IT’S A SHORT LINE FROM “OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY” TO “OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES”: Joe Biden ‘Makes No Apologies For’ Botched Afghanistan Withdrawal.
IT’S A SHORT LINE FROM “OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY” TO “OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES”: Joe Biden ‘Makes No Apologies For’ Botched Afghanistan Withdrawal.
K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: From Mask Mandates to Omicron, Ed Secretary Cardona Finishes a ‘Very, Very Difficult’ First Year.
Control-F “Terrorist” brings up zero results, curiously: Senators Demand Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona Explain Role in Letter That Called Parents Domestic Terrorists.
THE NEW SPACE RACE: Radian announces plans to build one of the holy grails of spaceflight. “A Washington-state based aerospace company has exited stealth mode by announcing plans to develop one of the holy grails of spaceflight—a single-stage-to-orbit space plane. Radian Aerospace said it is deep into the design of an airplane-like vehicle that could take off from a runway, ignite its rocket engines, spend time in orbit, and then return to Earth and land on a runway.”
REALCLEARINVESTIGATIONS: Durham vs. Horowitz: Tension Over Truth and Consequences Grips the FBI’s Trump-Russia Reckoning. “As he documents the role of Hillary Clinton’s campaign in generating false allegations of Trump-Russia collusion, Special Counsel John Durham has also previewed a challenge to the FBI’s claims about how and why its counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign began. At stake is the completeness of the official reckoning within the U.S. government over the Russiagate scandal – and whether there will be an accounting commensurate with the offense: the abuse of the nation’s highest law enforcement and intelligence powers to damage an opposition presidential candidate turned president, at the behest of his opponent from the governing party he defeated.”
IT’S DIFFERENT WHEN THEY QUESTION THE LEGITIMACY OF AN ELECTION: Will the 2022 Midterms Be Legitimate? Joe Biden Says ‘It All Depends.’
I eagerly look forward to the press calling out the president for this assault on our democracy.
AS CROMWELL TOLD THE LONG PARLIAMENT: That select committee House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed to investigate the January 6 attack on the Capitol has issued 84 subpoenas, only eight of which actually relate to the events of that day, according to The Federalist’s Tristan Justice.
“Born in the ashes of a 9/11-style commission blocked by Republicans when Democrats refused a genuine investigation of violence on Capitol Hill, Pelosi’s Select Committee on Jan. 6 has remained faithful to its central purpose. That purpose is seeking retribution against political dissidents while offering a smokescreen to Pelosi’s own culpability in her failures to reinforce Capitol security,” Justice explains.
Were he around to witness these events today, Cromwell might well voice something along this line: “You are no investigators; I say you are no legitimate inquiry; begone, and give place to honest men.”
INTERESTING: The Rifle: Combat Stories from America’s Last WWII Veterans, Told Through an M1 Garand. #CommissionEarned
HOW MANY BOOSTERS TO AVOID THIS ONE? Hey folks, there’s an exciting new Flu Manchu side effect: ‘agonizing penis pain.’
He and his administration were elected to “shut down” a virus that he has for the most part ignored since July, when he declared “masked or vaxxed” and then stuck his foot in a hole in Afghanistan. His administration handlers ensured that the defining image from the Kabul catastrophe was footage of him turning his back to the American people, as he refused to answer questions about the manner of the troops’ withdrawal. We were told that Joe Biden was elected because of his empathy and competence. The commentators who told us that have since learned that he has neither quality.
Joe Biden is not suddenly going to become coherent when he speaks to the press. He can’t make Vladimir Putin back down by whipping out his aviators and heading to the nearest ice cream parlor. The pundits who bought the gingerly grandpa act may be praying that he can capture any fleeting fairy dust bestowed upon him by Barack Obama’s pop-culture prowess. But that won’t transform Biden into someone able to “shut down the virus.”
David Brooks thinks Biden needs to “begin revamping his presidency.” “Jennifer Rubin claims that “Biden needs a reset.” Frankly, any paid pundit begging for Biden to become the fantastical wise elder statesman they fantasized about should keep their thoughts to themselves. The rest of us should ignore their “expertise” when making any serious assessment of this defeated old man’s tenure.
I REMEMBER WHEN HIGHER EDUCATION WAS DEFENDED AS PRODUCING BETTER CITIZENS: Penn State professor: Maybe masked drunk drivers should speed through ‘pro-covid’ neighborhoods.
As taxpayers become increasingly unwilling to support this sort of thing, we’re told that it’s because they’re “anti-intellectual.”
YES. NEXT SOFTBALL QUESTION? Biden Calls from a List of Reporters at Press Conference, Is He Trying to Avoid Tough Questions?
THE CREEPY, AUTHORITARIAN WORLD OF HIGHER EDUCATION: Students describe life on campus under ‘health surveillance.’ It’s creepy and authoritarian, but also incompetent and risible.
STILL POPULAR: LED Desk Lamp Table Lamp Reading Lamp with USB Charging Port. #CommissionEarned
IF UNIVERSITIES ARE GOING TO START FIRING PROFESSORS WHO SAY THINGS THAT UPSET OTHERS, I’VE GOT A LIST: Academic Freedom Alliance Letter to the University of Pennsylvania.
