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Wrong Hill

September 24, 2020

Speaking of being on the wrong side of history (and common sense), a new USA Today/Ipsos poll found that 64% of Americans believe protesters and counter-protesters are overwhelming America’s cities. Interestingly, only 48% of Democrats agree that cities are under siege.

Fifty percent of Americans say they believe theft and vandalism have gotten worse in their own communities, 68% think vandalism has gotten worse nationwide (only 68%?), 63% think assaults on police have gotten worse nationwide, and more people believe assaults on police have gotten worse over the past six months than assaults by police.

The poll also found that 54% of Americans think people should own firearms to protect themselves from violent protesters, and 56% agree that when necessary, federal law enforcement officers should be sent in to restore law and order. Democrats were much less likely to agree with both of those positions.

I don’t claim to know everything about politics, but I can tell you that when heading into a major election, telling over half of Americans that they’re wrong on the most important personal safety issue of the age is not the hill I’d want to be standing on.

Bring It On

September 24, 2020

The Democrats’ hyperactive threats to burn down the country over a judicial nomination aren’t generating the fear and intimidation they might have hoped. The reactions mostly range from “Yawn!” to “Bring it on!” After four years of threatening us for daring to voice any opinion they disagree with, followed by months of rioting, arson, assaults and looting in their own cities, many Americans have had it with their bullying and demands to give them what they want or else. We’ve been there, done that, and have the videos on Facebook to remember it by.

Their rhetoric has become so overheated that even CNN anchors are starting to roll their eyes at fellow CNN anchors.

In fact, they’ve done so much of this that we’ve now reached the point where threats really become ineffective: Americans are starting to laugh in their faces, aided by the conservative satire site, The Babylon Bee, which summed up their tiresome tantrum threats with a couple of hilarious stories.

And since there’s not enough laughter in the world (if you tune in the late night "comedy" shows, you’d think there was none), here’s one more Babylon Bee story on a related topic.

Proving once again that you can’t cure “stupid,” the Seattle City Council voted 7-2 to override Mayor Jenny Durkan’s veto of their plan to defund the local police department by about $3 million (they claim this is a “down payment” on their plan to cut police funding by 50% by next year.) Think about it: they're actually worse at their jobs than the Mayor of Seattle!

In a city torn by radical rioting and lawlessness, Council President Lorena Gonzalez declared that it’s vital to cut the police budget and spend the money on social programs instead because “Everyone deserves to feel safe…” Safe from the police, she means. Because that's the big worry in Seattle: being assaulted, robbed and set on fire by the police.

I’m sure that just like the poor people suffering under the brain dead city council of Minneapolis, they’ll end up feeling very safe from having the police intrude on the criminals who are going to be targeting them daily. Seattle voters who start asking, as people in Minneapolis now are, “Where are the police?!” should mark it down now so they can remember it: the police are gone because you voted leftist morons into power. And believe me, I don’t use that term as a pejorative but because it’s the most accurate term I can think of, based on the evidence.

I don’t want to be accused of being a “climate denier” (I do believe there is a climate) or of being so anti-science that I disagree with Nancy Pelosi when she warns us, “Mother Earth is angry.” But if we’re ever going to get the terrible wildfires in California under control, it’s necessary to look at real facts and not simply accept overheated claims that “manmade climate change” is entirely to blame for the fires – something that even Gov. Gavin Newsom recently admitted wasn’t true.

Toward that end, I thought I’d point you to a couple of recent reports that look at real statistics and history of both wildfires and weather trends to see if the environmental left’s claims about droughts, temperature and forest fires (pardon the expression) hold water.

First, check out this report from the Foundation for Economic Education.

It asks the provocative question, if global climate changes are to blame for California’s fires, why aren’t other places with forests on fire? Texas, for instance, has more forest acreage than California and a hotter climate, but it’s not burning down. California's winds get blamed, but those have been blowing for millennia. Maybe, as the article points out, it’s because 95% of Texas’ land is privately owned by people who practice wise management policies like controlled burns to remove dead vegetation that turns into kindling, something that California’s environmentalists won’t allow.

