• 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

Stupid California Appellate Court HAS HELD, UNDER LAW, THAT BUMBLEBEES ARE FISH!

MAY 31, 2022 BY JOHN HINDERAKER at PowerLine:


An appellate court in California has held that bumblebees are fish:

The issue presented here is whether the bumble bee, a terrestrial invertebrate, falls within the definition of fish, as that term is used in the definitions of endangered species in section 2062, threatened species in section 2067, and candidate species (i.e., species being considered for listing as endangered or threatened species) in section 2068 of the Act.

It takes 35 pages of tortured logic in an opinion that reads like a parody, but the court concludes that bumblebees indeed are fish within the meaning of California’s environmental laws. I take it that all other insects, by the court’s logic, are also fish.

I cite this decision as a warning to those who repose faith in our courts to check the excesses of the political branches. See also: Michael Sussman.


Illinois high school implements new grading practices for equity

JOHN SEXTON May 31, 2022  

This story comes from a conservative news site called West Cook News that I’ve never heard of before (more about them here). But the story links to the primary document it’s reporting on, a slide show presentation for Oak Park and River Forest High School announcing a strategic plan to transform the school’s grading system. The school is located in Oak Park, Illinois and the goal of the change is to make grading more equitable.

School board members discussed the plan called “Transformative Education Professional Development & Grading” at a meeting on May 26, presented by Assistant Superintendent for Student Learning Laurie Fiorenza…

“Traditional grading practices perpetuate inequities and intensify the opportunity gap,” reads a slide in the PowerPoint deck outlining its rationale and goals.

It calls for what OPRF leaders describe as “competency-based grading, eliminating zeros from the grade book…encouraging and rewarding growth over time.”…

Sullivan calls grading based on traditional classroom testing and homework performance “outdated practices” and foster “unconscious biases.”

“Teachers may unintentionally let non-academic factors—like student behavior or whether a student showed up to virtual class—interfere with their final evaluation of students.,” she said. “Traditional student grades include non-academic criteria that do not reflect student learning gains—including participation and on-time homework submission.”

West cook News frames this as a “race-based grading system” and while that probably is the motivation behind this, the slide show doesn’t mention any specific races. The key slide titled “Summary of Findings” reads as follows:

  • Traditional grading practices perpetuate inequities and intensify the opportunity gap
  • Integrating equitable assessment and grading practices into all academic and elective courses requires the collaborative effort of a team of educators committed to improvements that
    benefit all students
  • Many OPRFHS teachers are successfully exploring and implementing more equitable grading practices such as: utilizing aspects of competency-based grading, eliminating zeros
    from the grade book, and encouraging and rewarding growth over time
  • Teachers and administrators at OPRFHS will continue the process necessary to make grading improvements that reflect our core beliefs

This isn’t the fist school to adopt some of these ideas. Back in 2020 I wrote about the San Diego school district’s plans to adopt something similar.

The San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) is overhauling the way it grades students. Board members say the changes are part of a larger effort to combat racism.

“This is part of our honest reckoning as a school district,” says SDUSD Vice President Richard Barrera. “If we’re actually going to be an anti-racist school district, we have to confront practices like this that have gone on for years and years.”…

Academic grades will now focus on mastery of the material, not a yearly average, which board members say penalizes students who get a slow start, or who struggle at points throughout the year.

Another big change, teachers can no longer consider non-material factors when grading. Things like turning work in on time and classroom behavior will now instead count towards a student’s citizenship grade, not their academic grade.

The Associated Press published a story in March of this year about the trend:

For years, advocates have advanced the concept of “equitable grading,” arguing grades should reflect students’ mastery of course material and not homework, behavior or extra credit. A growing number of schools now are becoming more deliberate about eliminating bias from grading systems as a result of lessons from the pandemic and the nation’s reckoning with racial injustice.

From California to Virginia, schools have been experimenting with getting rid of zero-to-100 point scales and other strategies to keep missed assignments from dramatically bringing down overall grades. Others are allowing students to retake tests and turn work in late. Also coming under scrutiny are extra-credit assignments than can favor students with more advantages.

The AP story also noted the outcome of the push in San Diego which I described above.

In San Diego, a teachers union filed a grievance last year when the district launched plans to introduce equitable grading. Government and economics teacher Julia Knoff said she and her colleagues were concerned about having less autonomy and more work on tasks like rewriting tests for retakes.

The union eventually reached an agreement with the district ensuring teachers discretion on matters like how late assignments can be submitted and how many times they can be redone. Knoff, who is also a union representative, has been going through the training, although she personally believes the new approach will do little to prepare students for real-world responsibilities.

“I have a job and I have a boss and requirements,” Knoff said.

I don’t know anything about that particular teacher, Julia Knoff, but her basic complaint makes a lot of sense. The real world is not a place where you can not show up, miss assignments repeatedly and then make up for it all by retaking the final 3 or 4 times. I get the idea that school shouldn’t solely be about preparing people for work but really the basic rules of getting things done, showing up on time and not disrupting everyone else seem like pretty fundamental lessons that apply here and around the world.

I’m not sure what happens to these equitably graded kids when they get their first job and find out they have to a) show up for work when scheduled, b) get the job done while on the clock and c) not create a disruption in their place of work . All that to say, some of these changes don’t sound very helpful in the long run.

