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

Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Stakes

It has become a cliché to state that "the stakes are high" when presidential elections occur. "Every election," to quote the sainted Barack Obama, "has consequences."

In 2016, the electorate rejected the rule of the four constituencies—media, the Democrats, establishment Republicans, and deep state bureaucrats—in favor a crass, bombastic populist, who it turns out, kept his promises and actually got some important things accomplished—you know, stuff like the lowest unemployment in modern history, the best unemployment and wage statistics for minorities in history, the first reduction in income inequality in 50 years, and an economy that was so strong, it has bounced back remarkably well after the COVID-19 shutdown. 

Despite that, the four constituencies have spent the past four years trying to destroy a president who was duly elected in 2016, and although they haven't succeeded, it's now pretty obvious that they wouldl stop at nothing—including an attempted soft coup and a highly questionable impeachment—to unseat him.

Angelo Codevilla, uses a review of Michael Anton's book, The Stakes: America at the Point of No Return, to discuss the consequences of next week's election. He writes about average Americans who sense, deep down, that something important is occurring:

... they know even better than before how much this country’s ruling class would use control of the presidency to hurt us in our private and public lives for having dared to reject their mastery. Trump, imperfect as he is, is like a finger in a dike that, if removed, would loose a deluge. Anton describes how the Democratic Party-led complex of public-private power has been transforming our free, decent, and prosperous country into its opposite—and how it’s going to do to the rest of America what it has already largely accomplished in California. 

In this blog (e.g., here and here), I have noted that CA is a real-life experiment that allows every citizen to judge the efficacy of left-wing governance as it is implemented by the new Democratic party. CA is sometimes derisively referred to as "The Peoples Republic of CA" because it is totally controlled at every level by the new Democrats. It has become a state in which wild fires rage because forest management has been rejected by radical environmentalists, power is cut sporadically because energy planning has been replaced with climate change ideology, significant increases in crime and homelessness have caused the quality of life to erode in far too many locales, taxes skyrocket causing people to leave, the state budget deficit is in free-fall, state pensions are at risk, businesses close or move because of an anti-business regulatory regime. In his review of Anton book, Codevilla writes:

The bulk of this well-written book juxtaposes accounts of life under what had been the American constitutional regime with the ruling-class politics that have gone a long way to destroy it. It opens with a bittersweet description of California, then and now. Anton, a young man, is old enough to remember it a near-paradise. Those of a certain age have even more idyllic memories of the Golden State’s unrivaled beauty and plenty, crowned by freedom, ease, and safety. Millions flocked to work and raise families here.

Yet in 2020 productive middle-class families are fleeing California—so much so that the state will probably lose a seat in the House of Representatives after this year’s census. And all because its government—controlled by oligarchs in the entertainment and high-tech industries, as well as the state bureaucracy and public sector labor unions—raised taxes, imposed regulations, let public services decay, stopped defending against criminals, and empowered left-wing social activists. Today’s California is for government-favored oligarchs and those who service them. You want a career? If you don’t conform every word and action to the ruling orthodoxies, your work and talents will be wasted. You want your children to grow up intelligent and decent? The schools will teach them little reasoning and much depravity. Like you, they will also learn to compete by favor-seeking rather than by performance. You see crime rising, sense that you have to protect yourself, but know that, in most of the state, the police will arrest you for it. And you are sick of paying for it all. That is why you want to emigrate from California into the United States of America.

It isn't hyperbole to state that CA is a harbinger of what's at stake in the coming election. Those who like what they see in CA will vote one way and/or move there to experience the leftist version of utopia. Those that are troubled by the state's trajectory will leave and/or vote another way. It's worth mentioning that a growing number of ex-Californians have already voted—with their feet. #Walkaway

Friday, October 30, 2020


There's a concept that comes out of the military called OODA. SearchCIO defines it this way:

The OODA loop (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) is a four-step approach to decision-making that focuses on filtering available information, putting it in context and quickly making the most appropriate decision while also understanding that changes can be made as more data becomes available.

When an adversary gets "inside your OODA loop," it means that he's doing OODA faster than you are and therefore, has a decided advantage.

Observing the subtle changes in campaigning over the past few weeks, I suspect that Donald Trump is inside the Democrat OODA loop—at least where discussions of COVID-19 are concerned. Let me explain.

Dem candidates want to avoid their hard-left platform at all cost, so they've observed the virus, oriented their entire campaign to blame Trump for it, decided to make it the centerpiece of their efforts, and acted by launching a combination of ads, social media content and stump speeches to to make it happen. Joe Biden has characterized a progression of the virus that will lead to a "dark winter." The Dems' myriad trained hamsters in the media are gleefully reporting increases in COVID-19 "cases" and the (virtually non-existent) threat that hospitals will become overwhelmed. Their intent has been and continues to be sowing fear, uncertainty and doubt among voters who will then opt for Biden's "Plan" for conquering COVID-19 and label trump responsible for 230,000 deaths. It's dark stuff, but the dems think it will work.

Trump—on the other hand—has observed that a majority of Americans have begun to suffer from pandemic fatigue—sick of the lockdowns; authoritarian mandates demanding mask wearing compliance in places where such things defy common sense; the dark drumbeat of "case" reports, and the implication that we all have to hide in our basements until we get the virus "under control." Trump has oriented his message to be optimistic, to plug into the feeling that we must move on as a country, accept the inevitability of the virus, and live our lives. He has decided to play on that, promising no lockdown and better therapeutics and vaccines going forward. And he's acted by launching a combination of ads, social media content, and stump speeches to bolster that decision.

The Dem's, whether they realize it or not, are projecting pessimism and fear. That works with their cadres of catastrophists (who never would have voted for Trump no matter what). But it's distasteful for the many, many Americans who are not gripped by hysteria, who need businesses and society to remain open, and who view nonsensical health mandates with suspicion. That's why Trump's message just might work ... he's inside the Dems' OODA loop, and that bad news for his adversaries.  

Voter Suppression

We all should be happy to see long lines at polling places. It's a sign that voters care about who wins and are turning out in large numbers, even as early voting and mail-in ballots are used. But some Democrats see the long lines as a clear sign of—you guessed it—voter SUPPRESSION! Among the Democrat brain trust who see it this way is Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who thinks that any voter line indicates that someone is trying to stop voters from voting. Then again, clear thinking was never among the attributes that got AOC elected.

On the other hand, there is an actual, ongoing attempt at voter suppression that is real. It's the non-stop publication by the trained hamsters in the media of highly questionable polls that show Joe Biden with significant leads in states like PA, MI, NV and even AZ. These polls, like the ones in 2016 that showed Hillary Clinton with an 11 point lead in late October 2016, are an obvious attempt to discourage GOP voters, hopefully to the extent that they wouldn't bother voting for someone who the polls tell them is bound to lose.

Polls can be manipulated by the weighting the population of respondents toward one party affiliation over another (many polls are +4% to +6% Democratic), polling registered voters instead of likely voters, skewing the age of people polled, and of course, by avoiding contact in locales where voters are likely to vote for the candidate you want to lose. The result in 2020 is polling numbers that are counter-intuitive and very likely incorrect—designed to suppress the vote for Trump.

Kyle Smith reports on a conversation with pollster Jim Lee of Susquehanna Polling and Research:

Lee goes further than some other analysts in suggesting that pollsters may be deliberately overstating the strength of Democratic candidates in order to dampen Republican turnout. In this press release, he calls it “the very definition of ‘voter suppression’” for a poll, by Franklin & Marshall College, to claim Hillary Clinton was ahead by eleven points among likely voters in surveys taken from October 26–30, 2016. He frankly calls this “liberal bias.” Yet, Lee notes, Franklin & Marshall and its lead pollster are still taken seriously by the media and cited as nonpartisan experts. He thinks there should be professional consequences for pollsters who are so wildly inaccurate as to raise serious questions about their impartiality.

