News of the Week (December 6th, 2020)


News of the Week for Dec. 6th, 2020


Election 2020


Steal the House?
Paul notes below several razor-close House races, including especially Iowa 2, where the Republican candidate, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, is leading by six votes.

Wisconsin Recount Adds 87 Votes to Biden’s Margin of Victory
The Trump campaign spent $3 million on a recount in Wisconsin’s two most populous (and Democratic) counties: Milwaukee and Dane (home to the state capital). The recount netted Biden an additional 87 votes, bringing his margin of victory in Wisconsin to 20,695 votes.

Republican Georgia Secretary Of State Slams “Dishonest Actors” For “Misleading” POTUS On Dominion
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger held a press conference Monday in which he tore into “dishonest actors” who he said are misleading President Donald Trump and his supporters on allegations of fraud in the 2020 election.

The Suburbs, Not the Cities, Delivered Pennsylvania to Biden
Over the weekend, President Trump tweeted out an article that repeated the false claim that “Biden underperformed Hillary Clinton in every major metro area around the country, save for Milwaukee, Detroit, Atlanta and Philadelphia.”

The Curious Case of New York’s Flip-Flopping Congressional Race
Nearly a month after Election Day, the constituents of New York’s 22nd congressional district still don’t know who will be representing them in the House of Representatives for the next two years.

Ga. Secretary of State Investigating Warnock-Led Voter Registration Group
Dems have praised Sec. of State Raffensperger’s integrity

Fake Claims About Dominion Voting Systems Do Real Damage
Our machines have no secret “vote flipping” algorithm. We have no ties to dictator Hugo Chávez.

Election Rhetoric From Some Big-Name Trumpers Starting To Turn Sinister
Update: WH Slams DiGenova

Trump To Kemp: Call Off The Election, We Already Won! Update: RNC Pledges $20M To Support GOP Runoff Campaigns
Give the man credit for consistency — Donald Trump’s entire legal strategy in the post-election challenge is to call off elections. The problem is that his arguments aren’t finding buyers in state legislatures. This call is even more unsupportable than attempts to throw elector selection to state houses rather than through the popular vote, and more undermining for GOP hopes to control the Senate

Trump to Georgia’s Governor: “Call Off Election. It Won’t Be Needed”
The latest thoughts on the Georgia elections from President Trump

No, U.S. Soldiers Were Not Killed in a Mission to Seize Servers in Germany
When a retired three-star general goes on television and says that soldiers lost their lives in an operation to retrieve election servers in Germany shortly after the election, even a jaded old curmudgeon like me had to prick up my ears and take notice.

The Georgia Senate Races Will Help Shape Future Perceptions of Trump
Axios reports that President Trump may formally announce his intention to run for another term in 2024, maybe even before he leaves office.

Sidney Powell: Georgians Should Make It Known That They Won’t Vote Until Their Vote Is Secure
Here’s one more conspiracy theory for the hopper: What if Sidney Powell is actually a Democratic plant working undercover to help Chuck Schumer win a Senate majority?

Poll: Plurality of Georgia Voters Wants GOP to Control the Senate
According to a new poll from Political IQ, a plurality of likely voters in Georgia believe it is important for the Republican Party to maintain control of the Senate and serve as a check on the incoming Democratic presidential administration. The survey was released a little more than a month before Georgia voters will decide two Senate runoff contests on January 5, determining whether Republicans keep the Senate majority next Congress.

The Idiocy of Republicans Boycotting GA Runoffs Has to Stop
Don’t Be Those Republicans

Democrat in Iowa 2nd District Race Goes to U.S. House of Representatives to Challenge Six Vote Loss
“She plans to ask that ballots that were legally cast but not included in the initial canvass be considered in the recount, which is prohibited under Iowa law”

MAGA Media Clashes Over Lin Wood As Pence Keeps His Distance From Voter-Fraud Claims
It was a matter of time before Trumpy populists began splintering into different sects. By the time this fiasco is over, there’ll be an entire religious taxonomy associated with it. Democrats are heathens; Republicans who don’t buy Trump’s election-fraud claims are heretics and apostates; Republicans who *do* buy Trump’s election-fraud claims (or are least willing to go along with them) but feel obliged to vote in the Georgia Senate runoffs anyway are mainline MAGA; and Republicans who buy Trump’s election-fraud claims and think doing so requires boycotting Georgia elections until the “fraud” is undone are fundamentalist MAGA.

Gulp: GA Runoff Poll Shows Ossoff Up 50/48, Warnock 52/45?
Either SurveyUSA’s sampling is way off, or Lin Wood and Sidney Powell are having a big impact on the runoff. We’ll get to the sampling issues — and there are some — in a moment, but the toplines of their poll with Atlanta’s 11Alive show both Democrats out in front of the Republican incumbents in Georgia’s two Senate runoffs. One of the two Democrats has a lead outside the margin of error (arguably), and it’s not the one you’d think.