On the other hand, as a parent there is an argument to be made that zeroes in the grade book on one minor assignment can create a real hurdle for students, some of whom may have actual reasons for missing an assignment now and again. The middle school my kids attended also allowed for test corrections in many cases which allowed students to make up some of the missing points by redoing the work after the fact. So I’m not necessarily against everything they are suggesting here but I think I draw the line when showing up and doing the work don’t count against you at all.

Donald Trump’s Outstanding Attorney General….

 MAY 31, 2022 BY SCOTT JOHNSON at PowerLine:


I have four propositions with which many readers will disagree. First, William Barr was an outstanding Attorney General of the United States in the Trump administration. Second, if it weren’t for Barr, the Mueller investigation would still be going strong persecuting innocent citizens. We would be entertaining proposals to convert it into a permanent commission. Third, I agree entirely with his critique of President Trump’s endgame on January 6. (I had my own say on that score in “A shameful day” while events were still unfolding and would deepen my critique now with the benefit of the Eastman memo.)

Fourth, Barr’s memoir One Damn Thing After Another is the best memoir ever written by a former Attorney General. The competition on that front isn’t terribly stiff. Widening the ambit, however, I would say it’s a memoir that, though not quite up to their standard, belongs in the company of classics by former cabinet members such as Dean Acheson and Henry Kissinger.

In the video below Glenn Beck interviews Barr at length about his service (in both of his AG stints) as portrayed in the book. This is Beck’s summary of the interview:

In the final turbulent two years of the Trump administration, Attorney General Bill Barr tells Glenn why he pulled out of retirement to answer Trump’s call to help stop a constitutional crisis. But he got more than he bargained for when he was forced to deal with impeachment, a summer of racial turmoil, a global pandemic, and attacks against President Trump from every angle. Barr joins Glenn to answer critics who say he didn’t do enough for the Trump admin while he was in office, why he believes Hillary Clinton’s Russiagate scandal was “seditious,” why the Durham investigation is just now hitting pay dirt, and much more, as detailed in his new book, “One Damn Thing After Another.” As America faces threats from China, on our southern border, and from within our own corrupt institutions, Barr lays out America’s best path forward …

Via Nick Arama/RedState.

“GUILTY” Michael Sussman Acquitted by District of Columbia…

MAY 31, 2022 BY SCOTT JOHNSON at PowerLinew:


Well, of course, that didn’t take long. The guilty guilty guilty Perkins Coie/HRC attorney Michael Sussman was acquitted by his District of Columbia peers/HRC campaign donors sitting in judgment on his case. I’m not sure whether the jury spent more time picking a foreman or deliberating over the evidence. Perhaps some enterprising reporter will get us inside the process. Thanks to the evidence introduced at trial by the lawyers in special counsel John Durham’s office, however, we learned that the Clinton campaign was even dirtier than we knew and the FBI even more compromised.

UDPATE: More from Mr. Techno Fog, Esq., here.

“Christopher Wray will not excise the “rot” that infests the FBI from top to bottom”.

No, Senate Republicans, the FBI Does Not Deserve a Raise

Rewarding the FBI with a half-billion in tax dollars would not just be a slap in the face to Republican voters but also to every victim of the FBI’s shoddy, unaccountable practices.

By Julie Kelly at American Greatness:

May 30, 2022

The day before FBI Director Christopher Wray explained to a Senate appropriations subcommittee why his department deserves a $527.8 million raise in 2023, his agents were credited with foiling an ISIS-linked plot to assassinate George W. Bush. An Iraqi national was arrested on May 25 and charged with attempting to smuggle four other Iraqis into the United States then “murder” the former president in retaliation for the war in Iraq. (I will address the sketchiness of this story in a separate column.)

The timing for Wray was suspiciously fortuitous; appointed by Donald Trump in 2018 to lead the scandal-ridden agency, Wray continues to promote the unsubstantiated notion that domestic terrorists, i.e., Trump voters, pose a lethal threat to national security. For nearly a year and a half, armed FBI agents across the country have raided, interrogated, and arrested more than 800 Americans on mostly nonviolent offenses related to January 6, 2021, a four-hour protest that Wray considers an “act of domestic terror.”

Then right before Wray went hat-in-hand to Congress to ask for a budget boost, headlines blared the news that his department thwarted a plan tied to a legitimate terrorist organization overseas?

Color me skeptical.

If he gets his way, Wray will control a $10.7 billion budget next year—a $1.4 billion increase over 2020—and nearly 37,000 employees. Meanwhile, the American people have lost trust in the nation’s top law enforcement agency; a recent poll revealed that 64 percent of Republicans and 46 percent of independents consider the FBI “Joe Biden’s personal Gestapo.” Even 30 percent of Democrats agree, presumably more as a bragging point than a source of alarm.

Wray, however, appears unconcerned with his department’s poor reputation. So, too, are Republican lawmakers. Not a single GOP senator grilled Wray about the FBI-concocted scheme to “kidnap” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020, an operation that involved at least a dozen undercover FBI agents and informants working out of numerous FBI offices and required approval from top FBI officials in Washington. A Michigan jury last month acquitted two men charged with conspiring to abduct and kill Whitmer after defense attorneys successfully argued their clients were entrapped by the FBI. (The jury could not reach a verdict for two other men; Biden’s Justice Department plans to retry the case.)

