• Pragerisms

    For a more comprehensive list of Pragerisms visit
    Dennis Prager Wisdom.

    • "The left is far more interested in gaining power than in creating wealth."
    • "Without wisdom, goodness is worthless."
    • "I prefer clarity to agreement."
    • "First tell the truth, then state your opinion."
    • "Being on the Left means never having to say you're sorry."
    • "If you don't fight evil, you fight gobal warming."
    • "There are things that are so dumb, you have to learn them."
  • Liberalism’s Seven Deadly Sins

    • Sexism
    • Intolerance
    • Xenophobia
    • Racism
    • Islamophobia
    • Bigotry
    • Homophobia

    A liberal need only accuse you of one of the above in order to end all discussion and excuse himself from further elucidation of his position.

  • Glenn’s Reading List for Die-Hard Pragerites

    • Bolton, John - Surrender is not an Option
    • Bruce, Tammy - The Thought Police; The New American Revolution; The Death of Right and Wrong
    • Charen, Mona - DoGooders:How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help
    • Coulter, Ann - If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans; Slander
    • Dalrymple, Theodore - In Praise of Prejudice; Our Culture, What's Left of It
    • Doyle, William - Inside the Oval Office
    • Elder, Larry - Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose
    • Frankl, Victor - Man's Search for Meaning
    • Flynn, Daniel - Intellectual Morons
    • Fund, John - Stealing Elections
    • Friedman, George - America's Secret War
    • Goldberg, Bernard - Bias; Arrogance
    • Goldberg, Jonah - Liberal Fascism
    • Herson, James - Tales from the Left Coast
    • Horowitz, David - Left Illusions; The Professors
    • Klein, Edward - The Truth about Hillary
    • Mnookin, Seth - Hard News: Twenty-one Brutal Months at The New York Times and How They Changed the American Media
    • Morris, Dick - Because He Could; Rewriting History
    • O'Beirne, Kate - Women Who Make the World Worse
    • Olson, Barbara - The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House
    • O'Neill, John - Unfit For Command
    • Piereson, James - Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism
    • Prager, Dennis - Think A Second Time
    • Sharansky, Natan - The Case for Democracy
    • Stein, Ben - Can America Survive? The Rage of the Left, the Truth, and What to Do About It
    • Steyn, Mark - America Alone
    • Stephanopolous, George - All Too Human
    • Thomas, Clarence - My Grandfather's Son
    • Timmerman, Kenneth - Shadow Warriors
    • Williams, Juan - Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It
    • Wright, Lawrence - The Looming Tower

“No Justice, No Peace” Marilyn Mosby……Today’s Dime A Dozen Dem!

FEBRUARY 5, 2022 BY PAUL MIRENGOFF at PowerLine:

MARILYN MOSBY’S RECKONING

Marilyn Mosby is the “no justice, no peace” Baltimore prosecutor who brought charges against six Baltimore police officers in the Freddie Gray matter. She failed to obtain even one conviction.

Mosby was in U.S. District Court yesterday, not as an attorney but as a criminal defendant. She is charged with perjury and making false statements on mortgage applications. We discussed these charges here. The Washington Post lays them out here. We shouldn’t prejudge the case, but it does seem pretty strong.

Asked for her plea, Mosby said, “Your honor, I would plead not guilty to all four counts.” I’m not sure why she used the conditional, but let’s not be picky.

Mosby and her attorneys claim the charges against her are politically motivated. She says she has “had a target on my back” since she brought charges against the officers involved in the police in-custody death of Gray in 2015. That may be true, although she’s mainly been a target of ridicule for not winning any of these cases.

But the notion that this prosecution is politically motivated doesn’t pass the straight-face test. The case is brought by the Biden/Garland Justice Department. Its politics are left-liberal. The notion that it would countenance a prosecution of Mosby because she filed charges against police officers is absurd.

Mosby’s legal woes may extend beyond this prosecution. She and her husband are facing questions about whether they violated campaign finance laws.

Does the Mosby trial affect her status as Baltimore State’s Attorney? Not immedately. She will continue to serve (if that’s the right word), notwithstanding the upcoming trial.

However, Mosby will face the voters this June in a Democratic primary. Twice, they have elected her, but now that she appears to be crooked, not just incompetent, maybe they will think better of giving her a third term. Maybe.

How Does A Caucus Work?

Black legislators caucus in VA House of Delegates refuses to admit black Republican A.C. Cordoza

sent from Mark Waldeland <m.waldeland@comcast.net>

Sat 2/5/2022

Black legislators caucus in VA House of Delegates refuses to admit black Republican A.C. Cordoza

https://hotair.com/john-s-2/2022/02/04/black-legislators-caucus-in-va-house-of-delegates-refuses-to-admit-black-republican-a-c-cordoza-n446469

Black legislators caucus in VA House of Delegates refuses to admit black Republican A.C. Cordoza – HotAirThis week, Cordoza tried to join the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus but on Tuesday the group voted to deny his request. Thursday, Cordoza gave a speech on the House floor in which he criticized the Black Caucus as more about being leftist than about being black.. In his speech, Cordoza revealed that he had applied to join the VLBC but was voted out, and he said it was based on his answers …hotair.com

. . . In his speech, Cordoza revealed that he had applied to join the VLBC but was voted out, and he said it was based on his answers to a questionnaire. He said the questions included topics such as his top three environmental justice priorities, whether he favored charter schools, if he would favor overhauling the process for recalling public officials to “end harassment,” and if he would work to repeal sovereign immunity for police officers.

Other topics, he said, included if he supported collective bargaining — which he called “turning our state into a union state” — and standing up for abortion rights, mask mandates and gun control.

