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Elsewhere today, we linked to a Fox News article about precisely what’s in the new Texas election integrity law that Democrats are howling about. But for those who have subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal, this is also worth a read.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/whats-really-in-the-texas-voting-law-elections-republicans-11630533819

The Journal editorial board talks about what’s in the law, but also explains why the hysterical attacks on it as “voter suppression” are ludicrous. For instance, while 24-hour voting is banned, since letting people drop off ballots at 3 a.m. makes fraud easier, in some cases, voting hours are actually expanded. 24-hour voting and drive-in voting are banned (except the latter is okay for disabled people), but they were only allowed for the first time last year due to the pandemic.

The editors also point out that in a previous case in Georgia, when the ACLU argued that expecting people to buy a stamp to mail in their ballots was an “unconstitutional poll tax,” the judges said that “bordered on the frivolous.” I’d say that like most leftists these days, it showed no respect for borders at all.

Just bear in mind that when everything Biden has touched, from the border to the economy, has turned into a blazing dumpster fire, and he’s just surrendered Afghanistan and $85 billion worth of weaponry to the Taliban on the eve of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, while leaving unknown numbers of Americans and allies behind in the process, it’s not surprising that the Democrats are desperate to distract the public with anything else.

I guess, “Look, Texas is securing elections and protecting babies’ lives! GET ‘EM!!” is the best they can come up with.

Biden's Vaccine Speech

September 10, 2021

Thursday, President Biden gave what many commentators are describing as the most disturbing, dictatorial speech ever given by an American President. I’m so angry about this speech that I’m glad I don’t have to describe it in detail, since the writer Bonchie at Redstate.com did it so well for me:

https://redstate.com/bonchie/2021/09/09/joe-biden-threatens-the-unvaccinated-and-announces-his-unconstitutional-vaccine-mandate-in-disturbing-dictatorial-speech-n440634

Stacey Lennox at PJ Media also has a good rundown…

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/stacey-lennox/2021/09/09/breaking-joe-biden-unveils-authoritarian-plan-to-defeat-covid-19-blames-the-unvaccinated-n1477304

And Lincoln Brown has some pointed questions about it…

https://pjmedia.com/columns/lincolnbrown/2021/09/10/mr-president-a-few-questions-n1477380

The President who didn’t dare say “boo” to the Taliban attacked the “freedom and personal choice” of tens of millions of Americans who are hesitant to get vaccinated for COVID, darkly warning that his “patience is wearing thin” with them. The man who, as a candidate and as recently as six weeks ago, rejected vaccine mandates…

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2021/09/09/biden-proved-today-what-liars-they-are-with-vaccine-mandate-n440681

declared that he would impose a draconian mandate on both government and private sector employees, including every business with more than 100 workers, forcing them to force their workers to be vaccinated or be tested weekly. Considering businesses are already having trouble finding workers, what would it do to the economy if millions of workers simply refused to show up and comply? Particularly since that includes a large percentage of healthcare workers.

Biden also spat on the entire idea of federalism by warning that if any state Governors opposed him, he would use his powers to “get them out of the way.”

I know he’s been acting more and more like King Lear lately, but someone needs to tell him he’s not a king, and he doesn’t rule by Divine Right. He’s also not Tony Soprano. And of this writing, 14 Governors have already announced plans to sue the second he tries to impose this.

Bear in mind, I’m only talking about the parts that blatantly overstepped his powers, and not even the parts that defied logic, like saying, “We’re going to protect the vaccinated from unvaccinated co-workers” (if vaccines work, why would the vaccinated be threatened? It sounds as if he’s saying vaccination is useless while attacking anyone who thinks that.) Or claiming that GOP officials are actively working to undermine the fight against COVID and not encouraging people to get vaccinated. That’s not merely a lie, it’s a slanderous lie. The Governors he attacks most often, DeSantis in Florida and Abbott in Texas, are both vaccinated, both strongly encourage vaccination, and they’ve both done a far better job of distributing vaccines than just about any blue state.