Lin Wood Is an Exceptionally Talented Demagogue
Lin Wood’s rally with Sidney Powell in Georgia yesterday was as lunatic as you’d expect, but I must admit Wood is a natural political performer, and if he wants to challenge Brian Kemp in a primary from the QAnon wing of the party, he’s definitely got an opening

Democratic Candidates Have the Lead in Georgia Senate Runoffs
A new poll out this morning shows both Democrats ahead of Republican incumbents in the two Senate runoff races in Georgia. The survey was conducted by SurveyUSA on behalf of local Georgia outlet 11Alive and surveyed 850 Georgia residents, most of whom are registered to vote and more than half of whom said they are likely to vote in the runoffs on January 5.

Newsmax Host To Lin Wood: Have You Lost Your Freaking Mind, Encouraging Georgia Republicans Not To Vote?
Via RCP, it’s so enjoyable watching mainline MAGA types lecture the hardcore populists who want to boycott the Georgia runoffs when it’s the latter who are behaving consistently with the beliefs the two groups share, that massive vote-rigging cost Trump the election. Of course you shouldn’t vote if you think Georgia’s electoral system is corrupt. It’s pointless! The outcome of the Senate races will be determined by the same nefarious cabal of villains who tilted Georgia blue this year — Dominion, the ghost of Hugo Chavez, possibly Antifa.

Stop Lin Wood and Sidney Powell Now, or They Will Control the GOP’s Destiny
If significant numbers of Republican voters choose to not participate in the January 5 runoff elections for both Senate seats, and that leads to victories by Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, that will do nothing for Donald Trump, Trump’s legacy as president, the Republican Party, and the cause of conservatism.

Georgia county recertifies election results, rejecting fraud claims tied to viral video
Source said video has been investigated and debunked

Fact Check: Video From Georgia Does NOT Show Suitcases Filled With Ballots Suspiciously Pulled From Under A Table; Poll Watchers Were NOT Told To Leave
Does security camera video show a Fulton County, Georgia, election supervisor suspiciously pulling suitcases filled with ballots from under a table after telling poll workers to leave the room? And did that election official continue to illegally count ballots without required monitors in a manner that calls into question Joe Biden’s narrow win over Donald Trump in Georgia? No, those claim are not true

Nevada, Minnesota Dismiss Election Challenges
Two different cases, but two similar outcomes for supporters of Donald Trump. In both Nevada and Minnesota, election challenges met stern dismissals late in the afternoon. The Nevada case will be by far the most problematic for Team Trump, as this case didn’t get dismissed on technical issues. They got a full hearing of their claims of fraud — and the judge ruled that they didn’t provide evidence for any of it

About the “Suitcase” Video
The video is more powerful than anything the Trump team has come up with to this point because (1) it’s video, which is always more powerful; (2) the story seemingly told by the snippet so intuitively lines up with the fraud narrative — Republican observers are asked to leave late at night and then, boom, new ballots are produced from under a table.

Nevada State Court Judge Dismisses Election Challenge
While the Judge said he considered the totality of the evidence, he rejected “hearsay” affidavits as evidence. Since so much of the proof was through a written record, this essentially gutted the case.

Donald Trump’s brutal day in court
Several of the most devastating opinions, both Friday and in recent weeks, have come from conservative judges and, in some federal cases, Trump appointees.

The New Untouchables
Seattle policymakers want to provide the city’s underclass with blanket immunity for misdemeanor crime.

GA Secretary Of State: Of Course I’m Voting For The Two Republican Senators Who Demanded That I Resign
I go back and forth on whether it’s moral cowardice or smart messaging for Georgia’s Republican election officials to keep insisting that they support Trump, Loeffler, and Perdue despite the viciousness that all three have encouraged towards them. You can’t get through an interview with Brian Kemp, Geoff Duncan, Brad Raffensperger, or Gabriel Sterling without them reminding you that they voted for Trump and are super-bummed that he didn’t win their state. Never mind that the president dubbed Raffensperger an “enemy of the people” despite knowing that he and the other GA officials have been receiving death threats, and never mind that Loeffler and Perdue issued a statement a few days after the election calling on Raffensperger to quit despite not a scintilla of evidence that anything untoward had happened in Georgia’s election.

Trump In Georgia: We’re Here To Make Sure You Vote In The “Most Important Congressional Runoff … In American History”
Mission accomplished? The sound we hear coming from Georgia may be sighs of relief from Republicans. Donald Trump rallied his supporters to fight hard to win the runoffs, telling them that they had to turn out and vote for David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, both of whom he endorsed in warm, personal terms


Riots & Revolution


Smith College Alums Demand Whistleblower Jodi Shaw Undergo More White Privilege “Training” to “Safely Interact With Students”
After Jodi Shaw exposed Critical Race training at Smith College, an alumni Open Letter asserts that Shaw’s “deep preoccupation with disavowing the idea of White privilege, is indeed in need of further training before she can safely interact with students and fellow staff in the course of her employment.”

New Jersey bill would mandate school lessons on racism and social justice
Lawmakers in New Jersey passed a bill last month which would require schools to teach about racism, social justice and the “contributions made by prominent African Americans from the past to the present like Kamala Harris.”

EU Condemns Assassination of Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Mastermind, Offers Condolences
EU foreign policy-chief Borrell offers “condolences” over the death of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh

Minneapolis City Council Members Have A New Proposal To Defund The Police
Three members of the Minneapolis City Council who were behind the previous efforts to defund and replace the police department have put forward a new proposal. Their new plan is called “Safety for All” and seeks to cut another $8 million from the MPD budget for next year. The new proposal would lock in the lower number of officers the city is seeing in the wake of a wave of retirements and resignations since the summer.

