Betraying An Ally For Political Gain

On Monday, PJ Media posted an article about the Biden administration’s attempts to free the American hostages held captive in Gaza. While I agree that the American hostages should be freed, I also believe that the effort to free them should also be part of a larger effort to solve the problem of Hamas terrorism. Unfortunately, that is not the path the Biden administration has chosen.

The article reports:

It’s a line we’ve heard in countless movies and TV shows. Get the picture: a terrorist group hijacks a plane, kidnaps an American, or otherwise takes over something on U.S. soil, and the country’s leaders are discussing what to do. Usually, the president or someone else in the administration says that inevitable line: “We do not negotiate with terrorists!”

If we are to believe a report from NBC, that’s not the case anymore. Or, as my colleague Ed Morrissey put it: “Old and busted: America doesn’t negotiate with terrorists. New hotness: We’d rather cut a deal with terrorists than support our ally.

NBC is reporting that the White House is ready to work on a deal to get five hostages back from Hamas along with the remains of three dead hostages while leaving Israel out of the loop:

The article also includes a screenshot of a Tweet illustrating another way the Biden administration is trying to undermine the Israeli government of Prime Minister Netanyahu.

The article also notes:

“Not only is this effort from Biden and Antony Blinken despicable, it’s incredibly stupid,” Ed Morrissey wrote. “They want to reward Hamas for the October 7 massacre and want to punish the Israelis for grasping its existential import.”

Add this to the growing list of Biden’s foreign policy failures. “I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades,” former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said of Biden 10 years ago. Make that five decades because his treatment of Israel is shameful and wrong.

Genesis 12:3 states:

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (KJV)

The Biden administration might want to keep this in mind.

 

The Perversion Of Justice Continues

When something is called a crime but has no victim and the people who were supposedly injured by the ‘crime’ say that they were not injured, what is the appropriate punishment? In New York the punishment is to destroy the person who didn’t commit the crime because you dislike his politics and he might become President.

On Tuesday, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted the following screenshot and commentary:

So this is a pre-emptive penalty because no actual fraud occurred?

This quirk in New York’s appellate procedure certainly offers one explanation. Engoron and AG Letitia James want to use the process as the punishment, and want to denude Trump of his legitimate wealth right in the middle of a political campaign they oppose. The massive fine will force Trump to either leverage these properties — and with banks outside of New York, thanks to Engoron — or to sell them off and put a large chunk of his wealth into the hands of New York for years

Did Engoron deliberately scale up the judgment to put Trump in this position? Let’s just say that New York’s system incentivizes it — and based on his deportment in the trial, it’s a reasonable conclusion.

It’s tough to overstate the absurdity of this situation. Appellate courts exist to allow citizens to seek redress for injustices in trials, both criminal and civil, that would result in ruination otherwise. This stands that process on its head. To seek redress for an injustice in a New York courtroom, the citizen must participate in his ruination just to knock on the door — even if an injustice has truly occurred. 

Please follow the link to the article to see exactly what is going on. I firmly believe that this verdict will have a chilling effect on business growth in New York in the coming years.

 

Things That Stand In The Way Of Freeing The Israeli Hostages

On Tuesday, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about another planned terrorist attack on Israel that was stopped because of good intelligence and military action.

The article reports:

Perhaps Hamas has not received the memo. Using hospitals as cover and human-shield strategies while plotting terrorist attacks no longer works, at least according to the IDF and Shin Bet. Acting on intelligence that Hamas’ leadership abroad had coordinated weapons distribution from a cell embedded in a Jenin hospital, the IDF conducted a raid and killed its leader and two other operatives.

Hamas had planned to run another October 7-style massacre out of the West Bank using the Ibn Sina hospital as its command center, Israel claims:

According to the Jerusalem Post:

According to a joint statement by the IDF, Israel Police’s YAMAM counterterrorism forces, and the Shin Bet, Hamas terrorist Mohammad Jalamna was killed during the operation, along with two fellow terrorists who hid alongside him at the hospital.

27-year-old Jalamna, a resident of the Jenin refugee camp, held direct communications with Hamas leadership abroad. According to the statement, he was responsible for transferring weaponry and ammunition to Hamas terrorists across the West Bank for shooting attacks targeting Israelis. …

Furthermore, Jalamna used the Jenin hospital as a secret base of operations as he was planning an infiltration attack akin to and inspired by the October 7 massacre, it added.

At some point, we have to admit that the only solution to terrorism is to kill all of the terrorists.

The Times of Israel reported:

“This is not another round, not another exchange of strikes, not another operation – a complete victory,” he tells the Bnei David military academy in Eli. “Nothing less than that. I am committed to it, our fighters are committed to it, and the absolute majority of the people are committed to it. We will not settle for less than total victory.”

Turning to reports of a hostage deal, Netanyahu says that Israel “will not end this war with less than the achievement of all its goals. This means the elimination of Hamas, the return of all our hostages, and the promise that Gaza will no longer pose a threat to Israel.”

“We will not remove the IDF from the Gaza Strip and we will not release thousands of terrorists,” he pledges. “None of this will happen. What will happen? Absolute victory!”

Most Israelis understand that they live in a dangerous neighborhood. They need to let the Netanyahu government finish what Hamas started on October 7.

Even Hamas Opposes A Two-State Solution!

On Monday, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about a recent comment by Hamas Leader Abroad Khaled Mashal.

The article reports:

For Khaled Mashal, it marked the first time that Hamas successfully turned the West into cheerleaders for their genocide, which fuels their fight in Gaza to this day. “From the river to the sea” means exactly what it states, Mashal asserts in this interview caught by MEMRI — and that is a radical-Islamist Palestinian state replacing Israel entirely:

…“I believe that the dream and the hope for Palestine from the River to the Sea and from the north to the south has been renewed. This has also become a slogan chanted in the U.S. and in Western capital cities, by the American and Western public,” he said.

