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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Avoiding Future George Floyds


For John, BLUFDecades of Federal Government intervention and we are still miles from solving this problem.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From Red State Blog, by Sister Toldjah, 3 June 2020.

Here is the InstaPundit except:

“Now, too many see the protests as the problem.  No, the problem is what forced your fellow citizens to take to the streets, persistent, and poisonous, inequities and injustice.  And please, show me where it says that protesters are supposed to be polite and peaceful.”
And, of course, the InstaPundit Blogger, Mr Ed Driscoll, obliged, by quoting the First Amendment.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
So Newscaster Christ Cuomo doesn't really know the First Amendment.  I am not shocked by that.  He seems to be all emotions and little knowledge.

The other place Mr Cuomo falls down is in not acknowledging that this problem of minorities feeling they are not being listened to is decades old and thus falls on his Brother and his Father, with regard to New York State.  Why is he not excoriating his own kith and kin?

The death of Mr George Floyd is an example of a failure of local government.  Not just the police department, which failed to discharge this officer with over a dozen complaints, but also the local States Attorney, who let him slide on a previous complaint.  And she, now Senator Amy Klobuchar, was short-listed for the Democratic Party Vice Presidential nomination.  If she had acted decisively back in the day might we not be here today.

The problems we are facing today, the abuse of civil rights, the lack of trust in government on the part of some groups in these United States, is not for lack of laws.  It is for lack of good law enforcement.  And not just the police.  This includes things like building inspectors and folks enforing zoning codes.  It is about the education of our children and where the sewer lines are being installed.

If we want to fix this we need to elect local leaders who want to make thing fair.  As for legislation, we might consider this tweet:

Jane Coaston  @cjane87 · 21h
1. End qualified immunity.
2. Curtail the power of police unions
And here’s the toughest one:
3. We probably need fewer laws, in general.
The InstaPundit himself, Law Professor Green Reynolds, bumped this, because it is true.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

President Out and About In DC


For John, BLUFProtest is our right.  Riots are an attack on fellow citizens and must be stopped and condemned.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the sub-headline:

Trump Derangement Syndrome Has Reached Pandemic Status

From PJ Media, by Mr Stephen Kruiser, 2 June 2020.

Here is the lede plus five:

President Trump provided the nation a perfect social media snapshot of why so many of us are way beyond being able to seem the American Left as anything but a bunch for raving lunatics.  Yeah, I may be a little over the top now but I think I’ve been drowned in so much hyperbole and anti-Trump hysteria AMID THE PANDEMIC that I now feel like responding in kind.

It began when he gave a speech from the Rose Garden addressing the violence of the past few days that expressed some sentiments that are difficult to find fault with:

“All Americans were rightly sickened and revolted by the brutal death of George Floyd,” Trump said, adding that “For George and his family, justice will be served.  He will not have died in vain.  But we cannot allow the righteous cries of peaceful protesters to be drowned out by an angry mob.

“The biggest victims of the rioting are the peace-loving citizens in our poorest communities. And as their president, I will fight to keep them safe.

“I will fight to protect you. I am your president of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters,” Trump said.

Trump then pointed out what has been plain for all to see: there has been a complete failure of leadership in every city where the violence has gotten hand.  He was polite and didn’t mention that they were all Democrats running those cities.
I don't think there is much of anything the President can do that won't elicit criticism.  But, that is not a promise that he won't win in November.

My take is that it was the right thing to do for the President to walk over to St John's, across Layfette Park from the White House, a church that burned during a riot in DC.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Dave Patrick Underwood RIP


For John, BLUFWe know about Mr George Floyd, who died in police custody, in Minneapolis.  Should we not known about this man, murdered by a rioter this last weekend  Yes, we expect higher standards of those who provide us protection, but that does not mean that rioters are not to be held to a high standard.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Federal Times, by Reporter Daisy Nguyen, 1 Jun 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

A federal law enforcement officer who was shot and killed while providing security at the U.S. courthouse in Oakland, California, during a protest has been identified.

Dave Patrick Underwood, 53, died from gunshot wounds sustained after someone fired shots from an unidentified vehicle Friday night, the FBI said Sunday.

For irony, Mr Underwood was a Black man.

For further irony, he was murdered while providing protection to the Ronald Vernie Dellums Building in Oakland.  Representative Ron Dellums was the first Black Member of Congress from Northern California and served thirteen terms.  He also served as Mayor of Oakland.

Mr Underwood is survive by a Sister, Angela Underwood Jacobs.  Ms Jacobs, earlier this year, ran for the Republican nomination for the US Congress in the California 25th District.  The seat was won by Republican Mike Garcia, who replaces disgraced Democratic Representative Katie Hill (resigned November 3, 2019),

Our condolences to Ms Jacobs and other members of Mr Underwood's family.  He should not be forgotten.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, June 1, 2020

Confusion Over Freedom


For John, BLUFNo Church Servics, but it is OK for mobs of people to wander through US Citizes.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Babylon Bee, 1 June 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

LOS ANGELES, CA—Religious people in Southern California have found a bold, creative solution for in-person meetings in spite of the continuing lockdown.  This past weekend, several area churches attended church services disguised as righteously indignant rioters.

"We already have the righteous indignation thing down," said one church elder.  "Now, we've simply added black balaclavas, hoodies, Guy Fawkes masks, and baseball bats!  We found that when we do this, we can meet in large groups without much interference from the local authorities.  It's been a delightful experience."

Makes sense.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Only Twice A Year


For John, BLUFWhat can I say?  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Happy Anniversary


To My Beautiful Wife

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Evil "Qualified Immunity"


For John, BLUFIt isn't like the death of George Floyd is unique.  It is not and that is a blot on our Republic.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the sub-headline:

There's a legal obstacle that's nearly impossible to overcome when police officers and government officials violate our constitutional and civil rights.

From USA Today, by Opinionators Patrick Jaicomo and Anya Bidwell, 30 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

On May 25, Minneapolis police killed George Floyd. While two officers pinned the handcuffed Floyd on a city street, another fended off would-be intervenors as a fourth knelt on Floyd’s neck until — and well after — he lost consciousness.

But when Floyd’s family goes to court to hold the officers liable for their actions, a judge in Minnesota may very well dismiss their claims.  Not because the officers didn’t do anything wrong, but because there isn’t a case from the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court specifically holding that it is unconstitutional for police to kneel on the neck of a handcuffed man for nearly nine minutes until he loses consciousness and then dies.

And such a specific case is what Floyd’s family must provide to overcome a legal doctrine called “qualified immunity” that shields police and all other government officials from accountability for their illegal and unconstitutional acts.

The Supreme Court created qualified immunity in 1982. With that novel invention, the court granted all government officials immunity for violating constitutional and civil rights unless the victims of those violations can show that the rights were “clearly established.”

I am not against protecting government officials from the consequences of their actions when those actions are taken in good faith and for the public good.  However, it has gone too far and must end, for the sake of our democracy.  What we need to redress the George Floyd (and so many. other cases) case is Responsible Leadership at the Local Level.  Qualified Immunity works against such responsible leadership.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Is Speech Still Free?


For John, BLUFIf the sources of information are censoring, where do I go for information?  Is Twitter committing suicide, or at least restricting itself to a much smaller audience?  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Chicago Boyz, by Mr David Foster, 28 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

YouTube is run by a woman named Susan Wojcicki.  She has indicated that videos peddling fake or unproven coronavirus remedies will be banned, and also suggested that video that “goes against” WHO guidance on the pandemic will be blocked.

