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THEY SAID IT COULDN’T BE DONE, BUT IT WAS ANOTHER TRUMP TRIUMPH: 6.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses expected to be shipped to states by mid-December.

SO, HELEN AND I DROPPED BY THE KNOX COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT BUILDING TO SEE THE ANTI-LOCKDOWN PROTEST. There were over 200 people there, a mix of small business people, waitresses and bartenders, etc. The class conflict angle was real. As the Board of Health met via Zoom, one of the speakers remarked: “It’s the upper elite that meet by zoom. The rest of us have to go to work.” The vibe very much reminded me of early Tea Party rallies, as did a remark I overheard from one of the organizers, “I thought we’d be lucky to get 5 or 10 people but we got all these.” I also heard people saying how much fun it was to get out and protest.

Also heard: “Limit Wal-Mart first!”

The protest opened with a prayer, which was preceded by a statement that those who were not into it were still respected and valued and welcome. There were also calls for courtesy, and a critic who showed up was even allowed to speak, though he opened by telling the crowd that its failure to wear masks was the reason for new restrictions. This was poorly received.

I think the coronavirus overreach is producing blowback. And I think that the deplorables aren’t going to sit down and shut up as some people hoped.

I took a few pictures:

And it made a difference: Knox Co. Board of Health approves blunted measures with 10 p.m. dine-in curfew, table size restrictions. “After hearing discussion from business owners and seeing blunted measures recently passed in the Memphis and Nashville areas, the Board of Health opted not to vote on the stricter measures it had discussed Friday that would have cut restaurant capacity to 25%.” And closing gyms, which was on the agenda last week, wasn’t discussed at all.

Related: Protests show two Americas — those who lost their jobs and those still getting paid.

Also, from a lefty source:

There’s a huge Covid class divide. The economy has not just bounded back for upper income Americans; it’s given them higher housing values and lower interest rates. Meanwhile, 12 million service industry workers are still out of work. Small businesses are struggling. The affluent see Covid as a health problem, while for the working class it’s about economic survival. And liberals are doing the same thing they did with Trump: Clothing their class privilege as science and facts and morality.

The politicians are even worse. Instead of coming up with a clean Covid bill, Democrats are now trying to pressure Biden into student loan forgiveness. Can you believe it? What kind of society thinks it’s ok to ask 12 million people who lost their jobs to Covid to foot the bill for the student loans of the top 40% of earners? Sure, maybe it will accidentally help someone in a food line who dropped out of college. But college-educated Americans are back at work. The Covid recession is over for them. Why are the Democrats designing legislation to help the people who need it least, in the belief that some of the benefits might trickle down to help those who need it most?

Oh, I think I know why. And this whole interview is pretty sensible.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ON THIS MAGNIFICENT ACHIEVEMENT: First Americans Could Get COVID-19 Vaccine by December 11, Top Health Official Says.

Flashback: Fact check: Coronavirus vaccine could come this year, Trump says. Experts say he needs a ‘miracle’ to be right. Miraculously, he was.

JIM TREACHER: Andrew Cuomo Thinks He Can Ban Thanksgiving.

What are [New York’s sheriffs] supposed to do, go house-to-house? Bust down your door and throw open all your closets and cupboards? Maybe shove around some of the older relatives Cuomo hasn’t killed yet? “Hey, maybe there’s an 11th guest hiding in the attic!” I mean, what are we talking about here?

Cuomo keeps ranting about “the law,” but his edicts aren’t laws. That’s not how laws work. He’s not a dictator. He can’t just ban Thanksgiving by fiat and expect everybody to sieg heil.

And he says the cops’ refusal to enforce his imbecilic decree is “frightening to democracy” and “a violation of constitutional duty.” Well, if this wannabe third-world thug wants to bring up the United States Constitution, how does the Fourth Amendment factor into this? Has Cuomo read that one? Is there a coloring book we can give him to explain how it works?

Andrew Cuomo is behaving exactly the way he and his fellow Democrats falsely accuse Trump of behaving. He’s just the sort of tinpot fascist they claim to oppose. Yet all they do is praise him, because he’s a fascist for their team.

You’re gonna need much more Cuomosexual Conversion Therapy:

But in the last few days, more New Yorkers have enrolled in Cuomosexual Conversion Therapy. Their two major sticking points? Vaccines and schools.

There was widespread optimism when Pfizer-BionTECH and Moderna announced success rates of over 90 percent for their COVID-19 vaccines. For the first time in months it seemed as though there was hope for America. Enter Andy-Vaxxer Cuomo, using his platform as governor to undermine public trust in the FDA’s potential authorization of vaccine which we will all need to take. ‘We can’t let this vaccination plan go forward the way that Trump and his administration is designing it,’ he said last week, with all the scientific expertise of an Instagram wellness blogger. ‘I’m pushing hard to make sure that we have a process in place to check what the FDA says before people start getting the vaccine in New York.’

People were happy to put up with Cuomo’s pettiness when he was moving his daughter’s boyfriend to the Canadian border, or deploying the State Liquor Authority to target bars that mocked his dumb food rule by serving ‘Cuomo pizza’. But the prospect that his tussling with Trump might delay the climax of the COVID carnage has given many pause for thought.

The governor compounded his misstep with another display of logger-headed machismo posturing this week, clashing with Mayor Bill de Blasio over school closures. The mayor, after dithering for days, introduced an arbitrary 3 percent positivity rate to re-close NYC’s public schools. The governor contradicted this, saying at a Wednesday press conference that schools could remain open as the positivity rate was only 2.5 percent. A Wall Street Journal reporter expressed confusion on behalf of parents — and Cuomo, acting as hard as a pierced nipple in winter, snapped:

New tools are available to aid in the deprogramming process:

Perhaps these should be sent to the homes of Emmy Award voters:

JIM TREACHER: Obama Really Knew How to Handle Putin, According to Obama.

Obama then claims that he allowed Putin to rant for 45 minutes without interrupting, as if he had any say in the matter. And then, Obama claims he debated Putin point-by-point for two hours. Don’t you just love science fiction?

This anecdote is particularly amusing to students of history, which at this point includes anyone who remembers anything that happened before 5:30 PM yesterday. All the way back in 2012, Obama scolded Mitt Romney with this immortal soundbite:

 

I’ve watched that clip dozens of times over the years, and my favorite part is Obama fumbling over his rehearsed talking points. “Okay, it was… uh… foreign policies of the 1980s, and then… oh yeah, the social policies of the 1950s… er…”

And that was after Obama’s 2009 “debate” with Putin. So I guess Barry thought he had bested his opponent. But then the 2016 election happened, and suddenly Putin was the Boogeyman again. Now libs blame the evil Russkies for everything.* Somehow, within the space of four years, Russia went from forgotten has-beens to America’s #1 enemy all over again. And all it took was a Democrat losing an election. Weird how that works, huh?

Related: Obama Calls for More Big Tech ‘Fact-Checking’ in Wake of Trump Getting 71M Votes.

Former President Barack Obama lamented the fact that President Donald Trump won 71 million votes in the 2020 election, blaming the “current media environment” for a supposed lack of an “informed citizenry.” He called for “the media” and “the tech companies” to “inform the public better” and “separate truth from fiction.” Obama said this just as Facebook, Twitter, and legacy media outlets have worked to bury or undermine important stories like the Hunter Biden emails and the irregularities in the 2020 election.

Of course, Obama chooses a venue where he’s not going to get fact-checked: “Obama — who droned weddings & targeted journalists — compares [Trump] to a dictator who thinks, ‘I can kill people. I can throw them in jail. … I can suppress journalists,’” while DNC operative with a lavalier Scott Pelley remains silent.

RAPHAEL WARNOCK’S BLOOD LIBEL:

Raphael Warnock, the Democratic Senate candidate seeking to unseat Republican Kelly Loeffler in Georgia’s runoff election in January, has had some interesting things to say about Israel in the past.

Here is Warnock during a 2018 sermon:

“We need a two-state solution where all of God’s children can live together. We saw the government of Israel shoot down unarmed Palestinian sisters and brothers like birds of prey. . . . It is wrong to shoot down God’s children like they don’t matter at all. And it’s no more anti-Semitic for me to say that than it is anti-white for me to say that Black lives matter. Palestinian lives matter.”

Warnock, senior pastor of the church once led by Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., isn’t merely being “critical” of Israel, as his defenders claim. Arguing that Israel hasn’t done enough to placate Fatah is a criticism. Arguing that Israel’s refusal to return to 1967 boundaries is misguided is a criticism. Claiming that the Jewish state goes around picking off God’s children as if “they don’t matter at all” is a blood libel. It’s the kind of rhetoric that generates the anti-Semitism unfortunately found in some corners of black communities. It is also a complete fiction.

And the hits just keep on coming:

Warnock, 2009: Socialism is supported by Scripture, you know.

Rev. Raphael Warnock dodges question on Fidel Castro ‘lovefest.’

Warnock: Americans Must ‘Repent’ for Backing Trump and ‘Worship of Whiteness.’

Why, it’s as if: Democrat Senate Nominee in Georgia Runoff, Raphael Warnock, Is Beyond Radical.

AMERICA’S PAPER OF RECORD NAILS IT: Local Man Wouldn’t Have Believed There Was Election Fraud Except Media, Big Tech Keep Insisting That There Wasn’t.

Yep. Related:

YEP. BASICALLY THAT: US Elections 2020: media and Big Social peeing on our legs and telling us it’s raining.

As for Elvis and Little Richard, I’ll only believe it if Facebook “fact checks” it.

 

TWITTER AND FACEBOOK ARE BANNING MENTIONS OF THIS:  Benford’s Law.

Like most normal Americans at this point I view anything facebook “fact checks” as probably true. And anything that facebook and twitter ban as true and also scary for the left.
…. it’s like these people never met Americans.
And no, they don’t seem to be smart enough to manipulate us by banning lies. They are very good at psyops of only of the “big lie” type.

JOHN HINDERAKER: FACEBOOK FACT-CHECKS ME, UPDATED. “The establishment is in full protect-Joe mode. The Left’s most important propaganda theme these days is that there is no such thing as voter fraud.”

GOSH, THAT MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE. Desperate ‘Fact-Checkers’ Line Up to Help Biden: He Eulogized a KKK ‘Exalted Cyclops’ NOT a ‘Grand Wizard.’

CAPITALISM: THE REALLY UNKNOWN IDEAL IN PORTLANDIA: Everything you need to know about Portland’s likely new socialist mayor can be found by looking at how she views “your” money.

I put “your” in scare quotes because it’s not entirely clear Portland mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone believes it’s actually yours.

As a reminder, we’re talking about this Sarah Iannarone.

* * * * * * * *

Anyway, to really understand Iannarone, you have to understand her view of your money, and to do so I’m going to dissect one section from her “Housing For All” plan.

