• 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

“The Biden administration’s commitment to dismantling southern border protections and Trump-era policies, most recently Title 42, has exacerbated the devastating border crisis.”

Border States Need To Override Biden And Secure Their Own Borders

BY: JORDAN LAMB at the Federalist:

JUNE 06, 2022

border patrol agent petting dog at checkpoint

The border crisis constitutes as an invasion, threatening the safety, security, and prosperity of the American people, and states have the right to respond.

Author Jordan Lamb profile


The Biden administration’s commitment to dismantling southern border protections and Trump-era policies, most recently Title 42, has exacerbated the devastating border crisis. Last March, 172,331 illegal immigrants were encountered by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). This April, CBP encountered a staggering 221,303 illegal immigrants on the southern border, reaching an unprecedented 1.06 million encounters for the first half of the 2022 fiscal year. DHS released 80,000 of those migrants into the interior of the United States.

This influx of undocumented immigrants has had drastic effects. Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star program, created to fill the gaps created by the federal government’s failures, has resulted in nearly 14,000 criminal arrests, 3,800 firearms apprehended, and more than 300 million lethal doses of fentanyl seized at the border. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton reported in 2021 that Texas taxpayers paid more than $850 million annually to support services for illegal immigrants.

Rep. Chip Roy, who represents the 21st District of Texas, which includes a part of San Antonio, a leading hub for human trafficking, exemplified the increasing dangers for citizens as well migrants when he testified for the House Committee on General Investigating, explaining a recent San Antonio 911 call. The Bexar County Sheriff’s office, Homeland Security Investigations, Texas DPS, and San Antonio Police Department all worked to search for a large tanker truck after a distressed migrant pled with a 911 dispatcher for help, explaining in Spanish that the passengers were trapped in the vehicle and dying, as they ran out of air. The immigrant reported 80 trafficking victims, none of which were located or saved.

Last year Border Patrol found 383 dead migrants, the highest toll in a decade. Texas ranchers, many of whom request to remain unidentified for fear of retribution by the Mexican cartels, have discovered an increasing number of dead migrants scattered around their properties.

Texas, along with the state of Missouri, has filed suit against the Biden administration’s suspension of the MPP, Migrant Protection Protocols, commonly referred to as the “Remain in Mexico” policy. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on April 26 but even if the suspension is reversed, it will be too little, too late, to adequately protect and provide for Texans.

The Texas House Committee on General Investigating, chaired by Rep. Matt Krause, has proposed a creative route to resolve the border crisis plaguing our nation. Writing to Paxton, the chairman has requested Texas explore the legality of utilizing the “State Self Defense” or “Invasion Clause” of the U.S. Constitution to facilitate Texas to independently secure the border, as the Biden administration has undeniably failed to do so.

Prior to this appeal, the committee received testimony from many of Texas’ key players. Tracy Norris, major general of the Texas Army National Guard, explained that the “federal government has provided no support for this mission [protection of the border]” and even the Office of the Attorney General acknowledged the crisis “immediately endangers our citizens and law enforcement personnel” as the Biden administration’s refusal to acknowledge the severity of the crisis has overburdened agents and staff, forcing the state to “stand alone against this influx.” The overwhelming consensus is the increasing necessity to act.

Krause’s inquiry referenced the recent opinion by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, in which he claims the crisis at Arizona’s southern border, inflamed by cartel and gang violence, satisfies a series of constitutional requirements that empower states to act autonomously.

Article I, Section X of the U.S. Constitution, known as the “State Self Defense Clause,” dictates that a state may not defend itself, “without the Consent of Congress … unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.” Justice Scalia postulated this clause “leaves intact [State’s] inherent power to protect their territory”.

Additionally, the “Invasion Clause,” Article IV Section IV ensures that “The United States shall guarantee” to “protect each of them [each State] against Invasion.” The contestation lies in whether the border crisis, thousands of migrants flooding into southern states daily, qualifies as an invasion.

Those who view constitutional jurisprudence with an originalist lens may turn to Johnson’s 1785 English dictionary, which was widely popular as the Constitution was drafted; defining invasion as a “hostile entrance upon the rights or possessions of another; hostile encroachment.” Contrarily, the Cambridge Dictionary modernly defines an invasion as “an occasion when a large number of people or things come to a place in an annoying and unwanted way.” In Federalist No. 43 James Madison wrote that protection against invasion is “not only against foreign hostility but against ambitious or vindictive enterprises.”

Section IV contains no explicit limitation on the interpretation of “invasion.” Invasion can therefore be applied broadly to hostile non-state actors such as cartels and gangs.

