News of the Week (January 21st, 2024)


News of the Week for January 21thst, 2024

Election 2024


It’s Official: Trump Wins the Iowa Caucuses—But There’s a Catch
With 94% of counties reporting, former President Trump is the projected winner of the Iowa caucuses with 51% of the vote.

A Vote Not for President but the Shape of the GOP
The headline is clear: Donald Trump won, and he won big. No grand theory of last night’s results that evades the voters’ resounding verdict or attempts to massage it into something more ambiguous is worthwhile. Indeed, if you tried to envision the best possible result Trump could expect given pre-caucus polling, the scenario you would concoct would look like last night’s outcome.

Turnout Mattered in Iowa
Per the current vote count, 110,263 votes were cast in Iowa last night. That’s probably within a few thousand of the final number with over 99 percent reported.

After last night
The Trump train is rumbling down the tracks to its rendezvous with the Republican presidential nomination. Some 110,000 Iowa Republicans braved the cold last night to attend caucuses and state their preferences among the candidates. While they were assembling, the Associated Press, Fox News, and others called the contest for President Trump. In the event, Trump romped. As Politico put it: “Trump scores an early knockout.” I have borrowed the results posted by RealClearPolitics below.

And Yet, Democrats Keep Winning Elections
On paper, Republicans have a lot of advantages. The GOP owns what polling indicates are the most salient issues for voters heading into the 2024 general-election cycle. Inflation is moving in the wrong direction. The crisis at the southern border is only getting worse. The international threat environment is deteriorating at an alarming pace. As all this would suggest, the Democratic president who presides over these conditions is about as popular as head lice. And yet, Democrats keep winning elections.

The Democrats’ 2024 Plan Is Still Working to Perfection
Don’t be distracted by Biden’s weakness; Trump is still the candidate he wants to run against.

Why Nobody Is Talking about Nevada
Listen to most chatter about the Republican presidential race these days, and you’ll often hear people mention that after New Hampshire next Tuesday the race will move to South Carolina on February 24. But if you look at the actual calendar it shows that Nevada Republicans will vote in between those two primaries. So you may be wondering: Why is nobody talking about it?

‘Not to be taken lightly’: Lawyer who ditched Trump says ex-president could be convicted
Donald Trump is facing serious cases from legitimate prosecutors who could end up getting a conviction against the former president, according to Joe Tacopina, who recently left Trump’s legal team.

Donald Trump goes from calm to indignant in newly released deposition video of civil fraud lawsuit
Months before Donald Trump’s defiant turn as a witness at his New York civil fraud trial, the former president came face-to-face with the state attorney general who is suing him when he sat for a deposition last year at her Manhattan office.

Ron DeSantis ends his struggling presidential bid before New Hampshire and endorses Donald Trump
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended his Republican presidential campaign on Sunday, ending his 2024 White House bid just before the New Hampshire primary while endorsing his bitter rival Donald Trump.

It’s Trump
Ron DeSantis has dropped out of the presidential race and endorsed Donald Trump.



Dobbs Decision


More Idahoans than not think state is on the ‘wrong track,’ want less strict abortion laws
A statewide survey found that for the first time in nearly a decade, more Idahoans think the state is on the “wrong track” than on the right one.

Gun Rights


Pennsylvania can’t stop young adults from openly carrying guns during emergencies, US court rules
Young adults in Pennsylvania cannot be arrested for openly carrying guns in public during a declared state of emergency, at least while a court fight over the issue plays out, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.


Hide the Decline

Environment &“Green Energy”


After Incentives End, California Rooftop Solar Power Installations Drop 85%
The forecast for California’s solar power expansion is cloudy, with a good chance of pain.

Mann v. Steyn Gets Under Way
After 12 years of wandering in the wilderness of the D.C. court system, Michael Mann’s defamation case against Mark Steyn and Rand Simberg has finally gone to trial. Opening statements were delivered today. The trial is being live-streamed, and I got the court’s app to work just in time to hear Steyn’s opening.



Government in Healthcare


Overwhelming Evidence That Obamacare Caused Premiums To Increase Substantially
Two scholars at the renowned Brookings Institution, Loren Adler and Paul Ginsburg, have published an analysis finding that “average premiums in the individual market actually dropped significantly upon implementation of the ACA [Affordable Care Act].” This contrasts with a plethora of evidence, including a rigorous 2014 Brookings study, showing that the ACA significantly increased premiums. In this post, I discuss methodological concerns with the Adler and Ginsburg approach as well as evidence that leads most scholars to reach a very different conclusion.

