• 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

Are Some Democrats Becoming Civil American Again? But NOT THE BIDEN CROWD?

FEBRUARY 10, 2022 BY JOHN HINDERAKER at PowerLine:

BLUE GOVERNORS RETREAT ON MANDATES

The New York Times notices a trend:

New York’s governor said on Wednesday that she was ending the state’s indoor masking rules. The governor of Massachusetts announced that face coverings would soon become optional in schools. And by day’s end, the governors of Illinois, Rhode Island and Washington said that they, too, would loosen coronavirus rules.

The moves, which came rapid fire, one after another, mean that many of the Covid-19 restrictions that have divided Americans will soon be eliminated in places where politicians have long championed sweeping virus precautions.

Of course, not everyone is happy. The Times interviews several who mourn the demise of vaccine and mask mandates:

But in California, Barbara Ferrer, the top public health official in Los Angeles County, expressed her concern to elected officials this week: “We should not be lifting the masking mandate when we are reporting thousands and thousands of new cases every day. That doesn’t make sense.”

Some would say Ms. Ferrer is drawing the wrong inference. If we have mask mandates and are still seeing hundreds of thousands of new cases per day, maybe that means mask mandates don’t work.

In many instances, governors who terminate statewide mandates are leaving decisions to counties, cities and school districts that may choose to keep them in place. But even in the bluest jurisdictions, some politicians are retreating. Thus, earlier today the mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul announced that they have revoked the vaccine mandates that both imposed just a short time ago. Obviously the “science” hasn’t changed in the last few weeks, but the politics of mandates are flowing in the opposite direction.

Why the retreat from vaccine and mask mandates? There is an election coming up in November, and governors want to have some hope of being re-elected. That’s a good thing: at least periodically, politicians have to listen to their constituents. But you know who doesn’t have to worry about being re-elected? Ron DeSantis. Also Kristi Noem.

The press has tried to hoodwink us into thinking that governors who declined to impose draconian mandates, or prohibited localities from doing so, were effectively murdering citizens of their states. But if that were true, it would be the red governors–not the blue ones–who were frantically reversing course as the election season begins. Instead, we see red governors riding high amid a steady exodus of residents out of blue states and into red ones

Shoplifting The Only Rev. Al Crime? You Must Be Kidding!

Have your Trader Joe’s and eat it too: Nikole Hannah Jones criticizes Rev. Al for admitting shoplifting is out of hand

JOHN SEXTON Feb 10, 2022 at HotAir:

 

This story started Tuesday when the NY Post covered an incident of shoplifting that was caught on camera:

A man was caught on Post video allegedly brazenly swiping about a dozen steaks from a Manhattan Trader Joe’s on Tuesday morning…

Two helpless Trader Joe’s staffers had followed the man up an escalator leading to the store’s exit but only stopped him from taking a shopping basket outside — not the meat, the video shows.

“They basically just tell us not to do anything, just let them go,” a Trader Joe’s worker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, later explained to The Post.

The NY Post put the shoplifter on the cover with this amusing headline:


Now, as you can already tell from the cover, there are two points of outrage here. One is the brazenness of the crime and the fact that no one at the store is allowed to even try to stop it. It seems to many people that, as often as this happens, people doing it ought to be arrested and discouraged from carrying on as if this is normal behavior.
The second related point is that this isn’t a one-off. Crime is up in NYC and elsewhere. The issue here isn’t just one guy stealing a few steaks. The issue is lots of guys like him stealing stuff to the point that many stores are struggling to cope. The Post published a story the next day with video of another man shoving canned drinks into his pants at same Trader Joe’s.
Getting back to the Hamburglar, he wasn’t stealing ten expensive steaks because he’s starving. As the Post had previously reported, a lot of stolen merchandise gets sold on to bodegas. This isn’t desperation, this is boosting merchandise to make money.
Avi Kaner, the CEO and co-owner of Morton Williams said in his 25 years with the grocer, he’s never seen as much theft.
“They are coming in with garbage bags to steal for profit and sell the goods to unscrupulous businesses,” he said, alleging that much of the pilfered stuff ends up on shelves at smaller bodegas in the Bronx and elsewhere.

And the collective impact of so many thieves stealing so much from retail stores is that some stores are closing permanently. Again, the Post covered this last month:

The Rite Aid at the corner of 8th Avenue and 50th Street in Hell’s Kitchen will close Feb. 8 because of the rampant pilfering, said store sources who claim thieves have ripped off more than $200,000 worth of merchandise in the past two months alone.

A Post reporter followed one brazen thief at the store last week, watching him load four cases of beer into an oversize canvas bag in the back of the store and stride out without paying.

Stealing $200,000 in two months is a significant amount of money. That’s more than $3,000 per day. There’s no way the store can make enough on sales to overcome a loss of $3,000 per day. Just today, ABC New York reported on two other stores who are beefing up security because of the wave of shoplifting they are experiencing thanks in part to progressive bail reform:

New York City’s largest grocery chain announced Thursday it is beefing up security amid a wave of shoplifting across the city.