I’m stunned by the openly authoritarian tone of this speech. For four years, the left railed that Trump was a dictator, he was “literally Hitler,” just for using his Constitutional authority to enact his agenda. And yet they’re cheering this insane power grab, with Biden angrily dictating to private businesses, state officials and individual citizens that they will do what he says and inject something into their bodies that they don’t want injected, or else.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/intense-mixed-reactions-biden-anger-at-the-unvaccinated

If Afghanistan didn’t convince Americans, this should: he needs to resign, NOW. I’m sure a lot of Republicans would agree, as both GOP Governors and Congress members are already declaring Biden’s threats and mandates to be blatantly unconstitutional, calling him the wannabe dictator that the left falsely accused Trump of being, and prepping to fight him in court and Congress.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/republicans-respond-to-vaccine-mandates-issued-by-biden-absolutely-unconstitutional

That rising spirit of resistance to government overreach may be the only silver lining to this toxic cloud. To be clear: I’ve been quite open that I’m vaccinated myself, and I think people should be vaccinated, but it’s not the government’s place to force it on anyone (the “My body, my choice” crowd thinks that only applies to abortion, which actually destroys someone else’s body.) And this is such an unprecedented abuse of power that there’s no way it will stand.

But Brandon Morse argues that it will serve the left’s political aims because when the Supreme Court inevitably throws it out, that will give Democrats the opening to fire up their crazy base by claiming the conservative court wants people to DIE and the only solution is to expand and pack the Court, and so we’re back to that end-run around the Constitution.

https://redstate.com/brandon_morse/2021/09/09/bidens-unconstitutional-promise-to-force-vaccinations-on-private-companies-is-hollow-but-dont-get-comfortable-n440604

If Biden and his cohorts spent as much time and effort figuring out how to get around the Taliban as they do trying to get around the Constitution, all our people would be out of Afghanistan by now.

A reader of our newsletter, to be identified for our purpose here merely as Carl, left us a phone message after reading Thursday’s story, “Maricopa County canvassing uncovers huge discrepancies.” This reader had called with firsthand knowledge of the same type of ballot “discrepancies” in Maricopa County that canvassers had found.

To set the scene for what he told us, we’d first like to call attention to an interview on Stephen Colbert’s late-night “comedy” show –- not so much what Colbert had to say (no surprises there) as what guest Chris Wallace contributed to the discussion. The interview was part of the promotion for Chris’ new book on 9/11, which I’m sure is a great read. To be clear, I bring attention to this not to single out Chris Wallace specifically, but rather to highlight the dismissal with which legitimate concerns about the election are typically received.

Let's start with how Colbert phrases his question: “I’m wondering whether you and your fellow Sunday morning guys out there who are doin’ the Sunday shows, talkin’ about the week, if you ever feel like you shouldn’t have on people who have the irrational belief that the last election...” (Pause for predictable applause from Colbert’s audience.) “...the people who are cynically –- and I know you’ve held these guys’ feet to the fire; I don’t want to suggest that you haven’t pushed back; you have, quite famously –- but have you ever seen anything so cynical in Washington, DC, than...people saying things they know aren’t true, uh, that they KNOW has to have lasting damage on our democracy, coming on TV and saying these things with a straight face?”

This is where Perry Mason would rise and say “Objection, leading the witness.” But leading questions ARE asked in court, at least whenever opposing counsel is asleep and they can be gotten away with, because they work. The same holds true in TV studios, and this one worked here, setting the tone for the whole exchange. If you have a strong stomach, hear it all at the link.

https://www.toddstarnes.com/media/chris-wallace-d-fox-i-dont-frankly-wanna-hear-their-election-was-stolen-crap/

I debated whether or not to provide a full transcript of the conversation, since the video is available, but I think it’s instructive to see at least a part of it in print. So here’s a condensed version, starting where Chris answers the above question from Colbert:

“I have never seen this...I’ve been in Washington 40 years, so I’ve seen a lot of bad stuff [chuckle], but nothing like this, where --- and, you know, someone would say to me, ‘Well, are they delusional?’ No --- well, maybe some of them are --- but what’s worse, I think some of them have cynically decided, because of the Trump base, because they don’t want to get crosswise with the former President, they’re gonna say something they know is not true. Now, I don’t believe you’re just gonna sit there and say, ‘I’m not gonna have them on. But if I’m gonna have them on, I’m gonna hold them to account, over and over, about, you know, ‘what about, you know, this election, what about --- I’ve said this to many of them, ‘Is Joe Biden the duly-elected President of the United States, and they’ll say ‘Well, he’s the President,’ and I’ll say ‘No, no, was he elected fair and square?’ So, we go back on this, and I don’t let it pass...”

More: “There are plenty of people who were the leaders in the Congress who were challenging [the election] that I just have not had on the show ever since then, and have purposefully not had on the show, because I frankly don’t wanna hear their crap. But having said that, there are some leaders that you have to ask them questions. There are people in leadership and the Senate and I won’t let them come on without putting them through the wringer.”

