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It will be hard to pass BBB

December 18, 2021

With Americans fighting galloping inflation and soured on any more inflationary government spending, hopes are high in some circles that President Biden’s massive “Build Back Better” bill is now a dead whale. And as more Americans find out what’s in it, the harder it will be to pass it.

For instance, the bill took another blow Thursday when the Senate parliamentarian ruled that it could not include the part that would have provided work and travel permits and a pathway to citizenship for 6.5 million illegal immigrants.

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/rebeccadowns/2021/12/16/another-roadblock-to-build-back-better-comes-as-senate-parliamentarian-rejects-democrats-immigration-proposal-n2600722

Senate Democrats protested that the ruling was unfair, illegitimate, etc. I think the word they were grasping for is “OBVIOUS!” It’s “obvious” why the parliamentarian said they can’t put massive, transformative immigration reform into a budget reconciliation bill that requires only a simple majority vote. Because it’s got nothing to do with the budget, other than busting it.

The BBB bill will also be damaged by a new study by the Penn-Wharton Budget Model which found that inflation is already so bad that it’s causing Americans’ standard of living to shrink noticeably. This should strengthen Sen. Joe Manchin’s opposition to it.

https://townhall.com/columnists/christalgo/2021/12/17/bidenflation-translates-to-3500-in-added-costs-for-average-family-in-2021-n2600711

The report found that in 2021, due to the “hidden tax” of inflation, the average American family had to spend $3500 more just to buy the same goods and services as they did in 2020. That’s $3500 right out of your bank account, and it hurts low- and middle-income families the most. Even the New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman (the same genius who declared on the day of Trump’s election that markets would “never recover”) has actually admitted that he was wrong about inflation being transitory and not a serious problem, and that we may be facing something similar to the stagflation of the 1970s.

https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/business/joseph-vazquez/2021/12/16/paul-krugman-eats-crow-warnings-about-inflation-have

I’ve been saying that for months, and even accurately predicted for a year prior what would happen if Biden got elected. The Pulitzer Committee can send my prize to my TV studio in Hendersonville, Tennessee.

And how about a little religious discrimination with your socialism? One more thing that should make the BBB bill go belly up is that it’s finally being reported that its government-paid child care entitlement (we don’t know how to pay for Social Security and Medicare, but Democrats are creating new entitlements) specifically, and possibly illegally, excludes payments to child care facilities run by religious organizations.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/build-back-better-religious-child-care

You’d think all this would sink any bill, but the Democrats have 11 more months before they are hopefully washed out of power in a red wave. And as they’ve proven before with Obamacare, when they get the power to shove their agenda down the throats of an unwilling public, they will move Heaven and Earth to do it, no matter the consequences. In 2022, expect them to keep pushing this bill, even if it becomes the legislative version of Custer’s Last Stand.

Omicron Variant Update

December 18, 2021

A study by scientists at the University of Hong Kong found that the Omicron variant of COVID infects and multiples 70 times faster than the Delta variant. But it replicated more than 10 times less efficiently in human lung tissue than the original COVID, which suggests lower severity of disease.

https://www.westernjournal.com/study-finds-omicron-infects-70x-faster-previous-covid-strains-key-sign-caught/

The researchers warned that because it spreads so efficiently, it may be able to elude vaccines and immunity from prior infection, so it could pose a significant threat even if it is milder. However, since it was detected, there has been no increase in severe cases or deaths, and most people who’ve caught it had mild or no symptoms.

Bonus quote in the story, from Ben Shapiro: Omicron could be the solution to COVID because it’s spreading natural immunity very quickly and so far, more people have been killed by Alec Baldwin than by Omicron.

(Note: This was before the one case in Great Britain where someone reportedly died with the Omicron variant. But it’s not clear if that was the actual cause of death. So again, as with Alec Baldwin, it’s too soon to say who or what will eventually be held responsible.)