No one asked Wray how his agents missed Payton Gendron, the man responsible for the massacre in Buffalo on May 14, despite a wide online footprint, a history of threatening behavior, and reports that the killer communicated with a former federal agent prior to the attack. Republicans also gave Wray a pass on the targeting of parents at school board meetings; the whereabouts of Hunter Biden’s laptop—which the FBI took possession of in December 2019—and any investigation of its contents; repeated violations to FBI policies on investigations of political interests; and the raid of Project Veritas’ James O’Keefe to stonewall another Biden family scandal.

The botched FBI investigation into serial rapist Larry Nassar, longtime physician for the women’s USA Gymnastics team, only earned a glancing mention. (Thirteen victims have filed a lawsuit against the FBI seeking $176 million in damages.) Wray feigned ignorance when Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) asked whether the two FBI agents primarily responsible for mishandling the matter would face criminal prosecution.

The very next day, the Justice Department announced it would not pursue charges against the agents, insisting that the “Principles of Federal Prosecution require more to bring a federal criminal case,” even though both agents lied to federal investigators during an internal inquiry. Moran and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) immediately issued a statement calling the decision “infuriating.”

Only one senator confronted Wray about the FBIs lost credibility. “There are millions of Americans who look at this and think, I’m not saying they’re correct, that the FBI’s become a political organization and at some point you’re going to have to address that,” Senator John Kennedy (R-La.) told Wray. “I think at the right time you’re gonna have to address this and assure the American people that the rot is gone.”

But the rot is festering; after facing no consequences for any number of illicit scandals over the past several years, Wray’s FBI is emboldened to act as the enforcement arm of the Democratic Party. One has to look no further than the scummy FBI agents and informants responsible for the Whitmer kidnapping hoax, another FBI attempt to interfere in a presidential election and sabotage Donald Trump.

Christopher Wray will not excise the “rot” that infests the FBI from top to bottom. Therefore, the task falls to Sen. Kennedy, his Senate colleagues and House Republicans. But there’s no indication that will happen. Senators last week should have hammered Wray for using his authority for flagrant partisan purposes—from entrapping innocent Americans to produce damaging headlines for Trump right before the 2020 election to spying on parents protesting race and gender-related school policies—not handle him with kid gloves.

But that is exactly what happened. In one gushing exchange during the hearing, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)—the former chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee who promised and failed for years to “get to the bottom” of the FBIs politically-motivated investigation into Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign—and Wray flirted with the idea of giving the FBI more money than the proposed budget request.

Graham noted that the FBI’s budget increase is below the rate of inflation. “After listening to you and everything you say is legitimate concern, you have a lot to do. Do you think the committee should look at increasing your budget?” Graham asked Wray, who replied that he would welcome “any additional resources” and promised the funds would be “put to good use.”

No doubt.

Of course, the FBI does not deserve a raise—instead, its headquarters should be razed and the department completely overhauled if not abolished. It repeatedly has failed to protect the most vulnerable including young gymnasts and grade schoolers while deploying its destructive powers against American citizens for political reasons.

Unfortunately, Republicans in Washington don’t have the stomach for such a battle—but denying the FBI’s big money grab next year should be a no-brainer. Rewarding the FBI with a half-billion in tax dollars would not just be a slap in the face to Republican voters but also to every victim of the FBI’s shoddy, unaccountable practices.

Will Republicans find the backbone to partially reign in this rogue agency? Sadly, the answer probably is no.

“Why is it that when a black supremacist used an automobile as a murder weapon in Waukesha, Wisconsin killing six and injuring over 60, no one in the national press lunged into a hyperventilating screaming fit?”

May 31, 2022

From Senseless Trauma to Predictable Hackery

By W.R. Wordsworth at American Thinker:

As revolting a spectacle as it was, it was scarcely surprising (considering the source) that in the immediate aftermath of the horrific killings at Uvalde, the “President” hobbled to a microphone to rehash stale partisan lies designed to defame half the nation and to scapegoat his political adversaries – even sinking so low as to repeatedly enlist God as his partner in this disgraceful, transparently self-serving stunt.

In his screed, Biden delivered a litany of angrily couched, divisive lies. While the trotting out of these recycled, cheap falsehoods is galling, one of the most offensive aspects of Biden’s hateful little rant was its subtext. Biden’s falsehoods were delivered in a tone that implied the Uvalde tragedy gives Biden and his political allies a license to gloat over the victims and to proclaim accusatorily “See! We told you so! You wouldn’t let us have our way, and now this happened!”

As if murderous evil were amenable to “common sense” regulation — as though a depraved mind will always wilt in the face of wishful thinking and cease its vile quest for the means to mayhem if only countered by the mildest discouragement of poorly crafted, arbitrarily imposed regulatory restrictions. As has been noted elsewhere, none of the proposed gun control measures demanded by the Democrats would have stopped Uvalde from happening (a pump shotgun would have been just as devastating as a semi-automatic rifle in this instance) and beyond that, no national trauma should be used as an occasion for petty political denunciation.