In a recent interview for WFMZ, Lee elaborated, saying, “When pollsters get the results back and they look suspicious, or they should, because they’re showing one candidate with a double-digit lead in a state that was carried by one candidate by, you know, a point or two, they should realize something’s not right and that’s where the art of polling comes in.” Lee calls attention to what he describes as “garbage polls” showing a double-digit lead for Joe Biden in the past few weeks in Pennsylvania. He sees this as a replay of 2016 ... .”

The trained hamsters in the media leap to report every "garbage poll," as long as it has Biden up by a lot. And since the vast majority of polls are skewed toward Demcraats, even averages are meaningless. That's a subtle but undeniable attempt at voter suppression. 

The only poll that matters is the one next Tuesday. I suspect it won't conform to what the pollsters are telling us right now.


There are, of course, a very few pollsters who see it a different way, all because they account for "social desirability bias." Here's one, reported by  Barton Swaim:

Joe Biden leads Donald Trump by an average of 7 or 8 points in national surveys, more narrowly in battleground states. Everybody remembers the shock of 2016, but can the polls be wrong again?

Ask the question in a different way: Are poll respondents telling the truth? Robert Cahaly, head of the Trafalgar Group, thinks a lot of people aren’t. Trafalgar polls accurately foresaw the outcome in 2016, calling Florida, Pennsylvania and Michigan for Mr. Trump. In 2020 the Atlanta-based consulting firm has generally shown Mr. Trump to be in a stronger position than the conventional wisdom would suggest.

In an interview over a catfish supper at the OK Cafe diner, Mr. Cahaly won’t reveal much about his methods, but he says his polls mitigate what social scientists call “social desirability bias.” The mainstream media and other authority figures have openly and aggressively contended that Mr. Trump is a white supremacist, a would-be dictator, a cretinous buffoon and an inveterate liar. In such an environment, poll respondents who sympathize with the president, or who believe his administration has on balance done more good than harm, may be forgiven for not saying so to a stranger over the phone.

Do people lie to pollsters? “Yes,” Mr. Cahaly says, “but they’re not necessarily doing anything wrong. If a grandmother says, ‘This is my grandson, isn’t he a handsome boy?’ and you can see he’s anything but handsome—he’s sickly and weird-looking—you don’t say, ‘No, he’s sickly and weird-looking.’ You just say, ‘He sure is.’ ” 

That may very well be what's happening in 2020, and if it is, it's the stuff of nightmares for the Dems. Sleep tight.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

The Numbers

When I argued early in March, April, May and June (and in the months that followed) that the catastrophists in the Democratic Party and their trained hamsters in the media had an ulterior motive in dishonestly hyping COVID-19, many readers told me privately that I was over-reacting. Yet, the Democrat talking points in the closing weeks of the 2020 election indicate that the COVID hype was at least in part a politicial strategy—it's now virus "cases," virus deaths, virus, virus, virus, 24-7. Blame it all on Trump, the "murderer," and the election is theirs. 

Let's take one final look (before the election) at "the numbers" with the help of Dan Hoyt, a mathematician who decided to examine what's happening:

... the CDC data is fascinating reading ...

“In 2018, a total of 2,839,205 resident deaths were registered in the United States.”

That’s an average of 236,600 per MONTH. So, the total number of ATTRIBUTED COVID-19 deaths [earlier Hoyt discusses the accuracy of COVID-19 death counts, which is highly suspect] over 7-8 months is still less than the number of TOTAL deaths in a normal SINGLE MONTH in the US. So how many total deaths there have been in 2020? CDC reports 2,399,494 through Week 39 (September 26): The previous year, over the same 39 weeks, the CDC reported 2,123,573. That means that 2020 has resulted in a net increase in TOTAL deaths of about 13% (275,921). Compare that to a 4.4% (86,599) increase in the 2014-15 flu season or a 3.2% (64,531) increase in the 2016-17 flu season.

So, yes, 2020 looks worse than anything we’ve seen since 2013, and nobody’s denying that, despite what the MSM is claiming, but it’s hardly the “we’re all going to die” story the MSM has been pushing.

And don’t forget that the population since 2013 has been steadily increasing, so the raw numbers are less important than the mortality per 100K, which is a COMPARABLE metric.

So how bad is 2020? Go back to 2018:

Leading causes of death:

All causes: 723.6 per 100K

Heart disease: 163.6 per 100K

Cancer: 149.1 per 100K

Chronic lower respiratory: 39.7 per 100K

Flu/Pneumonia: 14.9 per 100K

Suicide: 14.2 per 100K

The CDC’s latest info says 7.6% of the 2020 deaths were ATTRIBUTED to flu/pneumonia/COVID-19 ( Using the current US population of 330,491,064 from the Census Bureau (, that means:

Flu/Pneumonia/COVID-19: 55.2 per 100K (attributed)

Flu/Pneumonia/COVID-19: 13.8 per 100K (probable, based on NYC)

That’s a big range, but if the PROBABLE numbers are accurate, that’s LESS than 2018 numbers for flu/pneumonia alone. [emphasis mine] And if the ATTRIBUTED numbers are accurate, it’s still about the same as 2018 for flu/pneumonia/chronic lower respiratory combined. And we already suspect that most chronic lower respiratory deaths were attributed to COVID-19, so where does that leave us?

It leaves us in a place where Team Apocalypse—the Democrats at the federal, state and local levels, their media, and far too many public health officials— have encountered a serious virus and hyped it into what the public perceives to be a catastrophic event. As a consequence, they have destroyed lives and livelihoods, kept children out of school, and otherwise terrorized a significant percentage of the public, at least in part to gain political advantage in the last weeks on the election season. 

You say it isn't true? Look at the empty rhetoric of Joe Biden and his advocates. They're "following to the SCIENCE!!!" 

Yeah, right. If that were the case, they might take a look at the CDC numbers. And for those that believe Biden's claims? It might be a good idea to review the numbers discussed by Hoyt and tell me how Team Apocalypse's conclusions (and lockdowns and catastrophist reporting, and scare tactics) could have been reached otherwise.


And then we come to masks. Team Apocalypse and Joe Biden tell use that mandatory masking is essential to stop the virus (even outdoors!). They also tell us that they're following the SCIENCE. Really?

Joseph Ladapo (a professor at UCLA's School of Medicine) surveys the actual scientific literature, not meaningless anecdotal studies (e.g., hairdressers in GA) that seem to absorb the trained hamsters in the media, and writes:

While mask-wearing has often been invoked in explanations for rising or falling Covid-19 case counts, the reality is that these trends reflect a basic human need to interact with one another. Claims that low mask compliance is responsible for rising case counts are also not supported by Gallup data, which show that the percentage of Americans reporting wearing masks has been high and relatively stable since June. Health officials and political leaders have assigned mask mandates a gravity unsupported by empirical research.

On even shakier scientific ground is the promotion of mask use outdoors. One contact-tracing study identified only a single incident of outdoor transmission among 318 outbreaks. Even the Rose Garden nomination ceremony for Justice Amy Coney Barrett, which the media giddily labeled a “superspreader” event, likely wasn’t; transmission more likely occurred during indoor gatherings associated with the ceremony.

