News of the Week (December 20th, 2020)

 

News of the Week for Dec. 20th, 2020


 

Election 2020

 

Election losses ‘shook’ Democrats and Pelosi’s taking heat, says Rep. Tim Burchett
Unexpected Democratic Party congressional seat losses rattled the party’s House members, says U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is taking heat.

Smartmatic Demands Justice for Defamation
Smartmatic announced today that it is issuing legal notices and retraction demand letters to Fox News, Newsmax and One America News Network for publishing false and defamatory statements. The demand letters identify dozens of factually inaccurate statements made by each of the organizations as part of a “disinformation campaign” to injure Smartmatic and discredit the 2020 U.S. election.

Georgia runoffs become high-stakes GOP fundraising experiment
The party is using the overtime Senate races to encourage senators and party officials to buy into a stronger focus on online fundraising.

Smartmatic Threatens To Sue Fox News, Newsmax, OAN For Defamation Over Election Claims
I make no judgment about the specifics of their claims against the three networks, as I haven’t seen the allegedly defamatory reporting and Smartmatic doesn’t describe it in its press release. Mediaite has a copy of the letter the company sent to Fox, flagging statements made on the network by Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and others.

How Much California Weighed in Joe Biden’s Majority
As I noted four years ago, Hillary Clinton’s margin of victory in the national popular vote was entirely the product of her lopsided margin in California — just as had been true of Al Gore in 2000. In the other 49 states plus D.C., Donald Trump beat Hillary by 1,401,454 votes, 47.60 percent to 46.46 percent. Much of the current progressive complaint about the Electoral College and the Senate is really just a complaint about California’s inability to impose its peculiar and unrepresentative politics on the rest of the nation. (Not so in the House, where Californians are the speaker and the minority leader). This year, California was again a large component of Joe Biden’s national majority, but even without the Golden State, Biden wins the popular vote by 1,956,455 votes, a margin of 49.76 percent to 48.37 percent — no longer a majority, but still distinctly outdistancing Trump. And that, of course, is all the difference — the heart of this race was, yet again, in the Midwest. Even so, Biden won a majority of the vote in 21 states, compared to 24 for Trump. This is the third time since World War II that the winner of the election actually carried a majority in fewer states than the loser, the others being the Kennedy–Nixon race in 1960 and Carter–Ford in 1976

Republicans In Georgia, Wisconsin, Other Swing States Choose “Alternate” Pro-Trump Electors
A good example of how the president’s obsession with “loyalty” leads him and his party to embarrassing episodes. Having Trump’s losing slate of electors cast their ballots for him today, when Arizona, Georgia, and the Rust Belt states are making Joe Biden’s victory official, won’t do a thing to stop Biden from becoming president.

Cops Bar Pro-Trump Michigan Electors From Entering State House As Electoral College Meets
Via Brendan Gutenschwager, this is a little bit funny and a little bit sad in the same way that it would be if a team that lost a major sports championship showed up at the White House on the day Trump was set to host the winners and demanded to have some McDonald’s too.

Ossoff Wants to Have It Both Ways on Government Spending
Only a little more than three weeks remain until two Senate runoff elections will take place in Georgia on January 5. In one of the two, Republican senator David Perdue is defending his seat against Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff. Throughout the campaign, Ossoff has insisted that Congress ought to pass further COVID-19 relief to help Americans recover during the pandemic-related lockdowns and closures.

NY-22 Race Could Be Decided By Christmas
The last uncertified House race in the country, NY-22, is scheduled for a full week of attempts to recount contested votes. Justice Scott DelConte has various counties working on the new counts through Friday, at which point there will likely be hundreds of disputed ballots that he will personally decide whether or not to count. If we’re lucky the winner might be known before Christmas.

Early Voting Begins in Georgia Senate Elections
We are three weeks away from Election Day in the two Georgia runoffs that will determine control of the Senate, but early voting started today. The polling averages show each race is a dead heat. For all the problems with polls in 2020, they were pretty accurate in Georgia this November.

Some Republican Senators Coming Around Towards Acknowledging Biden Victory After Electoral College Passes 270
Quite a news day. In the span of about 10 hours, the U.S. passed 300,000 deaths from COVID, began distributing the Pfizer vaccine, had the Attorney General announce that he’s leaving, and formally elected a new president. California made it official at around 5:30 ET when its 55 electors finally pushed Biden over 270, but the shift towards acquiescence had already begun a few hours earlier when Newsmax — Newsmax! — began referring to him as the president-elect.