The more details emerge from Uvalde, the more disheartening the picture becomes. The reporting of recent days has called attention to the role that negligent security practices at the school (along with the inexplicable delay and hesitation of the police) may have played in worsening the tragedy. We are also compelled to recognize that this horrific episode was ultimately rooted in a failure to effectively address, or even recognize, yet another individual case of dangerously deteriorating mental health. How can such madness go unnoticed? Why was there no intervention? This was clearly someone that should not have been able to pass a background check — and yet did, and that must be addressed. Here, perhaps, is an opportunity for bipartisan action; evidence of adolescent insanity should prohibit one from purchasing a firearm as a legal adult.

Leaving these issues aside, let us return to the episode’s predictable political exploitation. For some days now, we have been subjected to hysterical demands for gun control, often more or less openly trumpeted as justified revenge against the nation’s gun owners, who once again stand accused of silent complicity in an act of criminality by an insane perpetrator. Owing to this episode, one now hears the usual demands for gun banning and confiscation.

But is one not permitted to ask: why is it that when a black supremacist used an automobile as a murder weapon in Waukesha, Wisconsin killing six and injuring over 60, no one in the national press lunged into a hyperventilating screaming fit demanding the punishment and de-vehicularization of every car owner in the country? Why is it that gun owners are always blamed when a criminal grievously misuses arms that they themselves lawfully and responsibly possess?

Moreover, we are told that the United States, to its eternal and irremediable shame (owing to its barbaric adoption and baffling retention of the Second Amendment) is the only nation in which these incidents happen but let us temporarily accede to this false claim so as to elaborate upon its implied line of reasoning. We Americans, it seems, should hang our heads in shame, and our “President,” we are told, is embarrassed when he is placed in the awkward position of having to explain to foreign dignitaries why our nation (unlike theirs) is occasionally beset with these violent episodes.

The Second Amendment was devised in large measure to provide an ultimate counterweight to a potentially oppressive government; its institution is part and parcel of the decentralization of power that the founders sought to establish in the interest of securing the indefinite preservation of political liberty. The Second Amendment exists to ensure that the public possesses the means to resist the imposition of tyranny. So long as the public possesses these means, tyranny is far less likely. So an armed citizenry, one might say, represents a standing denial of opportunity to any aspiring tyrant or dictator, inasmuch as an armed public imposes so great a cost on violently subduing the nation as to make it effectively impossible.

Such standing precautions are easily laughed off by the Second Amendment’s detractors, who simply cannot imagine a plausible scenario in which the American people would find themselves compelled to offer armed resistance to their own government. And in a sense, we freely acknowledge, they are right to find such a scenario ridiculous — it is ridiculous, because no marginally sane government would dare provoke an armed citizenry to active resistance. The reason we may rest assured that our government will not grotesquely abuse us is that we possess the effective means to resist its agents, were it to attempt to do so. But without these means, where would we stand vis-a-vis a violently abusive government?

So — to return to the point from which we had departed — our “President” finds himself embarrassed in the presence of foreign dignitaries. Alas! How this, our shameful, archaic heritage, must burden the commission of his office! He has our sympathies, of course, but before we rush to wallow in our seemingly deserved national shame, are we not permitted to ask: where is our Auschwitz? Where is our Sobibor? Our Treblinka? Where is our Holodomor? The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia killed roughly one third of their countrymen; Chairman Mao is said to have killed over 50 million of his — where is the analogous American experience? Could it be that disarmed populations are left prey to violently abusive governments in ways that we Americans have never been — and are not now — owing to the Second Amendment? Could this unique American institution merit some gratitude inasmuch as it preemptively nullifies government-sponsored genocide as a viable project?

And we would also oblige the smarmy, hectoring, anti-Second Amendment screamers to acknowledge that in demanding our disarmament — either incrementally, or all at once — they are also championing the establishment of a police state. For what else would one call a regime which works to ensure that the means of effective armed resistance are held solely by the military and the police — institutions exclusively devoted to enforcing a state’s claim to authority over its subjects?

Lastly, let us answer for our obstinate resistance to “common sense” gun control measures. Such proposals — despite the catchy little moniker undoubtedly poll tested to appeal to wine moms and other assorted low information voters — are always and without exception misdirected simple-minded non-solutions — and they should be denounced as such. The violence that afflicts our society at virtually every level stems from mental illness, family breakdown, and drug abuse, and not from the legal private ownership of firearms of which a gaggle of overprivileged, ignorant hacks happens to disapprove. And one more thing: we advocates of the Second Amendment hurt no less when a Uvalde happens than do our professional detractors; our thoughts and prayers are no less sincere than theirs. We grieve for the children and hurt with the parents, just as they do. Any effort to suggest otherwise is utterly despicable. The nation deserves better than vulgar denunciations and histrionic hissy fits designed to spark and fuel a general moral panic. What we deserve is a thoughtful, thorough response to the problem of untreated mental illness along with stronger and more effective measures to protect our schools.

“Biden is under water in 47 states.”

MAY 30, 2022 BY JOHN HINDERAKER at PowerLine:


Civiqs has an online polling methodology that you can read about here. Is it right? Does it work? Who knows? We do know that traditional polling practices have been off the mark, sometimes wildly so, in recent years. So let’s take these numbers for what they are worth.

