This Is Not Helpful To Anyone

Breitbart reported the following yesterday:

A Democrat-aligned Super PAC announced on Tuesday that it will spend $5 million on negative ads targeting President Trump’s response to the coronavirus.

Why not spend $5 million on encouraging people to take precautions to avoid getting the virus or to help those most impacted by the financial distress caused by the virus?

The article continues:

Acronym owns the technology firm Shadow, Inc., which was responsible for developing the infamous app used in the chaotic Iowa caucuses. Notably, the firm’s founder and CEO, Tara McGowan, “worked for Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign and previously served as the digital director for NextGen America, a progressive organization founded by presidential candidate Tom Steyer,” as RealClearPolitics noted.

Acronym is funded by the “liberal dark money group” New Venture Fund, which is “part of a larger group called Arabella Advisors, which provides philanthropic guidance and manages four nonprofits,” according to the nonpartisan ethics watchdog group Americans for Public Trust. Those also include the Sixteen Thirty Fund, Windward Fund, and Hopewell Fund.

The financial web, however, goes far beyond those connections. The political group American Bridge, which was founded by David Brock — a close ally of the Clintons and founder of Media Matters for America — is also involved in the overarching efforts to spread misinformation on President Trump’s response to the coronavirus and further politicize the crisis.

“American Bridge’s network of nonprofits received funding in 2018 from New Venture Fund, as well as another Arabella group called Sixteen Thirty Fund,” Americans for Public Trust reports.

The Post notes that American Bridge has been running political advertisements on Trump’s response to the crisis in key swing states — Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. According to the Post, the group signaled that more was coming, including an ad focusing on “‘Trump’s incompetence,’ including ‘clips of Trump himself downplaying the crisis.’”

“Our job is to hold Donald Trump accountable, and we have no plans to let up, particularly with a focus on economic issues as we’ve done to date,” American Bridge President Bradley Beychok said, according to the outlet.

He added that the group is “not going to give him [Trump] a pass for bungling the government’s response to this pandemic.”

This PAC is not helping anyone. At a time when reliable information is critical, this group, along with their allies in the mainstream media, are spreading fake news. I posted three stories (here, here, and here) in the past week that cited misreporting by the media regarding the coronavirus. All three stories were inaccurate and framed in a way to make either the President or the Republicans look bad. At a time when Americans need to work together to get through a crisis, spending $5 million on a political hit-job is not constructive.

 

I Find This Rather Telling

While Senator Sanders is holed up in Washington in the impeachment hearings, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is out on the campaign trail campaigning for him.

Yesterday Hot Air reported on some of her efforts:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sure has an odd way of campaigning for Bernie Sanders. She doesn’t mention his name.

Last October, Bernie scored the coveted AOC endorsement. What could be better than a young socialist with a huge following to endorse an old socialist who captured the imagination of the socialist wing of the Democrat Party in 2016? AOC, after all, volunteered for the Sanders campaign back then. She has a history with him. Last November he announced that she will fill-in for him on the campaign trail while he is doing his day job in the Senate during the impeachment trial.

Michael Moore is also campaigning for Bernie Sanders.

The article reports:

“It is bold and it is a risk,” she (Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) said. “We hedge our bets, we get more of the same. And the same has not been helping. So our job right now is to come together …We’ve got ten days left, ten days (until the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3).”

The New York Democrat also called for the abolition of two federal immigration agencies — Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). She also advocated for Medicare-for-all, and suggested that political leaders craft the nation’s environmental policy around “indigenous wisdom.”

“This is not just about how we win, it’s about how we heal,” Ocasio-Cortez added. “From our bodies to this land, we are going to need entirely new paradigms of public policy in order to heal.”

It’s more than a little scary to me that currently Bernie Sanders is holding his own in the Democrat primary. I do wonder what lengths the Democrat establishment will go to prevent Bernie Sanders from winning the nomination.

Ruining The Environment Because You Want To Win

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about the Iowa Caucuses and the role that ethanol plays in them. In theory ethanol is a great idea. In practice it has not had the positive impact on the environment that was hoped for.