“There is a significant amount of money available across the spectrum of housing options flowing into the city from various pipelines…”

I like this visual, a pipeline. Sucking money from my wallet. (Although it is a bit surprising as I thought progressives were against pipelines.)

Note also that this money is “available.” Sounds kind of benign, like picking daisies from an open field, only it’s your field, and armed government agents have come to pick them.

“There is significant tax inequity between property owners in East Portland and the rest of the city that needs to be evaluated and corrected through assessment recalibration and possible implementation of a land value tax (LVT).”

“Tax inequity” that must be “evaluated” so as to have a “recalibration.”

Hint: your taxes are going up, confiscatorily.

Well, unless you live in East Liberty which houses most of Portland’s minority population and tends to suffer from higher poverty rates. Iannarone’s fondness for a Land Value Tax kind of gives away her agenda.

In other news from Portlandia, a Grauniad columnist discovers that the city wasn’t the socialist pipe dream she was expecting: We left the UK for Portland expecting a liberal dream. That wasn’t the reality. Unexpectedly!

The first surprise was the lack of non-white people. I later discovered that the 2010 census found Portland to be the whitest big city in the US. When our daughter started daycare, she came home and said she didn’t like her brown skin; she wanted to be white like the other kids. She was three. I felt like a fool for moving her out of a city where she would have been surrounded by people who look like her.

Living in Portland was also the first time I felt noticed for being in a mixed-race marriage. In rural Oregon, where you now regularly see Trump signs and bumper stickers, it’s become an unsaid agreement between my husband and I that I get out of the car as little as possible. He goes into the gas stations; he checks us into motels. I was horrified but not surprised when, during the fires, armed vigilantes set up “checkpoints” in small towns – claiming they were worried about “antifa looting”. They stopped drivers and asked them to identify themselves.

I write all of this as a brown person and a recent transplant. Racism for black people in Portland is far more pervasive and damaging. It’s visible in housing policy, police brutality and who gets to work where. In 1859, when Oregon joined the union, it was the only state to explicitly ban all black people living there. That legacy of racism has cast a long shadow. As recently as the 1990s, lenders in the state engaged in redlining (not giving people loans and mortgages because of where they live – which mainly affected the city’s small black population). There continues to be de facto racial segregation in schools. But, until this summer, Portland’s white population didn’t talk about it much.

Portland’s last Republican mayor served for a little over a year from September of 1979 to November of 1980. Prior to that, its last Republican mayor to serve a full term left office at the end of 1956. Why are Democrat monopoly cities such cesspits of racism?

(Classical reference in headline.)

WHO DO YOU THINK WE THINK WE ARE? Babylon Bee retracts retraction after US Navy confirms USA Today fact check is false.

MATTHEW CONTINETTI: The Next Populist Revolt: The combustible politics of a coronavirus ‘dark winter’.

Governments resort to shutdowns to impose discipline on an unruly population. But shutdowns do not solve the problem. They turn public health crises into economic and social ones. After a while, the price of shutdowns grows too high. The government reopens the economy. The virus returns. Before long, the cycle repeats.

There are plenty of ways to think about the politics of the Trump era. You can analyze the parties according to the traditional left-right axis. You can study public debate through the prism of liberal democracy versus authoritarianism. You can understand recent elections as pitting establishment insiders against populist outsiders. You can see the ideological contest as a three-way grudge match between common-good conservatives, neoliberals in both parties, and woke progressives. Coronavirus has spawned yet another interpretive framework. In this frame, politics is the struggle between the faction that wants to keep the economy and society relatively open during the pandemic and the faction that is ready and willing to shut them down.

Joe Biden has been able to straddle these two poles. He says you can have a (relatively) open society as well as a public health system that reduces infection to a negligible level. He says he will “shut down the virus, not the country.” What he hasn’t explained is how that can happen in the absence of a widely administered vaccine. Only Taiwan and South Korea contained outbreaks without nationwide lockdowns. It is hard to see the United States replicating their success. Taiwan benefited from its rapid response at the outset of the crisis. South Korean authorities rapidly approved tests while enjoying access to cell phone data. None of that happened here.

If Biden takes office during the “dark winter” he prophesied at the final presidential debate, he will have to decide, in addition to his national mask mandate, whether to put the country through another “30 days to slow the spread.” The bureaucratic pressure to shut down will be immense. The media, entertainment, and technology sectors will be sure to support and promote his decision. Polarization between “red” states and the nation’s capital will intensify. The commanding heights of culture and business will consign the Republican Party to the ash heap of history. And opposition to the restoration of progressive rule will manifest itself as a populist revolt whose character, magnitude, disposition, and endgame can only be imagined.

Related: Protests show two Americas — those who lost their jobs and those still getting paid.

WHEN THE HEADLINE DOESN’T MATCH THE ARTICLE: “Biden did not eulogize former KKK ‘grand wizard,’” AP “reports,” but notes six paragraphs in that ‘As a young man in West Virginia, Byrd recruited members to a local KKK chapter and was elected to the post of ‘exalted cyclops’ according to his 2005 autobiography.”

It’s come to this: in order to help drag Biden over the finish line, AP is doing cleanup work for a former “grand wizard” “exalted cyclops” of the Klan.

JIM TREACHER: CNN Refuses to Run Ad Criticizing Biden. “So… their fact-checkers said a prediction is false? How does that work? How do you fact-check something that hasn’t happened yet? You can say a prediction is more likely or less likely to come true, but you can’t fact-check it because it’s not a fact that can be checked. Well, whatever. If they don’t want to take AFA’s money and they can’t come up with a plausible excuse, that’s their business. Literally. In case you’re curious what they’re so worried about, here’s the ad CNN viewers won’t see.”

THE “FACT CHECKERS” ARE JUST LAME-ASS POLITICAL WHORES: Kamala Harris Tells a Coronavirus Whopper *Twice*, Fact Checkers Nowhere To Be Found.

BRYAN PRESTON: From the Avengers to Coyotes and Nylon Rope: Blue-Check Ignorance and Intolerance Threaten Freedom and Our Way of Life.

What if the Avengers actors hadn’t defended Pratt? Would we have seen cancel culture destroy a good and decent man not for saying something offensive, but for saying nothing at all? Probably.

Recent blue-check stupidity doesn’t stop at the Avengers’ defense of the Bill of Rights. During the final presidential debate, President Trump brought up the issue of “coyotes” smuggling people across the border. Twitter idiots erupted with guffaws. Because they’re stupid.

Someone went and gathered blue-check reaction to the president’s factual and accurate coyotes remark. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so tragic.

A couple of those blue-checkers are actually famous. Peri Gilpin, originally from Waco, Texas, played Roz on Frasier. Lexa Doig has starred in a few B-grade and below TV series and movies.

As both of them and all Americans ought to know, coyotes are human smugglers and traffickers. They charge poor people exorbitant sums of money to get them into the United States against our laws by whatever means their evil minds may devise. Coyotes do not care about the welfare of their customers at all. They care about cash and breaking laws. They tend to move the human cargo in the backs of trucks and in conditions that subject them to the real threat of injury and death. No food. No water.

Given Snopes’ target audience, no wonder they get the vapors over the Babylon Bee’s headlines.

BIDEN: ‘Not a Single Person on Private Insurance’ Lost It ‘Under Obamacare’— Fact Check: False.

Flashback: Obama’s repeated “If you like your plan you can keep your plan” lies were so outrageous, even his fellow Democrats at “Politifact” couldn’t ignore it, dubbing it their “Lie of the Year” in 2013.

(Bumped.)

IT’S COME TO THIS: Twitter Blue Checks Mock Trump’s ‘Coyote’ Remark and It Ends Disastrously for Them.

Twitter blue checks who tried to mock President Trump for saying “coyotes” smuggle children across the southern border of the United States learned the hard way that Trump was not actually talking about the animal.
Did @realDonaldTrump just say 545 kids they can’t find their parents for came over through ‘cartels and coyotes’?!” asked Dar’shun Kendrick, a corporate attorney and state representative in Georgia who supports Joe Biden. “How the hell does a coyote bring a whole human across the border?!”

No really, she did:

In fact: Lots and lots and lots of blue-check libs don’t know what a coyote is (screenshots):

Exit question: “Did you think the left has the slightest clue what goes on near the border other than orange man bad?

BIDEN BREAKS GODWIN’S LAW: Biden shocks debate viewers with bizarre Hitler reference.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden shocked viewers on Thursday with a bizarre reference to Adolf Hitler during the final presidential debate.

Trump said he has a civil “We’re not in a war, we have a good relationship,” Trump said of his relationship with North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un.

“Having a good relationship with leaders of other countries is a good thing,” Trump said.

Biden shot back, “That’s like saying we had a good relationship with Hitler before he in fact invaded Europe.”

Fact check: We did not have a good relationship with Hitler prior to WWII: The Transatlantic Duel: Hitler Vs. Roosevelt.

YES: The Corporate Takeover Of ‘Fact-Checking’ Is Just A Different Path To The Same Partisan Censorship, “Over the past several years, dressed up in official-sounding titles, the fact-checkers have allied themselves with some of the most powerful private companies to have ever existed — with quick results. One report, for example, finds that Facebook and Twitter have censored Trump 65 times, while not censoring former Vice President Joe Biden once. That’s no surprise: Senior leadership across all of the world’s biggest tech companies have made their anti-Trump bias known.”

Read the whole thing.

CANDACE OWENS sues Facebook “fact checking” organization and USA Today.

COLORADO: While some candidate signs are being damaged, others are simply deceiving neighbors.

With ongoing reports of political yard signs being vandalized and stolen, it appears yard signs are also being used to deceive neighborhoods about who is supporting presidential candidate Joe Biden, apparently in hopes of swaying Republicans to abandon Donald Trump.

Complete Colorado was contacted about signs in a west Greeley neighborhood that read “I’m a Republican but not a fool. Biden for president.” The neighbors who contacted Complete Colorado said the sign did not accurately reflect the true political affiliation of the homeowners and felt it needed to be fact checked.

As fact checking political advertisement is commonplace and property and voting records are a matter of public record, Complete Colorado did investigate the allegations and found the neighbors to be correct.

Sad.

VODKAPUNDIT PRESENTS YOUR DAILY INSANITY WRAP: Almost Everyone Agrees That Toobin’s a Snake.

Insanity Wrap needs to know: Is there any fake news POLITICO won’t stoop to publish?

Answer: No. No, there is not.

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

  • How long before PolitiFact starts fact-checking cereal boxes?
  • The ladies of TikTok explain leftism’s enduring madness.
  • Plus, more Jeffrey Toobin hot takes than you can shake a… well, there are a lot.