Civiqs finds Joe Biden under water in approval rating by 34% approve, 55% disapprove. That is brutal. But it gets even worse if you look at the numbers state by state. Biden is under water in 47 states: only in Hawaii, Massachusetts and Vermont do his approvers outnumber his disapprovers. And in almost all states, Biden’s name is anathema. The worst are West Virginia and Wyoming, where his numbers are 18/75 and 18/76 respectively.

Biden flops across the country, if not quite so spectacularly. What keeps him within shouting distance is that his numbers are relatively not terrible in some of the biggest states: California, 42/46; New York, 42/46; and Illinois, 43/47. The rest of the country can’t stand the man. Notably, independents disfavor Biden by a shocking 22/65. In this poll, the Democrats’ chronic gender gap is present. They have a terrible time appealing to men, who disapprove of Biden by 30/63.

Are these numbers an accurate assessment of where Biden now stands? My own organization polled Biden’s approval in Minnesota three months ago and found him under water at 45/50. We use a top Washington, D.C. polling firm. The Civiqs survey shows Biden in much worse shape in Minnesota, at 39/52. Honestly, I find that hard to credit, although it certainly is possible that Biden’s numbers have declined in recent months due to inflation, the infant formula shortage, skyrocketing gasoline prices, and so on.

There is another respect in which these numbers might be unduly favorable to Biden. Civiqs has Biden carrying Hispanic voters at 45/42. Based on everything else we are seeing in survey data, I think those numbers significantly overstate Biden’s standing with that demographic. I note, too, that the “other” group, i.e. Asian-Americans, disapproves of Biden by 39/50.

Polls are basically reading tea leaves. Their scientific basis has always been dubious, and track records in recent election cycles are not good. Nevertheless, it is not meaningless to ask Americans what they think about Joe Biden and his administration. When polls all point in the same direction, the conclusion is probably solid: Biden is deeply under water. Most people, for good reasons, think his administration has made their lives worse. That should cause a large majority of those who are not on the take–we should never underestimate how many billions of dollars the Democrats hand out in exchange for votes–to choose an alternative path in November.

It Would Help OUR AMERICA If Republicans WOULD WAKE UP For A Change!

Red Tsunami update: Cook Political Report shifts forecast in favor of Republicans

by JOHN SEXTON May 30, 2022  at HotAir: 

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

It has been conventional wisdom for months now that Democrats were facing a very bad outcome in the coming midterm elections. But while a shellacking seems inevitable, there has been a sub-debate among experts over just how big that shellacking might be. At the beginning of April, Cook Political Report published a piece titled “How Big Is the House Playing Field?” which argued that because there are fewer competitive districts than there used to be, the red wave in 2022 was likely to be more modest than it had been in previous years.

Every metric we use to analyze the political environment — the president’s approval rating, the mood of the electorate, the enthusiasm gap — all point to huge gains for the GOP this fall. But, those metrics are bumping up against an increasingly ‘sorted’ House with few marginal seats and few incumbents sitting in the “wrong district.” As such, the more likely scenario for this fall is a GOP gain in the 15-25 seat range.

Fifteen to 25 seats isn’t bad, especially when you remember that the GOP picked up 13 seats in 2020. The Cook analysis also seemed to be backed up by this FiveThirtyEight chart which shows there are a lot fewer competitive districts now than there used to be.

But about a week after Cook issued that report, Henry Olsen at the Washington Post argued the situation for Democrats was worse than Cook was saying it was. Specifically, Cook assumed a shift toward the GOP of about 7 points while Olsen suggested the actual shift (based on the outcome in the Virginia and New Jersey elections) was closer to 12.5%. Using that figure, Olsen predicted a more significant red tsunami this fall:

Here’s where the bad news starts for Democrats. They hold 42 House seats that fall below that mark, and a few more will be added to the list when New Hampshire and Florida draw their maps. Politico rates 13 of those 42 seats as safe for Democrats. If that doesn’t hold, the GOP could gain as many as 40 seats.

So who was right? Well, last Thursday, Cook Political Report updated its forecast for the midterms, shifting 10 more races in favor of the GOP:

The midterm outlook for House Democrats is so bleak that even members in districts President Biden won by 10 to 15 points are in danger of losing their seats, according to election experts.

Driving the news: The Cook Political Report just revised its fall House forecast to a net Republican gain of 20 to 35 seats. Cook shifted 10 races in Republicans’ direction and two toward Democrats, with 35 D-held seats now labeled “tossup” or worse.

Cook has gone from arguing 25 seats was the maximum the GOP could hope to gain to arguing 27-28 is the middle of the range. And it’s worth nothing this happened after the leak of the draft Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v Wade. If Democrats were hoping to see a big shift back in their direction based on that, it doesn’t seem to be happening.

Something similar is now happening with gun control. Democrats are once again hoping that campaigning on one hot button issue can rescue them. Maybe it can but I think they are still up against some serious economic problems including the fact that gasoline prices are hitting new average highs on an almost daily basis. According to AAA, the highest national average recorded was today’s price. The same was true last Thursday and Saturday. Here where I live in California the average gas price is now above $6 per gallon for regular, the highest average in the country. People may have strong feelings about other issues but when they are paying $500 a month for gas just to get to work, I feel pretty confident that’s going to be the top issue in the coming election.

