYING TO FIX THIS MESS, IS “FAR RIGHT.” The press may regret that formulation.

UPDATE: Res ipsa loquitur.

WHEN BIOSPHERES GET HIGH: Model suggests vertical winds could push bacteria to an altitude beyond 120km.

#RESIST: A reader sends this from Long Island:

And another reader sends this from the SF Bay area:

It’s a coast-to-coast phenomenon.

EVERY INSTITUTION HAS BEEN CORRUPTED: Hollywood’s New Rules: The old boys club is dead. But a new one—with its own litmus tests and landmines—is rapidly replacing it. “This is all going to end in a giant class-action lawsuit.” We can hope.

ITS ORIGIN AND PURPOSE STILL A TOTAL MYSTERY: Biden told reporters on Sunday that “authorities ‘just don’t have enough facts’ to speculate why a man targeted a Colleyville, Texas synagogue, taking four hostages Saturday, calling the standoff ‘an act of terror.’ ‘I don’t– we don’t have I don’t think there is sufficient information to know about why he targeted that synagogue, why he insisted on the release of someone who’s been in prison for over 10 years, why he was engaged, why he was using an anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli comments,’ Biden told reporters.”

OUT ON A LIMB: Joe Biden’s Presidency is shaping up to be a historical disaster.

Americans aren’t waiting to render judgment on this Administration. The collapse in confidence is already well underway. On January 12, Quinnipiac—well-regarded but also chronically left-leaning—released its latest poll on Presidential performance. The results for Joe Biden and his Administration are, in a word, catastrophic.

The President’s job-approval rating is underwater by 20 points, with only 33 percent of Americans approving of him. Now, it should be noted that this figure by itself isn’t historically unprecedented. What is historically unprecedented is when it is happening within the Presidential term. Every President of the modern era who sunk to these depths in job-approval ratings has done so at the end of his term—usually on the verge of failing to secure reelection. Only Joe Biden has managed to get here at the end of year one.

It’s a historic Presidency, but not in the way he envisioned.

Hence: The little president who cried racism. “The Senate won’t repeal the filibuster. They won’t pass Biden’s bill to nationalize election rules. Moreover, as the polls show, voters have caught on to Joe Biden’s diatribes and incompetence. He entered office with a lot of goodwill, despite the close election. Now, however, the public has seen enough. Less than one third think he’s doing a good job. The lower he sinks in public esteem, the more he fulminates. His speech in Atlanta is the latest example. He fouled the public square as he slunk off into the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

BEER: IS THERE ANYTHING IT CAN’T DO? Fossil named after Nevada brewer who named his beer after it. His beer is named Icthyosaur IPA and now there’s a species of icthyosaur named for him: “Cymbospondylus youngorum.”

#JOURNALISM:

The press is very careful about who it wants to be angry, and about what. And about who it doesn’t want to be angry, or even aware.

Likewise the FBI Twitter Feed is all about January 6, and has nothing about the synagogue attack. They have their priorities, too.

Related:

TOP SELLER: Jeniulet Waterproof Gloves -30℉ Mens Winter Warm All Finger Touch Screen Gloves. #CommissionEarned

UNEXPECTEDLY: Why the Media Is About to Run Away From the Texas Synagogue Hostage Story.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Wake County NC Democrat tweet includes image disparaging parents.

On Jan. 15, the Wake County Democrats issued a Tweet in support of certain Wake County School board members, notably leaving out member Karen Carter.

The tweet includes an image apparently depicting school board attendees (parents) as conspiracy theorists, white supremacists, anti-vax, and Jan. 6 protesters.

Classy stuff; treating parents as the enemy contributed to Terry McAuliffe‘s defeat in November and is one of (many) factors driving Biden’s poll numbers off a cliff: Senators Demand Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona Explain Role in Letter That Called Parents Domestic Terrorists.

I AGREE WITH THIS WALTER JON WILLIAMS PLOT RANT: “What finally broke my patience was the author’s method of building suspense, which was to have one of his characters do something bone-stupid in order to get into jeopardy.”

REMEMBER WHEN THE #STOPASIANHATE FOLKS TOLD US VIOLENCE AGAINST ASIANS WAS FROM WHITE TRUMP FANS? Times Square subway shove ‘psycho’ showed ‘no emotion’ as he timed train’s arrival: witness.

He doesn’t look like a white Trump fan.