Michigan Officials: The Ramsland Analysis Of Antrim County Voting Nothing More Than “A Series Of Unsupported Conclusions”
Did Dominion Systems defraud voters in Antrim County, Michigan — and by extension the entire nation? A court ordered the release of an outside analysis of the election operation yesterday, and its conclusions have Donald Trump and his supporters claiming to have the smoking gun that should overturn the election. Dominion’s system has intentional design errors “to create systemic fraud and influence election results,” declares Russell Ramsland.

The Election Came Down to 42,918 Votes in Wisconsin, Arizona, and Georgia
In 2016, Trump owed his Electoral College victory to 77,744 individual votes spread across Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

Biden’s Deputy Chief on Republicans: “I’m Not Saying They’re Not a Bunch of F*ckers. Mitch McConnell is Terrible”
Is the left shocked that Republicans rebuked calls for unity?

Alleged crusade to stop voter fraud lands former HPD captain in handcuffs
A former Houston Police Department Captain was arrested and charged for running a man off the road and pointing a gun at his head in an attempt to prove claims of a massive voter fraud scheme in Harris County, according to a news release from the Harris County’s DA’s office.

#NY22: Could These 67 Rejected Votes Finally Put an End to the Brindisi-Tenney Race?
The drama never ends.

How the ‘Defund Police’ movement started on college campuses
Years before much of the country had even heard of efforts to “defund the police,” Campus Reform was reporting on calls from students across the country to do just that. Campus Reform Reporter Ophelie Jacobson takes a look back at the history of the radical push.

U. Oregon Students Want College Republicans Removed From Campus for Attending “Stop the Steal” Rally
“There is only one option: the College Republicans must be suspended, delegitimized by stripping its name and punished like all groups immersed in fascist ideology that came before them.”

No, John Roberts Didn’t Demand That Texas’s Lawsuit Be Dismissed For Fear Of “Riots”
This embarrassing crankish spectacle from Monday’s electoral college session in Texas is making the rounds on social media today, with more than 6,000 retweets and 650,000 views as I write this. Naturally there’s no evidence to support it, just innuendo, which is par for the course since the election.

Tuberville: Liberal Activist Took Me “Out Of Context” To Say I Would Challenge Electors In The Senate
Did Tommy Tuberville really pledge to challenge Joe Biden’s electors at the start of the next Congress? Or is this a dirty trick started by liberal activists? Tuberville himself told Yellowhammer News in an exclusive interview that he has never pledged to take any action in regard to electors, saying that the video from Wednesday confused his answers to other questions with that of the issue of electors.

Trump Scraps Campaign Trip To Georgia Because He’s Mad At Brian Kemp
You would think the fact that Kemp and his family are being threatened relentlessly would cheer him up enough to make him take the trip.

Hoo Boy: Lou Dobbs Airs Debunking Of Election Conspiracy Theories After Smartmatic Defamation Lawsuit Threat
You would think News Corp might have had its hosts on a tighter leash after the election with respect to flinging around reputation-destroying accusations considering it *just* reached a settlement with Seth Rich’s parents a few weeks ago.

 

Riots & Revolution

 

Snoop Dogg’s Uncle’s Rib Place Gets Torched After He Complains About Portland Antifa Violence. Coincidence?
Was it your garden-variety arsonist or an antifa terrorist exacting political retribution that caused the fire at a Portland rib restaurant owned by rapper Snoop Dogg’s uncle?

“War Zone”: Investors Avoiding Minneapolis For Some Reason
Alternate headline: Elections and unrest have consequences. Why should investors put capital into rebuilding Minneapolis when its city council won’t put resources in place to keep the peace? With violent crime exploding in the Twin Cities, the prospects of recovery would normally be slow anyway. However, the council’s efforts to abolish the city’s police department has investors looking for greener pastures, all but ensuring decline in the short run, as the Washington Examiner reports

Portland Cleans Up Homeless Boat Encampment Known As “Pirates Of The Columbia River”
A significant portion of the border between Washington State and Oregon is the Columbia River. Recently, people entering Oregon on Interstate 5 would cross a bridge and immediately see a mess of vandalized boats tied up near Hayden Island in the center of the river.

Seattle Police Sweep Cal Anderson Park As Anarchists Take Over An Empty House Across The Street
Seattle police were scheduled to sweep through Cal Anderson Park Wednesday morning. Instead, they city put the sweep on hold because a homeless person who has been living in the park filed a request for a restraining order. The city wanted to wait for the judge to issue his decision before moving forward. Yesterday the judge did issue his decision, refusing to issue a restraining order.

Seattle School District Accuses U.S. of “Spirit Murder” Against Black Students
Seattle Public Schools held a teacher-training session where it asserted that the U.S. education system is responsible for committing “spirit murder” against black students.