Seattle To Send First-Time Non-Violent Criminals To “Community Panel” and Have Taxpayers Pay Their Restitution
“We can send that person instead (of jail) to a community accountability group, who will define what they think accountability means”

Black Lives Matter professor tapped to lead university’s new anti-racism institute
Loyola University Maryland institute to “address racial trauma and violence”

Louisville Mayor: Racism Is A Public Health Crisis
The Democrat Mayor of Louisville, Greg Fischer, signed an executive order Tuesday declaring racism as a public health crisis. The executive order declares that several of the city’s “systems are more than broken”. They need to “be dismantled and replaced.”

Progressives Are No Longer Defenders of Free Expression
A half-century ago, progressives used to push limitless free expression, blasting conservatives for their allegedly blinkered traditionalism. They boasted of obliterating once-normal boundaries in art, music and literature to allow nudity, profanity, sexuality and anti-American boilerplate.

If You Like Your Police, You Can Keep Your Police
The most amusing thing about the Obama v. the Squad kerfuffle is that there is not actually an inch of substantive daylight between the supposed combatants. Former President Obama does not disagree with the sentiments or objectives of Ilhan Omar et al. He disagrees with their tactic of pursuing it through a slogan – “Defund the Police” – that frightens and enrages most people in the country.

Ex-Washington state Democrat campaigner among two charged over terrorist attack
Ellen Brennan Reiche, 27, and Samantha Frances Brooks, 23, were arrested over the weekend by federal authorities in Bellingham, Wash. and charged with committing a terrorist attack on a railroad facility.

Mandatory “White Privilege” Training for San Diego Teachers
San Diego Unified School District is forcing teachers to attend “white privilege” training, in which teachers are told “you are racist” and “you are upholding racist ideas, structures, and policies.”

Black campus leaders silent on UW paying “White Fragility” author more than fellow black keynote speaker
Black leaders at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are staying silent on a recent issue brought to light that a white guest speaker was paid much more than a black guest speaker for their appearances at a recent diversity, equity and inclusion event hosted by the school.

Suicide of a City
Most American cities are poorly governed, but some–Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis–are so badly governed that one wonders whether they can survive. Christopher Rufo documents the latest madness in Seattle

“Black Lives Matter” Rioter Charged With Murder in N.C. Home Invasion
On June 2, police in Charlotte, North Carolina, used tear gas to disperse a “Black Lives Matter” protest that turned into a riot


Corona Virus


Legendary Science Fiction Author Ben Bova Has Passed at the Age of 88
Scientist, Hugo Award winner, and prolific science fiction author and editor Ben Bova passed away on Sunday, November 29, 2020 at the age of 88, is able to confirm. The author of more than one hundred books, Bova also edited some of the genre’s best-known publications and served as the president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Word of Bova’s passing first came from Kathryn Brusco, who revealed that Bova had passed due to complications from COVID-19 and a stroke.

LA County Supervisor dines at restaurant hours after voting to ban outdoor dining
Just hours after Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl voted to ban outdoor dining at L.A. County’s 31,000 restaurants over COVID-19 safety concerns, she visited a restaurant in Santa Monica, where she dined outdoors, FOX 11 has learned on Monday.

China’s Pandemic Deception
You’ve made it to December in our annus horribilis. On the menu today: sorting through CNN’s fascinating but not completely illuminating bombshell involving leaked documents from the Hubei, China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, filling in some details about the early days of the pandemic.

The Wuhan files
Leaked documents reveal China’s mishandling of the early stages of Covid-19

House Democrats Focus On Votes On “Cannabis And Cats” Instead Of Coronavirus Relief
Several provisions from legislation passed earlier to address coronavirus relief are set to expire at the end of December. Lawmakers in both parties want to pass additional coronavirus relief, though they don’t seem to be putting pressure on Speaker of the House Pelosi to get back to the negotiating table and work out legislation with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. So, this week, absent any major legislation being ready for votes, the House is taking up decriminalizing marijuana and a ban on breeding and private ownership of big cats. Priorities.

Sweden gives up on the “Swedish experiment”
As we have noted often on Power Line, Sweden took a different approach to the Wuhan coronavirus than that of its neighbors and, pretty much, the rest of Europe. It eschewed harsh lockdown measures. The hope was that Sweden could avoid an economic meltdown.

L.A. Mayor Garcetti Issues Emergency Safer-At-Home Order For The City, “Cancel Everything”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered the city’s four million residents to stay at home on Wednesday night. Earlier in the day, Garcetti delivered a COVID-19 response update during a press conference. At that time he told residents “it’s time to hunker down” and to “cancel everything”. It was his first address to city residents in a week.

Poke Per View? Three Former Presidents Volunteer For Televised Vaccinations
As Reason Magazine put it on Tuesday, vaccines don’t save lives. Vaccinations save lives. So how do we get people to overcome distrust of a new compound, not to mention a small but growing opposition to vaccines in general, to accept a vaccination to stop COVID-19? What force in American culture can get citizens to take action?