“These questions … spit in the face of our ancestors who fought to have all of our rights guaranteed,” Cordoza said. “I asked myself what any of those things mentioned have to do with being Black. The answer is it has nothing to do with being Black. … The caucus is not about being Black, it’s about being leftist.”

The Black Caucus has 21 members — 17 in the House and four in the Senate. All are Democrats.

“How The 2020 Election Was Conducted!”

How Much Did Mark Zuckerberg’s Money Shift Wisconsin Votes For Biden?

BY: RICK ESENBERG AND WILL FLANDERS at the Federalist:

FEBRUARY 04, 2022

Joe Biden in Wisconsin

Private funding of election administration in Wisconsin was biased, significant, objectionable and should end moving forward.

Author Rick Esenberg and Will Flanders profile

RICK ESENBERG AND WILL FLANDERS

We believe—and hope—that conservatives can rally in support of greater election integrity measures that can address legitimate concerns about how the 2020 election was conducted. But to do that, we must focus on arguments that withstand scrutiny.

Recently, Dr. William Doyle wrote a response to a Wall Street Journal editorial that cited our organization’s work investigating the 2020 election in Wisconsin. The author seems chiefly concerned about our analysis of private election funding from the Mark Zuckerberg-funded Center for Tech and Civic Life, and argues that it was “deeply flawed.”

He points to his own analysis of CTCL, and its claims, as the better study. Not only do we disagree with his analysis, we fear studies like this could damage efforts to improve election security.

The article characterized the WSJ and WILL’s position as “[t]here were some slight ‘problems’ with the election.” That’s not true. We thought private funding of election administration was biased, significant, objectionable, and should end moving forward.

Indeed, WILL supported legislation that would have required any private funds to be distributed based on population to all municipalities in the state. Unfortunately, that bill was vetoed by Gov. Tony Evers, even though an equal distribution of private funding for mail-in voting could still be expected to benefit Democrats.

We reached this conclusion because we found the distribution of CTCL funds was skewed toward heavily Democratic areas and materially increased turnout in these areas. The author seems to believe we assume all counties were equally affected by CTCL funds. This is not correct.

What we did do is examine all municipalities that received CTCL funds, not just those that received the most. That is what one should do in attempting to assess the statewide impact of this funding. That statistical analysis led us to conclude that skewed CTCL funding may have increased Biden’s turnout by 8,000 votes. Since the race in Wisconsin was decided by a bit more than 20,000 votes, that’s a very significant finding. 

Doyle says he found a larger impact, but we think his methodology was fundamentally flawed. He compares the 2016 and 2020 election results only in counties that increased their votes for Biden. The problem is that, apart from a minor adjustment for population growth and the statewide turnout increase, his model considers only that factor.

Put differently, his study assumes its conclusion and attributes almost all increases in turnout for Biden to CTCL grants. Indeed, any counties that got substantial amounts of funding but showed a net gain for Trump were completely left out of his count of the effect. Ignoring data that runs counter to your hypothesis is a fundamental flaw in research. It may stoke partisan rage, but it will convince no one who is not already part of the choir.

This failure to consider other factors is fatal to conservative arguments like those we and other readers of The Federalist want to see made. Across the nation, voter turnout increased by more than 17 million over 2016, including in areas without a CTCL presence.

In Wisconsin, Trump received 200,000 more votes in 2020 than he did in his previous election, yet our study found that CTCL funding did not benefit Trump. This was a national election that generated a lot of attention, and CTCL grants in states like Wisconsin were one of many factors that may have contributed to increased voter turnout.

Indeed, our election report points to a number of other areas that warrant further discussion such as the excessive use of indefinitely confined status to obtain absentee ballots, the illegal use of ballot drop boxes (something we have challenged in court), and subjectivity in absentee ballot rejection rates. Yet, in Doyle’s analysis, there is no attempt to account for any of these factors. 

There are other problems with the author’s study. For example, he uses county-level election returns to measure the effects of grants that almost exclusively occurred at the municipal level in Wisconsin. This winds up masking the fact that Biden only gained about 6,000 more votes in the city of Milwaukee than Hillary Clinton did in 2016, underperforming increased turnout in the rest of the state.

Even under our more thorough and careful approach, the CTCL funding made a big difference. Why exaggerate it? Nor should we go beyond what the evidence shows. Finding that CTCL raised Biden turnout by 8,000 (or even 65,000) doesn’t mean these new voters weren’t real people and eligible to vote.

Based on what we know, CTCL did not result in fraud such as made-up votes and ineligible voters. But it did put a fairly large thumb on the scale for Democrat turnout efforts. Unfortunately, such funding is probably legal. If someone would uncover illegal acts funded by CTCL, it’d be a different matter. So far, no one has.

CTCL’s closeness with supposedly neutral election officials was somewhere between unsavory and putrid. It injected a private and partisan actor into the administration of our elections. Even if that’s not illegal currently, it is definitely unfair and unseemly. To reiterate, we believe that dynamic should change moving forward.

WILL is committed to the conservative cause and our litigation and policy work speaks for itself. And we don’t think the movement is served well by studies like this even if they might provide “more” support for our position.

Serious work to improve election integrity requires a willingness to call “balls and strikes.” We have found that this leads to court victories and policy reforms. There is no inconsistency between commitment and rigor. 


Rick Esenberg is the president and general counsel of the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty. Will Flanders, PhD is the research director of the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty.

“Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!”

