Archive for government

Pandemic models versus ground truth and reason

Aynsley Kellow: Logic, the first casualty – “In the US Donald Trump is being excoriated for daring to consider the costs by those who consider risk management to be solely a matter for natural scientists, and to be decided without regard to cost. He is one of the few leaders (if not the only one) who is including some consideration of the human and economic costs of the responses dictated by the medical experts who have no expertise in risk management as it should be practiced.

John Merline: COVID-19 Is Killing The Case For Socialized Medicine – “we actually have a way to compare how various countries have been dealing with the coronavirus. We can compare death rates from the virus, and deaths as a share of total population and contagion rates.” … “The mantra among socialized medicine advocates is that the U.S. spends more for health care but delivers lower quality than other industrialized nations. The experience with the coronavirus is showing that the last thing we should do is import health care systems from abroad.

John Hinderaker: Covid-19 Deaths So Far: Where Is The Crisis? – “I have updated this chart a number of times, based on data from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control, and will continue to do so. It shows, for one thing, how far COVID-19 has to go before it equals the average seasonal flu mortality,”

Scott Johnson: Deborah Birx: About those models – “the predictions of the model don’t match the reality on the ground in China, South Korea or Italy.” Just like the climate models?

Monica Showalter: A stupid little political stunt to Get Trump goes awry in Nevada – “Steve Sisolak, the leftist governor of Nevada, decided to play doctor by banning the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine” … “It’s ironic, because Sisolak couldn’t do anything better to incentivize hoarding than to initiate bans and conditions and prohibitions.”

“It’s nothing but Democrat administrative-state mentality at work here — first, the slap at Trump, and second, the move to crush the wreckers and hoarders — all coming at a time when the private sector is stepping up production of necessary things in a pandemic, the innovators are going gangbusters with new solutions, doctors are experimenting in uncertainty as never before and the regulators in Washington are getting out of the way in a bid to hasten solutions.

What Nevada needs, he seems to be saying, is more bureaucrats, more enforcers, and more regulations, because there’s just too much freedom and in a pandemic, people are escaping “all proper control.” He’s moving against the Zeitgeist, led by President Trump. Expect a lot more self-justification and backtracking from him, he’s not making himself popular.

neo: The flexible opinions of the left – “Seems that within just a few years’ time, leftists have completely reversed their position on saving money vs. maximum preservation of the elderly’s lives.

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Pushing panic and doom?

Two ideas came up today in various essays. One highlights the fact that social distancing has an impact on all communicable diseases and the decrease in flu cases skews Wuhan virus handling capability. Another is comparing the assault on hospital capacity of a disaster like 9/11 to the epidemic and wondering about the ability to handle disasters.

John Podhoretz: Watch out for the Chicken Littles gleefully pushing panic and doom – “For Americans especially prone to that specific fear, there is almost no piece of coronavirus news that doesn’t trigger a renewed sense of panic.” … “There is something peculiar going on in the way certain people are discussing the coronavirus — journalists, pundits and the armies of “influencers” endowed with a blue checkmark for no obvious reason. It’s almost as though they are taking a salacious pleasure in the grimmest and most haunting possibilities.

Ryan Sasscer: Let’s not Swat the Mosquito but get Hit by the Train – “The COVID-19 pandemic is a legitimate crisis we should take seriously, but our response to this virus is putting us on course for a far worse disaster.”

Augusto Zimmermann: Dear PM, a Word to Ponder, ‘Proportion’ – “Dr Katz suggests that governments should depart from the “total war” strategy that your government and others are employing – disrupting businesses and restricting the movement of people with no regards to the variance in the risks of contracting the infection – and start adopting instead a rather more “surgical war” approach to the problem.

Scott Johnson: Coronavirus in one state – “The order is premised on modeling performed by state and University of Minnesota public health experts” … “The implication is that we have been “doing nothing.” We have been “doing something” for the past few weeks.” … “There is reasonable ground to wonder whether the projections on which the governor has relied comport with reality.” … “Current data compiled by the Minnesota Department of Health reflect these numbers: 11,000 tests, 287 positive, one death. The data also reflect a total of 35 cases requiring hospitalization, including 26 hospitalized as of today.

John Hinderaker: COVID-19 Fatalities So Far – “The Diamond Princess experience–virtually a laboratory experiment–suggests that around 80% of the population is naturally immune to COVID-19, that half the people who get the disease will experience no symptoms, and that in an elderly population, something like 1% of those who contract the disease will die. So far I don’t see anything in the reported U.S. or global fatality numbers to contradict the Diamond Princess experience.

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The good word isn’t welcome

Scott Johnson citing Kevin Roche: My struggle with the Star Tribune (3) – “We need to immediately embark on a different course, before the damage we inflict on ourselves is beyond repair. … So we should call on Governor Walz, our legislators and other political leaders, to consider that they are only delaying, that is right, not preventing, only delaying, the loss of a few lives, while promulgating measures that likely will lead to, indeed have already led to, enormous job losses and financial ruin, creating widespread anxiety and emotional distress.”

Meanwhile you have Larry Hogan: We’re going to listen to our scientists on when we go back to work, not the White House and Allahpundit proclaiming “I wonder if Trump realizes how ferocious the pushback will be if he follows through on encouraging people to go back to work next week.” Both Hogan and the Pundit expose a deep TDS bias in proclaiming conclusions as assumptions without evidence to support them. Another one is Breaking: Trump says aiming to reopen America by Easter; Update: Can’t reopen until health care system is prepared, says … Liz Cheney where Ed Morrissey misses what the President said about Easter as a goal and completely avoided the problem (along with Cheney) of trying to decide what a prepared health care system might be. Why is the health care system unprepared for a respiratory disease whose numbers are in the noise when compared to the annual flu onslaught? i.e. the health care situation is fear driven, not fact driven.

Coyote: COVID-19 And Some Thoughts on Data Analysis – [caution: moral preening on display] “Frankly, I am done with the Precautionary Principle. This does not mean I am against taking precautions, even strong and expensive precautions, against bad things. But I am done with the notion that one should ignore the costs of these precautions and not make sensible tradeoffs. This is even true when trading off the risk to life on one hand with reduction of economic outcomes on the other. This is in part because reduced economic activity has real effects on human misery and has direct correlations with lifespan and well-being.” His thoughts:

“The data we have sucks, and thus any conclusions we are drawing mostly suck too. …

The media is constantly confusing changes in measurement technique and intensity with changes in the underlying progress of the virus itself. …

The data we are getting sucks worse because the media has decided, as one big group, that for our own good they are going to limit all facts about the virus to only the bad ones. …

The media is never more dangerous than when it understands a little about a scientific topic. …

Many of the computer model results I am seeing make no sense to me. I am exhausted with people talking about computer models as if they are some fact, rather than a really opaque calculation on some researcher’s set of non-transparent hypotheses. …

Mario Alexis Portella: No, Trump is not in Violation of the Emoluments Clause – “Unless we believe that the Framers intended to prohibit any presidential secondary source of income that could, even incidentally, do business with a foreign government or official, then clearly “emolument” is a term of art that covers specific types of payments and gifts.” It’s a good rundown on one of the ongoing lawfare attacks.

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Opportunity or solution? What’s the focus?