Wake Up President Biden!!!

Ukraine suffers on battlefield while pleading for US arms



Members of a Ukraine battalion of young soldiers as they return to their base near Kramatorsk, Ukraine, on May 28, 2022. They have spent their days digging defensive trenches in a pocket not far from the front line to provide additional support for soldiers battling the Russians head-on.

Members of a Ukraine battalion of young soldiers as they return to their base near Kramatorsk, Ukraine, on May 28, 2022. They have spent their days digging defensive trenches in a pocket not far from the front line to provide additional support for soldiers battling the Russians head-on. (Heidi Levine/for The Washington Post)


DONETSK OBLAST, Ukraine — The ambulances hurtled into the parking lot one after the other, each carrying wounded troops directly from the nearby front line. One young man stared straight ahead, his face swollen, his neck and back dripping with blood. Others lay silently under foil blankets.

Some stumbled out the back doors and collapsed into wheelchairs as staff rushed to push them inside. Nearby, bloodied cots sat propped against a tent and other wounded soldiers lingered about, their faces grim, their heads, arms or legs bandaged as the sound of outgoing artillery boomed across the sky.

About 10 wounded soldiers arrived at this hospital in eastern Ukraine in less than an hour Sunday morning — the latest military casualties as Ukraine forces, outgunned by Russia in the country’s east, continue to lose territory at a critical moment in the war.

Soldiers also helped one civilian woman with leg wounds out of a military ambulance.

The Washington Post is withholding the name and precise location of the hospital out of concerns from staff that it could be targeted by Russian forces.

“Seventy people from my battalion were injured in the last week,” said a soldier and ambulance driver just outside the hospital gates who identified himself only as Vlad, 29. “I lost too many friends; it’s hard for me. I don’t know how many. … It’s getting worse every day.”

Koleh, 25, a wounded Ukraine soldier, smokes a cigarette as he arrives at a hospital in eastern Ukraine on May 29, 2022.

Koleh, 25, a wounded Ukraine soldier, smokes a cigarette as he arrives at a hospital in eastern Ukraine on May 29, 2022. (Heidi Levine/for The Washington Post)

The night before, he said, the shelling was so loud he hardly got any sleep. “It’s all artillery bombing down,” he said. “All the wounded are coming from shrapnel. Most guys in the trenches haven’t even seen the enemy face-to-face.”

Last week, one battalion of young soldiers on a road near Kramatorsk spent their days digging defensive trenches in a pocket not far from the front line.

They were gearing up to provide additional support for the soldiers battling the Russians head-on, preparing for a worst-case scenario in which Russian forces continue or accelerate their current advance. That would be a potential turning point on the battlefield.

It would come at a particularly desperate moment for Ukraine. Kyiv is already enraged that some Western voices are floating the idea of ceding territory to Moscow. And the Biden administration is taking weeks to decide whether to provide heavier weaponry that could aid Ukrainian troops at this critical juncture in the war.

“Everyone’s tired,” said Bohdan, a 30-year-old soldier and officer in the battalion who spoke on the condition that only his first name be used and his precise position not be given. “But we are ready to stand and protect until the last man.”

In recent days, Russian troops have captured the towns of Svitlodarsk and Lyman and have closed in on Sievierodonetsk, a large regional hub, where Russian forces have entered a hotel on the city limits. If Russian troops manage to encircle and take the city, Moscow would occupy nearly all of Ukraine’s easternmost Luhansk region, which makes up roughly half of Donbas.

“I mainly hope the boys don’t get encircled in Sievierodonetsk,” Bohdan said of his fellow troops. “They need more guns, they need more weapons.”

If he could send one message to Washington, he said, it would be this: “Help us with weapons. The most important is antiaircraft. Close the sky — it’s the civilians who are suffering the most.”

The situation in the country’s east marks a shift from an earlier stage of the war, when staunch Ukrainian defenses forced a broad Russian retreat in Kyiv and other areas, increasing confidence among Ukrainians and their Western backers about the prospects of all-out victory over a poorly organized and equipped Russian force.

A wounded female civilian arrives in a military ambulance to a hospital in eastern Ukraine on May 29, 2022.

A wounded female civilian arrives in a military ambulance to a hospital in eastern Ukraine on May 29, 2022. (Heidi Levine/for The Washington Post)

Having now regrouped, Russian troops are making incremental but steady progress in their campaign in the east and are regularly employing heavy flamethrowers and long-range artillery that Ukrainian forces lack, leaving Kyiv on the back foot. Though Ukrainian resistance has made the fight a slog for Russian forces, Moscow is inching closer to encircling Ukraine’s biggest strongholds in the Donbas region, while fighting on territory contiguous to Russia with easier supply lines.

In a video address early Saturday, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the situation on the battlefield in Donbas was “very difficult,” with Russian forces attacking Ukrainian positions with “maximum artillery and maximum reserves.”

“We are defending our land insofar as the defense resources we have today will allow. We’re doing everything we can to strengthen them — and we will strengthen them,” Zelenskyy said. “If the occupiers think Sievierodonetsk or Lyman will be theirs, they are mistaken. Donbas will be Ukrainian.”