“Palestine is free from the River to the Sea—that’s the slogan of the American students and the [students] in European capital cities.

“The Palestinian consensus—or almost a consensus—is that we will not give up on our right to Palestinian in its entirety, from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea and from Rosh Hanikra to Eilat or the Gulf of Aqaba,” he continued.

The Charter of Hamas has always said that its goal was to drive Israel into the sea. Why are we still surprised when their actions support this goal? I wonder if the Americans chanting “from the river to the sea” understand the meaning of what they are chanting.

As Americans, we need to remember that Hamas’ sponsors in Tehran routinely promise “death to America.” Only Joe Biden, Antony Blinken, and their Obama-administration minders refuse to take that either seriously or literally.

 

 

Only Some Immigrants Are Really Welcome

On September 25th, Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air about the Romeike family. This family fled Germany in 2008 because the German government would not allow them to home-school their children.

The article reports:

The Romeike family fled Germany in 2008 after authorities cracked down on the practice of home-schooling, and applied for asylum in the US. Initially, a judge granted their asylum request, but when the Obama administration appealed the decision, that started a long legal odyssey that may have come to an end late last week:

The family moved to the U.S. from Germany in 2008. Their application for asylum said they were fined by the German government roughly $9,000 after homeschooling their children, court documents show.

An immigration judge initially granted the family’s application for asylum. The U.S. Department of Justice appealed the decision, and the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals revoked the family’s asylum status, documents show.

The family, with the help of the U.S. Home School Defense Association, appealed to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. A three-judge panel unanimously ruled against the family.

“They have not shown that Germany’s enforcement of its general school-attendance law amounts to persecution against them,” Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote for the court.

Did the Biden administration find out that they might be conservative Christians?

Please follow the link to read the rest of the article.

This is ridiculous. We have an open southern border that is letting in murderers, terrorists, cartel members, gang members, etc., and the government had decided to deport a family that includes American citizens. What level of insanity is this?

Holding People Accountable

On Thursday, Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air about a recent common-sense ruling by the Supreme Court.

The article reports:

Alternate headline: Pottery Barn rules apply to walkouts. In an 8-1 decision in which only Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson fully dissented, the Supreme Court ruled today that unions have to reimburse employers for damages caused by striking workers. The National Labor Relations Act does not confer immunity to unions or workers — the latest ruling from a court that has stiffened the boundaries for labor activities in the last few years:

The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that federal labor law did not protect a union from potential liability for damage that arose during a strike, and that a state court should resolve questions of liability.

The majority found that if accusations by an employer are true, actions during a strike by a local Teamsters union were not even arguably protected by federal law because the union took “affirmative steps to endanger” the employer’s property “rather than reasonable precautions to mitigate that risk.” It asked the state court to decide the merits of the accusations.

The opinion, written by Justice Amy Coney Barrett, was joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Brett M. Kavanaugh.

Three conservative justices backed more sweeping concurring opinions. A single justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson, dissented.

The case involved Teamsters who created truckloads of cement and then walked off the job–leaving the trucks full and no one to offload the trucks. Obviously, if the cement was left in the trucks, it would ruin the trucks. The Supreme Court (with the exception of one Justice) held the Teamsters liable for the damage they had caused. Striking is legal–damaging property is not.

The article also notes two important aspects of the case:

The Teamsters argued that they can’t be responsible for hypothetical risks to employer property in the absence of workers. Barrett emphatically rejects that, and concludes that the union organized the walkout specifically to create the highest potential risk of catastrophic damage when they had a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent it…

…Congress created the National Labor Relations Board to deal with labor disputes, not property torts. The latter are matters for civil litigation separate from labor-management negotiations. It’s this argument from KBJ that has Thomas call for an end to the Garmon precedent, and which Alito et al expressly reject in their concurrence. To think otherwise would be to create an Open Season on employers’ property under the guise of ‘negotiations.’

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It includes some very interesting arguments.

At Least Some Of Our Constitution Still Works

On Tuesday, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about a recent ruling by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The article reports:

A U.S. appeals court on Monday said the White House could not require federal contractors to ensure that their workers are vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of government contracts.

The U.S. government has contracts with thousands of companies, and courts have said the issue could affect up to 20% of U.S. workers.

A panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to uphold a lower court decision that blocked President Joe Biden’s September 2021 contractor vaccine executive order in those states after Louisiana, Indiana, and Mississippi brought suit to seek invalidation of the mandate.

The article also notes:

It’s important to remember that this case deals with private sector employees, not federal government workers. The executive branch does have the authority to set working conditions in its own workplaces, limited by the obvious laws (the Constitution especially) and the need to work within collective-bargaining contracts. In this mandate, Biden attempted to force private-sector companies that provide goods and services to the federal government to impose vaccination requirements on their own workforces, and claimed that the Procurement Act provided Biden with that authority and jurisdiction.

The article concludes:

By the way, the court never does get to one of the core issues in this mandate — the fact that the extant vaccines neither stop transmission nor uptake. They do have a demonstrated positive effect in minimizing acute and severe cases of COVID, but that’s not the issue in workplace vaccine requirements. The only reason to impose such an order would be to stop transmission of an infectious disease, which none of the vaccines actually do. The only effect is personal and individual, and so the choice should be personal as well — just as with the tobacco analogy the Fifth Circuit wisely uses for demonstration.

The administration is fighting a battle they will lose on multiple fronts, in other words. They can appeal this to the Supreme Court, but that’s likely to deliver the same result in an ironclad historical precedent. Unlike the Academia bailout, Biden has no real political interest in fighting this out with the Supreme Court, and thus we may have seen the last of this battle.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. The arguments made on both sides are very interesting.

The Coming Increase In Gasoline Prices

On Monday, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air reported that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is planning a major decrease in oil production in order to get the price of oil back to $100 a barrel.