And if Penn finds the idea of “too many Asians” offensive, maybe it needs to have a word with its admissions department.
THIS STORY WAS MORE AN INDICATION OF THE PRESS’S HOPES: Fmr. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien Pours Cold Water on Gossip About Split Between Former President Trump & Governor DeSantis.
He’s not very happy with the “minor incursion” remark from Biden, either.
CHANGE: Starbucks Drops COVID Vaccine and Testing Requirements for Employees. “The coffee chain told its staff of 228,000 that they are no longer required to be fully vaccinated or receive weekly testing. . . . The policy change follows the Supreme Court’s decision last week to block the Biden’s administration’s vaccine mandate for large employers. This order would have required companies with more than 100 workers to ensure that employees are either vaccinated against COVID, or wear a mask and be tested on a weekly basis.”
GOOD TIMING: On this day in 1981, approximately 20 minutes after Ronald Reagan was sworn in as the 40th President of the United States, Iran released the 52 American hostages it had been holding for over a year. That same day, the United States “unfroze” $8 billion in Iranian assets.
PJ MEDIA VIP ROUNDUP: Don’t forget that VODKAPUNDIT promo code if you’ve been thinking of joining us.
Cameron Arcand: Why the Arizona Governor’s Race Is Important… and Amazingly Unusual. “While the Democrats will likely nominate Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, the Republicans are dealing with a much more complicated battle to become Gov. Doug Ducey’s successor”
Athena Thorne: It’s Time to Re-Institutionalize the Dangerous Mentally Ill. “There is an ever-increasing supply of violent criminals to take advantage of the path the left has cleared for them to prey upon citizens. While this is a vast, multi-faceted problem with no quick and easy solution, one way to help would be to reduce the number of potential murderers, rapists, and attackers. And one way to do this is to return to the common-sense public policy of separating from society those who pose a threat to themselves and others.”
Yours Truly: Ranking the Bond Movies: Part 001 (Bonds, James Bonds). “The Bond movie franchise turns a respectable 60 years old in 2022, and with the …special… nature of the new No Time to Die — no spoilers! — I’m going to rank the Bond movies from best to worst in a 007-part series.”
ANALYSIS: TRUE. Senator Rand Paul Tells Hugh Hewitt That It Is “Dangerous to the Country” for President Biden To Be Talking in Public. “I Think We Are Stuck With Him Until 2024 [but] It Would Be Good for the Country for Him Not To Speak and Not To Appear in Public.
THE MORE THEY TALK ABOUT DIVERSITY, THE MORE THEY PRACTICE CONFORMITY: From Hiring to Admissions, Universities Seek Ideological Conformity in Applicants.
And the more they talk about “inclusion” the more they try to isolate and exclude those who are different.
UPDATE: From a friend: “As I’ve noted many times, the people who currently insist that CRT is just an obscure method of thinking from advanced law school seminars are the same people who also demand statements expressing a commitment to CRT principles as a condition of hiring for a faculty job in the astronomy, economics, math, biology, or engineering departments. Increasingly, they are also demanding the same for college admissions in both undergrad and grad school.”
THEN A LOT OF PEOPLE WILL LOSE THE SOURCE OF MEANING IN THEIR LIVES: If Omicron Creates Herd Immunity, Then What?
LEGALLY SANCTIONED LAWLESSNESS: Soros-Funded Group Gets $158M Government Contract to Help Illegal Immigrants Avoid Deportation.
BIDEN VOTERS POSTING THEIR L’S ONLINE: “Biden leaves Democrats hanging as midterms burst into full swing” — and CNN is sounding the alarm:
Biden advisers say that the President talks politics with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, but people familiar with both leaders say any campaign talk has been brief, and Democratic leaders have significant concerns with the White House’s approach to getting the President to break through. It’s not just that Biden’s approval ratings have tumbled. Those in charge of keeping Democrats in power doubt that Biden’s team understands how to improve his political fate — and with it, theirs.
“It’s hard for me to believe that the President knows how little his political shop is doing to support Democratic majorities in the Senate and the House. All of us believe that the President would be shocked to learn how little the White House political team is doing,” said one senior Democratic elected official in Washington, voicing widespread worries about the midterms. “We just know Joe Biden, and we know how much he cares about this stuff.”
Senior Democrats, including some White House aides, describe a West Wing lacking both a political strategy and the discipline to execute one. Focus groups are giving party operatives nightmares. Biden is coming across as old and absent, they say. Real and perceived fumbles play into deep fears that he’s not up to the job and that Democrats are incompetent. Few Americans can say what was in the massive bills he’s signed, though many have heard about Democratic infighting and failure in what he hasn’t signed.
“What is the plan to fix that?” asked one operative in touch with the White House. “They can’t tell us what they’re talking about next week.”
Though most Democrats in power believe there’s still ample time for a turnaround, several top operatives are already talking triage. They’re fearful of discussing all of this publicly because they don’t want to create more problems. But privately, they are petrified that a Republican majority would end Biden’s agenda and swamp them with endless investigations and subpoenas, promise impeachment and potentially endanger fair certification of the next presidential election.