John Catsimatidis, Chairman and CEO of Gristedes/D’Agostino’s Supermarkets, cited a recent 40-50% spike in shoplifting incidents in adding the extra security measures…

Catsimatidis said bail reform has contributed to increases in crime throughout the city and state, leaving shop owners with little recourse and criminals with no fear of repercussions.

And that brings us to Morning Joe which talked about the Hamburglar story yesterday morning. As you’ll see, even Rev. Al Sharpton thinks things have gotten out of hand. “There are those, including me, who are concerned about overloading the system and the jails with petty crime,” Sharpton said. He continued, “But at the same time you cannot have a culture where people are just— at random— just robbing and stealing and it’s out of control and it’s put on the covers of newspapers which only encourages others to do it.”


For saying something fairly obvious about the need to bring down petty crime when it is up more than 23%, Nikole Hannah Jones lashed out at Sharpton and accused him of legitimizing “the carceral state.”

Reverend Al Sharpton

@TheRevAl


An alleged shoplifter has been caught on tape appearing to steal 10 steaks from NYC Trader Joe’s. I joined MSNBC to speak on the need for public safety and to address criminal justice concerns. #MorningJoe









What Color OF AMERICAN SKIN Today IS TRYING TO DESTROY OUR USA MOST BY FASCISM? TRY TO BE TRUTHFUL! THEY RIOT ALOT!

 FEBRUARY 10, 2022 BY STEVEN HAYWARD IN ACADEMIC LEFTIDENTITY POLITICSRACERACE AND RACIAL BIAS

TODAY IN RACE OBSESSION

That race has become the central obsession of the left is hardly news, but reaching new levels of racial absurdity is always good copy.

Today’s racial ridiculousness come to us courtesy of National Public Radio (figures). Start with this tweet, which is authentic and not a Babylon Bee parody:

“Some academics argue.” Always a promising start. And here’s some of the actual article, in case you don’t believe it:

A 2018 study published by the University of Edinburgh looked at the use of different skin tone emojis — what it referred to as “modified” emojis — on Twitter to find out if the modifiers contributed to self-representation.

Alexander Robertson, an emoji researcher at Google and Ph.D. candidate involved in the study, said the emoji modifiers were used widely but it was people with darker skin who used them in higher proportions, and more often.

Instead, some white people may stick with the yellow emoji because they don’t want to assert their privilege by adding a light-skinned emoji to a text, or to take advantage of something that was created to represent diversity.

Perhaps, like Heath Racela, they simply don’t want to think about how their message could be interpreted. But Zara Rahman, a researcher and writer in Berlin, argues that the skin tone emojis make white people confront their race as people of color often have to do.

Google has an emoji researcher?

How Close Is Feminist Wokism To Fascism AT HOSPITALS AND SCHOOLS?

How Vaccine Discrimination Caused Dangerous Hospital Care Shortages In Wisconsin

BY: KYLEE ZEMPEL at the Federalist:

FEBRUARY 10, 2022

hospital system health care workers protest sign

The depths of Covid corruption at Gundersen can’t fit on one page, and that hospital is just the tip of the iceberg.

Andrea Babinski never imagined she would be forced to get a vaccine to keep her nursing job.

“When people would say stuff like, ‘Oh, mask mandates today and slippery slope to vaccine mandates tomorrow,’ I thought, ‘No, that’s crazy. That sounds like a conspiracy theory, like wacko people,’” she said.

For the medical-surgical nurse who worked at Gundersen Health Systems for 12 years, it was never about politics. Due to several autoimmune issues, Babinski decided medically the shot was not the best decision for her.

She told me this over the phone, not from a hospital break room but from her home, because on Nov. 16, Babinski was fired from the La Crosse, Wisconsin hospital for declining to take a Covid shot.

Babinski isn’t an anomaly. She’s one of an untold number of health-care workers and other hospital staff across the country who have been denied basic informed consent where it should be valued most, and have thus either resigned or been fired for their private medical decisions.

Meanwhile, while the expert class, COVID hysterics, and even the president of the United States repeatedly rattle off talking points about overflowing ICUs and the “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” they ignore the real crisis plaguing hospitals and their role in creating it.

That crisis is a massively understaffed hospital system as qualified and willing-to-work medical personnel have been thanklessly terminated. Thanks to coercive vaccine mandates, which the U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld, hospitals are hemorrhaging employees and patients are not receiving care they desperately need.

Inside Hospital Walls

Gundersen Health Systems illuminates this widespread problem. Thanks to bad reporting and a severe lack of transparency, this Wisconsin health system and its egregious management have flown under the radar.

Former Gundersen employees, who were terminated as a result of the mandate, know what life is like inside the hospital walls. They watched dirty laundry pile up and eventually be thrown away when there were no hands to tend to it. They saw the cafeteria whittle its offerings to PB&Js when there was nobody to staff it. They witnessed beds go unfilled because the qualified nurses who could have tended to ailing patients — and did unflinchingly through the most serious months of the pandemic — were fired for their personal medical decisions.