Arizona ‘Living Will’ Bill Could Force Caregivers to Starve Cognitively Incapacitated Patients
The euthanasia movement is continually looking for new ways to allow people to be made dead. One of the cruelest is known as VSED (voluntary stop eating and drinking). The idea is for doctors to help people commit suicide by self-starvation and dehydration by palliating the agony such a slow death would otherwise entail.

War & Terror


A missile fired by Houthis strikes a US-owned vessel off Yemen in the Gulf of Aden, raising tensions
Houthi rebels fired a missile, striking a U.S.-owned ship Monday just off the coast of Yemen in the Gulf of Aden, less than a day after they launched an anti-ship cruise missile toward an American destroyer in the Red Sea, officials said.

Federal Judges Maintain Race-Based Admissions at the Naval Academy and West Point, For Now
Students for Fair Admissions’ motion for preliminary injunction to stop race-based admissions at each service academy DENIED

Houthis Launch Ship-Killer Missile toward U.S. Destroyer Days after U.S. Strikes
Days after the U.S. conducted a second round of strikes against Houthi militants and an affiliated radar site, the Houthis responded by launching an anti-ship cruise missile toward the USS Laboon (DDG-58). Thankfully, the Laboon was able to intercept the missile with all hands reported safe. The stakes have been raised with the emergence of cruise missiles and their ability to go far beyond merely bloodying a vessel — they are proven ship-killers that must be treated with due severity.

OK, BIG GUY: Putin Ally Says Poland Is Next
Russian lawmaker and Vladimir Putin ally Aleksey Zhuravlyov went on national TV Friday to warn that Poland has “probably started to realize that they are next.”

Navy SEALs lost at sea were searching for Yemen-bound weapons shipment
The dangerous ship-boarding mission was ordered after U.S. officials suspected a vessel transiting the Gulf of Aden was transporting Iranian arms

War In Europe?
The war in Ukraine seems to have settled into a stalemate, and one would think that the Russian army’s mediocre performance in that conflict would dampen any Kremlin aspirations to widen the war. But military leaders in Western Europe are nevertheless sounding an alarm.

Tickling the Tail of a Sleeping Dragon
Don’t call it gain of function. Call it creating new life or something similarly uplifting.

Code Pink and the Houthis Are Both on China’s Side
Haley, one other reason why Code Pink is cheerleading for the Houthis, ignoring their terrorism and brutality and appalling human rights abuses, and painting them as responsible opponents of an alleged genocide committed by Israel: Code Pink is effectively supported by the Chinese.

FBI Arrests Transgender Man Who Threatened To Kill ‘Trans Phobes’ — Suggests Ties To ‘Alt-Right Extremism’
Oregon transgender man arrested for threat to murder ‘trans phobic assholes’ after FBI discovers racist posts

Pakistan Strikes Back at Iran, Killing Nine People
“Pakistan will continue to take all necessary steps to preserve the safety and security of its people which is sacrosanct, inviolable and sacred.”

Israeli hostages at risk from deadly fungus with ‘no treatment’ in Hamas tunnel network
It is believed that the fungus has already claimed the life of at least one Israeli soldier




Crazyfornia Gets Crazier
California pioneered modern product liability law, which probably has done some good although it had unintended consequences, too. But now California has gone too far. Its appellate court has held that a manufacturer can be sued for not producing a product.

Federal judge dismisses lawsuit against required DEI statement for UC Santa Cruz job applicants
A California federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against UC Santa Cruz over its use of DEI statements for job applicants.

Kentucky bill would prevent colleges from forcing students to embrace ‘divisive concepts’
Kentucky State Senator Mike Wilson recently proposed legislation to combat Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in higher education. The bill would prohibit colleges from mandating students and faculty support radical ideologies like the idea that the ‘Commonwealth of Kentucky or the United States of America is fundamentally or irredeemably racist or sexist.’