"Well, then, how do you explain why the number of wildfires and the acreage on fire are both at record levels?"

Answer: they aren’t. 2020 is on track to be a very bad year, but not as bad as 2017.

“Still, that was the all-time record year for forest fires!” Only because the records being cited start in 1960. In 1930, about five times more acreage burned as in 2017, and the annual average from 1926-‘52 was several times higher. Forest fires have been with us since before there even were humans in North America, but in recent decades, we learned how to control them. Only California has made those methods illegal.

Ironically, one thing that’s also illegal in California is arson, but that hasn’t seemed to stop anyone from doing it.

Of course, pointing all this out doesn’t mean that there is no climate change going on. But the climate is always changing. The big questions are, is it due to humans and is it catastrophic? It’s now conventional wisdom that the answer to both is a big “YES!” and if you disagree, you’re a science-denying lunkhead.

So to check that out, a researcher for the Global Warming Policy Foundation examined data mostly from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) “to analyse trends in temperature, precipitation, droughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, sea-level rise and wildfires. In particular, it takes account of the widely varying regional climates.” The goal was to determine the state of the climate in 2019.

Here’s what the data shows, quoted directly from the report’s summary:

• “Average temperatures have risen by 0.15°F/decade since 1895, with the increase most marked in winter.

• There has been little or no rise in temperatures since the mid 1990s.

• Summers were hotter in the 1930s than in any recent years.

• Heatwaves were considerably more intense in decades up to 1960 than anything seen since.

• Cold spells are much less severe than they used to be.

• Central and Eastern regions have become wetter, with a consequent drastic reduction in drought. In the west, there has been little long-term change.

• While the climate has become wetter in much of the country, evidence shows that floods are not getting worse.

• Hurricanes are not becoming either more frequent or powerful.

• Tornadoes are now less common than they used to be, particularly the stronger ones.

• Sea-level rise is currently no higher than around the mid-20th century.

• Wildfires now burn only a fraction of the acreage they did prior to the Second World War.

In short, the US climate is in most ways less extreme than it used to be. Temperatures are less extreme at both ends of the scale, storms less severe and droughts far less damaging. While it is now slightly warmer, this appears to have been largely beneficial.”

I’m sure many people will attack the report, the writer and the foundation that funded it. But I’ll be waiting to see if they produce any evidence that he or NOAA got their weather data wrong.

Breaking News on the SCOTUS Nomination: Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, one of the Republicans who was originally said to be opposed to confirming a Trump nominee before the election, now says she won’t rule that out if the Judiciary Committee passes one. Also, it depends on who it is.

Considering those two conditions would apply to any SCOTUS nominee, this shouldn’t even be news (“Bulletin: Senator Does Constitutional Duty!!!”) But the big news here is that with Murkowski and Mitt Romney both rejecting the Democrats’ threats and demands to refuse to do their jobs, at least one side of the Senate is still functioning according to the Constitution, not politics. The equally good news is that threats, ultimatums, name-calling and temper tantrums may have finally ceased to be effective tools of political persuasion.

It might have helped if everything the Democrats are threatening to do (harass and assault Republicans at their homes and in public, riot, burn things down, pack the Court, etc.) they hadn’t already been doing for months/years or already threatened to do anyway if they got into power.

If you read the commentary for Tuesday morning, you know that if Democrats take the Senate and White House, their threats of packing the Supreme Court, eliminating the Electoral College, granting statehood to Puerto Rico and DC, and making other seismic changes will be carried out whether or not President Trump fills the vacant Court seat before the election. So Trump may as well DO IT, and, in fact, intends to. As we reported yesterday, the Senate apparently has the votes. So that part of the discussion is over, or at least should be.