The Dalton School Is in a Full Meltdown
The Dalton School, one of the most prestigious private schools in Manhattan, is in the throes of a full-on racial meltdown. The precursor of this, as first reported by Bloomberg News, was the school refusing to reopen even while most other public and private schools in New York did. (This despite the lack of any scientific evidence suggesting schools were significant vectors for COVID 19.) Parents signed an angry letter, saying that the $54,000 annual tuition, none of which was being rebated, should buy something more than Zoom classes.

Teacher Demands at Dalton
As promised. Looks like it’s signed by most or all of the faculty. I’d like to meet anyone who didn’t sign. That would be a very brave person.

 

Corona Virus

 

The Chinese Government Further Obscures the Origin of the Coronavirus
Back in late May, the Chinese government surprised the world when Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, declared that research showed no connections between food sold in Wuhan’s Huanan seafood market and the coronavirus. But that conclusion aligned with research indicating some of the virus’s earliest cases could not be traced back to the market, and the fact that there was no evidence that this particular market sold bats or pangolins, the two species considered most likely to be the source of SARS-CoV-2. (Other wet markets in China do sell those animals.)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes Antigen Test as First Over-the-Counter Fully At-Home Diagnostic Test for COVID-19
Test is authorized for individuals two years of age or older, including those not showing symptoms

9th Circuit Court of Appeals rules in favor of Dayton church
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed itself and has ruled in favor of Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley and Calvary Chapel Lone Mountain in their lawsuits against Gov. Steve Sisolak’s orders restricting church attendance.

Democrat Governor Caught At Wine Bar After Issuing Lockdown Orders For State Residents
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, a Democrat, issued lockdown orders to the state’s residents and posted a tweet on December 7. She told everyone to stay home and if they do go out, to wear a mask. She relayed the usual kind of we’re-all-in-this-together rhetoric in the post.

Ninth Circuit to Nevada: You can’t treat churches worse than casinos
Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth ruled that a church is entitled to preliminary relief against an order by Nevada’s governor that treats the church worse in terms of coronavirus restrictions than numerous secular entities such as casinos, bowling alleys, retail restaurants, and arcades. The decision, by a panel of the court, was unanimous.

Dick Durbin: Trump’s Administration Deserves Credit For The Amazing Success Of Operation Warp Speed
Certainly true. I’ve said before that it’s his biggest achievement as president, although if you want to make the case for the Abraham Accords I’ll hear you out. Anyway, I don’t think Durbin’s just being a swell joe in giving Team Trump a little credit here. There’s a strategy behind it, one which we may see other Democrats duplicate in the next weeks and months. Watch, then read on.

San Francisco Issues Quarantine For Travelers As California Announces 50,000 New Cases In A Single Day
Yesterday the counties that make up the Bay Area region of California went into a state-mandated lockdown as the region’s ICU bed capacity dipped below the 15% threshold. Today San Francisco took things to a new level by announcing a mandatory 10-day quarantine for all travelers entering the city, including people who live there

Checking In on Sweden’s Approach to the Pandemic . . .
When you write about the coronavirus pandemic, and your sense is that the seriousness and severity of the pandemic is being underestimated in certain corners of the U.S., you inevitably are greeted by a cavalcade of “but what about Sweden?” responses. Back in September, I noted that this Scandinavian nation has caught the imagination of quite a few voices on the right, with a belief that somehow Sweden cracked the code and figured out just the right approach to the pandemic. The widespread perception in some circles on the right is that Sweden enacted few restrictions on citizens’ lives, kept the caseload low, minimized the damage to the nation’s economy, and achieved herd immunity.

Mike Pence, Karen Pence, and Surgeon General Get COVID-19 Vaccine Live on TV
Leftists took advantage of the situation to vomit their hatred.

Exceptional Asininity
If you feel like you haven’t been exposed to enough stupidity today and would like to remedy that, the New York Times is here to deliver.

 

Gun Rights

 

“Good People Carry Guns and They Will Shoot You, a Lot — Graveyard Dead”
Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County, Florida, is known for his colorful way of expressing himself at press conferences (see “68 Shots: ‘That’s All the Bullets We Had, or We Would Have Shot Him More'”). Sheriff Judd’s press conference on Aug. 29, 2018, featured the case of Jason Boek.

Gun Groups Take Concealed Carry to the Supreme Court
New York State doesn’t recognize a right to carry a gun in public. To get a concealed-carry permit, applicants must show they have an unusually strong need for self-defense, not just a normal and healthy desire to keep themselves safe. The state also bans the open carry of guns entirely. There’s a “circuit split” among the nation’s courts as to whether such strict restrictions are kosher.