It started in August when Gundersen implemented a staff vaccine mandate, which employees first learned about not through the hospital but when it was leaked to the press. Gundersen’s official announcement was accompanied by the claim that about 85 percent of staff had already been vaccinated, a statistic the media uncritically parroted.

The problem is that it apparently wasn’t a real statistic. According to multiple former employees, the hospital didn’t learn about staff vaccination statuses until after touting that percentage. Babinski said staff members were threatened with termination if they didn’t report their vaccination status through Gundersen’s Covid Attestation Form by early September, weeks after the hospital had declared what percentage of staff had gotten the shot.

Gundersen did not respond to The Federalist’s inquiries about how it calculated 85 percent.

At the beginning of November, after the mandate deadline, Gundersen and local news reported “30 out of 9,000 employees terminated over vaccine rule,”and “62 resigned rather than receive COVID-19 vaccine.” Reports also noted that “[n]inety-nine percent of Gundersen staff are fully vaccinated or in the process of becoming fully vaccinated.”

But this also apparently wasn’t true. First, many people resigned long before the hospital began terminating, due to poor working conditions, low wages, and frustration with the mandate.

“It was like rats jumping off a sinking ship,” Babinski said. “We had hundreds of people that I [know] personally now … people that just quit leading up to the mandate. They were never given a chance to say the reason they quit, so I don’t know where they got their number.”

Many of these employees were people Babinski had gotten to know by rubbing shoulders with them at mandate-related protests. Others she connected with in a private Facebook group for Gundersen workers against mandatory vaccination, a group The Federalist confirmed has more than 600 members.

Gundersen also failed to grant exit interviews, according to former employees who were denied them and others who were simply never asked why they left. This means the hospital would have no way of knowing how many resignations were a result of vaccine refusal.

Worse, Gundersen was still actively hemorrhaging employees at that time, through continued terminations and resignations, meaning those early numbers are undercounted.

“That was a huge kick in the gut because a lot of us weren’t even fired yet,” Babinski told The Federalist, recounting what it was like to see those reports while knowing she wasn’t among the 30 but would soon be terminated.

It’s a Lot More Than That…

Other metrics also indicate those numbers were dramatically undercounted.

For instance, take a look at the increase in job openings following the announcement of the vaccine mandate. Notice how the positions for CNAs within Gundersen Health Systems jumped from 53 in mid-September to 60 just a few weeks later. It’s also possible these postings are for multiple vacancies, meaning if there’s a need for six day-shift nurses in the cardio-pulmonary unit, for example, the job might only be listed once.

Since then, Gundersen’s vacancies have only continued to skyrocket. Postings for CNAs have now jumped to 85, and posted vacancies for nurses spiked from 89 after the mandate was announced to 141 as of Wednesday, a more than 58 percent increase that occurred mostly after the reports of only 30 terminations and 62 resignations

This staff hemorrhaging was on top of other worker shortages resulting from alleged poor wages and working conditions. Nursing staff watched as environmental assistants, who are responsible for custodial duties, left their posts in droves after their wages were lowered in 2021.

“Why work for Gundersen when you can easily make more money at Culvers, Kwik Trip or Walmart?” one RN wrote in a community impact statement. She had been granted a religious exemption but was so disgusted by the letter’s language that she resigned anyway. This RN reported that as a result of low-wage staff jumping ship, nurses had to use the bare minimum of linens, even going so far as to craft makeshift pillowcases out of hospital gowns.

“This shortage of low-wage staff had direct impacts on patient care. Patients would go without clean linens and towels,” David Anderson, who was a nurse in Gundersen’s Behavioral Health Unit for nearly a decade before being fired in November as a result of the vaccine mandate, told The Federalist.

“During one of my shifts as a charge nurse, my staff had to give patients washcloths to use as towels, because washcloths were the only clean laundry to be found,” he added. “Trashes around the hospital were overflowing, floors were dirty, and laundry sat in hampers for days with nobody to wash it — hospital laundry, festering with feces, urine, vomit, and blood. Tens of thousands of dollars of it had to be thrown away.”

Trying to mitigate these severe staffing shortages, Gundersen sought volunteers among its medical professionals to help with hospital cleaning, meaning that after it dropped wages for environmental assistants, nurses could make their normal rate of anywhere from $32 to $50 per hour for doing janitorial work.

‘How Much Worse Is It Going to Get?’

The shortages extended to nurses as well, long before the vaccine mandate made them much worse.

“Within the hospital, nursing shortages have led to unsafe staffing situations where nurses and CNAs are being forced to take more patients than what is safe due to there not being enough nursing staff present. Patients are being forgotten on bed pans or are falling because there is simply not enough staff to safely take care of them,” wrote the RN who resigned after acquiring a religious exemption.

She said that one weekend in October, Gundersen had to shut down a dozen beds in the hospital due to nursing shortages. She added that the hospital has also canceled heart valve replacement surgeries because it didn’t have enough staff to take care of post-op patients.

“Now just imagine, if this is the current staffing reality at Gundersen, how much worse is it
going to get when Gundersen fires hundreds more in November due to the vaccine mandate?” she said.