NOW HE’S A MARTYR TO TYRANNY:

IT’S UNTOLD BECAUSE THEY DON’T WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW: The (Too Often) Untold Story: Armed Self-Defense and the Lives Saved Every Year by Gun Owners.

WHAT ARE THE DEEP SEVENS UP TO? Earth’s interior is cooling faster than expected.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Salt Lake Tribune editorial demands governor “deploy the National Guard to ensure that people without proof of vaccination would not be allowed, well, anywhere:”

Were Utah a truly civilized place, the governor’s next move would be to find a way to mandate the kind of mass vaccination campaign we should have launched a year ago, going as far as to deploy the National Guard to ensure that people without proof of vaccination would not be allowed, well, anywhere.

But it may be too late for that, politically and medically.

As Clay Travis tweets in response, “The Salt Lake City newspaper wants the Utah national guard to not allow unvaccinated people to leave their homes. This is mindless, anti-science insanity — omicron is infecting everyone — but these ‘journalists’ are demanding totalitarianism. And they think they’re the good guys.”

TRUST THE HEALTH PROFESSIONALS: Study: Cancer patients given high-dose radiation treatments even near end of life. “Many older cancer patients whose disease has spread to other parts of the body continue to receive high-dose radiation therapy, despite guidelines that recommend against its use under these conditions, an analysis published Friday by JAMA Health Forum found. In the review of data for more than 500,000 radiotherapy doses, or radiation treatments, administered to Medicare beneficiaries, nearly 4% of the patients involved died within 90 days of their last session, the researchers said.”

A UNITER. NOT A DIVIDER! Jon Gabriel: Joe Biden promised to unify us, and he has. Most voters agree that they don’t like him.

Year One of the Biden presidency was a mixed bag. From COVID-19 to Afghanistan to the economy, Joe’s had a rocky start. Still, he’s delivered big on one promise.

In his inaugural address, Biden said, “Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this: Bringing America together. Uniting our people. And uniting our nation.”

Boy, has he delivered. Across dividing lines of age, race and gender, the country is united on one point: Nobody likes Joe Biden.

Heh, indeed. Read the whole thing.™

DON’T TRUST CHINA, CHINA IS ASSHOLE: China Denies Expanding Nuclear Arsenal.

Related: Biden team weighs killing Trump’s new nuclear weapons.

Flashback: As Walter Russell Mead wrote in 2017:

If Trump were the Manchurian candidate that people keep wanting to believe that he is, here are some of the things he’d be doing:

Limiting fracking as much as he possibly could
Blocking oil and gas pipelines [in America]
Opening negotiations for major nuclear arms reductions
Cutting U.S. military spending
Trying to tamp down tensions with Russia’s ally Iran.

You know who didn’t do that? Trump. You know who is doing it now? Biden and the Democrats.

SCIENCE!

MEDIA MYTH ALERT: WaPo review indulges in myth, claims Bernstein’s ‘work brought down a president.’ As Bob Woodward “once asserted, in an interview with the now-defunct American Journalism Review: ‘To say that the press brought down Nixon, that’s horse s**t.’”

WHAT A STATEMENT BY THE BUFFALO BILLS: Bills vs. Patriots score: Josh Allen tosses five touchdowns on historic night as Buffalo blows out New England.

The Buffalo Bills have advanced to the divisional round of the NFL playoffs and did so in impressive fashion as they ran the New England Patriots out of Orchard Park, 47-17. This game was a rout essentially from the jump. Josh Allen and the Bills offense marched 70 yards down the field on the opening possession and the quarterback was able to complete a sideline touchdown throw to tight end Dawson Knox to give the Bills the early lead. From there, it was all Buffalo.

The Bills scored on all four of their first half possessions to build up a 24-point lead by halftime, which essentially put the game in cruise control. In the second half, they kept their foot on the gas, adding 20 points to their advantage, which towards the end of the game felt more like a coronation for the bonafide powerhouse in the AFC East for the foreseeable future.

And, err, what a statement by the Bills’ fans: It’s back! Bills fans rekindle old tradition, throw sex toy on the field during game vs. Patriots.

 

TO BE FAIR, THAT PROMISE WAS ALWAYS A LIE: Biden is dividing the country he promised to unite.

HARSH, BUT LITERALLY TRUE: Kamala Harris So Disliked Nation Considering Hillary Clinton. At least as far as Democrats are concerned.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Senators Demand Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona Explain Role in Letter That Called Parents Domestic Terrorists.