 

Hide the Decline

Environment &
“Green Energy”

 

Biden to tap former Michigan Gov. Granholm to lead Energy Department
Granholm, who served two terms as Michigan’s governor, is experienced in dealing with the auto industry.

Why AOC lost secret ballot for a seat on powerful House committee
In Congress, the most brutal battles are internal. House Democratic colleagues of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sent her a chilly message yesterday when she lost 46-13 to a fellow New Yorker, Rep. Kathleen Rice, in a secret ballot for a seat on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee.

Medical Ethicist: Elderly Shouldn’t Get Vaccines First Because They’re Too White
As if we needed another reason to lose faith in the expert class, here is a medical ethicist in the New York Times discussing the CDC’s rollout of the coronavirus vaccine

Green New Deal-inspired project envisions world where ‘Earth Credits’ determine ‘your property tax’
An architecture course at the Pratt Institute encouraged students to take a “utopian approach” to envisioning a “Green New World.”

 

Obamacare

Government in Healthcare

 

UK’s NHS Scrubs Terrifying Ad Showing Santa Near Death From COVID-19
“Someone thought this was a good idea. Guaranteed to scare the hell out of little ones if they watch it.”

Austrian Court Creates Right to Assisted Suicide
A bit ago, Germany’s high court created an absolute right to commit suicide and the concomitant right to have help in making oneself dead.

‘I feel angry’: Why some people regret and reverse their transgender decisions
‘I’m angry that every single doctor and therapist we saw told us this was the one and only option’

China-Based Executive at U.S. Telecommunications Company Charged with Disrupting Video Meetings Commemorating Tiananmen Square Massacre
Defendant Coordinated with the People’s Republic of China to Target Dissidents and Disrupt Meetings

China Suffering Mass Blackouts Following Aussie Coal Embargo
Millions of Chinese are suffering severe power supply problems, brownouts and blackouts. According to media reports the problems have been caused by fuel shortages, following Chinese President Xi Jinping’s embargo of Australian coal imports.

 

War & Terror

 

Foreign hackers breach US Treasury Department
The U.S. Treasury Department and Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration have been breached by hackers working for a foreign government, possibly Russia, stealing unknown data in an embarrassing security issue for the U.S. government.

South China Sea: US warned Beijing of ‘major military breakthrough’ in bid to secure area
SOUTH CHINA SEA tensions erupted after the US Navy said it would deploy new drones, as part of its push to ensure its ready should conflict occur in the disputed region.

China’s tiny Jewish community in fear as Beijing erases its history
For this year’s Hanukkah, Amir is lighting menorah candles and reciting blessings to celebrate the holiday’s eight nights, as many Jews are around the world.

CCP targeted Chinese students in U.S., threatened their families in China in exchange for information
Pompeo calls for more protection for Chinese nationals on American college campuses

Hack of US Agencies, Fortune 500 Firms Highlights Need for Cybersecurity
Russians are the prime suspects in a major hack this month against U.S. computer networks, compromising the data of the Departments of Commerce, Treasury, and Homeland Security, as well as a number of Fortune 500 companies, in one of the largest reported cyberattacks ever.

CHAZ 2.0: Seattle Was Supposed To Sweep Cal Anderson Park Today But It Looks Like The Mayor Backed Down
Cal Anderson Park in Seattle has been closed for the past six months. It sits adjacent to the former CHAZ/CHOP zone that was set up on Capitol Hill this summer and has become a staging area for protest gatherings in addition to being a home for quite a few homeless people.

Shocker: Insurers Refusing To Underwrite Portland Businesses For Some Odd Reason
Go figure. What insurer wouldn’t love to issue policies in cities where, ah … [checks notes] … rioters controlled the streets for months on end, separatists harassed and extorted business owners, and prosecutors refused to bring cases when malefactors did get arrested at all?

Boko Haram Growing in Influence After Kidnapping 330 Boys
Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the local dialect. True to its name, the Islamic terrorists kidnapped 330 boys from a school in Kankara, Nigeria. Hundreds of others escaped during the attack that authorities fear shows the terrorists’ growing power and influence.

French Court Convicts 14 Accomplices to Charlie Hebdo, Jewish Supermarket Attacks
“Islamic State Princess” Hayat Boumeddiene gets a 30-year jail sentence in absentia.

 

National

 

2022 Senate Races: Our first look
With the 2020 elections almost finished, it’s time to look forward to the next cycle – 2022. These elections will have the same seats up that were previously up in 2016. Those Senate elections skewed identically to the presidential election. Out of 34 seats, Republicans won 22 of them; Democrats flipped Republican seats in Illinois and New Hampshire while holding all of their remaining seats.

