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Michelle Obama is in the news again.

It doesn't surprise us --- one of my writers has said for two years that the former First Lady would be on the ticket for 2020 --- but Michelle O is starting to take a higher profile now that doubts are being expressed more publicly about Joe Biden’s mental decline. We know that even if he makes it across the finish line to Election Day and (shudder) wins, the new VP will be taking his place soon in the Oval Office. Biden won’t be able to find the Oval Office, or tell an oval from a rectangle.

Putting Michelle –- or someone, but probably her –- in at the last minute was likely the plan all along. She’s black, she’s female, she's famous, there won't be much time to take a hard look, and for many Democrats and possibly independents, she puts an appealing and, yes, moderate face on the increasingly radical Democrat Party, a friendly image that they very badly need now. She’s been voted the Most Admired Woman in America, and even Most Admired worldwide! But Michelle Obama is NOT in the mainstream.

Watch, though, how she can take a leftist goal like income redistribution and skillfully finesse it to make it seem downright middle-of-the-road. Wednesday, in her new podcast (yes, she has a new podcast), she did just that in a conversation with Michele Norris. She called coronavirus an opportunity to think about “how wealth is distributed” to lower-income essential workers.

Read the transcript, and you’ll see how she lays the groundwork for “thinking” about wealth in a different way. “...We have to think about that [being essential],” she says, “in terms of how wealth is distributed.” As she goes on about this, it sounds so reasonable, so thoughtful, so compassionate, until you realize that the solution to this, in the mind of anyone on the left, will be a monstrous government program involving large-scale bureaucratically-calibrated income redistribution, with more pages of regulations than in Obamacare (which is a good real-world example of what I’m talking about).

Michelle even helps us understand why nothing in the budget is ever cut. “...All the things that we look to cut were put in place in response to some crisis.” I see. That’s why, once we have a government program, we can NEVER cut it. The crisis never goes away, so we always have to keep it as-is (or bigger).

More: “...We actually have power; we can...change so much of what we do, we can sacrifice a little more...we can shift priorities, and not just in our own lives, ‘cause IT’S NOT ENOUGH TO JUST DO IT IN YOUR OWN LIFE IF YOU’RE NOT WILLING TO DO IT IN OUR BROADER POLICY.” (Emphasis mine.) In other words, out of compassion, we have to force everyone to do what we would have them do. This kind of thinking can be used to rationalize all kinds of control and taken to tremendous lengths. Goodbye freedom.

"It’s in our country’s DNA to step up,” she says. But she warns that this is “always with great opposition, because you’re asking people to sacrifice, to give up things that, that they think they deserve, that they’re entitled to, for the sake of the greater good.”

See how she subtly suggests that the “opposition” is against personal sacrifice and the greater good? Why, some people are just selfish, that’s what they are, thinking they deserve things. We’ll decide who deserves things! And to do that, we’ll have to force everyone into a “broader policy.”

Beware. Someone with this kind of skill, teamed with the more pushy radicals like AOC and "the Squad," could take control of just about everything in your life. Trump 2020!

President Trump issued some important executive orders Thursday, all aimed at China.

Two of the orders were to ban transactions with the popular video-sharing app TikTok and the social media app WeChat in 45 days. Their parent companies are the Chinese-owned ByteDance and Tencent Holdings. Both orders warn that the apps automatically capture “vast swaths of information” from users, amounting to actions that threaten “to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information.” According to an internal document obtained by the Epoch Times, TikTok's parent ByteDance employs at least 138 members of the Chinese Communist Party, many in high managerial positions. To paraphrase comic Yakov Smirnoff, in communist China, video app watches YOU.

And in another long-overdue move, Trump issued an order designed to ensure that essential medicines, medical supplies and equipment are made in the United States. The order has several components to persuade manufacturers to move plants back to the US from China and to keep that move from raising prices for consumers. We never should’ve relied on China for all our medicines and medical supply needs, but COVID-19 brought home the urgent need for a change. You can read more about that EO here.

The Worms Are Turning

August 8, 2020

And the great turning continues, as liberal institutions that went all-in on supporting lawlessness and anarchy realize it’s going over with voters like a punch bowl full of manure. First, the mayor of Portland – PORTLAND! – admitted that people who throw incendiary devices into occupied buildings with the intention of murdering the people inside are not “peaceful protesters” (I’m sure that was a difficult concession for him to make.)

And now, the New York Times (!) has actually printed an in-depth article about the living hell inflicted on the people whose businesses were inside CHOP, the area of Seattle that the mayor turned over to violent leftist, Antifa anarchists, some armed, and tried to pass off as the new “summer of love.” Those businesses are suing the city for the massive costs inflicted upon them when officials failed to do their most basic duty of protecting public safety and private property. None of this is news to you, of course, but for the Times to suddenly wake up to reality is massive.

(The Times is behind a paywall, so I’m linking to a lengthy excerpt at Instapundit. There’s a link there to the full story if you are a Times subscriber. I also wanted you to see the comment by Instapundit founder, Prof. Glenn Reynolds, that all this abrupt backpedaling away from supporting rioters by leftwing politicians and media suggests that the Democrats’ internal polling on this issue must be truly awful.)

Between this lawsuit and others like it in similar blue cities, Nick Sandmann’s lawsuits against the media outlets that slandered him, all the lawsuits against leftist college administrators who denied students due process and First Amendment rights, and the countersuit the NRA just filed against New York’s Attorney General…

…it appears that conservatives have learned from the lawfare that liberals have been waging and are turning the left’s favorite weapon against them. It might even be more effective than expected, thanks to all the Trump judicial appointees who actually respect the Constitution -- one of the top reasons why it's so important not to believe any johnny-come-lately "law and order" rhetoric from the left and instead to reelect Trump.

You would think that the idea of a city doing away with its police force would be idiotic enough just on the face of it that no sane person would actually suggest it. But if you think beyond the surface inanity, there are also further negative consequences that advocates haven’t even considered. Here’s one of them.

City dwellers don’t like to think about this, but they are heavily dependent on us rubes outside the city to create all the products they consume, like food, and to deliver them into their barren concrete jungles. Trucking companies aren’t too thrilled about the idea of sending expensive trucks loaded with valuable merchandise into cities where the police have allowed armed gangs to take over the streets. Just because the people were foolish enough to elect politicians who left them at the mercy of criminals, that doesn’t mean trucking companies outside the cities have to risk their drivers' lives, trucks and merchandise to keep them afloat.

As the trucking company owner at the link says, any states that defund the police, truckers will avoid for safety reasons. He estimates that the food chain will collapse, the people will run out of food, and there will be complete chaos within 72 hours. Then again, in places with no police, there may already be so much chaos that they won’t even notice more.

Deadly inaction

August 7, 2020

There was a massive explosion in Beirut this week that killed at least 135 people, injured 5,000 more and caused devastating damage that’s left up to 300,000 people homeless. Investigators have been trying to ascertain if it was an attack, a hidden weapons cache or what? Now, it appears that it might have been due to Russian fertilizer.

A Russian ship called the MV Rhosus that was carrying agricultural fertilizer with 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate came into port in Beirut in 2013. It had technical and financial problems, was abandoned by its owners, and the crew sent back to Russia. It’s been there for years, despite multiple warnings from the customs director to the judiciary that it was a “floating bomb,” warnings that were apparently ignored. So the explosion wasn’t due to a deadly action by a foreign government, but deadly inaction by Lebanon’s own government. And yet some people still insist that we need to entrust every important aspect of our lives to the care and efficiency of government bureaucrats.