Why, it’s as if: The Democrats damned Biden by impeaching Trump.
EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Year one disaster: Sixty percent call Biden ‘unsuccessful,’ highest ever disunity.
TESSA MAJORS UPDATE: Final Teen Sentenced in Barnard Student Murder. 14 years to life for Rashaun Weaver. Hope it’s the latter.
MATT WALSH EXPLAINS HUMAN BIOLOGY TO CONFUSED TRANS ACTIVISTS (Video): “Walsh clashed with trans activists on a recent episode of the Dr. Phil show in a heated debate over gender identity that climaxed at the fundamentals of gender identity and what it means to be a woman.”
KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Bipartisan Senate Majority Kills Democrats’ ‘Voting Rights’ Lie. “Sane citizens of this still great Republic can breathe a sigh of relief after last night. The Democrats’ mad plan to turn the United States of America into USSR 2.0 was thwarted by the thinnest of bipartisan margins.”
HOT! HOT! HOT!: The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is releasing its report on bail reform today–two months after its originally scheduled release date. Don’t ask me why, because I don’t know. My Dissenting Statement, which was written several months ago, is here.
I have some sympathy for the notion that we could improve our current pretrial detention practices. But, alas, nothing good will come from attempting to negotiate reform with “defund the police” advocates (or similar loons). Improvements to the system, if they are possible, will have to wait until more of our political leaders start taking crime seriously again.
CHRIS RUFO ON Woke Segregation and the Ghost of Jim Crow. Ghost?
This isn’t an “unintended consequence.” It’s fully intended.
JOHN ROBERTS KEEPS TELLING HIMSELF THAT HE’S PRESERVING THE REPUTATION OF THE COURT: SCOTUS GDRs Trump v. Thompson: Grant, Dictumize, and Retreat. “Ultimately, this entire opinion is a legal fiction–call it dicta, if you will! Indeed, remember Chief Justice Roberts tried to pawn off Roe’s viability line as dicta? The Chief is a smart lawyer. This dicta nonsense is insulting to our intelligence. But that’s where we are. Once again, the Court punches a ticket good for one ride: Trump loses, but no adverse precedent is set that could hamstring some future, more worthwhile president.”
If you want people to believe that all of our institutions have been corrupted, just act like John Roberts.
HIGHER EDUCATION AS POLICE STATE: Update: Professors still may be sanctioned for Halloween costumes from 2014.
Why, it’s as if Hollywood is a sex-grooming gang or something.
THE ‘REFORMED TROMBONIST’ ON HOW WE GOT HERE FROM THERE: Long-time Instapunditeers know him as the frequent commenter here, “Reformed Trombonist.” I’ve been privileged in recent months to get to know him as Lee Dise, accomplished trombonist, computer programmer and very smart guy.
Dise launches the first of a seven-part series on HillFaith this morning in which he takes a candid and bracing tour of how America and Western Civilization got from where we were as the cradle of freedom, prosperity and civility to the present cauldron of endless civic conflict, political degradation and cultural repression.
You may not agree with everything Dise says in this series, but I can assure you he will give you much to think about carefully and deeply. And next time you see one of his comments here on Instapundit, feel free to say “wait a minute, you said over on HillFaith that ….” Gotta keep authors straight, right!
WELCOME TO WOKE COLORADO: Boulder Valley School District to host hiring event for ‘teachers of color’ only.
THE IDEA IS WILDLY UNPOPULAR, WHICH IS NO DOUBT WHY THE PRESS ISN’T REPORTING IT: Biden just signed a law that will require kill switches in all new cars that monitor you and “allow police or other government authorities to access it whenever.”
HOW THE TOFU GETS MADE: “An explosive story from [NPR and Nina Totenberg] about supposed high drama around masking at the Supreme Court imploded [yesterday]. I want to take you through how misinformation like this gets mainstreamed by the corporate press and others.”
A Twitter thread (on the Thread Reader App) by Drew Holden.
THE DELAY WAS FOR POLITICAL REASONS, TO ENSURE THAT THE VACCINE RELEASE DIDN’T HELP TRUMP BEFORE THE ELECTION: How Many Americans Died Because the FDA Delayed the Covid Vaccines?
That the Atlantic is even asking this question says everything.
PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Emerson College punished students for “racism” because they handed out stickers reading “China kind of sus.” People are fighting back. A reader sends this pic from Boston, at the corner of Boylston & Tremont:
There’s also the EmersonKindaSus website, set up by our friends at F.I.R.E.
Remember, make bureaucrats’ — and educrats’ — lives uncomfortable, and they’ll change their behavior.
Yes I’m hoping to be able to help him more soon. Yes, I know things are crazy tight for people right now. But no matter how bad your 2021 was (and mine was bad), it wasn’t getting-hit-by-lightening bad. If you can help him, do so. If you can’t, please spread word of his need.
On our side, we’re all fighting with our legs in a sack. The other side has all the tech lords and the filthy rich slimy fools. We? All we have is each other.
WE HAVE LOST OREGON MUSE: The world is poorer for his passing.
THE MASKS ARE WELL AND TRULY OFF: Freedom is under siege, and the besiegers have now told us they have no mercy.