The Post-Screw-Up Scramble

As a result of the largely self-inflicted staffing crisis, Gundersen has been scrambling for workers and trying to find loopholes.

“We cannot simply create more RNs,” came the desperate email from corporate, reviewed by The Federalist, asking the hospital’s medical-surgical nurses to move shifts to plug holes. Even some terminated nurses were still on the open-shift texting list, which blew up non-stop with urgent requests.

Now Gundersen and other local hospitals, including Mayo Clinic Health System, are calling on the National Guard for help due to this self-imposed shortage of staff and thus beds — a shortage they’re simultaneously blaming on the vaccinated being out with the virus and unvaccinated staff who didn’t obey the mandate, a stunning lack of self-awareness.

“It’s been very challenging to try to staff the units with staff being out with Covid or not being compliant to being vaccinated,” said Renee Groth, a nurse manager at Mayo.

One nurse who worked at both Mayo and Gunderson throughout the pandemic told The Federalist that Mayo is even worse with its aggression toward unvaccinated employees. Gunderson is now throwing job offers to staff members who were fired or resigned from Mayo over the same types of mandates.

In an attempt to make up for the huge staffing holes, Gundersen is also bringing in travel nurses after kicking their own dedicated staff to the curb. It’s a convenient loophole for the hospital; after firing unvaccinated staff, it can then use unvaccinated travel nurses because they’re technically employed by a travel agency, not directly by Gundersen.

Many full-time nurses who lost their jobs have since become travel nurses or are considering doing so because they can maintain their medical freedom but still work — plus, travel nurses receive double or triple the wage rates of a normal nurse. This, of course, raises questions about what will happen to health care costs when prices are unnecessarily inflated.

Power Before Patients

This is all to be expected from hospitals that go along with absurd medical edicts from on high that they can see are decimating standards of care. When asked during a September leadership town hall about his plan to help departments that could lose upwards of 25 percent of their staff due to the vaccine mandate, Gundersen CEO Scott Rathgaber responded:

“Hear me say that if we have to decrease the ability to deliver services in order to preserve the staff that we have, we will do so in the short term until we can build that back up. … If we do have staffing shortages, we will have to adjust ultimately what services we can provide. … It’s as simple as math, and having enough people to do the work.”

In other words, if Gundersen had to turn needy patients away or shut down medical services in order to force performative morality through vaccine compliance, that was a price it was willing to pay. Except the hospital hasn’t ultimately paid it; its staff and patients have.

So are medical workers and patients across the rest of the country. Gundersen is just the tip of the iceberg.

Is There ANY CIVILIZED DEM In The Senate?

Only one, it seems…..That Joe Manchin from West Virginia! Will he only “balk”?

 FEBRUARY 10, 2022 BY PAUL MIRENGOFF IN INFLATIONJOE MANCHIN,

MANCHIN STILL BALKING AT SPENDING TRILLIONS AS INFLATION HITS 40-YEAR HIGH

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.6 percent in January on a seasonally adjusted basis. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 7.5 percent. That’s a 40-year high.

I’ll take the BLS’ word over my impressions. However, I feel like the prices I’m paying have risen more than 7.5 percent in just six months. I suppose that’s a function of what’s happening with food and energy prices.

Most importantly, I bet if you asked Americans how much the cost of living increased over the last 12 months, the vast majority would give an answer in double digits.

But even the 7.5 percent is too much. Wages increases aren’t matching it.

Accordingly, Sen. Joe Manchin issued a statement decrying the rate of inflation. He said:

For months, I have been ringing the alarm bell about inflation. Once again, we are witnessing that the treat of inflation is real. There is not a corner of this nation where hard-working families are able to escape the noticeable impact of this “inflation tax.” Inflation taxes are draining the hard-earned wages of every American, and it’s causing real and severe economic pain that can no longer be ignored.

Manchin also included this pointed comment:

As inflation and our $30 trillion in national debt continue a historic climb, only in Washington, DC do people seem to think that spending trillions more of taxpayers’ money will cure our problems, let alone inflation.

“Build Back Better” in any incarnation might well be on life support by now.

Does President Biden Know What Inflation IS?

Biden on inflation: It’s transitory, I tell you!

ED MORRISSEY Feb 10, 2022 at HotAir:

Does the White House realize that Joe Biden’s Chip Diller act is wearing thin? For months, Biden and the White House either ignored inflation or pretended it reflected a healthy economy. Even when the White House belatedly realized the political risks of uncontrolled inflation — not to mention the damage to American households — did they start paying lip service to concern, but insisted that it won’t last long.

Biden still hasn’t budged off the “transitory” message even after today’s disastrous report. CNN dresses this up with a headline that Biden finally “acknowledges inflation causing real stress for Americans,” but that’s too little and too late:

“On higher prices, we have been using every tool at our disposal, and while today is a reminder that Americans’ budgets are being stretched in ways that create real stress at the kitchen table, there are also signs that we will make it through this challenge,” Biden said.