The article quotes a CNBC article:

An influential alliance of some of the world’s most powerful oil producers is reportedly considering their largest output cut since the start of the coronavirus pandemic this week, a historic move that energy analysts say could push oil prices back toward triple digits.

OPEC and non-OPEC producers, a group often referred to as OPEC+, will meet in Vienna, Austria, on Wednesday to decide on the next phase of production policy.

The oil cartel and its allies are considering an output cut of more than a million barrels per day, according to OPEC+ sources who spoke to Reuters.

“The OPEC ministers are not going to come to Austria for the first time in two years to do nothing. So there’s going to be a cut of some historic kind,” Dan Pickering, CIO of Pickering Energy Partners, said, referring to the group’s first in-person meeting since 2020.

This is the cost of America giving up its energy dependence. I can’t emphasize often enough that we were energy independent under President Trump and were able to help the American economy and the American consumer by the domestic production of oil. The election of Joe Biden changed all of that. Even if the Republicans take Congress this year and a Republican becomes President in 2024, it will take a while to bring American energy back to what it was under President Trump. Hopefully the American economy can hold out that long without collapsing.

The article concludes:

Of course, Biden could put the US on a footing that would allow us to dictate not just production levels but also heavily influence oil prices to deny Vladimir Putin his excess revenue stream. Rather than choke off exploration and extraction, Biden could cancel his EO 13990 and reverse his lease-sales policies to encourage more investment in oil and natural gas production. That would unleash massive new resources for both domestic use and export, and even the initial steps would shock oil futures markets into accounting for sudden new production levels from the US. Biden won’t do it, however, because he’s more in thrall of his progressive-environmental Left than he is focused on economic and strategic national-security concerns.

So once again, we’ll be dancing to any tune that OPEC+ plays. It’s yet another reminder of Joe Biden’s 1970s revival in all the wrong ways.

I could have dealt with leisure suits and platform shoes coming back–but I can’t deal with gas lines and ultra-expensive gasoline again.

The Globalists Have Hit A Snag

On Monday, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about the recent Italian elections.

The article reports:

Voters in yet another EU nation turned away from the leftward tilt of Brussels and more toward self-determination. Italy has elected its first right-wing coalition government in decades, and will almost certainly have its first female prime minister. Georgia Meloni led her Brothers of Italy into a dominant role in the coalition, as both CNN and Reuters describe this as “the most right-wing government since World War II”:

The mainstream media is in panic mode.

CNN reported:

Brothers of Italy leader Giorgia Meloni has claimed victory in a general election that seems set to install her as Italy’s first female prime minister, leading the most far-right government since the fascist era of Benito Mussolini.

Addressing the media and supporters in the early hours of Monday morning, Meloni said it was “a night of pride for many and a night of redemption.”

“It’s a victory I want to dedicate to everyone who is no longer with us and wanted this night,” she said. “Starting tomorrow we have to show our value … Italians chose us, and we will not betray it, as we never have,” she said.

Preliminary results put an alliance of far-right parties, led by Meloni’s ultraconservative Brothers of Italy party, on track to win at least 44% of the vote, according to the Italian Interior Ministry.

Ed Morrissey notes:

Ahem. If Italy had elected Mitt Romney, that would also be “the most far-right government” since Mussolini. In American terms, Italy’s politics has ranged from the CPUSA to, say, Bill Clinton since World War II. Even Silvio Berlusconi fit within the left-of-center EU salons while dabbling in populism and narcissism.

The article at Hot Air concludes:

Frankly, from this description, Meloni appears to be a business-as-usual politician. If Draghi finds her mainstream enough to maintain a political engagement with Meloni, and if Meloni has already set in place the relationships that will make coalition-building and consensus possible, that doesn’t sound very “fascist” to me — and not even very “far right,” for that matter. Time will tell, but this looks like yet another media freak-out over not very much except something that doesn’t suit their tastes.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It’s fun to watch the media go crazy because someone got elected who might actually understand that they work for the people.

Has This Lady Read The U.S. Constitution?

On Friday, The Hill posted an article about a recent comment by Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan.

The article reports:

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan said on Thursday at a conference that the legitimacy of the Supreme Court is tied to its conformity to public opinion, Reuters first reported.

“I’m not talking about any particular decision or even any particular series of decisions, but if over time the court loses all connection with the public and with public sentiment, that’s a dangerous thing for a democracy,” Kagan said at a judicial conference in Montana.

…Kagan said at the conference that the court earns its legitimacy by remaining impartial and nonpartisan.

“Overall, the way the court retains its legitimacy and fosters public confidence is by acting like a court, is by doing the kinds of things that do not seem to people political or partisan,” she said.

Kagan referenced times in history when Supreme Court justices failed to discipline themselves and instead “attempted to basically enact their own policy or political or social preferences,” saying that this puts court legitimacy at risk.

This is an amazing statement. The only thing the Supreme Court is required to be tied to is the U.S. Constitution.

On Saturday, Ed Morrissey posted the following at Hot Air:

Liberal Justice Elena Kagan said on Thursday that it would be a “dangerous thing for a democracy” if the conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court loses the confidence of the American public.

Speaking in public for the first time since the court’s momentous ruling last month that overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide, Kagan stressed the importance of the justices staying in their proper roles as judges and not dictating public policy.

The problem with Roe v. Wade actually had very little to do with abortion. The problem with Roe v. Wade was the Tenth Amendment.

The Tenth Amendment states:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Abortion is an issue that needs to be determined by every state–by legislators voted in by the people of that state and answerable to the people of that state. The Supreme Court simply overturned a decision that was unconstitutional. They did not end abortion–they simply left it up to each state to make the laws that the people in that state want.

This Is Where We Are

Yesterday Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air detailing some of the players and events in recent days in Afghanistan.

The article quotes one of President Biden’s recent statements about Afghanistan:

Look, let’s put this thing in perspective here. What interest do we have in Afghanistan at this point with al Qaeda gone? We went to Afghanistan for the express purpose of getting rid of al Qaeda in Afghanistan, as well as — as well as getting Osama bin Laden. And we did.