Colbert interjects at this point, referring to such concerns as ‘garbage.” Wallace segues into January 6, “one of the worst days,” as he watched “this mob coming to the cathedral of our democracy.” “I was sickened,” he says, to applause. Colbert goes on to say that anyone who isn’t “wiling to stand up for that truth” –- I guess he means the “truth” that Biden was duly elected –- should be “DISQUALIFIED to be in the public sphere.” (!!!) He says that appearing on those Sunday shows is of value to such people because it helps them “promulgate that lie.”

“Does it worry you,” he asks Chris, “that you have given legitimacy to people who have abdicated all public responsibility?” (Again, where's Perry Mason when you need him?)

Chris responds that there are members of Congress who have been the leaders on that argument whom he just has deliberately not had on the show, “ever since then.” He says it was because he “frankly, didn’t want to hear their crap.” (This is followed by predictable audience cheers and applause.)

He goes on to say there are certain ones you have to have on, “but I won’t let ‘em come on without putting ‘em through the wringer.” That was pretty much the end of the interview, except for a book plug, and then on to the commercial break, which should have been for Pepto-Bismol.

So, Chris Wallace said he essentially gives his guests a litmus test, and it’s not enough for them to say, “Biden is the President.” It SHOULD be enough, but no –- the guest has to say that, yes, Biden was elected “fair and square,” even though it’s not known for sure that he was. We do not have definitive proof that the election was “stolen,” either, but after known problems with mass mail-in balloting in 2020, we have good reason to call for audits, and this does not make us “cynical,” "irrational" or “delusional.” It certainly does not mean that we "lie." Likewise, fact-based observations that there were problems with the last election that need to be fixed or that elections need to be more transparent are not “garbage” or “crap,” and to suggest this is offensive and insulting to millions of intelligent and informed people.

Such observations are not made to stay in good with “Trump’s base.” They are made because there are valid reasons for concern. Concerned Americans want to make sure we can TRUST the system, and maintaining that trust is PRO-democracy --- much more pro-democracy than pulling the curtain over the election and saying, “You have to talk about this in a certain way or you can’t participate in public life.”

Indeed, though I strongly and repeatedly condemned the breach of the Capitol Building, it's easy to understand why it happened. People were fed up because no one, not even the courts, would take their concerns seriously, saying that whatever the truth, the issue was "moot."

So, back to Carl. (Remember Carl?) Our commentary on Maricopa County sparked him to call and tell us about his niece, who moved from Maricopa County to Florida ten years ago. She found out something very interesting this year when a jury summons from Maricopa County was forwarded to her. She received this because they still had her on the Maricopa County voter rolls.

And the records showed her as having “voted” in the 2020 election.

Thanks to Instapundit for directing readers to this article by George Korda of the Knoxville News Sentinel, who shows where much of the blame for vaccine hesitancy really lies. Maybe Biden doesn’t remember 2020 (and I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t), but he, his running mate, other top Democrats, their lackeys in the media from CNN to Newsweek, and even their godhead Dr. Fauci, all spent last year casting doubt on the safety and effectiveness of any vaccine developed under President Trump. Mr. Korda went through the archives and dug up some of their scare quotes about the unlikelihood of a vaccine being developed that quickly, and the safety risks if it were.

https://www.knoxnews.com/story/opinion/columnists/george-korda/2021/09/09/mixed-messages-2020-may-behind-vaccine-resistance-george-korda-opinion/5751974001/

Biden seems to have forgotten that he was at the forefront of a Democratic Party/liberal media PR push to convince Americans that any vaccine that didn’t take years to test and wasn’t fully FDA-approved might be dangerous. Biden would like us to forget, too, since he and Harris got themselves jabbed with the Trump vaccine before they even took office, and then promptly started taking credit for it. Now, they’re demonizing anyone who might have the same doubts they were promoting less than a year ago.

Instead of attacking people who are skeptical of the vaccines, Biden might be more effective, and certainly more believable, if he’d come clean and say, “Look, I was just playing a cynical political game with the lives of 320 million Americans. So don’t distrust the vaccines. Just distrust anything I say.”

Reeder: RIP Willard Scott

September 9, 2021

We’re saddened to report that longtime NBC “Today Show” weatherman and parade host Willard Scott died Saturday at 87. While he didn’t live long enough to wish himself a 100th birthday, he did pass away peacefully at home, surrounded by his family.

https://www.today.com/news/willard-scott-dead-t152927?cid=sm_npd_td_tw_ma

Scott got his start in radio in the 1950s, and his early TV work included entertaining kids as Bozo the Clown. He was also the first person ever to play Ronald McDonald in local commercials in Washington (the character looked very different than he does now.)

