The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Venezuela-Revisited Yet Again

It's always fun to compare the fantasy claims of wizened socialists like Bernie Sanders or light-weight newbies like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez against reality. Socialists propose a utopian country that provides free medical care, free college, student loan forgiveness, a centrally controlled economy in which the government keeps rapacious capitalists under control, a living wage or even better, a guaranteed income, and lots and lots of other free stuff. The "woke" will dominate the "deplorables" in this utopia, and the deplorables will quickly learn the error of their ways ... or maybe not.

Every six months or so I revisit the socialist utopia in our neighborhood—Venezuela. Here's an excerpt from an article direct from The New York Times, a media source that loves, loves, loves both Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez:
CARACAS — Venezuela's economy shrank by 29.8 percent in the third quarter compared with the year-ago period, the opposition-controlled congress said in a report on Wednesday, as the five-year long recession deepened.

That was a sharper deceleration than the OPEC nation's 16.6 percent contraction in 2017, according to preliminary data compiled by the country's central bank. The economy has been in freefall since oil prices collapsed in 2014, quickening the unravelling of an already-faltering socialist system.

"Hyperinflation, the fall in oil production and the lack of confidence in the economic model are the reasons for the economy's disastrous behaviour," said opposition lawmaker Angel Alvarado ...

More than 3 million people have left the country since 2015 as it faces shortages of basic goods like food and medicine and hyperinflation that the IMF expects to reach 1 million percent this year.

President Nicolas Maduro blames the country's economic woes on U.S. sanctions and an "economic war" being waged by the South American country's business elite.
Unlike the manner in which they editorialize straight news articles when the Trump administration's economic successes are reported, it seems that the NYT is incapable of commenting on the total economic and social collapse of Venezuela's socialist utopia. No comment on what "lack of confidence in the economic model" implies. The economic model, by the way, is perilously close to the one proposed by Bernie and Alexandra. No comment on how Maduro's claim that it's all the fault of the United States is patent B.S. The NYT refuses to conclude that the socialist model in Venezuela has created massive human suffering that is so bad that 3 million people simply left (BTW, that's 10 percent of the population!). Guess those immigrants didn't get "woke" enough.

There's the socialist fantasy proposed by Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez and the socialist reality implemented by Maduro. When fantasy collides with reality ... reality (no matter how awful) wins every time.

Romaine Lettuce

We've all heard the phrase associated with the way in which the media covers stories: "If it bleeds it leads!" There doesn't have to be any blood in the picture for the media to sensationalize, avoid any contextual information that would mitigate concern, or otherwise provide a counterpoint to the immediate narrative.

Unless you were traveling in Outer Mongolia over the Thanksgiving holiday, you heard the breathless warning (originating with the CDC) to avoid eating Romaine lettuce. There was an outbreak of E. coli 0157:H7 that infected 43 people across the United States. The outbreak was serious and as a consequence of the warning, the entire Romaine lettuce industry came to a halt. Tens of millions of dollars were lost.

But was an outright ban on eating Romaine lettuce justified? Maybe a warning that included information discussed by Jim Prevor would have been appropriate:
The U.S. population is about 326 million. If 47% of the population eats romaine each week [based on polling], that’s about 153 million people. We know of 43 people who have been infected with E. coli from romaine lettuce. According to the CDC, illness start dates range from Oct. 8 to Oct. 31—a period of about three weeks. If we assume, conservatively, that each of those 153 million people eats one serving of romaine each week, then we can figure there were 459 million servings consumed during the three weeks the infection was being transmitted.

This means the odds that eating a serving of romaine will make you sick are about 1 in 11 million, and the odds it will put you in the hospital are less than 1 in 28 million. To put this in perspective, the probability of getting a royal flush in poker is dozens of times as great, at 1 in 649,740, and the probability of an amateur hitting a hole-in-one in golf is hundreds of times as great, at 1 in 12,000. If you are that risk-averse, you should stay away from dogs—the lifetime odds of getting killed by a dog attack are about 1 in 112,000. Even the odds of getting struck by lightning in a particular year are higher than 1 in a million.

To put it another way: If this outbreak were active every day, and you ate one salad a day, on average you would be hospitalized for E. coli once every 77,000 years.
Those of us who are numerate and try to think critically already understood this and smiled as we listened to friends and neighbors obsess over the last time they ate Romaine lettuce and whether they were at risk.

The problem is that this kind of thinking, along with the the damage it does, pervades the media and the general public. There's not much that can be done about it because context is rare in modern media coverage and innumeracy among the public is rampant.

Thursday, November 29, 2018


It's been a while since I've revisited the Mueller probe of Russian "collusion". As it grinds on, a supposed "bombshell" emerges every few weeks that the trained hamsters in the media tell us will finally result in the Democrats' impeachment fantasy becoming a reality. Mollie Hemmingway comments on this:
Many media figures have swallowed whole, without evidence, a conspiracy theory that Donald Trump became president by treasonously colluding with Russia to steal the 2016 election from its rightful owner, Hillary Clinton. The information operation that pushed this story turned out to have been secretly developed and funded by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, a fact uncovered only through the tenacious digging of Republicans on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in the face of major opposition from the media and Democrats on the committee.

The information operation has been fed to an increasingly compliant and credulous media with nearly no resistance. Fusion GPS is the Clinton- and Democrat-funded group that initiated the Russia collusion story, although it is now, according to congressional testimony, being spearheaded by the Democracy Integrity Project and funded to the tune of $50 million. The Washington Post quietly admitted, buried the news, really, that the operation was funded by George Soros.

The latest questionably sourced information in support of this dramatic tale that opponents of Trump cling to in order to delegitimize the results of the 2016 election is that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort secretly met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2013, 2015 and, ominously, in spring of 2016, just as the Trump campaign was heating up. Assange is holed up in London at the Ecuadorian embassy there and published the hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton aide John Podesta.

Even on first read the story seemed difficult to believe.
But then again, the entire scenario has been difficult to believe since it was concocted by the Dems in an effort to explain their upset loss in 2016 and at the same time, cripple Donald Trump's presidency with a never-ending investigations (a.k.a. "witch hunt") that have uncovered absolutely nothing of substance to indicate that Trump or his people were involved with the Russians in any substantive way.

Incredibly, Mueller seems completely uninterested in the real-life collusion that had Trump opponents, Hillary Clinton and the DNC, working (via cutouts) with the Russians to create a phony dossier that was used to mislead judges on the FISA court to approve surveillance of Trump. Talk about "threats to democracy!"

And since Mueller's probe seems to have no bounds, why not broaden it to examine copious circumstantial evidence that a full-blown conspiracy by some senior members of the FBI and intelligence agencies worked to discredit Trump before the election and take him down after it. Nah, it appears that Mueller and the media are perfectly willing to explore outrageous claims of meetings between Manafort and Assange, but are unwilling to examine hard evidence of wrong doing when that wrong doing is directed at Trump.

All of this has become so common, it's now S.O.P. But that doesn't make it right.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018


CNN's little Jimmy Acosta, remember him, acted as the spokesperson for the progressive left when he told Donald Trump (speaking truth to power and all that) that the migrant Caravan from Honduras/Guatamala represented no threat and absolutely, positively would never resort to violence or try to enter the United States forcefully. He was wrong, but that's not unusual for spokespeople for the progressive left. Little Jimmy is no more a journalist than Lil' Kim is an opera singer.

And now that the caravan has reached our border, the left has become hysterical over the notion that they just can't enter the country illegally, but must rather follow the law and wait their turn to claim asylum from unspecified violence directed at unspecified people by unspecified bad guys. And the "woman and children!" OMG!! They're being "gassed" by the war criminals who currently reside in the White House. Funny that the previous president also used tear gas to break up angry mobs of migants who wanted to enter the country illegally, but that's not a war crime or a violation of human rights ... because, Barack Obama.