Well, not so fast.

The article reports:

Say, remember when Joe Biden assured us that al-Qaeda was “gone” from Afghanistan? Ten days later, the security chief for Osama bin Laden at Tora Bora returned to his home province in Nangarhar, amid adulation — and Taliban protection. Amin ul-Haq even flashed a thumbs-up to his admirers out an open window as Taliban troops waved his car through a checkpoint.

In FDD’s Long War Journal, Bill Roggio reports:

Dr. Amin al Haq, the former head of bin Laden’s Black Guard, was captured on video in a large convoy as it traveled through a checkpoint in Nangarhar province. Haq was accompanied by a large convoy of heavily armed Taliban fighters in brand new SUVs. A small crowd flocked to Haq to shake his hand and take selfies with him.

The video of al Haq is evidence that Al Qaeda commanders now feel secure enough to appear publicly in a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

The article at Hot Air includes a screenshot of the Taliban’s new arsenal:

I don’t care how much the media spins this–it is not good news.

 

We Need To Add The Concept Of Ethics Back Into Our Scientific Work

Hot Air posted an article today related to the origins of the coronavirus. However, there is some very troubling information about some other research carried out by the Chinese in the article. It is quite possible that the coronavirus pandemic was the result of a laboratory leak at the Wuhan Laboratory, but the question remains as to exactly what was being studied during the time of the leak.

The article reports:

Ed (Morrissey)  grabbed the big takeaway from the splashy new Vanity Fair piece this morning, that federal efforts to investigate the lab-leak theory were hamstrung by numerous conflicts of interest within the public-health bureaucracy.

But here’s a provocative bit of news buried deeper in the story that’s worth some attention.

There’s no smoking gun of wrongdoing, just an … interesting coincidence.

As the NSC tracked these disparate clues, U.S. government virologists advising them flagged one study first submitted in April 2020. Eleven of its 23 coauthors worked for the Academy of Military Medical Sciences, the Chinese army’s medical research institute. Using the gene-editing technology known as CRISPR, the researchers had engineered mice with humanized lungs, then studied their susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2. As the NSC officials worked backward from the date of publication to establish a timeline for the study, it became clear that the mice had been engineered sometime in the summer of 2019, before the pandemic even started. The NSC officials were left wondering: Had the Chinese military been running viruses through humanized mouse models, to see which might be infectious to humans?

Believing they had uncovered important evidence in favor of the lab-leak hypothesis, the NSC investigators began reaching out to other agencies. That’s when the hammer came down. “We were dismissed,” said Anthony Ruggiero, the NSC’s senior director for counterproliferation and biodefense. “The response was very negative.”

Please follow the link above to read the entire article and the related article. There seems to be a lot more to Chinese gain-of-function research than previously noted. Hopefully the truth of what was going on will be  uncovered in the near future.

Another Misnamed Bill

Yesterday Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air about the Biden administration’s infrastructure bill. Just as the Covid Relief Bill was not about Covid relief, the infrastructure bill is not about infrastructure.

The article quotes The Wall Street Journals description of the bill:

Most Americans think of infrastructure as roads, highways, bridges and other traditional public works. That’s why it polls well, and every President has supported more of it.

Yet this accounts for a mere $115 billion of Mr. Biden’s proposal. There’s another $25 billion for airports and $17 billion for ports and waterways that also fill a public purpose. The rest of the $620 billion earmarked for “transportation” are subsidies for green energy and payouts to unions for the jobs his climate regulation will kill. This is really a plan to build government back bigger than it has ever been.

The magnitude of spending is something to behold. There’s $85 billion for mass transit plus $80 billion for Amtrak, which is on top of the $70 billion that Congress appropriated for mass transit in three Covid spending bills. The money is essentially a bailout for unions, whose generous pay and benefits have captured funds meant for subway and rail repairs. …

Note the political irony of all this. Mr. Biden says “public investment” has fallen as a share of the economy since the 1960s, and he has a point. But the main reason is that government spending on social welfare, entitlements and public unions have squeezed out public works. Now he’s redefining social welfare as public works to drive more social-welfare spending, which will further crowd out money for public works and government R&D to compete against China.

Essentially the bill is a place to park all of the legislation the Democrats want passed, but know won’t pass if correctly named.

The article concludes:

That’s not an accident. That’s by design. Rather than stick to real infrastructure needs, Biden wants to use this bait-and-switch to aggrandize power within the Beltway and make everyone more dependent on grants from lawmakers. It is precisely on the same curve as Biden’s entire political career, including his record on honesty and transparency.

Never read the titles of bills–they never tell the truth!

False Claims To Calm The Masses

Yesterday Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air about some recent claims made by John Kerry, President Biden’s special presidential envoy for climate. For the moment I am going to overlook the irony of a special presidential envoy for climate with a private jet and a yacht and focus on recent statements John Kerry made.

The article notes that The Washington Post gave John Kerry two Pinocchios for his recent claims about the new jobs that will be created in the solar industry.

The Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler noted some of John Kerry’s recent remarks:

“You look at the consequences of black lung for a miner, for instance, and measure that against the fastest-growing job in the United States before covid was solar power technician. The same people can do those jobs, but the choice of doing the solar power one now is a better choice. And similarly, you have the second-fastest-growing job pre-covid was wind turbine technician.”

— John F. Kerry, special presidential envoy for climate, in remarks at the White House, Jan. 27, 2021

“Before covid, the fastest-growing job in the United States of America was solar panel technician, and the second-fastest-growing job was wind turbine technician.”

— Kerry, remarks on MSNBC, Jan. 28

However, Mr. Kessler points out that the numbers just don’t add up:

Wind turbine jobs are projected to go up by 4,300, from 7,000 to 11,300 in 10 years. The solar installer jobs are projected to go up 6,100, from 12,000 to 18,100. That’s a total increase of just 10,400 jobs — leaving 40,000 coal workers still toiling in the mines.