By paying outsize and scientifically unjustified attention to masking, mask mandates have the unintended consequence of delaying public acceptance of the unavoidable truth. In countries with active community transmission and no herd immunity, nothing short of inhumane lockdowns can stop the spread of Covid-19, so the most sensible and sustainable path forward is to learn to live with the virus.

It truly is galling to listen to scientific illiterates (Joe Biden is an primary example) pontificate on COVID-19 when they don't understand statistics, have no knowledge of the raw numbers (other than the death scoreboards), refuse to consider the history of other SARS-like illnesses and pandemics, and then double down on bad decisions that have already had catastrophic consequences. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Pervasive Inconsistency

If Joe Biden were cognitively clear (he is not) I suspect that as a consequence of his age, his political background and his predisposition, that he would tend toward moderation and would reject the woke lunacy that has beset the new Democratic party. But Biden is no longer able to enunciate his moderation, except with tired platitudes about "red" and "blue" America. Rather, he will become a puppet of the new Democrats—a cadre of social justice warriors (SJWs), woke activists, and left-wing ideologues who will demand power and then exercise it to "transform" our country in ways that will stifle free speech and edge toward a strange form of "woke" authoritarianism.

Daniel Friedman provides an example of this when he writes about the increasingly anti-Semitic positions taken by SJWs and woke activists, exemplified in the house organ of wokeness—The New York Times:

When [journalist, Bari] Weiss left the Times in July 2020, she published a resignation letter on her blog in which she claimed that management indifference to harassment from progressive staffers had created an intolerable work environment. She has since argued that progressive ideology is increasingly hostile to Jews and other successful minorities because they undermine the narrative of systemic racism pushed by antiracist activists.

Jews came to America, often as refugees fleeing persecution, and were able to flourish here precisely because opportunities weren’t closed off to them on the basis of identity [this is not true, but his overriding point is true]. The story of minority immigrant success is inconsistent with the progressive narrative of the United States as a country founded upon and organized around racism. If it is true that oppressed groups have had historically unprecedented access to opportunity in modern, liberal societies then it cannot also be true that pervasive oppression explains lingering disparities. So progressives have become hostile to successful minorities, and have begun speaking about them in ways that echo the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories of the far-Right. 

Of course, much of reality is "inconsistent with the progressive narrative of the United States." In order to hide that pervasive inconsistency, the Left will attack anyone, any group, and anything that threatens their fantasy worldview.

Should Joe Biden win the presidency, his victory will be viewed as justification for the vicious political tactics employed to unseat an elected president, demonize his supporters and cripple his administration over the past four years. It will empower an already biased and dishonest media to continue on a path that no longer is journalism, but rather unadulterated propaganda. It will encourage those who are happy to mold past history to fit their narrative of an evil and racist America. It will give free reign to those who will reject our constitution, our laws, and our culture when those things don't fit their needs. All of this is what really matters. Biden is small potatoes.


The editors of the Wall Street Journal relate the left-leaning media's attempt to convince people that WSJ somehow agreed with the ridiculous notions that: (1) the Biden scandal was Russian disinformation and (2) that even if it wasn't, Biden was either unaware of his son's machinations and never, ever was in line to profit from them. The editors made mince meat of that fake news.

But there's something much bigger going on. The editors write:

All of this is relevant beyond next week’s election. If Democrats win up and down the ballot, progressives will control the commanding heights of nearly every American elite institution: Congress, the administrative state, Hollywood and the arts, the universities, nonprofits, Silicon Valley and nearly all of the media.

Yet instead of playing watchdog for the public, today’s progressive press partisans devote themselves to attacking anyone who breaks from their orthodoxy. They denounce independent voices like Ms. [Kimberly] Strassel with their Twitter brigades, then they unleash reporters who are ideological enforcers masquerading as media critics. They can’t tolerate any opposing political view. This is why Americans in record numbers don’t trust the media, and it’s why we will keep reporting the news others won’t.

And that's why Rich Lowry's (and my) prediction just might come to pass.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Middle Finger

 At a visceral level, this election isn't about policy or achievements or law and order or immigration or campaign promises kept or even COVID-19—although all of those things factor into the vote. At its core, this election is about our culture and who gets to define it, who establishes the overriding rules, and who gets to tell us who we are. Rich Lowry nails it when he writes:

If Donald Trump wins a second term, it will be an unmistakable countercultural statement in a year when progressives have otherwise worked their will across the culture.

After months and months of statues toppling and riots in American cities and a crime wave and woke virtue-signaling from professional sports leagues and absurd firings and cancellations, the year would end with a stunning, stark rebuke of all of that.

If Trump manages to pull off an upset in 2020, it will be as a gigantic rude gesture directed at the commanding heights of American culture ...

If he wins, it will be despite all [of Trump's [character flaws]. An enormous factor would be that Trump is the only way for his voters to say to the cultural Left, “No, sorry, you’ve gone too far.”

Besides the occasional dissenting academic and brave business owner or ordinary citizen, Trump is, for better or worse, the foremost symbol of resistance to the overwhelming woke cultural tide that has swept along the media, academia, corporate America, Hollywood, professional sports, the big foundations, and almost everything in between.

He’s the vessel for registering opposition to everything from the 1619 Project  [link mine] to social media’s attempted suppression of the Hunter Biden story.

To put it in blunt terms, for many people, he’s the only middle finger available — to brandish against the people who’ve assumed they have the whip hand in American culture.

In the voting booth, there are tens of millions who will ignore all of the issues that should be considered to elect a president, and instead rely on emotion. 

On the Left, that emotion is hatred of Trump—the only reason that most people could vote for a cognitively challenged,* do-nothing politician who has had 47 years to change things for the better and has accomplished very little during that time, except to enrich himself and his family. 

On the Right, the emotion is the one described by Lowry—push back on those who tell "deplorables" that they are morally inferior, that they are racists, that they are stupid, that they have no say in the direction of the culture.

This election will decide which set of emotions holds sway.


* Just a few days ago, Biden confused Trump with George W. Bush, suggesting on video:

"We don't need four more years of George ... uh, George ..." He then stopped, confused, not able to remember Bush or Trump's last name ... until his wife (a.k.a. DOCTOR Jill Biden) whispered some help. 

I guess Jill Biden's Ph.D. in education somehow excuses the cruelty of putting her confused and struggling husband through all of this. It does not excuse the utter irresponsibility of the Democratic party for running a candidate for president who through no fault of his own cannot think clearly.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Biden's Foreign Policy Team

One of many concerning aspects of a potential Biden presidency is the clear reality that Biden will re-institute the equivalent of the Obama administration‘s foreign policy Team of 2s (with some of the same people), augmented with a new generation of hard-left ideologues. During the Obama-Biden era, that administration's foreign policy team brought the world a shocking level of incompetence, arrogance, and horrendously bad decisions (think: the Iran deal).

The grand poobah of the Obama Team of 2s was John Kerry, a man who reminds me of the TV character Ted Baxter (of the comedy classic, The Mary Tyler Moore Show), a man with a sonorous voice who was dumb as a rock. Like all members of the Team of 2s, Kerry exhibited a combination of incompetence and stupidity, leading to a feckless foreign policy that accomplished virtually nothing over the years he was Secretary of State.

Kerry (watch the video) once stated:

"There will be no separate peace between Israel and the Arab world. I want to make that very clear to all of you. ... There will be no advanced and separate peace without the palestinian process and palestinian peace."