20th Democrat retires

December 18, 2021

Five-term California Rep. Alan Lowenthal just became the 20th Democrat to announce his retirement, so he won’t be running for reelection in 2022.

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2021/12/16/here-comes-the-wave-as-yet-another-dem-flees-the-sinking-ship-n492444

As noted at the link, he’s 80 years old, so this might only be partly due to poll news like this: Rasmussen reports that in the generic Congressional preference poll, voters now prefer Republicans over Democrats by 48-39%. Usually, just a tie suggests a big GOP win.

https://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/generic_congressional_ballot_dec16

The story also notes another problem the Democrats are facing, and that’s the age of their incumbents. In California, there are nine Democratic Congressional incumbents who will be over 75 by Election Day, and another 11 who will be 65+. Or as Nancy Pelosi calls them, “the junior members.”

The NFL takes a knee on China

December 18, 2021

While the Women’s Tennis Association is standing up to China and has canceled all tournaments there in protest of the treatment of player Peng Shuai (who “disappeared” after accusing a Communist Party official of sexual assault), the NFL is again taking a knee. This time to Beijing, since they just released a marketing map that shows Taiwan unlabeled and colored in red as a part of China.

https://freebeacon.com/latest-news/nfl-marks-taiwan-as-part-of-china/

And as long as we’re on the subject of people who put money over human decency, it’s been reported that during a brief period last September, Nike executives funneled more than $60,000 to the reelection campaign of Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, who blocked the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act that the House passed unanimously, the Senate was expected to pass, and President Biden had vowed to sign.

https://tennesseestar.com/2021/12/17/nike-executives-funneled-money-to-democrat-who-blocked-uyghur-forced-labor-bill/

Yesterday, I remarked that Adam Schiff, for repeatedly and shamelessly lying and falsifying evidence to try to get political adversaries imprisoned, should be disbarred. (Others, notably Mark Levin, have agreed.) Of course, for that to happen, lawyers themselves would have to hold their profession to at least some level of ethical standards. Unsurprisingly, that's not happening.

Consider the case of Kevin Clinesmith, who, as you’ll recall, was convicted of doctoring evidence used in a FISA application for a surveillance warrant to spy on Trump campaign associate Carter Page. (By extension, the whole Trump campaign, even going back in time to before the warrant was issued, could have been surveilled.) With the click of a few keys, Clinesmith turned a document that said Page had previously worked with the CIA into one that said he had not. Clinesmith pleaded guilty in August of 2020 and was sentenced to 12 months’ probation in January.

You’d think the DC bar would have sought to pull his law license for something that egregious –- according to Paul Sperry at RealClear Investigations, this is customary –- but they did not. “Normally, the bar automatically suspends the license of members who plead guilty of a felony,” he reported. But they waited five long months to put Clinesmith, a registered Democrat who sent anti-Trump rants to his FBI colleagues, on even an interim suspension, taking action only after RCI exposed their delay. At that point, they temporarily suspended him “pending a review and a hearing.”

They even allowed him to negotiate his fate, which according to Sperry is quite unusual in a case involving a serious crime. Clinesmith had even broken the bar’s own rule by taking five months to report his guilty plea to them, when he was required to do this within 10 days.

In September, the court that oversees the bar and imposes sanctions decided to let Clinesmith off suspension with time served. The Democrat-controlled Board on Professional Responsibility –- I’ll pause while you fall to the floor laughing –- had rubber-stamped the very light sentence he had negotiated with Disciplinary Counsel Hamilton “Phil” Fox, a major Democrat donor. The board did this without even checking with Clinesmith’s probation officer to see if he had violated the terms of his sentence or if he’d completed his required 400 hours of community service.

