The Jury Gets It Right

On Monday, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about the federal court jury that found Mark Houck not guilty. As you may remember, Mark Houck was arrested in an early morning raid on his house by an armed swat team in front of his children. What was his crime? He was charged with violating the The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE Act). Mr. Houck leads a pro-life group that provides sidewalk counseling at abortion clinics in Philadelphia. The incident in question involves one of the abortion clinic escorts harassing Mark Houck’s son. When the case was originally brought to court, the court threw it out. Then the federal government decided to get involved.

The article at Hot Air reports:

By the way, this isn’t over yet. Eleven others face prosecution for FACE Act charges for allegedly blocking access to abortion clinics, as Greg points out in a subsequent tweet. The Daily Signal’s Mary Margaret Olohan covered this in October:

…Amid accusations that it is targeting pro-lifers to silence and intimidate, the Justice Department has charged 11 more pro-life activists with violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act for blocking the entrance of an abortion clinic in 2021.

The 11 activists were charged with FACE Act violations stemming from their 2021 “blockade” of an abortion clinic in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. This blockade was peaceful, pro-life activist AJ Hurley told The Daily Signal on Wednesday evening.

Several of the activists were arrested on the day of the blockade, after reportedly successfully preventing abortions from taking place at the clinic for most of the day, but police reportedly released these activists later in the day after they posted bail for misdemeanor charges, the pro-life news outlet Live Action reported.

The article also notes:

Meanwhile, the FBI has done little to pursue actual acts of vandalism and political violence that targeted pro-life clinics. Two people got indicted last week in Florida. but most other victims have barely heard from the FBI — and the 30-agent raid model somehow didn’t get deployed in these cases, either.

It seems that the process is the punishment at the Department of Justice. It’s yet another good reason that Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans have established a new select committee on the weaponization of federal law enforcement. Mark Houck will no doubt provide chapter and verse on that subject, starting with the astonishing raid over an argument.

 

Good News For Covid Patients In California

On Thursday, Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air about a recent ruling by US District Court Judge William Shubb on enforcement of AB 2098.

The article reports:

Can the state of California enforce its own idea of “scientific consensus” on doctors who treat patients for COVID-19? Not after last night, when US District Court Judge William Shubb slapped an injunction on enforcement of AB 2098. This undoubtedly sets up a showdown at the Ninth Circuit, but for the moment the gag rule on doctors has been shut down.

After reading Shubb’s opinion about how badly the state legislature crafted the law, however, Gavin Newsom might want to think twice about further exposure. In the first place, the law forces doctors to only convey the “scientific consensus” on COVID-19 rather than their own judgment, when no one — not the legislature or its attorneys — can provide a definition of that term in relation to COVID-19:

…Shubb agrees with the plaintiffs in this action, noting that the “scientific consensus” regarding a novel virus only under study for three years is at best an aspirational concept. In practice, as Shubb notes, the “consensus” — as defined by California’s reliance on public-health officials — has changed repeatedly in that time. That puts every doctor at risk for prosecution in California no matter what they might say in any given moment, a standard so unreliable as to practically embody the terms “arbitrary” and “capricious”:

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. Physicians know their patients better than the government. A physician is much more able to look at a patient, understand the degree of risk that person will have in dealing with Covid. There doesn’t seem to be logic in the way different people react to Covid, and doctors should be allowed to do what they think is best for their patients. For example, the doctors at Frontline Doctors had a very high success rate in treating Covid patients, yet the government did everything possible to silence them and to prevent them from successfully treating patients.

Hopefully this case is the beginning of patients and doctors reclaiming the rights of Americans to good medical care.

Penalizing One Group Of People To Save Money For Another

There is a housing crisis in America. Housing prices have skyrocketed (although they have come down slightly and the real estate market has cooled as interest rates have increased). Rents are going up and inflation is making it difficult for people to pay their rents. This will eventually work itself out, but unfortunately, the government is planning to get involved.

On Wednesday, Hot Air posted the following headline, “First step towards national rent control? Biden admin to mandate “fairness”” Government “fairness” has a way of not being fair.

The article reports:

If you’ve been renting, especially a single-family house vice an apartment, you’ve been on pins and needles the entire time, not knowing if it would be sold out from under you if the owner decides to cash in on good times, vice continues to deal with tenants. Almost every aspect has been fraught with anxiety for all concerned.

A good portion of this is attributable to measures taken (with questionable authority) by the Centers for Disease Control. In an unprecedented order on 1 September 2020, the CDC brought an immediate – and “temporary” – halt in residential evictions to “prevent the further spread of COVID-19.” Congress and then the Biden administration extended that order through various incarnations for another year, claiming a surge in Delta variant infections justified it.

What is being overlooked here is that fact that even if t he renter cannot affort to pay his rent, the homeowner is still required to pay his mortgage.The renter may not be evicted, but the owner is in danger of foreclosure.

The article concludes:

Also, please note – there’s nothing about independent landlord protections. Who is going to want to rent their home to anyone and face not getting paid with the government’s stamp of approval? Here people were, hoping for rents to start easing off some and housing to open back up. ‘Tis to laugh.

The government’s going to sanction both non-payment of rent and pay for the scofflaw’s lawyers? As the landlord is also a taxpayer, you could look at it that he’s getting shafted twice in this deal.

Well, hello. There’s another house sold to Blackrock for cash.

We need to look at any government interference against the free market as an attack on our freedom and treat it as such.