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

THE 1619 PROJECT: DOWN, BUT FAR FROM OUT. Despite sustained criticism, this wretched New York Times initiative is still being promoted in schools:

Soon after publication of the 1619 Project, leading authorities on American history spoke out and exposed its multiple factual errors and unsupported assertions. Five prominent historians penned a letter to the Times in December 2019, arguing against the project’s ‘displacement of historical understanding by ideology’. One was Sean Wilentz, a liberal historian at Princeton and author of No Property in Man, which explores the issue of slavery and the founding fathers. Wilentz recently told the Washington Post about his initial reaction to Hannah-Jones’ lead essay: ‘I threw the thing across the room, I was so astounded, because I ran across a paragraph on the American Revolution, and it was just factually wrong.’ Indeed, Wilentz and others find the essay’s central claim – that the colonists’ primary motivation in fighting the American Revolution was to maintain slavery – to be patently false.

In the face of this criticism, Hannah-Jones and Jake Silverstein, the project’s editor-in-chief, refused to issue corrections and declined to engage in debate. The Times, said Silverstein, had ‘concluded no corrections are warranted’. Then in March, Leslie Harris, a professor of history at Northwestern University and a fact-checker for the Times, revealed she had identified numerous errors when reviewing the 1619 Project, but the Times ignored all of them. Harris, who is sympathetic to the project’s mission, told the Times that the statement ‘the patriots fought the American Revolution in large part to preserve slavery in North America’ was false. In response to Harris, the Times added a ‘clarification’ to Hannah-Jones’ essay, saying that ‘some of’ the colonists wanted to protect slavey – yet even this revised formulation is misleading and has little support among historians.

Silverstein doubles down in response to Bret Stephens’ pushback, mentioned at the start of the above Spiked article; here’s his lede:

The 1619 Project, which was conceived of and led by Nikole Hannah-Jones, a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine, advances a bold claim: that the date when the first enslaved Africans arrived in the English colonies that would become the United States — August of 1619 — can be regarded as the nation’s birth or point of origin. Why does the project propose this? In part because, as its essays show, the system of slavery and oppression that began on this date has led to so many of the problems that define our past and our present; in part because, as Hannah-Jones argues, the struggle against this system of oppression has been a pivotal freedom movement unfolding across many generations to advance progress for American society as a whole; and in part to advance the case that, as the heroes of both of these stories, Black Americans, whose presence in the English colonies that would become the United States began on this date, should occupy a central role in American history.

Emphasis mine. In a related development, Timesman Binyamin Appelbaum, he of the “You worked for a company that was fixing bread prices viral fame, spoken to Pete Buttigieg in January in the tone of a Bond supervillain, tweets something as equally melodramatic sounding:

But it seems rather contradictory to see one Timesman issuing a “plea to defend the United States,” when his newspaper has gone all-in on declaring the nation as having been founded in original sin.  In any case, the last Republican president the Times endorsed was Ike in 1956, and as Iowahawk tweets, “’Are you seriously telling me the New York Times has come out against Trump? Man, I need to sit down and rethink my vote.’ — literally not one person on Planet Earth.”

HUNTER BIDEN AND THE BIG TECH INFORMATION COUP:

There is nothing to see because Facebook doesn’t want you to see it and Twitter won’t let you share it. On Wednesday, Andy Stone, who runs ‘communications’ at Facebook, announced that the New York Post’s story was ‘eligible to be fact checked by Facebook’s third-party checking partners’. While Facebook’s faceless and unaccountable partners checked the facts, the site, Stone said, would be ‘reducing’ the story’s ‘distribution’. Stone used to work Democratic senator Barbara Boxer, Democratic congressman Jerry McNerney and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Twitter, meanwhile, stopped its users from forwarding or privately sharing the Post’s article for a couple of hours. Now when you click on the story, Twitter gives you a disclaimer, as if you are ‘proceeding to an unsafe site’. It was, however, still possible to read and circulate the Steele dossier on Twitter, and to read and circulate the racist drivel of the Iranian regime’ leaders.

Anyone with a brain can see what is going on in plain sight. The only reason Burisma would want to employ Hunter Biden is to buy influence with his father. So there are reasonable questions to be asked of Joe Biden, a presidential candidate. He is doing his utmost to avoid them. He is succeeding in this shameful evasion because the pro-Democratic media, which is most of the American media, are actively helping him. They refuse to ask him serious questions and promulgate his talking points as their editorial lines.

Read the whole thing. Abandoning the decentralized Blogosphere for the walled gardens of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube was a huge mistake, particularly for conservatives. Somebody should write a book about the reasons why.

UPDATE: “Social media executives are about to discover the Streisand effect.”

FACT CHECK: More People Delaying Health Care Over Costs Now Than Pre-Obamacare.

THE FALSE CLAIM IS ALL OVER FACEBOOK, BUT THEY DON’T SEEM TO BE MARKING IT “FALSE.” Fact check: Trump’s antibody therapy not made from fetal stem cells but fetal-derived cells used during testing.

FACT CHECK: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Have Campaigned on Banning Fracking.

CHRISTIAN TOTO: Hyper-political Hollywood gives us little reason to return to theaters.

Ellen DeGeneres whined about being stuck in her mega mansion, the first of several news cycles that damaged her populist appeal.

Later, when ordinary Americans fought back against the lockdowns decimating their livelihoods, stars mocked them as hicks who didn’t understand science and wanted to kill grandma while their paychecks kept a-coming.

Not a nice look. It got worse from there.

The usual celebrity angst against President Trump ramped up, if one can believe that was possible. The ugly comments got uglier, with some directly targeting Trump voters.

You know, the folks who also like to unwind at the local cineplex.

Some stars took their activism in a ghastly direction, donating to the Minnesota Freedom Fund which bails out jailed protesters. Celebrities like Seth Rogen, Steve Carell and Janelle Monae didn’t care if their money sprang unfairly arrested protesters (unlikely) or folks who eagerly set the city on fire (or committed even worse crimes).

This reporter proved their lack of concern.

Other stars directly poured digital gasoline on the fires, including Trevor Noah, Ice Cube, John Cusack and Michael Moore.

More recently, stars reassembled their classic TV show casts, something that could have proved a fun diversion in our locked down world.

Instead, they turned these reunions into Democratic fundraising efforts.

Twitter isn’t real life, but chances are the cacophony of vile, divisive messages coming from Celebrity Nation seeped into the national consciousness.

It’s one thing to swallow hard and watch a new Samuel L. Jackson film at home. It’s another to snag a sitter and/or fork over $30-plus for a Jackson movie knowing he just insulted anyone voting Trump on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

Think that sentiment isn’t a factor in the anemic box office receipts we’re seeing these days?

Stars got hyper-political, and nasty, at the worst possible time. The theatrical model is on life support thanks to COVID, and media outlets which have scared us silly by downplaying hopeful news and exaggerating terrifying tidbits.

Will anyone be itching to pay $15 for an overhyped sequel coming Spring time, knowing they can watch it on their big-screen TV in a few weeks?

It’s been fascinating since the early days of our current unpleasantness, seeing the moral equivalent of war comparisons that used to be reserved for fighting global warming being transferred over to fighting the pandemic. (The latest bit of silliness: Boeing’s bête noire, Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee tweeted “What aircraft carriers were in World War II, masks are today” on Tuesday.) If you’re going to play that card, I expect to see Hollywood doing their part as well, the modern-day equivalent of when Hollywood Republicans like Bing Crosby committed themselves to supporting FDR’s war effort:

As Michael Jordan reportedly said, “Republicans buy sneakers, too.” They buy movie tickets as well – until after being hectored to death by Hollywood, they don’t.

MICHAEL WALSH: Having Experienced the CCP Virus, Trump Can Help Free Us by Teaching About Limits.

Everybody knows the story of King Canute, the 11th-century Viking king of England, who raised his hand to stop the roll of the tide—and yet the tide rolled in anyway. The almost certainly apocryphal story has come down to us as an illustration of hubris: even the proud monarch could not command the elements.

But that’s wrong. The real moral of the story is that the king commanded the tides to stop in order to show his courtiers that there are limits to man’s temporal authority, and that not even a monarch can command God or nature.

That’s the lesson President Trump—not to mention a swath of senior Republicans as well as the nation itself—should be taking away from Trump’s brush with the CCP virus (often known as the novel coronavirus) over the weekend. And indeed, it seems that the president has: “Don’t let it dominate your life. This is America, this is the United States. . . . we have to confront problems.”

Leaving aside the amazing coincidence of why, in the immediate aftermath of Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court and last week’s debate, so much of the GOP brain trust suddenly came down with the Chinese Communist Party virus—and thus far not a single Democrat—the president’s seemingly quick recovery from Covid-19 was just the reality check an increasingly buffaloed and fearful America needed.

The Democrats, it seems, have gone all in on the novel coronavirus, the better to permanently destroy the economic gains of the administration and, worse, insisting against much medical evidence, that the American people should be muzzled as a sign of their subordination to government at all levels. Indeed, after dodging the issue repeatedly, Joe Biden has issued a call for mandatory mask-wearing even outdoors, for “the next three months minimum.”

But there’s no meaningful evidence that wearing masks—even along with constant hand-washing and “social distancing”—does much of anything to “defeat” a virus. Nor do destructive lockdowns that crush both spirit and body, devastate businesses, destroy livelihoods, and—in their arbitrariness and capriciousness—dishearten and discourage the maintenance and formation of new businesses.

Worst of all has been the damage done to our constitution, which explicitly protects freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and the free exercise of religion. There is no constitutional exception for “pandemics”—and the Founding Fathers, as men of the 18th century, were certainly experienced with infectious diseases, among them cholera, tuberculosis, and yellow fever. In fact, a yellow fever swept through Philadelphia—then the nation’s capital—in 1793, just two years after the ratification of the Constitution.

And yet, here is the thuggish governor of New York State, Andrew Cuomo, this week threatening his state’s large Orthodox Jewish communities: “I will have to tell them ‘if you are not willing to live with these rules, I will have to close the synagogues’.”

And to add to the Soviet feel of Cuomo’s diktat: Cuomo used 14-year-old photo to show mass Orthodox gatherings during pandemic.

SEEN ON FACEBOOK: “‘Fact-checkers’ assume your point, then fact-check their assumption of your point. That is the most generous way to see what they do. The least generous (and at least as often true) is that they purposely misrepresent your point, and fact-check their misrepresentation.”

LAYERS AND LAYERS OF FACT-CHECKERS, PART 758: It’s not often that the left-biased Daily Beast tells readers about bad journalism produced by other left wing organizations, but Maxwell Tani did just that here.

“Since at least 2015, the Times has heard—and, in several cases, dismissed—warnings that Callimachi got stories wrong, questions about the legitimacy of her sourcing, and concerns about her treatment of sensitive source material. Now, revelations that one of Callimachi’s biggest stories may have been based on a hoax has resurfaced old warnings and questions that colleagues, experts, and sources previously raised about her reporting.”

