House Speaker Nancy Pelosi admitted that she was finally willing to pass coronavirus relief because “there’s a new President.” That remains to be seen, but the admission that she was acting out of naked partisanship in withholding desperately needed relief from Americans struggling under Democrat lockdowns would normally be enough to cost her her leadership role, if House Democrats had spines. I predict that it will not; and even though she thinks she got what she wanted, over a month after the election, there is still no relief, even as Democrat-run states and cities crack down even harder on people trying to earn a living (California Gov. Gavin Newsom just canceled Christmas, or so he thinks.)
There is still some hope for a relief bill to get passed (although Republicans want it targeted to people and businesses who need it because of the pandemic, and not to provide a slush fund of federal taxpayer money to bail out Democrat states and cities for their years of bad policies, like unsustainable pension obligations, that have nothing to do with the virus.)
If a bill isn’t passed by this weekend, Republican Sen. Josh Hawley plans to propose a compromise. It’s a targeted bill that would just provide the exact same support payment that was made before: $1200 for each American making less than $75,000 a year, $2400 for a couple, plus $500 per child.
Hawley says that he has bipartisan support ranging from President Trump to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (that’s about as bipartisan as you can get!), and there’s no excuse for anyone who voted for the exact same thing in March refusing to support this. Which is why I’m looking forward to Nancy Pelosi’s creative excuse for not supporting it.
Election update: Since there have been confusing reports about how many states have joined Texas’ Supreme Court lawsuit over the election laws in four other states (and it’s hard to keep up anyway with the numbers rising), here is the latest count:
At least 17 other state Attorneys General have voiced support for the lawsuit. Missouri, Utah, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Arkansas have announced that they want to formally become parties to the lawsuit and make their own cases that the election procedures in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan are not only unconstitutional, but they also open up the potential for widespread voter fraud which harmed the interests of voters in their states.
FYI: the subhead on this story is “Legal experts say Texas case fatally flawed, merely 'political posturing' nearly certain to fail.” But then, that’s exactly what we were told about the 2016 Trump presidential campaign. They seem awfully desperate to convince us that there’s nothing to see here so don’t even bother reading the lawsuit, but I think I’ll wait for the Supreme Court to weigh in.
In the meantime, here’s a commentary by Daniel Greenfield about the desperate media attempts to smear the lawsuit and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Also worth mentioning: the Republican House Speaker and House Majority Leader of Pennsylvania have filed an amici curiae brief with the Supreme Court in support of Texas' lawsuit against their own state, based on Pennsylvania officials changing voting laws that only the legislature has the power to change.
Is this what Lincoln meant by “A House divided against itself?”
While the media were celebrating the return to normalcy and competence represented by Joe Biden, “bumbling amateur" President Trump announced a fourth historic peace agreement in the Middle East, this time between Israel and Morocco.
The US will recognize Morocco’s claim over Western Sahara, a dispute that’s dragged on for decades, and Trump said Morocco’s King Mohammed VI had agreed to “resume diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel and expand economic and cultural cooperation to advance regional stability.” The A.P. reports that that includes “the immediate reopening of liaison offices in Rabat and Tel Aviv and the eventual opening of embassies. U.S. officials said it would also include joint overflight rights for airlines.”
Let’s hope all this Middle East peace doesn’t become yet another victim of what Barack Obama was referring to when he warned Democrats not to “underestimate Joe Biden’s ability to (bleep) things up.”
Speaking of the media’s desire to return to normalcy under Biden and Harris, I assume that not only means ending the movement toward peace in the Middle East that the hated Donald Trump brought about, but also importing more terrorists and illegal immigrants. I suppose it must, since that’s what Kamala Harris is promising to do in the first 100 days.
Meanwhile, Time magazine just named both Biden and Harris as its “Person of the Year,” showering them with rhetorical rose petals, gushing that they represent a return to “decency, dignity, experience and competence” after Trump went “tearing through America, ripping through institutions, chewing up norms and spitting them out.”