…BLS has a convenient list of the 30 occupations with the most projected job growth. No. 1 is home health and personal-care aides — with a projected gain of nearly 1.2 million jobs. Nurse practitioners show up in 13th place. But wind and solar jobs don’t make the cut at all.

In fact, when we tried to find solar and wind on another BLS list — jobs ranked by projected annual openings through 2029 — we had to scroll past about 600 occupations before we landed on solar installers, with an average of 2,300 openings a year. Wind turbine jobs, with a projected average of 1,300 openings a year, was even further down the list.

The article at Hot Air concludes:

Obama, Kerry, and Biden had eight years to prove the assertion that massive government subsidies in renewable energy would pay off with “millions” of green-tech jobs.  Remind us again how many wind and solar installer jobs America currently has 12 years after the massive Porkulus bill?

The most significant lie here isn’t Kerry’s statistical claims. It’s that this administration cares one whit about energy-sector jobs while they take every step they can to destroy them without viable employment or energy options.

That’s where we are, folks!

Just Amazing

We heard a lot from Congressional Democrats that President Trump did not act fast enough to provide the coronavirus relief that was needed to save small businesses. That means that now that Democrats have control of all three branches of government, we can expect swift action, right? Well, not so fast.

Yesterday Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article with the following headline, “Wait, what happened to “no time to waste” on “immediate relief”? Dems to send Biden a COVID relief bill in … March.”

The article reports:

…The Biden administration has already sent its proposal to Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Supposedly, that’s part of their ready on Day One agenda. Not that it had to be, since we just passed a trillion-dollar relief package less than four weeks ago. However, Democrats ever since have complained that it was insufficient, and those insufficiencies amounted to a crisis.

CNet followed up this morning by reading tea leaves in Schumer’s floor speech yesterday. What has become a “little clearer,” as CNet puts it, are Schumer’s priorities — and right now Donald Trump is Priority One:

Now that Joe Biden has been officially sworn in as US president, his framework for a $1.9 trillion stimulus package has taken on a new, official gravity. When could it pass, and when could the IRS send the third stimulus check, which Biden has proposed for up to $1,400 per qualified adult? The answers became a little clearer on Tuesday, after incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer reaffirmed his agenda for the new Senate.

“Over the next several weeks, the Senate must accomplish three essential items: A second impeachment trial of Donald Trump. The confirmation of President Biden’s cabinet and other key officials. And legislation to provide much-needed, almost desperately needed COVID relief,” Schumer said from the Senate floor. …

Right now, Biden’s stimulus proposal is just that — a framework. It will have to begin to transforming into a law, with all the legal language that can come under extraordinary scrutiny and debate. We know that Biden’s first 10 days in office will focus on a raft of executive actions. Biden can’t send stimulus checks by executive order.

According to a Jan. 19 newsletter from Punchbowl News, a Capitol Hill-based publication founded in January by former Politico journalists: “House Democrats now tell us they are aiming to pass Joe Biden’s massive Covid relief package by late February or early March, according to multiple sources involved in the effort.”

So it’s more important to impeach a President who is no longer in office than to provide relief for Americans dealing with the coronavirus. Way to go, Democrats. If 2022 is an honest election, many of you may be looking for jobs in 2023.

When The Media Breaks The Law

Yesterday Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air about the latest chapter in the saga of Nick Sandmann and the settlements reached with CNN and The Washington Post.

The article notes:

The first rule of Settlement Club is that you don’t talk about Settlement Club. And the second rule of Settlement Club — ah, heck, the first fifty rules of Settlement Club is that you don’t talk about settlements in lawsuits with mutual gag rules in place. Apparently that didn’t sink in at CNN or the Washington Post after both media outlets decided to quietly end the litigation brought by Nicholas Sandmann. Their employees went on social media attempting to spin the settlement and suggest that Sandmann only got a minimal payment to shut him up.

Big mistake, Sandmann attorney Lin Wood made clear almost immediately. “I know how to deal with liars,” Wood tweeted, and warned that new lawsuits would be filed unless “heads rolled” at both outlets:

…This started with speculation that Sandmann had indeed gotten paid nothing more than “nuisance value.” Law & Crime wrote a pretty comprehensive overview of the social-media discussion of that premise after some attorneys unconnected to the case tried to read the tea leaves from various announcements in both cases. It’s worth reading, at least for the legal theories behind the speculation. That included a rather anodyne statement from Wood expressing his opinion that the speculation was “uninformed, errant nonsense,” but added that “questions about confidentiality and the timing of the settlement will have to be directed to others.” Wood didn’t threaten anyone over the speculation — because they were not party to the confidentiality agreement, and neither was Law & Crime.

That isn’t the case with Stelter, Rangappa, and Zak. They work for the respondents in these lawsuits and act as their agents. As soon as they published and expanded on the speculation, they characterized the settlement in terms their employer specifically agreed not to do. Not only does that open up new avenues for Sandmann against the Post and CNN, it might allow Wood to add the three as respondents in a new libel/defamation action.

This may seem like a minor thing, but it is important that both parties act in accordance with the agreement they signed. I can understand why CNN and The Washington Post would want people to think that the settlement was small–they want to discourage future lawsuits. I can understand why Lin Wood would want to give the impression of a large settlement–it might discourage future character assassination of innocent people by the media.

Stay tuned. There may be more coming.

Some Common Sense From The Minneapolis City Council

Yesterday Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about a recent decision by the Minneapolis City Council.

The article reports:

Give credit where due for thinking outside of the box, I guess, although this idea belongs in a box … buried under the St. Anthony Falls. In the Minneapolis city council’s haste to prove it doesn’t need a professional and trained police force to keep the peace, they nearly decided to pay ad hoc bands of armed citizens to patrol the streets. Only late inquiries about this proposal from city residents and local media managed to change their minds:

The Minneapolis City Council briefly considered diverting money from police to citizen patrols, with the council’s public safety chairwoman suggesting an armed group as one that could potentially benefit.