Instapundit readers ought to be familiar with the problem of a “superstar” being seriously questioned, only to have The Times circle the wagons (s.o.p.) and “stand by her reporting.”

“If she told me it was sunny outside, I’d double check,” one senior Times journalist told The Daily Beast[…] A spokesperson for the Times defended Callimachi’s work on Wednesday evening, saying, “Rukmini is a brave and talented reporter whose body of work has shed new light on how ISIS functioned, attracted recruits, and stayed in power…”

Interestingly, Callamachi has published several stories damaging to the “conventional wisdom” of the left-wing media, so perhaps this is something of another editorial purge against reporters who (gasp!) seek out facts and editors who “platform” un-woke ideas. It will be interesting to see what The Times does here.

EPIC: TED CRUZ DEMOLISHES CNN’S FREDO CUOMO IN 20-MINUTE BRAWL. “Cuomo eventually steered the rhetorical cage match to a conclusion and on the liberal media-fueled fear Trump won’t leave office if he loses, but in the final few moments on COVID, he falsely claimed that Biden never called the administration’s China travel ban ‘xenophobic.’ Seeing as how he bet Cruz dinner that Biden never said that, the Texas junior senator should start looking at restaurants as, despite claims from so-called fact-checkers, Biden did say it.”

SPOILER: HE DIDN’T USE MANY FACTS. Presidential Debate Number One: A Biden Fact-Check.

IT’S COME TO THIS: USA Today is “Fact Checking” the Babylon Bee. Fact check: Satirical claim that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Ginsburg’s death.

The headline of an article published by satire website The Babylon Bee is a nod to the contentious history between the Trump administration and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. The Babylon Bee is “the world’s best satire site,” according to its website.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died of metastatic pancreatic cancer Sept. 18, is actually “alive,” the article suggests, because the 9th Circuit overturned her death.

“In a close decision, the judges on the court have ruled RBG’s death unconstitutional and will block Trump from nominating a replacement,” the article says.

* * * * * * * *

Our rating: Satire

We rate this claim SATIRE, based on our research. A satirical article about the 9th Circuit “overturning” Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death has no basis in fact. It is true that the 9th Circuit has ruled against many Trump-era policies.

Tautologically speaking, it’s a very safe bet that a Website that bills itself as “satire” is cranking out satiric articles, so thanks USA Today, for confirming that. Can’t wait for the newspaper to also confirm that the 1964 movie Dr. Strangelove is satire as well, since planet Earth, at least as of time of publication, is still here, unlike what the satiric movie satirically depicted using strong doses of satire.

VODKAPUNDIT PRESENTS YOUR DAILY INSANITY WRAP: ‘USA Today’ Takes on ‘The Babylon Bee,’ Brian Stelter Takes a Leak.

Insanity Wrap needs to know: Did USA Today really go from publishing news to recycling Chevy Chase gags from 1975?

Answer: Our fact-checkers rate this as COMPLETELY 100% FACTUALLY TRUE.

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

  • Brian Stelter is dumber and/or more dishonest than you thought.
  • Meet the black man who’s had enough of BLM.
  • Senator Kirsten Gillibrand needs a timeout.

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

LAYERS AND LAYERS OF FACT-CHECKERS AND EDITORS: She thinks it’s Real?! NYT journo Robin Pogrebin falls for Babylon Bee story on NBA/RBG and OMG we’re officially dead now.

To be fair, most people trust the reporting of America’s Newspaper of Record far more than the Gray Lady today, so it’s only fair to see one of their Democratic Party activists with bylines concur.

WE’VE DESCENDED INTO SOME SORT OF BIZARRE HELL-WORLD IN WHICH – hang on, checking notes – THE WORLD SOCIALIST WEBSITE IS A VOICE OF SANITY: The New York Times and Nikole Hannah-Jones abandon key claims of the 1619 Project.

It is not entirely clear when the Times deleted its “true founding” claim, but an examination of old cached versions of the 1619 Project text indicates that it probably took place on December 18, 2019.

These deletions are not mere wording changes. The “true founding” claim was the core element of the Project’s assertion that all of American history is rooted in and defined by white racial hatred of blacks. According to this narrative, trumpeted by Project creator Nikole Hannah-Jones, the American Revolution was a preemptive racial counterrevolution waged by white people in North America to defend slavery against British plans to abolish it. The fact that there is no historical evidence to support this claim did not deter the Times and Hannah-Jones from declaring that the historical identification of 1776 with the creation of a new nation is a myth, as is the claim that the Civil War was a progressive struggle aimed at the destruction of slavery. According to the New York Times and Hannah-Jones, the fight against slavery and all forms of oppression were struggles that black Americans always waged alone.

The Times’ “disappearing,” with a few secret keystrokes, of its central argument, without any explanation or announcement, is a stunning act of intellectual dishonesty and outright fraud. When it launched the 1619 Project in August 2019, the Times proclaimed that its aim was to radically change what and how students were taught about American history. With the aim of creating a new syllabus based on the 1619 Project, hundreds of thousands of copies of the original version of the narrative, as published in the New York Times Magazine, were printed and distributed to schools, museums and libraries all across the United States. A very large number of schools declared that they would align their curricula in accordance with the narrative supplied by the Times.

I agree with the conclusion, but it’s awfully rich coming from the source.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): A friend on Facebook comments: “In a way this is a good day for serious historians. A bunch of charlatans have been forced to back down. There are lessons to be learned more widely about pushing back against dishonesty and bad faith in academia. In years to come this might be seen as one of those turning points. And actually Trump deserves credit here too: he’s made a stink about this.”

Yes, don’t give the left a pass on its lies just because it’s easier to go along. As a famous man said, get in their face and punch back twice as hard.

YOU’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BLOG: Here Are Biden’s Biggest Lies From His CNN Town Hall.

HIDING BIDEN FROM TOUGH QUESTIONS HURTS HIM MORE THAN IT HELPS HIM:

So why the tepid treatment of Biden by the media? It must go beyond simple bias or personal animosity for the current President. For three-and-a-half years now journalists have shamed their colleagues and themselves over what I will call the ‘but her emails’ dilemma. Those who reported dutifully on the ill-timed federal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private server and spillage of classified information have been cast out and shunted away from the journalist cool kids’ table. Focusing so much on what was, at the time, a considerable scandal, has been written off by many in the media as a blunder. They believe their friends and colleagues helped put Trump in the White House by focusing on a nothing-burger of a Clinton scandal when they should have been highlighting Trump’s foibles. It’s an error no journalist wants to repeat. Simply put: no journalist wants to be the one to quiz Biden on his record on criminal justice, his campaign staff bailing out rioters in Minneapolis, the handsiness allegations, his cozy family relationships with China, his involvement in the Flynn unmasking, or anything else that might trip up the one man standing between them and Trump’s second term.

The journalist who asks the question that makes Uncle Joe stroke out at the podium would be treated as a professional leper. No book deals. No CNN or MSNBC contributor contracts. No cocktail parties.

But here’s the deal, folks: none of this actually helps Joe Biden. It hurts him and his campaign. When the debates kick off at the end of the month, Biden will not have a teleprompter, or aides he can defer to or friendly journalists from the Atlantic or CNN he can point to for a fact check. The second he calls upon the moderator to become a referee in his favor, his campaign slips.

You don’t have to “think” of the media as Democratic Party operatives with bylines, when they’re acting explicitly like that every day.

JUST LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE: Wildfires Will Get Worse Under Decades-Old Liberal Policies, Veteran Forester Says.

UPDATE: According to Climate Feedback, the Daily Signal article “oversimplifies drivers of wildfires and downplays role of climate change.” Read Climate Feedback’s full fact-check here.

HOLLYWOOD’S TRANSRACE HYPOCRISY: The Academy Awards are making America look stupid in front of the entire world.

So, Hollywood is lecturing its domestic audience about the positive racial symbolism of POC, but manufacturing negative racial symbolism for its biggest export market, the CCP. Before we dismiss this as the worse kind of hypocrisy, consider its beneficial, albeit unintended side-effects.

Hollywood has created a powerful incentive for non-white actors to become ‘white’ for the foreign market, and another powerful incentive for white actors to ‘present’ themselves as POC for the domestic market. We know from the carnival of affirmative action what will happen next: a wave of transracial transgression.

Hollywood will make it acceptable to be transrace, because there is money in it. At the same time, certain kinds of race-switching will be unacceptable, because there is money in it. That’s showbiz, but what we call fiction in the movies is a lie in reality.

More here: Oscars’ woke quota will backfire on Hollywood spectacularly:

The easiest criterion to meet is apprenticeships for members of underrepresented groups, meaning anyone but straight white non-handicapped males. Welcome to low-paid internships, people of color! I’m sure Hollywood race relations will feel totally chill five years from now, when every java boy and latte girl serving America’s showbiz aristocracy is black. Soon the last surviving copy of “Gone with the Wind” will be locked in a vault accessible only to scholars of racism, but you’ll be able to see Tara re-enacted in Burbank and Culver City.

* * * * * * * *

Yet since we know that the real controversy revolves around black representation, what the Academy announced this week isn’t going to mollify its critics for long. People who fancy themselves America’s most daring creative leaders will soon be cringing at another hashtag, conceding sin and publicly flogging themselves in the course of announcing yet another round of woke reforms.

That’s a given, as illustrated by the latest 21st century Maoist struggle session involving — checks notes — She-Ra And The Princesses Of Power showrunner Noelle Stevenson:

[T]he person was discussing characters in a cartoon. They were brothers. They had rhyming names that related specifically to their occupation or characteristic. Oboe played a woodwind instrument. Whoa was a stoner dude. Bow was an archer. Sow was a farmer.

Are you okay? Just checking in, because I know some of you might be reeling back right now because that was not okay.

Sow? Was a farmer?

How could she not know?

How steeped in supremacy could she be to call a character “Sow,” without realizing how people would see this as a reference to slaves, who sowed the fields?

Can you even? Are you literally?

Here’s how the guilty party responded.

Click over for the river of tweets, which look like a textual version of this:

The Red Guard parades an official through a Peking street and force him to wear a dunce cap as a mark of public shame. He is the member of an anti-revolutionary group and, according to the writing on the cap, he has been accused of being a political pickpocket. This picture was made in the Peking on Jan. 25, 1967 and was obtained from Japanese sources in Tokyo. (AP caption.)

DON’T STEAL THIS BOOK: On In Defense of Looting.

Steal This Book could stand alone as a work of assiduous experimental journalism, filled as it was with “survival techniques” for life underground he’d gleaned in multiple innovative ways, including responses to ads placed in revolutionary newspapers. Hoffman even supposedly fact-checked the anonymous tips about places on the map to find free food, get treated for sexually-transmitted diseases, score drugs, etc.