In final years at Liberty, Falwell spent millions on pro-Trump causes
The nonprofit university’s think tank ran Facebook ads to “pray for our president,” with Donald Trump’s image.

Public school to strip name of Confederate general who advocated for black suffrage
His family defends his legacy

Wait… Now Trump Isn’t Going To Run In 2024?
Last week we looked at the results of a poll showing that a significant majority of American voters believe that Donald Trump will run for president again in four years. While I have my own doubts about that for a variety of reasons, the only person who can know for sure is the President himself. As of last night, we may have gotten our answer… or maybe not. Politico is reporting that they’ve spoken to a large number of (unnamed) allies of the President who claim he has been reaching out to them for advice on how to proceed. But in the end, they can’t say much more than Trump might run… or he might not. That’s super helpful, guys.

Rep. Paul Mitchell: “I’ve Had Enough” And I’m Leaving The GOP
First Justin Amash, now Mitchell. What’s in the water in Michigan that’s making Republican pols there take their civic duties a bit more seriously than in the rest of the country?

Barr resigns
William Barr has announced that he is resigning as Attorney General. His last day in office will be December 23.

UC Berkeley student senate passes resolution in support of mandated xenophobia training
Co-sponsor blames Trump for outbreak of xenophobia

Student activists accuse Christian university of furthering “Western colonized doctrine”
Said it is not living up to Biblical mission

Attorney General Bill Barr Resigns
Will be replaced by Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen

Abraham Lincoln was once a hero. In some S.F. education circles, he’s now a bad guy
Abraham Lincoln, an iconic American hero, could soon be an outcast in San Francisco, his legacy called into question and his name ripped off a high school.

Court orders Orange County sheriff to cut jail population in half to prevent spread of virus
A Superior Court judge has ordered that the Orange County jail population be cut in half, ruling that the sheriff had failed to reduce the number of inmates to ensure adequate social distancing.

NYC seeks to bar police from any interaction with homeless
Having already slashed the budget for the NYPD, the City Council in the Big Apple is looking to enact even more restrictions on the actions of the police department. Multiple members of the Council have drafted a bill that would bar the police from any interaction with homeless individuals on the streets. That would include both responding to complaints about possible criminal behavior and outreach efforts where officers attempt to get the homeless into shelters. To say this is going too far is an understatement. Even the notoriously liberal Mayor is opposed to the measure.

“The Public Should Be In A Panic”: Orange County Jail Population Ordered To Be Cut In Half
A judge has ordered the Orange County jail population to be cut in half so that inmates can properly social distance and abide by coronavirus safety protocols.

Midnight Mitch will seat more Trump judges before the next term
While most of the political media is doing end-zone dances to celebrate the electoral college results and looking forward to Joe Biden’s inauguration, work is still quietly taking place in the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Time is running out for the current edition of Congress, but Midnight Mitch still has some work in front of him. This seems to horrify some of the reporters at NBC News, who perhaps thought that the entire Republican Party had simply disappeared yesterday. But McConnell has a few more judges to confirm on behalf of President Trump, pushing the Senate’s already legendary record of hammering through confirmations to even greater levels. And as the linked analysis points out, this is going to produce a lasting effect in support of conservative principles that will be with us long after Donald Trump has left the field of battle.

Transgender activist says all children should be put on puberty blockers until they can decide their gender
Sounds like a terrible idea

Man appears to have sliced own neck with hacksaw in Central Park: cops
A man appeared to have fatally sliced his own neck with a hacksaw under Central Park’s Glade Arch walkway, cops said Tuesday.

US Omnibus Spending Bill Includes Felony Streaming Proposal, Trademark Modernization and CASE Acts
The US government omnibus spending bill includes several proposals for controversial copyright-based laws, including the felony streaming proposal.

FDA approves genetically altering pigs, to potentially make food, drugs, and transplants safer
Genetically engineering pigs so they lack a certain sugar on the surface of their cells that triggers meat allergies or organ rejection won approval from the Food and Drug Administration Monday. The regulatory clearance — the first of an intentional genomic alteration in a product with both food and medical uses — means the animals could be safer sources of not just food but also treatments such as the blood-thinner heparin.

Chicago Police Raided Wrong House, Terrorized Innocent, Naked Woman—and Hid the Body Cam Footage
Stories like this one should make even the most ardent police supporters very angry. The Chicago Police Department for two years covered up a crime they committed against an innocent, naked woman. It took a lawsuit to make them cough up public records.