The consumer price index rose 7.5% in the 12 months ending January, not adjusted for seasonal swings, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Thursday. It was the steepest annual price increase since February 1982 and worse than economists had forecast.

Biden reiterated forecasts that project inflation will ease substantially by the end of 2022.

“Ease substantially” is a vague prediction, not a policy. Inflation started picking up over the summer and has turned into a runaway freight train at high speed now, to use a metaphor that Biden should appreciate. His policies helped trigger this, especially his entirely unnecessary and massive stimulus package combined with Biden’s neglect of a supply-chain crisis that had already raised its ugly head when the March 2021 relief plan passed Congress.

Besides, inflation compounds, so even “easing up” in a few months doesn’t address the lost buying power that’s been eroding for the last several months. It might take years for wages to catch up to that erosion already, let alone by the time Biden thinks that there will be an “easing,” to whatever degree that happens.

Notably absent from Biden’s platitudes about making it through this challenge is any hint from Biden as how he plans to accomplish it. So far, Biden’s only policy response to date on inflation has been to insist on spending $4.5 trillion over the next ten years on his Build Back Better plan (using the CBO’s numbers for full ten-year costs). Joe Manchin has already balked at that spending plan, and declared vindication shortly after the CPI inflation rate report got published. But those spending plans looked dead already even before the inflation report, as Politico noted earlier this morning:

Build Back Never? The thought has crossed Democrats’ minds.

President Joe Biden’s $1.7 trillion social and climate spending plan is dead as written, rejected by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). The Senate is moving onto a host of other issues that will take up the rest of the winter and possibly some of the spring. And some Democrats concede there’s a small but distinct possibility they could have to shelve the whole endeavor indefinitely.

“Absolutely, there’s the possibility,” said Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), who argued that Democrats can still assemble a productive midterm resume without a massive party-line spending bill.

“If we’re able to get the appropriations bills done, if we’re all able to get the Postal Service done, if we’re able to get some stuff done on toxic exposure [in the military], that would be a pretty good record,” he added.

Even before today’s report, Manchin insisted that any reconciliation bill had to be entirely re-oriented to deficit reduction, not expansion:

Rather than start with spending priorities and then evaluating how to pay for them, Manchin wants to start with tax reform as the goal of any party-line effort. He’s also insisting that social programs go through typical committee consideration, which allows Republicans more input. And he doesn’t just want it fully paid for; he wants it to significantly cut the deficit and put debt on a “downward trajectory.”

“That’s really what reconciliation is for: to get your financial house back in order. And that’s the thing that can be done and should be done,” Manchin said. He said he’s willing to reengage in negotiations if his fellow Democrats “want to be realistic about what the real problems are and how we can fix the problems. The main thing is getting our financial house in order.”

That’s a nod to the expected action from the Federal Reserve, which could jack up interest rates by a half-percent in their next meeting while modestly divesting their bond accumulation during the pandemic. That would force the US to pay higher interest on our debt, making not just deficit reduction but actual debt reduction a high priority. Even just addressing the hundreds of trillions in unfunded mandates from “safety net” social programs would save lots of cash on interest payments when those rates start going up high enough to deal with inflation. The Fed didn’t have that problem in 1979-82 when it used high interest rates to tame that cycle of stagflation.

Biden’s clichéd platitudes on inflation haven’t fooled voters. As bad as Biden scores on overall job approval, his numbers on the economy are actually worse, according to the RCP aggregation of polling. He’s currently at 38.3/56.3, a gap of -18, and YouGov is the only pollster to put him in single-digit negatives since the beginning of December. Harris has him at -23 (35/58) and NBC at -22 (38/60) on the economy. Beside YouGov, Fox News is the only pollster to put Biden above 40% on the economy for over a month.

No one’s buying Biden’s spin any more, because they can’t afford it. The Chip Diller act has just about reached the point where the stampede occurs, if it hasn’t already. Biden’s polling certainly makes him look flattened at the moment.

Will Its Magnificent Freedom Truckers Free CANADA FROM ITS FASCIST DANDY TRUDEAU?

A Letter From A. L. Luttrell:

Trudeau is doing what he does, lying to the Canadians. Saying the truckers are destroying their economy and using scare tactics in the neighborhoods with Nazi and Confederate flags and symbols. THAT WAS A LIE! He is using their protests to have someone else to blame for his 2 year of failed policies and handling of COVID. I’d welcome our Truckers to follow the Canadians. Multi-purpose, one: sometimes you have to sacrifice something to gain more back, two: it would show the truckers and people of Canada that the truckers and people of the U.S. join them in solidarity for a cause and it is not from a decision made by government but by We the People. We’ve not done that for a long, over-due time. Like I said, maybe we have to sacrifice a bit for awhile, but the end results can be more than beneficial. It could be almost revolutionary! That is what we need now, as badly as this nation has ever needed it; a revolutionary effort! I believe we can win it, we understand the ignorance of those we are fighting. We should have remembered the warning, our greatest enemy was going to come from within!

JOE BIDEN: The Absence Of Civil And Truthful Thinking!