WHAT ACTUAL RACIST EXTREMISM LOOKS LIKE: Schools group ‘People of Color’ conference: ‘Burn Sh** Down,’ be wary of ‘The White People Way.’

THE ATLANTIC’S NERVOUS BREAKDOWN:

The Atlantic reader who visits the website rather than simply journeying there through social-media links is turned into a doom-scroller, confronted time and again as she journeys down the homepage with headlines like this one: “America Is Running Out of Time.” Note how the title lacks specificity; it doesn’t need specificity, because this is what nearly every article in the Atlantic is about. (A recent feature in the January/February print issue of the magazine was titled, simply, “Are We Doomed?”)

“Bring Back the Nervous Breakdown,” urged a 2021 article. And so Goldberg’s Atlantic has. An astonishingly large number of stories in both the print and online versions of the magazine now focus on the irrational feelings of a very particular and privileged class of people—elite, left-of-center, educated people who ironically believe themselves too sophisticated to be emotionally manipulated like the unwashed Fox-viewing masses they abhor.

Pieces like Ian Bogost’s essay “I’m Starting to Give Up on Post-Pandemic Life” typify the Atlantic’s panic porn—the titillating personal account of a distorted negative emotional experience described lubriciously with no observable larger social purpose. “Even if this strain is less bad than it might have been,” he writes of the Omicron variant, “only dumb luck will have made it so. That’s neither victory nor a sign that the emergency is over.” He then spirals into despair: “The coronavirus was once ‘novel’ because it was new. Now it feels both ancient and eternal. Having endured the emergence of two major strains even since the rollout of vaccines, a difficult thought is planted in my head: What if the pandemic never ends?”

This Eeyore-meets-Nietzsche tone now dominates much of the magazine’s coverage. Alexis Madrigal, the founder of its tracking project, offered a similar example of irrational meltdown in a piece about getting a breakthrough case of COVID at the end of 2021. After attending a wedding, Madrigal was consumed by the idea that he would get sick even though he initially tested negative. He described his response: “I did an intense Peloton workout and it felt fine, though maybe my legs were a little slow. I wasn’t eager to test again; a negative PCR test seemed good enough. But my wife heard me cough—one of only maybe 20 coughs throughout my whole sickness—and said, ‘Couldn’t you take another antigen test?’”

Reader, he got it. Whereupon he became a prisoner of his own irrationality, despite being vaccinated and experiencing only mild illness: “The life disruption—the logistical pain you cause those around you—is now a major part of any bad scenario. As I write this, I’m now 10 days past my first symptoms, but I continue to test positive on antigen tests, and so I have not returned home. I haven’t hugged my kids for 10 days.” (His kids never got sick.)

Madrigal’s conclusion isn’t that he might have overreacted in his risk assessment. He doesn’t even entertain that possibility. Rather, he doubles down on the idea of living in permanent emotional lockdown because of COVID: “Things aren’t likely to change that much for quite some time. Even after however many kids get vaccinated, there will still be breakthrough infections. Other variants could spread. Maybe we’re in this space for another year or two or three.”

It’s not all that surprising a development, given that nearly two years before the COVID lockdowns began, this was the magazine whose staffers got the vapors over editor Jeffrey Goldberg hiring Kevin Williamson. Confronted by the pandemic, a brittle safetyism-raised group of would-be elites, who marinated in an education system where the will to power was derived from victimhood, would naturally turn a publication into content by and for obsessive hypochondriacs.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Universities received billions in COVID relief. Some are still imposing delays, remote instruction.

ICYMI: SCIENCE!

DO DEMOCRATS KNOW ABOUT SHRINKAGE? White House Report Card: Biden’s shrinking presidency stalling out.

THE CORBYNIZATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CONTINUES APACE: Here’s What’s Missing From Jen Psaki’s Tweet About the Texas Synagogue Hostage Situation.

“It’s curious that Psaki failed to mention that the hostage situation was in a synagogue, wouldn’t you agree? While details are slim right now, it’s very clear that the hostage-taker is Muslim, and he’s targeted Jewish people in their place of worship. Biden and members of his administration are never at a loss for words when it comes to hate crimes or even gun violence that fits a certain narrative. Perhaps the tweet wouldn’t have seemed suspiciously devoid of information about who the victims and the perpetrator are if Biden and the Democrats didn’t have a habit of turning a blind eye to the violence that doesn’t fit their preferred narrative. Had it been a white supremacist taking hostages at a black church, I doubt those details would have gone unmentioned.”