Oh really? The recent foreign policy achievements of the Trump administration indicate just how wrong Kerry was. One of the most striking things about the video is Kerry's absolute certainty on the Israeli-Arab peace process. As a member of the Democrat elite, positions like Kerry's are accepted without question by the media, even though he's a clear and obvious "2." They'll do that once again should Biden win the presidency.

Even though the mainstream media has instituted an effective blackout on any Trump accomplishments, the past month's peace agreements in the Middle East are stellar achievements. Not only has Trump achieved peace deals between Israel, Bahrain, the UAE, and now Sudan, but there are strong indications that other Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia, will be joining in the peace process in the near future. Note that all of this has been accomplished without the intransigent palestinians —the darlings of left-wing Democrats who never met a perpetual victim they didn't like. Should Biden win, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the hard-left ideologues in Biden's administration (and there will be anti-Israel hard-left ideologues in that administration) will work to submarine the agreements because—palestinians. The media won't utter a word of protest or concern.

John Kerry may not have a place in the Biden administration, but his voice will be replicated by others. Biden's Team of 2s will take up where Obama's team left off—capitulation to adversaries (China and Iran come to mind) and demonization of allies (Israel will once again be persona non grata).


Sunday, October 25, 2020

A Media Guide

One of the problems with blatant media bias is that after a while, you become used to it. And that's more dangerous and destructive than the bias itself. If bias becomes the norm (and it has), trust in media vanishes (it has) and trust in government is eroded because people expect fake news and have trouble assessing what is real and what is fabricated. Sure, it's possible to ferret out the real news, but it takes effort and time. The majority of people don't seem to want to expend either.

The editors of Issues & Insights provide a handy guide that describes the media bias playbook, using the latest Biden scandal as an example. They write:

Those of us who’ve been around awhile have come to notice a similar pattern when it comes to every other scandal involving Democrats. So here, as a reader service, is a handy media guide to how the press covers — or more appropriately, covers up — Democratic scandals.

1. Ignore the story as long as possible. The first step in reporting a Democratic scandal is to not cover it at all. Keep it contained among bloggers and the conservative press in hopes that it doesn’t go anywhere ...

2. Devote minimal resources to covering it. When ignoring the story isn’t a possibility, devote minimal resources to it. By all means, don’t assign investigative reporters to cover it, lest they dig up something else ...

3. Focus on the denials. The first story in Politico about the Post story was “Biden campaign lashes out at the New York Post.” The Times’ headline was “Allegation on Biden Prompts Pushback From Social Media Companies.”

4. Attack the messenger. In the case of the Post story, mainstream news outlets were more interested in trashing Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani than in determining the veracity of the emails he was revealing, claiming he was a stooge spreading Russian disinformation ...

5. Play up doubts. Rather than chase down the facts of the scandal, the New York Times sent reporters to investigate the Post. The result was a story headlined “New York Post Published Hunter Biden Report Amid Newsroom Doubts.”

6. Cast it in a partisan light. If a scandal involves a Democrat, the press can always be counted on to dismiss it as part of some Republican strategy to distract voters from the important issues.   

7. Set an incredibly high bar for what constitutes wrongdoing. If nothing else, the Hunter emails suggest that Joe Biden flat out lied when he claimed he’d had nothing to do with Hunter’s business dealings. Yet while the press keeps track of every utterance of Trump’s that it can claim to be untrue, Biden’s apparent flagrant and self-serving lie is treated as a nothingburger.

8. Do the opposite of No. 7 if the scandal involves a Republican.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: If it weren’t for double standards, the mainstream media would have no standards at all.

Going forward, conservatives must now treat the media as a systemic constraint. The trained hamsters will not change and likely, will only get more biased, more dishonest and more partisan. They cannot and should not be trusted. They truly are the enemy of an honest and open democracy.


The current protestation of the Democrat's trained hamsters in the media is that the Biden scandal is "unverifiable" and therefore, not worthy of investigation (after their claim that Russian "disinformation" disintegrated and their laughable argument that Hunter Biden's "addiction" put the entire affair off-limits). In essence, they're saying, "Nothing to see here, move along." 

Forgetting that the role of an honest media is to investigate substantive allegations of wrongdoing in order to verify them, much of the Biden scandal is "verifiable" using publicly available sources. The media simply needs to look. They won't.

The second protestation is that all information about the scandal is coming from conservative or right-leaning sources, but since left leaning media (i.e., 95 percent of all media) refuses to investigate the scandal or write about it, where else could it possibly come from?

One such source is a comprehensive 60-page report (with well over 200 (!) citations to support its findings) that provides an in-depth look at the all-too-typical manner in which those within the Washington swamp become rich. In the report, the Bidens (Hunter is hardly the only Biden involved in this, although he, along with Joe Biden, is up-to-his eyeballs in influence peddling for profit) have troubling associations with a variety of Chinese SOEs (state-owned entities), many connected with the Chinese Communist Party's intelligence and military arms, not to mention sketchy dealing with the Ukraine and Kazakhstan. A quick summary can be found here.

I'm under no illusion that any of this will affect the outcome of the election. The story is complicated, allowing the swamp creatures to hide in plain sight. The media will do everything possible to stonewall the story, much as they did repeatedly for the myriad serious scandals (e.g., the IRS scandal, Benghazi, Fast & Furious, the VA scandal) that occurred during the Obama-Biden administration. Same old, same old.


To their credit, a few left-leaning journalists are stepping up and castigating the mainstream and social media for their concerted effort to censor the Biden scandal. Matt Taibbi writes:

The incredible decision by Twitter and Facebook to block access to a New York Post story about a cache of emails reportedly belonging to Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s son Hunter, with Twitter going so far as to lock the 200 year-old newspaper out of its own account for over a week, continues to be a major underreported scandal.

The hypocrisy is mind-boggling. Imagine the reaction if that same set of facts involved the New York Times and any of its multitudinous unverifiable “exposes” from the last half-decade: from the similarly-leaked “black ledger” story implicating Paul Manafort, to its later-debunked “repeated contacts with Russian intelligence” story, to its mountain of articles about the far more dubious Steele dossier. Internet platforms for years have balked at intervening at many other sensational “unverified” stories, including ones called into question in very short order

The flow of information in the United States has become so politicized – bottlenecked by an increasingly brazen union of corporate press and tech platforms – that it’s become impossible for American audiences to see news about certain topics absent thickets of propagandistic contextualizing. Try to look up anything about Burisma, Joe Biden, or Hunter Biden in English, however, and you’re likely to be shown a pile of “fact-checks” and explainers ahead of the raw information:

Other true information has been scrubbed or de-ranked, either by platforms or by a confederation of press outlets whose loyalty to the Democratic Party far now overshadows its obligations to inform.

In a way, it's fascinating. Driven by Trump Derangement Syndrome, the obvious and blatant bias of the media become apparent. As I noted in the body of this post, they have become "the enemy of an honest and open democracy." Then again, given their predisposition for leftist ideology, maybe that's exactly what they want.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Cases and Masks

The media is trying super hard to increase the level of pandemic porn in the week before the election. The obvious intent is sow fear, uncertainty and doubt and in so doing, encourage people to vote for their candidate, Joe Biden, who promises to make the virus magically go away—'cause Joe's got a "plan." 

To accomplish their objective, the media's trained hamsters are reveling in "cases." OMG, they intone breathlessly, there were 70,000 "cases" reported today, implying that we're all gonna die!!!

The moral and intellectual bankruptcy of their despicable strategy is apparent because the trained hamsters never provide any granularity about the "cases" they report.