In order to let Clinesmith off so lightly, Fox concluded that he'd had “no personal motive” in deceiving the court. (Never mind those vicious anti-Trump rants of his.) Fox also had to disregard key findings by Durham about Clinesmith’s intent to deceive the FISA court. Fox apparently just took Clinesmith’s word that he'd thought the change he’d made was accurate. Why, it was merely a “shortcut” to save time (!) and he’d had no intent to deceive FBI agents or the FISA court. Obviously, that is not what was found by Durham, who as evidence cited a revealing internal email between Clinesmith and the FBI agent preparing the application. Durham also cited as plausible motivating factors Clinesmith’s partisan political views and personal dislike of Trump.

Nevertheless, Clinesmith has been restored as an active member in good standing of the DC bar, presumably by others who were motivated by their own partisan political views and personal dislike of Trump.

https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2021/12/16/dc_bar_lets_convicted_fbi_russiagate_lawyer_back_in_good_standing_as_court_cuts_him_more_slack_807964.html

Sperry did determine that Clinesmith had done some community service, volunteering at the nonprofit group Street Sense Media, but that he stopped last summer. It’s not known how many hours he completed. To give you an idea of what sort of organization Street Sense Media is, Clinesmith’s job was to help edit and research articles for their weekly newspaper, which has articles for the homeless about how to “sleep on the streets” and calls for prison reform and “a universal living wage.”

Sounds as though he was really in his element. Who says punishment can’t be fun? On the other hand, isn’t editing how Clinesmith got in trouble in the first place?

Another condition of his plea deal was that he cooperate with the FBI’s Inspection Division to determine if he was involved in any other surveillance abuses related to the FISA court. This would have involved turning over any relevant materials he had. If he failed to do this, he could be charged with perjury and/or obstruction. Bar officials did not bother to check on this before reinstating him.

U.S. District Judge Jeb Boasberg, a Democrat appointed by President Obama, is the judge who spared Clinesmith jail time in his plea agreement. Clinesmith served out his probation from home. Boasberg also decided that losing his FBI job and its $150,000 salary was enough, so he did not impose the $10,000 fine. Clinesmith’s passport was returned to him. He got to skip the periodic drug testing, too. “Best of luck to you,” the judge told him as they parted.

So, are we looking at a double standard of justice? For comparison, let’s look at Boasberg’s treatment of former Trump attorney and Republican Rudy Giuliani. Boasberg recently opened an official ethics investigation of Giuliani, whom he also put under “temporary disciplinary suspension” pending the outcome. (I wonder if the judge will wish Rudy the best of luck.) In July, Rudy was also placed on interim suspension from the New York Bar. He has not been charged with any crime, let alone convicted of one.

But even though Clinesmith has been lovingly re-embraced by the slightly sticky arms of his fellow DC lawyers, he might still be in deeper trouble with Special Counsel John Durham. According to Sperry, Durham’s mandate “is broader than commonly understood.” Yes, he’s examining the legal justification (or lack thereof) of the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation into supposed Trump-Russia “collusion.” But he’s also looking into their inquiry, such as it was, into Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal, non-secure email server to handle her official and classified State Department business, and also her destruction of over 30,000 subpoenaed emails from her tenure as Secretary of State. Clinesmith was deeply involved in that, too.

Durham is also said to be looking into the actions of Robert Mueller’s special counsel. As it happens, Clinesmith was also the liaison between Mueller’s office and the FBI. In fact, he was the only attorney from FBI headquarters assigned to Mueller. He was in the center of it all.

Durham had argued before Judge Boasberg that Clinesmith’s offense, creating a fake document as a false pretense to spy on an American citizen, was “a very serious crime with significant repercussions" and said it made him unfit to practice law. Apparently this made no dfference to the DC Bar. One of Sperry’s sources with direct knowledge of the case, a longstanding member of the DC Bar, said what we’re all thinking: “The District of Columbia is a very liberal bar. Basically, they went light on him because he’s also a Democrat who hated Trump.”