OF COURSE HE DOES: Gov. Blackface Pardons Perv: Northam Absolves Democrat Jailed for Underage Sex Crimes in Final Act as Governor. “Morrissey, who won reelection to the House of Delegates while campaigning from jail in 2015, told the Washington Free Beacon on Friday that he ‘absolutely’ felt vindicated by Northam’s decision to pardon him. . . . After he was convicted of assault for punching his handyman in 1999, Morrissey was barred from practicing law in federal courts for allegedly trying to bribe a Habitat for Humanity employee to falsify his community service hours. . . . Northam, who leaves office on Saturday, is best known for dressing up in either blackface or a Ku Klux Klan hood and declining to answer questions about it or resign. He will be succeeded by Republican governor-elect Glenn Youngkin, a businessman and Virginia father of four.”

HUGH HEWITT: RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel On The RNC’s Divorce from the Biased Presidential Debate Commission.

HH: Now I have many, many grievances going back to Candy Crowley throwing the 2012 Election…

RM: Yeah.

HH: …to moderators before, to the 2016 rules and the obvious bias to Hillary, to the 2020 cancellation of the debate, to the makeup of the debate moderators in 2020. What broke your back? I mean, what got the committee to finally say we are done with you, you are a biased arm of the DNC even if you have some token Republicans on there?

RM: Well, I think for us, it’s that the Commission had no interest in working with the Republican Party, which represents 74 million voters. And what they’ve done is they’ve set up a system where we’ll only work with the nominee. But by the time the nominee’s in place, which is after the convention in 2024, the debates are all set. So they have total control and a total monopoly. And there were three things that were really egregious in 2020. They picked a moderator that worked for Joe Biden. They started debates after a million votes had been cast. We asked them to start debates before early voting starts. And I think the third is they had members of their commission that were vocally disparaging the Republican candidate and allowed to stay in their role. And so this has been a cushy job for decades. They have a total monopoly. And we said can you just guarantee us that you won’t pick a moderator that worked for the Democrat candidate? They won’t even say yes to that. And I think…

HH: Who is the moderator who worked for Biden? Would you remind people?

RM: It was Steve Scully.

HH: And Steve is a friend of mine. I think he’s a very fine journalist, but they should not have overlooked that detail.

RM: No, and that should be for both. By the way, would the Democrats say Kayleigh McEnany can host a debate for any Democrat? I mean, you shouldn’t have an employee of one of the candidates, a former employee, host the debate. It’s just not fair. These are really simple asks that we had, Hugh. I think most Americans would say yeah, debates should start before early voting. You shouldn’t have a moderator that worked for the other candidate. Yes, the commission that’s supposed to be non-partisan shouldn’t have members disparaging either candidate. Very across the board…

HH: It was a very anti-Trump debate commission, and that’s okay with the legacy media. It’s not okay with America. I also want to point out Beltway capture is a real deal. And legacy media capture is a real deal. And the Presidential Debate Commissions have been captured both by Beltway confirmation bias and acceptance rewards, and by legacy media. So they ran it for the networks, and they ran it so that they would get along well at the White House Correspondents dinner. That’s what they ran it for.

RM: Well, and they said that to us in no uncertain terms. We do not care about what the RNC says. We do not care about what 74 million voters say. All we’re asking for is a free forum, a free and fair forum to let our candidate showcase his policies or her policies. And they can’t even give us that guarantee. And it’s very clear they don’t have any allegiance to the American people and the voters. It’s all about them and the media and the DC Beltway. And they say we’re not going to do anything with you. We don’t care what you say, even if we’ve done the most egregious thing. We don’t even say to you of course that makes common sense, that we will agree that we won’t do those things.

Related: Here’s How We Know the RNC’s Demands for Presidential Debates Are Reasonable. “When it comes to partisan news coverage, it doesn’t get any worse than MSNBC. Yet, even MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle couldn’t find anything objectionable about the Republican National Committee’s demands for reform of the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). ‘They want the debates to happen before early voting starts, term limits for the commission’s board, and a ban on any partisan political activity for the people in the commission,’ Ruhle said. ‘I am a mere mortal. I have never been involved in debates about debates, but when I read those three, I kind of think, I don’t know, they sound reasonable.’”