Steal This Book was also an equal opportunity offender, as cutting toward phonies within the revolutionary ranks as it was toward the “Pig Empire”:

The duty of a revolutionary is to make love and that means staying alive and free. That doesn’t allow for cop-outs. Smoking dope and hanging up Che’s picture is no more a commitment than drinking milk or collecting postage stamps.

There are a lot of things one can say about Abbie Hoffman, but he was no LARPer. He wrote the introduction for Steal this Book in jail, doing time for contempt for his memorable lunacy at the Chicago Seven trial, when he among other things told the judge to “stick it up his bowling ball.” He once tried to halt the Vietnam war by using psychic energy to levitate the Pentagon 300 feet in the air, where it would turn “orange and vibrate until all evil emissions had fled.” Abbie Hoffman was interesting.

Then there’s Vicky Osterweil.

Like Hoffman, Osterweil is a self-proclaimed leftist revolutionary who justifies stealing on the grounds that property is a crime. The similarities pretty much end there.

Plus:

Adherents to this theology are characterized by a boundless, almost Trumpian capacity for self-pity, even as they’re advocating setting you on fire. They can make wrapping fishwiches sound like digging coal in Matewan, being deprived of a smartphone like being whipped by Centurions, and they matter because everyone, including especially Democratic Party politicians, is afraid of the fallout that comes with telling them to shut the fuck up. So their “ideas” spread like cancer.

If no one in the party says anything, Trump will argue, with some justice, this is the true face of his opposition. The first Sister Souljah moment was a drag, but this moment actually calls for one. Will there ever be a more perfect candidate than this book?

I doubt that what’s left of Joe Biden’s cerebral cortex agrees with Osterweil’s In Defense of Looting. But since Joe’s far-left handlers are running the show, it’s difficult to see him making an easy lay-up of a Sister Souljah moment. As Ben Shapiro noted last week, during Biden’s speech on generic violence, “Biden name-checked ‘white nationalists’ once, ‘white supremacists’ once, ‘right-wing militias’ twice and ‘armed militias’ once in his supposedly unifying anti-violence speech yesterday. He did not mention Antifa or BLM. This is gaslighting and cowardice.” No enemies to the left.

HEY, THAT OVERTON WINDOW DOESN’T MOVE ITSELF, YOU KNOW: NPR regrets elevating pro-looting anti-Semite.

Did anyone at NPR read the book, which includes a chapter titled “All Cops Are Bastards”? Did no one at NPR question the wisdom of elevating an activist whose Twitter handle even bears the acronym for “All Cops Are Bastards”? Did it not occur to anyone that, instead of elevating a provocative but worthwhile voice, they were actually amplifying an ignorant bigot with no basic understanding of history or community?

Apparently not, which is why NPR is in the embarrassing position this week of having to issue mea culpas for what was always an extremely avoidable fiasco.

“This piece was fact-checked, but we should have done more,” Code Switch editor Steve Drummond said of the interview, which has been updated to correct Osterweil’s many false assertions.

But even with the corrections, NPR’s McBride explained Thursday, “this failure to challenge this author’s statements is harmful on two levels. Publishing false information leaves the audience misinformed. On top of that, news consumers are watching closely to see who is challenged and who isn’t.”

Too much to quote in the above article, so read the whole thing. I have no problem with NPR interviewing Osterweil. If somebody writes a book with the provocative title of In Defense of Looting — A Riotous History of Uncivil Action, complete with a crowbar on the front cover, and gets it published by the subsidiary of a major publisher*, it’s news after all. Alex Haley famously interviewed American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell for Playboy in 1966 — but he asked the appropriately tough questions. In contrast, Natalie Escobar, who interviewed Osterweil for NPR, tweeted (and eventually deleted) the following, which was still cached by Google as of yesterday:

* Bold Type Books, Osterweil’s publisher, is a division of Hachette Book Group, the firm whose staff got the vapors over publishing Woody Allen’s recent autobiography.

HEH: Snopes Rates Biden’s Claim That 2+2=5 As ‘Mostly True.’ “The website’s 6,000-word defense/fact-check of Biden’s claim further pointed out that 80% of the answer was correct, and it’s only the one additional number that was a mixture of truth and falsehood.”

UPDATE: 2+2 Wars Explained.

Cathy Young — though lacking Cathy “mathbabe” O’Neil’s math credentials — takes a decent stab at explaining the 2+2 twitter flamewar, still going strong. Allow PTT condense it to the bare minimum for you: It’s all about the power. Dovlatov had noted that while the Soviet regime had no reservations about bringing down its iron fist on dissidents, what provoked particular butthurt was attempting to go on as though it weren’t there: “The Soviet government is a touchy lady. It is bad for the one who offends her. But it is much worse for the one who ignores her”.

2+2=5 is about power in the classic, banal, Orwellian sense. Those who followed the wave of retractions (and even pre-tractions!) could see where this was going, but somehow hope had lingered that integer arithmetic would remain safe. Not content with taking over the math organizations, the jackbooted goons had to go after math itself. In this regard, the present-day woke mob is more totalitarian and less pragmatic than their Soviet predecessors, who were content to leave mathematics (if not individual mathematicians) alone.

Much of the 2+2=5 power grab is being driven by a “Harvard-trained data analyst“, whose contribution to mathematical knowledge is exactly zero. To say that he plays the race card would be an understatement on the level of “that pimp can be an abusive boyfriend”. To see him humored and feted by prominent mathematicians is more than disheartening. And he’s not even the worst actor, by far.

Indeed.

SEEN ON FACEBOOK: “The NFL is letting players put Jacob Blake’s name on their helmets, a guy who raped a 15 year old girl. This is the same NFL that refused the Cowboy’s request to honor 5 slain Dallas cops with a patch on their uniforms.”

The NFL has chosen sides. Act accordingly.

UPDATE: Eugene Volokh emails: “Glenn: My understanding is that Jacob Blake was accused of sexually assaulting his adult girlfriend, not a 15-year-old. See https://archive.is/YcYRU and https://nypost.com/2020/08/28/this-is-why-jacob-blake-had-a-warrant-out-for-his-arrest/ . Am I missing something here?”

Research indicates that Eugene is right: Fact check: Jacob Blake does not have an arrest warrant for having sex with a minor. “While Blake, a Black man who was partially paralyzed after being shot by the police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, does have an arrest warrant for third-degree sexual assault, the claim that these charges involved sex with a minor is false.”

Happy to correct the error.

THE BIZARRO WORLD VERSION OF WAG THE DOG: Latest Chicago and Minneapolis riots broke out over police killings that never happened.

Motss: What do you think about lining the President up for the Peace Prize?
Brean: Our job’s over come election day.
Motss: Yeah, but c’mon…
Brean: What, just for the symmetry of the thing? [Motss nods] Well, if Kissinger can win the Peace Prize, I wouldn’t be surprised if I woke up and found I’d won the Preakness.
Motss: Yeah, but our guy did bring peace.
Brean: There was never a war.
Motss: All the greater accomplishment.

Of course, this is far from the first time a violent and destructive riot was built on a lie, as even the Washington Post (sometimes) knows: “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” Did Not Happen In Ferguson.

ALL THE FACTS THAT SERVE THE PARTY: ‘Factcheckers’ Keep Lying about Biden’s Abortion Position.

FIVE CHARTS DEMS ARE DESPERATE TO KEEP FROM YOU: Somebody ought to share these with the media’s “fact-checkers,” too.

AMERICA’S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD: Did Democrats Sacrifice Several Goats To Satan At The DNC? Fact Check: FALSE. They Actually Sacrificed Just One Goat.

(Classical allusion in the Bee’s headline.)

LAYERS AND LAYERS OF FACT-CHECKERS AND EDITORS:

The NASCAR reference was removed from the lede, but it’s still in the URL: https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/23/us/indy-500-nascar-spt-trnd/index.html

And as of the time of this post, it’s still in the “lite” smartphone-oriented version of the article:

Click to enlarge.

IF I WERE THE GOP, I’D JUST RUN CLIPS OF THE DNC DURING THE RNC: ‘Fact check: True’: Trump’s approval rating surges during Biden’s convention.

THEY’LL TURN ON A DIME TO PUSH THE CONTRIVED-HYSTERIA-OF-THE-DAY: Democrats Who Once Pilloried Postal Service Now Find Much to Praise: Obama and Biden among Dems advancing conspiracy theories about Trump’s USPS handling.

I’m sorry, but I died after Net Neutrality was repealed — remember when Democrats were threatening Ajit Pai’s wife and kids over that? — so it’s hard to care.

Related: Politifact: No, Wisconsin mailbox picture isn’t proof of “massive voter suppression.”

MICHELLE OBAMA GOES LOW ON THE FIRST NIGHT OF THE VIRTUAL DNC:

Michelle Obama, famous for her line about going high when your opponents go low, went way low and closed out with the best speech of the night. The former First Lady indicted her husband’s successor for lacking fitness of character, while tapping into the racial debate that has characterized this summer: ‘And here at home, as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and a never-ending list of innocent people of color continue to be murdered, stating the simple fact that a Black life matters is still met with derision from the nation’s highest office.’

She didn’t, for some reason, mention Tamir Rice, Michael Brown or Eric Garner, all of whom died during her husband’s administration. And when Michelle mentioned how ‘children are torn from their families and thrown into cages’, she failed to note  that those cages were built and used during her husband’s terms.

Flashback to the tweet of the (previous) decade:

 

FACT CHECK: No, Trump Never ‘Promoted’ the Birther Conspiracy Theory About Kamala Harris.

GASLIGHTING, BUZZFEED-STYLE: Facebook’s Preferential Treatment Of US Conservatives Puts Its Fact-Checking Program In Danger.

This is CNN-quality reality-bending.

WOW, I’M GLAD WE CLEARED THAT UP: Fact check: Tom Hanks is now a Greek citizen, but pedophilia has nothing to do with it.

THINK OF THE “FACT CHECKERS” AS DEMOCRATIC SHILLS AND CENSORS AND YOU WON’T GO FAR WRONG:

TWEETED IN HASTE, REPENTED IN LEISURE: ‘Yikes!’ Was the Hillary Clinton/Tim Kaine 2016 ticket this forgettable? (NYT Opinion deleted the tweet, but here it is):

That’s a quote from the first published version of Maureen Dowd’s latest article: Wow! What a blunder in Maureen Dowd’s new column!

And Hillary (and/or the person who ghost-writes her tweets) is not happy. Maureen Dowd may be sleeping very lightly for some time to come:

Layers and layers of fact-checkers and editors. Or as “Comfortably Smug” tweets, “The NY Times was better when Tom Cotton owned it. New management has run it into the ground.”