How Brexit will help Britain get vaccinated
I believe the UK is the first Western nation to approve a vaccine against the Wuhan coronavirus. Apparently, it is also leading other European nations when it comes to efficiently purchasing that vaccine.

Only the Elite Will Own Cars in Utopia
The liberal elite cannot abide regular Americans owning guns. The same goes for cars, and for the same reasons. Like the ability to defend yourself, the ability to transport yourself wherever you choose to go whenever you choose to go there makes you independent. The independent individual is anathema to progressives. In utopia, only the elite will own vehicles.

Hawley: I’ll Fight Any COVID-19 Relief Bill Without Voter Relief Included
“I’m not sure why it’s controversial,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) tells Sahil Kapur … and neither am I. A second round of $1200 checks to taxpayers at and below a certain income level was popular in April, and has been popular in all of the discussions for a Phase 4 bill. It has broad support in both parties, but Senate Republicans pulled it out to get to a “skinny” bill in the fall. For some reason, centrists left it out too, despite support from both Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump for another round of direct aid.

Why Doesn’t the U.S. Have a Version of Britain’s Fast Drug Track?
The head of a major pharmaceutical company says Britain’s fast approval of a COVID vaccine may have gotten a big push from its withdrawal from the European Union as part of Brexit.

New document reveals scope and structure of Operation Warp Speed and underscores vast military involvement
When President Trump unveiled Operation Warp Speed in May, he declared that it was “unlike anything our country has seen since the Manhattan Project.”

DARPA’s gambles might have created the best hopes for stopping COVID-19
A U.S. defense agency that specializes in turning science fantasies into realities jump-started technologies and nurtured companies that are now at the forefront of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rudy Giuliani Tests Positive for COVID-19
President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani has tested positive for the coronavirus. President Trump broke the news Sunday afternoon via Twitter.

Protesters Outside L.A. Supervisor’s House Includes Restaurant Owner In Viral Video
Protesters gathered outside of L.A. Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s house in Santa Monica Saturday. Kuehl is one of many elected officials who have been caught hypocritically doing what they lecture everyone else against doing because of the coronavirus pandemic. In Kuehl’s case, she was filmed dining outside just hours after voting to shut down outdoor dining for the people in Los Angeles County.

The Next Step: Hospitals In New Mexico Will Ration COVID-19 Care, Other States To Follow
Hospitals across New Mexico are operating at or near capacity. Many hospitals are close to running out of ICU beds and regular beds, too. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that soon hospitals may go to “crisis standards of care” which means that COVID-19 care will be rationed depending on the likelihood of the patient’s survival.


Gun Rights


Joe Biden Wants a Huge New Tax on Gun Owners
Joe Biden’s gun policy platform offers support for almost all conceivable forms of government restrictions on the Second Amendment. This includes bans and restrictions on sales, expansion of registration and background checks, expansion of buyback programs and gun-grabbing statutes, and the closing of all sorts of “loopholes.”


Hide the Decline

Environment &
“Green Energy”


Missouri Bill to Ban “Rights of Nature”
Good. A bill has been filed in Missouri to ban granting legal rights or court standing to any non-human aspect of nature.

The Climate Warriors are Eyeing Your Plate
The war on red meat, spearheaded by vegetarians (and then vegans) has been going on for years. More recently, the climate warriors have joined in. A decade or so ago, the idea that climate change might have been used as a justification for either banishing meat from the table — or repricing it so that it was treated as an occasional luxury — would have seemed outlandish. But climate warriors have a remarkable ability to turn the unthinkable into the all too real (and, no, that is not a reference to their predictions about the climate). And so it is well worth paying attention to what they are saying in this respect.

Lancing the Lancet’s global-warming pustule
The Lancet, once a respected medico-scientific journal and now just another me-too mouthpiece for theusual suspects, ran an editorial this week on climate change – on which subject it has neither expertise nor a missio canonica to pronounce.



Government in Healthcare


Becerra among new candidates for Biden’s health secretary
The California attorney general is now in the mix, along with Barack Obama’s health secretary.


War & Terror


US Air Force Should Buy SpaceX Starship as a Hypersonic Platform for Missiles and Bombs
The US Congress is looking to spend $6 billion in 2021 for a Pacific Deterrence Initiative which would be funding for operations in the Pacific to counter China. The general in charge of the U.S. Air Force in the Pacific would like to see some of it spent on hypersonic weapons.

Scott Morrison demands apology from China over ‘repugnant’ tweet showing Australian soldier threatening to kill child
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is demanding the Chinese Government delete a “repugnant” tweet attacking the Australian Defence Force in the wake of a landmark war crimes inquiry.

Philippines Looking to Reverse Course on Scrapping US Military Pact
The Philippines, an old American ally in Asia, is changing its view on whether to scrap a key U.S. military pact, as it explores new ways of benefiting from U.S. defense aid without isolating its newer superpower friend, China, analysts and officials say.

Hong Kong activists Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow jailed
In June, Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law on Hong Kong to crack down on dissent.

Stanford likely helped develop facial recognition tech now used against ethnic minorities in China
U.S. government calls universities’ facial recognition technology development partnerships with China a security risk

The Littoral Combat Ship Is Now Armed With Hellfire Missiles
The much-maligned LCS is getting a lot of upgrades, including anti-aircraft HELLFIRE missiles.