ITS ORIGIN AND PURPOSE, STILL A TOTAL MYSTERY: Man holding people in Colleyville, Texas, synagogue dead, all hostages released safely.

Matthew DeSarno, special agent in charge of the FBI Dallas field office, said the hostage taker was thought to have been “singularly focused on one issue not specifically related to the Jewish community.”

As Gabriel Malor tweets, “He took hostages at a synagogue on a Saturday. Pretty sure this act of terrorism was targeted at the Jewish community, champ.”

 

MATT TAIBBI: What Happened to the “Question Authority” Era? Discussion with Author Walter Kirn.

Taibbi: I remember the reaction I had when they hired [former CIA head] John Brennan and [former Director of National Intelligence] James Clapper as TV analysts. Former CIA chief Michael Hayden was another one. I thought, theoretically, I guess you could have them comment on so certain general topics, but they would have to recuse themselves from all the ones that they were directly involved in, at least.

It turned out to be the opposite. In other words, they would have Brennan and Clapper and all those guys, and they would bring them on to talk about the stories that they themselves were most directly involved with. This new thing with Fauci — the new emails that have come out, they’re kind of shocking, just on the level of proving that Fauci and others were being deceitful about their assessment of the lab-leak story at the beginning. The fact that people aren’t jumping all over those stories is amazing to me.

Walter Kirn: To point out the conflict of interest, you are now accused of being a conspiracy theorist. Well, journalists aren’t supposed to be conspiracy theorists. They’re supposed to be conspiracy finders.

The thing that infuriated me and almost radicalized me against this corporate regime, and journalism, was the Russiagate story. I’ll tell you why, and it’s not because it was adversarial for Donald Trump. It’s because the Russiagate story, which was, I’m just here to tell you — it was bullshit. It had bullshit sources. It stemmed from high influence peddlers and campaign officials and places like the Brookings Institute and so on. It posed as Watergate. It posed as an outsider exposure of the ways of power, when in fact it was just the opposite. It posed as muckraking when in fact it was icing the cake of power. Pulitzer Prizes were awarded, and star reporters were crowned in this supposedly anti-authoritarian mega-story, which was being reported despite the anger and fury of power.

In fact, it was just the opposite. It was a completely phony caricature of a Watergate-style investigation. When I saw the press willing to pose as crusaders and outsiders on behalf of the most established political, intelligence, and even corporate entities in America, I was just like, this is the biggest travesty.

Taibbi:
Obviously you’re not going to have to work too hard to get me to agree about Russiagate being bunk, but one of the first clues for me that the story probably wasn’t real was that there was so much pressure to go along with it, and also so much pressure in the other direction, not to say anything against it.

As a journalist, you know when you’re saying something risky. This is a business where they let you know right away when you’ve said something that crosses a line somewhere. There was none of that with this story. It was completely in the other direction.

Walter Kirn: All those newspaper movies, those romantic movies, like All The President’s Men and Spotlight, in which the crusty editor says, “I’m not gonna put the reputation of this paper on the line for your half baked reporting! You get me a witness in the next 36 hours, or we’re killing this story forever! And I’m firing you!” That’s the supposed newsroom. When you’re going up against power in Russiagate, it was: “Get me more people from the DNC to be outraged about this by tomorrow, or, we’re going to pay somebody else hundreds of thousands of dollars to write this story!”

* * * * * * * *

I have to say I had, I want to focus on what appeared to be the most trivial part of the question — the preface that we’re both from Ohio. That was I think the most important part of it. We have a national myth, and a great musical called the Wizard of Oz, which I think warms the heart of every child at least initially. Remember, Dorothy’s a Midwesterner, but Holden Caulfield felt the same way, and he was an Easterner. Its message was, “Look behind the curtain. Don’t be Buffaloed by power, money, glamor, smoke, and mirrors. Make sure that you take a peek at the hidden aspects of reality.” Now, the opposite of that is Chris Cuomo telling us on CNN that it’s illegal to look at WikiLeaks. We can do that as journalists.

He actually said this on TV. He literally said, I know you’ve seen behind the curtain, and seen that the Wizard of Oz is actually this little con man from Kansas. But pretend you never saw that. In fact, it’s illegal for you to have seen that. So if you can wipe your memory banks, we’ll tell you what to think.