The CDC Censored Information On Defensive Gun Uses (DGUs)

On Saturday, Hot Air posted an article about the CDC’s censorship Defensive Gun Uses statistics.

The article reports:

Gun control activists know that Defensive Gun Uses (DGUs) are a thorn on their side because they make selling gun control harder. Therefore, in what can be uncharitably described as a conspiracy against the civil rights of The People, they mounted a months-long pressure campaign, using influence from a Democrat Senator and the White House, to privately meet with CDC officials to get higher-end DGU statistics removed from the CDC website.

Beth Reimels, Associate Director for Policy, Partnerships, and Strategic Communication at the CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention, said in one email to the three advocates on December 10th. “We will also make some edits to the content we discussed that I think will address the concerns you and other partners have raised.”

While conspiring with gun control activists behind closed doors, the CDC at the same time did not bother reaching out to the researcher whose higher-end DGU estimates were yanked from the CDC website:

Kleck, Professor Emeritus at Florida State University’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, stood by his research. He said the CDC did not reach out to him for his perspective before making the change. He argued the removal of the reference to his estimate was “blatant censorship” and said it was evidence of the politicization of the agency.

The article also notes the lack of media coverage of the censoring of the statistics:

What the CDC did was indeed censorship, but there’s more censorship at play here. And that’s the mainstream media’s complete and total blackout of this story. I have been following the news just about daily to see who does and doesn’t cover this story. So far, to the best of my knowledge, the only coverage from a large media organization has come from Fox News, who reported on the collusion between the CDC and gun control activists, and then followed up with another story on some Republicans in Congress demanding that the CDC reinstate the statistics. Other than these stories, there’s minor coverage at The Daily Caller, Real Clear Politics, and the New York Post which reports it as the “grumbling” of a researcher.

It seems as if some of our government agencies are not being honest about sharing important information with their fellow Americans.

Refusing To Acknowledge Achievement

On December 24th, Hot Air posted an article about Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology located in Fairfax County, Virginia.

The article reports:

Located in Fairfax County, Virginia, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology has long been ranked as one of the premiere high schools in the nation. It’s a “magnet” charter school that focuses on the sciences and STEM curricula. But for several years now you wouldn’t have guessed that based on the school’s record of students receiving National Merit awards. That’s because none of the students reportedly received those honors. Except that’s not true at all. The top students in the school did indeed receive National Merit awards, but two administrators at TJ have been withholding notifications of the awards from students. They reportedly did this as part of their “equitable grading policy.” And the parents of students who were not credited with those achievements are seeing red.

Refusing to reward accomplishment does not promote equity–it simply removes the incentive for students to try to achieve. If achievement is recognized, it provides motivation for struggling students to try harder.

The article concludes:

The student mentioned in the excerpt above took the PSAT and achieved a score that placed him in the top three percent of students in the nation, along with winning a National Merit award. But he couldn’t list that on his college applications because he was never informed that he received it. This year, after being caught, the school did eventually distribute the awards, but they waited until after the early college admission deadline had passed.

The principal of the school and the director of student services reportedly conspired to withhold the awards for years, impacting as many as 1,200 students. Under their “equitable grading policy” described above, almost no student will ever fail and they get a 50% grade just for showing up. This is being described as a “race to the bottom,” which definitely sounds accurate.

As we’ve seen with other charter schools in California, efforts have been underway to eliminate merit-based achievements. In the opinion of the progressives pushing such “reforms,” too many of the “wrong” types of students were getting the awards, most commonly students from Asian families. To correct what they see as an “unfair” system, they keep lowering the standards until everyone reaches equality. Tragically, it’s an equality of poor performance. This barely disguised racism should not be tolerated and it’s a mystery why Thomas Jefferson High School continues to employ the administrators who were responsible for this plot.

This is socialism in education–no one is allowed to be rewarded for their efforts and eventually the achievers stop achieving.

 

The Reverse Impact Of Releasing Donald Trump’s Tax Returns

The real lesson in looking at President Trump’s tax returns is that he lost money while he was President. Not only did his businesses lose money–he refused to take a salary. Contrast that with some of our recent Presidents who were middle class when they arrived at the White House and left as millionaires. Or contrast that with Congressmen who arrived in Washington as members of the middle class and left a few years later as millionaires.

On Friday, Hot Air noted the following:

He is already rich. So rich that he donated his salary every year that he was president.

All the ridiculous talk of emoluments, schemes to use the office to enrich himself seemed beside the point. Trump loves himself some money and will do ridiculous things to make it, but even if he did use his office to enrich himself he wouldn’t be stupid enough to have it show up on his tax returns.

And sure enough, his returns tell us little except that Trump seems to be the only human being on the planet who didn’t get richer while he was president. He lost over a billion dollars of net worth.

As with most Trump controversies, it was much ado about nothing. Nothing bad was done by Trump, and while lots of commentators are cherry picking years when Trump paid little in taxes due to business losses, they ignore the fact that over his presidency he paid a million dollars in taxes.

Trump never claimed that he liked paying taxes; he even bragged that he did everything he could legally to avoid the practice. As any red-blooded American should. The federal government wastes trillions of dollars and you are an idiot to simply donate to the government what isn’t legally required.

The article also notes:

I would be much more interested in seeing the financials of politicians who entered office without much wealth but have grown immensely wealthy during their tenure. By what mechanism, exactly, did they do this on their relatively modest salaries? What about their families, who also often find their fortunes improve during their tenure.