Biden’s big energy bust

His policy errors have sunk his presidency

FROM THE MAGAZINE

energy

Written by:

Rupert Darwall at the Spectator:

“For too long, we’ve failed to use the most important word when it comes to meeting the climate crisis,” President Biden declared in his presidential address to Congress in April 2020. “Jobs. Jobs. Jobs.” Investments in jobs and infrastructure, the president pleaded, have often had bipartisan support in the past. In November, he got nineteen Republican senators to vote for his $1 trillion infrastructure bill, but the main planks of Biden’s climate plan were in the $2.2 trillion Build Back Better Act. The House passed it in November, only for it to fail in the Senate, thanks to opposition from the most powerful man in Washington, at least when it comes to passing legislation.

Senator Joe Manchin represents West Virginia, a state where the energy wars have already inflicted severe loss on Democrats. In 1996, West Virginia reelected Bill Clinton by a near fifteen-point margin over Bob Dole. Four years later, Al Gore lost the state by six points — and the presidency with it. After thirty-six years in the Senate, Biden should have known the power of a state that, though poor, has outsized influence: for twelve of those thirty-six years, Robert Byrd of West Virginia was the leader of the Senate Democrats.

When Nancy Pelosi became Speaker in 2007, she attempted to green the Capitol power plant. Situated a few blocks from the Capitol, the plant supplies the Capitol Hill complex with electricity. It burns 40,000 tons of coal a year, some of it supplied under long-term contracts from the Kanawha Eagle mine, located in, you’ve guessed it, West Virginia. Pelosi’s plan was defeated by Robert Byrd and Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell – “two senators from two of the greatest coal-producing states in America,” McConnell said.

Vladimir Putin is rolling over the United States

Manchin was West Virginia’s governor when Byrd died in 2010. Though West Virginia was trending increasingly Republican in presidential elections, Manchin won Byrd’s seat. His campaign material included an ad in which Manchin promised to take aim at Obama’s cap-and-trade bill which, if it had been passed, would have established an emissions-trading scheme similar to the European Union’s. Manchin opposed raising the cost of burning coal “because it’s bad for West Virginia,” and won by a ten-point margin. Both of Manchin’s successors in the governor’s mansion were elected as Democrats, but months into the Trump presidency, the current governor, Jim Justice II, told West Virginians he was switching. “I can’t help you anymore being a Democrat governor,” he declared.

The financial interests of West Virginia’s political leaders are substantially aligned with its economic interests. In 2009, Jim Justice II became West Virginia’s only native-born billionaire after selling a collection of his West Virginia coal mines to Mechel, a Russian energy company, for an estimated $500 million in cash plus stock worth $700 million. Falling coal prices subsequently soured the deal, and Mechel forced Justice to buy back the stock at a discount. After Biden’s election — only Wyoming voted more heavily for Trump than West Virginia — Justice said that “we’d be blowing our legs off” to believe the nation could do without coal and natural gas. Manchin’s family also has an interest in coal: they own a coal brokerage he started up in the late 1980s. West Virginia’s voters don’t seem to mind.

Supporters of the green energy transition and Biden’s climate policies see West Virginia’s attachment to coal, and Manchin’s resistance to Biden, as less about jobs and economics and more about personal interest and “coal culture.” It’s a take that recalls Barack Obama’s remark about blue-collar voters in the de-industrialized Midwest “clinging to guns and religion.”

Mining jobs are not some distant memory in West Virginia. After a long decline, jobs in mining and logging in the state rose sharply in the first decade of the century, from 21,600 employees in February 2002 to a peak of 35,700 at the end of 2011. After falling back to 16,400 in July 2020, the latest count shows a rise to 19,900 in October 2021 — and it’s likely to rise further given strong coal prices. In 2020, West Virginia produced more coal than any other state apart from Wyoming. The most recently available monthly data — for August 2021 — shows that coal accounted for 93.3 percent of West Virginia’s electricity production. Wind and solar accounted for less than 1 percent.

One thing the coal-as-cultural-artifact theoreticians don’t see is that, thanks to fracking, West Virginia has become a coal and gas state. West Virginia is at the southwestern end of the Marcellus shale formation, which extends northeastwards from West Virginia into eastern Ohio, Pennsylvania and upstate New York. In the ten years after 2010, West Virginia’s production of natural gas rose nearly tenfold, making the state the US’s fifth-biggest energy producer. Indeed, in 2019, its natural gas output in BTU terms was 7.3 percent higher than its coal output.

Fracking was slow to make an impact in Washington. For the first three years of his presidency, Barack Obama ignored the fracking revolution that was turning America into a hydrocarbon superpower and transforming the economies of states such as West Virginia and Pennsylvania. But in 2012, with a tough reelection fight ahead of him, fracking was too good to ignore. “Right now — right now, American oil production is the highest that it’s been in eight years,” Obama boasted in his 2012 State of the Union address. In 2020, Obama reminded us that under his administration, “we relied less on foreign oil than in any of the past sixteen years.” The contrast between Obama and Biden, who is imploring OPEC and Russia to increase their oil output to solve America’s energy supply crisis, could hardly be greater.

Some of the Biden administration’s leading lights on energy and climate are Obama alums, notably climate envoy John Kerry and national climate advisor Gina McCarthy. But when it comes to energy, this is far from being Obama’s third term. Compared to Obama the pragmatist, Biden is doctrinaire and inflexible. Obama wanted credit for fracking. Public research dollars, Obama claimed, had helped develop the technologies to extract natural gas from shale. This, Obama said, reminded us that “government support is critical in helping get new energy ideas off the ground.” Under Obama, it was “You didn’t build that.” With Biden, it’s “You won’t build that — and neither will the federal government.”