UVA student government restricts access to recordings after conservatives used footage to criticize legislation
Almost complete silence from student council on the policy

Crime victims’ families lash out at LA County DA George Gascon over new policies
Loved ones of Los Angeles County crime victims are blasting new District Attorney George Gascon’s move to lessen charges filed against those accused of violent crimes.

New York Bans Sale Of Confederate And Nazi Flags, Other “Hate Symbols”
There comes a point where the woke brigades succeed in getting elected officials to do their bidding to a ridiculous degree. We’ve apparently now crossed that bridge in New York State. Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill into law that is so blatantly unconstitutional that he openly admitted it in his signing statement, but he still signed it anyway. The new law bans the sale of confederate flags, Nazi flags or other “symbols of hate” on public property. The unconstitutional nature of such a law based on freedom of speech should have been obvious to any freshman in high school. Cuomo conceded that the measure might need a couple of “technical fixes” before very long.

Andrew Cuomo Continues His Assault on the First Amendment
If he had his way, New York governor Andrew Cuomo would do to the Constitution what he’s already done to the elderly of his state. This week, he signed a bill banning the sale of “hate symbols” such as the Confederate flag, swastikas, and “white supremacist” imagery on state property. Of course, neither Cuomo nor the state legislature is empowered to decide what constitutes “hate symbols,” much less selectively ban them — even if New Yorkers had any interested in selling these symbols on state property, which doesn’t seem to be the case. But all of this is just virtue-signaling, as the kids say: a way to get people who still believe in liberal values to sound like they’re defending ugly things like the Confederate flag rather than a neutral principle.

Arkansas Lawmakers Sponsor Bill to Prohibit Nearly All Abortions
Two Republican lawmakers in Arkansas have put forward the “Unborn Child Protection Act,” a bill that would prohibit most abortions from the moment of conception. State senator Jason Rapert and state representative Mary Bentley are cosponsoring the legislation.

Senate Confirms Amy Coney Barrett’s Replacement on Federal Appeals Court
On Tuesday night, the U.S. Senate confirmed Thomas Kirsch as a judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Kirsch, who had been serving as a U.S. attorney in Indiana, will fill the seat vacated by Supreme Court justice Amy Coney Barrett. The Senate confirmation vote was 51–44, and the only Democrats who voted “yes” were Arizona senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly and West Virginia senator Joe Manchin.

The President in Planned Parenthood’s Pocket
Newsweek reports that executives from Planned Parenthood are expecting to see the incoming presidential administration immediately enact all of the abortion organization’s policy preferences.

Why Seattle’s Proposed “Poverty Excuse” for Crimes Would Destroy the City’s Economy
This policy would basically give anyone with a good sob story a green light to violate property rights at will.

Deputy DA criticizes his new boss George Gascon: “They are sending people to court to monitor what we say”
Yesterday I wrote about some of the impacts incoming District Attorney George Gascon was having on specific cases in LA County. Gascon’s decision to drop all special enhancements from prosecutions means some seriously violent people will likely be getting more lenient sentences. For instance, Gascon is attempting to have enhancements dropped from the case of an accused double murderer who allegedly shot one person at random in the street and then, about an hour later, executed an off-duty police deputy by shooting him the back of the head.

Princeton punished him after he said a female sexually assaulted him. A judge refused to toss his suit.
“Plausibly alleged the existence of a contract” that Princeton violated

GOP Wins Big in State Capitals. What It Means for the Next Decade.
Carrie Delrosso, a Republican, won her campaign in Pennsylvania’s 33rd House District by defeating House Minority Leader Frank Dermody, a Democrat, to capture the seat.

The War on History Comes for Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln didn’t do enough for black lives, according to militant proponents of the woke revolution.

Calls Begin for Kamala Harris to Have a “More Important Job” Than “Just the Vice President”
“Harris is too smart and energetic to be just the vice president, a position with few official responsibilities. I’d love to see President-elect Joe Biden give her a more important job,” wrote NYT columnist Thomas Friedman.

Trump signs Space Policy Directive-6 on space nuclear power and propulsion
One goal laid out in SPD-6 is the testing of a fission power system on the moon by the mid- to late 2020s.

Teacher Claims She Was Forced to Resign Over Facebook Post Critical of Black Lives Matter Protests
“The comments that were brought to our attention do not align with the North Penn School District’s core values. The views expressed are in direct conflict with our work to develop a community that values diversity.”