  • How many cases are asymptomatic?
  • How many cases require medical treatment of any kind? 
  • How many cases require hospitalization, and of those, how many patients had other health conditions that were exacerbated by the virus?
  • Of the daily case count from two weeks ago, what percentage were hospitalized?
  • Of the daily case count from four weeks ago, how many died?What is the overall age distribution of "cases"?
  • What's the average age of a person with a "case," and statistically, what is the likelihood that a person of that age will die of the illness?
  • Are hospitalizations increasing? (They are not.)
  • Are deaths increasing? (They are going down.)

These are but a few of the questions that should be addressed.  Every. Single. Day. 

But the answers would dramatically reduce fear, uncertainty and doubt, and we can't have that, can we?

And then we get to masks. 

For Team Apocalypse, masks aren't so much intended to protect them, but rather everyone else who, the virtue signaling mask wearers tell us, they care so, so much about. And besides, masks absolutely, positively, unequivocally "stop the spread." 

Anyone who questions the efficacy of masks is branded a heretic. After all, Joe Biden, his brilliant intellect shining through his incoherent babble, tells us that if he were president, masks would be mandatory—indoors and outdoors—everywhere, all the time. Couple that with another lockdown until the virus is "under control,"and the virus will be vanquished. That's the ticket!  He's following the SCIENCE, he tells us.

Hmmm. There's a problem. Irish writer, John McGuirk comments:

Across Europe, the picture is the same: Near universal mask wearing, and near universal record-setting in terms of the number of new cases.

As a simple matter of observation, if mask wearing was supposed to reduce the number of Coronavirus cases, it has not worked.

So what argument for masks remains?

The instinctive response will be to say that without facemasks, the current crisis would be ten times worse. But is that really accurate? Here are the case numbers for Europe as a whole over the past few weeks. What does ten times worse even look like?

Forget all the stuff about the “casedemic”, or the number of people in ICU or hospital. That’s irrelevant when considering facemasks. The point of masks is not to reduce the severity of the virus, but to limit its transmission in the first place.

And yet we now have far more cases than we had in the spring, when the official consensus from Governments was that facemasks are bad.

McGuirk goes on to remind the reader that in the Spring of 2020, most public health professionals (including the sainted Dr. Fauci in the USA) argued against the use of masks, suggesting that "mask-wearing by people with no symptoms could create unnecessary cost and create 'a false sense of security'."

So we return to the only wisdom that really matters. SARS-Cov-2 is a natural phenomenon.* Trying to stop its spread is a lot like trying to stop a hurricane or a tsunami, it's futile. The virus is gonna virus. 

Personally, I have nothing against masks. Wear them if you'd like. But when petty political tyrants at the local, state, and federal level demand that you wear them under penalty of law, they better have unequivocal proof that masks work. That proof does NOT exist when COVID-19 is considered and the mask wearers are not medical professionals.**

In fact, Danish medical researchers who recently conducted the most comprehensive, randomized study on the efficacy of masks (described here), are having trouble finding a medical journal to publish their results. When asked when it would be published, the lead investigator responded this way, "... as soon as a journal is brave enough."

There's an implication there, I think.


*   Even that simple statement is open to debate. There is compelling evidence that the virus was modified in a virology lab in Wuhan, China and then released by mistake.

** In fact, if masks are as effective as Team Apocalypse keeps telling us they are, why weren't they mandatory during a bad flu season. After all, flu is also airborne, and in a bad season (say, 2018), 100,000 people died with the flu. Yeah, I know, that's half the number of COVID deaths, but are you telling me that 100,000 is somehow acceptable and doesn't require masks where 200,000 is an absolute catastrophe that demands mandatory masks? For that matter, why didn't Joe Biden insist on mandatory masks during the viral pandemic of 2009, when he was VP and according to the CDC, between 40 and 60 million "cases" were reported?

UPDATE (10-26-2020):

Finally, a mainstream media publication makes note of the Great Barrington Declaration which I've mentioned a number of times (e.g., here) over the past month. 

The Covid rebels make an unlikely pair. Jay Bhattacharya was born in Kolkata, an Indian city that pulsates with people. Martin Kulldorff is from Umeå, Sweden, population 90,000. Yet they have much in common. “I almost view Martin like a brother,” says the talkative Dr. Bhattacharya, 52, who moved to the U.S. with his Bengali parents when he was 4. “I mean, we complete each other’s sentences, as you can see.” The feeling is “mutual,” confirms the more phlegmatic Mr. Kulldorff, 58.

Dr. Bhattacharya, a physician and economist, and Mr. Kulldorf, a biostatistician—who study epidemiology at the medical schools at Stanford and Harvard, respectively—are, in the eyes of their critics, dangerous contrarians for opposing Covid-19 lockdowns. Some of the criticism borders on hysteria: A colleague accused Mr. Kulldorff of practicing “Trumpian epidemiology” after he gave an interview to the far-left Jacobin magazine in which he called for a “radically different” approach to pandemic management.

Most pertinently, the two men are the authors—with Sunetra Gupta, a professor of epidemiology at Oxford—of the Great Barrington Declaration. Published on Oct. 4, the declaration is a cri de coeur against lockdowns and other economic restrictions that have hobbled swaths of the world. It asked instead for “focused protection”—a policy of allowing “those at minimal risk of death” to resume their lives while societies concentrate on “better protecting those who are at highest risk.”

... Lockdown policies are not only “regressive,” with their disparate impact on the poor and minorities; they reflect, Dr. Bhattacharya says, a “sort of monomania.” The world “panicked in March, and the focus came to just be on Covid control and nothing else.” People saw pictures from Wuhan, China, and Bergamo, Italy, and concluded that they had to do “something very, very drastic in order to address this drastic thing that’s happening.” There was “an action bias that led to the adoption of lockdowns as a form of contagion itself.” (There is an academic paper that models the lockdown-contagion idea, titled “Explaining the homogenous diffusion of Covid-19 nonpharmaceutical interventions across heterogeneous countries.”)

Mr. Kulldorff says the Covid-19 restrictions violate two cardinal principles of public health. First, “you can’t just look at Covid, you have to look holistically at health and consider the collateral damage.” Among the damage: a worsening incidence of cardiovascular disease and cancer and an alarming decline in immunization. “People aren’t going to the doctor,” he says. Dr. Bhattacharya also points to the suspension of tuberculosis programs in India and of malaria-eradication programs elsewhere.

Mr. Kulldorff’s second principle: “You can’t just look short-term.” Dr. Bhattacharya says we will “be counting the health harms from these lockdowns for a very long time.” He says anti-Covid efforts are sowing the seeds of other epidemics: “Pertussis—whooping cough—will come back. Polio will come back because of the cessation of vaccination campaigns. All these diseases that we’ve made substantial progress in will start to come back.” 

 In the meantime, we have Saint Fauci, quoted ad nauseum by Team Apocalypse the mainstream media hamsters. Fauci's catastrophist position has been both irresponsible and at times, dead wrong. It seems that Dr. Fauci refuses to accept the simple reality that lockdowns do as much harm as good, maybe a lot more harm that good. Fauci violates both "principles" noted by Mr. Kulldorff. He seems to ignore growing evidence that masks are more about feeling safe than making anyone safe. But whatever. 

I'll stick with Dr. Bhattacharya and Mr. Kulldorf, men of science and mathematics who may not be members of the glitterati, but have just as much (or more) to contribute than Anthony Fauci.

Friday, October 23, 2020


It was almost as if the moderator of the final presidential debate tried to make up for four years of media bias and dishonesty in one night. To her credit, NBC's Kristin Welker asked tough but fair questions, yet did not insert herself into the debate as, for example, Chris Wallace did. Kudos.