For Manchin, the politics are straightforward. His base is in a red-hot Trump state, so expressing opposition to Build Back Better carries no political cost. Senate Democrats in swing states need to tread much more cautiously, walking a fine line between not alienating their base and not giving their Republican challengers a weapon than can terminate their political careers. As many as ten Senate Democrats find themselves in a position where silence is golden. Montana’s John Tester is up for reelection in 2024 in a state which, like West Virginia, swung to Trump in 2020 when the nation as a whole swung the other way. In Arizona, Mark Kelly won John McCain’s seat in a special election in 2020 and is up for reelection this year in what was a knife-edge state in the 2020 presidential election.

No state better encapsulates the politics of energy better than Colorado. The state has been trending strongly Democratic since Bill Clinton won it in 1992. The Democrats currently hold both of Colorado’s Senate seats, the governorship and both chambers of the state legislature, but the Republicans remain competitive, holding three of the state’s seven House seats. Two-term Democratic senator Michael Bennett is up for re-election in November, and so is the governor, Jared Polis. The way Polis has navigated the energy wars to neutralize the issue ahead of his reelection bid demonstrates a deftness wholly absent from Biden’s White House.

Colorado can be described as a mixed-energy state. It’s one of the top five crude oil producers and top ten natural gas producers. Coal mined in Colorado is used mostly for power generation within the state; the proportion of coal in the generating mix has fallen from over 60 percent ten years ago to around 36 percent in 2020, partly due to an increase in renewable generation. In 2020, Colorado had the seventh-largest wind fleet in the country: renewables supply around 30 percent of the state’s electricity.

Demographically, Colorado is a white-collar state. In 2020, occupations such as finance, business services and education and health accounted for 62 percent of its GDP, and manufacturing a mere 7 percent, the same percentage as mining and oil and gas extraction. The American Petroleum Institute estimates that the oil and gas industry employs 42,000 people in the state and an additional 193,000 indirectly depending on the sector. Colorado thus lacks a sizable downstream hinterland of manufacturing businesses dependent on access to cheap energy. Indeed, industrial energy users in Colorado pay around 12 percent more for their electricity than the national average.

Fracking boosted Colorado’s crude oil output fourfold between 2010 and 2020, but it polarized Colorado’s politics. Despite the absence of a large pro-energy constituency, most voters in Colorado take a middle-of-the-road position on fracking. Yet climate activists linked to the left of the Democratic Party want to ban fracking entirely.

Boulder, Colorado is home to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Earth System Research Laboratories and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. This makes Boulder one of the global capitals of the climate-change cult. It was from Boulder that the climate scientist Kevin Trenberth wrote a now-notorious email, which became public after the Climategate hacking of 2009. “This is January weather,” Trenberth complained in October 2009, after the previous two days had smashed all previous records for cold weather in Colorado. The climate wasn’t conforming to the dictates of climate scientists — and global warming was an article of faith in Boulder.

Boulder has the highest concentration of advanced degrees of anywhere in the nation. Might class resentment play a part in Boulder being the center of anti-fracking activism in Colorado? An assistant professor at the University of Colorado Boulder can expect a starting salary of $94,000 a year. On a site visit to one of the many fracking pads in Weld County, Colorado, I meet Guillermo. He’s in his mid-twenties and used to earn $35,000 a year as a landscape gardener. His starting base as a fracker, Guillermo tells me, was $85,000 for six months’ work (fourteen days on, fourteen off). Guillermo’s supervisor, also a former landscape gardener, earns $120,000 for his half-year: not far short of a full professor’s salary of $150,708.

Climate activists have learned from the polling: health is a bigger motivator than climate. In 2018, they managed to get the anti-coal-and-gas development Proposition 112 onto the ballot. The initiative, which would have banned new oil and gas development within 2,500 feet of houses, schools and water sources, went down to a 57-43 defeat. Climate activists, undeterred by the democratic decision of Coloradans, vowed not to let up. “The fact remains that the oil and gas problem in this state has not been solved,” Conservation Colorado’s Kelly Nordini said after Prop 112’s defeat. Astroturf groups are running tendentious ads, claiming that cooking and heating with natural gas releases chemicals that cause bad stuff like premature death.

Polis, elected in 2018 as a climate hawk, seemed to have gotten the message — at least at first. In 2019, the Democratic legislature rammed through SB-181, which prioritizes public health in the regulation of oil and gas development and has been hailed as a “transformational step” by the Colorado Sierra Club. Having appeased the left, Polis then pivoted to the center. In July 2021, as he signed an “environmental justice” bill, he issued an executive order preventing the state from having its own cap-and-trade system. Polis revealed his strategy in an op-ed later that month, claiming that his climate legislation would make “divisive” oil and gas ballot fights a thing of the past and pledging to oppose future ballot initiatives from either side. “The oil and natural gas industry employs hundreds of thousand of people across the state,” Polis wrote. “We have to provide regulatory certainty.”

The climate activists were angered and dismayed by Polis’s rightward pivot. Nick Short of Snowsports Industries America criticized the governor for aligning himself with his “gas and oil buddies” when the dwindling snowpack was putting at risk 46,000 Colorado jobs. Would banning Colorado oil and gas production extend the ski season? “I’m not sure if it would,” Jackson, a ski shop owner in Vail, tells me.

Pitting the recreation industry against Colorado’s oil and gas industry doesn’t cut much ice with Tom at Vail’s American Ski Exchange, either. “I think the oil and gas business done responsibly can have its place in Colorado’s economy,” he says.

Colorado’s oil and gas industry has gone mute while Polis squares up to the left of his own party.The industry is betting that a term-limited governor who’s in his second term, and might aspire to national politics, will stick to the middle course. As higher energy prices snowball into surging inflation and a cost-of-living squeeze, the changing political and economic landscape might make that a winning bet for Polis. It also means defeat for Biden’s green-energy spending spree.