GREATNESS AGENDA

Blinkmanship

The talk of sanctions and crushing defeats from Antony Blinken and Joe Biden has an air of unreality, like Baghdad Bob’s claims of the Iraqi Army’s victories during the U.S. assault on Iraq in 2003. 

By Christopher Roach at American Greatness:

February 8, 2022

Because of increasing specialization, most of today’s top government officials have spent their entire lives in government service. They lack the gentleman-amateur chops of a Dean Acheson or the business background of someone like Donald Trump. The results are not encouraging. 

One thing you learn in business is that bluffing is dangerous. It’s easier to make promises than to keep them, and that often it’s better to be ambiguous, to say nothing, or, if necessary, to communicate only in private. 

A good counterexample would be Barack Obama with his infamous “red line” in Syria. He said the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons against civilians would cross a red line resulting in serious consequences and retaliation. Yet when Bashar al Assad allegedly approved the use of chemical weapons against a rebel civilian enclave, Obama did nothing. 

Setting aside the merits and demerits of our Syria policy, this is just bad business. It is the type of thing a coddled academic with no real life experience would think is a great idea, but something an ordinary real estate agent, bar manager, or car salesman knows is a bad idea. Threats box in the speaker and are only as effective as his perceived ability and willingness to back them up.

Biden’s life experience has done little more than Obama’s to prepare him for the moment. While he has been bloviating in the U.S. Senate since the 1970s, he has not covered himself with glory. His contributions to foreign policy typically have revealed him to be thoughtless and unsophisticated, opposing the mission to kill Osama bin Laden, among other things, while supporting the Iraq War

In the ongoing war of words with Russia, Blinken and Biden are carrying on as if it’s 1995 and the U.S. military commands automatic respect as the technologically superior adversary with the undisputed ability to dominate. Biden has threatened Russia with a “disaster,” and Blinken said there would be “a swift, united response to further Russian aggression.” But what exactly backs up all this tough talk? 

Today the United States has about 65,000 troops deployed to Europe, down from a Cold War peak of over 300,000. The rest of NATO, minus some of the newer members, have shrunk their militaries considerably since the Cold War. Germany has only 180,000 men in its military, down from a Cold War level of 500,000. The UK went from 300,000 during the Cold War to only 150,000. Russia, by contrast, is adjacent to NATO territory and has military personnel numbering nearly 1 million. 

NATO is at odds with itself over this spectacle, with the Germans in particular wanting to cool things down and continue to do business with the Russians. Even the Ukrainians, whom we are ostensibly trying to assist, have warned that America’s bellicose rhetoric is hurting them and making things worse. 

If things come to blows and remain conventional, it is not so obvious we would win. As noted, we do not have a very large military, and comparatively little of it is in Europe. We recently lost two long wars in the Middle East, as well. The course of those conflicts wore out equipment and cultivated skills and instilled habits directed against a completely different kind of enemy, fighting a different kind of war. 

Finally, we have an electoral system, and there is no strong consensus or will to fight among the American people. Even at the height of the Cold War, the consensus for containment did not sustain the American commitment in Vietnam. It would doubtless unravel in a high casualty conflict over Ukraine.

Far from being easier than the recent counterinsurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, a war with Russia would be more difficult. Unlike the Taliban, Russia has electronic countermeasures, sophisticated drone and air defense capabilities, lots of artillery, and a serviceable air force. It has improved and upgraded its conventional forces considerably, while the United States remains bogged down by its flawed, overly bureaucratic, and slow-as-molasses procurement regime and the self-imposed weaknesses from political correctness

In other words, the talk of sanctions and crushing defeats from Blinken and Biden has an air of unreality, like Baghdad Bob’s claims of the Iraqi Army’s victories during the American assault on Iraq in 2003. There seems little likelihood that NATO could militarily defeat Russian forces if they invade Ukraine, and the Russians surely know this.

The biggest problem with the Biden Administration is that it is full of theories and ideas and a sense of America’s important role in the world, but very few of those ideas have been tested against reality. Like the harebrained schemes to shut down the economy to “flatten the curve” or “cash for clunkers,” the authors of these ideas have little real world experience where they are accountable for results. That is, they lack a record of success (and equally instructive, failure) to inform their decision-making. They write books and articles, give speeches, have exquisite and superficially persuasive models, but they lack the diverse life experience of a George H. W. Bush or James Baker or, for that matter, Vladimir Putin.

This kind of “rule by experts” has become pervasive. A similarly “book smart” crew persuaded George W. Bush to go for broke in Iraq, on the theory that it would create a “reverse domino effect” and ignite a passion for liberal democracy in the Middle East. That, needless to say, did not happen.

Tony Blinken is prominent in the current Ukraine crisis. He has a golden résumé and served in previous administrations, but he is the author of no successes or warnings of note. He supported the Iraq War and later took credit for the Syria policy, which succeeded only in creating a refugee crisis and the conditions in which ISIS thrived. 

More recently, it has been revealed that he had much to do with the disastrous and disorderly retreat of American diplomatic assets from Afghanistan, only asking for registration of Afghans working for the Americans the day before Kabul fell. 