Here's a snippet of the hysteria offered up by Dana Milbank, a deep thinker if there ever was one. His incoherent comments are followed by my comments, shown in brackets:
Americans are shocked by images from Tijuana, Mexico, on Sunday showing U.S. agents firing tear gas at migrant families, forcing barefoot children in diapers to disperse in pain and terror.
[Turns out that the vast majority of the "migrants" who stormed the border were 18 - 25 year old men, NOT families. And for the relatively few children who were present, what parent in their right mind puts their children in harm's way? Particularly when the "peaceful protest" was bound to go sideways. Well, wait, the palestinians [another darling of the left] come to mind, but otherwise ... not too many.
But the firing of tear gas at toddlers, properly understood, is an act of mercy by the Trump administration. The White House last week authorized the U.S. military to use “lethal force” against the migrants. Trump himself had suggested troops, if threatened, should feel free to shoot them.
Take deep breathes Dana, no one used "lethal force". And besides there was a very easy way for the clildren to avoid the Trauma of tear gas ... Don't storm the border! But never mind.
And what could be more threatening to U.S. military personnel than a vast army of pipsqueaks, lacking potty training and running dangerously low on diapers? The use of tear gas instead of live ammo was an act of love.
[I guess Dana is trying to be ironic, but like the logic he often brings to bear, his irony falls rather flat. The "pipsqeaks" that he is using to shill his open borders ideology are not the issue here. The Left funded, coordinated, and then cynically used poor migrants and a few poor families, along with those "pipsqueaks" (who were nothing but props, to force a violent confrontation in violation of the law for the purpose of then telling everyone how awful our country is.]
... Some Americans howled when the Trump administration, under its “zero tolerance” policy, tore nearly 2,000 children from their parents’ arms and warehoused them in makeshift barracks — some yet to be reunited. But Trump, by separating parents from children, was compassionately protecting these children from the dangers associated with attachment parenting and co-sleeping, including accidental suffocation.
Yeah, using poor migrant woman and bedraggled migrant children as pawns in their war against the United States has worked well for the Left. They'll assuredly do it again.
Let's assume for a moment that we let all 10,000 members of the caravan into the country as the Left would have us do. Does any sane person not believe that the first 10,000 would then be followed by 20,000 and then 50,000, and then 100,000. That's what happened in Europe and things didn't work out very well. Don't believe me ... ask Hillary.

A nation must have borders, laws that cover all aspects of immigration, and law enforcement to enforce those laws and protect the borders. Those simple realities are more than most on the Left and more than a few Democrats can bear.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018


As I watched the graceless speech offered by Georgia's Stacey Abrams as she refused to concede an election loss for Governor of Georgia, it occurred to me that she is but one of many Democrats who have become poster children for sore losers. Abrams claims that "voter suppression" cost her the election, even though she provided no evidence to support her claim. This after voter turnout for the mid-term was the highest in state history. Then there's the Florida debacle in which GOP wins for Governor and Senator were both beset by specious Dem legal challenges, even though recounts indicated that the original wins were accurate.

Lisa Booth comments:
The 2018 midterms crystallized one thing: The Democrat Party is the party of sore losers. Joining the ranks of Hillary Clinton - who still hasn't come to grips with the fact she lost the 2016 presidential election - Stacey Abrams, Bill Nelson, and Andrew Gillum all showed America how to lack grace in defeat.

During the last presidential debate in 2016 with Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace, then-candidate Donald Trump drew criticism when he suggested the election had been rigged against him and wouldn’t say if he would accept the outcome of the election. The New York Times called it “a remarkable statement that seemed to cast doubt on American democracy.” Hillary Clinton said it was denigrating and “talking down our democracy.”

But those comments were made when the New York Times gave her an 85 percent chance of winning. It would end up being Hillary Clinton who in the face of a staggering election loss struggled to accept the results. Not only has she listed over a dozen reasons why she lost, but even more troubling is that members of her team encouraged faithless electors, sought to drive a dangerous narrative that the Russians were behind President Trump’s win, and Clinton herself called for the abolishment of the Electoral College.

After the election, her campaign chairman John Podesta poured gasoline on a fire that was brewing on the left for electors to abandon the will of their state. He claimed that electors needed an intelligence briefing on Russian hacking. His calls backfired because more electors tried to defect from Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump. Additionally, the irony of his request is that it was Hillary Clinton’s campaign that was driving the narrative that Russian was behind Trump’s victory.
You can tell a lot about a person or a party by how they accept defeat. Apparently, the Democrats don't handle defeat well, particularly when it is in a close election. If they can overturn the will of the people or failing that, delegitimize the winner, they'll do so via a special prosecutor following wholly unsubstantiated claims of Russian collusion, or other wholly unsubstantiated claims of "obstruction of justice" or in Abrams case, wholly unsubstantiated claims of "voter suppression."

I guess it's never occurred to Dems that it just might be their positions (or lack thereof) on critical national issues that just might suppress votes for them.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Timeout Revoked

Breaking News! To the surprise of just about no one, CNN's little Jimmy Acosta had his timeout revoked (he got his White House credentials back). After all, lots of talking heads are telling us that taking Acosta's pass away was a real, real threat to freedom of the press. No matter that he acted like a five year old throwing a tantrum, refused to give up his microphone when asked, gave a long-winded (not to mention, logically incorrect speech before asking the president a "do you still beat your wife" question, and was disruptive and otherwise obnoxious. Apparently, the White House cannot police the behavior of its press guests (and that is exactly what they are, guests) because—vicious and unwarranted attack on the first amendment!!!!!!! What nonsense, what unadulterated hypocrisy, but whatever.

It's worth noting two important points:

1. Had brave little Jimmy spoken "truth to power" (well, in this case it's not truth, but why quibble) in the same way in a majority of all countries throughout the world, he would have lost far more than a press pass (think: Saudi Arabia).

2. When the previous president sicced the FBI on journalist James Rosen, that act was met with far less faux outrage, than when little Jimmy had his pass revoked.

I rarely agree with Glen Greenwald, but in this case he's on target:
Over the last two years, journalists and others have melodramatically claimed that press freedoms were being assaulted by the Trump administration due to trivial acts such as the President spouting adolescent insults on Twitter at Chuck Todd and Wolf Blitzer or banning Jim Acosta from White House press conferences due to his refusal to stop preening for a few minutes so as to allow other journalists to ask questions. Meanwhile, actual and real threats to press freedoms that began with the Obama DOJ and have escalated with the Trump DOJ – such as aggressive attempts to unearth and prosecute sources – have gone largely ignored if not applauded.
The press loves to play victim—beset by powerful forces that are a "threat to Democracy." There's only one problem—they are the powerful force that uses a protected first amendment platform to promote one narrative to the exclusion of others in a blatant attempt to control the news that the public consumes. They are becoming increasingly irrelevant and broadly distrusted. If they think that Little Jimmy's court victory is a broader victory for the press, they're wrong yet again.

Friday, November 16, 2018


In the tragic aftermath of the California fires—66 dead, over 10,000 homes destroyed, and around 600 missing—it's worth examining what can be done to avoid this kind of tragedy going forward. There are no simple or easy fixes, but it's worth noting that despite his often bombastic and obnoxious style, Donald Trump identified elements of the problem in his early tweets about the fires. He wrote:
“Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!”

The TDS crowd wnet ballistic, claiming that Trump didn't care about Californians, had no empathy for their plight, and otherwise lied about the cause of the problem, which, according to California Governor, Jerry Brown, was "climate change."