The idea that anybody who supports Joe Biden could care about any financial malfeasance by Trump is ludicrous. The Biden family is little more than a circle of grifters using Joe’s political connections to get rich. Bill Clinton entered office a relative pauper and together with Hillary is now worth north of $100 million.

That is quite an achievement for a guy who has never worked in business. “Public service” has been very good to the Clintons, I would say.

The article comes to the only really logical conclusion:

Not every grifter is a Leftist–there are plenty to go around–but nearly every Leftist is a grifter.

Still, I am not that interested in seeing their tax returns. I am sure their accountants are as good at manipulating numbers as well as Trump’s. What I would really like to see is somebody doing a correlation between the investments of politicians and the legislation they write and have access to.

That would be a great project for a forensic accountant.

The correlation between investments and legislation would be fascinating I am sure!

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.

When A Prank Isn’t A Prank

On Tuesday, The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about the dinner hosted by President Trump that included a white supremacist. The more honest media has explained that Nick Fuentes, a known white supremacist was brought to Mar-a-Lago by Kanye West. In an article posted Tuesday, Hot Air explains that Milo Yiannopoulos set up the dinner to troll President Trump. If nothing else, this even illustrates that President Trump trusted someone he considered a friend and got stabbed in the back. However, the American media, being what it is, has used to event to attempt to convince its readers that Republicans are white supremacists. Unfortunately, many Americans don’t know any better.

The Conservative Treehouse notes:

As NBC has now outlined in detail, a trio of dubious characters leveraged President Trump’s previous support for troubled Kanye West as an opportunity for an intentional smear campaign construct by Milo Yiannopoulos, Nick Fuentes and Kanye West himself. [Details Here]  Mr. West, now known as Ye, intended to make trouble by bringing uninvited guests along to carry out the operation.

The media and political opposition gleefully latched on to the successful targeting operation, in an effort to smear Donald Trump.  In typical Alinsky fashion, the goal is to controversialize the operational target.  Senator Mitch McConnell followed up today with his own pile on supported by his Senate leadership.

The article at Hot Air concludes:

Trump’s ego was bruised by Kanye who, I think it’s fair to say, has an equally massive ego. But what really happened here is that Milo set this up knowing it would explode and Trump would be left explaining why he was having dinner with an anti-Semite like Fuentes. And of course Trump can say he didn’t know but that just raises the next question which is why is the former president having dinners with complete strangers? It doesn’t seem very professional or smart and clearly it backfired in this case.

On the other hand I’m honestly not sure how any of this was supposed to help Kanye. It sort of makes me wonder if Milo isn’t doing this for his own personal reasons which have nothing to do with Ye’s plans to run for office. Or maybe he just assumed there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Except, as we found out last night, bad publicity seems to be the only kind Ye and Milo can get out of this whole thing.

Milo and Kanye are not people who care about America. It is a shame that they thought it was okay to create this controversy. Unfortunately the media and the Washington Club will play this up for all it is worth. Trump is a threat to the status quo, and based on the ferocity of the attacks on him, he may be exactly the right person to clean up the mess that is Washington.

Misdirected Complaints

Americans have endured record inflation in recent months, partially caused by skyrocketing energy costs. The Biden administration has been quick to take credit when gasoline prices have decreased slightly, but has consistently avoided taking responsibility for the role they have played in the increases in both gasoline and diesel prices. On Monday, Hot Air posted an article about the diesel fuel shortage.

The article reports:

During recent public appearances, President Joe Biden has continued to complain about energy prices as well as the potentially catastrophic shortage of diesel that has been forecast to hit the United States soon, particularly in the northeast. Of course, he never takes the blame for any of this himself. He instead tries to blame the “greedy” energy companies or, of course, Vladimir Putin. He has called for bans on oil and gas exports and even suggested a mandate that diesel stocks be maintained at a higher level. But a new report from the Institute for Energy Research addresses the actual root of these problems. What we’re facing is a significant loss in refinery capacity in the United States and its various territories. We’ve lost more than a million barrels per day in production capacity, but rather than working to rebuild that capacity, the White House is issuing new edicts that will result in diminishing it further.

…Banning petroleum exports (which are already at severely low levels) would only cut off markets, making the American oil and gas industry even less profitable, thereby disincentivizing any efforts to expand capacity. And as for an executive order directing a specific amount of diesel to be kept in stock, well… that’s simply insane. You can’t order more diesel to magically appear with a few scribbles of a pen. Someone has to produce the required oil, move it to a refinery, and create the diesel.

The article concludes:

Energy prices – including diesel – continue to rise and stockpiles continue to fall. We’re talking about a situation where people could literally wind up freezing to death over the course of the winter. There are steps the federal government could be taking to stave off such an outcome and improve the situation. But thus far, the Biden administration is doing the exact opposite. Some of you may want to start stockpiling blankets at this point. You might wind up needing them.

Bad policies have consequences. We are desperately in need of competent people in Washington.

Setting Up Two Classes Of Citizens

On Sunday, Hot Air posted an article about Canada’s plan to tax those citizens who were not vaccinated against Covid-19. Public outcry caused the plan to be scrapped, but it is entirely possible that the plan will show up again, despite growing evidence of the ineffectiveness and dangers of the vaccine.

The article quotes the Canadian Medical Association Journal:

Quebec’s recent move to tax people who refuse COVID-19 vaccinations reopened debate about the merits of such penalties.

Premier François Legault said that choosing to remain unvaccinated has consequences for the health care system and not all Quebecers should foot the bill.