During a budget meeting last week, Council Member Alondra Cano proposed cutting $500,000 from the Minneapolis Police Department for the citizen groups.

She described it as an effort to “respond to the hundreds of people who have formed their own community safety patrol systems to keep their blocks and their neighborhoods safe in this time of deep transition.”

She and nine of her colleagues voted in favor of adding the provision to the 2020 budget. On Wednesday, after residents and reporters contacted city officials seeking details about the proposal, the council walked it back.

Common sense made a brief appearance in the Minneapolis City Council.

The article concludes:

The Star Tribune notes that the city council seems to be out of rational ideas about how to make their no-policy fantasy into reality, which is how vigilantism nearly got a $500,000 grant and endorsement:

The change reveals how the City Council is struggling to come up with alternatives to the Minneapolis Police Department, even as a majority has vowed to end it. Council members and city staffers have, at times, found themselves unclear about what various proposals mean, even after they have voted on them.

In other words, the city council is completely incompetent, and now obviously so. This would qualify as satire if not for the lives that have already been lost and the lives that will be lost in the near future due to their failures to perform their basic duties as public officials. The city council is responsible for the police department and its performance, but they do not want Minneapolis residents to realize that. Instead, they want to pretend that a modern city of 425,000-plus residents don’t need law enforcement, mainly because they want to abdicate their own responsibilities for managing it.

Minneapolis is a home-rule charter city, so the state doesn’t have too many options in dealing with this disaster. The city’s voters will have to act to put an end to the circus they elected. In the meantime, the cities around them will have to deal with the fallout — and business owners will start looking elsewhere for better environments in which to operate.

This is the reason voting matters. The only way to improve the government of Minneapolis is to vote for people who actually understand how to make things better. The current city council obviously does not.

The Problem With Mail-In Voting

Yesterday Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about the recent primary in New York State. The primary was held on June 23. All voters had until May 29 to register online, in person at a local board of elections, or by mailing in a voter registration form.

The article reports:

How badly has the state of New York handled its vote-by-mail primary? Only today did the Associated Press make the call on the race in NY-16, concluding three weeks after the election that Rep. Eliot Engel lost to his primary challenger, progressive insurgent Jamaal Bowman — by sixteen points. It took that long to get through enough of the mail-in ballots and navigate the opaque reporting on the count for the AP to reach a firm conclusion in a landslide for Bowman.

That race is no fluke, either. The New York Times reports that some races have only a handful of ballots counted, and that outcomes of many of the primary contests have yet to be determined, more than three weeks after the election day. This portends disaster in November, the Times warns:

More than three weeks after the New York primaries, election officials have not yet counted an untold number of mail-in absentee ballots, leaving numerous closely watched races unresolved, including three key Democratic congressional contests.

The absentee ballot count — greatly inflated this year because the state expanded the vote-by-mail option because of the coronavirus pandemic — has been painstakingly slow, and hard to track, with no running account of the vote totals available.

In some cases, the tiny number of ballots counted has bordered on the absurd: In the 12th Congressional District, where Representative Carolyn B. Maloney is fighting for her political life against her challenger, Suraj Patel, only 800 of some 65,000 absentee ballots had been tabulated as of Wednesday, according to Mr. Patel, though thousands had been disqualified. …

The delays in New York’s primaries raise huge concerns about how the state will handle the general election in November, and may offer a cautionary note for other states as they weigh whether to embrace, and how to implement, a vote-by-mail system because of the pandemic.

Most voter fraud occurs in absentee ballots or mail-in ballots. This is the place where ballot harvesting occurs–a person can go into a nursing home, get people with limited cognitive ability to sign a ballot, and fill out the ballot themselves and turn it in. Ballots can be stolen from mailboxes, filled out, and turned in. It is a nightmare to anyone who wants an honest election.

The article at Hot Air concludes:

The vote-by-mail system, however, truly is a disaster, and not just over security concerns. The timelines in our Constitution are too tight for the kinds of delays seen in this year’s primaries. We are at risk of being without a legitimate Congress as well as a legitimate president by the time the deadlines for both are reached. The only way to ensure that we can meet those deadlines is to vote in person by paper ballots utilizing optical-scan technology for fast and accurate counts. The delay from a relative small number of contests in that system where absentee ballots could make the difference will be easy to absorb, but we can’t wait several weeks to confirm outcomes in races with double-digit in-person vote gaps.

Stop pretending this is a Trump problem. This is an electoral legitimacy problem in more than one aspect, and it’s time we treated it as such. If we can go to Walmart in this pandemic, we certainly can figure out how to vote in person to choose this country’s leadership.

The Satellite Tells The Real Story

Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air today about a recent explosion in Iran. The Iranian government claimed that the explosion that rattled nearby Tehran on Friday took place in a civilian area of Parchin and not at their secret nuclear-weapons research or missile research facilities. They even supplied photos of a burnt industrial gas tank, photos which turned out to be not entirely convincing.

The article reports:

An explosion that rattled Iran’s capital came from an area in its eastern mountains that analysts believe hides an underground tunnel system and missile production sites, satellite photographs showed Saturday.

What exploded in the incident early Friday that sent a massive fireball into the sky near Tehran remains unclear, as does the cause of the blast.

The unusual response of the Iranian government in the aftermath of the explosion, however, underscores the sensitive nature of an area near where international inspectors believe the Islamic Republic conducted high-explosive tests two decades ago for nuclear weapon triggers.

…Western analysts viewing the European Commission satellite photos believe that the explosion took place in a missile-building or missile-assembly area underground. The Iranians have moved a substantial part of their missile program underground over the years to hide it from these same kinds of satellites, but intelligence agencies have a pretty good idea where those locations are and what the Iranians are doing with them.