What About Those Of Us Over 80?

NYT: New CDC data shows COVID-19 boosters helped … for those over 50

ED MORRISSEY Feb 05, 2022 at HotAir:

 

AP Photo/Steven Senne, File

Will the definition of “fully vaccinated” have to change again? For the last several months, the CDC has urged all Americans to not just get the original vaccination regimen (two mRNA shots or one Johnson & Johnson inoculation) but also a booster shot in order to resist serious or severe acute infections of COVID-19. Now, however, a New York Times analysis of new CDC data shows that boosters may only make a difference in older and/or sicker Americans:

The figures confirm that booster doses are most beneficial to older adults, as the C.D.C. has previously reported. But the new numbers for younger Americans were less compelling. In those age groups, vaccination itself — two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — decreased the risk of hospitalization and death so sharply that a booster shot did not seem to add much benefit.

The new data supports boosters, but not universally. The impact of a booster dramatically differed based on age and pre-existing comorbidities. Seniors got a massive benefit from vaccination and even more from boosters:

As of Dec. 25, the rate of hospitalization among unvaccinated adults older than age 65 was 246 per 100,000 people. That rate dropped to 27.4 per 100,000 among people who were vaccinated without a booster dose, and to 4.9 among those who were vaccinated and received a booster.

This in itself should get some focus among older Americans. The COVID-19 hospitalization rate goes up almost ten times for unvaccinated seniors. It’s fifty times higher for unvaccinated versus vaccinated-and-boosted. Boosted seniors are five times less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than those who got just the original regimen. Even if a significant amount of these hospitalizations were correlative rather than causative, these differences are clearly not statistical anomalies.

The data on deaths is just as dramatic for seniors:

There were roughly 44 deaths per 100,000 unvaccinated adults 65 and older. Vaccinations dropped that number to about 3.6 deaths per 100,000, one-twelfth as much. Booster shots reduced the rate further, to about 0.5 deaths per 100,000, a figure 90 times as small.

Among adults between 50 and 64 years of age, however, the gaps narrow substantially, although the benefits of original-regimen vaccination are still substantial:

Among adults 50 to 64, 73 unvaccinated adults per 100,000 were hospitalized, compared with nine per 100,000 among those who were vaccinated and just two per 100,000 among those who had also received a booster shot.

Boosters made less of a difference in the number of Covid deaths in this age group. Vaccinations decreased the rate to 0.4 deaths per 100,000 from 8.26 per 100,000. With boosters, that number fell to 0.1 deaths per 100,000 people.

Bear in mind that this group is much less likely than seniors to develop severe consequences from COVID-19 in the first place. The starting position in unvaccinated seniors for hospitalizations, as noted above, is 246/100K and deaths 44/100K. The 50-64YO contingent is three times less likely to be hospitalized even without vaccinations, and almost six times less likely to die, in terms of overall population risk. That likely plays into the lessening of impact from boosters, although a drop from 0.4 deaths per 100K to 0.1 deaths per 100K still counts for a significant number of deaths in large populations.

With boosters in both groups, the death rate from COVID-19 resembles the flu, a non-benign respiratory disease that we nevertheless handle without extraordinary impositions on commerce and community life. That data mainly comes from the Delta wave, too — a more pernicious variant than Omicron, which itself produces less severe results. That’s very good news, and a great reason for those 50 and over to get vaccinated, boosted, and back to normal life.

What about younger Americans? The CDC oddly didn’t provide numbers for the largest contingent of adults, and the NYT’s Apoorva Mandavilli suspects that a relative lack of actual cases makes it impossible to track. That’s a reasonable assumption, given the Delta figures on hospitalizations and deaths even without booster shots:

The risk of Covid death among Americans ages 18 to 49 was low. The rate was about 0.9 per 100,000 people among the unvaccinated, and plummeted to 0.03 among people who were vaccinated. With the addition of a booster, deaths were too low to measure.

Again, this demonstrates the benefit of vaccinations. At a death rate of 0.9/100K, unvaccinated adults below 50 are at far less risk for death than those above. The death rate is actually a bit below the 2019-19 death rate for flu in the same age group (1.2/100K). Vaccination, however, cuts the death risk thirty times. Why not vaccinate, other than specific and serious contraindications?

By the way, this under-50 demographic does not have a homogenous risk profile to COVID-19. The CDC’s latest data on risks by age group uses the basic risk profile of 18-29YOs as a reference group and then expresses risk in those units. People 30-39 years of age are twice as likely as the reference group to be hospitalized and four times as likely to die. For those between 40-49 years of age, hospitalization risk is also twice that of the reference group, but the death risk is ten times that of 18-29YOs. Presumably the CDC’s data on boosters lumps these groups together because they have a homogenous response in terms of risk profile from having been boosted, but those in the upper half should understand that their underlying risk is higher than the mean assumed in this reporting.

This calls into question, again, the public-policy response on what constitutes full vaccination. Full protection, or at least as full as it can get, clearly means boosters for those above 50 and those with immune-response issues and other comorbidities. Insisting on boosters for younger and otherwise healthy adults looks like a waste of time at this point, especially as the Omicron wave recedes. Politicians and bureaucrats have seized on boosters because it’s an objective metric, but it may not measure much for most American adults. It certainly doesn’t measure impediments to community transmission as we have discovered in both the Delta and Omicron waves; at best, it measures strength against serious and/or severe cases of COVID-19 that relate to health-care utilization, but mainly relates to the expected risk and outcomes from individual choices on initial  vaccinations as well as boosters.