Roughly one in 10 adults in Quebec remain unvaccinated, yet they account for an outsized share of COVID-19 hospitalizations and about half of all intensive care patients.

With hospitals postponing surgeries and some 20 000 health workers sick with COVID-19, fining those who refuse vaccinations becomes “a question of fairness,” Legault said.

The article at Hot Air concludes:

But if Canada is really crazy enough to take a fresh look at this policy, what will they say to all of the people who resisted but were eventually forced to take the vaccines in light of more recent news? Keep in mind that many European nations have now stopped offering the vaccines to all but the oldest and the most at-risk. These nations include Denmark, Germany, France, Ireland, Norway, Italy, Spain and Sweden. Others are considering similar policies as the dangerous side effects of the vaccines for some groups become more apparent. (And that news is finally being allowed to reach the public without immediately being censored.)

If you are fired from your job, you might find a new avenue of employment later. If the government takes some of your money, you may be able to make up for the loss in the future. But once you’ve been injected with these experimental vaccines, you can never be “unvaccinated.” And if you or one of your children suddenly develop a potentially fatal case of Myocarditis, your lives aren’t going to simply “go back to normal.” And it’s worth noting that even the American government is now finally admitting that the new mRNA vaccines will not prevent you from being infected or spreading the virus to others. They just reduce the worst effects of the disease for most people. (I finally caught it in September and managed to make it through to the other side, though I still don’t fully have my senses of taste and smell back.)

The virus is here to stay and it will likely keep morphing into new variants as the seasons go by. In that regard, it’s pretty much the same as the flu at this point. Let’s not return to the craziness of 2020 and 2021, shall we? Making mistakes when we are ignorant of all of the facts about something new is excusable. Continuing to do so after more facts are known is not.

I had the virus before it was fashionable (and before the vaccine). When I had my antibodies tested more than a year later, I still had them. I realize that the virus is dangerous for some people, but I still think the best defense is your own antibodies.

 

Sometimes The Police Are Just Wrong

Not every American is polite. Not every American willingly hands over identification when unjustly stopped by the police. However, police have a responsibility to do their jobs professionally rather than using a person’s bad manners as an excuse to arrest them. On Monday, Hot Air posted an article telling the story of an arrest that I believe should never have been made.

The article reports:

According to the arrest report, the deputy stopped 61-year-old James Hodges, because she thought he may have had a gun in his back pocket.

Hodges objected to being stopped, and shortly after deputies confirmed he was carrying a walking stick. Hodges refused to provide his ID to the deputies, while objecting to being detained.

“He repeatedly refused to allow identification of the object in his his pocket as well as refusing to identify himself,” the arrest report says.

Do police have the right to stop you and question you because they are suspicious of what you have in your pocket?

The story continues:

That’s what happened but it really doesn’t convey the sense of the encounter. Things started off civil with a “Hi there” from the female officer and a “Hey” in response from Hodges. “What’s this in your back pocket?” the officer asked. At that point, Hodges got a bit hostile. “It’s a navigational aid. What’s the problem are you a tyrant?” he replied.

The officer also seems to have abandoned her professionalism by responding in kind “Yeah, I am actually,” she said. It’s downhill from there.

Hodges does some sidewalk lawyering, refusing to give his name and asks what probably cause the officer had to stop him. She explained that it appeared he might have a gun which was not being carried properly. At this point, Hodges pulled out his folded walking stick and showed it to the officer. It turns out he is legally blind though officers didn’t know that at the start of the encounter.

Having established that there was no gun or other weapon involved (and therefore no probably cause to suspect a crime), that ought to be the end of it. Hodges seems content to walk on but the officers aren’t willing to let it go. Instead they handcuff Hodges and pull out his ID. He asks for their names and badge numbers but he’s not resisting in any way. Other than turning his head he’s not moving at all.

When police realized he’s legally blind they asked why he wasn’t using the stick to walk. Hodges replied that he doesn’t have to use it all the time but did need it earlier when he walked to jury duty because it was dark out.

After running his license a voice on the radio says the word “green.” The female officer then said to Hodges, who was still in handcuffs “All right Mr. Hodges was that that hard?”

“It’s gonna be. I want your name and your badge numbers,” Hodges replied. Now he’s not letting it go but he’s still perfectly calm.

The second officer snaps, “You know what, put him in jail for resisting.” And that’s what they did.

The local sheriff’s office says they are investigating the incident. I hope they are. I also hope that Mr. Hodges sues Columbia County Florida for arresting him. Generally I support the police, but I think they were wrong here. Please follow the link to the article to see the video of the arrest.

Delta Owns An Oil Refinery!?!?

On Monday, Hot Air posted an article about the current energy problems in America (and worldwide).

The article quotes The Washington Post:

The country is down to 25 days of diesel supply with stockpiles at their lowest level for this time of year in records going back to 1993. In the Northeast, where more people burn fuel for home heating than anywhere else in the country, inventories are a third of their typical levels heading into winter. National Economic Council Director Brian Deese called the levels “unacceptably low.” By late October, diesel prices had risen for more than two weeks to 50% above where they were a year ago.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

The Biden administration has leased fewer acres for oil-and-gas drilling offshore and on federal land than any other administration in its early stages dating back to the end of World War II, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

The article includes the following chart:

The article at Hot Air reports:

Where does Delta come into all this, after the commodities and doom and gloom lecture? That’s kind of interesting, too. At the top of the post, where I linked to those three PA refineries being closed in 2012? One of them was the Trainer facility, and it was given an EPA reprieve, of all things. CONOCO-Phillips still wanted to unload it, and Delta Airlines bought it as a hedge against oil prices and jet fuel shortages. They lost their butt owning it for years – as a small refinery fighting the EPA mandates tooth and nail didn’t help – and repeatedly tried to unload it, but, HEY! There’s been a sudden turnaround. Things are looking rosy and they are looking prescient. From April:

Delta will see a benefit of 20 cents per gallon of jet fuel from its refinery, which acts as a hedge against the spike in fuel. In particular, the refinery supplies fuel for Delta’s York operations, but Chief Financial Officer Daniel Janki said Monroe Energy’s output acts as a 40-50 percent fuel hedge across Delta’s network. In the first quarter, the refinery knocked about 7 cents off each gallon of jet fuel Delta consumed.