REALCLEARINVESTIGATIONS: Media “Fact Checkers” Lean Left. Do tell.

YES: We Need To Talk About Ventilation: How is it that six months into a respiratory pandemic, we are still doing so little to mitigate airborne transmission?

I recently took a drive-through COVID-19 test at the University of North Carolina. Everything was well organized and efficient: I was swabbed for 15 uncomfortable seconds and sent home with two pages of instructions on what to do if I were to test positive, and what precautions people living with or tending to COVID-19 patients should take. The instructions included many detailed sections devoted to preventing transmission via surfaces, and also went into great detail about laundry, disinfectants, and the exact proportions of bleach solutions I should use to wipe surfaces, and how.

My otherwise detailed instructions, however, included only a single sentence on “good ventilation”—a sentence with the potential to do some people more harm than good. I was advised to have “good air flow, such as from an air conditioner or an opened window, weather permitting.” But in certain cases, air-conditioning isn’t helpful. Jose-Luiz Jimenez, an air-quality professor at the University of Colorado, told me that some air conditioners can increase the chances of spreading infection in a household. Besides, “weather permitting” made it all seem insignificant, like an afterthought.

While waiting for my results, I checked the latest batch of announcements from companies trying to assure their customers that they were doing everything right. A major U.S. airline informed me how it was diligently sanitizing surfaces inside its planes and in terminals many times a day, without mentioning anything about the effectiveness of air circulation and filtering inside airplane cabins (pretty good, actually). A local business that operates in a somewhat cramped indoor space sent me an email about how it was “keeping clean and staying healthy,” illustrated by 10 bottles of hand sanitizer without a word on ventilation—whether it was opening windows, employing upgraded filters in its HVAC systems, or using portable HEPA filters. It seems baffling that despite mounting evidence of its importance, we are stuck practicing hygiene theater—constantly deep cleaning everything—while not noticing the air we breathe.

How is it that six months into a respiratory pandemic, we still have so little guidance about this all-important variable, the very air we breathe? . . .

Strikingly, in one database of more than 1,200 super-spreader events, just one incident is classified as outdoor transmission, where a single person was infected outdoors by their jogging partner, and only 39 are classified as outdoor/indoor events, which doesn’t mean that being outdoors played a role, but it couldn’t be ruled out. The rest were all indoor events, and many involved dozens or hundreds of people at once. Other research points to the same result: Super-spreader events occur overwhelmingly in indoor environments where there are a lot of people. . . .

There are two key mitigation strategies for countering poor ventilation and virus-laden aerosols indoors: We can dilute viral particles’ presence by exchanging air in the room with air from outside (and thus lowering the dose, which matters for the possibility and the severity of infection) or we can remove viral particles from the air with filters.

Consider schools, perhaps the most fraught topic for millions. Classrooms are places of a lot of talking; children are not going to be perfect at social distancing; and the more people in a room, the more opportunities for aerosols to accumulate if the ventilation is poor. Most of these ventilation issues are addressable, sometimes by free or inexpensive methods, and sometimes by costly investments in infrastructure that should be a national priority.

Last week, I walked around the public elementary school in my neighborhood while thinking about what we could do if we took aerosol transmission more seriously. It’s a single-story building, all the classrooms have windows, some have doors that open directly to the outside, and many have a cement patio right outside. Teaching could move outdoors, at least some of the time, the way it did during the 1918 pandemic. Moreover, even when indoors or during rainy days, opening the doors and windows would greatly improve air circulation inside, especially if classrooms had fans at the windows that pushed air out. . . .

When windows cannot be opened, classrooms could run portable HEPA filters, which are capable of trapping viruses this small, and which sell for as little as a few hundred dollars. Marr advises schools to measure airflow rates in each classroom, upgrade filters in the HVAC system to MERV 13 or higher (these are air filter grades), and aspire to meet or exceed ASHRAE (the professional society that provides HVAC guidance and standards) standards. Jimenez told me that many building-wide air-conditioning systems have a setting for how much air they take in from outside, and that it is usually minimized to be energy-efficient. During a pandemic, saving lives is more important than saving energy, so schools could, when the setting exists, crank it up to dilute the air (Jimenez persuaded his university to do that).

We had an interesting discussion of this at a faculty meeting recently; to my surprise I was not the only one who had heard of Outside Air Factor, which was a big deal in public health before I was born.

DANIEL JOHN SOBIESKI: Feckless Fauci Lies About Masks And Nearly Everything Else. “There are so many things wrong with the picture of Dr. Fauci taking in a Washington Nationals baseball game that one does not know where to start – and no it is not the fact that at that moment he is not wearing a mask. The first thing is that he is there at all, unlike the rest of America that he forbids from watching a baseball game. They’d like to take in a game too but only Fauci, secure in the knowledge that he has a regular job and a regular paycheck gets to enjoy America’s new favorite national pastime, players kneeling during the National Anthem. Dr. Fauci took a break from his world tour long enough to take in a game and throw out the first pitch, which was predictably wild and to the left, the latest in a long series of curveballs he has thrown at us.”

AN UNTRUE CLAIM IN THE NEW YORKER SPEAKS VOLUMES:

Reading the latest copy of the New Yorker magazine, published exactly a week ago, I came across this sentence in a piece by Jill Lepore:

One study suggests that two-thirds of Americans between the ages of fifteen and thirty-four who were treated in emergency rooms suffered from injuries inflicted by police and security guards, about as many people as the number of pedestrians injured by motor vehicles.

—Jill Lepore, New Yorker

This in a 5,000 word feature on the history of policing in the United States, which draws a link between the early role of police in suppressing slave rebellions, and police killings of Black Americans in the twenty first century.

* * * * * * * *

Why does this one sentence matter? Well, firstly, it misinforms readers, several of whom (based on my Twitter search for the article’s URL) also alighted on this claim, but unlike me took it on trust. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it tells us something about the political climate in a publication like the New Yorker, which was once famous for its rigorous fact checking.

Read the whole thing.

JONAH GOLDBERG: Everyone’s (Kinda) a Rebel.

I had Matt Continetti on the podcast earlier this week to do some rank punditry and to wallow in some conservative intellectual history nerdery.

[I interrupt this paragraph to report that my spell checker says “nerdery” is in fact a word.]

He distilled a point I’ve written about a million times with a concision that has eluded me. The American right is the only dissident right in the world. Normally, the right is the defender of orthodoxy, established institutions, and longstanding tradition. Much of the right does that in America, but to do so is a rebellious act here. I’ve got my criticisms of the nationalists and post-liberals, but you’ve got to admit they are imbued with the venerable American spirit of rebellion and dissent, too. But you know what? So are the more traditional social conservatives. And, come to think of it, so are the paleocons and the neocons, the fusionists, and the libertarians. Even the Trumpists—perhaps especially the Trumpists—see themselves as besieged rebels and martyrs in a war against the Powers that Be, the Deep State, the Establishment, and Mainstream Media. The Alt-Righters and QAnonsters—whom I loathe to even mention—lurk in the digital catacombs plotting their next campaign like Dungeons and Dragons enthusiasts, ready to raid pizza parlors and Wayfair like some Orc lair. They all see themselves as insurgents of one kind or another, both within the conservative movement and in the larger culture.

But wait. Pull out the camera lens even further, and it turns out that nearly everyone on the left thinks they’re rebels, too. Certainly the anarchists, Marxists, and socialists do. Black identitarians, LGBTQ activists, and feminists all think they are members of a righteous resistance. But, if you listen closely, so do the more moderate liberals and progressives. Pretty much everyone on the left sees themselves as members of the happy few in a culture war Agincourt.

You don’t need to follow anybody! You’ve got to think for yourselves. You’re all individuals!

#JOURNALISM: An Untrue Claim in The New Yorker Speaks Volumes.

How could it possibly be true that ‘two-thirds’ of all Americans aged 15-34 visiting emergency rooms had been injured by police or security guards, given the very many other reasons why people might present for emergency treatment? In the online version, there is no hyperlink to the research (although the article does contain hyperlinks), and the study’s authors are not named.

Jill Lepore could hardly be more eminent. She is a professor of American history at Harvard, the recipient of a long list of awards, and a longstanding staff writer at the New Yorker, as well as a contributor at many other well regarded publications. I love her writing, so much so that I bought several extra copies of her latest book These Truths to give as presents to friends and family. Given this, I thought at first that I might have misunderstood the sentence, and tweeted as much.

I sought out the study she was referring to, and found it: a 2016 paper, whose lead author, Justin Feldman, was a doctoral student at Harvard at the time. Soon after publication, the findings were described in a Harvard press release, and also reported on by The Guardian.

And it turns out I was right — the ‘two-thirds’ claim is not true. Not even close. . . .

I did my best to work out a rough estimate of the true proportion of 15-34 year olds visiting the ER who had suffered legal intervention injuries, and arrived at a figure of 0.2% (you can follow my working in this thread). So I believe Lepore’s claim to be off by a factor of several hundred.

Why does this one sentence matter? Well, firstly, it misinforms readers, several of whom (based on my Twitter search for the article’s URL) also alighted on this claim, but unlike me took it on trust. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it tells us something about the political climate in a publication like the New Yorker, which was once famous for its rigorous fact checking.

Think of the press as a psychological warfare operation against normal Americans and you won’t go far wrong.

INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW:

Well, what do you call it?

CHRIS WALLACE IS WHY THERE CAN’T BE ‘FACT-CHECKERS’ AT THE 2020 TRUMP-BIDEN DEBATES: “Wallace again asserted that Biden ‘says nothing about defunding the police.’ How he said that with a straight face should be studied in professional acting courses for years to come. Of course Biden said he agreed with defunding the police. Anyone who has had the stamina to find his buried interviews of late has seen it for themselves. In a very recent interview, Biden was asked, ‘Do we agree that we can redirect some of the funding [to police departments],’ and an enthusiastic Biden said, ‘Yes, absolutely!’”

USA TODAY FACT-CHECK TWEET CLAIMS TRUMP CAMP SHIRTS ‘FEATURE’ ‘NAZI SYMBOL:’

But over an hour and a half after their initial tweet, the paper had to issue this statement: “Clarification: The claim that Trump 2020 has put out a T-shirt with a symbol similar to a Nazi eagle and is being criticized for it is true. Worth noting, the eagle is a longtime US symbol, too.”

In response to the paper’s outlandish tweet, they were rightly ridiculed with other images of eagles hold round objects such as the Marine Corps’ eagle, globe, and anchor, an Obama campaign logo, the official of Nancy Pelosi’s office (eagle and a globe), and stamps from the U.S. Postal Service.

Upon clicking on their “fact-check” article, it became clear that what they fact-checked wasn’t whether or not the campaign was selling a shirt with a Nazi symbol, but rather, they ridiculously fact-checked how the campaign was accused of such a thing.