THEY’VE BEEN DANGEROUS FOR A LONG TIME: ‘View’ Veers from Idiotic to Borderline Dangerous.
As astounding as it sounds, a lot of their viewership takes them seriously.
BUT BUT BUT OPEN BORDERS IS A HUMAN RIGHT! Migrant Arrested with 5 Pounds of Fentanyl Taped to his Body.
THE MORE OF THESE THINGS THAT COME OUT, THE MORE I DISTRUST ANYTHING THAT FITS THE MARXIST NARRATIVE: Not One Corpse Has Been Found In The ‘Mass Grave’ Of Indigenous Children In Canada.
SURE, THE PURPOSE OF NEWS ORGANIZATIONS IS TO PROMULGATE THE ONE APPROVED TRUTH, DONCHA KNOW? CNN Wants To Hire Team To Manage “Misinformation”.
NO. BUT AT THIS POINT RESUMING PAYMENTS WILL CAUSE ISSUES: Elizabeth Warren Thinks Biden Can Save His Presidency With Executive Order Canceling Student Loan Debt.
So, they’re stuck.
MOST OF IT NOT FROM TEXAS: Beto Raises $7.2 Million in First 6 Weeks of Texas Gubernatorial Campaign.
AND THE DEMOCRATS ARE WORKING HARD TO MAKE IT SO: Biden Says 2022 Election “Could Easily Be Illegitimate”.
FLORIDA DEMOCRATS ARE HAVING A BAD DECADE: Nikki Fried is so, so bad at this.
ON THE ONE HAND, YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO SHOOT PEOPLE IN DEFENSE OF PROPERTY. ON THE OTHER HAND, WE’D HAVE LESS CRIME IF THE RULE WERE OTHERWISE: Philadelphia gun owner fatally shoots one of three men trying to steal his car. “The fatal shooting came just days after a 60-year-old grandfather allegedly shot a 16-year-old boy who pulled a gun on him and fired several shots during an attempted carjacking in the city.”
Given the crime situation in Philly, we might see jury nullification on this, I don’t know. But I’m guessing that the Soros DA will consider this a rare case worthy of full-bore prosecution, lest other people start shooting criminals.
Reminder: The justice system isn’t really there to protect citizens from criminals. It’s there to protect criminals from citizens. And within limits that’s a good thing, but when you create a state of nature, you get a state of nature. And in the state of nature people absolutely do kill to protect their property from marauders.
WELL, TO BE FAIR, IT HAD JOE BIDEN IN IT: Biden’s press conference was an utter disaster.
If President Joe Biden’s press conference Wednesday was supposed to inspire confidence, it failed — horribly.
Even though he spent most of it clearly calling on reporters from a list of “safe” questioners provided by his staff, he stumbled and bumbled and all too often made no sense at all. Plus, he repeated his bizarre “whisper shout” gimmick to emphasize certain points — when what it actually emphasizes is his age.
On that note, he kept walking down memory lane, reminiscing about how “in my day” cable news was like that; the Republican Party was like this, and so on. He’s fighting old wars in his head, or maybe just confused about the modern world.
Yet he couldn’t remember what he said last week, insisting he hadn’t compared opponents of end-running the Senate filibuster rules to pass the nationalize-election-law bill to Bull Connor and Jefferson Davis. Yet minutes later he warned those same (Democratic!) senators that their supposedly infamous position will stick with them all the rest of their days.
And that’s before we got to the part where he green-lighted a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
YEP: Why Science™ Authorities Flip-Flopped to COVID Positions That Got People Banned Five Minutes Ago. “‘Trust the Science’ has long meant ‘submit to our politics of total control.'”
QUESTION ASKED: Why is the FBI at the home of Rep. Cuellar? “Rep. Henry Cuellar is a moderate Texas Democrat who is sometimes at odds with his own party on issues like border control. Today, a reporter named Valerie Gonzalez is reporting that the FBI has shown up at Rep. Cuellar’s home and is currently investigating something.“
UPDATE (FROM GLENN): From the comments: “It is sad that the default assumption is that the FBI is targeting Cuellar at the request of their Democrat party masters, and no one doubts it.”
And as someone else notes, that’s the pattern.
OPEN THREAD: When I get low, I get high.
[Warning: Looking directly at these words for too long may cause blindness because they’re more nuclear than the core of the sun]
So everyone here is going to tell you why this is bad for businesses and for residents. I’m here to tell you why this is bad for you as politicians. This is gonna be the end of your cushy government bureaucratic careers.
Here’s the thing. The seats for this council are up for a primary vote in June. That’s the deciding election in this county. An election the only truly motivated people bother to vote in during off-election years. Unfortunately for you, you’ve made us care. And we’ve filled these speaking slots within three minutes of them opening.
For those of you who are facing term limits, we’re coming for your seats. For those of you who plan to run again, we’re coming for yours. This resolution is the final straw for a number of businesses, groups and individuals in this county who have seen you come close to destroying everything they’ve built.
Read the whole thing; as Greg Gutfeld said last month:
GUTFELD: So it’s up to the people to tell them that it’s over. Right now, if you’re at home, you’re not in office like this, you have no idea what it’s like in this building. You have no idea. I just sent home what, four — four employees? Stress is peaking. It’s a combination of holiday stress, a combination of hassles that you have to deal with when you’re traveling. And they are adding this on top.