Monica Showalter: Journey to Surrealville: What’s really fueling Pelosi’s shutdown of America’s relief package? – “As Roger Simon noted in his excellent piece, they’re using a pandemic for political aims, suggesting they have no limits on how far they’ll go to use any crisis for political gains. They’d do the same in a nuclear attack, he points out, because they are that far gone

“Not surprisingly, Twitter hashtags such as #PelosiHatesAmericans and #DemocratsAreDestroyingAmerica are leading trends on Twitter. It’s a sign that this is going to leave a mark on Democrats and isn’t going down well. … American workers have seen $1,200 checks dangled in front of them…and are now seeing them pulled away from them like Lucy’s football.

Not a biggie to Nancy Pelosi, who, after all, has called thousand-dollar checks to workers “crumbs.”

This brings us to the real question here, which is, what are they thinking? How could they treat lifeline aid during a massive crisis that has shut down the economy of the entire country as such a political football? How could they betray the blue-state governors whom President Trump is working so well with — California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom, New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and Washington’s Gov. Jay Inslee — three lefti-est of lefties — who have nothing but praise these days for President Trump? How could they betray Democratic moneybags financing sources such as Google and Facebook and even Walmart, which have done so much good as their part of the collective effort?

A look at Christine Pelosi’s Twitter feed offers some clues … More important, take a look at that Moscow Mitch designator — something McConnell reportedly does not like, so she uses it. There’s no bipartisan spirit there to start, not even any hope of it with this kind of talk, just a desire for political slugfesting. More important, the Moscow Mitch thing is a reference to the Democrats’ continuous hobbyhorse: finding some way to overturn the results of the 2016 election. This is pure partisanship at its most disgusting, business as usual for the rabid and embittered Democrats.

It’s a journey into the surreal. Yet it’s valuable to know what talking points they are pushing, given the pliance of the mainstream media and groups such as JournoList which repeat talking points in unison. This is the freak show coming at us, and it’s beyond disgusting.

Scott Johnson: Dems gotta Dem, Pelosi style – “The absurdly irrelevant provisions that Dems seek to incorporate to further the progressive takeover of the United States are meant to remain a deep secret. The current crisis — it’s not meant to go to waste, in the usual reckoning of the thought leaders of the Democratic Party.

Paul Mirengoff: Public health and economic prosperity – “On the public health side of the equation, I don’t think anyone has come up with a reliable model for forecasting the fatalities that would result from various levels of social isolation and business cessation. Similarly, on the economic side, I’m not aware of any reliable model that forecasts the amount of economic damage that would result from various levels and duration of business cessation, or that tells us how long recovery would take.

Lubos Motl: Who was Feynman’s Mr Young and what was his rat paper?When I watched this irrational behavior, the mindless promotion of “what must be done to fix the epidemics”, I couldn’t forget about the wonderful 1974 Richard Feynman’s Caltech commencement speech that is included as Cargo Cult Science,”

“a chapter in his popular book Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman. In that speech, Feynman mentioned some medieval superstitions and charlatans. How could people believe those gurus when it was rather clear that nothing really worked? However, Feynman continued, it’s a silly question because people are still behaving equally stupidly in the modern era.

Jack Cashill: Reflections on a Century of Junk Science – “In my 2009 book, Hoodwinked: How Intellectual Hucksters Have Hijacked American Culture, I documented a century’s worth of scientific misinformation, disinformation, half-truths, and lies disseminated almost inevitably to advance a progressive agenda.

“The numbers stunned me. Not following the news closely, I presumed, based on the hysteria in the air, that the numbers had to be at least ten times that high both nationally and internationally.

285? According to the Centers for Disease Control 185 Americans died of drug overdoses every day in 2018. According to the CDC, 315 people died of the flu every day during the six-month 2018-2019 flu season. And if protecting life is the goal, we could save about 400 young lives every work hour by shutting down America’s abortion clinics.

No sooner did I get home with my pizza than the news broke that the bi-state metro Kansas City would be subject to a stay-at-home order effective Tuesday morning. “After 30 days,” the TV News station reported matter-of-factly, “the jurisdictions will consider whether to extend the order.” That is how easy it is in 2020 America to suspend the U.S. Constitution and wreck the economy.

I would feel better about the order and my fellow citizens if some horrible plague were ravaging the metro. That is not exactly the case. As of Saturday night, there had been a total of four Covid-19 deaths in all of Kansas and Missouri, only one of which was in the KC metro area, a “man in his 70s with underlying health conditions.”

The science establishment was just warming up. In the decades ahead, they would serve up global cooling, nuclear winter, the alar scare, second-hand smoke, global warming, climate change, and a host of other contrived doomsday scenarios. When the predicted doom failed to materialize, the prophets of doom shifted the date of doom forward and bought more beachfront property.

Never before, though, has a mania wreaked so much havoc so quickly as the Covid-19 scare. Many of the predictions are as incredible as those for heterosexual aids, and even if accurate, they do not justify the assault on our economy and our very freedoms.

Someone please warn the president about the scientists in his midst.

Looks like Dr. Fauci may be a bit over the edge in pushing medicine without due consideration for other social issues like the economy or individual responsibility. His role is being re-assed’ and the media is jumping all over that to support its anti-Trump narrative and agenda. This suggests a Fake News Alert may be in  order.

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A failure to serve on two fronts

Ned Ryun: Failures of the Administrative State in the Pandemic Crisis – “This isn’t the time to change our leadership in the White House. It’s time to change the government the person in the White House oversees. The American people deserve better.”

“Despite Democrats’ insistent focus on making this pandemic crisis about President Trump and his Administration—and the media happily jumping on that bandwagon—there are facts that cannot be ignored, and many of them are things the Democrat members of Congress (or former members of the Obama Administration) don’t want the American people to know.

Scott Johnson: Waiting for the FDA – “The WSJ reported yesterday that President Trump has “considered issuing an executive order greatly expanding the use of investigational drugs against the new coronavirus, but was met with objections from Food and Drug Administration scientists who warned it could pose unneeded risks to patients[.]

Kurt Schlichter: The Media Is Even More Garbage Than Usual – “And remember, we are supposed to respect these people, to treat them as brave firefighters who risk it all to bring us the truth. Instead, they are cheesy little liars, and not very good ones.

“This was the media’s time to shine, a moment when we needed clear, objective information delivered by intelligent people who asked the important questions people care about so Americans could protect themselves and their families. It was a critical juncture when the media could step up and show us all that yes, the media is still important. It still matters. It still deserves our respect.

Instead we got, “Mr. President, isn’t accurately pointing out that the coronavirus originated in China racist?”

Scott Johnson: Kung Flu fighting – “The White House press corps performed at a shamefully low level in yesterday’s daily briefing, yet they represent the top ranks of their profession.” Also see Situation critical: WH press at work.

Donna Rachel Edmunds: Israeli Nobel Laureate: Coronavirus spread is slowing – “Michael Levitt praised Israel for its preventative measures. He said most people are naturally immune, and that since the infection rate in China is slowing down, “the end of the pandemic is near.”

Kristinn Taylor: Target Stores’ Chrissy Teigen To First Lady Melania Trump – but it’s Trump, who doesn’t use language like this and is not mean and ugly in his rhetoric who catches the flak.