Scott brought his love of clowning and entertaining people to his weatherman gig at NBC, for instance, dressing up as a groundhog on Groundhog Day, or famously, as Carmen Miranda to earn a $1000 donation to the USO (warning: there’s a photo of that at the link.) He took flak for it, but he told the New York Times, “People said I was a buffoon to do it. Well, all my life I’ve been a buffoon. That’s my act.”

Scott was deeply hurt when in 1989, Bryant Gumbel, the poster child for arrogant elitist anchormen, wrote a memo to NBC blaming Scott for a slip in ratings, and claiming he was holding “the show hostage to his assortment of whims, wishes, birthdays and bad taste. This guy is killing us and no one’s even trying to rein him in.” But a USA Today call-in poll found that 27,300 people liked Scott’s weather segments and only 854 sided with Gumbel.

I like to think of that as one of the first examples of the divide between the media elites and normal Americans that Gov. Huckabee wrote about in “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy” and that eventually led to the rise of Trump (and the demonization of him and his voters by the pompous Bryant Gumbel types.) Scott once told Time, “If you watch, you’ll see that I am trying to weave a web of love. I want to make the whole country feel as if we are one. I may be a cornball, but I am me – not a sophisticated, slick New York wazoo act.” I wonder who he was referring to?

It reminds me of John Candy’s speech to the pompous Steve Martin character in “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”: “You wanna hurt me? Go right ahead if it makes you feel any better. I'm an easy target. Yeah, you're right, I talk too much. I also listen too much. I could be a cold-hearted cynic like you...but I don't like to hurt people's feelings. Well, you think what you want about me; I'm not changing...I like me. My wife likes me. My customers like me. 'Cause I'm the real article. What you see is what you get.”

That was Willard Scott: the real article in a business of self-important, image-obsessed phonies. I don’t think “Today” viewers miss Bryant Gumbel any more than they miss Matt Lauer, but it’s definitely a duller show without Willard Scott, one of the last true American everymen allowed on network TV. Or as Instapundit quoted him from his 1982 autobiography:

“If you were to look at my resume, you’d see that I’m bald, I’m overweight, I don’t make all the smooth moves, and I dress like a slob. I take tremendous pride in the fact that I beat the system.”

Kevin D. Williamson has a thought-provoking article at National Review Online about why liberal media outlets like Rolling Stone that accuse conservatives of spreading “disinformation” are so quick to trumpet transparently fake stories, from Jussie Smollett to the Ivermectin overdose hoax.

https://www.nationalreview.com/the-tuesday/like-a-rolling-stone/

They also give lots of attention to any dubious accusation against a Republican or a member of a class or group they don’t like, from fraternity members to Catholic school boys. Yet they ignore real offenses, such as rape and sexual abuse, if the accused is a Democrat or the victims aren’t in social classes they can relate to (poor urban blacks, say, instead of white college students), or the victims are in cities run by Democrats, so that reporting on the epidemic of that crime might reflect badly on their favored politicians.

Their “news coverage” isn’t about the facts, or what’s newsworthy. It’s about politics and social class and whether the story raises or lowers the status of their cultural enemies. For instance, the Ivermectin story made rural people (i.e., Trump voters who won’t take the COVID vaccine) sound like idiots, so they blasted it all over, and never mind that it was an easily-debunked hoax.

Another of many examples he cites: NPR will run countless stories on forgiving college loan debt, but nothing about school vouchers that would help poor, inner city blacks go to good schools and get out of poverty. And who works at NPR? Hint: it's not poor, inner city blacks.

A couple of quotes that will make you want to read more:

“These stories don’t get published because nobody knows how to prevent that from happening — these stories get published because nobody cares, because these stories serve the purposes of a particular narrow cultural agenda and flatter the prejudices of a particular narrow set of educated and generally affluent American professionals…A note to our progressive friends: This is your version of Q-Anon — falling for obvious, ridiculous lies because you want to believe the worst about people you hate.”

We interrupt this newsletter, of necessity focused recently on the international threat created by Biden’s tragically inept pull-out from Afghanistan, to bring you some long-awaited 2020 election news.

It’s been ages since we’ve heard anything about the audit that’s been taking place in Maricopa County, Arizona. That’s the Phoenix area, one of the largest counties in the United States. (Keep in mind that Biden “won” the ENTIRE STATE of Arizona with only a 10,457-vote margin.) We’re still waiting for results of the official audit –- as we’ve reported, the auditors have run into snags in getting material they say they need to complete their work –- but canvassing efforts by a separate group have apparently been completed and what they reveal is stunning.