So Ms Wojcicki has established WHO as the ultimate worldwide authority on Covid-19, the imprimatur of said authority being required for dissemination of any relevant information or opinions within Wojcicki’s domains.  One might remind her that on January 23 of this year, WHO decided not to declare that Covid-19 was a global health emergency…hence, had Wojcicki’s present rule been in effect then, any videos asserting that C-19 was, in fact, such an emergency would have been taken down!

What is the thinking behind this sort of effort to clamp down on information flow?  One can certainly understand and sympathize with a desire to avoid the dissemination of quack cures.  But how does this morph into a justification for shutting down discussion of causes, risk levels, and public-policy responses to the epidemic?

If I try to take as sympathetic a view as possible to Ms Wojcicki and those like her, I might view their actions as being motivated by a feeling of responsibility for consumer protection.  But Americans are more that just consumers: we are also (and much more importantly) citizens, participants in the public dialog and political process.   (And an interesting argument has been made that in the American system, citizens are officers of the state.)  And citizens, in order to fulfill their public responsibilities, need unfettered access to information and discussion.

I like this look at Twitter.

I wish the President would stop using Twitter.  And pick a new platform, where I would be happy to follow him.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, May 29, 2020

Colin Cut Again


For John, BLUFIt appears we are not solving problems related to race.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Babylon Bee, 29 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

MINNEAPOLIS, MN—Colin Kaepernick arrived at the Minneapolis riots last night, saying he was excited to be a part of the looting and violence.

Kaepernick tried out for the riots by throwing bricks into windows but missed every time.  He was able to rush a Molotov cocktail into a target window and then spike it on the ground, but then he caught fire.  Finally, in a last-ditch effort to get selected for one of the riot squads, he filmed a workout video and sent it to various protester organizations but hadn't heard back as of publishing time.

I appreciate the great and innovative humor here, but at some point we need to address the failure of civil government leadership that led to this rioting.  Not the failure in leadership that led to the death of Mr George Floyd.  The failure in leadership that resulted in thousands being so alienated their only redress was rioting.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Swedish Model for COVID-19


For John, BLUFThis is a deeper look at COVID-19 in Sweden.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From SSRN, by Ms Charlotta Stern, Stockholm University - Institute for Social Research. and Mr Daniel B. Klein, George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center, 24 May 2020.

Here is the abstract:

Upwards of 70 percent of the Covid19 death toll in Sweden has been people in elderly care services (as of mid-May 2020).  We summarize the Covid19 tragedy in elderly care in Sweden, particularly in the City of Stockholm.  We explain the institutional structure of elderly care administration and service provision.  Those who died of Covid19 in Stockholm’s nursing homes had a life-remaining median somewhere in the range of 5 to 9 months.  Having contextualized the Covid19 problem in City of Stockholm, we present an interview of Barbro Karlsson, who works at the administrative heart of the Stockholm elderly care system.  Her institutional knowledge and sentiment offer great insight into the concrete problems and challenges.  There are really two sides to the elderly care Covid19 challenge:  The vulnerability and frailty of those in nursing homes and the problem of nosocomial infection—that is, infection caused by contact with others involved in the elderly care experience.  The problem calls for targeted solutions by those close to the vulnerable individuals.
We owe it to ourselves to look deeper into this problem.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The COVID-19 Virus Discriminates


For John, BLUFThat is, it picks on the most vulnerable, and we need to understand the vulnerabilities in order to push back and win.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the sub-headline:

Beyond perception and ideology, there are starkly different realities for red and blue America right now.

From The New York Times, by Reporters Jennifer Medina and Robert Gebeloff, 25 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

The staggering American death toll from the coronavirus, now approaching 100,000, has touched every part of the country, but the losses have been especially acute along its coasts, in its major cities, across the industrial Midwest, and in New York City.

The devastation, in other words, has been disproportionately felt in blue America, which helps explain why people on opposing sides of a partisan divide that has intensified in the past two decades are thinking about the virus differently.  It is not just that Democrats and Republicans disagree on how to reopen businesses, schools and the country as a whole.  Beyond perception, beyond ideology, there are starkly different realities for red and blue America right now.

Democrats are far more likely to live in counties where the virus has ravaged the community, while Republicans are more likely to live in counties that have been relatively unscathed by the illness, though they are paying an economic price.  Counties won by President Trump in 2016 have reported just 27 percent of the virus infections and 21 percent of the deaths — even though 45 percent of Americans live in these communities, a New York Times analysis has found.

The numbers are interesting, and as this map shows, not equally spread.  The data suggests to me that we should stop looking at the distribution as a political issue or a race issue and think of it in terms of socio-economic and cultural factors.  That is our duty as citizens.

NB:  The Coronavirus has not gone away in our area, so we need to be polite to others and protect them from infection by wearing our masks in public, by practicing social distancing and by not shaking hands or congregating in public.  It still isn't over.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Press Secretary on the Offensive


For John, BLUFThe Press appears to have decided, early on, that President Trump was wrongly elected, in cahoots with the wrong side and an ignorant toad.  Now comes the new Presidential Press Secretary, Ms Kayleigh McEnany.  There is a new sheriff in town.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Washington Examiner, by Reporter Paul Bedard, 25 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features the inevitable rip by media big shots on newly installed and battle-eager White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

And the hits didn’t come just the usual liberal suspects, but Fox News’s Chris Wallace and The Dispatch’s Jonah Goldberg.

It came on Wallace’s popular show Fox News Sunday in a discussion with Goldberg over McEnany’s scolding of reporters for not looking further into the Michael Flynn scandal and how it showed the unraveling of the Russia collusion narrative.

Wallace declared:  “I have to say that if Kayleigh McEnany had told Sam Donaldson and me what questions we should ask, that would not have gone well.”  Goldberg said that McEnany’s behavior was “indefensible and grotesque” and like a “Twitter troll who goes on attack, doesn’t actually care about doing the job they have.”  Wallace echoed that “McEnany isn’t acting like she is working for the public.  She acts like she is what she used to be, which is a spokesperson for the Trump campaign.”

I must admit to liking Ms McEnany's spunk.  I further admit to not being much impressed by the lack of curiosity on the part of the press.  They seem to think they know all there is to know.  I am doubtful they are correct.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Antifa Protests Those Protesting the Government Lockdown (Germany)


For John, BLUFAnd I had thought that the dreaded Antifa was found mostly around US college campuses.  I was wrong.  Here it is in Germany.  However, I doubt it exists in Russia or Mainland China or North Korea.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Post Millennial, by Reporter Collin Jones, 25 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus four:

Police deployed water cannons on Saturday in an effort to break up an antifa demonstration that was disrupting an anti-lockdown rally in Hamburg, Germany.

The authorities were called to action after 120 antifa counter-protesters, dressed in black hoodies, consistently ignored requests to steer clear of the "Vigil for the Basic Law" rally against the lockdown measures.

The initial lockdown protest featured those who insisted that the government reopen the economy.  This group was given the go-ahead to move forward with their event after the organizers agreed to keep the limit of attendees below 750 as opposed to the thousands who would usually be allowed to show up if not for social distancing measures installed due to the pandemic.

The protestors who were permitted to be out were obeying social distancing protocols, and asking that the government make testing more available as opposed to keeping everyone quarantined.

But it did not take long before antifa counter-protesters took to the streets to ironically side of the government against those who simply want to get back to work.

Signs saying "Vigil for the Basic Law" mean Vigil for the Constitution, since the German "Basic Law" is what we would call the Constitution.