DNI Ratcliffe: “China Poses The Greatest Threat To America Today”
The Wall Street Journal published a piece today by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe. Ratcliffe says that as the person with the most access to U.S. intelligence after the president, the one thing he would like the American people to know is that China is the greatest threat to America and to democracy in today’s world

What It’s Like In One Of China’s Detention Camps In Xinjiang
I wasn’t going to write about China any more today but I have a feeling that looking back in a few years we’re all going to wonder why people didn’t write about it a lot more. So with that in mind, there’s an excellent piece at Buzzfeed about what life is like in one of the Xinjiang detention camps for ethnic minorities. This part three of a three part series. I wrote about part 2 here. The latest entry focuses on one particular camp based on interviews with three people who have left the region and are therefore able to speak about it without fear of consequences.

Trump: ‘I Will VETO’ Military Spending Bill Without Section 230 Termination
On Thursday night, President Donald Trump repeated his pledge to veto the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a crucial military spending bill, if it did not include a measure to terminate Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which many on both the Right and the Left consider a blank check for Big Tech companies. Yet many have warned that abolishing Section 230 would cause more problems than it might solve.

Pair charged with interfering with safety on railroad tracks
Arrested allegedly placing ‘shunt’ on tracks in Whatcom County—can cause derailment, decoupling, or failure of gates at crossings, endangering public

Chinese State Media: Senator Marsha Blackburn Is Racist, Ignorant And “A Lifetime B**Ch”
Why is a U.S. Congressman aligning himself with a representative of Chinese state media against Senator Marsha Blackburn? China Daily’s EU Bureau chief, Chen Weihua, went off on Senator Blackburn after she tweeted out support of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. Blackburn called out the Chinese government on social media and that didn’t sit well with Chen Weihua or with Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Democrat from Illinois.

This Picture Could be the Hypersonic Future of the U.S. Air Force
Happening now: Old bombers like the B-1 armed with hypersonic missiles.

Study Concludes Cuban Diplomats Suffered From Effects of ‘Microwave Radiation’
A long-awaited study by the National Academy of Sciences has concluded that the illnesses that struck American diplomats and their families in Cuba and China in 2017 were likely caused by directed microwave energy, although it’s not clear if the source was a weapon or not.




Asian-American activists expect Supreme Court to counter Biden on college race preferences
“Good chance of reaching the Supreme Court”

Biden OMB Nominee Neera Tanden Deletes Tweets Blasting Republicans
Consummate swamp creature also pushed Russia-Collusion conspiracy, including that Russian hack switched 2016 votes to Trump. “It appears that Neera Tanden has deleted about 1100 tweets between November 16 and tonight.”

Cornyn Spokesman: Biden’s Pick For OMB “Stands Zero Chance Of Being Confirmed”
The first shot at Joe Biden’s choice to head the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) was fired Sunday night. It was reported by the Wall Street Journal and other news outlets that Biden will nominate Neera Tanden to lead the OMB. The position requires Senate confirmation and it looks like there will be a battle over this nomination.

Chicago Vs. Smith College
As is well known, you aren’t allowed to criticize Black Lives Matter (still less say anything as offensive as “All Lives Matter”), Critical Race Theory, or any aspect of transgenderism. And it seems increasingly difficult to criticize the orthodoxy of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) in any way.

Education scholars criticize College Board for revising history
The quality of history education has gone down because of the College Board, scholars argue

Can Transgenderism Survive Regrets in Court?
A few years ago, I wondered if the transgender movement would hit its iceberg in courts. It’s really not hard to imagine that the therapies and surgeries now being recommended to minors will be regretted in adulthood, and that the malpractice suits could result in eight- or maybe nine-figure judgments.

NYT: Giuliani hit up Trump for a “pre-emptive” pardon for some reason
For what? Bad legal advice? According to the New York Times, Rudy Giuliani has more than one legal campaign on his mind these days. While the former mayor conducts a mainly public-relations offensive to overturn election results in several states, Giuliani reportedly wants more than just legal fees in exchange. He also wants a “pre-emptive pardon” for whatever sins that might be alleged down the road.

New CDC Data Show Continued Decline in the U.S. Abortion Rate
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released new data on the incidence of abortion in the U.S., indicating that although there was a slight uptick in the abortion rate between 2017 and 2018, the long-term decline in the abortion rate has continued. On the whole, the abortion rate in the U.S. has declined fairly steadily since 1980.

Bruce Herschensohn, RIP
Sad news of the passing yesterday of Bruce Herschensohn, long time conservative activist, documentary filmmaker, and commentator in California. I got to know him a bit in the mid-1980s when he was a commentator on a local TV news program in LA (paired up for nightly debates with former Democratic Senator John Tunney—see the promotional ad below), and then when he ran for the Senate in 1992, losing narrowly to Barbara Boxer while running a million votes ahead of President George H.W. Bush. (In the TV ad below, which aired during the GOP primary that year, Bruce attacks his liberal Republican rival, Tom Campbell.)

Walter Williams, RIP
Another sad passing to report today—the economist Walter Williams, at age 84. Where to begin describing this wonderful man and teacher? I first came across his early book The State Against the Blacks when it came out in the early 1980s. This and many other works over the years made the compelling case that, as William himself put it, “The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery couldn’t do.”