And let’s not forget that this doesn’t account from the widespread exposure of Omicron, Delta, and Alpha in our population already. This is no longer a novel coronavirus; the population now has a substantial immune response to it. It may not be complete, and it may not have touched every single human in the US yet. However, it has penetrated far enough — especially with its trademark asymptomatic transmission in all variants — that our assumptions should now be based on endemicity rather than emergency containment to protect a population with no immune response at all.

In the end, attempts to apply one-size-fits-all categories and restrictions are pointless. This is not a one-size-fits-all disease, and it never has been. The risks are far greater for older people, and will remain so like most if not every respiratory disease known to man. The spread of the variants now is known to be untethered to vaccinations, probably all along but especially with Omicron and Delta, so there is no real public policy justification for vaccination-related restrictions — especially as it relates to boosters. Those at higher risk will need to take precautions just as we do with the flu, and everyone else should get back to normal life. If people choose not to get vaccinated or boosted, that’s a risk they can choose and bear that risk burden themselves rather than transfer it to everyone else.

Sagging Fascist Nancy Complains With A Word Or Two About Lefty Fascism!

 FEBRUARY 5, 2022 BY SCOTT JOHNSON IN CHINANANCY PELOSI

NATTERING NANCY’S NAUSEATING PALAVER

What to say about nattering House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s nauseating palaver advising Olympic athletes to shut up and play ball lest they offend their totalitarian Communist hosts (video below)? I have wanted to cool down before venturing a thought. Charles Lipson now speaks for me in the Spectator column “Nancy takes a knee for Beijing at the Winter Olympics.” Subhead: “If politicians like Pelosi wish to add their two yuan, it would be nice if they did it on the side of freedom.”

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Professor Lipson writes:

Nancy Pelosi, stock-trader extraordinaire, doubles as an adviser to America’s Olympic athletes. And her wise, nuanced advice to them is simple: “Shut up.” It would be a very bad idea, she says, to voice any political criticism at the games of the Chinese Communist Party or its glorious rule.

You may have missed her similar advice to LeBron James, as he kissed the backside of Beijing’s dictators. You may have missed her critique of the NBA, as it protected its highly-profitable franchise in China. They were as compliant as any US multinational operating in Germany in the 1930s, eager to retain their profitable operations. You may have missed Pelosi’s full-throated defense of the NBA’s Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets, who tweeted his support of the Hong Kong protesters in 2019? (He quickly backtracked under league pressure.)

Nope. You didn’t miss it. Nancy’s lips were sealed. Of course, LeBron James, Nike and the NBA can say what they please. This is America. We have the free-speech rights, except at universities. Individuals, corporations and non-profits can say what they want, however craven. Still, if politicians like Pelosi wish to add their two yuan, it would be nice if they did it on the side of freedom.

Professor Lipson then assesses the prudential issues in play for China and the athletes before arriving at this conclusion: “It’s a sad spectacle to see American politicians like Nancy Pelosi reinforcing the CCP’s message that athletes should say nothing about the Party’s political control and repression. Her warning may have been prudent, designed to shield the athletes from harm. But by legitimating Beijing’s threats to free speech during an international event, she inflicted that harm herself.” I don’t think any consideration mitigates the disgrace Pelosi has inflicted on the United States and that she herself is the one who needs to be told to shut up.

Note From SeaShell Regarding Blister and Painful America…

AMERICA HAS TURNED INTO A BLISTER AND A PAINFUL ONE AT THAT. THE BLISTER HAS BURST WIDE OPEN AND THE PUS IS BEGINNING TO FLOW AS IF IT WERE A RIVER, PENETRATING ANY AREA AND SECTOR IT CAN DRENCH. WE HAVE BECOME SOAKED WITH SIN AND EVIL. ORGIES OF EVERY KIND HAVE TAKEN OVER THE ACTIVITIES OF THE MASSES, WITHOUT ANY KIND OF RESPECT TO WIVES, HUSBANDS, AND OVERALL FAMILY. THE MASSES DO NOT EVEN CARE IF THERE IS A HEAVEN AND HELL, SO LONG AS WHAT THEY WANT ARE RECEIVED AT THAT VERY MOMENT IN TIME. AN INDEPENDENT MIND AND TO HAVE AN ABILITY TO THINK FOR ONE’S SELF; DOES NOT MEAN TO DO WHATEVER HE OR SHE INTENDS TO ACCOMPLISH, WITHOUT CONSIDERING THE RESULTS OF THAT PARTICULAR ACTION(S). WE MUST CONSTANTLY KEEP IN MIND THAT EACH INDIVIDUAL SIN AND ACTION, ADDS TO THE ACCUMULATION OF A NATIONS DOWNFALL. A PERSON MAY NOT THINK SO, BUT THEN AGAIN THAT IS WHY WE ARE BATHING IN OUR OWN NATION OF PUS.

Austin’s fiscal 2020 police budget dropped from $434.5 million in 2019 to $292.2 million in 2020.

Austin Thinks Again

By Michael Letts at American Thinker:

Homeless encampments in Austin, Texas, were legalized in 2021, but the people of this fast-growing tech mecca have had second and third thoughts about what looked like a good idea on paper but turned out to be an eyesore under bridges.

Austin politicos have just finished removing virtually all remaining visible homeless camps. Other cities are taking notice.

The journey to this current outcome was far from a straight path.

Put bluntly, it was a dizzying display of waffling “wokeness.” In 2019, the city council of Austin had the bright idea to legalize homeless camps. Unfortunately, they took the vote in the middle of the night — 2:00 am to be exact — when virtually all citizen stakeholders were asleep.

A year later, the same council voted to defund the city’s police budget by more than a third.