My Wife's comment to me:  "They just want the Government to fail."  That makes sense, so the Antifa crowd can capitalize on the ensuing chaos to install their own Fascist system.  Individual freedom take the hindmost.

If we keep in mind the Antifa crowd hates those who think for themselves, those who do not conform to Antifa current thinking, it is at least capable of being binned.  Otherwise they make no sense.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, May 25, 2020

Who is a Paying the Piper?


For John, BLUFThis is your classic "follow the money" approach.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The New Reform Club,by Mr Seth Barrett Tillman, 24 May 2020.

In which the Author asks about who is pay for the participation of Judge John Gleeson and Lawyer Beth Wilkinson in the Michael Flynn case.

A good question, with appropriate supplemental questions.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

You've Got To Have Heart


For John, BLUFYes, this is old, but it is still timely, and worth it for the clip, at the link, of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From Don Surber Blog, by Retired Reporter Don Surber, 14 April 2020.

Here is the lede plus four:

Neil Irwin is a senior economics correspondent for the New York Times.  He showcased his ignorance in his latest offering to the public, "Everything Is Awful.  So Why Is the Stock Market Booming?"

The column is the gloom and doom the left has churned out throughout my lifetime.  Ever since the Great Depression brought us FDR, they have rooted for another one.  Obama disappointed them.  But this time -- under the charismatic, super-intelligent, and definitely not senile Joe Biden -- the nation will finally capitulate and embrace communism, er, um, socialism.

Irwin wrote, "What on earth is the stock market doing?

"Death and despair are all around.  The number of people filing for unemployment benefits each of the last two weeks was about 10 times the previous record — and is probably being artificially held back by overloaded government systems.  Vast swaths of American business are shuttered indefinitely.  The economic quarter now underway will most likely feature Great Depression-caliber shrinkage in economic activity.

"Yet at Thursday’s close, the S&P 500 was up 25% from its recent low on March 23.  It is down only about 14% this year — and is up from its levels of just 11 months ago.  There are answers as to why.  But that doesn’t take away the extremity of the juxtaposition between an economy in free fall and a stock market that is, in the scheme of things, doing just fine."

Attitude is a big factor in overcoming difficulties.  Muddling through is a start, but as the article goes on to tell us, it is important to pick yourself up.
Gloom and doom just are not the American way.  The music of the 1930s included mostly uplifting and happy songs.  For "Swing Time," the ultimate Ginger Rogers-Fred Astaire musical, Jerome Kern and lyricist Dorothy Fields gave us "Pick Yourself Up," which was deployed when Rogers taught Astaire to dance. She sang:
Nothing's impossible I have found,
For when my chin is on the ground,
I pick myself up,
Dust myself off,
Start all over again.
And of course he miraculously learned to dance like Fred Astaire.
I will never dance like Fred Astaire, but I can have that pick myself up attitude.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Our Economic Future


For John, BLUFOne of President Trump's strengths is that he encourages us to think things are going to be better.  I am not so confident about former VEEP Biden.  Does he even understand economics, or is he just rolling over to the Socialist side?  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Washington Free Beacon, by Reporter Josh Christenson, 22 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

CNBC reporter Robert Frank said Friday that presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is putting forward the most burdensome tax plan in years.

"The truth is that Joe Biden, even though he's portrayed as a moderate, is offering the most expensive Democratic tax plan that we've seen from any Democratic candidate in recent history," Frank said in an interview.  "Hillary Clinton's total plan was $1.5 trillion. Biden's plan is $4 trillion."

Biden has been courting a number of progressives in advisory roles to his campaign in recent weeks.  Last Wednesday, he announced his new "unity task forces" with rival primary candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.).  The group, which includes freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and top economic advisers to the Sanders campaign, will collectively develop the Democratic Party's 2020 platform.

So far Candidate Biden isn't selling me as the Candidate to move us forward economically.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, May 22, 2020

Censorship of the Public


For John, BLUFInformation wants to be free and those who make decisions in our stead are messing with that internet meme.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The New York Post, by Jon Levine, 16 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

Big Tech companies are aggressively tamping down on COVID-19 “misinformation” — opinions and ideas contrary to official pronouncements.

Dr. Knut M. Wittkowski, former head of biostatistics, epidemiology and research design at Rockefeller University, says YouTube removed a video of him talking about the virus that had racked up more than 1.3 million views.

Wittkowski, 65, is a ferocious critic of the nation’s current steps to fight the coronavirus.  He has derided social distancing, saying it only prolongs the virus’ existence, and has attacked the current lockdown as mostly unnecessary.

Wittkowski, who holds two doctorates in computer science and medical biometry, believes the coronavirus should be allowed to create “herd immunity,” and that short of a vaccine, the pandemic will only end after it has sufficiently spread through the population.

No, this doesn't seem to be a First Amendment violation, unless the government is "back dooring" us, but it still goes against the old internet saw that "information wants to be free."  It is an insult to free men and women everywhere to muzzle people because their views differ from yours.

If we can't trust YouTube on this, how can we trust them on anything, including a video on how to swap out your car battery?

Regards  —  Cliff

What Have We Learned From WuFlu?


For John, BLUFAs we do our "Lessons Learned for COVID-19 we need to examine it in many. dimensions, to include seeing how different micro-cultures impact their own successes and failures with the Coronavirus.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From Bloomberg, by Columnist Elaine He, 20 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

With governments across Europe reopening their economies for business, it’s a good moment to look back on the different paths taken to control Covid-19 outbreaks to try to see how effective they were.

The chart below shows the relative severity of Europe’s restrictions based on work done by the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government, which tracks a range of measures and scores how stringent they’ve been each step of the way.

It is still early days, but it is not to early to begin thinking about the lessons to be drawn from this Pandemic.  We may have gotten some things wrong, but we probably acted approximately right, given what we know.  Mistakes were made, for sure.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Personally Confused


For John, BLUFCOVID-19 is a new disease and there is a lot we don't know, but the various government agencies are doing the best they can, and, one hopes, learning as they go along.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From Fox News, by Reporter Madeline Farber, 20 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

For those of you still wiping down groceries and other packages amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, breathe a sigh of relief:  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now says the novel virus “does not spread easily” from "touching surfaces or objects" — but experts warn that doesn’t mean it’s no longer necessary to take "practical and realistic" precautions in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Though it’s not exactly clear when, the federal health agency appears to have recently changed its guidelines from early March that simply said it “may be possible” to spread the virus from contaminated surfaces.  The CDC now includes "surfaces or objects" under a section that details ways in which the coronavirus does not readily transmit.

I think the key is that if one is older or have underlying physical conditions, one should be conservative in terms of exposure to potential points of virus transfer.  Avoid crowds, don't shake hands, no hugging of folks outside the house.  Another thing is paying attention to what health experts, and what Government officials, say.  Use judgement.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Where is the Beef?


For John, BLUFAt least some nations understand the need to balance health concerns and economic concerns, in this case, Argentina.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From Successful Farming, by Reporters Maximilian Heath and Juan Bustamante, 21 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus four:

BUENOS AIRES, May 21 (Reuters) - Argentina, which has enforced one of the world's toughest travel bans against the coronavirus, plans to help charter a private flight to bring in rabbis from Israel to certify meat at the country's packing plants for kosher markets around the world.

The trip is key to Argentina being able to maintain beef exports to key buyer Israel, which has become increasingly important with exports stalled to the European Union and sharply down to major buyer China.