“The paper wanted so desperately to have a ‘true’ associated with a Trump/Nazi controversy that they ‘fact-checked’ the existence of the controversy, not whether or not the image was Nazi related. Pathetic.”  The “Worth noting” self-own is a nice touch, however.

EVEN SNOPES CAN’T FIGURE OUT HOW TO WRITE THIS OFF: Did Joe Biden Say He Didn’t Want His Kids Growing Up in a ‘Racial Jungle’?

In early March 2020, readers asked Snopes to verify a quote in 1977 in which Biden, then a U.S. senator representing Delaware, allegedly expressed fear that desegregation, if not done in an “orderly” way, could result in his children growing up in “a racial jungle with tensions having built so high that it is going to explode at some point.”

The quote was initially uncovered by Daria Roithmayr, a law professor at the University of Southern California (USC), in July 2019. But as Biden emerged from Super Tuesday on March 3, 2020, as a potential front-runner for the nomination, news stories containing the quote circulated anew.

Among stories readers widely shared was a July 15, 2019, Business Insider story that reported, “Former Vice President Joe Biden is facing increased scrutiny over his record on busing and racial issues, and this week old comments resurfaced in which he said, in 1977, that busing for the purpose of desegregation would cause his children to ‘grow up in a racial jungle.

The quote is accurate as reported.

Plus:

Biden made the remark in 1977 during a hearing about busing school children in order to desegregate public schools. As The New York Times reported in a detailed delineation of Biden’s history with busing, Biden at the time had emerged as the Democratic party’s crusader against busing, taking the same side as segregationists. Biden “joined up with Jesse Helms, the segregationist senator from North Carolina, to offer his own anti-busing amendment to that year’s education spending bill.” Biden’s “advocacy made it safe for other Democrats to oppose busing,” The Times reported.

The Times further reported that Biden sided with Helms in 1975 when the latter proposed to strip the federal government’s power to withhold funding from school districts that refused to comply with racial-equality measures.

More at the link.

TWITTER + CNN = COMEDY GOLD: Clown World: Twitter Fact-Checks Hilarious Trump Tweet Meme on Behalf of CNN.

Sorry if you had been told there would be no math.

WHEN YOU CHOOSE THE CULTURE TO APPROPRIATE, AND YOU CHOOSE POORLY:

“The Asante supplied British and Dutch traders with slaves in exchange for firearms, which they used to expand their empire. Slaves were often acquired as tributes from smaller states or captured during war. Some slaves were brought across the Atlantic whiles others stayed in Africa to work in gold fields.”

ONLY ONE? WELL, PERHAPS IT’S THE DAY THE GRAY LADY MADE IT OFFICIAL: The Day the New York Times Redefined ‘Liberal’ as ‘Closed-minded Outrage Mob.’

The paper’s editorial page editor James Bennet and its publisher Arthur Sulzberger initially defended its publication on the grounds that it was the paper’s duty to present views that were at odds with its own opinions.

But within 48 hours, the improbable argument that Cotton’s ideas were a threat to the safety of the paper’s African-American staff, or constituted advocacy for fascism, not to mention a flood of canceled online subscriptions, carried the day.

Sulzberger walked back his defense, and, Bennet claimed he hadn’t read it, blaming the decision on a lower level editor named Adam Rubinstein. Ultimately, the Times claimed the article hadn’t been adequately fact-checked — something Cotton’s staff asserted was untrue — and didn’t meet its standards. Two days after that, Bennet was forced to resign.

But the result was also proof that Bennet’s efforts to open up the paper’s opinion section to more conservative views have failed.

According to Wikipedia, Bennet’s career in journalism began with a stint at the New Republic. But is it possible that Bennet is a deep undercover conservative sleeper agent? In 2007, Bennet, then editor of the Atlantic, hired Andrew Sullivan, who the following year, driven by Palin Derangement Syndrome, would become the world’s foremost uterus detective, something the magazine has never quite lived down. And now Bennet has turned the New York Times over to the “safetyism”-driven crybully mob.

Or, as Robert Conquest’s Third Law of Politics states, “The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.”

SOURCES: NEW YORK TIMES NOT TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT TOM COTTON OP-ED.

As the Times tells its reporters, a story needs at least two corroborations to make sure it ‘stands up’. Here’s the second: Tom Cotton’s staff have told Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, that this op-ed, like Cotton’s previous op-eds for the Times, received a ‘rigorous’ and ‘onerous’ fact-checking. Three drafts went back and forth.

So who’s telling the truth? The management, for whom this is only the latest in a series of unprofessional foul-ups — or The Spectator’s source and Tom Cotton’s staff?

The member of Cotton’s staff who worked with Rubenstein on the edits told The Spectator this morning that while he emailed only with Rubenstein, there were sticking points in the process when it was necessary for Rubenstein to consult with unnamed Times colleagues. These points were all resolved. The inference, Cotton’s staffer tells The Spectator, is that Rubenstein was not, as the Times now claims, working alone or unsupervised:

‘What they have attempted to do to a young editor who is doing his job, and also doing it well, is a disgrace.’

All is happening in accordance with the prophecy:

WHICH IS SAYING SOMETHING: Eli Lake: The FBI’s Investigation Into Trump and Russia Now Looks Even Worse.

The FBI’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential campaign has taken a beating in the last six months. Late last year, the Justice Department’s inspector general found the bureau’s application to eavesdrop on a former aide to then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign was riddled with factual errors and omissions. The surveillance court that approved that warrant has barred the agents who submitted it from appearing before it. And last month the Justice Department dropped its case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

On Wednesday, things got worse. In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said that all of the irregularities and short cuts exposed in recent Justice Department reviews were kept from him when he signed the warrant applications into that campaign aide, Carter Page. Had he known about them at the time, he said, he would have never signed them.

Rosenstein even reluctantly acknowledged that his own August 2017 memo specifying the parameters of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation was deeply flawed.

By August 2017, it was clear that there was no support for “the whole concept that the campaign was colluding with the Russians,” said Senator Lindsey Graham at the hearing. “There was no there there.”

“I agree with that general statement,” Rosenstein responded.

In normal times this would be a bombshell. Rosenstein’s memo listed the alleged crimes that Mueller’s team was investigating. Rosenstein said that Mueller’s office helped him draft it. This reflects poorly on Rosenstein. As the most senior Justice Department official overseeing the Mueller investigation, his job was to check its work. He didn’t.

This also reflects poorly on the FBI. The bureau knew, for example, that the opposition research dossier on which it relied to seek the Page warrant was not reliable. By January 2017, the dossier’s primary source had told FBI agents that its most explosive claims were rumor. The former British spy who helped prepare it was fired as an FBI source after the bureau learned he had been speaking to reporters. The Justice Department’s inspector general concluded that none of the unique information in the dossier was corroborated.

It doesn’t stop there. Rosenstein also acknowledged that the FBI never shared its draft memo from January 2017 to close the counter-intelligence investigation into Flynn. That investigation was kept open after former FBI Director James Comey discovered Flynn’s calls with Russia’s ambassador at the end of 2016. While such communications would be unusual for most private citizens, the calls were routine for an incoming national security adviser.

Rosenstein also said exculpatory information collected from FBI informant approaches to the investigation’s targets were not shared with him. One such example involved Trump campaign staffer George Papadopoulos, who told an informant that a campaign reaching out to Russia to obtain stolen emails would be treason.

It’s as if the whole thing was a political hit job designed to overturn an American election. Which is because it was a political hit job designed to overturn an American election.

GUY BENSON: The ‘Fact-Checking’ Mess Twitter Has Created For Itself.

Every controversial tweet that doesn’t get flagged for review will result in eruptions of protest from partisans. If false, misleading, or problematic content from left-leaning sources are left alone, Twitter will be viewed as actively partisan by roughly half the country — perhaps inviting regulatory “oversight” from aggrieved Republicans. But if they don’t ‘fact check’ every single tweet from Trump or other prominent Republican sources, lefties will allege that Twitter is “complicit” by effectively endorsing certain tweets as either accurate or unworthy of being challenged. They’ve established a standard that will be next to impossible to fairly police and enforce. As Allahpundit writes in his excellent post on this subject, why did Twitter decide to ‘fact check’ Trump’s tweets about vote-by-mail, as opposed to his conspiratorial sludge about the death of a young woman years ago? Such questions are only the beginning of Twitter’s self-created headaches. Also, by appointing themselves arbiters of accuracy, they’ve set themselves up for charges of bias and pointed questions about credibility.

Twitter has faced charges of bias for years, and for good reason. With this new move, what they’ve done is opened entirely new outlets for their biases while increasing their own workload and maybe opening themselves up to further regulatory scrutiny.

Smart!

DOES ANYBODY STILL BELIEVE IT IS? It’s Time To Stop Pretending Twitter Is a Neutral Platform.

Related: “There are literally hundreds of millions of tweets far ‘worse’ than Donald Trump’s that go up every day and they won’t be able to police them all. And that opens them up to a full range of possible legal problems. Twitter could have stayed on the sideline and avoided this trap. If they really think that the President’s tweets are so misleading or terrible, they could have let the community make that decision and essentially leave Trump free to hoist himself on his own petard. But now that they’ve put on their editor’s hat, a new game is afoot. And I doubt they’re going to enjoy it.”

More: Twitter Exec In Charge of Fact-Checking Once Called Trump and His Team ‘Actual Nazis.’

REPUBLICANS POUNCE! Twitter faces conservative backlash for fact-checking Trump’s tweets for the first time. “Twitter slapped a label on the president’s tweets about mail-in ballots.”

Reminder: Twitter’s Trump ‘Fact Check’ Does Not Disclose Company Partnered with Groups Pushing Mail-In Ballots.

OBAMAGATE IS NOT A CONSPIRACY THEORY: “There’s no reason to ignore the mounting evidence that Obama administration officials were corrupt in their handling of the Trump–Russia investigation.

Unless you’re a Democratic Party operative with a byline, in which case burying this news is your first impulse: ‘Sad and pathetic:’ Kellyanne Conway and others LEVEL WaPo fact checker’s attempt to downplay list of Obama officials who requested Flynn unmasking.

JULIE KELLY SAYS THE SOCIAL DISTANCING EXPERIMENT HAS FAILED:

“We expected that we would start seeing more significant declines in new cases and deaths around the nation at this point, and we’re just not seeing that.”

In fact, Gottlieb pointed to rising daily COVID-19 cases in 20 states, including heavily locked-down states such as Virginia and Maryland.

But this seems to defy the “science” that governors and lawmakers repeatedly pledge to follow in order to keep people safe from the virus.

After all, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued his first social distancing order on March 17 to “stop the spread of the virus in the Commonwealth,” as he promised. A few weeks later, Northam, a physician, joined Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to announce a collective shelter-in-place decree after residents failed to obey their original commands.