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The virus is a minor problem compared to the panic

Matt Margolis: 10 Ways the Left Has Politicized the Coronavirus Pandemic – “It was disgusting to see the way Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders politicized the coronavirus pandemic during their debate Sunday night. I expected as much, to be honest.” A list of ten with chapter and verse, as if that makes any difference to the perpetrators. When will it make a difference to the voters?

Terry Jones: Will The Real Victim Of The Wuhan Flu ‘Crisis’ Be Your Rights? – “we’re told repeatedly that, out of “an abundance of caution,” we must shut down our economy. From New York to California, state and local governments have declared “emergencies.” So has the federal government, part of a much-broader “crisis” response.

“This should be a concern to all Americans. Yes, we need to take reasonable precautions agains the Wuhan coronavirus to minimize deaths. We’re all for being careful. And, no, we don’t believe the Wuhan coronavirus is a hoax or anything like that. But the media focus has been hysterical to the point of absurdity, encouraging government to impose the most stringent controls in modern history.

That’s bad enough, given the mainstream media’s undisguised contempt for President Donald Trump. But they’re providing cover for those who would deprive us of our rights permanently.

Jazz Shaw: Coronavirus is the new excuse for universal basic income – “The latest installment in our series on Never Letting a Perfectly Good Crisis Go To Waste comes to us courtesy of Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii ”. Romney is in on it, too.

Cal Thomas: Is this panic over coronavirus justified, or not? – “Mainstream media loves fueling the fear factor

“Are we being subjected to doublespeak when, on the one hand, we are told the coronavirus is nothing to be afraid of, if we take precautions and, on the other, we are told to run for the hills? Is this a biblical plague or a manageable ailment? Are we facing the judgment of God, or will this, too, pass like the flu or a cold, or other ailments from which most of us recover? …

I am no prophet, but just as other challenges have confronted America, we will recover from this one. The stock market will revive because the economy remains strong. Schools that are closed will reopen. Broadway lights will go back on. Sports contests with fans in the seats will resume. Church doors will reopen. Normalcy will return.

Andrea Widburg: The American press’s entire energy is bent towards destroying Trump – “The latest example comes from The New York Times, a once-respected institution that now would offend the birds whose cages it might line.” … “It turns out that the New York Times was engaged in a lie by omission something that, at common law, is every bit as wrong as an affirmative fraud.” See also John Hinderaker: More Lies From the New York Times – “One question that millions have asked is, if Donald Trump does so many terrible things, why do leftists constantly have to make up things he didn’t actually do?

Andrea Widburg: Jennifer Rubin’s death wish for Republicans is factually wrong — and the maps prove it – “Once upon a time, Jennifer Rubin was an intelligent woman. Things started to go downhill when she went to work for the Washington Post, but what really flipped the switch in her brain was seeing Donald Trump become president.”

John Solomon: Obama DOJ officials privately told Mueller they were alarmed by FBI treatment of Flynn – “A little-noticed letter from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office divulges Obama DOJ concerns about FBI treatment of ex-Trump national security adviser.” Scott Johnson also has another hit on team Mueller: Escape from the Mueller miasma – “A lawyer for Concord said the case had ‘fundamental problems’ and said prosecutors wouldn’t have been able to prove at trial that the defendants knew they were violating U.S. laws. ‘The purpose of this indictment was to make a political statement regarding the outcome of the 2016 election that was grossly overstated.

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Hysteria is no replacement for facts

Where does the false history and cultural rot lead? Columbus did it!This is another case where a racial subgroup of the population is distinguished by unpleasant statistics and trying to shift blame. That results in greater social discord as problems are not addressed and solutions are distanced from reality.

“Douglas is an indigenous American artist, activist and registered member of the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe. For her, the dance is more than a performance. She created it to process her experience of sexual abuse as well as the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women (MMIW), which she says began with European colonization and has more recently been gaining attention through social media campaigns and hashtags such as #MMIW and #NoMoreStolenSisters.

Tabitha Mueller et al: Nevada officials, native community members grapple with high rate of missing and murdered indigenous women – “Legislation and other governing bodies have allocated more resources toward addressing MMIW, but those efforts are hampered by incomplete data and a tangled web of jurisdictions between federal, state and tribal law enforcement and prosecuting authorities.”

Terry Jones: Time To End Coronavirus Hysteria And Focus On Saving Some Lives – “is the hysteria warranted? What do we really know about this virus?” What we do know at this moment doesn’t warrant the hyperbole. 560,000 hospitalizations last year from the flu and there is uber-angst about a pandemic overloading the medical system with a current total, after three months, sick census of only 20% of that? For example of the FUD mongering see “No State Is Prepared” – Mapping Where Hospitals Will Run Out Of Beds First If Virus Cases Spike – “A USA Today analysis of American Hospital Association (AHA) hospital bed data shows that if confirmed Covid-19 cases and deaths follow similar growth curves as in China, Italy, and Iran, there could be six patients for every existing hospital bed.” What’s wrong with this picture?

More of where this came from by Tyler Durden: A 70-Year War On “Propaganda” Built By The CIA – “The CIA really does not have the best track record for their role in “managing” foreign wars and counter-insurgency activities. In fact, they have been caught rather red handed in fueling such crisis situations. And these are the people who are deciding what information is fit for the American public, and western public in general, and what is not fit for their ears.” Therefore the ‘cold war’ is all America’s fault and the USSR is the model of truth and justice in its methods of keeping the public informed.

Tyler Durden: The S**t Might Actually Be Hitting The Fan But Somehow It Doesn’t Feel Real – “I’m sharing this because I bet a lot of people are feeling the same way. Second-guessing themselves. Doubting themselves. Feeling like they aren’t good preppers. You aren’t alone and I’ll bet a whole lot of folks who won’t admit it feel this way too.” i.e. I am feeding the panic to comfort myself with ‘vox populi’ logical fallacies.

“We don’t believe it because we don’t want to believe it. We never actually wanted to be right when we stockpiled and learned skills and bought more supplies that we actually had room to house.

But the thing that puts us ahead in this situation is that we prepared anyway. We learned anyway. And when we see the more obvious signs of a societal breakdown we will be able to accept it a lot faster than those who never even considered it.

Rational people don’t believe it because the numbers aren’t there and the FUD Mongerers, like Durden today, are cherry picking worst case scenarios and using logical fallacies for their views. Rational people are stepping all over themselves to explain that this isn’t a binary issue (calling out another common logical fallacy),that prudence isn’t a chicken little thing, and that the panic and hysteria are destructive rather than constructive.

Katherine Rodriguez: Judge Cites Coronavirus as Reason for Blocking Trump Admin Food Stamp Work Requirements – “a preliminary injunction blocking the recent Trump administration rule on food stamps, which the USDA estimates would have reduced federal spending by $7.9 billion over five years and gradually weaned 755,000 people off the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the government program in charge of food stamps.” The Left worries about Trump being a dictator, facist, etc. but cannot find where he doesn’t follow the law. Here’s a judge using a current social panic to dictate national policy rather than the law. Hysteria should be no replacement for facts but here it is and it does support Durden’s broader fear about societal breakdown but from the judiciary and not the executive.

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The art of the smear

Dov Fischer: The Real Threat to Our Democracy During Coronavirus – “Pelosi, Schiff & Co. were too busy dragging the country through impeachment to pay attention to ominous developments in Asia.”