Can a Community Force Walgreens to Remain Open?
Some protests broke out in Boston last week, but they had nothing to do with the war in Gaza or illegal migrants. Residents of the Roxbury neighborhood were protesting the announcement that the Walgreens pharmacy there would be closing after MLK Day. This will be the fourth Walgreens closure in Boston in a little over a year. The Boston Globe was quick to note that all four of the closures are taking place in predominantly Black and brown neighborhoods, creating what are being described as “healthcare deserts” where residents have limited access to prescriptions and other healthcare products without having to travel much longer distances, often on foot or by using public transportation. But is this really a race-based issue? And even more to the point, can a company like Walgreens be forced to keep their stores open even if they are not profitable?

Insane Las Vegas Law Might Jail People For Taking Photos
People hoping to take some great photos in Las Vegas better have their wrists lubricated for the handcuffs that might come out.

Study reveals a universal pattern of brain wave frequencies across mammalian species
Throughout the brain’s cortex, neurons are arranged in six distinctive layers, which can be readily seen with a microscope. A team of MIT neuroscientists has now found that these layers also show distinct patterns of electrical activity, which are consistent over many brain regions and across several animal species, including humans.

What Do College Administrators Do?
The College Fix has done a series of articles recently estimating the number of administrators at various colleges compared to the number of students. The numbers are pretty surprising.

‘Discrimination, Exclusion and Indoctrination’: State rep shares Iowa’s efforts to combat DEI
Iowa state representative Taylor Collins told Campus Reform about Iowa’s efforts to combat DEI: ‘[I]f we see that DEI is still being peddled on our public universities . . . we’re not just gonna go ahead and continue to write blank checks.’

Oral Argument in Devillier v. Texas Suggests Victory for Property Rights Likely
Both conservative and liberal justices seem to oppose letting states get away with violating the Takings Clause merely because Congress hasn’t enacted a specific law enforcing it against them.

“Something’s very broken in (NY) state government where there’s open discrimination going on and nobody says anything”
My radio appearance about our lawsuit for Asian parents challenging discrimination in the NY STEP Act: “Why did no one say anything? Why did nobody at the Department of Education say, hey, should we really be doing this? … Why did it take my Equal Protection Project to bring this to light and to mount a legal challenge for this”?

Minneapolis high school cancels classes after wild allegedly ‘race-fueled’ brawl drew in parents, 2 adults arrested
Administrators at a Minneapolis high school canceled classes Friday after a pair of allegedly “race-fueled” fights Thursday between African-American and Somali students that drew in parents and resulted in the arrests of two adults

NYC neighborhood turned into giant toilet as migrants litter park with poop, leave cups of urine on ‘doorsteps’
Migrants outside an East Village intake center have been crappy neighbors. Since November, thousands of adult migrants have waited outside the former St. Brigid’s School on East 7th Street, and overflow into Tompkins Square Park, to score a bed in the city’s shelter system after their 30-day and 60-day stay limits expired.

A Colorado town’s newspapers were stolen after a story about rape charges at the police chief’s house
Nearly all the copies of a small-town Colorado newspaper were stolen from newspaper racks on the same day the Ouray County Plaindealer published a story about charges being filed over rapes alleged to have occurred at an underage drinking party at the police chief’s house while the chief was asleep, the owner and publisher said Friday.

Trump Confuses Nancy Pelosi with Nikki Haley, Blames the Latter for Jan. 6 Capitol Riot: ‘Nikki Haley Is in Charge of Security’
Former President Donald Trump blamed his Republican presidential opponent and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot during a rally on Friday.

Univ. Wisconsin Law School Forcing Students To Endure Racist DEI Reeducation
“This ‘DEI training’ is a form of indoctrination and demeans law students based on their race.”

University of Alaska Anchorage offers pronoun course aimed at ‘collective liberation’
The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) is offering a one-credit Women’s and Gender Studies elective this semester titled ‘Why Pronouns Matter.’

College Essays: The Affirmative Action Workaround
Ever since the Supreme Court put an end to Affirmative Action in college admissions many have noticed that Chief Justice Roberts seemed to offer a back door for schools looking to get around it.


Economy & Taxes


China’s Economy is Struggling as It Tries to Lure Back Foreign Investment
China’s Premier Li Qiang, the second most powerful individual after President Xi Jinping, is in Davos, Switzerland today where he announced China had hit its growth target one day before the official data is released. He also pronounced China open for business.

There’s a Third Option on Social Security and Medicare
The Editors are correct in their latest piece on Social Security. They point out that leading presidential candidates are both ignoring the fact that Social Security and Medicare will go insolvent and bashing Republicans who dare to be honest with the American people. This a tack that previously only Democrats took.