Of course, few news outlets will report this at all; we’ve gone to Joe Hoft at THE GATEWAY PUNDIT for his story. The headline from Wednesday says ‘ELECTION STEAL IS NOW CONFIRMED.” Let me make it clear, that’s their headline, not ours, but we are eager to take a look at what the results of this canvass tell us, and then we can all make up our own minds.

Again, this is not the official Maricopa County audit report, which is still going on and has no hard-and-fast deadline. It’s an independent effort conducted by Liz Harris and a group of volunteers, a “separate exercise” sponsored by the Arizona State Senate Republicans. That alone will give the Democrats the excuse they desperately need to dismiss this canvassing as partisan. But the methodology is transparent; volunteers went door to door, verifying the registration and voting information of thousands of voters, who make up a large statistical sample. And Democrats who scream “Partisanship!” need to understand something: this, I’m sure, is documented right down the line and can be verified for you, every bit of it. (You, on the other hand, still work tirelessly to avoid election transparency.) So read it and weep

Liz Harris tweeted this morning, “For all of those who knew the election was stolen, those who were ridiculed or labeled conspiracy theorists, you have been vindicated.”

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/09/breaking-huge-results-canvassing-arizona-released-election-steal-now-confirmed/

First, let’s look at “lost votes.” These are votes that were discarded and never counted even though people actually cast them. They were cast, primarily by mail, by American citizens living in Maricopa County, and yet there is no record of them at all. This canvass brought to light 173,104 lost votes.

Then, there are “ghost votes.” These are votes cast by someone other than the voter who was assigned that ballot. The example everyone knows is a vote cast for someone who is dead and should have been dropped off the voter rolls. Someone else had to cast that vote, but who? The number of ghost votes uncovered in this canvas was 96,389.

There were other irregularities as well, though not as many, including votes cast from addresses that turned out to be vacant lots and votes recorded from people who it turned out hadn’t actually voted. And when they went door to door to gather data on 2,897 mail-in voters, 98 of those people said they’d actually voted in person.

According to their Election Summary, “Two primary categories of ineligible ballots and election mishandling, encompassing hundreds of thousands of votes, render the 2020 General Election in Maricopa County UNCERTIFIABLE.”

The report talked as well about smaller, local elections that would have been impacted by this sort of inaccuracy. Ironically, those include the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors (which oversees elections, haha), which, in District 1, was decided by a mere 403 votes. Their election for U.S. Senate was decided by 78,886 votes, still well within the margin here.

The Election Summary proposes a solution with which we wholeheartedly agree: BAN VOTE-BY-MAIL. “The U.S. Mail is not meant to be a secure transactional system,” they say. This is why we don’t send cash through the mail. How much is your vote worth to you? With that in mind, do you really want to send it through the mail, knowing all the things that can happen to it? They mention that “most first-world democracies, such as Germany, either ban Vote-by-Mail outright or place very heavy restrictions on its use.”

They also provide some historical perspective: “Until the late 1800s, all votes in all states were public information.” Our country went to secret ballot to stop a tremendous problem with voter fraud. (Before then, many people had been paid to vote a certain way, and it could be checked.) History is repeating itself now with mail-in balloting, “and again we have ridiculous and frivolous arguments being put forth against common-sense legislation to secure the rights of honest American citizens to vote and have their vote count.”

For more details on why and how this canvass was conducted, be sure and go to the link provided above and read “Canvass Overview.” All the issues they uncovered impacted an estimated 5.18 percent of mail-in votes, or about 88,215.

In a presidential election where statewide, the margin of “victory” was only a little over 10,000, it’s clear that reforms are necessary if we’re ever going to trust our system again. (In such a close race, with these discrepancies, I don’t think I need to tell you what the real outcome in Arizona likely was.) But, when Texas addresses the same issues with solid legislation, the bill is condemned by the left as racist and “anti-democracy.” It is nothing of the sort. (I would say that “anti-democracy” should apply to any policy that makes cheating easier or less detectable, because cheating causes real disenfranchisement.) Here's what is really in the new Texas law, just signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott…

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/texas-election-law-what-is-in-it

This is all totally common sense, to make the voting process easier to monitor.

Of course, the new law will face legal challenges, but it should be looking pretty good when it gets to the Supreme Court. Let’s hope more states follow Texas’ lead and adopt election integrity legislation, not be bullied out of it.