“From the moment that President Trump was elected, we have been battered by the percussion of a steady drumbeat amplifying the repeated mantra that “Donald Trump is a threat to our democracy.” We hear all the lies over and over:

But Trump is a Constitutionalist, and he also happens to play by rules.

Rarely — if ever — before has a President’s fealty to the Constitution been as sorely tested as Donald Trump has encountered.

If there ever was a real threat to our democracy in today’s rancid political climate, it emanates from Pelosi, Schumer, and the Democrats who follow them like lemmings.

The CDC further announced at that time that the genome had been posted on the NIH genetic sequence database. It is a matter of public record that the Democrats, the Washington Post, the New York Times, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, CNN, and MSNBC all were obsessed at the time with the nonsensical still-born Pelosi impeachment, doing all they could to focus public attention on that foolishness in their never-ending effort to take down Trump, while the gigantic story under their noses — the emerging coronavirus plague — went virtually unreported.

These endless internecine efforts by Democrats, aimed not at advancing the public’s needs or the common weal but solely at gumming up the machinery of government and sabotaging the Trump Administration, are proving to be the single greatest threat today to our democracy.

neo: This video shows what the MSM is about – “I realized that they could deny it and that they would deny it. They’d say that the news people involved used the phrase “Wuhan coronavirus” or “Chinese coronavirus” innocently and descriptively, but when Trump used the same words it meant something entirely different and was a racist dog whistle because racism engulfs his heart and mind. – I can’t watch the video without becoming furious and yet being impressed by what it reveals so succinctly about the MSM members involved: their poisonous hypocrisy and treacherous mendacity, delivered with such sober serious faces:

Vivek Saxena: Ben Rhodes slapped with reality check when he longs for Obama leadership under coronavirus outbreak – “Repeatedly disgraced former Obama administration national security adviser Ben Rhodes stepped in it mightily Wednesday by daring to suggest without evidence that the coronavirus outbreak would have been handled better under his former boss.” … “Why? Because during the former president’s eight year veritable reign of terror, millions of Americans were infected by and at least 12,500 died from the swine flu.

Willis Eschenbach: The Math Of Epidemics – “Now, this particular “s-shaped” curve is called a “Gompertz Curve”. It is a curious curve, in that it is not symmetrical. It goes up faster than it levels off.” The curve fits China and Korea data. What does it suggest about virus deaths elsewhere?

Greg Mankiw asserts that there will be a recession and demands that “President Trump should shut-the-hell-up” because he is an ignorant idiot. Hubris is dripping and that is, perhaps, more of the problem that is facing the issue than what the government is doing under the President’s leadership.

David Harsanyi: Joe Biden owes Clarence Thomas an apology — and so does the entire left – “For contemporary Democrats, the court exists primarily to safeguard the only constitutional “right” that really matters to them anymore: abortion.” … “the patriarchy must unilaterally surrender to the poetic truth, rather than to the evidence

“If Biden should apologize to anyone, it’s Clarence Thomas, or maybe the American people, for allowing judicial confirmation hearings to be turned into partisan-fueled character assassinations, weaponized to destroy the legitimacy of the Supreme Court — all in the service of nothing more noble than the killing of the unborn.

So many smears, so little time …

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Pandemic warfare

Joel B. Pollak: Trump on Coronavirus: ‘Put Politics Aside, Stop the Partisanship, and Unify as One Nation and One Family’ – “Trump spoke calmly and in measured tones from a prepared text as he recounted the administration’s steps thus far to fight the spread of the illness, which the World Health Organization declared a “pandemic” earlier Wednesday.

Helle Dale: Coronavirus Fears Fed by Soviet-Style Agitprop From Russia, China, and Iran – “Never letting a crisis go to waste, propagandists are using the coronavirus to spread disinformation and conspiracy theories about the United States.” … “Not only do these falsehoods distract from identifying the real source of the problem (the Chinese government’s delayed public acknowledgement of the epidemic), they also slander the image of the United States globally.

“Today, the U.S. government will have to be equally deliberate in its efforts to fight not just the spread of the virus itself, but also the conspiracy theories spread by foreign actors.

Barnini Chakraborty: Inside China’s high-stakes campaign to smear the United States over coronavirus – “If you listened to Chinese state-run media, you’d think President Trump went to China and released vials of COVID-19 on groups of unsuspecting men, women and children.” … “It’s more than just some disinformation or an official narrative,” Xiao Qiang, an adjunct professor at the University of California at Berkeley’s Schools of Information, told The Washington Post. “It’s an orchestrated, all-out campaign by the Chinese government through every channel at a level you rarely see. It’s a counteroffensive.”

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TDS Magnitude Level 9 in medicine, media, and law

Victoria Taft: The Media Succumb to Raging Case of Katrina Virus in Hopes of Infecting Trump. Trump Isn’t Having It – “As you may be aware, “Katrina moment” is to disasters is what Watergate is to corruption.” … “Trump’s fighting back, but will it be enough to give him immunity to the media virus?

The “Katrina moment” never quite stuck to any number of President Obama’s missteps from Benghazi to the H1N1 outbreak. That’s what a fawning press will do for a president.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the media has been waiting for President Trump to do or say something in order to pin the Hurricane Katrina label on him.

The only thing the Katrina virus-infected mob hasn’t pulled at this point is arranging for a coronavirus whistleblower, leaking to Adam Schiff and calling for a special prosecutor.

There’s still time.

David Catron: Politicizing Coronavirus Will Cost Dems the House – “Their rhetoric concerning COVID-19 has been both irresponsible and politically inept.”

“Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, for example, issued a joint press release Sunday that included the following fiction: “President Trump continues to manufacture needless chaos within his administration and it is hampering the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.” Predictably, Pelosi and Schumer fail to provide any objective facts to support this claim.

These Democrats are particularly vulnerable after the impeachment debacle because they explicitly promised their constituents during their 2018 midterm campaigns that they would eschew hyper-partisan politics and work with Republicans on issues that mattered to real people. Predictably, most of these “moderate” Democrats forgot that pledge immediately after they migrated to the swamp.

President Trump is right when he accuses the Democrats of working “to inflame the coronavirus situation.” They regard the outbreak as an opportunity for scoring political points. Moreover, they have behaved so irresponsibly during the past three years that what little credibility they enjoyed has evaporated.

Neo citing A doctor [who] counsels calm – “But mostly, I’m scared about what message we are telling our kids when faced with a threat. Instead of reason, rationality, openmindedness and altruism, we are telling them to panic, be fearful, suspicious, reactionary and self-interested.”

Brett T. Fake news: Daily Mail reports that President Trump stormed out of coronavirus briefing (very slowly) – “Daily Mail US goes on tirade of TDS Magnitude Level 9 threatening total implosion!!!!

Anna Gaddy, MD: What COVID-19 taught me about autonomy – “When I self-reported my symptoms to the health department and my institution’s infection prevention department, things moved impressively quickly.” For those who worry about treating the disease seriously but not with panic, here’s a story of one experience.

Elizabeth Vaughn: Here’s How Eric Holder Helped the Obama Administration Transform the Democratic Party into a Party of Thugs – “It was during the Bush Administration that Democrats, overcome by Bush Derangement Syndrome, stopped trying to maintain the traditional veneer of civility. That turned out to be child’s play compared to what came next.