Frankly, having lived through eight years of Obama/Biden “competence,” I was more than ready to see Trump rip out their “norms.” I’ll remind the editors of Time once again:
Trump boxed in Iran and went full steam after ISIS, which paved the way for four historic peace deals (so far!) between Israel and Arab-led nations. The guy who’s going to bring back “decency, dignity, experience and competence” was part of the Administration that oversaw sending billions to Iran while it was pursuing nuclear weapons and poo-pooing the threat of ISIS as it murdered, enslaved, tortured and raped countless innocent people and grew its caliphate to a landmass roughly the size of – irony alert! – Pennsylvania.
Rush Limbaugh stirred controversy Wednesday by saying that the left has done such a good job of sowing division and tearing down everything that once unified Americans that we now have two very different cultures that have no common shared vision of American’s past or its future. Unable to see any way to reconcile that, Rush said, “I actually think that we’re trending toward secession.”
That sparked a wave of media attacks from people falsely claiming that Rush was advocating secession, which he obviously wasn’t. He was just saying that he feared he saw no other likely outcome. Just because you analyze a situation and arrive at a negative result doesn’t mean you endorse the negative result. And I don’t agree that we’re heading toward inevitable secession (although, as always, Texas may be the exception.)
Personally, I’m more optimistic. I believe that there are still many things that most Americans have in common, and when the chips are down, we do come together. If you have to listen to the news all the time for your job, it can not only get depressing, but you tend to get caught up in the kind of bubbles media people live in that warp their own perceptions. With MSNBC and CNN anchors only talking to other urban liberals and assuming that anyone who disagrees with them is a racist Nazi moron, and with radicals on both fringes interacting on social media only with people who agree 100% with them while vilifying all others, it’s easy to start thinking that they represent more than a tiny, way-too-vocal minority.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that the loudest fringes represent the most people. It’s said that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and these days, the most extreme voices get the media coverage. But it’s not that simple. There are many conservatives in blue states (look at the Republican House victories in California) and many liberals in red states (look at Austin, if you dare.) If it weren’t for a handful of big blue cities in a few states, Trump would already be reelected by a landslide. And all Americans aren’t necessarily becoming more extreme in their political views. Trump increased his share of the minority vote, while polls show that a large majority of Biden voters thought (or were misled) into believing he was a moderate.
Most people don’t watch news channels 24/7 and still think of themselves as Americans first. I believe that conservatives in red states have sympathy for people losing their jobs and businesses in blue states due to policies forced on them by people they didn’t vote for. When disaster strikes, we still rush to help each other, and nobody asks who someone voted for before saving them from a flood or a fire. Get away from the professional dividers and go out into the real world, if you can find a place where Americans can gather in large numbers these days. You’ll see millions of Americans of all races, going about their business, serving each other, waving hello and smiling (under their facemasks) to each other, holding doors for the person behind them, working together on community projects, and in general, not acting like a people filled with hatred and resentment for anyone who doesn’t look like them.
I may think that our political class is the worst it’s ever been, but I still have faith in America and in the vast majority of the American people to see through the negativity and the propaganda. Even if Biden becomes President, I will still be grateful to God that I am in America. Biden will still have to deal with a nation that’s largely center-right. And knowing how disasters bring us together, I expect that by the end of a Biden term, we may be more unified than a lot of people can imagine right now.
Coronavirus Update: The FDA has granted emergency use authorization to Pfizer’s vaccine, and the first shots may be given out as soon as Monday. Weigh in in the comments section on whether you would want to be among the first to get one.
If anyone placed any bets on Portland, Oregon, Mayor Ted Wheeler’s tough talk about ordering the end of an illegal Antifa occupation being nothing but hot air, you can collect now. The radicals not only repelled the raid, now they’ve expanded their occupation into a blocks-wide “autonomous zone,” and the people who live there can expect no help from their government. This might be the moment when a mayor who was serious about protecting his citizens would beef up the police or request state or federal intervention. I doubt that anyone will bet on Wheeler doing that.