If Red Sea Shipping Doesn’t Open Soon, They’ll Have to Rename It Great BRRRRritain
We all know the United Kingdom has ruinously sold their souls to the climate cult, and continue to pay dearly for it both in term of skyrocketing utility rates and miserable, unreliable electricity for what they’re spending. The quality of life for your average homeowner in the British Isles is challenging at best.




Civil Service woke madness: Pronouns aren’t enough… you must THINK of trans colleagues as women now!
Civil servants have been told to ‘think’ of transgender colleagues as women in new staff guidance branded as ‘woke’ by critics.

‘Nazis, no thank you’; Germans take to streets to call for AfD ban
Protests against the far-right Alternative for Germany party are gaining momentum in the wake of a report that two senior party members joined a meeting to discuss plans for the mass deportation of citizens of foreign origin.

Davos: Argentine President Milei Bashes Feminism, Socialism, and Collectivism
“Do not surrender to the advance of the state. The state is not the solution, the state is the problem itself… Long live freedom, dammit!”

Finnish Prosecutor Takes MP to Supreme Court for Tweeting Bible Verses
Despite having been acquitted of hate speech twice, Finnish MP Päivi Räsänen may still have to face another day in court on the same charges.

“You’re Big Brother:” EU Parliament Votes To Make Hate Speech an EU Crime
Sparking intense criticism from conservatives, the left-leaning majority of the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for the extension of the EU crime list to include hate speech and hate crimes, which would allow the European Commission to introduce binding minimum penalties for all member states.




Is Trump Destroying the Future of the GOP for Spite?
I hate primary campaigns. Well, let me rephrase that: I hate GOP primary campaigns. When the Democrats have an open primary, I’m all for watching them tear each other down—at least when they’re willing to do so. Joe Biden’s primary opponents largely laid off him, knowing he was favored to win the nomination. However, occasionally, it was awesome, like when Kamala Harris accused Biden of being racist for his past opposition to busing and his willingness to work with segregationists.

Thanks for Blurting Out the Truth
Sometimes, the woke zealots in our educational institutions hurt their cause by inadvertently blurting out the truth about their views. That was the case recently at Johns Hopkins, where the medical school’s chief diversity officer made her view of the world crystal clear.

What It Means When Trump Half-Jokes about Lawbreaking and Dictatorship
The people convinced that Donald Trump will be a dictator are passing around this video of Trump saying he’d keep New Hampshire as the first primary “as long as I have anything to say about it, and . . . we have a good chance saying for four years, have a lot to say about it, four years and beyond.”

Abortion Is a Convenient Scapegoat for MAGA’s Political Weaknesses
The notion that Republicans didn’t start losing big at the ballot box until Dobbs is self-serving and false.

Freedom Equals Prosperity
Why do some countries prosper, and others don’t? That is actually a very easy question to answer. People become prosperous unless their governments stop them. Freedom begets prosperity, every time.

Why I Support Freedom Conservatism’s Principles
The ideas contained therein can inform higher-education reform.

Trump’s Late-Night ‘Full Immunity’ Rant Is Appalling
Because the man’s publicly self-defeating instincts cannot be stifled, Donald Trump has once again been doing what no presidential candidate should: tweeting late at night. Or “truthing,” as it were, over on his boutique fansite Truth Social. Trump, reflecting no doubt on the various criminal charges arrayed before him, told his Truth rather bluntly (and, as per usual, in all-caps) this Thursday morning at 1:00 a.m.

DEI boomerang
The dust appears to be settling on the scandal at Harvard University that culminated in the resignation of the school’s president earlier this month. The back-and-forth recriminations between supporters and critics of Claudine Gay have run their course. Harvard’s trustees have appointed an interim president and launched a search for a new president. Many on campus are ready to move on.

Why You Can’t Ignore the Communist Nature of China’s Regime
I had a great time joining a National Association of Scholars event to discuss the Chinese Communist Party’s malign influence last week. NAS’s Ian Oxnevad, one of the foremost experts on China’s influence in higher education, was a diligent and gracious interviewer.

Ron DeSantis’s Problem Wasn’t Criticizing Trump Too Much or Too Little
Critics of DeSantis’s campaign underestimate the challenge of courting Trump supporters.

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