Walter Olson: Trump campaign files round of defamation suits – illustrating assumptions indicating ‘professional’ TDS – “Given the broad protections for writing about public figures enunciated by the Supreme Court in the case of New York Times v. Sullivan, few if any of these suits are likely to prevail at final judgment. Still, a suit like this serves “to drag people into court and imposes the time, burden, distraction, and cost of having to defend themselves, with the added benefit that it may make people and the press less willing to criticize these people. ” [Howard Wasserman, PrawfsBlawg] Time for state legislators to consider enacting stronger protections against unfounded suits?” Olson shows absolutely no consideration for issues of libel in major media and appropriate responsibility in publication of libelous stories or ‘opinions’ for broad audiences.

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Skepticism runs deep

Daryl McCann: The Trump Doctrine and the Return of Pax Americana – “What informs Donald Trump’s decision-making, according to most narratives, is nothing more than an incongruous compendium of braggadocio, narcissism, opportunism and impulsiveness.”

“to talk earnestly of a Trump Doctrine is to suggest a degree of lucidity in Donald Trump’s actions where none exists. As a consequence, the targeted killing on January 3 of Qasem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Quds Forces, foreign legion division of Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, can make no strategic sense in the eyes of the experts, though it could—and still might—trigger general war in the region. Maybe it is the anti-Trump narrative that lacks credibility.

Scepticism about President Trump’s judgment in foreign affairs runs very deep.

If even those close to him—or, at least, those who were close to him—have no confidence in President Trump, then why should anybody else make the case for a cogent Trump Doctrine? Haley’s disclosure gives credence to this sentiment, expressed in the aftermath of the Qasem Soleimani killing by the reliably anti-Trump journalist Joel McNally: “The most dangerous day of his presidency is always tomorrow.”

The fact remains that the Third World War has not erupted on the provocateur-in-chief’s watch.

Trump’s America First framework borrows from the best of the two preceding foreign policy doctrines and omits many of their delusions.

One of the secrets of the Trump Doctrine is that it eschews the pie-in-the-sky “new world order” fantasies of both the Bush Dynasty and the Obama Doctrine. The world is what it is.

Jacob Solis et al: Like the coronavirus itself, much remains unknown about its effect on health care system, tourism sector – “no one knows how widespread the coronavirus will emerge in Nevada or how long it will last, making public health and economic predictions difficult, if not, impossible.

“My biggest concern is hospitals really both north and south that are already operating at capacity,” said Packham, who also chairs the Patient Protection Commission. “They already have disruption with just seasonal influenza, much less trying to think about how they’re going to deal with or isolate patients that have tested positive and so forth in their current operations.”

“I think I’ve had a flu-like illness once in the last three to five years and all I do is see sick patients,” Carrison added. “I’m certainly not superman.”

The proceed-as-normal mindset appears to be prevailing in the sports world as well — at least for now.

Then there’s ZeroHedge: All Hospital Beds In The US Will Be Filled With Patients ‘By About May 8th’ Due To Coronavirus: AnalysisHow To Avoid Getting Infected By The Coronavirus‘Grand Princess’ Passenger Who Died Of Covid-19 Probably Caught The Virus In California, Carnival SaysElon Musk Says Panic About Coronavirus, Which Has Killed Over 3,400, Is “Dumb”Forget Covid-19, San Diego Faces Critical Quake Danger From Long-Inactive FaultlineAmtrak Suspends Some Non-Stop Acela Service Due To Virus“It’s Like Scenes From A Mad Max Movie” – Americans Continue Epic Run On Costco“We Are In An Adverse Feedback Loop”: How To Track The Coronavirus Hit To US Consumer Spending

Remember anything like this with H1N1? Swine Flu? Legionaire’s Disease? 

Leslie Eastman: Maybe it’s time to dial back the coronavirus drama – “Let’s begin by starting with some perspective. The current flu season has hit 32 million Americans, resulting in 18,000 deaths, and the vaccine that was selected for the flu season was limited in its effectiveness. Yet, we are not doing a daily flu death countdown.

“The press is currently ginning up fear about the lack test kits. However, Pence noted that all the state labs that had requested test kits have received them. And because of the changes in the regulations implemented by the Trump administration last week, the state labs can actually run the tests.

Scott Johnson: Walton’s Whack – “The Journal editorial concludes with the understated observation Judge Walton’s “decision to add his political broadside [to his opinion] raises more questions about the judge than about the Attorney General.” More broadly, however, Judge Walton’s opinions seems to me yet another episode in the sorry saga of Trumplaw.”

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Schizophrenia trying to accommodate conflicting rationalizations

Thomas McArdle: The Democrats’ Strategy Against The Trump Economy? Schizophrenia – “There are two tacks from which to choose in confronting this politically. Democrats can argue that our prosperity is grossly exaggerated. Or they can claim they deserve the credit for the Trump economy.”

“Which of these strategies, both decidedly dubious in their chances of success, have the Democrats picked?

Both.

It’s quite remarkable that Obama is brandishing his so-called Recovery Act today, over a decade after he signed it. That’s because two and a half years after its enactment it was so clear to him and everyone else that it was a failure – a stimulus that wasn’t stimulating – he requested an emergency address before a Joint Session of Congress in September, 2011 to call for action. Democrats were in a state of panic because of how obvious it was that their stewardship of the economy was failing.

Democrats are going to have to decide which side of their split personality they think gives them any chance of ousting President Trump in November. Unfortunately for them, as we’ve seen, both Clyburn’s claims that the jobs boom is a slave economy, and Obama’s assertion that the policies he admitted were failing two and a half years after their implementation are now succeeding under Trump, are equally absurd.

Theme of the day starts with Susan Jones: Day After Dem Debate, Headlines Warn, ‘Russia Is Meddling to Re-elect Trump’ – “Here we go again with Russian meddling.”

Jim Hoft: Here We Go… Fake News Media Says Putin Is Looking to Help Trump Win in 2020 – “Their media had only one thing to do — launch a new Russia conspiracy.”

Sister Toldjah: Donna Brazile Gets Reminded of Some Inconvenient 2016 History After Saying Trump Will ‘Cheat’ in 2020 – “Though predictable, one of the most frustrating things about how Democrats have behaved since 2016 is their penchant for undermining election results simply because they don’t like the outcome.”

Trent Baker: John Kerry: Trump’s logan act accusation a ‘presidential lie’ – “In a tweet earlier in the day, Trump said the two “grossly violated the Logan Act,” noting there would be “very serious ramifications” if it had been done by Republicans.” interesting calling this a lie after the meeting with the Iranians. Then Kerry went after a duly appointed representative along with rationalizations and character assassination. Loaded labels and diversion do not an argument make.

“If [Trump] knew anything about the law, he’d know I didn’t negotiate with anybody. I did what every senator and secretaries of state in history have done, which is continue to go to conferences abroad or have meetings in order to be well-informed. We engaged in no negotiation.”

Ben Weingarten: Why Richard Grenell As Director Of National Intelligence Is A Loss For The Deep State – “Richard Grenell has doggedly pursued the president’s agenda in the face of unrelenting defiance from the European Union’s most consequential power.”

“President Donald Trump’s pick of U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell for acting director of national intelligence (DNI) is an inspired one of great symbolic and substantive significance.