The editors of the Wall Street Journal comment:
Mr. Trump has no empathy gene even if he is right about forestry ills. Relentless winds and low air moisture make California’s fires harder to contain while development is putting more people in danger. But also fueling the fires is an overgrown government bureaucracy that frustrates proper forest management.

About 57% of California forestland is owned by the federal government while most of the rest is private land regulated by the state. Nearly 130 million trees died in California between 2010 and 2017 due to drought and a bark beetle infestation. Dense forests put trees at greater risk for parasitic infection and enable fires to spread faster. When dead trees fall, they add more combustible fuel.

Once upon a time the U.S. Forest Service’s mission was to actively manage the federal government’s resources. Yet numerous laws over the last 50 years, including the Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act, have hampered tree-clearing, controlled burns and timber sales on federal land.

California also restricts timber harvesting and requires myriad permits and environmental-impact statements to prune overgrown forests. As the state Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) dryly noted in April, “project proponents seeking to conduct activities to improve the health of California’s forests indicate that in some cases, state regulatory requirements can be excessively duplicative, lengthy, and costly.”

One problem for landowners is disposing of deadwood. Dozens of biomass facilities that burn tree parts that can’t be used for lumber have closed due to emissions regulations and competition from subsidized renewables and cheap natural gas.

To burn leaves and tree limbs, landowners must obtain air-quality permits from “local air districts, burn permits from local fire agencies, and potentially other permits depending on the location, size, and type of burn,” the LAO explained. “Permits restrict the size of burn piles and vegetation that can be burned, the hours available for burns, and the allowable moisture levels in the material.”
These inconvenient truths lead to a simple irony. A state that has worked tirelessly to improve air quality has established laws and regulations that are so restrictive they have contributed to the spread of massive forest fires that produce more air pollutants in a few weeks than that state has saved through forestry regulations in a few years.

Environmentalists claim that restrictive regulations and stringent controls of forestation are worth it; that it's better to restrict the lumber industry because they're the bad guys; that endangered species take precedence over thousands of homeowners who live within reach of the fires; that softening restrictions to reduce the spread and impact of wild fires is "an environmental crime."

Tell that to the residents of Paradise, CA, whose entire town was burned to the ground with a significant loss of lives.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

All Votes Must Be Counted

The election debacle in Florida continues to unfold as lawyers argue over the validity of highly questionable "provisional" ballots. In another state, an apparent win for a GOP Senate contender in AZ turned into a loss after tens of thousands of votes, heavily weighted to the Democrat contender, were discovered after polls had closed. It's possible that the AZ election results are correct and the Dem candidate did win legitimately.

But in Florida, the facts point to inexplicable actions by Democrat election officials, contempt for court orders, a history of incompetence that always seems to favor Democrats, and partisan actions that all point to election malfeasance. This appears to be the Democrat modus operandi in recent elections when close results have not favored their party.

As I mentioned in a post last week, the blatant nature of these events, coupled with the media's ready acceptance of the results is cause for concern. Conservative writer Robert Spencer doesn't pull any punches as he comments on all of this:
The Democrats are determined to overturn the Republicans’ gain last Tuesday of two Senate seats, and are in the process of stealing those seats in plain sight ...

The shamelessness and unapologetic audacity of this election fraud is no accident. The Democrats in Arizona and Florida and their allies in the establishment media piously intone that “all votes must be counted” as this fraud unfolds before our eyes, but they’re neither stupid nor naïve. It is much more likely that their very brazenness is not a bug, but a feature.

The Left is doing this out in the open to send a message: There is nothing you can do. We will win. If we lose, we will cheat. We will lie. We will steal. And there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that you can do about it.
Spencer's comments may be a bit overblown, but his core argument is solid. When coupled with the Dem's strong objection to voter ID laws—a simple and effective way to eliminate most "provisional" ballots, and their ready acceptance of non-citizen voting, something is going on.

The Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media parse accusations of "voter fraud" by arguing that no "fraud" has been uncovered. Fraud in this context is very, very difficult to prove, and the Dems take every advantage of that reality. When non-citizens have their votes counted, it isn't fraud, it's a "mistake." When bags of uncounted ballots are found long after polls close, it's just an "oversight." When "damaged" ballots are re-written by partisans with no outside observers present, it's a "flaw in the process." When highly questionable provisional ballots (the voter did not have ID and other data did not match) are counted as actual votes, it's because "every vote must be counted." But it's never fraud. Interestingly, it always seems that the votes "found" under these circumstances favor the Dem candidates—always! That is suspicious, VERY suspicious. It violates statistical expectations* and common sense.

It's also fascinating that any attempt to institute more stringent voter ID laws creates wails of anguish from Dems and Dems alone. Why is that? Can they prove that a requirement for strong voter ID is equivalent to "voter suppression?" The simple answer is no, they can't. Yet their trained hamsters in the media parrot their narrative as if it were fact. It. Is. Not.

Something is rotten here, and it affects the integrity of our elections and the democratic process itself. Maybe it's all just coincidence or incompetence, but maybe, just maybe, it's something considerably more nefarious. Where's Robert Mueller when you need him?


* Think about it for just a second. If millions of votes have been cast and the result for candidate A and B is 49.75% for A and 50.25% for B, it would follow that any after-the-fact "found" or "provisional" votes would breakdown along the same statistical lines. Any gain or loss in votes would be about 0.5 percent with a small variance. Yet A will often gets 20 or 30 percent more "found" or "provisional" votes that B, if A is a Democrat. Sure, it's possible to manufacture explanations for this anomaly, but you'd think that once in a while, B would get the advantage. Never happens!


Florida's GOP Senator Marco Rubio explains the Florida election situation in a series of tweets. He writes:
Imagine if an NFL team was trailing 24-22 but in the final seconds hits a 3 pt kick to win. Then AFTER the game, lawyers for the losing team get a judge to order rules changed so that last second field goals are only worth 1 point. Well that's how democrat lawyers plan to steal #Florida election.

For example, #Florida law requires that requires that voter signatures on mail ballots match the voter signature on file.

But Dem lawyers are asking a judge to throw that law out and force Florida to count ballots with signatures that don't match the voter signature on file.

#Florida law requires that a manual recount of "undervotes" in close races & provides a clear standard for determining whether a voter intended to vote for a candidate.

Now Dem lawyers want a judge to order florida to ignore this intent standard when reviewing "undervotes"

In short, Dem lawyers came to Florida to change Florida election laws, AFTER the election. That isn't a strategy to win an election, it's a strategy to steal an election.
Dems keep telling us that "every vote must be counted" But what about the rules that govern which votes must be counted and which MUST be rejected. Rules? The only rules that the Dems abide by are the ones that give them a win. And if rules don't give them a win, then those rules must be ignored.

BTW, Rubio's opening metaphor missed the mark. Here's a rewrite:
An NFL red team is winning 23-22 when with 1 second on the clock, the blue team attempts a field goal, but misses. The red team wins. But the blue team goes to court and asks a judge to change the rules because the field goal only missed by a few inches and it was very windy so therefore the attempt should be worth two points, even if it missed. Just enough of a rule change for the blue team to win.

I'm a Florida voter. On the mail in ballot it clearly states in boldface type that late ballots will NOT be counted; that your signature MUST match the one on file or your vote will NOT be counted; that you MUST clearly mark your choices or the vote will NOT be counted. But of course, that makes the voter responsible for his or her vote, and Dems tend to look askance at personal responsibility for anything.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A Children's Story

Once upon a time there was a boy named Jimmy Acosta [rabidly partisan CNN "journalist" Jim Acosta]. He didn't play nicely with his playmates [other mostly partisan journalists from other media sources] and often was disruptive and obnoxious [there are dozens of examples]. But every adult who knew him shrugged their shoulders and let it go. Then one day little Jimmy met an adult who wouldn't let it go. Here's the story:

Acting like a three year old in Kindergarten class [a press briefing at the White House], little Jimmy said impolite things to his teachers [administration spokesperson Sarah Sanders and President Donald Trump]; he made long partisan speeches that advocated one political narrative instead of asking questions;* he disrupted the class repeatedly, and wouldn't share with his little classmates. He didn't know how to take turns with other classmates [who wanted to ask questions]. Finally, he acted aggressively with a little girl [a female White House intern] and pushed her hand as she reached for a toy [microphone] as instructed by the teacher [Donald Trump] who later scolded little Jimmy publicly.