The global lockdown meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus has snarled this year's plans with borders closed and air travel paralyzed worldwide.

"The only alternative has been to be able to try to arrange a charter in combination with Israeli clients, and supervised, authorized and coordinated by the governments," said Mario Ravettino, head of Argentina's ABC meat export consortium.

Argentina is the world's fifth largest beef exporter and Israel is the No. 3 buyer of its famed cuts, snapping up over $100 million each year, Ravettino said.

The WuFlu is disrupting commerce across the globe.  As a result, nations are becoming creative in keeping global commerce going.

I just found this randomly.

Regards  —  Cliff

Pearl Harbor File


For John, BLUFJust because I am curious, I would like to know what was going through Ms Susan Rice's mind when she typed her memo of the 5 January 2016 White House meeting on Investigating retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From Powerline, by Mr John Hinderaker, 19 May 2020.

Here is the lede:

We have known for more than two years that, on the day of President Trump’s inauguration and just minutes before she left the White House for the last time, Susan Rice, then President Obama’s National Security Adviser, wrote a memo to herself about “Russia.”  Specifically, she documented the fact, presumably for her later protection should the matter become public, that on January 5, 2017, President Obama had directed her to lie to her incoming counterpart, General Michael Flynn, about the Russia investigation that was then ongoing, in which General Flynn himself was, unbeknownst to him, one of the targets.  This deception violated all historic norms, but it was vital if the Obama holdovers (James Comey et al.) were to be able to continue their “Russia investigation,” a bare pretext for unraveling Trump’s presidency, post-inauguration.
I see this problem at two levels:
  • At one level we see harassment of Lieutenant General Michael Flynn because he is a trouble maker, both within the Intelligence Community and, as Director of DIA, with President Obama's Foreign Policy, especially Syria.
  • At the second level there is the question of how the Obama Administration handled the handover of power in January 2017, and whether the Obama Administration was prepared to actually turn over to the incoming Trump Administration or whether it was trying to hold some things back for the deep state?
Are we going to just let this pass by and not look into it?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Go Topless Rally in Texas


For John, BLUFThe People, being free citizens, that "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness", are going to do what they see is right, even if wrong.  Especially in Texas.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From the New York Post, by Reporter Tamar Lapin, 19 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

Not even the coronavirus pandemic could stop Texas’ annual “Go Topless Jeep Weekend” — a wild party that resulted in nearly 200 arrests and raised eyebrows on social media.

A viral local news report about the boozy beach bash in Galveston showed maskless revelers drinking, twerking and driving around in ATVs, as resigned cops admitted it was “impossible” to enforce social distancing.

From Blogger Ed Driscoll,
Exit quote: “The cops are doing their job, [and] as long as they don’t be mean to people who are actually being innocent, then I’m all gravy, baby!”.
I think this is a very important point.  The police need to be Peacemakers, not Stormtroopers.  That kind of an attitude should reduce tensions, reduce confrontations.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Another Bite of the Apple


For John, BLUFThe agitation amongst Democrats with regard to President Trump seems to know no limits.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Federalist, by staff Writer Tristan Justice, 18 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

After spending the months preceding the global pandemic in a futile impeachment attempt,  House Democrats are now again trying to impeach President Donald Trump.

The lower chamber majority told the Supreme Court on Monday that they are in the middle of an “ongoing presidential impeachment investigation” that requires redacted information from the grand-jury proceedings that were part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s two-and-a-half-year probe.

Since Trump was finally acquitted of two articles of impeachment in February, Democrats have expressed a desire to try again, requesting that the nation’s highest court grant them classified material that they have pledged not to leak under “special protocols.”

We used to tell ourselves, once burned, twice shy.  Apparently the House Democrats are convinced there is a pony in there somewhere.  I bet they even have a third go at it, regardless of November's outcome.

For Ritchie T:  Do you think House Democrat "Special Protocols" will prevent leaks?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Dealing With WuFlu


For John, BLUFDo you think the President really takes hydroxychloroquine (and zinc), or is he just stirring the pot?  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Here is a Tweet I saw today, referencing the President's medical choices:
David Harsanyi   @davidharsanyi   ·   15h
Killing a unborn baby is a decision made solely by a woman and her doctor.  Taking hydroxychloroquine is a joint decision between a man, his doctor, every Democrat in congress, and all on-air talent at CNN.
David Harsanyi identifies himself as a " Follow and Senior writer, @NRO.  Syndicated columnist.  Contributor, @nypost.  Author, FIRST FREEDOM. Captain Beefheart/Warren Harding fan."

In response one wag questioned Mr Harsanyi's use of the word "talent" with regard to people at CNN.

Why do people bite every time the President opens his mouth?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Anomalies That Attract


For John, BLUFScience sometimes advances because scientists find errors small errors in their scientific equations, and dive in to find out why.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the sub-headline:

Particle physicists are faced with a growing list of “anomalies”—experimental results that conflict with the standard model but fail to overturn it for lack of sufficient evidence.

From Physics, by Writer Dan Garisto, 14 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

To go beyond the realm of established theory, particle physicists are ready to move heaven and earth—and even giant magnets.  In 2013, researchers packed up a circular magnet the width of a basketball court and sent it on a 3200-mile trip from New York to Illinois.  Over the course of 35 days, the 15-ton magnet sailed down the East Coast, rounded the tip of Florida, floated up the Mississippi, and rode on the back of a truck to Fermilab, where it now serves as the central element of the revamped Muon g-2 experiment.  Particle physicists went through this colossal effort to investigate a 3-parts-per-billion disagreement between theory and experiment over the value of the muon’s magnetic moment.

Although it may seem small, this discrepancy is one of the longest-standing anomalies in particle physics.  Here, “anomaly” means a statistically significant experimental divergence from theoretical prediction.  The theory in this case is the standard model of particle physics—a schema for all the known particles and forces besides gravity.  The muon anomaly is not alone in contesting the standard model:  other anomalies concern bottom quarks, neutrinos, and kaons.  In recent years, these anomalies have taken on a new level of importance as possible routes to “new physics,” an umbrella term for phenomena unexplained by the standard model.  There are more conspicuous paths to new physics, such as discovering a dark matter particle or unifying gravity with quantum physics.  But these big problems have remained stubbornly out of reach, so many particle physicists are looking for inspiration from smaller problems.

Yes, I wondered about the "3200-mile trip from New York to Illinois" but the fact that they went mostly by water explained it.  Going by coastal waterways makes sense, given the size of the item.

I love this part of science.  Finding an anomaly and then figuring out what it means.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Who Is In Charge Here?


For John, BLUFCoronavirus is causing more people to give voice to their concerns.  This is an OpEd from a new on-line publication, Done.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From Done, an OpEd, 16 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus seven:

Los Angeles County is, by a wide margin, the most populous county in the United States.  At an estimated 10 million, its population is larger than all but seven states and over a hundred countries.  In fact, LA County has nearly the same number of inhabitants as, dare I say it, Sweden.  Yes, that neo-Nazi, baby-killing, fascist, herd immunity gathering, bastion of pure evil Sweden (sarcasm intended).  Not only is LA County full of people, it is also full of money, having nearly the same GDP as Saudi Arabia.

A county with that population and wealth should have an army of world class scientists leading the battle in the fight against COVID-19.  Let’s take a look at who is leading this world class team.

Dr. Barbara FerrerOur LA County Public Health Commissioner is Dr. Barbara Ferrer.  You can find her bio here.