So there is an environment of panic gushing through the city, going through our offices that is 100 times worse than omicron. Its nuts. And it’s creating psychosomatic symptoms. I’m very suggestible. One minute I feel great. The next, I think I’m dying. This is insane.
This is — the point I’m making is, this is a panic from the top down. It’s not from above. It’s not a typical hysteria that you would get about some kind of strange phenomenon. This is a reverse hysteria. It’s coming from government bureaucracy, right? So the problem here is that you have a mild but highly contagious strain that almost everybody is getting. You get tested, it’s going to come positive. That’s what is happening with everyone I know.
But the only tool that we have is a sledgehammer. So we have the testing and then what we do is we send everybody home.
GUTFELD: It is a shutdown in reverse. Originally we were saying okay, we’re going to shut down everything and maybe it will stop. But now we’re doing it in reverse. We’re testing. Now we’re doing it. And it turns out if you get this thing, it’s as tolerable as a cold. Most of the people that I know that have it had sniffles and that’s it. But we have a government bureaucracy that is terrified of losing an election and terrified of litigation.
So what now is not a death panic, it’s a hassle panic because we all want to go home and be with our families and they’re screwing us over. But, what this intense panic tells you, the government is not an appropriate vehicle anymore for telling us what to do. They are done because the vehicle only has one speed and its panic.
It’s driven by one incentive, re-election. It’s not driven, it’s not skewered towards risk management. Adults understand risk management. You saw that with Biden. He doesn’t understand it. He believes that there should be zero risk. That is a child mentality. So it is up to us to pick the date. I’ve been having a conversation with Scott Adams. We decided that the date for this is February 1st.
We are the hostage negotiators on behalf of America to discuss with the government about what to do since no one else has volunteered. We have to talk to the government about a return to normalcy because they are not going to do it. They are too cowardly. So it’s up to us to actually say this is what we want. February 1st, we are done.
That’s what happens when your Website is an offshoot of America’s Newspaper of Record.
WE’VE DESCENDED INTO SOME SORT OF BIZARRE HELL-WORLD IN WHICH PIERS MORGAN IS A VOICE OF SANITY: Piers Morgan Obliterates Joe Biden’s First Year In Office: ‘You’ve Been A Disaster.’
NEO: Kamala’s Nightmare.
Thomas Lifson, the author of the article I linked, thinks Harris is stupid. I disagree, although I acknowledge that she’s not the brightest bulb. What I think she is, is scared. Really really scared.
Based on watching her facial expressions, speech patterns, and body language, my gut feeling is that Harris is under so much pressure that she’s cracking somewhat. I don’t mean it’s nervous breakdown time; I just mean major jitters. I think Kamala senses how badly things are going. She knows she has to defend the indefensible and lacks the nimble snarkiness of Jen Psaki, the ability to lie without showing a “tell.”
I believe that Harris suspects – or fears – that, having fulfilled her ambitions and become VP, it’s an example of the Peter Principle and she’s unqualified or at least unready. Her day-to-day existence has become a bit like the actor’s dream or the student anxiety dream come to life, in which everyone is watching you and you’ve forgotten your lines or forgotten to study the subject.
For Harris, it may be some of both. I think it generally takes an extraordinary person to prepare for the job of president or vice-president. Some people are quick studies and have nerves of steel, or they’ve been major politicos for so long that they’re functioning more or less on automatic. I don’t see that with Harris, who looks and sounds frightened to me.
She remains personally ambitious, power-hungry, dedicated to whatever leftist beliefs animate her. But she’s winging it and she knows it. And it’s not turning out anything like she expected.
ADVICE FROM MICHAEL YON: Stock Up.
Joe Biden’s approval ratings have been underwater since his botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, which resulted in millions of dollars of military equipment being left behind, a frantic effort to evacuate Afghan refugees and American citizens from the country, and a bombing that took the lives of 13 U.S. service members.
Yet when Afghanistan came up during his press conference on Wednesday, he doubled down on his actions.
“There was no way to get out of Afghanistan after twenty years easily. Not possible,” Biden insisted. “And I make no apologies for what I did.”
He continued, “I have a great concern for the women and men who were blown up on the line at the airport by [the] terrorist attack against them.”
That’s cold comfort to the Americans still trapped there: Wall Street Journal editorial calls for more attention to Americans still stranded in Afghanistan.
According to a source cited by the board, the State Department is currently tracking 126 Americans still in Afghanistan with only five ready to depart with the necessary travel documents. The information provided by the source followed the State Department claiming earlier in December that it “is currently in touch with fewer than a dozen U.S. citizens who want to leave Afghanistan, are prepared to depart, and have the necessary travel documents.”
Earlier: Joe Biden Comes Full Circle:
During a 2012 eulogy for George McGovern, Joe Biden recalled a confrontation he had with President Gerald Ford over pulling troops out of Vietnam. Ford had agreed to meet with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which included then-freshman Joe Biden, to discuss the administration’s military funding requests during the fall of South Vietnam on April 14, 1975.