So that’s why Clinesmith hasn’t been disbarred. Adam Schiff would have to be disbarred in California, so don’t hold your breath on that one, either. I'm all for it, though, even though it would merely be symbolic since all he does is "play" lawyer in congressional kangaroo courts and his membership has been inactive since 2001.

https://apps.calbar.ca.gov/attorney/Licensee/Detail/122595

Moving stories

December 17, 2021

Here are a couple of moving stories, and I don’t mean emotionally, unless you get choked up at how badly leftists are destroying once-great states and cities and forcing people to move out.

First, we knew a lot of people had been fleeing California, but researchers from California Police Lab were surprised to discover just how many. From the end of March 2020 to the end of September 2021, they found a 12% increase in residents moving out of California and a 38% decrease in people moving in. While this was a statewide phenomenon, the worst gap was in the most liberal city in California, San Francisco, where there was a 12% increase in residents leaving for other states and a 45% drop in people moving there.

https://redstate.com/brandon_morse/2021/12/16/the-lack-of-people-not-moving-to-california-is-so-bad-its-surprising-researchers-but-it-shouldnt-n492393

I’m sure all the leftists running California will find something other than themselves to blame, like earthquakes or wildfires. In fact, between earthquakes, wildfires and leftist governance, earthquakes are the state’s only natural disaster that isn’t directly related to Californians voting for leftists.

Maybe in San Francisco, they can claim that so many people are moving out because now that they all have a full set of stolen Louis Vuitton luggage, they want to use it.

Our other moving story gives new meaning to the phrase, “Let the buyer beware,” especially if you’re thinking of buying a house.

https://redstate.com/mike_miller/2021/12/16/top-real-estate-sites-remove-crime-data-and-their-excuses-couldnt-be-more-disingenuous-n492330

The major real estate websites Redfin and Realtor.com announced that they will stop including neighborhood crime data in their listings because for some inexplicable reason, that’s apparently racist now.

Realtor.com’s CEO issued a statement “explaining” this change. After some PC boilerplate about how some people may be blocked from buying homes in their preferred neighborhoods due to their race, gender, sexual orientation or religion (which is illegal, by the way, so anyone actually experiencing that would have grounds for a lawsuit), it goes on to claim that “Reported crimes may not accurately reflect actual crimes,” and that “crime statistics risk including racial bias…There’s real variety in how people define and evaluate safety, and…it doesn’t line up very well with purely crime-based data…People are interested in safety, not crime.”

So to help potential buyers, including law-abiding minority members, evaluate whether a neighborhood is safe or not, they’re not to tell them what the crime rate is? I’m used to liberals making no logical sense, but this sounds like someone has actually stolen their brains.

Wednesday, the House passed on a party-line vote a bill sponsored by Rep. Ilhan Omar that would require the Secretary of State to create an “Office to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia” worldwide led by a presidentially-appointed “special envoy for monitoring and combating Islamophobia.”

https://www.westernjournal.com/house-democrats-force-islamophobia-bill-without-single-republican-vote/

I can see a few problems with this. First of all, I doubt it will pass the Senate. Second, there’s no clear definition of what “Islamophobia” is. Omar herself uses it as a convenient word to throw at anyone who aims deserved criticism at her. She cited as an example President Trump’s “Muslim ban,” which didn’t actually exist. That was a propaganda term designed to assign vile motives to a reasonable security measure.

For those not up on their history, Trump temporarily blocked travel from a handful of nations that were known hotbeds of anti-American terrorism and that couldn’t properly vet people coming here. Some were majority Muslim but others were not, while many majority Muslim nations weren’t on the banned list. If he was banning Muslims, it sure was a weird way to go about it.

Another problem is that if you’re going to call all violence against Muslims Islamophobia, how do you account for the fact that the worst violence and oppression against Muslims is committed by other Muslims (case in point: the Taliban in Afghanistan.)

Finally, if we’re going to make policing Islamophobia a federal concern, then we should also police Anti-Semitism. And if we create an office to crack down on that, its first action should be to remove Ilhan Omar from Congress.