Over the four years in question, the Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media have done an outstanding job of demonizing Donald Trump. "He's a Russian puppet, he's a white supremacist, he doesn't pay any taxes, he hates veterans, he's a dictator, he's xenophobic,  he loves dictators"... and much, much more. I'll admit that Trump's bombastic style gives them plenty to work with, but claims that he's a "Russian puppet" (see Update-1) or a "white supremacist" (a proven hoax) are completely unhinged.

When hard facts arise that emphasize Joe Biden's sordid 47-year history in politics (think: the Hunter Biden influence peddling scandal)the titans of social media make sure that those stories don't spread across the net. And when people post things that question Joe Biden's policies or ethics, not to mention his cognitive impairment, well, there's always shadow banning on Facebook or Twitter—a strategy applied only to conservatives.

And just to be sure that Trump is annihilated, the Dems bring out the the glitterati and deep state illuminati—Hollywood celebrities become laughably unhinged when discussing Trump, and deep state denizens (past Generals, cabinet secretaries, etc.) are quick to sign petitions and open letters denouncing him.

Is it any wonder that virtually no Democrats, relatively few independents, and more than a few GOPers won't admit that they're leaning toward Trump. That's why polls indicate that he's behind in key battleground states. Jason Riley, in a WSJ article yesterday, stated" "Lightning will have to strike twice for Trump to win." He's referring to Trump's upset 2016 victory over HRC in which every important poll was wrong. Will it happen again. Very possibly, and here's why ...

  • The blatant bias that is exhibited by the media pisses off a lot of people. The likes of CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, the NYT, the LAT, WaPo and countless other biased, dishonest outlets reinforce the notion that they're truly fake news. Their content is ignored.
  • The blatant bias of debate/townhall moderators (Welker excluded) has been so obvious and one sided, it causes people to ask why those same moderators feel the need to protect Joe Biden, to avoid asking him tough questions, and to attack Trump with long disproven canards. Why does Joe need their protection ... what's wrong with him?
  • The media's overt and near-hysterical suppression of a legitimate news story that indicates that "man-of-the-people" Joe Biden was an active participant in an influence peddling scandal involving his son Hunter causes at least some people to give credence to the scandal.
  • Attempts by the Dems and their trained hamsters to hang 200,000+ COVID-19 deaths on Trump are despicable, and many people realize that's the case. Sure, the Trump administration made mistakes (the lockdown is one, although understandable in the context of the moment). And when those people hear the Dems demanding mandatory masks and new lockdowns and then blaming Trump for a "recession," they realize it's all a political strategy. A guy sitting in his house waited for his job to return, angered by the faux virtue signaling of Team Apocalypse, and a small business owner whose lifelong work has been destroyed by a Dem governor who insists that lockdowns work (when they do NOT) are not about to believe that it's all being done in their best interests.
  • The suburban mom who watches leftist rioters in cities across the nation burn and destroy homes, businesses and public buildings and then hears that those rioters are threatening to transform her town will think twice about voting for a political party that refuses to arrest those rioters or even condemn them by name.
  • The history teacher who watches as rabid leftists tear down statues of Jefferson and Lincoln, Washington and Teddy Roosevelt and then hears that Biden campaign workers contributed to a fund that bailed those rioters out of jail, will ask whether the Dems are the same party she's supported for decades.
  • The parents of children who have been locked out of their school and are learning very little on-line begin to ask why Dem's insist that children are "at risk" when the data indicate that they are the least likely to exhibit symptom and have a 99.997% chance of survival if they do get the virus.
  • The gig worker who makes decent money as an Uber driver or as a freelance film editor or as a fill-in chef who reads that Biden supports making them an employee who must pay union dues, will think twice about their vote.
  • The cop who has been demonized by the Democrats will wonder why on earth he or she should vote for them.
  • The African American who hears his leaders tell him the orange man is a racist, but then considers the fact that for the first time, he had a great, high paying job with prospects will wonder whether Trump is as bad as they say.
  • The Latino who started a small business and wasn't overwhelmed with red tape will wonder why Trump is being criticized for making his life easier.
  • Democrats who support Israel and then hear people like Bernie or AOC or Ilhan demonize the small country, and then realize that Joe Biden has capitulated to the hard-left, will think about that as they vote.
  • A veteran who has returned from Iraq and seen the damage and death from militias sponsored by Iran will wonder how Joe Biden and the Dems can suggest making nicey-nice with the mullahs.
  • The everyday informed voter who looks at the promises Trump made in 2016 and then comes to realize he has kept the majority of them.
And every one of those people who have witnessed friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and of course, the glitterati heap opprobrium on Trump and his supporters, when asked who they're voting for will say, "Joe Biden. I would never vote for Donald Trump. Never!"

But in the quiet of their kitchen as they fill out their mail-in ballot, or in the sanctity of the voting booth where they complete their ballot in person, they'll think about all of this and vote ... for stability, for a good economy, for good jobs, for an administration that actually accomplishes the things it has promised, for a rational foreign policy, and then ... they'll cast their ballot.

And when asked about it afterwards, they'll say, "I voted for Joe Biden. I would never vote for Donald Trump. Never!"

But in the corner of their mouth there's the hint of a smile ... just a hint.

Pushback is coming.


The same people who would NEVER vote for Donald Trump are being told over and over and over again that any hint of an influence peddling scandal (and it's a lot more than a hint) involving Joe Biden and Hunter Biden is a "disinformation" campaign by the Russians (!!!). And when congenital liar Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) begins that trope, they're probably thinking along the same lines as left-leaning journalist Glen Greenwald:

If the media polls tell us Biden is up by 10 points, and Dems are confident of winning because orange-man-bad, why are they acting like the leaders of a two-bit totalitarian country who must blame everything on some outside boogieman?


I voted on Wednesday—in person—at a library on U.S. 441 in South Florida. There was a weather system crossing the peninsula, and it was pouring. A man stood on the grass next to 441—a six-lane road with lots of morning traffic—twirling a large "Trump-2020" sign. As I stopping to turn into the library, oncoming traffic was heavy, so I waited. Probably 50 - 60 of cars passed the man with the sign. The cacophony of positive beeps as drivers passed by was deafening. Through the rain-soaked windshield, I could see passing drivers smiling and giving the man a thumbs up. That 'poll' won't be reported by the media.

I realize this is anecdotal, but it is instructive, particularly when the media insists that Biden is up by 2 or 3 percentage points in FL.

BTW, Biden signs were stuck in the grass on the side of the road, some blown over by the wind, looking as forlorn as Biden usually does, but no one was there to hold them up. I wonder why.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Undecided Turnips

Like every presidential election in modern memory, it's the "undecideds" that rule at the end. Daniel Henninger comments:

The undecided turnips can’t go to sleep until they resolve what the 2020 election has come down to: Is hating Trump enough? Is disapproval of a president’s personality sufficient reason to transfer power to Joe Biden and the Democratic Party?

For some, and this includes voters who admire most of Mr. Trump’s policies, the blunt answer is yes. Many of them have a personal final-straw story, for instance Mr. Trump’s shabby dismissal of former Defense Secretary and Marine Gen. Jim Mattis.

Still, elect Joe Biden? Has any candidate for the U.S. presidency ever run on less than Joe Biden this year?

Mr. Biden’s campaign has consisted almost entirely of riffing variations on the first words in his convention acceptance speech. “The current president has cloaked America in darkness for much too long,” Mr. Biden said, asserting that if voters “entrust” him with the presidency, “I will be an ally of the light, not the darkness.”