“What we’re seeing now is the result of how people interacted two or three weeks ago,” Northam scolded on March 30. “What we will see a few weeks from now will be determined by how people behave today and in the following days.”

But five weeks later, the area is reporting a record number of COVID-19 cases. Yes, of course, testing is ramping up, too—but considering the harsh stay-at-home orders, how and why are people still getting infected?

It turns out, as I wrote last month, “social distancing” is untested pseudoscience particularly as it relates to halting the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. On its website, the CDC provides no links to any peer-reviewed social distancing studies that bolster its official guidance.

Well, to be fair, you only need double-blind studies when you’re assessing drugs that President Trump mentions favorably.

But seriously, the lockdowns were sold as, and were originally meant to be, stopgaps to ensure that the number of cases didn’t outrun healthcare capacity. That’s not an issue — not even in NYC, where they’re closing field hospitals for lack of patients — and that means it’s time to reopen.

Related: Sean Trende: Policy and Punditry Need to Adapt to New Virus Data.

When we began our foray into quarantine seven weeks ago, there was a unifying and eminently sensible rationale behind it: “Bend the curve.” The idea was this: If allowed to go unchecked, COVID-19 would overwhelm hospitals, leaving patients without beds. Short on ventilators, patients would be left to suffocate. In short, by slowing the spread of the virus we would prolong the amount of time it spread through the country, but would reduce the total number of deaths. Moreover, we would buy time for the nation’s testing apparatus to ramp up, to produce more ventilators, and to expand hospital capacity. . . .

If this really was the goal, then “job well done,” as they say, or at least largely so. . . . There are many interesting stories within these data, but the main takeaway should be relatively clear: No states are on anything resembling an exponential growth trajectory, almost all states are past a peak, and most states are substantially so. This would suggest that in many states, the question really should be how to reopen while keeping hospitals from being overwhelmed again.

This is especially true given that the situation on the ground has changed dramatically since early March. Most states have substantially expanded hospital capacity, both by securing emergency locations to be used in case of overflow and by suspending elective surgeries, to the point where many hospitals are facing financial crises. Moreover, the arrival of the first COVID-19 therapeutic, Remdesivir, will help, since hospital stays are shortened when the drug is used. Personal protective equipment and ventilator availability has expanded, we’ve developed techniques for sanitizing PPEs, and ventilators may not be as useful as once thought. As of this writing, we’re testing over 200,000 people a day, which eclipses the rate South Korea achieved when containing its viral outbreak.

Perhaps most promisingly, the death rate looks lower than initially expected. It isn’t clear how much lower – studies disagree – but most of the serological studies find an implied fatality rate lower than the 1% used to arrive at the conclusion that 2 million people would die if the virus were allowed to run its course. Likewise – this is much less commented upon although it might be more important – the hospitalization rate looks substantially lower than initially anticipated.

Read the whole thing. We hear a lot about science. Science means changing your understanding based on the data.

And speaking of success at bending the curve here’s a chart prepared by Chapman U. lawprof Tom W. Bell showing how little pressure there is on California ICU beds:

OLD AND BUSTED: Believe All Women.

The New Hotness? Pelosi On Difference Between Kavanaugh and Biden Allegations: ‘Joe Biden Is Joe Biden:’

“Well, let me just say I respect your question and I don’t need a lecture or a speech,” Pelosi said.

“Here’s the thing. I have complete respect for whole #Metoo movement, I have four daughters and one son. And there’s a lot of excitement around the idea that women will be heard and be listened to.

“There is also due process and the fact that Joe Biden is Joe Biden,” Pelosi said.

“Gotta love Pelosi chalking up these accusations as ‘Joe Biden is Joe Biden.’ you know, ‘DC’s favorite loveable groper everyone knows!’”, Stephen Miller tweets.

Related:

Biden Refuses to Release Senate Records that Could Shed Light on Sex Assault Claims, But His Operatives Were Sent to Look Through Them.
Why Won’t TV News Book Tara Reade?.
Joe Biden (Still) Hasn’t Faced A Single Question on Sexual Assault Allegations.

That could change tomorrow: “Biden will be on Morning Joe tomorrow, expected to be asked about Tara Reade, I’m told,” Ben Smith of the New York Times tweets. Since Morning Joe read a “correction” on-air emailed to the show by the Obama administration in 2009, I’m assuming Biden is getting the questions he’ll be asked and his talking points well lined up in advance. And can then proceed to the Obama-esque “this is old news” phase of spinning. (QED: The Anatomy of an Obama Scandal, in Six Easy Steps.)

Earlier: Joe Biden Exposes #MeToo Movement as Total BS.

THINK OF THE WAPO AS PART OF THE DEMOCRATS’ MESSAGING APPARAT AND YOU WON’T GO FAR WRONG: EPA Administrator Claims WaPo Lied About Disinfectant Claim Even After Checking With EPA.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler:

We put that warning (about not ingesting products) on all of our list of disinfectants. Anything we approve, we always have that disclaimer, no matter what the product is.

And we’ve had that disclaimer on our disinfectants list before the coronavirus, but certainly we’ve highlighted it since March 6th.

We release the new list of disinfectants, the new approvals, every Thursday. And we released the list last Thursday, a couple of hours before the President’s press conference. That disclaimer is always on our press release.

And we actually had [sic] Washington Post reporter called and said, “You put this on here because of the President’s press conference, didn’t you?” I said, “No. Actually, our press release went out a couple of hours before the press conference.“

And then they ran a story over the weekend saying that EPA had to backtrack on the President’s statement, which is not the case at all.

But that just shows you how the media has their own, has an incredible bias. They just run with the story and they make facts up. We specifically told them no.

This wasn’t sloppy reporting. This was deliberate disinformation.

BUT THE NARRATIVE! No, Trump Didn’t Send American PPE To China. “Did Trump send masks and other PPE to China just when we needed it the most? No, Kessler says in his fact check at the Washington Post. All Trump did was supply the transport for private donations of PPE on the front part of the effort to evacuate Americans from China.”

Much more from Ed Morrissey at the link.

DISPATCHES FROM AMERICA’S FAVORITE GOVERNOR: Whitmer backtracks after COVID-19 contract awarded to Dem consultant who said Trump should ‘get coronavirus ASAP.’

Earlier: Protests show ‘two Americas’ — those who lost their jobs and those still getting paid.“People don’t appreciate being condescended to and bossed around, especially when the leaders ask them for sacrifices without empathy and humility.”

UPDATE: ‘Go F*** Yourself, Gretch’: Michigan Governor Grilled Over WWII Comments.

Whitmer sought to deflect heat off of her during a press conference on Monday, comparing the coronavirus outbreak to fighting in World War II.

“In World War II, there weren’t people lining up at the Capitol to protest the fact that they had to drop everything they were doing, and build planes, or tanks, or to ration food,” Whitmer said. “They rolled up their sleeves, and they got to work.”

* * * * * * * *

Political commentator John Hawkins wrote: “They were fighting against people then that wanted to destroy their livelihoods, take their freedom and keep them imprisoned. Now, the person that wants to do that is their own governor.”

Americans also planted “Victory Gardens” in WWII. In contrast: Michigan Bans Many Stores From Selling Seeds, Home Gardening Supplies, Calls Them “Not Necessary.”

But to paraphrase Tim Blair last year, when AOC and Bernie Sanders were playing the “moral equivalent of war” card to sell her “Green New Deal,” Fair enough — nuking Beijing it is, then.

SO FRIENDS IN NYC TELL ME that the lockdown is beginning to fail. People in their neighborhood — even old people — who were wearing masks a few days ago now aren’t. Long lines at soup kitchens and food pantries and check-cashing places. A generally more sad and more aggressive attitude. This is bad because NYC needs it more than anywhere else, but a month or so is really about as long as most people will comply, or even self-isolate on their own. (This is a reason for the classic two-hump pattern in epidemics). I don’t know what should be done about this, if there’s anything to do. NYC is really serious, even if you think the pandemic is overplayed elsewhere in the US. But people are people, and your public health strategy has to account for their limits.

Related: Nothing About New York’s Outbreak Was Inevitable: Politicians and pundits are acting like the city was destined for a tragedy. They’re wrong.

New York City is sick, and journalists, pundits, and politicians have made a diagnosis: The city’s exceptional density is the problem. That is certainly the self-serving conclusion of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It’s a convenient bit of fatalism for a man presiding over a catastrophe. . . .

Like any misdiagnosis, this one will make it harder to find the cure.

A cursory look at a map shows that New York City’s coronavirus cases aren’t correlated with neighborhood density at all. Staten Island, the city’s least crowded borough, has the highest positive test rate of the five boroughs. Manhattan, the city’s densest borough, has its lowest.

Nor are deaths correlated with public transit use. The epidemic began in the city’s northern suburbs. The city’s per capita fatalities are identical to those in neighboring Nassau County, home of Levittown, a typical suburban county with a household income twice that of New York City.

True, New York City apartments are crowded. The share of housing units with more than one occupant per room is almost 10 percent. But that number is 13 percent in the city of Los Angeles. As a metro area, New York isn’t even in the top 15 U.S. cities for overcrowding. It’s not even the American city with the most apartments per capita (Miami) or immigrants (also Miami), to take two other characteristics that critics say might be associated with coronavirus infections.

New York City has a lot of restaurants per capita, places where people gather with strangers every night. But not as many as San Francisco, which, though it ranks second in the U.S. for both residential density and transit use, had just 20 COVID-19 deaths as of Friday.

If you expand your comparison internationally, New York City looks less exceptional still. It is not as dense or transit-dependent as, say, Paris (which has less than half of New York’s fatality rate) or Seoul, South Korea, where the pandemic has been all but controlled.

So what is it about New York City that made it a hot spot? Right now, it looks like the most exceptional thing about New York is its leaders’ belief that the city is unique. This presumption served first as a reassurance that New York would not follow Lombardy’s example, and later as the reason why it had. . . . Tragically, what seems to have put New York on such a different trajectory from San Francisco was that its leaders were so late to shut down public life.

Well, with De Blasio as mayor and Cuomo as governor, New York’s leadership is uniquely bad, so there’s that. In fact, I’d say that the disaster did become inevitable when they were elected.

LAYERS OF FACT-CHECKERS AND EDITORS:

I EXPECT NO LESS FROM GLENN KESSLER: WaPo Fact Checker Glenn Kessler Morphs Into WHO Apologist in Ridiculous Fact Check on Trump. The WHO is in China’s pocket, and so is the Washington Post.

“FACT-CHECKING” IS USUALLY A SCAM OF SOME SORT, IT SEEMS: Facebook ‘Fact Checker’ Worked At Wuhan Biolab; Ruled Out Virus-Leak While ‘Debunking’ Articles.