For weeks, Zelenskyy and other top Ukrainian officials have been asking the United States to provide multiple launch rocket systems, or MLRS, which would give Kyiv the ability to strike targets from much farther away and a better chance of resisting the assault in the east.

U.S. officials and congressional staffers told The Post on Friday that the administration is preparing to send the weaponry and could announce the move as early as this week, but the White House must still make a final decision on the transfer.

Some White House officials had expressed concern that providing MLRS weaponry with a range of more than 180 miles would allow Ukrainian forces to hit targets far into Russian territory, potentially prompting an escalatory response from Moscow, but the White House is now comfortable managing that risk by withholding the longest range ammunition for the system, a senior U.S. official told The Post.

Whether the weaponry will get to Ukrainian forces in time to stave off a significant defeat in the east is now unclear, as Russian forces unleash a wave of attacks with gruesome weaponry on Ukrainian positions, forcing an exodus of people from the country’s embattled easternmost regions.

In an Instagram post on Friday, Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian presidential administration, said Ukrainian forces needed the weaponry “yesterday,” as well as other systems that have been requested, such as air defense systems and tanks.

Outside the hospital Sunday, men who were recently wounded in Sievierodonetsk lamented the difficult conditions on the ground. “We need more javelins,” said Lapa, 26, who spoke on the condition that he be identified only by his call sign.

On Saturday, he said, many dead soldiers fighting nearby were carried out. Now, he said, “Ukrainian soldiers are pulling back.”

He was at the hospital to be treated for a fracture in his leg and a wounded arm. Another soldier in his unit, who identified himself as Adik, 41, had broken ribs. A bloody bandage covered the side of his head where he had been hit with shrapnel.

“They’re just raining down metal on us,” Lapa said. Nearby, a 25-year-old with his head wrapped in a bandage puffed on a cigarette. He goes by Koleh and had recently hit a mine, he said, although he didn’t know how exactly he ended up wounded.

Sievierodonetsk, he added, “is the worst.”

Ukrainians waiting for help away from the front lines are suffering, too.

A disabled elderly woman in a wheelchair is lifted onto an evacuation train in Pokrovsk.

A disabled elderly woman in a wheelchair is lifted onto an evacuation train in Pokrovsk. (Heidi Levine/for The Washington Post)

On Saturday, at the train station in the eastern city of Pokrovsk, a hub where civilians have arrived to evacuate from cities across Donbas, four elderly women lay crammed side-by-side in the back of a van, a mix of dirty blankets and pillows covering their frail legs. Underneath, they wore nothing but diapers.

Hours earlier, volunteers had evacuated them from a nursing home in Chasov Yar, a small town less than 50 miles from Sievierodonetsk. Now, one by one, they moaned and wailed in pain as they were lifted onto pieces of tarp and carried from the van into an evacuation train heading west — a trip their caretakers hoped might save their lives.

“They’re shooting a lot, they’re bombing a lot,” said a woman named Halya, who was 73 and missing the lower half of her right leg. “Now the war has gotten to us and it’s gotten a bit scary.”

Many elderly evacuees — all with red bracelets strapped around their wrists — said they did not know exactly where they were going. One said her family was trapped nearby in occupied territory. Another couldn’t speak at all, tears streaming down her face as she grasped the hands of two reporters.

On the road between Dnipro and Pokrovsk a statue of the Virgin Mary wearing the Ukrainian national flag is seen at a military post on May 28, 2022.

On the road between Dnipro and Pokrovsk a statue of the Virgin Mary wearing the Ukrainian national flag is seen at a military post on May 28, 2022. (Heidi Levine/for The Washington Post)

On a main road heading east from the city of Dnipro on Saturday, even a gas station attendant urgently appealed to a Washington Post reporter for more support from the United States — begging for antiaircraft weapons to help protect her two sons serving on the front line near Donetsk. At a nearby checkpoint, a Virgin Mary statue draped in a Ukrainian flag sat propped up high, another plea posted beneath her: “Pray for Ukraine.”

As Ukrainian forces seek to hold the line, officials in Kyiv have been disheartened to see suggestions from the West that Ukraine should be giving up part of its territory to satisfy Russian President Vladimir Putin and end the war.

For days, top Ukrainian officials have been fending off suggestions from European leaders, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and the New York Times editorial board that Kyiv should enter talks with Russia and make concessions.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have been pushing peace talks, and top Italian officials submitted a peace plan to the United Nations that would freeze the current front lines, leading to a significant loss of territory for Ukraine.

A young couple say their goodbyes before the woman boarded an evacuation train at the railway station in Pokrovsk on May 28, 2022.

A young couple say their goodbyes before the woman boarded an evacuation train at the railway station in Pokrovsk on May 28, 2022. (Heidi Levine/for The Washington Post)

Ukraine officials believe that any concessions to satisfy Putin now will only lead to Russia regrouping and launching a far more vicious war against Ukraine in the future.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Zelenskyy, told The Post that the Ukraine government refuses any plan other than a military loss for Russia on the battlefield.

“If Russia doesn’t lose, they won’t have any internal transformation,” Podolyak said. “A Russia that doesn’t lose will, on the contrary, be more chauvinist and have an even more revanchist outlook, because they will hate us for humiliating them in front of the rest of the world … and, accordingly, in two years they will come back and kill us even more brutally.”