In staffing another crucial position in the executive branch with someone who genuinely shares his worldview, instincts, and tenacity, President Trump is signaling to the Trump-haters of the administrative state, and its Deep State apotheosis, that those who reject or actively seek to undermine his America First agenda will no longer be welcome in meaningful positions.

The level of hatred is commensurate with the merit of the pick. It is a feather in Grenell’s cap, and only further validates the wisdom of the president’s decision.

J.B. Shurk: How Trump Made the Federal Courts Blink – “rather than cowering in intimidation, President Trump took the opportunity of an “emergency meeting” of the federal judges to publicly ask that they look into the well documented FISA Court fraud and the Judiciary’s role in perpetrating the greatest political scandal in our nation’s history

“The judges have postponed their planned “emergency meeting” indefinitely. Like most things the president says that cause alarm for the D.C. establishment, it is not the recklessness of his words, but their truthfulness that rattles them, and the more truth he slings their way, the more rattled they become. The judges realized they were about to make a consequential mistake by taking on directly the one person in the country not afraid to put the Judicial Branch in its place.

Curses, like chickens, come home to roost. When federal judges decided long ago to become lawmakers with lifetime tenure, rather than impartial adjudicators adhering to the Constitution, they cursed themselves. This country’s first act was to expel the most powerful king in the world. When the federal courts chose to become kings, they daringly did so without a navy. Hiding behind the sanctity of priestly robes was going to protect them for only so long; eventually, Americans would realize that tyranny with a gavel is not at all different from tyranny with a crown.

With President Trump unafraid of standing up to a coequal branch of the federal government, the Judiciary may finally receive the comeuppance it deserves. One thing is certain: if he is ever to receive justice of any kind, President Trump must first take on the justice system.

Justice transparency and awareness.

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Justice denied, and found again.

Andrea Widburg: President Trump’s list of pardons and grants of clemency make a lot of sense – “Trump was making a point about government overreach in prosecutions, as well as reminding people about his First Step Act, which brings reformed (mostly minority) prisoners home.” Then compare and contrast to Eric Boehm’s item Trump Uses Clemency To Help Drug War Victims, Reward GOP Donors, and Spite James Comey at reason.com.

GianCarlo Canaparo: Time to End the Tyranny of District Court Judges’ Nationwide Injunctions – “they undermine public confidence in the judiciary by giving activists judges near limitless power to undo the laws and policies of the democratically accountable branches of government.

neo: Judge Amy Brennan Jackson plans to go full steam ahead with sentencing Stone – “I think the authors of that sentence/paragraph from the Hill piece should get an award from the American Association of Subtle Propaganda Writers.” The reporting is awful … and predictable.

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Shut up! … and pushback

Alex Berezow, PhD: Editor At Journal ‘Science’ Doubles Down On Double Standard – “The scientific publishing industry is thoroughly dishonest and corrupt, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the journal Science are now also a part of the problem. Here’s a disturbing case in point.”

Peter O’Brien: The Further Fictions of ‘Dark Emu’ – “my quarrel with Dark Emu is not a disagreement with Pascoe’s interpretation of history. It is with his shameless distortion of facts and sources.

“If Aborigines were essentially sedentary agriculturalists, as Pascoe claims, Dark Emu provides scant evidence of this. The four main elements of agriculture would be tilling or preparing the soil, planting or sowing seeds, tending the crop and harvesting it. Pascoe provides ample evidence of Aborigines harvesting various foodstuffs– which is, of course, a facet of hunter-gatherer societies. He provides no reliable examples of explorers – from whose journals he claims to have gathered his evidence – observing the activities of tilling of soil, sowing of seed or tending crops.

Dark Emu is propaganda. It is not history and it should never be permitted to enter our educational institutions under that or any other guise.

Jonathan Turley: The Death Of Free Speech: Zuckerberg Asks Governments For Instructions On “What Discourse Should Be Allowed” – “The problem is that his comments were received as accepting that government will now dictate the range of free speech. What is missing is the bright line rule long maintained by the free speech community.” … “he is accepting the fluid concept of “balanced” regulations that has always preceded expanding speech codes and criminalization.

Andrea Widburg: Trump makes the 62nd Daytona 500 something special as media heads explode – “For leftists, though, Trump’s mere existence is a political affront:” … “People pushed back, reminding the Leftists that, while Obama never used the “official apparatus of government” to thrill actual Americans, he used those same apparatuses, plus a chunk of taxpayer money, for his own benefit.

Karen D. Hurvitz and Ilya I. Feoktistov: Criminalizing Dissent – “Louis was horrified to recognize the woman who stole his MAGA hat as Beth Peller, a 36-year-old grad student who would be teaching his mandatory freshman writing class.

“Louis’ ordeal is a glimpse of the far left’s “cancel culture” as it pushes the Overton Window on free speech from Twitter bans to outright criminalization of dissent. We believe that more malicious prosecutions like Louis’s are likely; brought, at first, in progressive enclaves like Northampton where the far left holds real political power. Much as occurred in the Jim Crow South, authorities in such places are increasingly choosing to enforce their political ideology instead of the rule of law entrusted to them. The American left these days is unable to accept defeat under fair rules of play, whether in elections or in judicial proceedings. To avoid defeat, leftists will continue searching for ways to criminalize dissent. Indeed, Beth Peller’s attorney argued to the court in Northampton that defamation and offensive speech can and should be criminalized. This is a dangerous trend, and is becoming one of the major civil rights issues of our time.

Robert Gorkin: Good Grief! – “It is a shame when a professional organization gets hijacked (by presumably well-meaning individuals) to take extraordinary positions on subjects that are manifestly well outside of its arena of competence.” The American Psychiatric Association provides this example.

“I have seen no evidence in these reports or on the APA website of any (let alone substantive) debate. Not only as to the validity of the underlying science, the inherent problems with climate models, natural variability, etc.; but even more fundamentally, there is no acknowledgement of the concept of weather as distinct from climate. Nor is there any consideration of the potential benefits of more temperate conditions on health, nature, biodiversity, agriculture, and economics, not to mention the potential and well-documented adverse environmental and economic consequences of the solutions proposed by CAGW activists.

Most unfortunately for Dr. Zilber and her like-minded comrades, her emotional endorsement of ecological guilt and other climate-related pathologies only serves to create, validate, and legitimize new mental disorders that have no basis in reality–this in a profession that has a sorry record of past iatrogenic abuses.

I suggest, rather than engaging in a self-imposed lobotomy, the APA should have a real debate. Rather than potentially following in the footsteps of Trofim Lysenko, the APA should welcome a Devil’s advocate. Perhaps suspending premature judgment but “Be Prepared” is, in fact, the best of all possible worlds.

Finally, it would be hard to find a better precept to guide the APA in its deliberations than Immanuel Kant’s descriptive credo for the Age of Enlightment: Sapere Aude! (dare to know, or more loosely, dare to think for yourself!).

1776 – “an assembly of independent voices who uphold our country’s authentic founding virtues and values and challenge those who assert America is forever defined by its past failures, such as slavery. We seek to offer alternative perspectives that celebrate the progress America has made on delivering its promise of equality and opportunity and highlight the resilience of its people. Our focus is on solving problems. … We do this in the spirit of 1776, the date of America’s true founding.”