Less than two weeks from the vote, that is pretty much the four-year deal on offer from Mr. Biden: release from Donald Trump in return for “an ally of light.”

If Joe Biden is an "ally of the light" it might be best to opt for the darkness of Trump's personality and style while embracing the luminosity of his policy accomplishments. 

It all boils down to style and substance. Biden's people have worked hard to create an image of Biden that positions him as a Jimmy Stewart-like politician—a crusader for the common man, and "empathetic" leader, an honest and forthright moderate in the old school style. That's a fiction, of course, but it has convinced enough people, so it works.

The reality—exposed by this year's October surprise—is that Biden is a 47-year swamp creature, a corrupt pol who trades on access and influence to enrich himself and his family. Some would argue that all long-time politicians are corrupted and do what Biden has been caught doing ... and they might be right. But when you couple Biden's lack of ethics with a 47 year history in which he has accomplished almost nothing of substance, has made consistently bad recommendations about important policy decisions, and has a tinge of soft racist statements that should be disqualifying within the Democratic party, and then factor in his obvious cognitive disability, you have to begin to ask: Should Joe Biden be president?

That's what the "undecided turnips"—at least the ones who aren't low information voters—are asking right about now.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

A Fourth Reich

If Robert Reich were an average Joe on the street who tweeted his feelings for all the world to see, a majority of readers would dismiss him as a leftist crazy. If he were a Hollywood celebrity (Rob Reiner or Barbra Steisand come to mind), most would dismiss his unhinged comments because Hollywood types are much better at acting than thinking. But Reich, is a member of the Democrat elite and a past government official. This past week, Reich tweeted this:

The "catastrophe" he's ranting about is an economy that  improved the lot of the middle class and minorities while reduced income inequality. It's a foreign policy that has done more for peace in the Middle East, for fair trade, and for control of our adversaries (think: Iran) than the past four presidents combined. That "catastrophe." 

I've mentioned on previous occasions (e.g., here) that the hard left has a pre-disposition for purges. Like the Khmer Rouge* and many other infamous communist regimes of the past, they will NOT accept opposing thought. Rather, they will eradicate it by whatever means are necessary. Worse, there have been many instances (e.g., here and here), in which the hard-left extremists in this country violently assault those with opposing views. 

It is S.O.P. for the hard left to call people who oppose their world view "racists, white supremacists, fascists, and nazis." It has become S.O.P. for their military arm—antifa—to riot when their sensibilities are offended. Arson, destruction, and violence have become their weapons, and vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris has threatened its continuance if the election doesn't go her way.  

In recent months, it has become S.O.P. for the left to use their allies among big social media to censor information and people that challenge their narrative. Their trained hamsters in the mainstream media simply refuse to report any news that reflects badly on their candidates. It's getting worse by the day.

But don't believe me ... consider the tweet of another celebrity who until recently was a darling of the left:

It's truly ironic that Reich's tweet could mistakenly be attributed to a vicious murderer like Pol Pot. And remember, Reich is a respected member of the Democrat elite.


*  The Khmer Rouge were communist fanatics who believed that they could solve Cambodia's problems through a combination of indoctrination and terror. They killed millions and were among history's worst actors.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Responsible People

We currently have supposedly responsible people who are enthusiastically promoting a presidential candidate who exhibits every indicia that is commonly associated with early stage 1 senile dementia, and at the same time is being accused of political influence peddling which illegally enriched his son and possibly, himself. All because they hate, hate, hate Donald Trump. That's not responsible behavior, no matter how much you dislike Trump.

Obviously, Biden supporters disagree, and to bolster what is actually an indefensible position, they have decided to establish a dual fantasy:

  1. Joe Biden stutters ... he's always gaffed his way through politics ... he doesn't have any cognitive impairment, and besides, he'll have the support of Kamala and Bernie and The Squad and Nancy and Chuck and his staff of young leftists when hard decisions must be made. 
  2. The growing volume of evidence, including Biden's own statements and emails written by his son which indicate that Biden was well-aware of his son's influence peddling business and participated so that money could be made, are nothing more that Russian disinformation. (the Russians, yet again appear in the fevered imagination of the Dems ... Is there anything they can't do?)  And besides, leaks and whistle blowers are a bad thing (all of a sudden) particularly when they expose Democrat corruption.
The editors of Issues and Insights comment on the second point:

... The news is getting out [despite the attempts to censor it]. And it isn’t good for either Joe Biden or his freeloading son. The evidence clearly suggests that both Bidens profited from the vice president’s office during the Obama administration, in essence selling access for cash.

What’s galling is that Biden had heretofore denied any contact at all with Hunter’s many global partners, saying he had “never spoken” to his son “about his overseas business dealings.”

But the newly discovered trove of emails from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop says otherwise ...

The emails are damning, the [New York] Post report shows:

Hunter Biden introduced his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm less than a year before the elder Biden pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company, according to emails obtained by The Post.

The never-before-revealed meeting is mentioned in a message of appreciation that Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma, allegedly sent Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015, about a year after Hunter joined the Burisma board at a reported salary of up to $50,000 a month.
‘Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent (sic) some time together. It’s realty (sic) an honor and pleasure,’ the email reads.

An email from May 2014 also shows Pozharskyi, reportedly Burisma’s No. 3 exec, asking Hunter for “advice on how you could use your influence” on the company’s behalf.

That shows Biden’s denial was an out-and-out lie.

But that’s not the worst of it.

During a December 2013 official trip to China to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Joe Biden met with Chinese venture capitalist Jonathan Li in a hotel lobby. Nothing wrong with that, except Li was one of Hunter Biden’s partners in an investment firm called BHR Partners, formed just six months earlier.

Still later, he would make room in the White House for another family member,

But the most alarming revelation of all is an email, released by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, that suggests Joe Biden took a half-cut of everything his son earned from his shady foreign deals.
The democrats trained hamsters in the media refuse to ask any questions about any of this and outright refuse to investigate on their own, but what else is new?

Joe Biden is now cognitively impaired. He can't help that, and it is sad. But he wasn't impaired when he participated in the Washington favorite game—influence peddling to enrich himself nd his family. And that indicates that he's nothing more than another swamp creature and probably has been for 47 years. 

Pushback is coming from people who may not be members of the woke elite, but are nonetheless, far more responsible than the woke elite could ever be.


It's odd that only the foreign media seems to be covering the Joe Biden corruption and influence peddling scandal. Gosh, you'd think the media in this country was covering for their chosen candidate. You'd be right.

In any event, here's still more news (out of a very detailed report) about Biden and his son from the U.K.'s Daily Mail:
... in 2014, when Joe, as Vice President, was helping to implement U.S. policy in Ukraine, Hunter took a highly-paid job with a Ukranian energy company called Burisma (of which more later).

Around the same time, he built murky and contentious connections with Russia, helping his investment advisory firm Rosemont Seneca receive some $3.5m from the billionaire widow of former Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhov ... 
Then there was a somewhat dubious episode in China, where Hunter arranged for an entrepreneur called Jonathan Li, with whom he was setting up an investment fund, to hold a meeting (and enjoy a very public handshake) with Joe in a Beijing hotel lobby during an official visit.

Such ventures, in regions of the world hardly known for their probity, have always smelled distinctly whiffy. So what, then, ought we to make of the revelation that, when his father was Vice President, Biden Jr was doing business in a fourth cash-soaked but highly corrupt country?

Namely: Kazakhstan.