Zelenskyy, who said Kissinger was living in 1938 — a reference to attempts to appease Adolf Hitler before World War II — chided “great geopoliticians” trying to give away parts of Ukraine in a post on Instagram on Saturday, saying they were unwilling to see the people who live on those territories as real people.

“Ordinary Ukrainians. Millions of those who actually live in the territory they propose to exchange for the illusion of peace,” Zelenskyy said. “You must always see people. And remember that values are not just a word.”​

In Pokrovsk, many of those people rushed to board the evacuation train, some carrying animals or children. One young couple held each other close — then kissed before the woman took her seat inside, leaving the man on the platform to watch her through the window.

They stayed on the phone until the train pulled out of the station — not knowing if or when they might see one another again.

Bearak and Sonne reported from Kyiv.

“A third laptop belonging to Hunter was stolen by Russian drug dealers in August 2018”

 MAY 30, 2022 BY SCOTT JOHNSON at PowerLine:


Miranda Devine and colleagues at the New York Post discovered the benefactor who has kept Hunter Biden rolling in the style to which he has become accustomed. He is a wealthy Hollywood attorney named Kevin Morris. Morris has money to burn from sources other than the royalties on his book of short stories, White Man’s Problems. In their May 8 story, Devine et al. reported that Morris has paid off Biden’s delinquent taxes as Biden awaits the results of a Delaware grand jury’s investigation into his personal finances. I noted the story in “White man’s problems: The sequel.”

Devine now reports that Morris has a new project addressing an old Biden problem. The problem is Hunter’s infamous laptop. Morris has woven a tangled web of a tale that resists paraphrase by me (the column is published along with a copy of Morris’s “mind map” to which Devine refers below):

[L]leaks from inside the Morris camp, and a hand-scrawled mind map he has shared with confidants, show a chaotic disinformation project attempting to rewrite the story of the laptop’s origins.

The counternarrative Morris is mounting on Hunter’s behalf has nothing to do with the damning contents of the laptop, which have been repeatedly verified as authentic by multiple media organizations since The Post broke the story in October 2020.

Instead, Hunter’s team is attempting to sow confusion about how the laptop became public, by denying that he abandoned his laptop in John Paul Mac Isaac’s Delaware repair shop on April 12, 2019, and claiming his private information was somehow stolen, “hacked” or “cloned.”

But the chain of custody of that laptop has been well established by The Post.

* * * * *

[I]n Morris’ telling, there was no laptop dropped off with Mac Isaac, just a laptop which Hunter abandoned on Feb. 1, 2019, at the office of his psychiatrist, Dr. Keith Ablow, in Newburyport, Mass., where he was being treated for his crack addiction.

Morris alleges in his scrawled mind map, and in conversations with confidants, that Trump ally Roger Stone and his lawyer, Tyler Nixon, masterminded a plot with Ablow and Mac Isaac to create “clones” of the laptop left in Newburyport to damage Joe before the 2020 election.

Devine pauses to explain:

It is true that Hunter abandoned a second laptop at Ablow’s office, along with a $12,000 Loro Piana blazer that he declined to pick up, despite numerous reminders from Ablow’s secretary.

That second laptop remained in a safe in Ablow’s basement for a year, until the psychiatrist was raided by the Drug Enforcement Administration on Feb. 13, 2020. Ablow was never charged over the raid, but DEA agents seized the laptop, which was then returned to Hunter’s lawyer George Mesires.

A third laptop belonging to Hunter was stolen by Russian drug dealers in August 2018, during a bender in Las Vegas, according to Hunter, who recorded himself telling the tale in a video on the Mac Isaac laptop.

Devine stands back to take in the big picture:

Clearly, losing laptops was a perennial problem for Hunter, who was addicted to crack during the time he was being paid millions by shady characters in China, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Romania while his father was vice president.

Hunter had at least 46 Apple devices between 2011 and 2019, including 20 iPhones, eight Mac computers, nine iPads and three Apple TVs, according to cyber-forensics expert Konstantinos Dimitrelos, who was commissioned by the Washington Examiner to examine a copy of the Mac Isaac-originated hard drive. Dimitrelos found it was “indisputably authentic [with] no evidence of any hacking or file manipulation.”

More to the point, the “conspiracy theory” does not compute:

The biggest problem with Morris’ conspiracy theory of the “Ablow clones” is that there are authentic videos and other material unique to the Mac Isaac laptop that were created after Hunter left his second laptop at Ablow’s office.

For example, 13 videos were created on the Mac Isaac laptop using the Photo Booth app between Feb. 6, 2019, and March 10, 2019, mostly recording his sex sessions.

Photo Booth videos are saved internally on a Mac and not uploaded to the cloud when the computer is synchronized with other devices. In other words, these videos are unique to the Mac Isaac laptop, confirming that it is not a clone of the earlier Ablow laptop.

In one of the videos, dated Feb. 24, 2019, Hunter films himself in a heated phone conversation with his widowed sister-in-law-turned-lover, Hallie Biden, over a Maureen Dowd column published in The New York Times that day about how the “troubled Hunter” could damage Joe’s presidential prospects.

The publication date of the column corroborates the time stamp of the video, created 23 days after Hunter left his second laptop with Ablow.

Back to the drawing board or easel, as the case may be.