When I saw that moment on CNN, a journalist actually demanding incuriosity of the audience, I went, okay, the country I know is dead. The Midwestern ethos of, I’m gonna look behind the side show, or the Emperor’s New Clothes myth, of being that little kid who stands up and says, “Hey, you know, he’s naked, he’s a fat naked man.”

That was being systematically and affirmatively repressed. We now have a professional priesthood because, because throughout Trump, what we heard about journalists was that they were the most persecuted they’d ever been. They were one minute from being thrown into camps by Trump, and how dare we insult their profession. They exalted themselves into something resembling medieval priests. We read Latin, please. You don’t want to look at the Bible — we’ll tell you what’s in it.

So I’m standing up for a cultural tradition of seeing for yourself. You know — Missouri, the Show-Me State. Ohio, the state that produced James Thurber, who laughs at the fancy people, and so on. Look behind the curtain. I don’t wanna let that go.

Read the whole thing. As Glenn wrote in the aftermath of Dan Rather’s implosion in 2004, “The world of Big Media used to be a high-trust environment. You read something in the paper, or heard something from Dan Rather, and you figured it was probably true. You didn’t ask to hear all the background, because it wouldn’t fit in a newspaper story, much less in the highly truncated TV-news format anyway, and because you assumed that they had done the necessary legwork. (Had they? I’m not sure. It’s not clear whether standards have fallen since, or whether the curtain has simply been pulled open on the Mighty Oz. But they had names, and familiar faces, so you usually believed them even when you had your doubts.) The Internet, on the other hand, is a low-trust environment. Ironically, that probably makes it more trustworthy. That’s because, while arguments from authority are hard on the Internet, substantiating arguments is easy, thanks to the miracle of hyperlinks. And, where things aren’t linkable, you can post actual images. You can spell out your thinking, and you can back it up with lots of facts, which people then (thanks to Google, et al.) find it easy to check. And the links mean that you can do that without cluttering up your narrative too much, usually, something that’s impossible on TV and nearly so in a newspaper.”

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY:

January 15, 2022

DEVELOPING: Colleyville, TX synagogue held hostage during livestreamed service; police negotiating with man. “A source on the scene told ABC News that an armed suspect took a rabbi and three others hostage and claims to have bombs in unknown locations. The source told ABC that the suspect’s sister is a known terrorist who is incarcerated at Federal Medical Center Carswell, a women’s prison in Fort Worth, and he is demanding that his sister be freed from prison. According to ABC, the FBI is trying to confirm that the hostage taker’s sister is Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani woman who is imprisoned on charges related to the attempted murder and assault of United States officers and employees in Afghanistan in 2008. Aafia Siddiqui was transferred to FMC Carswell for medical reasons and is serving an 86-year sentence. The Pakistani government lodged a complaint against U.S. authorities after she reported she was assaulted by another inmate in July…U.S. authorities say Siddiqui is a dangerous terrorist with ties to the ringleader of 9/11. Counter-terrorism groups have dubbed her ‘Lady al-Qaeda,’ and U.S. officials once described her as ‘the most wanted woman in the world.’ The U.S. government has refused to trade her for American hostages multiple times, including for journalist James Foley prior to his execution by ISIS.”

Related: Lady al Qaeda: The World’s Most Wanted Woman.

UPDATE (7:46 PM EST): KHOU-11, Houston’s CBS affiliate, is reporting that “Local police tweeted that one male hostage has since been released uninjured as of 5 p.m. Saturday.”

UPDATE (7:55 PM EST) In “What We Know About the Hostage-Taking in Texas,” Bari Weiss writes, “It is unclear the relation (if any) between the suspect and Aafia Siddiqui. Terrorism experts say it is not uncommon for her to be referred to as ‘sister’ by jihadis. Perhaps this is what the hostage-taker means.”

UPDATE (8:26 PM): The BBC and the London Telegraph are really knocking it out of the park today:


The Telegraph’s article waits nine paragraphs to report, “The suspect had claimed to be the brother of convicted terrorist Aafia Siddiqui, according to a US official quoted by ABC News, though his identity has not been released.”

Also in obfuscation mode, Jen Psaki: Here’s What’s Missing From Jen Psaki’s Tweet About the Texas Synagogue Hostage Situation.