When Delta first bought the Trainer, Pa., refinery from Conoco Philips — now Philips 66 — in 2012, analyst opinions were mixed. Some argued it was a stroke of genius on the airline’s part, while others said it was too far afield from Delta’s core operations to make sense for an airline with no experience in selling or marketing petroleum products. The years since have been up and down for the refinery but now, with oil prices spiraling up in the wake of the Ukraine war, the refinery is proving its worth.

The refinery generated $1.2 billion in revenue in the first quarter, compared with $48 million in the same quarter in 2019, Delta said in its first-quarter results. About 80 percent of its output is diesel and gasoline, prices of which have surged. “Our Monroe refinery provides a unique benefit, acting as a partial hedge to elevated cracks,” Janki said. “This is especially true with New York Harbor Jet cracks, where our production at Monroe provides 100 percent offset.”

It really is time to rediscover American energy independence!

 

I Approve Of Something The Biden Administration Did!

The Biden administration did something really smart. I don’t know exactly who is responsible, but I am grateful. On Sunday, Hot Air posted the story. I need to say up front that this is one of those articles I do not totally understand, but what I read sounds really good.

The article reports:

I am pretty sure that I have never praised the Biden Administration. I mean, why would I?

Well, I may have found a reason, believe it or not. It seems that the Biden Administration has struck a huge blow against the Chinese tech industry, and it wasn’t even by accident. They did something right, and never let it be said that I am more unfair to liberals than my job naturally requires.

…So here we go, and yes, it is painful to praise Biden, even a little bit. Worse, I have to rely on The New York Times for part of the story, completing my humiliation:

This is the important part of the article:

There are two important aspects of the China/Taiwan tension that are both related to technology:

    • China has become a technology superpower due to America’s reliance on its manufacturing prowess. Almost everything we think of as high-tech has a lot of Chinese manufacturing and components in the end product. Those DJI drones doing the heavy lifting in Ukraine? Chinese.
    • Taiwan is a much more important technology superpower. Almost every high-end microprocessor (the highest up the value chain) is reliant on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is made by TSMC. They blow everybody else away in making chips, including former leader Intel. Over half of the chips in the products you use are manufactured by TSMC.

China doesn’t only want Taiwan territory; if they ran Taiwan they would control many of the most important parts of the tech industry. They aren’t a design or software powerhouse, but the world would still rely on them for high-tech products. As a matter of fact, one of the reasons China remains hesitant to invade Taiwan is the implied strategy of the Taiwanese government to threaten the destruction of TSMC facilities were they to be invaded. This is the so-called “silicon shield.”

The article concludes:

To the extent that I can, which is not much, I have verified this. And that means that it is of medium reliability. Certainly, ASML leaving is a big blow, and the extent of the Biden Administration sanctions is dramatic, the thread itself is more than plausible.

I admit to being shocked that the Biden Administration has chosen this path. It is bold, aggressive, and likely to hurt China badly both economically and militarily. I would have to assume that they have war-gamed the consequences extensively because such a move would not be taken either lightly or without serious consideration.

In this case, unlike the Russia sanctions, the Administration had plenty of time to evaluate the costs and benefits. Without access to the information and analysis they have, I can’t say with certainty that this was precisely the right policy, but it certainly moves us in the direction of achieving the goal of slowing China’s ability to threaten our interests in the Pacific.

Even a blind squirrel finds a nut occasionally!

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.

Help For Some Homeless People In Denver

On September 19th, Hot Air posted an article about a new program to provide aid to homeless people in Denver.

The article reports:

Just like virtually every city in the United States, Denver, Colorado has seen a significant surge in homelessness over the past couple of years, along with rising crime rates. But rather than seeking to provide more homeless housing, food kitchens, or other typical services, the city is preparing to launch a different type of experiment. They will be giving homeless people $12,000 in cash with no strings attached. The money will be paid out with an initial cash bonanza of six thousand dollars, followed by monthly payments for the following eleven months. This limited form of a basic income guarantee is intended to see if the cash payout will “lift them out of destitution.” That sounds like a pretty sweet deal, doesn’t it? If you are so impoverished that you’re living on the streets, twelve thousand dollars would probably go quite a way and might at least see you through the colder winter months that are quickly approaching.

But there are several major catches to this plan. First of all, the portion of the funding coming from the federal government via the American Rescue Plan will only cover 140 people. That’s out of a homeless population in the city currently estimated to number nearly 7,000. They hope to include another roughly 800 homeless people through charitable donations. But even if you’re luckily enough to wind up being one of the 900 or so who might get the cash, there is another significant hoop to jump through. Nearly all of the recipients will be women or homeless people who identify as being transgender or “non-binary” in terms of gender. In other words, cisgender males need not apply. (Daily Mail)

Obviously, discrimination is illegal in federal programs, so Denver has come up with a way to avoid that particular law.