As a consequence of all of this, little Jimmy was treated like the any little boy who misbehaves repeatedly. He was given a time-out [lost his White House credentials].

Little Jimmy pouted and began whining "not fair" [making the ridiculous claim that his timeout was a first amendment threat] as all little children who are punished seem to do. He went home to his mommy and daddy [CNN executives] and cried. His mommy and daddy, like all unthinking helicopter parents] thought their little Jimmy was beyond reproach and decided to intercede. They sued the school demanding that the time out end. Jimmy's playmates, many who privately thought Jimmy was an obnoxious boy, decided to back mommy and daddy, because after all, it could happen to them, couldn't it?

Would little Jimmy emerge from his time out? Would his parents prevail in their lawsuit? Is the teacher allowed to control the behavior of the children in classroom or not? Is little Jimmy required to follow the school rules that every other child seems to follow. Maybe there should be no rules? Maybe little Jimmy is someone who is special?

Or maybe little Jimmy is a narcissistic spoiled brat who would be better served, not with a time out, but with an old-school spanking?


* Progressive spokespeople like Jim Acosta are fond of parsing every word uttered by Donald Trump, interpreting his words in the most negative connotation possible. In the event that got little Jimmy a time out, he argued that Trump's characterization of the immigrant caravan as an "invasion" was somehow dishonest. James Freeman parses that argument:
Mr. Acosta mentioned Mr. Trump’s characterization of the immigrant caravan making its way through Mexico as an “invasion.” At this point Mr. Acosta did not ask a question but simply issued a declaration. “As you know Mr. President, the caravan was not an invasion. It’s a group of migrants moving up from Central America towards the border with the U.S.,” said the CNN correspondent.

So instead of simply serving as a reporter Mr. Acosta chose to offer commentary—and according to standard dictionaries he was wrong. The large group of immigrants had crossed illegally into Mexico and plainly intended to illegally enter the U.S.

Mr. Acosta may think that an invasion must include a military force but Mr. Trump’s use of the word is common. Merriam-Webster defines invade as “to enter for conquest or plunder,” but also “to encroach upon” or “infringe.” Other dictionaries have similar definitions, such as “to intrude” or “violate.”

Having wrongly asserted that the caravan could not be called an invasion and wrongly asserted that Mr. Trump knew he was saying something untrue, Mr. Acosta then asked why Mr. Trump had done so and if he had “demonized” immigrants. Yes, Mr. Acosta was now asking a question, but doing so while demanding that the President accept a false premise.

Mr. Acosta then interrupted the President as he tried to answer. Then Mr. Acosta editorialized again:
“Your campaign had an ad showing migrants climbing over walls and so on. But they’re not going to be doing that.”
Is Mr. Acosta now a spokesman for the caravan? After another interruption, Mr. Acosta insisted on continuing to talk after the President called on a reporter. Then Mr. Acosta fended off a White House intern as she attempted to retrieve the microphone to allow others to ask questions.
Little Jimmy exemplified what it is to be a trained hamster—biased, unprofessional, and not very smart. He views himself as a champion of the progressive narrative, and in so doing, sullies the reputation of those journalists who still believe that reporting the facts in an objective manner means something. I suspect he'll prevail in his lawsuit, and that's a shame. The press corps and the public would suffer no ill-effect if little Jimmy's time out was extended for six months or so.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The New Face

In a post a few weeks ago, I noted that after the horrific anti-Semitic murders in Pittsburgh, the media (not to mention the Democrats) redicovered that anti-Semitism had reared its ugly head on the Right. At the same time, they couldn't resist implying that somehow Donald Trump enabled such violent bigotry. I further noted that the Democrats and the media assiduously avoid any mention of anti-Semitism on the Left, leaving the clear implication that it's only a right-wing phenomenon.

As proof, consider the recent election of two new Democrat house members, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan's 13th Congressional District. Both are poster children for the media's new obsession with identity politics because they are women, Muslims, and persons of color. They are being lauded with gushing coverage and flattering photo spreads. They are both representative, say many observers, of the new face of the Democratic Party. Only one small issue—both are virulently anti-Israel and as a consequence, borderline anti-Semitic.

David Harsanyi comments:
The 2018 midterm will bring many new faces to Washington, but few will find as much adoration as Ilhan Omar. One of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, Omar, who will represent Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, is a Somali refugee with a celebrity aura and an uplifting story.

What went curiously unmentioned in all the flattering post-election coverage, however, was that Omar, who replaces Keith Ellison — a former acolyte of anti-Semitic minister Louis Farrakhan — also has some exotic notions about the Jewish people.

In a 2012 tweet, for instance, the Democrat explained that “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel. #Gaza #Palestine #Israel.”

Meanwhile, the other Muslim woman headed to Congress is Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants who wants to cut aid to the Jewish state because supporting it “doesn’t fit the values of our country.” [She is, of course, notably silent on the more than 300 Hamas rockets fired from Gaza that have directly targeted Israeli civilian neighborhoods over the past few days. Those rocket "values" it seems are perfectly okay with her and at least some of the Democrat voters who put her in office.]

Writer David Steinberg identified 105 news stories written in the immediate aftermath of Omar’s victory, and not a single one mentioned that she believed Jewry possessed mind-control abilities or that Israel was “evil.” No one called on the Democratic Party to distance itself from this rhetoric.

No one at the partisan Anti-Defamation League, ostensibly tasked with stopping anti-Jewish libel but in reality busy hyperventilating over every far-flung right-wing bigot with a handful of supporters, paid her any attention.

Now, it isn’t inherently anti-Semitic to be critical of Israeli political leadership or policies. The Democratic Party antagonism toward the Jewish state has been well-established over the past decade. But Omar used a well-worn anti-Semitic trope about the preternatural ability of a nefarious Jewish cabal to deceive the world ...

To accuse the only democratic state in the Middle East, which grants more liberal rights to its Muslim citizens than any Arab nation, of being an “apartheid regime” is, on an intellectual level, grossly disingenuous or incredibly ignorant. And when a politician singles out Jewish allies as “evil,” but ignores every brutal theocratic regime in the area, it’s certainly noteworthy.
Indeed, it is, but not by the Democrat's trained hamsters in the media.

The hamsters do the bidding of their Democrat trainers and demand that every mainstream GOP politician publicly and explicitly disavow every right-wing crazy who expresses anti-Semitic sentiment and further demands that those same GOP politicians explain why the right wing crazy hasn't been somehow encouraged by Donald Trump.

Odd, then, that the hamsters never ask mainstream Democrat politicians (think: Chuck Schumer or Elizabeth Warren, for example) to disavow the statements of Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. For that matter, how about asking why the blatant anti-Israel positions of the previous administration haven't somehow been a catalyst for current anti-Semitism on the Left? Nah, that's not a line of inquiry that anyone in the media wants to pursue.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Under Threat

Florida is a big state with 67 counties and almost 21 million people. Sixty-five of those countries reported their election results in a timely manner, following the law in every respect. Only two, both predominantly Democratic strongholds, did not report their results as mandated by the law and are now "finding" votes that were never reported in the overall vote count. Curious, isn't it?