EVERYONE knows that if a Democrat President were in the same position as Trump, with a Democrat Senate to confirm his choice, he’d have his new (activist) justice sworn in faster than you can say “Christine Blasey Ford.” The full Court would be able to start hearing cases in October, hardly missing a beat.

But the double standard applies once again. The media are completely off their meds. The meltdown on CNN and MSNBC was so predictable that there’s no point in even getting into it. Mostly, they’re wrongly equating one situation (the Merrick Garland nomination), in which the President and Senate were of different parties, with another situation, in which the President and Senate are of the same party. But these scenarios are very different, and the anger we see is coming from their blind partisanship and willful ignorance. I’ll do what I hope you do --- ignore it.

Except for one dangerous part of it: They’re encouraging the Democrats to go ahead and “burn it all down": As soon as they gain power, pack the Court to suit the President, destroying checks and balances. (VOX said this might be “the only solution.”) Add states, to gain senators who vote their way. Get rid of the filibuster completely. “Blow up” the Electoral College and choose the President by straight popular vote (gee, why shouldn’t California and a handful of big cities pick the President?). Maybe even impeach the attorney general, for, um, agreeing with Trump too much. Do whatever it takes to hold onto power. The media apparently learned in journalism school that they’re supposed to be the cheering section for all this.

THE FEDERALIST has a great piece on just how far the media and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) plan to take this.

However, this episode has taken one surprising turn. Under the heading of “even a broken clock is right twice a day,” I have to give credit to Utah Sen. Mitt Romney for seeing the big picture on this issue and putting history and precedent over politics and personal grievance. The LA TIMES wrote that Mitt “made the wrong call,” which means he made the right call. They also left out –- I’m sure deliberately –- the first part of what he said, about the fairness of following the law, so I’ll put that back in:

"My decision regarding a Supreme Court nomination is not the result of a subjective test of ‘fairness’...it is based on the immutable fairness of following the law, which in this case is the Constitution and precedent,” his said. “The historical precedent of election year nominations is that the Senate generally does not confirm an opposing party’s nominee but does confirm one of its own.”

Romney went on to say that he would follow the Constitution and vote based on the nominee’s qualifications. Good job, Mitt!

House Republicans had something to say about Court-packing, too. Not that Democrats care.

As reported in POLITICO on Monday, Joe Biden refused to tell a reporter whether or not he would pack the Supreme Court if he won. He weaseled out by saying, “It’s a legitimate question. But let me tell you why I’m not going to answer that question: Because it will shift all the focus. That’s what he [Trump] wants.”

"Shift all the focus”? To quote Biden after the passage of Obamacare, “This is a big (bleeping) deal!” The idea of Court-packing is a big deal. Shouldn’t we focus on it right now? If Biden won’t renounce Court-packing, that tells us his party intends to do just that if they get the chance.

This is also one more example of Biden flip-flopping, as he said during the primary race that he “would not get into Court-packing...we’d begin to lose any credibility the Court has at all.”

And so we would. Why can’t he say that now?

Kamala Harris was more forthcoming, in a chilling sort of way. As reported by THE NEW YORK TIMES, she said she was “absolutely open to” packing the Court. Well, of course she is. She and AOC are on the same page, you can bet the farm. (Of course, if they end up in power, they’ll likely take your farm.)

Biden won’t even divulge his own “shortlist” of SCOTUS nominees. Maybe he doesn’t know them or remember their names. But he knows who’s in charge of his party, and he has said he’ll have “the most progressive administration in history.” If you want to see progressive, all you have to do is look at the extremists running New York City, Portland, Seattle and San Francisco. Leftists have way too much power NOW; we’d be crazy to give them more.

Finally, for when you have time, it’s fascinating to look back at what happened when Franklin D. Roosevelt tried to get the House and Senate to pass legislation to help him pack the Court, just so it would rubber-stamp his New Deal programs. Back in 1937, even though these were all Democrats, they reacted with horror at such a power-grab and refused. FDR’s plan flopped spectacularly. If only this were still your great-great-grandfather’s Democrat Party.