“It’s curious that Psaki failed to mention that the hostage situation was in a synagogue, wouldn’t you agree? While details are slim right now, it’s very clear that the hostage-taker is Muslim, and he’s targeted Jewish people in their place of worship. Biden and members of his administration are never at a loss for words when it comes to hate crimes or even gun violence that fits a certain narrative. Perhaps the tweet wouldn’t have seemed suspiciously devoid of information about who the victims and the perpetrator are if Biden and the Democrats didn’t have a habit of turning a blind eye to the violence that doesn’t fit their preferred narrative. Had it been a white supremacist taking hostages at a black church, I doubt those details would have gone unmentioned.”

UPDATE (10:36 PM): “Prayers answered. All hostages are out alive and safe,” Greg Abbott tweets.

UPDATE (10:42 PM): Texas officials say all hostages safe, out of Colleyville synagogue; hostage-taker dead. “U.S. Rep. Beth Van Duyne told a Star-Telegram reporter in a text [that] the hostage-taker is dead. A loud bang followed by what sounded like gunfire was heard about 9:12 p.m. Saturday outside the Colleyville synagogue where a hostage situation has been ongoing for hours.”

(Updated and bumped.)

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): I like a story with a happy ending.

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Accusations fly as ‘demoralized’ Dems point fingers in wake of filibuster fallout.

OPEN THREAD: Some people won’t dance if they don’t know who’s singing.

GOODER AND HARDER, L.A.: Train Derailed Near Package-Cluttered Lincoln Heights Tracks. “‘This afternoon approximately 17 cars on a Union Pacific train derailed just outside of our LATC yard, the same area where the vandalism has been occurring,’ Union Pacific said. ‘The train crew was not hurt. The cause is under investigation.’”

Earlier: Thieves Raiding Cargo Containers, Stealing Packages On Downtown L.A. Union Pacific Train Tracks.

A VICTORY OVER BIGOTRY: Hospital System Backs Off Race-Based Treatment Policy After Legal Threat; Scoring rubric gave race more weight than diabetes, obesity, asthma, and hypertension combined.

Our ruling gentry class is in the grip of a racial psychosis.

DID THE DEM LEADERSHIP THINK THEY’D TAKE ALL THE ABUSE LYING DOWN? Manchin, Sinema turn on Biden, join others holding him responsible for COVID test shortages.

Also, they’re right, you know. “Biden ran on shutting down the coronavirus. He and his chief of staff dinged the Trump administration over a lack of a sufficient number of tests available for those in need of them. Yet, when they came into office, the Biden administration dropped the ball.”

Never understimate Joe’s ability to fuck things up. “Even Democrats are asking why Biden is failing on some basic tasks. He had a truly horrible, very bad week and this letter from Senate Democrats just adds another item to the list of failures and defeats.”

CHANGE:

VA Governor Glenn Youngkin Overturns Mandates and Takes on Critical Race Theory Immediately Upon Taking Office.

New Va. Gov. Youngkin issues executive orders on COVID mandates, CRT and more. “Executive Order Number Two delivers on his Day One promise to empower Virginia parents in their children’s education and upbringing by allowing parents to make decisions on whether their child wears a mask in school.”

Winsome Sears to make history as first woman — and Black woman — to be Virginia’s Lt. Governor.

UPDATE: Virginia’s New AG Fires Civil Rights Division, Will Start Prosecuting Cases Dropped By ‘Social Justice’ DAs.

(Updated and bumped.)

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY REPEATING: Passengers stuck at sea after Norwegian cancels Caribbean cruise mid voyage due to Covid-19. I’ve seen it before. And I’ll see it again. . .

ONLY ONE VIEW ON THIS SUBJECT IS ACCEPTABLE IN OUR NATION’S CAPITAL, CITIZEN: Citing Abortion Views, DC Restaurant Boots Pro-Life Group.

I HOPE IT PERFORMS BETTER THAN THE COVID VACCINES HAVE: Fascinating Mouse Study Hints We May One Day Have mRNA Vaccine for Skin Cancer.

A DEAD MOSQUITO IS A GOOD MOSQUITO: Genetic strategy reverses insecticide resistance.

UNIVERSITIES IMPOSING TOTALITARIANISM WITH “COMMUNITY COMPACTS.” “They are able to ban free expression without banning free expression, using fear of the consequences of noncompliance as a blunt object to do so. In doing so, coupled with the implementation of snitch lines, they prevent a lot of discussion in between students. . . . These schools have created an ecosystem where the only acceptable social trait is that of blind compliance to unaccountable administrative bureaucrats.”

STACY MCCAIN: Rich Democrats Are Never Guilty in Oregon.