Impressive, right? Well, look a little closer.  She must have graduated from a top-tier medical school, or so one would think…

Now is when I usually get the “OMG” response, even from the most liberal of liberals.

To be clear she is not even a medical doctor. She has a Doctorate in “Social Welfare.”  So essentially, we have a high-powered social worker (albeit one of the most well-known in the country) leading the largest county in the United States in the fight of our lives against this biological threat.

Yes, this is the real-life version of “I’m not a doctor but I play one on TV.”

Instead of looking at science and data and adapting her public health response to attack what we now know are the strengths and weaknesses of this virus, she is essentially behaving like an elementary school principal (probably because she was one).  Exerting her new-found unchallengeable and unelected power over an entire population that she views as children.  She tells us what to do, how to do it, and even threatens to take away our few remaining freedoms, if we misbehave.

As President Obama recently said:
More than anything, this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing.
I think the assumption was that that was a swipe at President Trump.  I think the jibe really applies at the coal face, where things are done in our Federal System.

I suspect there are underlying cultural problems that increase the spread of coronavirus in LA.  For example the homeless problem.  How do we fix these underlying problems?  For example, the overall health of the homeless puts them about ten years older than the physical age.  This is a favor in COVID-19 deaths.  Social distancing is harder in a homeless environment.  What about hand washing?  Likely less.

And, the solutions are not just based in building things.  There is the needed changes in social mores.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  "Launched on Earth Day 2020, in the midst of the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Done.com celebrates the heroes and calls out the villains amongst companies, business leaders, athletes & celebrities, politicians and everyday people.  We aim to shine the bright lights of transparency on brands, organizations and people, and commend them or hold them accountable for what they have, or haven't 'done.'"

Sunday, May 17, 2020

"No good deed goes unpunished"


For John, BLUFSometimes, in our compassion, we make matters worse, by giving too much help and taking away a person's dignity.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the sub-headline:

Shame on the U.S. government for making unemployment pay better than work.

JOHN STOSSEL | 5.13.2020 12:30 AM.

Here is the meat of it:

I’m a stutterer. Stuttering is now among disabilities covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

I wonder, had the ADA been law when I started in TV news, would I have struggled as hard to overcome my stutter?  Would I have had the career I’ve had? Probably not.

The TV station wouldn’t have hired me.  Once the ADA passed, my stutter makes me a member of a “protected class.”  The station, reasonably, would have viewed me as potential poison.

That’s because if they fired me because I didn’t work out, I might sue.  I could have accused them of failing to “accommodate the disabled,” as the law requires.  Even if I didn’t win, the lawsuit would be expensive.  It’s safer for employers to avoid members of “protected classes.”

Far-fetched? Look at the stats:

Before the ADA passed, 59 percent of disabled men had jobs.  After it passed, the number fell to 48 percent.  Today, fewer than 30 percent have jobs.

Once again, a law that was supposed to help people did the opposite of what politicians intended.

We, as a people, need to be compassionate.  But compassionate does not mean we don't expect people to work, and work hard.  It means giving them a hand up to do better.  We don't know, the next Jonas Salk may be the person next to you, with a disability.

And, we have to be careful to not create perverse incentives in the way we provide money to the unemployed.  They need help, a hand up, but we should not be encouraging them to stay home.

Thanks to my wife for forwarding this.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Streaks of Integrity


For John, BLUFAs the InstaPundit said, WHEN THE LEFT LOSES AN EDITOR AT ROLLING STONE….  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the sub-headline:

The Blue Party’s Trump-era Embrace of Authoritarianism Isn’t Just Wrong, it’s a Fatal Political Mistake

From Reporting by Matt Taibbi, by Mr Matt Taibbi, 15 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

Emmet G. Sullivan, the judge in the case of former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, is refusing to let William Barr’s Justice Department drop the charge.  He’s even thinking of adding more, appointing a retired judge to ask “whether the Court should issue an Order to Show Cause why Mr. Flynn should not be held in criminal contempt for perjury.”

Pundits are cheering.  A trio of former law enforcement and judicial officials saluted Sullivan in the Washington Post, chirping, “The Flynn case isn’t over until a judge says it’s over.”  Yuppie icon Jeffrey Toobin of CNN and the New Yorker, one of the #Resistance crowd’s favored legal authorities, described Sullivan’s appointment of Judge John Gleeson as “brilliant.”  MSNBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner said Americans owe Sullivan a “debt of gratitude.”

One had to search far and wide to find a non-conservative legal analyst willing to say the obvious, i.e. that Sullivan’s decision was the kind of thing one would expect from a judge in Belarus.  George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley was one of the few willing to say Sullivan’s move could “could create a threat of a judicial charge even when prosecutors agree with defendants.”

Sullivan’s reaction was amplified by a group letter calling for Barr’s resignation signed by 2000 former Justice Department officials (the melodramatic group email somberly reported as momentous news is one of many tired media tropes in the Trump era) and the preposterous “leak” of news that the dropped case made Barack Obama sad.  The former president “privately” told “members of his administration” (who instantly told Yahoo! News) that there was no precedent for the dropping of perjury charges, and that the “rule of law” itself was at stake.

Professor Jonathan Turley shows, once again, that being a Democrat doesn't mean abandoning the Bill of Rights.  And thank God for that.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Democrat Game Plan--Deny, Deny, Deny


For John, BLUFThe other way of saying this is "riding into a box canyon".  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the sub-headline:

Democrats don’t have much hope to cling to, but they don’t deserve better.

From American Greatness, by Mr Conrad Black • May 11, 2020.

Here is the lede plus five:

President Trump’s almost total silence on the matters being investigated by special counsel John Durham, and his gentlemanly remark concerning the allegations against Joe Biden coming from his former aide, Tara Reade, that sometimes people make false allegations, is an enactment of Napoleon’s advice not to interrupt an enemy while he is making a mistake.

Just as he studiously avoided any comment when Christine Blasey Ford testified against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, other than that she seemed pleasant and credible, when a nasty word would have blown up Kavanaugh’s candidacy, he sometimes surprises his opponents and even his supporters by acts of unusual tactical discretion.

Trump’s opponents are advancing down several cul-de-sacs simultaneously.  They are standing firmly on the legality and propriety of the prosecution of General Michael Flynn and the applications for warrants to conduct espionage against junior Trump campaign aide Carter Page and the campaign and transition team.

This position cannot be sustained.  The prosecution was an outrage which the Justice Department has withdrawn as not only the prosecution of an innocent person, but a prosecution of one whom the prosecutors knew to be not guilty.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) activity, as Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz has determined, was in gross breach of department practices and customs.  It is not his position to determine legality, but he pointed out 17 areas that were, he determined, illegal.  The whole operation was based on the infamous Steele dossier, which was exposed years ago as a tissue of lies funded and shopped to the media via the intelligence agencies in a sequence of monstrous improprieties, to influence the election and then destabilize the incoming administration.

There is no longer any serious doubt about any of this and those who follow these things are waiting for the special counsel’s indictments.  But this past weekend, former President Obama leaked to the country his view that when someone has pleaded guilty to a criminal offense if the charge is withdrawn without being tried, this shakes his confidence in American justice.  At about the same time, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a press statement accusing Attorney General William Barr of using the Justice Department to maintain “the president’s cover-up.”  This is both bizarre and insane conduct.

And on it goes.