These decisions caused wholesale disaster and immediate negative consequences for public safety. Moreover, they led to even more chaos, violence, and, recently, a backlash from some grassroots groups actively rejecting the council’s dangerous progressive agenda.

Like other cities across the nation, Austin residents had the chance to move in favor of restoring order as they voted on Proposition A to “re-fund” and restaff the police. This ballot measure came a year after they voted on another referendum to curb the rampant homeless crises created by that first middle-of-the-night council vote.

But unlike other cities, Austin voted down the measure in early November.

After Decision No. 1 by the city council, homelessness in Austin exploded as homeless people from other cities migrated into the state capitol to live off the heavily-subsidized fat of the land.

The situation quickly became deadly. A whopping 10 percent of homeless people died in 2020 alone — with substance abuse being the leading killer. Regrettably, the gruesome run of deaths has gone on unabated. As a result, the city spent upwards of $70 million last fiscal year to deal with all related problems, and as if that wasn’t enough, the federal government poured in another $200 million.

It turns out it’s expensive to make everything “free and legal.”

It was also a big hit for taxpayers at the state and federal levels. One study of public spending on the 250 “most expensive” homeless people in Travis County — where Austin is located — showed a combined annual cost of $223,000 per person. That’s far more than most hard-working Americans earn in a year.

Then came Proposition B, a grassroots referendum to reinstate the city’s camping ban that made it on the ballot. Again, city officials predicted it would be a close call.

But it wasn’t. Prop. B won a decisive 58–42 percent victory in Spring of 2021.

Then, as all of this played out, the Austin woke wannabes jumped on the Defund the Police bandwagon. And, you guessed it, yanking police resources made that bad public camping experiment even worse.

As a result of the insane defunding movement, Austin’s fiscal 2020 police budget dropped from $434.5 million in 2019 to $292.2 million in 2020. On top of that, the city council also cut three cadet classes and 150 officers from the budget.

Ouch.

Proposition A. was meant to help turn things around. This was another referendum created by the same group behind Prop. B — Save Austin Now — that would have required the city to backtrack on those spending cuts and pay to maintain and train more police officers (two per every 1,000 residents).

It would have doubled officer training and increased their presence in the community. But Austin voters rejected Proposition A due to a campaign against it that claimed funds would have been taken from funding parks and other city services.

It’s too bad. Austin’s 2021 murder tally is now the highest in its history, nearly tripling from 33 in 2019 to 89 murders in 2021.

Austin’s looking a lot like Portland, Oregon, Chicago, and New York.

Clearly, ‘Defund the Police’ did not work. Neither did the idealistic notion of allowing the homeless to self-govern, even with subsidies of a quarter-million dollars apiece.

It’s unclear why Austin still backed these double-barrel bad ideas. Who wants to go to a park if it’s filled with homeless people and no police to fight crime?

Based on the crime, homelessness, and general turmoil in the city, it seems like this deadly social experiment needed to end, and we can only hope Austin elected officials learned their lessons.

Austin is a familiar story. The number of sworn officers has dropped by more than 300 over the past year. Yet, at the same time, the city’s population has grown by nearly 40,000 since 2019. It currently stands at about one million.

According to data collected for the Manhattan Institute’s Metro Majority survey, more than half of Austin residents oppose defunding the police and support a more prominent police presence in their area.

The first city council vote in the dead of night demonstrated the council’s complete disregard for the well-being of its citizens.

Adding insult to injury, the council voted again to defund the police, throwing the community into more chaos and danger at the hands of criminals.

Throwing open the doors to all of the state’s homeless population while employing fewer officers was a recipe for disaster. It’s now painfully apparent that it’s far easier to Defund the Police from a city relatively free of crime than it is to re-fund and remove criminals and stop the crime that has proliferated during the grand experiment. It won’t be easy, but at least — with more officers and training on the horizon — there would have been more hope for the people of Austin now that politicians have somewhat awakened from their “woke” slumber.

U.S.A. IS ALREADY DETERIORATING FROM COAST TO COAST!

 FEBRUARY 4, 2022 BY JOHN HINDERAKER at PowerLine:

LIVING STANDARDS PLUMMET IN UK; ARE WE NEXT?

This striking report is from the London Times:

Families will experience the biggest fall in living standards since records began, the Bank of England revealed today, as energy bills were confirmed to rise by £700 per household.

In a bleak assessment of the year ahead, the Bank’s monetary policy committee warned that take-home pay would fall by five times the amount it did during financial crisis of 2008.

This seems newsworthy: the “biggest fall in living standards since records began”– although, to be fair, the records in question only go back to 1990–and take-home pay declining by “five times the amount it did during the financial crisis of 2008.” So, what is causing this severe hit to the well-being of English families? Unreliable–i.e., “green”–energy.

It came after Ofgem, the energy regulator, confirmed this morning that the price cap on energy bills for 22 million households would rise by £693 from April to £1,971 a year. A total of 4.5 million households with prepayment meters will see their bills rise by £708 to £2,017.

The British government is planning to spread out the impending jump in energy prices over a period of years to cushion the blow:

Announcing a £9 billion package of loans and council tax rebates to help, the chancellor acknowledged that cost of living was the “No 1 issue” on people’s minds and that rising bills would be “incredibly tough” for millions of families.

However, he said that the government cannot keep energy bills “artificially low” in the face of soaring wholesale gas prices, adding that to do otherwise would be “dishonest”.

He instead announced plans which will cushion the majority of households from half of the rise in energy bills. Every household will receive a £200 rebate funded by £5.5 billion in government loans, which will be clawed back from households in the form of a £40 surcharge for each of the next five years.