Still, the missiles aren’t a secret themselves; the Iranians openly brag about their capabilities, even to the point of photoshopping to make them look even more impressive. Why not just tell the truth, if this was an industrial accident? Perhaps because it wasn’t an industrial accident. Iran’s militias in Syria have come under attack by air over the last 24 hours, with Israel being suspected of launching the strikes:

The article concludes:

This brings us back to Parchin and Iran’s missile production and development. Right now, Iran has the missile technology to target Israel, but not a nuclear warhead to put on one of them — we think, anyway. Israel might have decided to slow down their missile production with an act of sabotage at Parchin, perhaps in part just to demonstrate they can do it. Iran has spent the last few years creeping up on Israel via the civil war in Syria, and Israel might have just delivered a kidney punch in return.

That might be why Iran isn’t too keen on admitting that they have holes in their security, let alone have suffered a setback on military production. Theocratic tyrannies don’t last long when their subjects realize their incompetence, and this one’s already on thin ice after shooting down a Ukrainian passenger flight a few months ago. Or so we hope.

Israel (and a number of Arab countries in the Middle East) have a vested interest in preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power with missiles and warheads. Iran has made known its ambitions to create a caliphate in the area. Missiles and warheads would probably make that possible. Israel will do all it can to prevent that.

Protection For Me, But Not For Thee

Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air today about a recent move by the Minneapolis City Council. The article reports that yesterday the council voted unanimously to pursue a still-ambiguous plan to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a more politically correct “Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention.” However, there are some problems with that vote.

The article reports:

The council voted unanimously to advance a proposal that would create a new Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention. Within that, the city could create a division that includes “licensed peace officers,” though it would not be required to do so.

It’s unclear how many, if any, officers would continue to be employed by the city if the proposal passes.

Council Member Cam Gordon said it’s consistent with the pledge from council members to fundamentally alter local policing in the wake of George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis officers.

“Those things that we called the police department are gone,” Gordon said. “Certainly, there is a provision in here that would allow this council or future councils to maintain a Division of Law Enforcement Services, but I think what we need to do is have that possibility there and talk to people about what the future should look like.”

The article explains the problem with that vote:

Maybe we should know what the “future” looks like before changing the present. The city council can’t actually change the present anyway, thanks to a city charter that requires them to maintain a police department with precise staffing levels. The best they can do under the charter is impose a cut of around 20%, but even that would fall afoul of the collective bargaining agreement with the police union. (Agreements negotiated and signed by a succession of progressive city councils, I might add here.) That makes yesterday’s vote an exercise in pusillanimity; there’s no cost to it at all.

It gets worse:

The City of Minneapolis is spending $4,500 a day for private security for three council members who have received threats following the police killing of George Floyd, FOX 9 has learned.

A city spokesperson said the private security details have cost the city $63,000 over the past three weeks.

The three council members who have the security detail – Andrea Jenkins (Ward 8), and Phillipe Cunningham (Ward 4), and Alondra Cano (Ward 9)– have been outspoken proponents of defunding the Minneapolis Police Department.

So while the Council votes to get rid of the police department as it currently exists, the City is paying for private security for three council members. Protection for me, but not for thee. These are the people the voters of Minneapolis elected. I think it might be time to unelect them. We need to remember that the voters have the power to determine leadership. In 2018, the turnout of registered Minneapolis voters was 76%. That is a solid turnout. The voters need to learn to make better choices.

Finding Out Where It Began

Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air today about the search for the origins of the coronavirus. It is not unreasonable to assume that China has not yet told the whole truth about the virus, where it began, and how many people have died in China as a result of the virus.

The article reports:

If Xi Jinping’s propaganda war and economic threats tried to save China from humiliation, it just backfired on Beijing. Health ministers from more than 100 countries have signed onto a call at the United Nations General Assembly for a probe into the origins of COVID, a demand drafted by the European Union. The demand doesn’t name China, but it does name the UN subordinate agency World Health Organization:

More than 100 health ministers from around the world are expected to call for an independent evaluation of the World Health Organization’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic during the organization’s 73rd general assembly on Monday. …

President Trump has been Beijing’s chief accuser, but he is not the only one to have alleged that Chinese officials covered up the virus during its early stages and exacerbated its spread into a pandemic.

The WHO has also faced criticism, with some observers saying the agency was at least far too credulous in believing Beijing’s reassurances, which it then amplified uncritically to the wider world.

The WHO’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has also been under scrutiny after he heaped praise on Beijing’s coronavirus response.

The article concludes:

Xi is stalling for time, and transparently so. He wants to push this off as long as possible to (a) let the momentum behind this push abate somewhat, and (b) get more time to cover up what happened in Wuhan. The UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) and the WHO members who have funded China’s mouthpiece had better strike while the iron is hot.

Finally, perhaps this UNGA rebellion against Xi might take the blinders off the American media, who paint attempts to hold China responsible as some sort of dodge for Trump. It turns out that the US media’s bête noire isn’t the only one pointing the finger at China; in fact, pretty much everyone else but the American media is doing so. The only success Xi has actually had with his propaganda war has been in American newspapers and television broadcasts. If having the notoriously anti-American UNGA side with Trump doesn’t wake up the American media to its exploitation from Beijing, nothing will.

Leadership?

Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air today about a recent statement by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

The article reports:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled Thursday that the House is unlikely to return to session later this month, her clearest indication yet that Congress — like the rest of the country — could remain shuttered for weeks or even longer as the coronavirus crisis continues.

In a half-hour interview, Pelosi issued a stark warning to President Donald Trump, urging him not to prematurely rush to reopen major segments of the country before the coronavirus is under control, which she said could further send the U.S. economy into a tailspin.

“Nobody can really tell you that and I would never venture a guess. I certainly don’t think we should do it sooner than we should,” Pelosi said when asked if she still planned to bring the House back on April 20, which is the current target date.