SCOTUS Punts 6-3 On Trump Effort To Exclude Illegals From Apportionment
Second look at John Roberts? Naah, but the Chief Justice wound up on the conservatives’ side in punting this challenge to Donald Trump’s efforts to exclude illegal immigrants from reapportionment calculations. Roberts agreed that the complaint doesn’t demonstrate any particularized injury and may not be justiciable in the future either, while the court’s liberal wing wanted to swat this policy down immediately

Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Require Consent before Sharing Pornography Online
Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D., Ore.) have introduced legislation to require websites that host pornography to establish safeguards aimed at protecting Americans from sexual exploitation.

Short Circuit: A Roundup of Recent Federal Court Decisions
Recording the police, union speech, and repulsive comments.

LA DA George Gascon slams victim’s family as they protest sentencing plan
Los Angeles’ controversial new district attorney told the family of a murder victim they should “keep their mouth shut” — unwittingly, he later said — as they protested his office’s kid-gloves handling of the accused killers.

 

Economy & Taxes

 

Wealth taxes are not the cure for rising debt
Who is going to pay for all this? Governments across the West are up to their eyeballs in debt, and the economic crisis shows no sign of easing. Even when vaccination is widespread, the fiscal consequences of the lockdowns will last. Fewer people are working, and more people are claiming benefits, which means that governments are receiving less revenue while making more payments.

Spending Went Down in November Despite Beginning of Holiday Shopping
“We’ve got to be braced for a period of two, three, four months of extreme vulnerability for the economy.”

New GOP Sen. Tommy Tuberville Hints He’ll Object To Electoral College Results On January 6
I won’t rehash the mechanics of what happens in Congress on January 6. If you haven’t been following it, this post will catch you up. It’s enough here to say that whether McConnell can prevent any members of his caucus from objecting to the results in swing states is a less interesting question right now than *how many* Senate Republicans might end up objecting once one does.

Emerson Runoff Polls: 51/48 In Both Georgia Races For …
Georgia’s Senate runoffs have become a tag-team match — and the red leotards might be pulling ahead on points. A new poll out by Emerson shows “nearly identical” three-point leads for Republican incumbents David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler over their Democrat challengers, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. That’s still within the polls’ margins of error, but it does look as though a trend might be developing in the GOP’s favor

Taxpayers Revolt in NYC
No Federal Bailout of NYC Unless Reforms Give Taxpayers a Voice in Governance

 

International

 

U.K.: Navy WILL be sent to defend UK fishing boats in No Deal Brexit if French blockade Channel, Defence Sec vows
BREXIT fishing tensions exploded today after the Defence Secretary vowed to use the full might of the Navy to protect British boats “going about their lawful business”.

The “Subhuman” Deterioration of Human Rights in Maduro’s Venezuela
Some regimes forgot the basic guarantees for their citizens, subjecting them to poor quality of life, including Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.

Over 100 Venezuelans Have Died in the Caribbean Fleeing Socialism
Since 2018, Venezuelans have died in shipwrecks while heading for the Caribbean islands, hoping to escape Maduro’s regime.

From mealworms to “miracle” berries, EU sees boom in novel food applications
More products have been submitted for approval since 2018 than in prior 14 years combined.

From mealworms to “miracle” berries, EU sees boom in novel food applications
More products have been submitted for approval since 2018 than in prior 14 years combined.

How China “Recruits” Labor To Pick 20 Percent Of The World’s Cotton
China produces nearly a quarter of the world’s cotton, with most of that coming from the Xinjiang region of western China. If Xinjiang sounds familiar that’s because it’s the place where China has set up a network of re-education camps for ethnic minorities. The people who are sent to the camps have no choice in the matter. They are told where to go and once they arrive in the camps they are told they won’t be allowed to leave until they comply with the program, including learning Chinese and memorizing loads of communist propaganda.

Wannabe Instagram star allegedly ripped mom’s heart out in shocking murder
A young medical student and Instagram star wannabe allegedly ripped out her mother’s heart, lungs and intestines – then calmly washed the blood off in the shower and met up with her boyfriend, according to a report.

Eton College’s Thought Police Have Won — For Now
Earlier this month I wrote about a scandal that had broken out at England’s most illustrious private school, Eton College. A teacher named Will Knowland had been fired for “questioning radical feminist orthodoxy” during a lesson set aside for discussing controversial topics.

Paris mayor mocks fine imposed for hiring too many senior women
Paris (CNN)The mayor of Paris has branded as “absurd” a €90,000 ($109,369) fine imposed for appointing “too many women” to management positions.

Lawyers to give pronouns in B.C. court under new trans-inclusive policy
In an effort to be more inclusive of transgender people, the Provincial Court of B.C. has created a new policy asking lawyers to provide pronouns when introducing themselves and their clients in court.