I figure that the Democrats are heading into a cul-de-sac, but perhaps they hope the media will protect them, as it seems to be doing with the unwinding of Russiagate.  With the media providing cover the Democrats can avoid contact with reality for some time.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Deprived of the News


For John, BLUFThe news reporters now want to be our masters, controlling what we learn from the news.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From OCPA Think, by Mr Mark Tapscott, 1 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

Barely more than one in 10 Americans surveyed by the Gallup Poll have “a great deal of trust” in the news media, while 28 percent profess “a fair amount” of trust, for a total approval score of 41 percent.

That compares with President Donald Trump’s 50 percent approval rating, according to Gallup, as of April 28.

When Gallup measures the most respected professions, journalists rank near the bottom, way below auto mechanics, lawyers, policemen, and military officers.

The self-righteous are a blot on news reporting, both reporters and leakers.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, May 15, 2020

Winnie the Flu Spreads


For John, BLUFThere is a lot we have yet to learn about the Coronavirus, but what we are learning isn't uplifting, including this information.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From PJ Media, by Ms Stacey Lennon, 14 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford Medicine recently released his antibody study of the staff of 27 Major League Baseball (MLB) teams from across the nation.  The study is of mostly staff, not players, and covered a broad demographic range.  The results of the MLB study showed that only 0.7% of the staff had the antibodies indicative of having had COVID-19.

Some staff is located in areas where antibody testing has been conducted for the general population such as New York, Los Angeles, and Santa Clara. Most of these locations showed the MLB staff had a much lower rate of prior infection than the general population.  For example, the New York City metro area showed 25% of the population had antibodies.  The MLB staff for the Yankees only showed antibodies in 1.64% of the employees. The Mets tested positive at a rate of 2.61%.

Dr. Bhattacharya said this was indicative of a trend seen in the other studies he has done. Lower-income residents had higher exposure rates to COVID-19.  While the MLB had put mitigation policies in place, he believes that middle-to-upper-income individuals, like most of these staff in this study, have lower exposure.  The ability to work from home and live in areas away from where they work that are less densely populated may be a factor.

The conclusion that Dr. Bhattacharya comes to based on the studies he has done to date is that the epidemic is far from over.  The good news is his studies show about 70% of those who display antibodies were asymptomatic.  This testing also places the death rate at somewhere between 0.1- 0.5%.  This is orders of magnitude lower than originally thought.

So, culture is a factor with the spread of coronavirus, just as Fiction Writer Sarah Hoyt told us, a month ago.  And, it is likely not so much race as it is poverty and the cultural mores associated with poverty.  Don't get distracted by race.  The solutions will require some thought.  Back when LBJ was President we worked to fix things and had some counter-productive results.  We should avoid that this time, if we can.

Hat tip to my Buddy Neal for noticing this and recognizing its significance.

Regards  —  Cliff

Fighting to Retain Kangaroo Courts


For John, BLUFI am hoping this is just a rear guard action by those who favor a nanny state that prioritizes the rights of some over the rights of others.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From Yahoo News, by Reporter Erik Ortiz, of NBC News, 14 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' revised federal guidelines on how sexual assault allegations should be handled on college and K-12 campuses is the target of a federal lawsuit filed Thursday, claiming the changes would "inflict significant harm" on victims and "dramatically undermine" their civil rights.

The suit, filed on behalf of four advocacy groups for sexual assault survivors, including Know Your IX and Girls for Gender Equity, is the first that attempts to block the Department of Education's new provisions before they go into effect on Aug. 14.

The rules championed by DeVos effectively bolster the rights of due process for those accused of sexual assault and harassment, allowing for live hearings and cross examinations.  It's what agency officials say was lacking under the Obama administration to protect all students under Title IX, a 1972 law that prohibits gender discrimination, including sexual assault, at schools.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Bad Housing


For John, BLUFIs it the housing or the upbringing of the tenets?  Nothing to see here; just move along.




"... and its owner could face fines and other charges if it doesn't make changes to improve quality of life and public safety there.... In its April 9 notice declaring the property a nuisance, the city points to three of the most serious incidents: a 4-year-old accidentally shot in the foot on Feb. 26; a tenant's nephew shot in the leg outside the tenant's apartment on March 17, and an argument between two tenants over loud music that escalated into a physical fight on March 31...."
I thought maybe this post from 13 May was a put up by Professor Althouse, but it was apparently real enough.  And it shows some of the issues with public housing.

One of those Commenting caught a big chunk of the problem.  Back in the 1960s President Lyndon Barnes Johnson, with good intent, tried to make up for a hundred years of segregation, but he managed to take a big nick out of the rising Black Middle Class.  His legislative program created a series of perverse incentives.  Perverse incentives that better housing management won’t cure.

During World War Two we destroyed 40% of German housing, yet when I lived there 22 years later housing was plentiful and I was able to rent a nice ranch style house, with detached garage, on a double lot.  Yet we can't, today, do that for our own citizens.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Is Biden the Guy?


For John, BLUFThe GOP has its own problem, with just under 25% wanting Mr Trump to go.  But, for Mr Biden, having gone through all those Primaries, 28% seems high.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the sub-headline:

35% of voters overall believe that Biden will not ultimately be the Democratic presidential nominee.

From Just the News, by Reporter Carrie Sheffield, 12 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

stunning 28% of Democratic voters say Joe Biden will be replaced as ultimate party presidential nominee, according to a new Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen.

Biden is the presumed nominee following a string of primary victories that led to chief rival Sen. Bernie Sanders dropping out and endorsing Biden – who also has the backing of party leaders Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and others.

Trepidations about Biden include whether enough of the party's progressive wing will turn out for the so-called "Democratic Establishment" candidate, if he's physically and mentally up for going one-on-one with President Trump, a sexual assault allegation and a less-than-energized campaign, in part because of the coronavirus.

"There remains an undercurrent of doubt as to whether or not Joe Biden will ultimately be the Democratic presidential nominee," In fact, just 49% of voters believe he is unlikely to be replaced.  Another 35% think he’s at least somewhat likely to be replaced while 17% are not sure.

I am guessing there is some ambivalence on the part of Democrats with regard to former Vice President Biden.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Previous Administration


For John, BLUFIt appears the previous Administration is still fighting a rear guard action against the current Administration, which has hamstrung it a bit in dealing with ongoing problems.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From PJ Media, by Reporter Matt Margolis, 11 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus four:

Barack Obama’s decision to comment about the Michael Flynn case has the Wall Street Journal‘s editorial board scratching their heads as to “what he’s really worried about.”

“Barack Obama is a lawyer, so it was stunning to read that he ventured into the Michael Flynn case in a way that misstated the supposed crime and ignored the history of his own Administration in targeting Mr. Flynn.  Since the former President chose to offer his legal views when he didn’t need to, we wonder what he’s really worried about.”

In the past couple of weeks, evidence that Trump’s former national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn was set up by FBI agents in a perjury trap resulted in his case being dropped by the Justice Department.  Soon after, the release of declassified documents and testimony revealed that Barack Obama was aware that Flynn was being wiretapped and was briefed on the details of conversations he was having with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

In a private call with former members of his administration, Obama weighed in on the DOJ dropping the charges against Flynn, bizarrely claiming that it was unprecedented, and incorrectly claiming that Flynn was charged with perjury.  Audio of the call was leaked to the media.

“The news over the last 24 hours I think has been somewhat downplayed — about the Justice Department dropping charges against Michael Flynn,” Obama said.  “And the fact that there is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free.  That’s the kind of stuff where you begin to get worried that basic — not just institutional norms — but our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk.  And when you start moving in those directions, it can accelerate pretty quickly as we’ve seen in other places.”