FDR’s Court-Packing Attempt | The American Spectator | USA News and PoliticsThe American Spectator | USA News and Politics

Insanity

September 23, 2020

PJ Media’s Stephen Green does a news round-up that he calls the “Insanity Wrap,” and today’s outdoes itself for craziness.

One of the stories is especially worth noting because it shows us how the media are already gearing up to attack any Trump nominee for Supreme Court on any pretext, no matter how flimsy (shades of Brett Kavanaugh!) Newsweek ran a lengthy article about Trump short-lister Amy Coney Barrett, implying that her particular Charismatic Catholic religious sect was the inspiration for the ridiculous leftist horror-fantasy, “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Only at the end of the article did they add a postscript/correction noting that author Margaret Atwood never mentioned the group as an inspiration for the book, and that a New Yorker profile mentioned a news clipping that was part of her research, but it was about a different religious group. It ends, “Newsweek regrets the error.”

But apparently not enough to remove the lengthy article promoting the (way-at-the-end) admitted total falsehood of its premise. Welcome to the serious and solemn “Supreme Court vetting process” of 2020.

Return to Impeachment

September 23, 2020

I mentioned elsewhere that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was pressed on whether she would use impeachment to try to block President Trump from appointing a replacement for Justice Ginsburg. She replied that the Constitution requires that Congress “use every arrow in our quiver.” (Actually, it doesn’t. Also, her claim that Trump and his “henchmen” have threatened not to accept the results of the election applies much more accurately to her and her “henchpersons.”)

You can always tell that Pelosi is lying when she starts citing the Constitution, a piece of paper for which she has as much regard as a roll of Charmin. I guess she’s forgotten this bit of recent history, so let me remind her:

The House ALREADY impeached Trump on ridiculous, unconstitutional grounds. The Senate threw it out. Even if (God forbid) the Dems win the Senate, there’s no way they’re winning two-thirds of it, which would be required for removing Trump. And if (again, God forbid) Biden is elected, Trump would be gone anyway.

So the threat of impeachment is pure hot gas. It’s already proven so ineffective that Democrats were too embarrassed even to bring it up at their convention. As a weapon against Trump, it would be the equivalent of those people in movies who fire revolvers at Godzilla.

(Incidentally, did anyone else notice how Speaker Pelosi inexplicably wished “Good morning” to George Stephanopolous, 6-1/2 minutes into their interview? Joe Biden had better keep wearing that mask because whatever he has must be contagious. Yes, this is real.)

If you wonder why I reference George Orwell so often, it’s because 1984 might not have been the way he predicted, but it turned out he was just off by about 36 years. Remember how Winston Smith, the main character in “1984,” had a job in the deliberately misnamed “Ministry of Truth” rewriting old news stories and removing (“canceling?”) “unpersons” from photos to make history conform to the party line? Today, instead of working for Big Brother, he could work for Black Lives Matter.

I’ve previously written about how this organization, like the “Ministry of Truth,” uses the indisputable truth that “black lives matter” as a name to cover for the fact that it’s actually a radical anti-American organization run by self-proclaimed “trained Marxists,” and that their website proudly proclaimed that their goals include dismantling the “Western-prescribed nuclear family structure” and fostering “a queer-affirming network” by “freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking.”

Unfortunately for them, a lot of people have started looking and listening more closely to their radical rhetoric and violent behavior and realizing that they are more concerned with tearing down America than lifting up black people. So guess what? Abra-cadabra! The “What we believe” page of their website where they admitted what they really are has suddenly disappeared! Try to click on it and you get a message reading, “Sorry, but the page you were trying to view does not exist.” Big Brother would be proud.

Well, sorry, but one thing Orwell didn’t predict is that the Internet is forever. That page may no longer exist on their site, but it’s been archived in plenty of places where it can’t be thrown down the memory hole so that they can rewrite history. And after four months of rioting, we’ve all figured out what BLM really stands for. We no longer need their web page to tell us.