In other words, none of the actual decisions Blinken and Biden were responsible for suggest great judgment. Yet, here we are. 

The one thing that cannot be easily spun, ignored, or wished away is reality. And reality is the yawning gap between what the United States is trying to do in Ukraine and its ability to control events. This gap will be revealed in spades if the Russians call Biden’s bluff. Then, instead of a regional war between third parties, the Russians will succeed also in destroying U.S. credibility, even though that credibility is quite relevant for our national security more generally. All of this could have been avoided by a prudent silence and a more diplomatic diplomacy that actually conformed to our abilities. 

About Christopher Roach

Christopher Roach is an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness and an attorney in private practice based in Florida. He is a double graduate of the University of Chicago and has previously been published by The Federalist, Takimag, Chronicles, the Washington Legal Foundation, the Marine Corps Gazette, and the Orlando Sentinel. The views presented are solely his own.

KAMALA WHO??

Kamala will attend the Munich Security Conference … What could possibly go wrong?

KAREN TOWNSEND Feb 09, 2022 at HotAir:

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AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Kamala Harris is getting another trip to Europe. She’s not going to France this time, she’s going to Germany for the Munich Security Conference. The White House announced today that she is going to Europe next week to help “deter Russian aggression against Ukraine.” Heaven help us all.

The messaging coming out of this White House is as bad as that coming out of Kamala’s office. On the one hand, Biden keeps saying that a Russian invasion into Ukraine may be imminent. On the other hand, the Department of Defense tries to tamp that rhetoric down by saying that nothing is certain and the State Department says that diplomacy still has a chance. Now Kamala is being sent to bring allies together against Russian aggression. Why isn’t Biden going? Shouldn’t the president be going to this shindig?

Kamala has no experience in bringing our allies together. She is being sent to beef up her resume for when she runs for president, whether that is in 2024 or 2028. Her first diplomatic trip to Europe as vice-president brought stories of fine French cookware purchases in Paris and mocked for using a phony French accent while visiting scientists. I do not begrudge her the cookware purchase, by the way. I’d have done the same, given the opportunity and available disposable cash. The point is that she was supposed to be making nice with Macron after Biden botched the submarine deal, known as AUKUS. Her trip went almost unnoticed by the French press. She attended an Armistice Day commemoration and was a guest at the opening ceremony of the Paris Peace Forum. There was nothing to really write home about.

Her previous trips, few as they have been, include travel to Mexico and to the Northern Triangle where her three word message to future migrants was, “Do not come.” She took a South Asia tour of Singapore and Vietnam where she cackled inappropriately a lot and kept officials cooling their heels because she was late a lot. How’s she doing so far?

So, here we are with Russia positioning more than a hundred thousand troops on the border with Ukraine and European allies are rightfully nervous about what may happen next. Apparently, someone got the bright idea that Kamala should be sent to calm nerves and get allies on board with whatever it is that Biden will decide to do. What could possibly go wrong? Color me skeptical that she will be the person to reassure our allies that this time Biden has his stuff together and can handle an international crisis. No one has forgotten Afghanistan and how he left allies and their personnel hanging as he botched America’s exit. Kamala can’t cackle her way out of that memory, still fresh in our minds.

‘This trip is about engaging our allies and partners and building upon the intensive engagement that is already under way,’ an official said.

At the same time it emerged that the White House has reportedly signed off on a Pentagon plan to use U.S. troops in Poland to help evacuate American citizens from Ukraine if Russia invaded.

Troops deployed to Poland will set up checkpoints, tent camps and other temporary facilities close to the border with Ukraine in preparation to receive fleeing Americans, in an effort to prevent the chaotic scenes that emerged from Afghanistan last year.

Officials told the Wall Street Journal their mission would be to help coordinate an evacuation of some of the estimated 30,000 Americans in Ukraine, but would not involve flying them out of the country.

Guiding the planning, they said, was the memory of the Kabul airlift.

‘Everyone who lived the evacuation from Afghanistan felt it was remarkable but also chaotic,’ one defense official said.

‘That was a messy, messy withdrawal. We don’t want a chaotic withdrawal from Ukraine.’

No, we don’t. However, already the Americans living in Ukraine were told on January 24 that they should evacuate now and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said there was no organized effort by the White House was planned for them. Now, however, there is a report from CNN that Biden is “laying out contingency plans to evacuate Americans from Ukraine should Russia launch an invasion.”

The planning is reportedly being led by the Pentagon, which has laid out several different evacuation scenarios — including one in which nonessential US government employees are removed and a larger plan in which all American are flown out.

The report noted that there was no need for Americans to leave Ukraine at this time. The country’s international airports are still operating and land borders with its other neighbors remain open. The State Department would make the ultimate call about whether evacuations are necessary.

Egads! Should Americans stay or should they go? Would you trust Secretary Blinken and his posse to have a workable plan to evacuate yourself and that of your family if it all goes wrong? Nope, not after what we saw in Afghanistan. Despite the State Department’s happy talk, thousands of Americans and legal residents were left behind.