The article reports:

Denver is trying to work around the rules by taking the federal grant money and giving it to the Denver Basic Income Project, a non-governmental nonprofit group. That way they can discriminate in the distribution of the funds as much as they like. But this also raises questions about the propriety of the program. The American Rescue Plan funds were specifically slated to be put toward stimulus checks, enhanced unemployment benefits, and keeping employers on their feet. How did this money wind up being diverted in this fashion?

As to the limits on who will qualify for the program, there are other issues. It should be fairly easy to identify which of the homeless applicants are women (assuming they have a biologist on the team, of course) but how do they plan to pick out the transgender and “nonbinary” applicants? Once the word gets out on the street that those are the required demographics to get your hands on that kind of cash, every male homeless person is going to show up claiming that they “identify” as a woman now. How will the screeners prove them wrong? Wouldn’t it be either transphobic or homophobic or some other form of phobia to even question them about it?

The article notes that one of the major causes of homelessness is addiction either to drugs or alcohol. The money spent on this giveaway would be much better spent helping those homeless people who are willing to get into some sort of rehab program.

The Numbers On Inflation

On Tuesday, Hot Air posted an article about the consumer price index report that was released.

The article reports:

So much for the second iteration of “inflation’s over!” Today’s consumer price index report shows year-on-year inflation still roaring at 8.3%, thanks in part to soaring food costs, which offset a plateau on gasoline prices.

However, even without food and energy, inflation picked up steam last month, as core CPI rose back above six percent year-on-year, and 0.6% month-on-month:

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.1 percent in August on a seasonally adjusted basis after being unchanged in July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 8.3 percent before seasonal adjustment.

Increases in the shelter, food, and medical care indexes were the largest of many contributors to the broad-based monthly all items increase. These increases were mostly offset by a 10.6-percent decline in the gasoline index. The food index continued to rise, increasing 0.8 percent over the month as the food at home index rose 0.7 percent. The energy index fell 5.0 percent over the month as the gasoline index declined, but the electricity and natural gas indexes increased.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.6 percent in August, a larger increase than in July. The indexes for shelter, medical care, household furnishings and operations, new vehicles, motor vehicle insurance, and education were among those that increased over the month. There were some indexes that declined in August, including those for airline fares, communication, and used cars and trucks.

The article concludes:

Even before this report, we knew that real disposable personal income (real DPI) had fallen for five quarters in a row. That too is a compounding measure. The plight of the American worker has gotten worse every single month of Biden’s presidency — and there’s no spinning that.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It includes charts and further information on the impact of inflation on every American.

Good News?

I was very unhappy when Senator Manchin signed on to the Inflation Recovery Act. I was not necessarily surprised, as he has caved in the past when his vote was critical. However, it seems as if there might be a silver lining to this atrocious bill. Please follow the link to the bill to read the Associated Press’ comments on the legislation.

On Sunday, Hot Air reported the following:

Some of the Democrats who have been spiking the ball in the end zone after the passage of the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” probably didn’t read all of the finer details in the bill. They’ve been celebrating its passage along with Joe Biden as the “biggest climate legislation” to ever be passed. They have also been grudgingly thanking West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin for getting the bill over the finish line. But it turns out that Manchin snuck in a few items that haven’t drawn many headlines yet and the climate warriors aren’t going to be very happy about them. While there were billions of dollars for wind and solar energy incentives in the bill, there were also provisions to bolster the oil and gas industry and keep it viable for quite some time to come. And previously stalled permits for drilling both on federal lands and offshore are about to be back on track. (Associated Press)

The article notes:

The most amusing part of this story is perhaps not the underlying news about new oil and gas leases, but the language the AP reporter chose to employ. After the CBO report came out, along with multiple analyses from economists, they’ve basically given up on calling the recent legislation the “Inflation Reduction Act.” In the title of the article, they simply call it the “climate bill.” They then go on to call it the “climate measure.” You have to dig down to the third paragraph before they bother mentioning the actual name of the bill as it was crafted.

The article concludes:

The oil and gas industry clearly saw this coming and they had been preparing. Despite the CEO of Chevron predicting earlier this year that no new oil refineries might ever be built in the United States again thanks to Joe Biden, we learned in recent weeks that Meridian Energy Group has received approval and is moving forward on construction of a new refinery in North Dakota. Two other previously shuttered refineries are undergoing refurbishment and will reopen later this year.

Don’t get me wrong, here. There are still plenty of awful things in this “climate bill.” But these additions lashing renewables and fossil fuels together have at least brought us a few significant steps closer to the “all of the above” energy policy that America needs to survive into the next century.

There may actually be a silver lining to this monstrosity.

 

A New Level Of Spin

On Friday, Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air about the recent decline in gasoline prices. The article illustrates the spin the mainstream media is trying to put on the current price of gasoline. Although some of us a grateful for the recent decline in prices, most of us are also aware that gasoline prices averaged $2.379/gallon on January 21, 2021 (source here).

The article reports:

Nevertheless, CNN’s Chris Isidore wants us to celebrate the $100 per month “raise” we’re all getting at the pump, courtesy of The Most Beneficent Majesty of Joe Biden:

Next time you stop at a gas station, think of it as a $100-a-month tax cut. Or a maybe $100-a-month raise.

The steady drop in gas prices over the last few months has turned into an unexpected form of economic stimulus, coming at a time when the Federal Reserve is trying to cool the economy and battle rising prices with higher interest rates.