Walter Williams, R.I.P.
The great economist and freedom fighter Walter Williams has died. This is an incredibly sad news. Walter was a great communicator of ideas and a prolific, provocative and uncompromising writer. He was the John M. Olin distinguished professor of economics at George Mason University. His voice, his happy-warrior demeanor, his cosmopolitan views, his endless fight on behalf of those with no political voices, and his generosity to all of us at Mason will be missed.

Federal Appeals Ct Upholds North Carolina Voter I.D. Law
4th Circuit overturns District Court premliminary injunction, finding District Court improperly “considered the General Assembly’s discriminatory intent in passing the 2013 Omnibus Law to be effectively dispositive of its intent in passing the 2018 Voter-ID Law.”

Crazy People Are Dangerous: Woman in Viral Rant Blames QAnon, Mental Illness
Melissa Rein Lively was a successful Phoenix businesswoman, CEO of her own marketing and public relations firm, The Brand Consortium. She “had developed a reputation for living a posh lifestyle and organizing red carpet events, business openings, fashion shows and charity events in Arizona.” But that was before she cracked up and “went viral” in July and recorded video of herself destroying a COVID-19 mask display at a Target store. In social-media posts, Lively claimed to be spokeswoman for QAnon. Eventually, her husband called 911 and she got hauled off for psychiatric treatment. “I was canceled. My business was gone overnight”

The Rule Is That the Rules Don’t Apply at The French Laundry
First, Gavin Newsom, now, the mayor of San Francisco. I’m sure the meal at the legendary French restaurant was marvelous, but not nearly worth the price in justified public outrage and lost credibility.

Jen Psaki In A Russian Hammer And Sickle Hat Goes Viral, Her Defense Of The Photograph Is An Odd One
Jen Psaki was named as Joe Biden’s choice for White House press secretary this week. As the press swooned over the fact that the Biden administration’s communications team will be an all-female one, perhaps none of them thought Psaki would be the first to create a kerfuffle. Many eyebrows were raised as a photograph taken during her days working in the State Department during the Obama administration resurfaced and went viral.

GOP congressional wins set stage for 2022
It is remarkable — even amazing — that as Democrat Joe Biden rang up a nearly 2-to-1 victory over Republican President Donald Trump in California this year, Trump’s party regained four of the seven congressional seats it lost two years ago.

California Paid $400 Million to Incarcerated Criminals
How easy is it to defraud the State of California? This easy.

Appeals court blasts Title IX official for changing accuser’s claims, says it suggests biased proceeding
Former prosecutor’s explanation “bordered on the incoherent”

UCLA student government tries to be inclusive, but ends up offending Native Americans
A Native American leader questions the use of the Tongva name

Trump Might Not Get a Chance to Subtract Illegal Immigrants from the Census
I’ve written a couple of times about the Trump administration’s intention to remove illegal immigrants from the census before transmitting the data to Congress for purposes of apportionment. If that happens, states with lots of illegal immigrants could lose seats in the House.

Amodei confirms he’s exploring running for governor in 2022
The 2020 elections might just barely be in the rear view mirror, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start talking about the next election cycle.

San Francisco bans smoking inside apartments; pot smoking OK
City officials in San Francisco have banned all tobacco smoking inside apartments, citing concerns about secondhand smoke. But lighting up a joint inside? That’s still allowed.

WTF is the Great Reset?
WTF is the Great Reset? Regards, ??

Adviser to Gov. Newsom and prominent founder of Democratic PR firm charged with domestic violence, child abuse
His name is Nathan Ballard and he’s a long time adviser and friend of California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Ballard started his own PR agency called The Press Shop which offers crisis communications services to clients with deep pockets including the DNC and the California Democratic Party.

The Higher Ed Meltdown Accelerates
In my Geek in Pictures post a couple days back I included this chart showing that the financial impact of COVID on colleges and universities has led to serious job cuts—back to the level last seen in 2008, right before the last major economic crisis.

Reagan-appointed judge revives free speech lawsuit against UT-Austin
A free speech lawsuit against the University of Texas Austin has been brought back after an appeals judge overturned the lawsuit’s dismissal.

Diversity and Social Justice Are Big Business in Education, and You’re Paying for it
“According to its most recent tax filings, the group [Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium] hauled in $2 million solely from government grants between mid-2018 and mid-2019.”

Diversity and Social Justice Are Big Business in Education, and You’re Paying for it
“According to its most recent tax filings, the group [Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium] hauled in $2 million solely from government grants between mid-2018 and mid-2019.”

Biden: If Kamala And I Disagree, Someone Will Claim A Disease And Resign
Under normal circumstances, this might be an amusing way of understanding the ethics of serving in an administration. And it still might be, if not for a lack of clarity on precisely to whom Joe Biden applies this standard … especially as the nation’s oldest presumptive president prepares to take office.

The Canceling Of Another Young Adult Author Over Made Up Allegations Of Racism
For some reason the Young Adult Fiction subculture has become one of the most woke and therefore toxic online. Nearly two years ago Jesse Singal wrote about the cancelation of author Amélie Wen Zhao whose unpublished novel Blood Heir was accused of being racist despite the fact that no one had read it.