I can appreciate that the members of the previous Administration wish to save the American People from the follies of the new Administration, but that is the nature of Democracy--As H L Mencken would have it, "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."  While the job of the opposition is to oppose, the job of the previous administration is to move on.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Learning More About the Impeachment


For John, BLUFIt seems like eons ago that we went through the House Impeachment Hearings.  But, it was while the current Pandemic was building, and then the House Speaker put it on hold for a month, which was an interesting twist.  A lot of it seemed a little dodgy to me.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the sub-headline:

Ambassador’s impeachment testimony omitted mention of Burisma meetings, letters.

From Just the News, by Reporter John Solomon, 12 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

During President Trump’s impeachment, former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch testified to Congress that she knew little beyond an initial briefing and “press reports” about Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian natural gas firm that had hired Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and was dogged by a corruption investigation. “It just wasn’t a big deal,” she declared under oath on Oct. 11, 2019. But newly unearthed State Department memos obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show Yovanovitch’s embassy in Kiev, including the ambassador herself, was engaged in several discussions and meetings about Burisma as the gas firm scrambled during the 2016 election and transition to settle a long-running corruption investigation and polish its image before President Trump took office.
The whole Ukraine imbroglio has seemed off from the beginning.  The willingness of Representative Schiff to inflate the facts was very unhelpful.  Also unhelpful was his apparent manipulation of the process to, it would appear, favor one side over the other.  Very disappointing.

This is just another situation where Mr Hunter Biden appears to be benefitting financially from the governmental position of his Father, with an appearance of favoritism.  And this is President Trump's fault?

The hard working Reporter John Solomon has been tenacious about this kind of thing.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Smart Move


For John, BLUFWith DOJ moving to drop charges against Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, Democrats from President Obama to Representative Adam Schiff to Brookings Analyst Benjamin Witten have said DOJ is corrupt  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Wash Post, by Reporters Spencer S Hsu and Carol D Leonnig, 12 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

A U.S. judge on Tuesday put on hold the Justice Department’s move to drop charges against Michael Flynn, saying he expects independent groups and legal experts to argue against the bid to exonerate President Trump’s former national security adviser of lying to the FBI.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of Washington D.C. said he expects individuals and organizations will seek to intervene in the politically charged case.

Sullivan’s order came after the government took the highly irregular step last Thursday of reversing its stance on Flynn’s charges and embracing Flynn’s move to dismiss his own guilty pleas.

This seems a smart move.  If you have something to say, say it directly to the Judge.  Don't just give us a tweet or a sound-bite.

As for myself, I say DOJ has finally done the proper thing.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, May 11, 2020

The Real Reason


For John, BLUFMaybe not the sole reason, but an important reason the "system" went after Lieutenant General Michael Flynn.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From PJ Media, by Mr Jim Fanell, 11 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

The Department of Justice has requested, with prejudice, to withdraw the case former Obama administration officials built against retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn.  Americans now need to investigate why outgoing President Obama told incoming President Trump that after Kim Jong-un, the only other issue he had to worry about was General Flynn.  The answers will lead us to intelligence reform.

We don’t have a fully coherent explanation in the public discussion for why Director Comey’s FBI targeted General Flynn in a perjury trap.  The dominant media narrative asserts attacking General Flynn was a stepping-stone to weakening President Trump’s administration by targeting his appointed officials.  However, the Washington establishment’s fear and animus toward Mr. Trump only partially explains the FBI’s extraordinarily corrupt conspiracy targeting and trapping the retired war veteran general.

There’s more. The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC), of which the FBI is a member, deeply feared General Flynn because of his attempted reforms as director of the underperforming Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which for $22 billion dollars per year was not able to recognize Islamic terrorism, assess the People’s Republic of China (PRC) being engaged in expansionism, or warn of other threats to the United States, even as those issues were discussed in newspapers around the world.

It seems the US Intelligence Community is not the benign group one would expect it to be in a democracy.  Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, back in early January 2017a, before the Trump Inauguration, told MSNBC Host Rachel Maddow, "Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you".

One would think that both Senator Schumer and Ms Maddow would have been alarmed by that thought.  Apparently not.  At the time I thought it was just senator Schumer talking like he was from New York City.  Now I am not so sure, and I am alarmed.  The fact is, if they can do it to President Trump they can do it to anybody, of any party.  The is not Democracy.  It is more like Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), or, before the rise of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish General Staff.  Recall that when there was some question of who would be the new Turkish Prime Minister, in 1993, the head of the Turkish General Staff paid a visit to Ms Tansu Çiller, signaling her acceptability to the Turkish General Staff, the protector of the Constitution.

Frankly, the idea that the Intelligence Community in the United States might put its thumb on the scale of Presidential Election should be anathema to all believers in Democracy.  The fact that Senator Schumer or Journalist Rachel Maddow accepts this idea with equanimity should be additionally disturbing to us all.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

What Is Happening in Korea?


For John, BLUFYou have already seen it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Today on City Life there was a special guest, David Maxwell, Colonel, US Army (retired), who is a Senior Fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Colonel Maxwell talked about Korea, South and north.

Not an “Academic” discussion, but it was, for me, an interesting review for the layperson.

It can be seen again on LTC, "Channel 8”, at 5:00 this afternoon, or at this link, again on "Channel 8”.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Is China The Source?


For John, BLUFSuee, we want it to be, but it is not certain.  .On the other hand, the secrecy, the lying, the counter-accusations to suggest some guilt or sense of guilt there.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the sub-headline:

Bipartisan consensus emerges that China must be held accountable

From The Washington Free Beacon, by Mr Adam Kredo, 7 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

A bipartisan delegation in Congress is showing support for the Australian government's call to investigate China over its cover-up of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a letter sent Thursday to the Australian ambassador.

China has already threatened to boycott Australian goods and take other punitive measures against the country after Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an independent investigation into the Communist Party's efforts to censor information about the virus and destroy medical samples that could have been used in research. Australian leaders have also pressed for an investigation into the World Health Organization and its top officials over its alleged collusion with China.

Chinese officials are using their state-controlled press organs to discredit Australia and accuse the country of being part of a U.S. plot to undermine Beijing. The statements include calls for boycotts of Australian foods and other products.

It is good to see bi-partisan feelings in the US Congress, but I am not sure that the Speaker of the House is prepared to play along.  I think she is maneuvering to pin the blame on President Trump.  And maybe show his involvement in that earlier story about the serpent and the forbidden fruit.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Russiagate as Fort Sumpter?


For John, BLUFVengeance and Justice are two different things.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Is it a tell that he says "… taught Obama and President Trump"?

From Don Surber, by Retired Reporter Don Surber, 9 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus four:

The shadow of President Richard Milhous Nixon was much longer than his aborted presidency.  Nearly a half century after his resignation, he has taught the last 2 presidents very different lessons.

President Donald John Trump learned how to handle the press and the deep state by avoiding the mistakes of President Nixon.

Obama learned that instead of using his campaign people to spy on political opponents, he would just turn the FBI into the KGB and do his evil work.  Obama's thugs lied 17 times to a federal judge to spy on President Trump.  Obama did so realizing there would be no penalty, and to date not even a lowly agent has been indicted.

On Fox this morning, President Trump openly admitted he learned from President Nixon's mistakes.

Our president said, "I study history, and the firing of everybody — I should’ve in one way, but I’m glad I didn’t, because look at the way it turned out.  They’re all a bunch of crooks and they got caught."