It’s good to be in the nomenklatura.

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: My Daughter’s Married Boyfriend Shouldn’t Join Us on Vacation, Right?

I GOTTA SAY, THOUGH, THE COVID VACCINES ARE UNDERPERFORMING: COVID-19’s silver lining: speeding vaccine tech for other diseases.

DEAL OF THE DAY: TurboTax Deluxe 2021 Tax Software, Federal and State Tax Return with Federal E-file [Amazon Exclusive] [PC Download]. #CommissionEarned (Bumped)

MAKE THE RUBBLE BOUNCE: Glenn Youngkin and Company Start Things off by Going Scorched Earth in Virginia. “On his first day in office, Youngkin is going to sign an order to eliminate the state-wide mask mandate for children in schools. That’s in response to the overwhelming amount of data that masks in schools have been one of the most useless, asinine policies of the COVID-19 pandemic. . . . Further, Youngkin also announced the hiring of outspoken anti-CRT voice Jillian Balow as Education Superintendent, which will hopefully help to rein in the state’s rogue school boards. Clearly, things aren’t going the way Larry Hogan’s administration went in Maryland.”

Good.

CAREER CIVIL SERVANT WORTH EIGHT FIGURES: Dr. Anthony Fauci’s financial disclosure shows $10.4M in investments. He’ll receive a $350,000/year pension upon retirement. Not that there’s anything wrong with having or making money, but I don’t think he’s worth it. In fact, I think his value to society is negative.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: The Navy’s next-gen destroyer concept involves powerful lasers.

WELL, CERTAINLY CHINLESS LEFTY SOYBOY TYPES: Face masks may make men more attractive, study suggests.

FIGHT THE POWER, STICK IT TO THE (WO)MAN: Sex Discrimination Lawsuit Over Alleged Wrongful Title IX Suspension Against UCLA Can Go Forward.

QUESTION ASKED: The Left Controls Almost Everything. So Why Are They So Afraid?

OUR DIVISIVE, FEAR-MONGERING MEDIA ARE THE INTELLECTUAL EQUIVALENT OF TOBACCO COMPANIES: Politics to blame for increased stress, fatigue, other health woes, survey finds.

NO, RAND PAUL ISN’T ‘PANDEMIC PROFITEERING’ OFF HIS #FIREFAUCI CAMPAIGN:

The Washington Post’s Philip Bump asked the same question on Thursday in a column titled, “How politically helpful have Rand Paul’s attacks on Anthony Fauci been?”

Using spikes in Google traffic each time Fauci and Paul have squared off, Bump determined that Paul had raised his media profile each time and, yes, that has translated into increased donations.

But this didn’t seem to lead Bump to the conclusion that Paul’s Fauci questions were merely or even primarily about political or financial gain.

“Paul was seeing higher weekly totals than he had been,” Bump writes, analyzing the two men’s exchanges. “From early May on, though, the level of fundraising was consistently at or above $100,000 a week, with only one exception. That pattern began when he got into the ‘gain of function’ fight with Fauci.”

Is Rand Paul’s Inquiry Still Legitimate?

But what Bump said next was most instructive.

“This is circumstantial,” Bump observed (emphasis added). “It’s clear that Paul is trying to generate contributions and attention from his fights with Fauci (the website to which Fauci referred is online, for example), but it’s not clear that this is central to Paul’s political efforts.

“Nor should one assume Paul’s confrontations are solely offered in bad faith,” Bump wrote. “While Fauci has repeatedly pushed back on his line of questioning, it’s a line of questioning that our fact-checkers consider to be in a gray area.”

Related: Doctor assures us that Anthony Fauci, an Italian from Brooklyn, ‘knows a guy:’

Porter is apparently the sister of Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA), and has since locked her Twitter account, for some, um, behind the scenes waste management work.

Flashback: Why does Twitter allow the Left to encourage violence against Rand Paul?

To ask the question is to answer it.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN):

NOT THE BABYLON BEE: Crime-Swamped Philly Issues Pamphlet on How To Survive Carjackings.

MAKES SENSE; THE IRISHMAN’S LAST HOURS WERE AS LONG AS A JERRY GARCIA GUITAR SOLO: Martin Scorsese to Direct Grateful Dead Biopic Starring Jonah Hill as Jerry Garcia.

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: #WHYIMSINGLE.

THE POWER LINE WEEK IN PICTURES: 10 Year Challenge Edition.

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