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Deception by complexity

The Roger Stone case is getting interesting above and beyond the Mueller connections and the attorney misrepresentations to the DoJ. Now it appears the jury was stacked with Democrat activists and the judge was not hearing objections to juror placement on such a basis. With leading Democrats engaging in their usual hyperbolic exaggerations demanding Barr and/or Trump’s head, recent historical examples are being dug out of the archives to illustrate the gross hypocrisy. Nunez says the onion is being peeled on the Mueller investigation and the public will soon see just how corrupt that effort really was.

sundance: The FBI Corruption is Far Worse Than We Currently Imagine – President Trump Authorized His Own Surveillance…The originating FISA and first renewal were authorized by the Obama administration officials. However, it was the second renewal -now identified as fraudulent- on April 7th 2017, under the Trump administration, when the conniving FBI ran into a problem.

“Acting Deputy AG Dana Boente advised AG Jeff Sessions to recuse himself (March 2nd, 2017). Then Acting DAG Boente and FBI Director Comey conspired to have President Trump authorize an executive order (March 31st, 2017); that changed the DOJ succession plan, thereby permitting them to sign for a fraudulent FISA application on April 7th, 2017, that was used to conduct surveillance on the Trump administration.

But wait, it gets better, who do you think is in charge of the 40 FBI agents now conducting the third year of that fraudulent Mueller investigation?

Norman Rogers: Renewable Power Theatre of the Absurd – “One might think that having a quota for renewable power means that the power has to be generated by wind or solar and consumed within the state. There is a loophole.” Here is how corruption is fostered by woke driven environmental fantasies.

“The situation is more than a little strange. Propaganda from the sellers of wind and solar power makes people think that wind and solar are actually useful. Huge subsidies make wind and solar seem cheaper than they really are. The idea that introducing wind and solar in U.S. states will make a significant difference in world CO2 emissions is wrong. The real emissions problem, if it is a problem, is in Asia. People that really believe in global warming should face up to the fact that nuclear is the only route to stopping the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. Some of the most important advocates of global warming catastrophe make that clear.

The most salient fact concerning wind and solar is that they are intermittent and erratic sources of power. They always have to be backed up with fossil fuel plants that take over when the sun sets or the wind stops. They never replace fossil fuel plants.

It’s deception by complexity where the critical parts are moved off to somewhere hard to find and expressed in the fine print with distractions and diversions. What doesn’t fit is ignored as much as possible or swept under the rug or hidden by mixing it in with a big stinky mess.

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Congress needs to step up to the plate

Ed Morrissey: Appeals Court: Dems Have No Standing To Sue Trump Over The Emoluments Clause – “the court notes repeatedly, the case fails on its face because it involves political power, and only a minority of Congress is participating in the lawsuit.” There is no law – legislation properly adopted – to tell the courts what they should do in a case like this.

“A future Congress could — and probably should — work on a clearer consensus definition of emoluments, in case voters decide to keep sending moguls to the White House, and quit demanding that the judiciary do their job for them. That’s the clear message sent by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals today.

Ed Morrissey: Hmmm: Did Mueller #2 Admit To Setting A Perjury Trap For Trump? – “What are you afraid of is a schoolground taunt that probably works in more cases than it doesn’t — unless the subject or target has a good attorney.”

“What’s notable here is that Weissmann’s complaining about Trump’s refusal to testify in an investigation that found no evidence on its core issue. He also fails to note that the reason Weissmann’s team got to talk to everyone else is that Trump waived executive privilege entirely for their investigation. The reason why Trump didn’t want to testify is that (a) it was becoming clear that Mueller wanted to expand the scope of the probe beyond the unfounded Russia-collusion hypothesis, and (b) that cooperation wasn’t accelerating the end of the probe. (And the House investigations have been even more political and unbalanced.) Small wonder Trump relied on his constitutional rights to protect himself from a fishing expedition, which was precisely why the founders added those protections to the Bill of Rights in the first place.

This isn’t an “admission” of anything except typical prosecutorial zeal. It is, however, a reminder that everyone needs to be cognizant of their rights in any investigation, and that good legal representation is a must — as is following your attorney’s advice as to when to speak and when to remain silent. Presidents aren’t the only people susceptible to perjury traps.

Molly Olmstead shows the bias at Slate: Trump Is Purging People Who Testified Against Him During the Impeachment Hearing – The “purging” is about right and the targets did testify for the House Democrats. The problem is that their testimony was not “against him” but rather about disagreements with foreign policy. i.e. Olmstead is illustrating a common theme on the Left where differences of opinion are considered criminal. The article is full of ‘telling the truth’ and other moral preening platitudes while carefully avoiding the issue that the President has the responsibility to the voters to do what he promised to do in regards to foreign policy and needs a staff to faithfully carry out his lawful and Constitutionally based directives. For something a bit more constructive, see Matt Welch below.

Matt Welch: Instead of Removing Trump From Power, Remove Power From the Presidency – “After Watergate, Democrats rolled back executive power. Under Trump, they just want to be the ones who get to wield it.” … “For anyone who would like to once again see an independent legislature, the 99% partisan impeachment process in both chambers of Congress is cause for despair. As is the Democratic presidential field’s will to executive power. If ever America is to get off the populist seesaw, we’re going to need to root less for politicians, and more for the rules and mores than can restrain them.” The ‘both chambers’ axiom is an evasion but most of Welch’s argument needs careful thought.

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Senator Romney protests (defends) perhaps a bit too much

Glen Reynolds on a Romney compare and contrast citing Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tn): “That’s exactly why today I voted to acquit President Trump—because lowering the high bar of impeachment such that any American could be found guilty is far more dangerous than anything the Democratic ‘resistance’ has asserted.”

Dana Loesch on Romney: “He didn’t just vote his conscience, his virtue-signaling was level Pharisees, minus the sackcloth and ash. ”

Conrad Black: Romney’s Discreditable, Dishonest Vote – “From February 5, 2020, onward, Mitt Romney is a political outcast—a briefly useful idiot for the defeated Democrats and a traitor to the party he once led in a presidential election.”

“As an authentically scriptural man, Mitt Romney would know that it is the “God of Vengeance, God to whom vengeance belongs.” In cobbling together the righteous fairy tale previously utterable only by chronically dishonest people such as Representatives Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Speaker Pelosi (doubtless resuming her famous prayers for the president after ripping up the text of his speech in front of 40 million viewers), Romney descended from the prophet’s chair in the Mormon Tabernacle to the gutter of American public life.

Romney has walked out the portals of political relevance on a lost cause that had no business coming to a vote at all, for reasons of hatred he has tried to disguise as righteousness, and in the company of unmitigated scoundrels and liars in the opposing party who cooked up this phony impeachment.

And as a man who cares about his church, Romney might have considered what this will do to Mormon candidates in the future. He has made the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints look like a cult, whose members cannot be entrusted with responsible positions.

Romney’s vote to convict President Trump is falsely reasoned, ignobly motivated, and finishes his useful political career on a tragically discreditable note.

David Solway: The Left’s Great Lie Is a Pervasive Threat to Our Culture – “Writing the book forced me to undertake relentless scrutiny of the values and beliefs I’d accepted as gospel and to realize that I had thoughtlessly succumbed to an all-encompassing lie fostered by the media, the academy, and the political left.” … “Skinner refers to the insidious operation of the rhetorical figure of paradiastole—the conversion of a vice into a virtue—which would apply to the left’s destructive policies and initiatives like those I had once endorsed.”

neo: The Senate votes against removal – “It is unsurprising but still astounding that with such a weak case – or rather, a non-existent case – every single Democrat voted for removal. Every one. Now, that’s party discipline.” What is says to all Americans about the priorities and values of the Democrats should be a warning.