According to Biden’s account: “I said, ‘Begging the president’s pardon, but I’m sure if the president were in my position, the president would ask the president the following question.’ I swear to God, it’s in the transcript. And Ford looked at me very graciously, and he said, ‘Yeah?’ I said, ‘With all due respect, Mr. President, you haven’t told us anything.’ They were talking about Sector 1, Sector 2, Sector 3, and with that the president turned and said, ‘Henry, tell them.’ And that was the first time it was decided that we were not going to try to sustain our presence [in Vietnam],” said Biden.
But Biden’s alleged statement, and the response from Ford, do not appear in the classified minutes of the meeting, which have been released by the Ford Library Museum. According to the transcript, Biden did speak up at the meeting to oppose military aid to help evacuate South Vietnamese allies alongside the U.S. troops. “I am not sure I can vote for an amount to put American troops in for one to six months to get the Vietnamese out. I will vote for any amount for getting the Americans out. I don’t want it mixed with getting the Vietnamese out,” said Biden, according to the transcript.
Found via Fred Bauer, who notes, “Biden has never made any secret of his tremendous admiration for McGovern, whom he views as a transformational and inspirational figure.”
“TOO MANY ASIANS”: University of Pennsylvania Law School professor Amy Wax is being threatened with sanction by her school for expressing opposition to immigration to the US from Asia. Wax did not suggest she has anything against Asians as such; she just does not want any more Democratic voters, and Asian Americans mostly vote for Democrats. I have a variety of objections to her argument, but that’s neither here nor there.
As Glenn pointed out, the irony here is that progressives are so up in arms about Wax’s remarks, which have no actual effect on public policy, but are silent or even supportive as top universities impose implicit quotas on Asians. The universities try to disguise this bias, but progressives have been explicit about their hostility to Asian American success for a long time. Consider this interview with Bill Clinton from 1995:
“Our diversity is our great strength,” [President Clinton] declared. “If a university says, ‘Look, we’re only going to let in qualified people, but we think that the life of the university will be strengthened if we had different kinds of people,’ then I think that’s a legitimate thing.” Otherwise, he added, “there are universities in California that could fill their entire freshman classes with nothing but Asian Americans.”
There is a right answer to that, and it’s “so what?” People don’t come stamped as “Asians” or “whites” or “Hispanics.” These are labels we impose on them. In the case of “Asians” we impose on people with ancestry in places as varied as India, Mongolia, and Indonesia. If people from these backgrounds excel academically, and collectively take up even the whole freshman class at Berkeley, *so what*?
But we know, “so what?” It’s a way of trying to rally whites to be for racial preferences by suggesting that otherwise their children will be displaced by “Asians.” (I can’t find a link, but I remember a Congresswoman making this argument explicitly back in the 90s.) In other words, “diversity” concerns become an excuse for quotas against Asians. It’s gross and it’s racist, and unlike what Wax said, it does suggest hostility to Asians, as such. And it’s high time someone called progressives on this sort of thing.
MOTES AND BEAMS: Something in Your Eyes May Reveal if You’re at Risk of Early Death, Study Shows. “For instance, if the algorithm predicted a person’s retina was a year older than their actual age, their risk of death from any cause in the next 11 years went up by 2 percent. At the same time, their risk of death from a cause other than cardiovascular disease or cancer went up by 3 percent. The findings are purely observational, which means we still don’t know what is driving this relationship at a biological level.”
EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY (CONT’D): Jen Psaki’s already put out a statement cleaning up President Biden giving Putin the green light to invade Ukraine.
EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Morning Consult: Biden’s below Trump in voters’ first-year report card. Notably, Trump had almost the entire news media, along with pretty much every other institution in America from the FBI to the FDA, working against him. For Biden’ it’s the reverse and yet he’s still tanking compared to Trump.
IT’S THE OBAMACARE ROLLOUT ALL OVER AGAIN: Incompetent Biden Administration’s COVID Test Website Faceplants on First Day.
K12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: This story about Seattle Public Schools’ director of ethnic studies is pretty remarkable. “Remember Rachel Dolezal, that lady a few years ago who pretended to be black? That’s exactly what this is.”
COLOR ME SKEPTICAL: Survey Claims People Happier With Modern Car Buying Experience.
It is now indisputable, and almost undisputed, that the year and a quarter of virtual school imposed devastating consequences on the students who endured it. Studies have found that virtual school left students nearly half a year behind pace, on average, with the learning loss falling disproportionately on low-income, Latino, and Black students. Perhaps a million students functionally dropped out of school altogether. The social isolation imposed on kids caused a mental health “state of emergency,” according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The damage to a generation of children’s social development and educational attainment, and particularly to the social mobility prospects of its most marginalized members, will be irrecoverable.
It is nearly as clear that these measures did little to contain the pandemic. Children face little risk of adverse health effects from contracting COVID, and there’s almost no evidence that towns that kept schools open had more community spread. . . .
What happened next was truly disturbing: The left by and large rejected this evidence. Progressives were instead carried along by two predominant impulses. One was a zero-COVID policy that refused to weigh the trade-off of any measure that could even plausibly claim to suppress the pandemic. The other was deference to teachers unions, who were organizing to keep schools closed. Those strands combined into a refusal to acknowledge the scale or importance of losing in-person learning with a moralistic insistence that anybody who disagreed was callous about death or motivated by greed.