Since hitting a record of $5.02 a gallon on June 14, the national average price for regular gas is down $1.10, or 22%, to $3.92, according to AAA. That average has now fallen for 67 consecutive days.

Since the typical US household uses about 90 gallons of gas a month, the $1.10 drop in prices equals a savings of $98.82.

You can believe that after the mid-term elections the Biden administration will not care what the cost of gasoline is. It will probably rise back up to $4.00 a gallon or more and then magically decrease to about $3.50 just before the 2024 election. That is how things work in Washington.

The article at Hot Air concludes:

Furthermore, the price didn’t drop because the Biden administration brought massive new supplies into the market. The prices dropped due to a fall in demand for gasoline as it got too expensive for American consumers to use on vacations and other non-essential travel. That indicates an economic contraction on the way, not a pay raise.

This argument gets almost obscene when we consider what’s happened to Americans’ disposable income over the Biden presidency and the inflationary wave Biden created. For five straight quarters, real disposable personal income — adjusted for inflation — has fallen in a compounding series of buying-power setbacks for Americans. As I wrote the week before last:

In fact, with the exception of the massive sugar high of Biden’s American Rescue Plan stimulus, real disposable personal income — which is adjusted for inflation — has been in negative territory throughout Biden’s presidency. Those numbers are comparisons to the previous quarter, too, which means that this has a compounding effect. The most recent read of -0.5% on real disposable income is not from a baseline but shows a decline from the previous quarter’s -7.8%, which was a decline from the previous quarter, and so on.

In other words, Q2’s -0.5% wasn’t an improvement. It merely showed that the rate of decline slowed, but that real disposable personal income was still declining.

That’s what CNN has the cojones to describe as a pay “raise” in its economic “analysis.” It’s breathtaking in its intellectual dishonesty.

This is only one example of what we should expect to see as we enter the political silly season.

Ironic?

As Californians flee the inept (and expensive) government of their state, their destinations vary, but there is one very interesting destination.

On Wednesday, Hot Air posted an article with the following headline, “Californians are moving to Mexico City and not everyone is thrilled about it.” Where is the headline, “Illegal immigrants are moving to New York City and not everyone is thrilled about it?” At least the Californians moving to Mexico are immigrating legally–you can’t immigrate to Mexico illegally!

The article quotes the LA Times (this is the link, but it is behind the pay wall):

The influx, which has accelerated since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and is likely to continue as inflation rises, is transforming some of the city’s most treasured neighborhoods into
expat enclaves.

In leafy, walkable quarters such as Roma, Condesa, Centro and Juarez, rents are soaring as Americans and other foreigners snap up houses and landlords trade long-term renters for travelers willing to pay more on Airbnb. Taquerias, corner stores and fondas — small, family-run lunch spots — are being replaced by Pilates studios, co-working spaces and sleek cafes advertising oat-milk
lattes and avocado toast.

And English — well, it’s everywhere: ringing out at supermarkets, natural wine bars and fitness classes in the park.

The article at the American Thinker continues:

A 38-year-old university professor labeled the trend “modern colonialism.”

“Mexico is classist and racist,” Bustos said. “People with white skin are given preference. Now, if a local wants to go to a restaurant or a club, they don’t just have to compete with rich, white Mexicans but with foreigners too.”

Anyway, the story says that most locals are extremely polite to the Americans who are moving in to their luxury apartments. But I guess it’s not just people in Boise, ID and Austin, TX who get fed up with Californians showing up with a lot of cash and no respect for the local customs. Unfortunately for Mexico City, the exodus from California isn’t likely to stop anytime soon.

There is a certain amount of irony in this story. How often do you hear Spanish spoken in major cities in America? Now the residents of Mexico City are complaining because they hear English. Irony at its best.

Adding Humor To A Serious Announcement

On Sunday, Hot Air reported that Attorney Jonathan Turley announced on Twitter that he has tested positive for Covid.

This is the Tweet:

Makes sense to me.

The article notes:

Does anyone really think that Merrick Garland’s DOJ will indict Hunter Biden? The workings of grand juries are supposed to be secret but it is reported that the grand jury looked at the possibility of criminal charges for alleged influence-peddling with foreign contacts in China, Russia, Ukraine, and other countries. Hunter was very successful in cashing in on his father’s position in the government. We don’t know if the grand jury decided on any indictments. Turley points out that there is clear evidence of some crimes. “For example, Biden seems clearly to have lied on the federal form to acquire a gun by denying his drug use; he also appears to have violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act. And there are obvious tax charges that could be brought, even though he paid outstanding taxes after the investigation began.”

Perhaps he’ll be indicted over tax evasion or for lying on a federal form about that gun. Just don’t count on him being held accountable for his slimy dealings with foreign countries – unless the indictments are postponed.

The article concludes:

Turley points out that since Joe Biden isn’t on a ballot in November and Hunter isn’t a candidate, just using the excuse of not wanting to interfere in the November midterms – and potentially dragging down Democrat candidates- is politicizing the grand jury investigation. Turley makes the case for a special counsel in the Hunter Biden case. Joe Biden (a.k.a. The Big Guy) is directly referenced in Hunter’s documents found on his laptop. The U.S. Attorney is unlikely to include any of that in a report. If Hunter pleads guilty of lesser charges to make a plea deal, he’ll be protected from future congressional hearings – such as are expected when Republicans take back majority control of the House. DOJ could cut a deal with Hunter and decline further charges. On the other hand, the U.S. Attorney could present evidence to a new grand jury, since this one has now expired, but it would take months to do and the midterm elections would be over.