The article reports:

The summer before the Iowa caucuses is when politicians abandon whatever it is they believe in and instead pay homage to King Corn.

When Republicans are running, any belief in free enterprise is scuttled in favor the big government ethanol mandate.

Among Democrats, concern about smog and pollution evaporates in the heat of an Iowa summer.

The politicians who pledge to take on the special interests instead bow obediently before the ethanol lobby.

Al Gore, who admits federal support for ethanol was a mistake, explains his own advocacy of such policies thus: “I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president.”

It’s a dispiriting sight, but it’s as much a part of the Iowa caucus tradition as butter cows and fried Oreos.

The article explains some of the problems with ethanol:

Also, federally mandated use of ethanol wreaks havoc on the environment.

“Making corn into ethanol threatens surface and sub-surface waters in several ways,” the Freshwater Society states.

For starters, there are the spills, which occur every two days on average. Ethanol can’t be transported by pipeline, and so it rides trains and trucks from the heartland where it’s made to the coasts, where Uncle Sam forces refiners to buy it.

The added use of fertilizers in the extra corn-growing creates lots of runoff, which down the line deprives rivers of oxygen. Distilling ethanol requires four times as much water as does refining real gasoline — so the ethanol mandate depletes water supplies.

Ranchers pay the price as corn is shifted from feed to fuel. Drivers pay the price as they have to refuel more (ethanol has less energy per gallon than gasoline does). Bikers and boaters suffer more, as ethanol gunks up those smaller engines. Ethanol is also destroying your lawnmower this summer.

The article concludes:

Refiners, corn growers, and ethanol distillers all suffer from uncertainty and inconsistency. So, we’ve got a proposal for any 2020 Democrat who cares about taking on the special interests, protecting the air and the water, and moving beyond the inconstancy of the Trump administration.

Abolish the ethanol mandate altogether.

Maybe Cory Booker or Joe Biden can pick up the bill Ted Cruz pushed in 2015, which would wind the mandate down to zero gallons in five years. Cruz even won Iowa, in part because enough voters liked a man who stood on principle.

Do the Democrats have a man or a woman like that?

Stay tuned.

What Happened In Iowa?

Yesterday the Des Moines Register posted an editorial about the Democratic Caucus in Iowa. The editorial reminds us that because the results of the Caucus were so close, it would be a good idea to do an audit of those results.

The editorial also reminds us:

Second, too many questions have been raised. Too many accounts have arisen of inconsistent counts, untrained and overwhelmed volunteers, confused voters, cramped precinct locations, a lack of voter registration forms and other problems. Too many of us, including members of the Register editorial board who were observing caucuses, saw opportunities for error amid Monday night’s chaos.

The Sanders campaign is rechecking results on its own, going precinct by precinct, and is already finding inconsistencies, said Rania Batrice, a Sanders spokeswoman. The campaign seeks the math sheets or other paperwork that precinct chairs filled out and were supposed to return to the state party. They want to compare those documents to the results entered into a Microsoft app and sent to the party.

“Let’s compare notes. Let’s see if they match,” Batrice said Wednesday.

…So her path forward is clear: Work with all the campaigns to audit results. Break silly party tradition and release the raw vote totals. Provide a list of each precinct coin flip and its outcome, as well as other information sought by the Register. Be transparent.

And then call for a blue ribbon commission to study how to improve the caucuses, as the Republican Party of Iowa did after its own fiasco in 2012. Monday’s mess showed that it’s time for the Democrats to change, too.

The Iowa Caucus is really not the most important election on the primary circuit. However, it is the first election on the primary circuit. This is the first chance the voters have to actually voice their opinion. This is the chance the voters have to confirm or dispute what the pollsters are saying. It needs to be done right.

The editorial concludes:

Democrats should ask themselves: What do we want the Iowa caucus to be? How can we preserve its uniqueness while bringing more order? Does it become more like a straw poll or primary? How do we strike the balance between tradition and transparency?

We have time to consider these questions. First, however, we need answers to what happened Monday night. The future of the first-in-the-nation caucuses demands it.