“Unconscious Bias” Training Being Scrapped In England
In England, the government is moving to scrap “unconscious bias” training for government employees that had previously been mandated in response to social justice initiatives. For those not familiar with the term, unconscious bias is loosely defined as “prejudiced ways of thinking that could unfairly influence decisions – such as who might get a job or a promotion.” So why are the Brits doing away with it? Because after monitoring the results for a while they have concluded that not only doesn’t it tend to work, but it can even backfire and foster a “negative response.” Needless to say, social justice activists are not pleased.

Political Pandering to Hide Incompetence: Ex-Im Edition
You know that something doesn’t smell quite right when politicians and political appointees write a fluff piece about how great they are doing but fail to give any concrete examples and only repeat tired and debunked talking points. That what North Dakota senator Kevin Cramer and outgoing Export-Import Bank chair Kimberly Reed have done today in The Hill.

Gambling addict in India throws acid on wife for refusing to be raped by pals
A gambling addict in India doused his wife with acid because she refused to let his friends gang-rape her after he lost a bet, according to reports.

Victory in the war on woke: Judges’ landmark ruling in case of mother who called trans woman ‘he’ on Twitter means freedom of speech DOES includes the ‘right to offend’
Two judges have ruled that free speech encompasses offensive language

Japanese Hayabusa2 Mission Returns Asteroid Sample to Earth and Scientists Are ‘Speechless’ at What They See
Six years ago to the month, the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) launched one of the most ambitious exploration missions ever conceived. The Hayabusa2 set out for the far reaches of space to rendezvous with, observe, contact, and return samples of the asteroid Ryugu to Earth.

Chinese Historian’s Latest Book Describes The Awful Truth Of Mao’s Cultural Revolution
Yang Jisheng is a Chinese historian who lived through the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution as a young man. He started out as a member of the Communist Party and eventually became a reporter for a state news service. But his viewpoint changed in 1989 after he saw the Party’s crackdown on student protesters in Tiananmen Square. He used his access to primary sources as a Communist Party member and began putting together a book on the famines associated with the Great Leap Forward.

EU Court of Justice Upholds Restriction on Kosher and Halal Slaughter
Would this rule be valid under Employment Division v. Smith?

 

Opinion

 

Special Interests Cannot Control What They Cannot Buy
This week I announced I’ll be the first 100 percent citizen-backed California Legislator. Specifically, I am declining all contributions from the “Third House.” That’s the term for the Special Interest lobbyists, with offices encircling the Capitol, that account for the vast majority of political funding in California.

Serf State, USA
Huntington Beach was awarded the official title of “Surf City” by the U.S. Patent and Trade Office in 2006 based on its historical beach culture, music and active outdoor lifestyle. A great case could also be made to have the entirety of California designated as the “Serf State” based on its excessive taxation, burdensome regulations and poor government services.

The Path Back From Conspiracy
The federal judiciary has kept its head and helped the country do the same.

Confessions of a limp noodle
We have received a small stream of emails from readers and noted a few comments calling us out for not “standing with” President Trump and disparaging our manhood as well — this because we have not decried the “rigged” election that robbed President Trump of reelection. One professed long-time reader sent us a message announcing that he has “resigned” from the site.

What Will Future Republicans Stand For?
At some point next month, Joe Biden will take the oath of office. Pandemic concerns will make Biden’s inauguration look different from what we’re used to seeing. President Trump may or may not attend, and then he will be a private citizen again.

Frederick Douglass vs. the 1619 Project
A new book explicates the escaped slave and renowned orator’s argument that the Constitution is “a glorious liberty document” that justified ending slavery.

In defense of Dr. Jill’s dissertation
If Jill Biden hadn’t insisted on being called “Dr.” I doubt anyone would have examined her doctoral dissertation. And if someone had, I wouldn’t have piled on.

Chief Justice Roberts has fallen into a “truly bottomless pit from which there is simply no extracting [himself].”
Roberts’s self-professed humility depends on everyone being too dumb to see what he is really doing.

Critical Race Training is “a series of dated ideas that basic analysis often debunks”
Watch our program “How Critical Race Training Is Harming Higher Education” — “There’s a bureaucratic, therapeutic apparatus of administration within the universities” that is “creating their own demand.”

The “Sexual Rights” Movement Is Gaining Power Globally. Here’s What to Expect.
The United Nations recently appointed Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng as the U.N. special rapporteur on the right to health. “Dr. T,” as she is known to fans, is a sexual rights advocate who—like Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.—supports decriminalizing prostitution.

13 Things Trump Got Right
Nobody does nothing as president, not even someone who watches television for five or six hours a day.

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