Social scientists have measured the factors that drove schools to stay closed last year. One study found schools with unionized teachers, more of which were located in more Democratic-voting districts, were more likely to remain all virtual. Another likewise found “local political partisanship and union strength,” rather than the local severity of COVID, predicted school closing.
School closings admitted — and then demonstrated — that public education isn’t an essential service, and that teachers, as a group, don’t really care about your kids.
THIS SEEMS DEEPLY UNIMPRESSIVE: Winnebago e-RV Electric Camper Van Concept Has 125 Miles of Range. I can imagine electric campers being usable — they spend a lot of time at a campsite, usually tied into electrical service already, so they can charge overnight. But 125 miles of range doesn’t exactly speak of adventure. Maybe 4 times that much. . . . And yeah, I know this is a concept, but concepts are supposed to build excitement and 125 miles of range doesn’t do that.
ELIMINATIONIST RHETORIC: Bernie Sis Nina Turner Calls Manchin & Sinema ‘Extremists,’ Suggests Takin’ It to the Streets.
STAY WARM: Carhartt Men’s Knit Cuffed Beanie. #CommissionEarned
CHRISTIAN TOTO: ‘Virtue Bombs’ – Exposing the Woke Rot in La La Land.
This reporter left the art world behind for a simple reason.
I wasn’t able to draw hands or feet, which limited my professional prospects as an illustrator. Plus, I loved movies more than anything, and I wanted to become a professional film critic.
Neither profession pays handsomely, but the latter felt like a dream worth pursuing. And I did, eventually becoming a bona fide critic at The Washington Times.
Now, I review movies here and elsewhere from a conservative point of view. Except both the movies and my fellow film critics changed over the years.
In short, they got woke. And we all know what happened next.
“Virtue Bombs: How Hollywood Got Woke and Lost Its Soul” captures that depressing decline. It’s my primal scream against a trend that has infiltrated every aspect of our lives but reared its head in unique ways in La La Land.
I’m looking forward to reading Christian’s book.
WHEREVER YOU LIVE, IT’S WISE TO THINK ABOUT A GENERATOR, OR SOME OTHER MEANS OF BACKUP POWER AND HEAT: Texas’s grid may still be unprepared for the next big winter storm.
MEMO TO ALEC BALDWIN: If you consistently act and speak like a jerk, avoid getting into flame wars with people on social media. Alec Baldwin was sued earlier this week by the family of a Marine killed in Afghanistan, according to the Casper Star-Tribune. Baldwin is being accused of weaponizing social media, and the fact pattern seems to support that theory, even if there is little case law that does.
The allegations in the Complaint sound a lot like Baldwin. Allegedly after making a donation to the family, Baldwin later learned that one of the family members was present at the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Of course, to people like Baldwin it was more than a protest or riot, it was the bloodiest coup since the Ayatollah overthrew Iran’s Shah Pahlavi.
After learning of the woman’s attendance at the worst insurrection since forever, Baldwin quite naturally flipped out, and used his 2.4 million Twitter followers the same way the Wicked Witch of the North used her Flying Monkeys:
“[y]our activities resulted in the unlawful destruction of government property, the death of a law enforcement officer, an assault on the certification of the presidential election. I reposted your photo. Good luck.”
“Go get her, folks.”
This case is a bit unusual because it holds Baldwin accountable for the words and actions of others, and causing intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy. Here’s the key paragraph of the Complaint:
By way of example, among the hundreds upon hundreds of hateful messages ROICE began to receive one read, “Get raped and die, worthless c*nt (kiss emoji). Your brother got what he deserved.” Upon receiving this message, ROICE forwarded it to BALDWIN sarcastically “thanking” him for posting her Instagram feed. This unbelievably callous message from a woman who goes by the name “Antifa Ally.” Incredibly, even after reading it, BALDWIN actually followed Antifa Ally on Instagram.
BALDWIN then continued to chime in on the increasingly hostile feed saying that ROICE “participated in the insurrection” and that she was an “insurrectionist.” He continued to engage his followers. In doing so, Plaintiffs are informed and believe and allege that he fueled the firestorm of hatred that he started.”
Now comes the ironic part that court-watchers ought to look for: Baldwin has often blamed Trump for “blowing dog whistles” inciting hatred and for making speeches whipping the Jan. 6 crowd into a murderous frenzy that would have embarrassed Maximilien Robespierre. (That’s pretty much standard fare for Democrats with a habit of forgetting that pesky Constitution). “Fueled the firestorm of hatred”? True or false, isn’t that what their most oft-repeated line about Trump is? It’s always projection, isn’t it?
I am pretty certain that Baldwin’s posturing will be forgotten, and his defense lawyers (most likely connected to one of the country’s leading media defense firms) will suddenly remember that proving causation of another person’s speech, while not impossible, is a very high bar to cross.
**UPDATE: In the interest of full disclosure, I should add that I was lead counsel in an amici brief to the Supremes actually defending the odious Westboro Baptist Church from IIED claims brought by families who claimed seeing the church’s insane protests (“God Hates Fags”) on TV hurt them. And yes, we won.**
“Having looked at the data carefully, the Cabinet concluded that once regulations lapse the Government will no longer mandate the wearing of face masks anywhere,” the prime minister told MPs on Wednesday.