Over the past two years, Democrats have become hysterical over the notion that Russian trolls and bots conducted a disinformation campaign on social media that they claim (with absolutely no evidence) was coordinated with the Trump campaign and led to the defeat of Hillary Clinton. The Dems tell us that never, ever, ever should non-citizens do anything to affect election results. Odd, then, that prominent Democrat lawyers, representing losing senatorial and gubernatorial candidates Bill Nelson and Andrew Gillum, have implicitly argued in open court that votes cast by non-citizens in either Broward or Palm Beach counties should be counted as valid votes.

Here's the court transcript:

So ... a misleading or dishonest post on twitter by a non-citizen is a national catastrophe, but an actual vote by a non-citizen is perfectly okay as long as that vote has been cast for a Democrat. Incredible!

D.C. McCallister writes:
The canvassing board was tasked with reviewing ballots after irregularities were reported in Broward and Palm Beach counties. As of Friday afternoon these were the only two counties in Florida that hadn’t completed counting absentee votes. Broward had also failed to report early voting ballots, which is a violation of state law that requires local canvassing boards to report all early voting and absentee results to the state within 30 minutes after the polls close.

When tabulating the votes on election night, Broward County’s results showed significantly fewer votes than other races on the ballot—25,000. Over the next several days, election officials scrambled to add early in-person votes and absentee ballots to the count. This increased numbers for the Democrats, moving the races into recount margins.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio accused the Broward County elections office of blatantly violating state law. “No early votes have been case since Sunday,” he tweeted. “They had 2 days to tabulate them & submit to the state by 7:30 p.m. Tuesday as required by law. Yet as of latest update these are only partially completed.”

Barnett promised that Republicans are closely monitoring the recount as the canvassing boards review the ballots. “We want to make sure the Democrats don’t steal this election,” he said. “They’re trying everything they can to win even if it’s illegal.”
What is most astonishing is the brazen manner in which this is occurring. It's almost as if the Democrats know they will will not be held accountable for illegality; that the media, reporting events as if they were watching a local pie eating contest, will not do any investigation that might hurt the Dem's case, and that past history (think: the 2008 election in Minnesota that allowed Al Franken to steal an election he lost) is on their side.

The Dems are quite fond of telling us all that ever since 2016, "our democracy is under threat." Sure is ... and their blatant attempt to steal two more elections proves it.

Sunday, November 11, 2018


When you consider the post-election debacle in Florida's Broward and Palm Beach Counties, you just can't escape the irony. Over the past two years, we've seen the Democrats hyperventilate over wholly unsubstantiated claimed that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to swing an election. They're on firmer ground with their claim that Russian trolls and bots "influenced" the election and have voiced their concern in no uncertain terms. But Russian trolls and bots produce only disinformation that might influence less discerning voters, not actual voter fraud. Keep that in mind as you read further.

Nonetheless, the Dems are the first to say, "Election interference is a threat to our democracy." They're right.

Yet those same Dems are surprisingly sanguine when two blue counties in Florida now find lots and lots of uncounted votes after two close elections won by GOP candidates. Convenient, isn't it?

But according to the Dems, it's just a coincidence that Broward and Palm Beach counties have now found uncounted and unreported votes days after the election while an odd twist of fate has it that both counties are strongly Democratic. It's merely a meaningless footnote that Democrat election officials in Broward county have a long and sordid history of near-fraudulent behavior during and after elections and have been sanctioned by the courts. Yeah, it's all just an accident of fate, providence, serendipity.

Let's get real! It's also a blatant attempt to steal an election that the Democrats in both counties and throughout Florida thought they had in the bag. They can't blame the Russkies for any of this, so the next best thing is to miraculously find uncounted votes long after the legally mandated deadline for reporting those votes had expired. Democrat lawyers will now descend on Broward and Palm Beach counties, yelling "voter suppression," "racism" and any other epithet that might gain them sympathy. It's all a scam, but it just might work. And now, this manufactured chaos has lead the Florida Election Commission to demand a recount in both races—still more opportunity for foul play.

Mollie Hemmingway comments on this banana republic behavior and on the media's seeming lack of interest:
To make sure that votes aren’t being invented or destroyed to effect an outcome, one of the first priorities of any election supervisor is to announce how many ballots are in possession and how many remain to be counted. To fail to do this, as the Broward County and Palm Beach County Supervisors had, is to open themselves up to the accusation of massive vote fraud.

Citizens can not have confidence that ballots are not being destroyed, or created, when supervisors fail to immediately announce how many ballots are on hand.

Florida law also requires that vote-by-mail and absentee ballots are accounted for within 30 minutes of polls closing. While the other 65 counties [the majority are Red] in Florida had no problem following this state law, the supervisors of Broward County and Palm Beach County refused to follow that law.

Florida law also requires that the Department of State be given reports every 45 minutes until results are completely filed. Palm Beach County has refused to do this.

Despite these stunning violations of law, and [Senator Marco] Rubio’s cry to stop the madness in these counties that have a history of election problems, media seemed largely uninterested in what was happening in Florida.
Have you ever noticed that despite the statistical odds, these recounts always seem to find more Democrat votes—never the other way around. Gosh, you'd think that once in a while the GOP vote count would grow during a recount. Nah.

And by the way, for those progressives who still think that George W. Bush stole the 2000 election, a definitive study by none other than the NYT (certainly no friend of the GOP) indicated that the Florida vote count that gave Bush the presidency was accurate and untainted, so spare me the ill-informed what-about comparisons that are bound to occur.

The good news is that the Dem attempt to subvert the vote is so blatant that the GOP candidates won't roll over (as many have done in the past). It's time to put a stop to this stuff ... and soon.

The Dems are relentless in their quest for power, and that's okay, until it crosses the line into unethical, dishonest, and possibly criminal activity. It appears that they already crossed that line. As an aside, it looks like the Dems are very concerned about aggressive push back against the press when Donald Trump does it verbally, but when a Palm Beach election supervisor who threatens to have reporters jailed trying to get information about this election, crickets.

Let's assume for a moment that Democrat officials in Broward and Palm Beach County county are simply incompetent and forgot to process votes when they were mandated to process them. There are laws and regulations that govern the validity of those votes, and those laws and rule MUST be followed. That's not "voter suppression," that's the rule of law. If there is fraud, the guilty should go to jail. And for the voters whose ballots were uncounted due to the incompetence of election officials? They might want to vote for competent governance that wouldn't make such egregious mistakes (or participate in criminal conduct). But that's next time ... for this election, follow the law and the existing regulations and rules—there should be no do-overs.


Roger Simon overstates things—but only slightly—when he writes:
We're Honduras now.

No Banana Republic -- past or present -- could really outdo Florida when it comes to electoral corruption. After all, the population of the Sunshine State is roughly the same as the populations of Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua combined. It's also larger than the population of Guatemala by itself.

Too bad Garcia Márquez is dead and can't write another novel like One Hundred Years of Solitude to describe life in Florida as he did of Colombia when it was hugely corrupt. He could win a second Nobel Prize. (Yes, I know the author was a Castro crony, but nobody's perfect.)

So who's responsible for this nauseating state of affairs? The Democrats, no surprise, behave as if Boss Tweed were reincarnated in Miami Beach, bringing down their best Fusion GPS lawyer from the Perkins Coie mafia of Trump dossier fame to oversee the recount. As long as you're on the "correct" side of things, by any means necessary, right?
I can only hope that the general electorate will view this Democrat stunt in much the same way they viewed the Kavanaugh cesspool—unethical, dishonest, and repugnant. But then again, the Dems live by the BAMN credo—by any means necessary. And if that taints the electoral process and causes many to lose faith in democratic elections? That's a small price to pay for power, right?