“This has taken an acceleration from when we started this…Little did we know then that at this point, we’d be further confined.”

It would be nice if the House of Representatives convened to see if they could do anything to help Americans weather the crisis. On the other hand, considering how partisan and ineffective the House of Representatives is, we might actually be better off with them staying home.

The article concludes:

Congress, to put it mildly, is an essential business in constitutional governance. In a national emergency, they need to show up and do their damned jobs. Doctors, nurses, the armed forces, the National Guard, police, paramedics, firefighters, and even grocery-store workers and restaurateurs are showing up to their jobs in this national emergency. Shouldn’t we expect the same or more from our elected officials?

Pelosi and McConnell need to get their members back to Washington now. If those don’t want to do those jobs any more, then they should resign and be replaced by people who are more willing to lead in times of crisis. And if Pelosi and McConnell are reluctant to do that, even just to settle how to operate remotely in a national emergency, then Trump should start demanding it publicly — every day, in his coronavirus briefings — by asking, “Where’s Congress?”

Addendum: Not that I’d expect the media to adopt this policy, but they shouldn’t give any political oxygen to members of Congress who aren’t leading in a national crisis…

Why are we paying Congress right now while Americans are missing paychecks?

Waiting For The Next Step

For thirty-five years, I lived about ten miles from Kraft Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. New England sports fans are dedicated–even when their team is losing. I learned to appreciate the New England Patriots (actually I am a Jets fan, but I learned to appreciate the talent of the Patriots). I wasn’t really surprised to hear today that Tom Brady will be leaving the New England team. It has been an amazing 20 years for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today about Tom Brady’s announcement that he is leaving the New England Patriots.

The article includes an Instagram post by Tom Brady:

The article concludes:

That era has finally closed out, and what an era it was. It was the kind of dominance that free-agency and the draft were designed to prevent by providing parity to the NFL. It seems unlikely that we’ll ever see it again, but that’s part of the fun of playing the games. At the very least, Brady earned that Greatest of All Time title, and we had fun watching him do it — even if many of us were wailing and gnashing our teeth while he did. No matter where he lands, it’s a long shot that Brady can generate that kind of dominance in the time he has left, but he might have enough to take a more complete team to the Super Bowl. Never count him out.

I will miss watching Tom Brady play. He made the game look easy.

 

 

I Think He Needs To Do Some Work On His People Skills

Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air today about a recent Joe Biden event in Detroit.

The article reports:

Say what you want about the inevitable Joe Biden presidential nomination, but at least it will be entertaining. At least, it will be as entertaining as arrogant ignorance ever gets, a combination that Biden has mastered over long decades in the public eye. Biden went stumping for votes in a Detroit auto plant today, a natural venue for campaigning thanks to the Obama administration’s rescue of GM and Chrysler.

Instead, Biden got caught up in a gun-control argument with a worker who accused him of “actively trying to end our Second Amendment right.” Biden offered a pungent reply — “You’re full of s**t!” — and then things got really testy:

…Biden denies in this clip that he wants to confiscate anyone’s guns. One week ago, though, Biden publicly proclaimed that he would put Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke in charge of his gun policy, a former presidential aspirant who explicitly called for gun confiscations by law enforcement following an assault rifle ban.

The Second Amendment may be a problem for Democrat candidates. Recent statements by all of the presidential candidates and many legislators have advocated gun buy-backs (a polite word for gun confiscation). There are a lot of people in America who value their Second Amendment rights either for hunting or for self-protection. I think most voters are smart enough to see the writing on the wall–that we will lose our Second Amendment rights under either a Democrat President or a Democrat Congress. And I do think Joe Biden needs to work on his people skills.

A Small Step Toward Justice

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air is reporting today that there have been some small steps taken by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court to insure that the civil rights of Americans will not be violated as they were in the case of Carter Page.

The article reports:

Substantively, it might not seem like much, but symbolically, this order will sting the FBI and Department of Justice. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court effectively barred any agents involved in the Carter Page FISA warrants from taking part in its proceedings as a consequence of the misconduct that took place in Operation Crossfire Hurricane. Also, the court will now require agents and attorneys to swear under oath explicitly that they have included all potentially exculpatory evidence in their presentations:

A secretive federal court on Wednesday effectively barred F.B.I. officials involved in the wiretapping of a former Trump campaign adviser from appearing before it in other cases at least temporarily, the latest fallout from an internal inquiry into the bureau’s surveillance of the aide.

A 19-page opinion and order by James E. Boasberg, the chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, also largely accepted changes the F.B.I. has said it will make to its process for seeking national-security wiretaps following a damning inspector general report about errors and omissions in applications to monitor the adviser, Carter Page.

But Judge Boasberg ordered law enforcement officials to specifically swear in future cases that the applications to the court contain “all information that might reasonably call into question the accuracy of the information or the reasonableness of any F.B.I. assessment in the application, or otherwise raise doubts about the requested findings.”

…The banishment of Crossfire Hurricane figures is almost certainly meant to be embarrassing, but that’s about as much teeth as FISC has in this situation. As the New York Times’ Charlie Savage points out, the court has limited authority to deal with FBI misconduct. It has no oversight over the Department of Justice at all, which is an executive-branch agency. Presumably the court’s rotating judges had already adopted a more skeptical approach to more recent surveillance warrant applications after reading the Michael Horowitz report, but unless Congress changes the FISA law, courts are still required to follow it.

Speaking of which, the law is due to expire, and Donald Trump has already declared he won’t sign an extension without significant changes. Given what happened in Crossfire Hurricane, few would be surprised to know that, of course:

Unless it it renewed, FISA sunsets on March 15th. There are recommendations on the table to reform the law. President Trump has stated that he will not sign an extension of the law without reforms. Considering how the law was illegally used against him and his campaign, I think that is a very reasonable approach.