“From tomorrow, we will no longer require face masks in classrooms and the Department for Education will shortly remove national guidance on their use in communal areas.
“In the country at large we will continue to suggest the use of face coverings in enclosed or crowded spaces, particularly when you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet – but we will trust the judgment of the British people and no longer criminalise anyone who chooses not to wear one.”
Amazing how facing an existential threat to one’s career focuses the mind: Is it over for Boris Johnson? “His excuse for attending a drinks party in the garden of No. 10 Downing Street after passing such restrictive lockdown laws is that he ‘believed implicitly that this was a work event’ — even though his private secretary had convened the event via a mass email asking staff to ‘bring your own booze.’ The No. 10 garden, Johnson said, is an extension of the office, so it was all work. As he spoke at Prime Minister’s Questions, Tory Members of Parliament sat silently behind him — glad for once to be wearing their masks.”
MATT MARGOLIS: Here’s How We Know the Left Wants All Kids to Be LGBTQ.
EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Incompetent Biden Administration’s COVID Test Website Faceplants on First Day.
YESTERDAY: TESTING IS THE KEY!
TODAY: Officials struggle to regulate pop-up COVID-19 testing sites. Plus: “Public health experts say they hope that concerns about a mobile test site’s legitimacy won’t deter people from getting tested.”
Well, okay then.
YES: ‘Shouldn’t Be Mentioned’: Denzel Washington Has Grown Tired of Hollywood’s Diversity Obsession. “From his point of view, the Macbeth and The Book of Eli star gets that diversity is good and should be celebrated. But, the fact that pop culture is fixated on superficial characteristics like race means we are losing focus on the real talents, abilities and humanity in people of all races and identity groups.”
BECAUSE THE “EXPERTS” ARE DRIVEN MORE BY AGENDAS THAN INTELLECT? Why Did Almost Nobody See Inflation Coming? “Forecasting inflation is a staple of macroeconomic modeling, yet virtually all economists’ predictions for the United States in 2021 were way off the mark. This dismal performance reflected a collective failure to take economic models seriously enough, as well as other analytical shortcomings.”
Talking about inflation was bad for the Democrats’ big-spending plan, so there was no talk about inflation. Except from Republicans, whose views were dismissed as “far right conspiracy theory,” a phrase that we’ve learned translates pretty well as “things everyone will know in six months.”
NYC MAYOR ERIC ADAMS JOINS HUNDREDS IN TIMES SQUARE FOR SUBWAY SHOVE VICTIM’S VIGIL AFTER ADMITTING HE IS SCARED OF RIDING THE TRAINS DESPITE PREVIOUSLY CLAIMING THEY WERE SAFE BUT PUBLIC HAD ‘PERCEPTION’ OF FEAR.
ACTUALLY, REMOVING THE “CLEVELAND” PART WOULD BE STRONGER MARKETING: Pressure Builds To Remove John Marshall From Cleveland State Law School’s Name.
Well said: “A better political piety would neither ignore Marshall’s slave history nor strip a man of such virtuous accomplishment from the law schools whose content so indelibly reflects his greatest work. Instead, it would seek to show in him the eventual triumph of the principle of equality over the practice of human bondage. And it would find humility in asking where else we still suffer the same discordance today.”
YOU DON’T NEED TO BE A WEATHER MAN TO KNOW WHICH WAY THE WIND BLOWS: Two more House Democrats announce they won’t seek reelection at midterms. “The Rhode Island Democrat’s announcement comes months after he vowed to seek reelection, even if the Ocean State lost a House seat in redistricting and he was forced to challenge Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) in a primary.”
BE PREPARED: The Disaster-Ready Home: A Step-by-Step Emergency Preparedness Manual for Sheltering in Place. #CommissionEarned
MASKS ARE THE NEW PRONOUNS: Media Meltdown Over Justice Sotomayor’s Failure to Cope with the Risk of Living. “The Libertarian Party of New Hampshire makes a good point. ‘Gorsuch’s refusal to wear a mask didn’t ‘force’ Sotomayor to work remotely. Sotomayor can also: 1. Quit or 2. Have remotely sane risk tolerance practices.’ Hear, hear.”
But, as it turns out, what she was claiming about the supposed masking feud wasn’t true according to Bream’s inside source. “I am told that is not accurate,” she pointedly shot down [Nina Totenberg of NPR’s] claims after giving a fair summary of the report.
According to Bream’s source, “there has been no blanket admonition or request from Chief Justice Roberts that the other Justices begin wearing masks to arguments. The source further stated Justice Sotomayor did not make any such request to Justice Gorsuch.”
Thus, “given that fact, there was also no refusal by Justice Gorsuch.”
Exit quote: “Bream concluded by pointing out that every justice is vaccinated, boosted, and that they get tested before gathering for arguments.”
(Updated and bumped.)
DO NOT TRUST CONTENT FROM NPR:
AMERICA’S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD: In Major Deal, The Babylon Bee Purchases Competing Satire Site CNN.