I expect this story hasn't played out.  I also expect that half the nation is so entrenched that they can't be convinced one way or another.  This is not a happy outcome.  It is up to the other half to ensure there is justice and mercy "and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Farewell to Drudge


For John, BLUFIn the mid-1980s CNN was my "go to" source, and then no longer.  Then, for years it was Matt Drudge.  No longer.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the sub-headline:

From Ricochet, by Mr Michael Henry, May 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

Matt Drudge’s media links compilation has been one of the sites I’ve checked every morning for the last decade.  The Drudge Report always had links to sites with stories I would not see on my trusted sites.  I say “had” because I am weaning myself from it due to the dramatic shift in bias I’ve observed, especially in the most recent months.

The Drudge Report has become part of the leftist media cabal slanting coverage to defeat President Trump.

It is sad.  Very sad.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Let Us Hope


For John, BLUFFirst with Judge Emmet Sullivan and then with Defense Lawyer Sidney Powell there was this hope that justice would be done.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Seattle Times, by Reporters Michael Balsamo and Eric Tucker, 7 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

The Justice Department on Thursday said it is dropping the criminal case against President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, abandoning a prosecution that became a rallying cry for the president and his supporters in attacking the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation.

The move is a stunning reversal for one of the signature cases brought by special counsel Robert Mueller.  It comes even though prosecutors for the past three years have maintained that Flynn lied to the FBI in a January 2017 interview about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.

It appears it was time for the Justice Department to cut losses.  I am guessing we were at the point where careers were going to be broken.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Will 2020 Resemble 1876?


For John, BLUFDemocrats cry voter suppression and voter fraud while trying to rig the system to allow subversion of the Constitution and voter fraud.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the sub-headline:

The president can’t simply cancel the fall balloting, but his state-level allies could still deliver him a second term.

MARCH 29, 2020 Jeffrey Davis Professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Here is the lede plus two:

Even under a normal president, the coronavirus pandemic would present real challenges to the 2020 American election.  Everything about in-person voting could be dangerous.  Waiting in line, touching a voting machine, and working in polling stations all run afoul of social-distancing mandates.  Already, Maryland, Kentucky, Georgia, and Louisiana have postponed their presidential primaries, while Wyoming, New York, and Ohio have altered their voting procedures.  Of course, other democracies face similar problems; the United Kingdom has postponed local elections for one year.

But under President Donald Trump, the possibilities for how the coronavirus could wreak havoc on the election are all the more concerning.  This is not a president who cares about the sanctity of the electoral process.  After all, he has never seemed particularly concerned about Russia’s efforts to manipulate the 2016 outcome (presumably because they were on his behalf), and he was impeached for demanding Ukrainian help in his reelection efforts.

Moreover, this is a president who has repeatedly joked about staying in office past the end of his second term and has frequently embraced authoritarian leaders and policies.  Making matters even worse, the Republican Party more broadly has displayed a willingness to bend the rules for its own political gain, frequently trying to suppress the vote (especially minority votes), purging voter rolls, and implementing aggressive racially based gerrymanders. Americans simply cannot trust that his administration will preserve the integrity of the 2020 election.

The author is Jeff Davis.  Do you think there is any relationship?

Much of this is about the Electoral College and the author manages to paint a number of scenarios without ever mentioning the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.  Is this a joke?  The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact has been designed to circumvent the US Constitution by changing the way Electoral College members vote.  Under the Compact it doesn't matter how your state voted, the Electoral College members are directed to vote based upon who won the majority, or more likely, the plurality of the national popular vote.  The author gives us a lot of background information with little impact, except to stir concern about elections.  For example, the Hayes-Tilden Contest of 1876.

Then there is Russiagate, with any Ukraine involvement being denied.  Not mentioned was Chinese playing with the election.  But then the Chinese are the friends of Progressive Democrats.  Just ask the Chinese.  Or maybe Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy.  Or Massachusetts House Representative Seth Moulton.

And, I am not impressed by the idea of massive vote by mail.  I voted by mail for 30 years straight.  It took planning and it took effort on my part, like remembering to punch out the chads and making sure they were gone on my punch ballot, but it was worth it to vote.  However, I worry about relaxing the strict rules to make it happen nation wide.  The recent law suit in Nevada by Mrs Clinton's Lawyer, Marc Elias, a partner at Perkins Coie law firm, suing Nevada over ballot harvesting sets a bad example. 

  • "We ask that your office and the office of the Nevada Attorney General immediately announce a suspension of prosecutions under this statute for all elections for which mail-in balloting will be the primary means of voting in the state," Elias said.
  • At the same time, Elias called for Nevada to stop throwing out ballots when signatures on voters' ballots appear different from those on voters' registrations, saying "lay election officials have never had the necessary expertise" to make an accurate determination.
No rules on ballot harvesting and no checking of signatures.  All I see is voter fraud.  Thanks, Jeff Davis.

Regards  —  Cliff

  There was apparently a lot of fraud in the voting, including one of the Carolinas, where 101% of registered voters voted.  Those would be Democrats,  And there was the threat of violence to keep some from voting.  That would be Democrats threatening.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Driving Dangers


For John, BLUFSince we are dealing with humans we should not make easy assumptions about how they will react in various situations.  Apparently Winnie the Flu doesn't make them safer drivers.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From CNHI News, by Reporter Christian M. Wade, 4 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus six:

With fewer cars on the road during a state of emergency, one might assume traffic crashes and fatalities would fall dramatically.

Not so, according to the state Department of Transportation, which says fatal auto crashes spiked last month despite substantially less traffic.

At least 28 people died in crashes in April, according to MassDOT's preliminary data.  That's only one more fatality than was reported in April 2019, but transportation officials say the data is "disturbing" considering that traffic is reduced by more than half amid the pandemic.

Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver said the data suggests people are speeding and taking unnecessary risks.

"It's a disturbing trend," he said Monday.  "We want people to slow down, pay attention to their surroundings, and drive more cautiously."

Gulliver said the preliminary data shows the fatalities occurred on both state highways and local roads, and they appear to be evenly spread across the state.

At least three pedestrians and one bicyclist were among those killed.

I once saw something that suggested humans have a certain degree of risk acceptance, and as we make autos safer drivers will increase their degree of risk taking.  That seems to be the case here.

The thing is, not only do they make it more dangerous for themselves, but they also make it more dangerous for you.

Hat tip to MASSterList.

Regards  —  Cliff

Liz Backs Joe


For John, BLUFMaybe we are moving to a more balanced view of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault.  Maybe we are moving back to assuming innocent until proven guilty.  Hope springs eternal.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Boston Globe, by Reporter Jess Bidgood, 4 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

Senator Elizabeth Warren on Monday defended former vice president Joe Biden in the face of a sexual assault allegation that has roiled the presumptive Democratic nominee’s campaign.

“The vice president’s answers were credible and convincing,” Warren told reporters, referring to an interview Biden gave Friday in which he denied the allegations. “I support the vice president, I support his campaign, and I’m proud to endorse him for president.”

Later in the reticle Senator Warren is quoted as follows:
“I believe that everyone has a right to tell her story, to be listened to, and treated with respect,” Warren said Monday in the halls of the Senate.  "I saw the reports of what Ms. Reade said; I saw an interview with vice president Biden.  I appreciate that the vice president took a lot of questions, tough questions.  And he answered them directly and respectfully.”
That seems like a pretty straight forward statement of support.

Hat tip to MASSterList.

Regards  —  Cliff