There is no shortage of energy in the world, but there is an excess of graft: “green” energy is impoverishing those whose governments have been so foolish as to abandon cheap, reliable energy. Unfortunately, our own government is following the corrupt “green” path. A few are getting rich, and the rest of us will pay the price.

Collapse Of The Fascist Left, CNN!

The weird world of CNN

by Byron York, Chief Political Correspondent at the Washington Examiner:

THE WEIRD WORLD OF CNN. The oldest, and lowest-rated, of the Big 3 cable news networks is in an apparent meltdown these days. Much of the staff of CNN is upset about the sudden, unexpected firing of network president Jeff Zucker, who was dismissed for not reporting an affair with a subordinate. But here is the weird thing few seem to be talking about. All the angst, all the uproar, all the tumult, is over a man who was running the network into the ground.

Get to the drama later. First this: A few days ago, Mediaite ran a story headlined, “January Ratings: Fox News Hits 20 Years at Number 1, While CNN and MSNBC See Massive Drops From Last Year.” Massive was right. The article reported that, compared to last year, CNN “is down 74 percent in total viewers and 81 percent in the demo during day time, and is down 77% in total viewers and 82 percent down in the demo during prime time.” (The “demo” refers to advertisers’ most sought-after viewers between 18 and 49 years of age.)

CNN’s fall was indeed massive. Yes, other networks were also down from the super-newsy days of the 2020 presidential campaign and transition. But MSNBC was down 56% in total viewers during prime time, while Fox News was down 12% in prime time. (Note: I am a Fox News contributor.)

So, CNN’s losses were indeed enormous. The network succeeded in running three-quarters of its audience away, all in the space of a year. And that was on top of years of embarrassments for Zucker and his team. In recent times, they took criticism from the Left for over-covering Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, “sometimes going so far as to broadcast images of an empty lectern with embarrassing chyrons such as ‘Breaking News: Standing By for Trump to Speak,'” wrote the Washington Post’s media columnist Margaret Sullivan.

Then, when Trump won the 2016 election, CNN shamed itself with its over-the-top promotion, and wall-to-wall coverage, of the Trump-Russia collusion theory. Remember it was CNN that played a key role in bringing to light the Steele dossier, the sensational, salacious, and never-verified Democratic dirty trick that did enormous damage to the new administration before Trump even took the oath of office.

In early 2019, the contrarian journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote a story called “The 10 Worst, Most Embarrassing U.S. Media Failures on the Trump-Russia Story,” and CNN played a prominent role. With stories like this:

On July 27, 2018, CNN published a blockbuster story: that Michael Cohen was prepared to tell Robert Mueller that President Trump knew in advance about the Trump Tower meeting. There were, however, two problems with this story: first, CNN got caught blatantly lying when its reporters claimed that “contacted by CNN, one of Cohen’s attorneys, Lanny Davis, declined to comment” (in fact, Davis was one of CNN’s key sources, if not its only source, for this story), and second, numerous other outlets retracted the story after the source, Davis, admitted it was a lie. CNN, however, to this date has refused to do either.

It’s hard to exaggerate how worked up CNN got about this and other stories during the Trump-Russia matter. They talked about it for hour after hour. And in the end, the network got the big picture — Trump-Russia collusion — wrong. Plus, for most of the time, CNN stayed in third place in the ratings.

The network had a brief moment in January 2021, when, bolstered by its audience’s intense interest in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and the second Trump impeachment, it rose to the top of the ratings. But it soon began to sink, and it has continued sinking to its present sorry state. Trump likes to joke that CNN needs him for ratings, but the fact is, CNN has been down for a long, long time. Fox surpassed CNN in the overall ratings in January 2002 and has stayed on top since then.

Zucker has presided over the losses for the last nine years. If a network measures its success by attracting viewers — and while that is not the only measure of success, it is extremely important — CNN, under Zucker, failed and failed and failed.

Nevertheless, now that Zucker is out — and we still do not know the entire story of his ouster — the staff is mourning the loss of the Great Leader. According to CNN’s Brian Stelter, Michael Bass, one of the top network executives who is part of an interim leadership team, said the morning after the news broke, “I know we’re all in shock. You can’t replace Jeff. It’s not possible. There’s no one else like him. The best thing we can do is honor his legacy and continue his mission. Do what we’ve been doing every single day.” At a staff meeting, also according to Stelter, a CNN anchor said, “I just don’t want us to be rudderless” — as if Zucker had been steering them in the right direction.

And after disbelief came anger. “Zucker’s fiercely loyal employees have been shocked and enraged,” reported Vanity Fair. They are mad at Jason Kilar, the head of WarnerMedia who fired Zucker. When Kilar appeared at a staff meeting in the Washington, D.C., bureau, reporter Jamie Gangel told him: “From everything we’ve been told, this [Zucker’s firing] does not fit the crime. I think the company has made a terrible mistake. I do not think you have any appreciation for what you’ve done to this organization, and to our coverage, and to all the people who worked for him.”

Gangel told the meeting that anger over Zucker’s firing has spread to high levels of the U.S. government. “The first calls I got this morning were from four members of the January 6 committee, who felt devastated for our democracy,” she said, “because Jeff was not going to be around to make sure that CNN is able to do its job.” The extensive quotes are possible because someone in the meeting made an audio recording of it and leaked it to the media. (By the way, Gangel later corrected herself; she was contacted by four members of Congress, but only one of them was a member of the January 6 committee.)

To outsiders, it all seemed exceedingly … weird. Perhaps Zucker had treated them well personally; he was known to keep good relations with on-air talent. But aside from its brief shining moment in January 2021, CNN has been in the cellar so long that perhaps some have become unable to imagine that another leader might actually do a better job.