It does not look as though Weiss called any witnesses who could testify about influence-peddling, including the president. Joe Biden would have to be called as a witness to answer any questions about The Big Guy’s involvement. We now know that Joe met with Hunter’s business partners, though he has consistently denied knowing anything about Hunter’s business dealings.

We’ll see what happens and if indictments do come down. Just don’t get your hopes up that Hunter will ever be held to the same standard that others are in these matters. He’ll likely write a check or two if his wrist is slapped and be on his merry way.

That is not equal justice under the law.

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.

Coming To A Town Near You

On Sunday, Hot Air posted an article about the unfolding disaster at America’s southern border.

The article reports:

The largest-ever migrant caravan is beginning its trek to the US-Mexico border. The estimated number of migrants in the caravan ranges from about 11,000 to 15,000. Most of them are women and children. The news of the caravan comes at a particularly awkward time for the Biden administration. Biden’s Summit of the Americas is supposed to begin Monday in Los Angeles.

The article quotes the organizer of the caravan:

“This is the largest mass human migration I have seen in at least the past 10 years,” said Luís Villagrán, an organizer of the caravan and director of the non-profit Center for Human Dignification.

The largest number of migrants in the caravan come from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua – three countries whose authoritarian rulers Joe Biden has conspicuously refused to invite to the summit. But there are also Haitians, Salvadorans, Hondurans, Guatemalans and even citizens of India, Bangladesh, and several African countries.

Earlier this month, the Mexican National Migration Institute (INM), wrote to Villagrán, expressing sympathy for the caravan’s members and pledging to help the most vulnerable among them. The letter also acknowledges that the caravan is a result of the stunning tsunami of migration from nearly every country in the Americas to the United States in the past few years, attributing this migration to elevated rates of violence and economic instability in the continent.

The article concludes:

So, while leaders from Latin countries arrive in Los Angeles to discuss problems facing their countries and their relationship with each other, a massive caravan is beginning to walk the length of Mexico en route to the US border. The Biden administration originally stated that only “democratically-elected leaders” would be invited to the Summit. That would exclude Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. This caused some heads of state like AMLO to threaten a boycott. This diplomatic crisis (everything is a crisis with this administration) continues right up to the start of the Summit. As I said above, there has still not been a list of participants released. You may remember that Jill Biden was sent to smooth ruffled feathers and encourage the leadership in some of the region to attend the Summit. Let’s just say she didn’t exactly score a victory in her mission. Will Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Honduras, and Guatemala, as well as others, go ahead and attend the Summit or will they make good on their threats of a boycott?

Biden’s border crisis continues to be a magnet to people around the world. We’ll see if the largest migrant caravan makes its way to the US border. Sometimes a caravan is reported to be organizing and then nothing much happens. We’ll soon know if this is one of those times or if thousands of migrants begin to walk the length of Mexico in hopes of being allowed into the United States.

Even if you don’t live in a border state, the arrival of this caravan will impact you. New York is hardly a border state, yet in recent weeks, the Biden administration has increased the number of flights from the Mexican border carrying illegal immigrants to New York (article here). A country without the will or ability to protect its borders will not remain a sovereign country for long.

Laws Have Consequences

On Saturday, Hot Air posted an article about a recent trend in Washington State.

The article reports:

Last July, a new law went into effect in Washington state that was described as “police reform.” House Bill 1054 made significant changes in how the police are allowed to do their jobs. Police unions had been protesting the measure, saying that it would negatively impact their ability to control crime, but the state’s Democrats cheered the bill as a way to bring more “equity” into the system. One of the changes put in place by the bill was a rule saying the police officers were no longer allowed to engage in high-speed chases except in very limited circumstances. In other words, if the cops see a driver doing something wrong and turn on their sirens and flashers but the motorist doesn’t pull over, there isn’t much they can do about it. To the great surprise of nobody with an IQ higher than tepid water, motorists have begun ignoring the police in increasing numbers and simply refusing to pull over.

I guess it’s equity if no one is held responsible for any lawbreaking while driving.

The article continues:

The police aren’t allowed to give chase unless there is an increased bar of “reasonable suspicion” that the driver is impaired or there is “probable cause” to believe that the driver had committed a violent crime or sexual assault. This has basically put an end to high-speed pursuits because if they guess wrong, they won’t wind up getting a conviction anyway and the department could be tied up in endless lawsuits.

The article concludes:

This was all entirely predictable and, in fact, state Republicans and police unions did predict it last year. This shouldn’t have required a rocket scientist to figure it out. Your average, law-abiding citizen who may have committed a minor traffic infraction is probably still going to pull over when the police hit their lights. But if you know you are driving while intoxicated or you’ve stolen a car or have outstanding warrants, why would you pull over for the cops when you know they can’t chase you? Criminals will clearly be happy to risk hitting the gas and making a clean getaway rather than being hauled off to jail.

This is yet another item in a long list of examples of “police reform” going on around the nation. When you reduce the disincentive for committing a particular crime, you get more of that type of crime. When you announce that the cops can no longer chase you, criminals will flee since they have nothing to lose. And we’re talking about a lot more than just your random person who had a few too many beers. Seemingly random traffic stops are one of the most common ways that people with outstanding warrants wind up being taken into custody. That tool is now unavailable to the police in Washington in most cases, so there are going to be more wanted fugitives out there roaming the roads.

The legislators in Washington State need an infusion of common sense.