Sarah Hoyt puts an exclamation point on all of this when she writes: "Memo to the dems: You’re playing with fire in a powder arsenal. None of us will enjoy the explosion. And you might find, to your shock, you’ve destroyed the only country on Earth who would tolerate your shenanigans."

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Antifa Mob

Antifa represents the worst of the extreme left. It's true that they are not representative of the vast majority of Democrats or progressives, but what's troubling is that Democrats and progressives do very little to condemn Antifa's often violent "protests," their mob-like threatening behavior, or their extreme and often unhinged rhetoric.* Dems and their trained hamsters in the media prefer to refer to Antifa mobs as "activists" or "protestors," when they are actually violent thugs who operate under the cover of social activism and the truly ridiculous claim of anti-Fascism.

This past week an Antifa mob visited conservative commentator Tucker Carlson's residence and implicitly threatened his wife and children. Some Democrats, to their credit, condemned Antifa's actions, but far too many were either silent or tried to justify the mob's actions.

Jim Treacher comments but first quotes the chant of the Antifa mob outside Carlson's house:
"You can't hide. You're not safe. We know where you sleep."

But don't call these people an angry mob, right?

Now, how much of an actual threat are these morons? The guy with the megaphone sounds like he barely has the upper-body strength to hold up a megaphone. But their intent is clear: intimidation. If you say things they don't like, they'll find out where you live. They'll stand outside your house, yelling and screaming. If they can't convince people you're wrong, they'll just try to stop you from speaking altogether. "Anti-fascist" now means "extra-fascist."

This is an escalation from this lefty group's previous "success," yelling at Ted Cruz in a restaurant. At least that was a semi-public place. At least they didn't go to Cruz's private residence.


You can go ahead and hate Tucker, or any other pundit, for any reason you want. I don't agree with him on everything either. That doesn't mean you need to be standing outside his house, threatening him and his family. I wouldn't do it to Jim Acosta or Chris Hayes or any other talking head I don't like.
Carlson is an aggressive interviewer and a conservative voice, but he has never suggested violence against the Left, and never questioned a leftist position without backing it up with a reasoned argument. Leftists may not agree with his positions or his reasoning, but an attempt to silence or threaten him is akin to the tactics of the very fascists that the Antifa mob claims to want to eliminate. They are either too stupid, too historically ignorant, or too extreme in their fanatic beliefs to recognize the repugnant irony of their actions.

CBS reporter (and one of the few professional journalists that remain in the main stream media) Sharyl Attkisson responded to the Antifa threats against Carlson in the following way:
@SharylAttkisson: As told in "The Smear," [her best selling book on political smears] people usually aren't targeted unless they're effective. I'm going to start watching @TuckerCarlson to see what he's doing that so worries them. They're in essence saying: he's making a difference. If it weren't so ugly, it would be a compliment.
There is nothing that Antifa does that should be construed as a compliment. They exemplify an extreme faction on the Left that is totalitarian—agree with us or we will shut you down. But they go beyond simple rhetoric and move ever-closer to outright violence. If true white supremacists on the right stood outside a residence and threatened, say, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, the media would be be gripped by hysteria in its 24-7 condemnation of Donald Trump for fostering an atmosphere in which an intelligent voice on the left is threatened by right-wing extremists.

Odd, then, that the response to Carlson's situation is so muted. Odd that no national Democratic figure (here's a suggestion—Maxine Waters—who has advocated confrontation herself) is blamed for their extreme actions. Odd ... but hardly surprising.


* Contrast this to the universal condemnation of right-wing extremists by nationally recognized members of the GOP. And by the way, Antifa is little different in action or tactics to neo-Nazis, so any attempt to suggest that this is an apples-and-oranges comparison is intellectually dishonest.

Friday, November 09, 2018


Among the many post-midterm narratives promoted by Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media is one that argues that "white women" are responsible for the losses suffered by progressive superstars Beto O'Rouke in TX, Andrew Gillum in FL (although the Dems are working overtime to reverse the results of that election), and Stacy Abrams in GA. If it wasn't for "uniformed white women" who do the bidding of their "white supremacist husbands" who themselves are members of the "patriarchy," every one of those progressive heroes would now be preparing to lead us in the manner of Nicholas Maduro in Venezuela. The tragedy of it all is numbing.

Because I'm a de facto member of "the patriarchy," I'll allow a person of another gender to comment. Allie Stuckey writes:
One Twitter warrior deemed white women “footsoldiers of the patriarchy” for voting Republican, claiming that their decision is based on a desire to submit to their husbands. Jemele Hill, staff writer for The Atlantic, argued that white women are not “the face of feminism,” because they voted for Ted Cruz and, in 2016, for Donald Trump. A viral tweet listed Republicans for which white women voted in the midterms and concluded, “white women gonna white.”

Don’t worry, though. The Women’s March is here to help us out: “There’s a lot of work to do, white women. A lot of learning. A lot of growing. We want to do it with you.”

Phew! For a second there I thought we were going to have to continue navigating these scary political waters on our own. I’m so relieved to know that, instead of thinking for ourselves, we’ll have obscure liberal Twitter activists and Linda Sarsour guiding us. I’m hoping my tyrannical husband won’t be too upset with me for going against his commands. Last week he gave me an extra fifty cents in my allowance and told me to “buy something pretty,” so maybe he’ll be just as gracious when I tell him I’ve started forming my own opinions.

The irony is, of course, rich. Leftist feminists, long-asserting the strength and independence of women, now argue that some women are so weak that they need to depend on liberals to tell them how to vote. They cannot fathom that we Republican “white women” may actually have different values than they do. It must be because we are “foot soldiers of the patriarchy.” (That’s newspeak for “self-hating idiots.”)

When certain demographics vote majoritively for Democrats, those people are smart, brave, strong, important. Ninety-seven percent of black women voting for Abrams has nothing to do with identity politics or the belief in the false narrative that big government policies will benefit them. No, they’re wise. White women who vote for Republicans, though—they’re idiots.
The Left's inability to see both the irony and hypocrisy of their position on women is astonishing. Then again, in their eyes, you're NOT a woman unless you're a leftist. You are NOT to be believed, you are NOT to be respected, your are NOT protected by their blanket argument that any disagreement with a Leftist woman is misogyny—nothing more and nothing less.

In fact, at the risk of over generalizing, the identity politics crowd is very, very selective in assigning identities. You're not a Muslim if you criticize Islam (think: Ayann Hersi Ali), you're not a black if you're a conservative black (think: Thomas Sowell) or even an African American who has the temerity to think for themselves (think: Kanye West or Candice Owens). You're not a Latino if you're a Republican (think: Ted Cruz), and you're certainly not a woman if you're a conservative (think: Nikki Haley). In fact, you're not a Jew is you're foolish enough to question whether guilty until proven innocent or BDS is an appropriate philosophy.

What you are is a threat ... to the insane notion that all women, all blacks, all Latinos, all Muslims, and all Jews MUST toe the leftish line, MUST align exclusively with Democrats, and MUST never, ever have any thought that conflicts with the prevailing narrative promoted by the trained hamsters in the media. And threats MUST be eliminated ... by any means necessary.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

A Purple Puddle

The mid-term elections contained a few surprises, but were basically pro forma. Glen Reynolds describes the outcome nicely:
Well, it wasn’t the huge Blue Wave we were promised, a change in Congress on a par with the Tea Party’s “shellacking” of President Barack Obama in 2010, or President Bill Clinton’s big midterm losses in 1994. It looks more like a Blue Slosh. Or maybe a Purple Puddle. The Democrats regained some ground, but it wasn’t the overwhelming repudiation of President Donald Trump and the Republicans they were hoping for.

We'll now move into the gridlocked atmosphere that characterizes much of the preceding administration. Congress will get little done, but since the only thing a divided congress every does is grow the size and scope of the federal government, that's not an entirely bad outcome.