Benjamin Wittes: Barr’s Appointment Of Durham Was “Devilishly Clever”
As you’re probably aware Benjamin Wittes has been one of the louder anti-Trump voices in the country over the past few years. He spent a lot of time (with his toy cannon) promoting the Russia collusion story. In 2018 he advocated “mindlessly and mechanically” voting against GOP nominees in order to save the GOP from itself.

NASA will buy moon dirt from these 4 companies
NASA will pay a grand total of $25,001 for the cosmic samples.

Mysterious monolith arrives on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas
Monolith fever is spreading. A mysterious new entry in the craze has arrived in downtown Las Vegas, apparently popping up Friday on the Fremont Street Experience near the entrances to Circa and the Golden Nugget.

McGill University Students Want Prof Stripped of Emeritus Status for Criticizing Social Justice, BLM, Etc.
“To ensure lasting change we, furthermore, demand an immediate, transparent, and student-centred overhaul of McGill’s Statement of Academic Freedom”

First “Christmas Star” in Nearly 800 Years Will be Visible Later This Month
2020 needs this closing act

Short Circuit: A Roundup of Recent Federal Court Decisions
Veterinary telemedicine, a red maple, and a Mile High clubbing.


Economy & Taxes


The Pacific free-trade deal, revisited for the Biden era
“The Pacific Ocean,” prophesied William H Seward in 1852, “its shores, its islands and the vast regions beyond, will become the chief theatre of events in the world’s great hereafter.”

The Corporate-Woke Complex
On Sunday, the New York Times reported that several multinational corporations including Apple and Nike are lobbying against legislation that would ban products from China’s Xinjiang province, many of which are made by forced Uyghur labor. Lobbyists are arguing that, although their clients oppose forced labor and the imprisonment of Uyghur Muslims, supply chains could be severely disrupted. It is a disgrace.

Wages of Error at the New York Times
The New York Times ran a long editorial over the weekend arguing that higher wages can cause economic growth instead of its always having to be the other way around. The basic argument is succinct if conclusory: “Consumption drives the American economy, and workers who are paid more can spend more.”

NASDAQ Strikes a Blow For Discrimination
Today NASDAQ filed proposed rules with the Securities and Exchange Commission that would “mandate diversity in the boardroom for companies listed on its stock exchange.”

CCEA wants higher taxes for education. But it opposed CCSDs reopening plan.
After demanding that schools stay closed, the teachers union wants a massive tax hike to raise money for public education. That’s going to be a tough sell — and it should be.

Jobless Claims Hit New Weekly Low — But …
Do you want the good news first, or the context? Eh, let’s go with the numbers first, because numbers are at least firm data. The US economy had its best week in the job market as measured by weekly initial jobless claims. In the week ending November 28, claims dropped by 75,000 to 712K, the lowest claims level since the pandemic shutdowns began in March.




If even Eton falls to the woke, we might as well give up on education
What is the ugliest aspect of woke culture? Is it the inconsistency: the way we are supposed to celebrate differences one moment and pretend they don’t exist the next? Is it the irrationality: the elevation of imagined grievances over empirical facts? Is it the intolerance: the high-pitched demands that people’s careers be ended over clumsy phrasing? Is it the cowardice: the readiness of institutions to drop individuals whom they know to have been misrepresented? Or is it the sheer revolutionary violence: the eagerness to tear people down simply for articulating views that were universal until the day before yesterday?

Transgender CofE minister who was born female reports conservative Christian to the police for branding his marriage to a woman ‘evil and wicked’
The Rev Alex Clare-Young was registered female at birth but identifies as male

Report: Nike, Coke, Other Companies Lobbying Against Bill That Would Ban Goods Made With Slave Labor Of Uighurs In Xinjiang
The Times opted for the term “forced labor” in this story for reasons I don’t understand. The oppression of Uighurs by China isn’t limited to telling them which jobs they need to work. The infringement on their liberties is total. Their existence is at the sufferance of Beijing. It’s a full-spectrum slave regime, replete with concentration camps.

Norwegians Just Invited Big Brother Into Their Homes. Will Americans Do the Same?
Without even holding a formal vote, Norway’s parliament “outlawed hate speech against transgender people” last week, including in private conversations.

Puberty blockers: Under-16s ‘unlikely’ to be able to give informed consent
Children under 16 with gender dysphoria are unlikely to be able to give informed consent to undergo treatment with puberty-blocking drugs, three High Court judges have ruled.

Four Thousand Years Ago, Textile Traders Invented a Basic Social Technology: Mass Literacy
When there’s business to be done over long distances, you don’t want to depend on a scribe.

Adolf Hitler wins election in Namibia: Politician named after Nazi leader sweeps to victory but promises ‘I’m not striving for world domination’
Adolf Hitler Uunona was elected with 85 per cent of the vote in a regional poll

The Chinese Communist Party’s Shameful Anti-Australian Smear Campaign
The Chinese Communist Party is bringing its enormous pressure to bear on Australia in a bullying campaign that encompasses a trade war and a smear campaign.