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SOTU impressions

Roger Kimball: Trump’s 2020 State of the Union address was nothing less than magnificent – “His major speeches will go down as among the most eloquent and important in the nation’s history.”

New York Post: State of the Union address: Trump hits grand slam, while Pelosi just looks sad – “This was the very best of Trump — generous, bipartisan (with a few barbs) and good-spirited. He not only got congressional Democrats to stand and cheer, but he credited the legislators in the room for working together across party lines to do right by America.

“Not once did he crow about his opposition’s failings: no mention of the debacle of House Democrats’ impeachment drive, or of the historic mess of the Iowa caucuses.

This president doesn’t have to stretch the slightest to term the State of the Union “strong.” Too bad that Pelosi, and the Democratic base she answers to, feel obliged to grimace at that self-evident truth.

Andrea Widburg: President Trump’s moving, statesmanlike State of the Union address – 

“On Tuesday night, two very different events took place. The first was President Trump’s State of the Union speech, one that showcased incredibly good news about the state of America today, soaring rhetoric, and moving human interest stories. That’s what this post is about. The other event was the embarrassing Democrat temper tantrum, something that we’ll save for a less uplifting, but perhaps more amusing, post.

As Trump began to speak, Pelosi began to perform a running pantomime behind his back. Rather than listen to Trump’s speech, she leafed through the written speech he gave her. She also wriggled around in her chair, sucked her dentures, made disdainful faces, waved to people in the crowd, and generally behaved like an angry 15-year-old girl whose parents have forced her to attend a formal event. It was painful to watch the person who is third in line to the presidency behave in such a childish, rude manner.

The Democrats thought that they were protesting Trump. That’s not what Americans saw, though. They saw politicians so invested in regaining political power that they deeply resented Americans becoming richer, healthier, and safer.

D. Hawthorne: SOTU Clarifies the Choice in November – “It boils down to a love for Americans and our liberty versus a lust for power and control over others.”

Patricia McCarthy: The unspeakable ungraciousness of the Democrats in Congress – “President Trump’s SOTU speech Tuesday night was spectacular on every level.” … “President Trump has succeeded beyond all expectations for the good of the nation. This is what so enrages the left; the man has done in three years what they have promised their voters for sixty-plus years but never accomplished — on purpose.” … “And they are also as ungracious as any group of people who have ever held office in America.”

“The American Democrat party has become something it was never meant to be: it has morphed into a radically fascist party of autocrats. Certainly not all of them fall into this category but those who do not are cowards. Clearly they are afraid of the tyrants who control the party so they sit quietly by in fear of losing their seats. As we watched them all refuse to applaud the many successes of this administration and the members of the audience Trump celebrated, we should all realize that these people are not on the side of America or Americans. As Pelosi so ungraciously ripped up her copy of the speech on camera, she proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the Democrat party is no longer pro-American, pro-freedom nor pro-democracy. This SOTU speech was a transformative moment. Now we know that only one party represents the American people. The Democrat party as currently constituted, should ship out to Venezuela where they would feel right at home.

Jay Latimer: Three takeaways from the failed impeachment – “It Proves Trump Is Clean as a Whistle” … “Try a simple thought experiment: if the House Dems were aware of any illegal activity by Trump, don’t you think they would have used that as a basis for their impeachment?

Then look at the rationalizations of those who dispute the President: Pelosi says the speech was ‘dirty’ while the ‘litany of lies’ gets top billing at the WaPo and its ilk. Compare and contrast and try to figure out how such perceptions actually fit with what any reasonable person can see for themselves.

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Roots of corruption

Jonathan Turley: How the House lost the witness battle along with impeachment – “As these blunders by the House became more and more obvious, all the efforts to excuse them became more and more absurd.” Turley makes a good argument for adhering to reasonable procedures but only passes by a bigger problem which he notes at the beginning: “It is a question that many in the media would never ask about Democrats, even in the face of overtly false claims.” He illustrates his bias in an assumption implicit as a truth near the end: “The case against the president could only have become stronger” … The assumption is that of assuming that more witnesses and testimony will reveal more malfeasance rather than a lack of foundation for the charges and revealing exculpatory evidence. Developing more lies and more deceit does not make any honest argument ‘stronger.’ The presumption of guilt is the basic flaw in the impeachment effort.

Dov Fischer: Why the Senate Passed on Witnesses – “It’s good to know not every Republican senator is a Romney.” A list of reasons to ponder …

George Neumayr: All the Pope’s Men – “His inner circle grows more corrupt.” The Church is facing the Deep State problem, too. “Far from uprooting Vatican corruption, his supposed mandate, Pope Francis has cemented it in place.

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Fallout. Already? Distortions, denial, etc.

Patricia McCarthy: Media puffery can’t hide the Democrats’ impeachment face plant – “Maybe someone at Politico thought better of heralding the continued fawning over the two men who made the biggest fools of themselves over the past week.” …

“Schiff cannot utter a sentence that doesn’t contain a lie. Jeffries’ most hilarious assertion was that the Steele dossier, the entirety of which has been proven to be all lies, was just fine because it was “purchased”! They are trying to impeach the President for allegedly asking the new President of Ukraine to look into the known corruption of the Biden family and the proven interference by some in Ukraine in our 2016 election to help Hillary, and Jeffries is dismissing the Clinton campaign’s actual solicitation of dirt from a foreign source because she paid for it! You can’t make this stuff up.

But they all got up to repetitively drone on and on and on, charging him will all manner of crimes not even mentioned in their articles. And these men and women are lawyers?

Beginning with Pelosi’s unconstitutional inquiry without getting a vote from the full House, thus invalidating all their subpoenas, to demanding more witnesses after they claimed their case was proven,

George Parry: How Not to Impeach a President – “Arrogance and incompetence were all the spiteful Dems had to offer.” With that he lays out, the real question is why the Democrat Party block remained so unified in deceit and falsehoods.

neo: The Democrats’ race to the left: Warren, Pelosi, and company – “And yes, these people understand full well that they are distorting and misrepresenting what Dershowitz said.”

neo: No witnesses – “However, I’m under no illusion that the drive to impeach Trump, and the attacks on him – as well as clandestine operations against him by the self-styled “Resistance” – are over. They will continue, probably unabated and perhaps even with increased vigor (if such a thing be possible). The Democrats and the “deep state” are desperate to be rid of him, their hatred is a thing of great force, and they believe that the ends justify the means.”

New York Post: The Flynn prosecution now stands exposed as massive FBI and DOJ abuse of power – “Here’s another black eye for the Justice Department’s Obama-era leadership: The case against Gen. Michael Flynn is in full collapse.”

But there is inspiration and the story of an American Hero — 

Emily Jashinsky: Director Of Powerful New Clarence Thomas Documentary Opens Up: ‘He Just Got Tired Of Having His Story Distorted’ – “It’s a classic story of going from dire poverty in the segregated South to the highest court of the land, including many spiritual and intellectual twists and turns.” … “The corporate media’s one-dimensional rendering of Thomas is deeply unfair, and that’s where director Michael Pack steps in.”

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