Sure, the Democrats in the House will insist on harassing Donald Trump and conducting meaningless investigations that will further divide the country. That will almost certainly lead to chaos in Washington as Democrat luminaries like Adam Schiff, Maxine Waters, and Gerald Nadler take over important committee leadership and work hard to ruin the final two years of Donald Trump‘s first term as president.

Exit polls indicate that Trump's combative style does not play well across the electorate, even though the same electorate think that many of his domestic and foreign policy accomplishments are pretty good.

Overall, I'd say the mid-terms were a win for the Dems who are now back in the game. But very few of us who differ with the Democrats on important policy issues will respond to their win by:

— Going into a deep depression,
— hyperventilating or screaming primally,
— threatening to leave the country,
— suggesting that the destruction of the nation is just around the corner,
— calling anyone a Nazi,
— joining any #Resistance,
— destroying property in faux protests,
— wearing costumes,
— indulging false claims of sexual harassment,
— blaming the Russians or the electoral college, or any other aspect of the voting system ...

or generally having a two year tantrum that might befit a 3-year old.

It's possible, I suppose, that Donald Trump will moderate his tone, but I don't count on it. It's also possible that the Democrats have learned a lesson from the Kavanaugh debacle and will moderate theirs, but I doubt that as well.

It’s almost as if both the Dems and Trump can’t help themselves. But maybe, some innate wisdom will prevail, and the Democratic Party will try to work with the GOP to actually accomplish things that benefit the people of the United States.

Nah ... that won’t happen either.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018


On this mid-term election day, the Democrats are poised to take over the House of Representatives. If you are to believe their trained hamsters in the media, the era of Trump will be all but over, decency and civility will be reintroduced to American politics, and our democracy will be saved.

I don't think any of that will happen after a Democrat "win" today, even if the Dems should pull off the unexpected and take the Senate as well. Instead, as a reaction to their collective nervous breakdown over the past two years, vindictiveness will reign. Myriad "investigations" will be launched to cripple an elected president, and nothing will be accomplished by the Congress. Then again, it's possible, although not probable, that the mid-terms might yield a different result. That would be interesting.*

David French comments on the one thing that all politicians (Dem and GOP) do really, really well—hypocrisy. He writes:
Democrats claim that now is a critical time for public hygiene. It’s time to hold corrupt, self-aggrandizing politicians accountable. I agree.

Ask your Democratic candidate if he or she is willing to publicly condemn New Jersey senator Robert Menendez — tried for public corruption and admonished by the Senate Ethics Committee for doing favors for a wealthy contributor in exchange for lavish gifts — the way that so many conservatives condemned (and ultimately rejected) Roy Moore.

Democrats claim that now is the time to reject the politics of personal destruction. They look at a president who calls people names, who spins out wild conspiracy theories (Ted Cruz’s father participated in the Kennedy assassination? Really?), and they demand better. I agree.

Look at your Democratic candidate’s actions regarding Brett Kavanaugh. Did they credit facially implausible gang-rape allegations? Did they presume his guilt and declare they “believed survivors” even without substantiation and in the face of contradictory evidence? Did they participate in a campaign to destroy a man’s life and career, only to drop the whole matter the instant he was confirmed?

Democrats decry Republican extremism and alarmism. They look at wild claims about the border caravan, wasteful troop deployments, and alarmist rhetoric about criminals and Middle Easterners. They condemn family separation. They decry Trump’s “enemy of the people” rhetoric. They believe that Trump and his allies are dangerously raising tensions in the American body politic. I agree.

Ask where your Democratic candidate stands on Hillary Clinton’s rejection of civility, Cory Booker’s call for protesters to “get up in the face of some congresspeople,” Eric Holder’s declaration that “when they go low, we kick them,” or Maxine Waters’s ominous demand that “if you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

And while you’re at it, ask your Democratic candidates if the challenge of Donald Trump is so grave that they’re willing to moderate their positions on abortion, immigration, health care, gun rights, or religious liberty even in the slightest to win your support.

There are those who will read this piece and decry the “whataboutism” or the “both sides-ism,” but isn’t every single election an evaluation of both sides? Don’t we have to compare and contrast candidates?
My guess is that the average voter knows relatively little about their candidates and couldn't cogently discuss the contrast between the two. Instead they vote their gut.

We'll see what their gut has decided over the next 24 hours. But no matter what, life will go on, the democracy will NOT be under threat nor will it have been saved. Most important, I suspect that there will be no nervous breakdown or childish tantrum should the Dems prevail.

* Ann Althouse comments on the unlikely event that the Dems do NOT take over the House:
You might think Trump has set the midterms up as a referendum on himself, and I think that's true. But if the GOP wins, Trump antagonists are not going to give it to Trump and say his referendum passed and bow to democratic choice. They're going to say that racism won, and resisting and fighting is even more important now that we know so many Americans have been caught up in Trump's horrible scheme.
I think that's about right. In fact, the same general commentary will occur if the vote is relatively close (to explain why it was close). Oh well.

Monday, November 05, 2018


Here's a prediction that may or may not come true on Wednesday morning, after the results of the mid-term election are known. The Democrats win the House by a relatively small margin. They lose seats in the Senate. They and their trained hamsters in the media claim that a great victory—A Blue Wave—happened as predicted even though their margin of victory is underwhelming; that the election results (despite the historical likelihood that the opposition party will win) are a clear and utter repudiation of Donald Trump and his policies; that the forces of sweetness and light beat back the forces of darkness (the 'deplorables'); that Trump has lost his power to lead, and that he'll be a sitting duck in 2020, and finally ...

That all Americans should now follow the lead of the forces of sweetness and light, drop all of the incivility that was, of course, solely attributable to the deplorables (the Kavenaugh cesspool has already been erased from history), and work toward "unity."

To me, "unity" means compromise—give and take, seeing the other side's point of view. But that's not how the Washington establishment—the elites—see "unity." Firebrand Kurt Schlichter defines the term from the point of view of a deplorable:
... what’s supposed to bring us together in this glorious frenzy of united unity is our relinquishment of our bad attitude, the uppity urge that leads us to embrace disruptors like Donald Trump and reject the hierarchy our betters desperately seek to reestablish – with themselves at the top and us toiling down below.

Don’t call it unity. Call it “unity.”

“Unity” means rejecting mean old Trump and his feisty ilk and re-embracing reasonable, rational, submissive GOP puffballs like Jeb! and Mitt. You know, Classic Republicans who understand their job is to lose like gentlemen and to talk bad about us members of the uncouth GOP base to their liberal buddies at cocktail parties.
Look ... there is a lot to be said for unity, but not when the person that uses the word actually means "capitulation." Over the past two years, we've seen Trump Derangement Syndrome as the polar opposite of "unity" — a collective tantrum by Democrats and their media hamsters because their candidate didn't win in 2016.

If my prediction holds and the Dems "blue wave" prevails, maybe it should be them who make the first move toward "unity," say, by coming together with the GOP on immigration reform or working with the GOP on viable healthcare legislation.

Nah ... that's not the kind of "unity" that Dems and their media hamsters are suggesting.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Get Woke—Go Broke

Many of my politically progressive friends go into a swoon over Bill Maher, host of an HBO show that addresses politics from a decidedly left-leaning prospective. Although I don't agree with Maher on a wide range of topics, his honesty is often refreshing. Damien Riley recounts a recent episode of Maher's program:
It could just be, two years on from the election of President Donald Trump, liberal America is finally arriving at the fifth of the seven stages of grief, the one characterised by guilt.

I realised this over the weekend as I watched Bill Maher, self appointed voice of the liberal conscience, delivering some hard to hear home truths to the faithful from the pulpit of his primetime chat show.