Some of the same personnel that were in charge of the Afghanistan withdrawal are now positioned in Europe for this crisis. We have to hope the Pentagon has done some “lessons learned” workshops.

Army Maj. Gen. C.D. Donahue, who was the last American to step onto a military jet and leave Afghanistan after overseeing the evacuation, is now leading troops in Poland, as commander of the 82nd Airborne Division that arrived over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported.

And officials said Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, who was the head of Air Mobility Command in August and led U.S. evacuation planning for Kabul, now is in charge of U.S. Transportation Command which coordinates transportation around the world.

One reporter at the Pentagon tweets today that reporters are not being embedded with troops heading to Europe.

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The Munich Security Conference has been used by Joe Biden in recent years to trash Trump and puff himself up overseas. President Norms promised that the adults would be in charge and that he would unify Americans yet he slammed Trump’s handling of illegal immigrants in 2019 in Munich. During last year’s virtual conference, Biden crowed, “America is back.” America never went anywhere. Briefly, we had a president who didn’t kowtow to Europeans in order to be a member of the club. President Norms is excited that The Swamp is back in tact. I’ll note here that the last time Putin threatened invasion and made good on it was during the Obama-Biden administration when Obama did nothing while Russia invaded Crimea. Is it a coincidence that a weakened
American reputation on the world stage, thanks to Biden’s incompetence, now gives a green light for Putin to threaten Ukraine? I have no confidence at all in Kamala’s ability to reassure our allies now.

“Capitalism’s Color Is Green”

How capitalism went woke

By Brian Parsons at American Thinker:

“Capitalism knows only one color: that color is green; all else is necessarily subservient to it, hence, race, gender, and ethnicity cannot be considered within it.”

—Thomas Sowell

Over the past few years, I have often wondered how corporations have spurned their customer base in the pursuit of activism and how they have remained in business.  How did corporations get so detached from profits that they can shun a good percentage of their consumer base and still keep their share prices stable or growing?  I found the answer in Conscious Capitalism and ESG investing.

I first heard of Conscious Capitalism a decade ago in a speech by Whole Foods founder John Mackey.  Conscious Capitalism is the brainchild of Mackey, and it’s his assertion that capitalism can have a philanthropic motive and not just a profit motive.  However, in Mackey’s view, philanthropy pre-empts the profit motive, and profit is just a byproduct of doing good business.

Conscious Capitalism is a feel-good story until one considers that when philanthropy subverts the profit motive and the business is no longer responding to the demands of the marketplace, the business no longer serves a purpose at all.  There is no shortage of charities that don’t require empty patronage for participation.  Merely meeting the demand of the public while employing thousands of people in local communities is in itself a public good.

ESG stands for Environmental Social Governance, and in ESG investing, a qualitative score is applied to businesses based on how well they conform to leftist social movements.  Often, these individual businesses are then bundled into funds with other high-scoring businesses.  One comparison of this system that has been made is to China’s social credit system, whereby your position in society is based on how well you comply with the dictates of the government.

In 2015, ESG assets stood at $2.8 billion.  By 2020, those assets had hit $40 trillion and are estimated to hit $53 trillion by 2025.  The onslaught of leftist activism over the past few years has coincided with exorbitant growth in these ESG funds.  As leftist businesses, municipalities, and investors look to virtue-signal their ESG bona fides, they have diversified their holdings like pensions into these ESG funds, which explains the exorbitant fund growth.

Historically, when a company has produced a game-changing product like an iPhone or a Tesla electric vehicle, the stock price has soared based on the objective value that the company has brought to the world.  Now, with ESG funds, a company like Nike can continue to manufacture its shoes in a foreign sweatshop, so long as it speaks out against white privilege and achieves the coveted ESG label, or gets bundled into larger ESG funds.  A company can afford to lose a percentage of its consumer base if it can still grow by users investing in its activism.

Much like labeling food as organic, receiving a high ESG score is not without controversy.  It has been viewed as a marketing ploy, in much the same way many food products receive the certified organic label, despite less than natural processes in production.  Nike above is an excellent example.  Despite being listed as a company that does not treat its employees well or promote diversity and inclusion internally, Nike received a high ESG score from the investment blog the Motley Fool.  No consideration for how or where the company’s products are produced is given.  This demonstrates that merely running social justice campaigns is enough to stand out in a crowded investment field.

In the case of Conscious Capitalism and ESG investing, the funding that companies garner is not based on the quality of their product, the demand for their product, or innovation that enriched the lives of their customer base.  These are merely ways to virtue-signal the personal politics of corporate executives and investors while turning off half of their customer base. They are empty shell games and can be likened to multilevel marketing schemes because the product offered takes a backseat to something else.  Often, the demand for the product is mutually exclusive of the demand for the philosophy.  Eventually, you run out of customers who wish to buy both your product and your activism.

Brian Parsons is a paleoconservative columnist in Idaho, a proud husband and father, and saved by Grace.  You can follow him at WithdrawConsent.org or find his weekly opinion column in the Idaho State Journal.  GabMeWeemail.