Peppa Pig: Experts find “shocking” levels of violence in children’s TV show
Numerous incidents of brutality were also recorded in films Frozen and Toy Story 3

Australians Banned From Australian Island Bought by Chinese Developer
Signs that the relations between Australia and China are getting frostier this winter.

Austrian village of ‘Fucking’ decides to change its name
The long-suffering residents of the small Austrian village of Fucking have confirmed that, from January 1, the town will be known as Fugging. Fans of unusual place-names will mourn the loss.

Milky Way galaxy map unveiled as astronomers reveal Earth is heading toward a black hole
The most precise 3-D map of our Milky Way galaxy has been revealed by astronomers.

Venezuelan Dictator Is Holding Elections But The Opposition Is Boycotting
Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro continues to cling to power over the failed state. In fact, this weekend he’ll finally remove the last opposition voices via an election for the country’s National Assembly. Members of the Assembly including Juan Guaido are boycotting the election rather than lending credibility to what they know will be a rigged outcome. Socialism is triumphant and democracy has become a sick joke.

Protest erupts in Senate after accusations against PM in We Charity scandal
Quebec Senator Leo Housakos called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a bribe taker in the We Charity scandal, prompting a chorus of “Shame! Shame!” from other senators in the chamber, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.

Girl, 14, takes police to court over policy of keeping school hate incidents on file even if they are NOT deemed serious enough to be crimes
Schoolgirl, 14, is threatening a judicial review of College of Policing guidance

Quantum Boson Sampling 10 Trillion Times Faster Than Regular Supercomputers
Chinese researchers performed Gaussian boson sampling by sending 50 indistinguishable single-mode squeezed states into a 100-mode ultralow-loss interferometer with full connectivity and random matrix—the whole optical setup is phase-locked—and sampling the output using 100 high-efficiency single-photon detectors. The obtained samples are validated against plausible hypotheses exploiting thermal states, distinguishable photons, and uniform distribution. The photonic quantum computer generates up to 76 output photon clicks, which yields an output state-space dimension of 10^30 and a sampling rate that is 100 trillion faster than using the state-of-the-art simulation strategy and supercomputers.




What’s the Most Useless of All University Spending?
I’d argue that it’s the money they spend for outside “diversity training.” This ridiculous fad (which isn’t unique to higher education — you find it thriving in K-12 schools and business too) consumes lots of money to no purpose other than allowing leaders to think they’ve done something for social justice.

Trump’s Disgraceful Endgame
President Trump said the other day that he’d leave office if he loses the vote of the Electoral College on December 14.

Our Real Systemic Problem
America’s got a problem that’s systemic in nature. This problem has less to do with individual intentions than the structure within which our intentions are formed. That structure explains a great deal about observed disparities in wealth, and other advantages, between various racial and ethnic groups. It helps explain why we’re torn apart by arguments over school shootings and abortion. It even helps explain why we’ve turned away from traditional religion and patriotism and adopted a secular faith built around hollow and pernicious ideas like systemic racism instead. In short, our systemic problem helps explain many of the core disagreements around which contemporary American politics are organized. The challenge I refer to — our real systemic problem — is family decline.

Our Conspiracy-Minded Subculture
On the menu today: Attorney General William Barr declares that he and the Department of Justice have found no evidence of widespread vote fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election; some Trump fans conclude the attorney general has been a deep-state sleeper all along; and why this country is likely to have conspiracy-minded subcultures for a long time.

The Planners and Their Plans
If you are my age, the very mention of Chicago’s Cabrini-Green housing project calls to mind memories of how liberalism’s “War on Poverty” ultimately ended in catastrophic defeat

De-Growth Will Define How We Live in the Future
This is not a depression, but a permanent contraction of the scale and complexity of things. And it might help us cultivate gratitude.

Want to Decrease Inequality? Fight Fatherlessness With Welfare Reform
Left-leaning economists and politicians like Bernie Sanders are constantly warning about income inequality and America’s worrisome decline in economic upward mobility. They are right to worry, but their big-government solutions would likely make things worse — and they often fail to recognize the welfare system’s perverse incentives that contribute to the problem in the first place.

Conspiracy Theories Are Incompatible With Conservatism
It’s supposed to be a worldview grounded in realism.

The Ironies of Salvation History
Can I ask a question in long form? Even at this late date, I’m not sure enough ink has been spilled in understanding Donald Trump’s peculiar political success and his bond with (a certain set of) white Evangelical voters. Our missed colleague David French mourned this in particular and liked to illustrate the corruption of Evangelical religion by politics by showing how, from the Clinton years to the Trump years, Evangelical Christians changed their answer on a poll question about whether character matters in political leadership. In the Clinton years, they were most likely to say it matters; in recent years, the least likely.

Why Senate Republicans start the next cycle from a position of strength
Joe Biden will face an enormous obstacle in his first two years of governing: The U.S. Senate. Republicans have already secured 50 seats in the upper chamber, and they might win two more once Georgia’s runoff elections are resolved. The best-case scenario for Biden is a 50-50 split, with future vice president Kamala D. Harris providing the tie-breaking vote. The worst-case scenario is a united GOP caucus that blocks his every move.

Who or What Killed the Liberal Arts?
Mark Bauerlein of First Things and Emory University offers this Tweet of lament today that certainly fits with my own retrospective

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