Citing a recent survey, Maher told his audience: ‘Eighty percent of Americans find political correctness to be a problem, including 75 percent of African Americans, 74 percent of Americans under thirty, 82 percent of Asians, 87 percent of Hispanics and 88 percent of Native Americans.

‘If you’re not a statistician, let me break those numbers down for you: nobody likes you, including the so-called marginalized groups whose feelings you’ve decided need protecting.’

For the non-liberal viewer, Maher’s words were, of course, a statement of the blindingly obvious. But for the millions of people whose liberal sensibilities have become something akin to an ideology – in America and throughout the West – they constitute yet another heavy blow.

The protest against political correctness – against what Douglas Murray has defined neatly as ‘the gap between what people think and what they believe they are meant to think’ – is well underway. It’s largely a silent protest, but no less effective for it, and it’s occurring in the privacy of the places in which we make our consumer choices.

Maher, in this respect, was only spelling out to liberal America a truth already increasingly – and grimly – recognized by corporate America, which is to say: get woke, go broke.
Corporate America have adopted PC as its bible, but there are consequences. When a TV network allows non-political programming (e.g., sports entertainment or comedy/drama) to preach the PC gospel in an obviously blatant manner, ratings invariably go down. When a car company pulls an innocuous commercial because the PC outrage brigades scream and yell over micro-aggressions, sales can suffer. And when a social media company censors speech because of some arbitrarily defined PC infraction, participation suffers.

I have argued that political correctness began with the best of intentions, and there are still a few basic tenets that are worth preserving. But PC has morphed into a totalitarian ideology that smacks of George Orwell's thought police. Today's version of PC is humorless, it is absolutist, it eschews any opposing viewpoints, it demonizes, it 'otherizes,' it divides, and it is never, ever satisfied. It has become both ridiculous and dangerous at the same time. It leads to the politics of outrage—and nothing good can come of that.

Saturday, November 03, 2018


Over the past two years, Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) has gripped the Democratic Party and their trained hamsters in the media. They have battled, belittled, and bemoaned everything, and I do mean everything, that Donald Trump and his administration have accomplished. In the condescending manner that only Democrats can muster, they lectured us on the evils of the tax cut, indicating that it would hurt the middle class and minorities (recall Nancy Pelosi's "bread crumbs" comment). They became near-hysterical over Trump's regulatory reform, telling anyone who would listen that it would poison our rivers and suffocate all of us with dirty air. They were wrong.

The editors of the Chicago Tribune comment:
... on Jan. 23, 2017, his first work day in office, Trump made it clear that his Job One would be boosting economic growth. The president said he wanted to reduce the corporate tax rate and relieve the burden of federal regulation. Good, we wrote at the time: “Those are the kinds of moves that encourage companies to invest more and add jobs.”

Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress did their part by cutting red tape and passing tax reform. The economy is responding. Actually, it’s booming in a way Americans haven’t experienced in years. The business climate looks great and employers are hiring, and paying more. These are terrific times for American workers.

According to Friday’s Labor Department report, employers added 250,000 jobs in October, a far higher number than economists expected. The unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent, a figure not seen in nearly 50 years. With more job openings across the country than job seekers, wages are rising: Average earnings increased 3.1 percent from a year earlier. Congrats if you got a raise.

The jobless rate would have dropped, except that the participation rate is higher, meaning some people who previously gave up looking for work re-entered the job market. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for Hispanics hit a record low 4.4 percent. It was near a record low for African-Americans at 6.2 percent.

Employers are hiring for a reason: The business climate is exceptionally strong. Growth last quarter was 3.5 percent, significantly higher than the 2 percent average of the past decade.

Tuesday’s midterm elections will be decided on many issues, and influenced by the totality of Trump’s chaotic, divisive leadership. But it’s undeniable the president and Congress get credit for this era of healthy job growth.
You may not like Donald Trump the man, but unless you suffer from a terminal case of TDS, it's pretty hard to deny that (1) Trump kept his promise to invigorate the economy and (2) thereby provided tangible benefits to the middle class and minorities.

The Democrats tell us repeatedly they'e "the party of the middle class and minorities," but the history of the last decade indicates that they're all talk and very little accomplishment. Under Trump, the middle class and minorities are flourishing and that makes Dems crazy. So they lie.

They tell us that nothing has changed (but unemployment is the lowest its been in 50 years!), that wages have not gone up (in the last quarter, wages went up an astounding 3.1 percent)), that African Americans and Latinos are not doing better (yet their unemployment rates are the lowest ever recorded)), that only "the rich" have benefitted under Trump (yet blue collar workers in construction, manufacturing and even retail are seeing rising wages and more job opportunities).

The Dems insist that they are more capable at governance, but that claim simply doesn't hold up under the harsh light of recent history. The past administration's economic performance was abysmal. And the new Democrat party is even further left than the past administration. Big government, higher taxes, and ever more spending are what a new Democrat led Congress will promote (when they're not trying to impeach Trump). It's ironic that they may very well get the chance—to the detriment of middle class and minorities.

Friday, November 02, 2018


In my state of Florida, a unreconstructed democratic socialist, Andrew Gillum, has a strong chance of becoming Governor. His proposed policies, including "Medicare for All," have resonated with at least some Floridians. After all, who doesn't want free medical care, except, of course, it isn't free. Thankfully, we have a legislature with a rather different view of things, and it's unlikely that his programs, coupled with much higher state taxes, with consequent harm to our robust state economy, and the potential for a new state bureaucracy will ever be enacted. Thank goodness!

Oh yeah, one more thing. Even though I strongly disagree with the potential new Governor's positions, don't like the taint of corruption that has followed him throughout his political life, am concerned about his close and undeniable associations with anti-Israel groups (typical for some on the Left), and find his brand of democratic socialism antithetical to the best interests of my state, I won't become unhinged should he win. I won't suggest that people who voted for Gillum are "deplorables" or "Nazis," or otherwise bad people. I won't join a state-wide #Resistance movement or suggest that he colluded with the Russians (or could it be the residents of the state of Georgia?) to unfairly win the election against a lackluster GOP candidate. Just sayin'.

On a broader national scale, it looks like a billion dollars, red-hot hatred of Donald Trump (who isn't on the ballot), coupled with concerted and cynical effort to project a moderate tone during the election cycle, will lead to a Democrat victory in the Hose of Representatives. The vaunted Blue Wave won't happen, but the Dems will likely squeak out a House majority. We'll see how "moderate" they act after they take power.

Kim Strassel comments:
Six weeks ago, Democrats were expecting a blue wave to rival the Republican victory of 2010, when the GOP picked up 63 House seats. Everything was in their favor. History—the party in power almost always loses seats. Money—Democrats continue to outraise Republicans by staggering amounts. The opposition—some 41 GOP House members retired, most from vulnerable districts where Donald Trump’s favorability is low. Democrats were even positioned to take over the Senate, despite defending 10 Trump-state seats.

Democrats obliterated their own breaker in the space of two weeks with the ambush of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The left, its protesters and its media allies demonstrated some of the vilest political tactics ever seen in Washington, with no regard for who or what they damaged or destroyed along the way—Christine Blasey Ford, committee rules, civility, Justice Kavanaugh himself, the Constitution. An uncharacteristically disgusted Sen. Lindsey Graham railed: “Boy, y’all want power. God, I hope you never get it!”

A lot of voters suddenly agreed with that sentiment.
If the Dems take the House, it will be because the party's hard left direction has been purposely muted, at least until after the election. For example, every Dem candidate in contested races went into witness protection on immigration issues and higher taxes. Many lied about the amazing strength of the economy. Andrew Gillum is an exception to this to be sure, but drawing the inevitable rosey conclusions about his potential victory and its validation of the allure of Democratic Socialism is a mistake.