The Mail can reveal that between 2012 and 2014, Hunter worked as a sort of go-between for Kenes Rakishev, a self-styled 'international businessman, investor and entrepreneur' with close family connections to the kleptocratic regime of his homeland's despotic former president Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Emails passed to this newspaper via anti-corruption campaigners from the Central Asian country reveal that Biden Jr held extensive meetings with Rakishev, who was looking to invest a portion of his personal fortune in New York and Washington DC. He also travelled to the Kazakh capital of Astana to hold business discussions ...

It may even be that Joe Biden himself was dragged into the oligarch's orbit. An unverified photograph, published on the website of an anti-corruption group called the Kazakhstani Initiative on Asset Recovery, appears to show Hunter introducing his Dad to both Rakishev and one Karim Massimov, the former Kazakh Prime Minister.

So who exactly is Rakishev?

[In] 2012 ... Rakishev had just joined Forbes magazine's top-15 list of Kazakhstan's 'most influential' tycoons, with estimated assets of some $332 million. Like many an oligarch in possession of a huge fortune, Rakishev was now looking for a safe place to park it, so had come to America in search of new places to invest his hard-earned roubles.

Sadly, things hadn't gone entirely smoothly. For in the highly-regulated world of Western capitalism, Rakishev discovered that blue-chip investment partners were often reluctant to take his cash.

To blame? The fact that no one was entirely sure where his wealth actually came from ...

The United States Department of Justice then took an interest in Rakishev. It soon dragged him into an investigation of potential breaches the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act related to 'an investment in the oil and gas industry in Kazakhstan'.

... in late October 2013, Biden's partner Archer arranged a conference call between Rakishev and the aforementioned Alex Forbes Kerry [daughter of John Kerry], who was by then attempting to raise cash to launch a film production firm.

Immediately after the call that December, Rakishev emailed with happy news: 'Thank you my brother from another mother! Thanks you very much my brother! We decided to invest 1 mln [million]! Give them my email!'

Ms Forbes Kerry, who has never publicly acknowledged her debt to Rakishev, finalised the deal in January 2014. The following month, she and Biden met Rakishev for dinner in Washington DC.

'It was a pleasure to meet you with Devon and Hunter the other day,' she told him by email afterwards. 'I want to thank you for the beautiful watch! I am sorry I didn't open it at the table. I misunderstood and thought it was a baby present so I only opened it when I was at home. It is absolutely beautiful and you are so generous . . . Please come to New York soon and bring your family. We will host you and your team.'

Rakishev responded that he intended to take up that offer in September. 'Let's be in touch!' he wrote ...

In 2017 ... Hunter was of course the subject of a spectacular political controversy. This stemmed from his decision in 2014 to accept a $50,000-a-month job on the board of Burisma, a Ukranian gas and oil company.

The role, for which Hunter had no obvious qualifications (in an industry he'd never worked in), came at a time when his father Joe was touring the region as Barack Obama's Vice President, seeking to shore up support for Ukraine's government following Russia's annexation of the Crimea.

Via Joe, the White House was not only lobbying Ukraine to become more energy independent by exporting oil and gas to the West, but also calling for its government to do more to root out corruption.

In particular, the U.S. and its allies were calling for the dismissal of the country's top prosecutor who was, at the time, carrying out an investigation into alleged malfeasance at Burisma.

All of which meant that the Vice President of America appeared to be using his position to endorse policies that would generate huge profits for a company that had suddenly decided to hire his own son as a director.

As The Guardian newspaper at the time put it: 'Putin's propaganda people can take a long weekend. Their work is being done for them!'

This week's emails leaked to the New York Post suggest that in return for his fat salary, Hunter in 2015 may have attempted to arrange for a senior Burisma executive called Vadym Pozharskyi 'spend some time together' with Joe in Washington DC.

It remains unclear whether any such meeting occurred. Indeed, Biden's campaign, while not disputing the authenticity of the emails, this week issued a carefully-worded statement insisting that 'no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place'.

Be that as it may, Donald Trump long ago developed something of an obsession with this affair.

... But as we can today reveal, Hunter Biden's real relationship with the hugely rich oligarch actually runs far deeper than anyone — even Donald Trump — has previously dreamed. 
Before you protest that much of this is circumstantial, recognize that the Democrats initiated a two year special counsel investigation on evidence that was much, much  flimsier than the information presented by The Daily Mail and in the NY Post exposé.

Did Biden benefit monetarily? Did he lie when he said publicly that he had no direct knowledge of his son's shady business dealings? Did he knowingly allow his son to peddle his name to raise money? Does he even remember any of this?

The media won't discuss the matter and even worse, social media censors anyone who tries. Welcome to a preview of the new world of leftist governance, aided and abetted by a media that enables it. Frightening.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Get Busy Living

Regular readers of this space are aware that I have been against prolonged lockdowns since the relative beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak (e.g., writing in March—here, here, here and here). I argued then—and continue to argue now—that the cost of the lockdowns far exceeds the cost of the virus, even with 200,000 plus dead and more than 7 million cases recorded. 

Any objective assessment of the data collected on SARS-Cov-2 indicates that a well-defined and age-bounded elderly population with pre-existing health conditions (i.e., co-morbidities) is the only population that is at serious risk statistically, and only that population should take voluntary extreme measures to protect itself.

Richard Fernandez discusses the growing "rebellion" against government's attempts to keep countries locked down:

The lockdown orthodoxy may have had its “Walter Cronkite abandons Vietnam” moment when the WHO admitted that the policy as implemented may be doing more net harm than good: “Recent commentary from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) special envoy on COVID-19 has sparked questions about the legitimacy of lockdowns to stop the spread of coronavirus. ‘We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,’ the WHO’s Dr. David Nabarro says.”

Politicians who have enlarged their powers under the aegis of public health should realize that the desire for freedom eventually overcomes fear. It starts gradually at first but it builds and never goes away. Eventually, freedom — to some — becomes the goal of life itself as depicted in the prison movie, The Shawshank Redemption.

Red: I don’t think you got to be doing this to yourself, Andy. [Referring to his planned escape.] It’s just shitty pipe dreams. I mean, Mexico is way the hell down there, and you’re in here, and that’s the way it is.

Andy: Yeah. Right. That’s the way it is. It’s down there and I’m in here. I guess it comes down to a simple choice really. Get busy living or get busy dying.

The urge to escape confinement is like a virus. And it’s contagious.

At the end of the day, people (the vast majority who are, in fact, progressives) continue to hide in their homes. Worse they insist that their fear should be the criterion through which their politicians —and yes, the vast majority of politicians who continue to advocate lockdowns are, in fact, Democrats—should mandate how the rest of us live our lives. They're not only wrong in principle, even as they drape themselves in virtue signaling—they're also selfish. 

Children, young people, and adults under 60 are in little danger from virus and yet, people like Joe Biden want to lockdown yet again. Biden and his co-catastrophists love the daily pandemic porn emanating from their media. They love the theatrical use of masks whose efficacy against SARS-Cov-2 is highly questionable. That's the "plan" they famously demand. Not only does it dismiss the struggles of low income people who must work to survive and cannot work remotely, the data on SARS-Cov-2 indicates that their "plan" simply doesn't work. 

The Shawshank Redemption is on my Top-10 list of great movies. It is, in its own way a quintessentially American story—courage in the face of threat, dedication to a goal, and having the will to successfully achieve that goal. "Andy" was talking about a prison break, not about a virus. But that doesn't matter. His sentiment is on target:

I guess it comes down to a simple choice really. Get busy living or get busy dying.