Members of MS-13 have been arrested at the border in the past year, charged with crimes from drug possession to aggravated homicide. According to Customs and Border Protection data, the agency had arrested 2,424 criminal aliens by March of this year, coming just 14 arrests shy of the total arrests in 2020; crimes of those arrested include homicides, rapes, robberies, and deaths caused by driving under the influence, evidently qualifying as unwanted and a hostile encroachment.

Much of the uncertainty moving forward comes from the lack of precedent set by the courts, previously ruling in Barber v. United States that the Invasion Clause was a nonjusticiable political question. However, in Boyd v. United States Justice Joseph Bradley articulated the “essence of the offence,” an unconstitutional violation of the Fourth Amendment, was an “invasion of his indefeasible right of personal security, personal liberty and private property.”

By delineating invasion of privacy as multifaceted, the southern border crisis can be applied. With Texans having their personal safety threatened, land and property burglarized, and ability to defend themselves limited, are they not facing a similar persecution?

As the court explained, “the principles laid down in this opinion affect the very essence of constitutional liberty.” Expressed in California v. United States, the situation involves “matters of foreign policy and defense” which are issues the courts have been “reluctant to consider.” The time for disinclination is over.

Lastly, The Import-Export clause of Article I Section X, Clause II, recognizes states’ sovereign authority when “ absolutely necessary for executing its inspection Laws.” Abbott has directed DPS to conduct enhanced inspections of vehicles as they cross ports of entry into Texas, mitigating the transport of illegal goods; however, without the full ability to detain or deport, state agents are limited.

A team of Heritage Foundation experts has urged states to use “all lawful tools” to address the “incalculable” suffering caused by the southern border crisis. It is evident the atrocities occurring at the border constitute an invasion, threatening the safety, security, and prosperity of the American people. With the Biden administration failing to fulfill its duty to the American people, it is evident that the state of Texas must pull itself up by its bootstraps and utilize its constitutionally vested ability to defend its citizens.

Jordan Lamb is a government major at the University of Texas at Austin who has worked in conservative politics.

That World In California!

June 7, 2022

New York magazine’s pointedly grotesque picture of Dianne Feinstein

By Andrea Widburg at American Thinker:

Democrats desperately want to see the last of Dianne Feinstein, who’s becoming a risk and an embarrassment, and nothing makes that clearer than the photography New York magazine used for an essay about her.

As a native San Franciscan, Dianne Feinstein was a fixture in my life. My mom griped about her because, in the early 1960s, when they were both parents in the same cooperative nursery school, Feinstein didn’t pull her weight. Then, Feinstein got into politics and I’d see her around the City at this or that event. (I’m one of the high school band members hidden in the back of this photo.) In 1978, she gained national prominence when she officially announced that Supervisor Harvey Milk and George Moscone had been assassinated.

Feinstein was a steely, composed, hard-driving Democrat politician. When I was still a Democrat, aside from the awful bouffant she always sported, I thought she was great. When I became a conservative, I turned against her politics but reluctantly admired her political longevity, which gave her great power in Congress.

Because I was now conservative, I finally learned about Feinstein’s self-serving hypocrisy. Although she’d written the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and was trying to renew it in 2012, it turned out Feinstein had a concealed-carry license. Back in 1995, after getting the original “assault weapon” ban passed, Feinstein explained that she needed a concealed carry license because her life was at risk:

Less than 20 years ago, I was the target of a terrorist group. It was the New World Liberation Front. They blew up power stations and put a bomb at my home when my husband was dying of cancer and the bomb was set to detonate around 2 o’clock in the morning, but it was a construction explosive that doesn’t detonate when it drops below freezing. It doesn’t usually freeze in San Francisco, but on this night it dropped below freezing and the bomb didn’t detonate.

I was very lucky, but I thought of what might have happened. Later the same group shot out all the windows of my home and I know the sense of helplessness that people feel. I know the urge to arm yourself, because that’s what I did. I was trained in firearms. When I walked to the hospital when my husband was sick, I carried a concealed weapon. I made the determination that if somebody was going to try to take me out I was going to take them with me. Now having said all of that, that was period of time ago and I’ve watched through these 20 years as terrorism has increased both on the far extremist left and the far extremist right in this country.

The message was clear: Feinstein’s life matters; ordinary American lives don’t.

Feinstein, who, despite her Jewish name, was raised as a Catholic, also distinguished herself during the Amy Comey Barrett hearing by trying to use a backdoor route to impose a religious test on the devoutly Catholic judge. It was weird to see a sitting American Senator state “The dogma lives loudly within you.” Even Queen Elizabeth I, back in 16th century England, had the decency to say, “I have no desire to make windows into men’s souls.”

Democrats were uncomfortable seeing their religious bigotry so blatantly on display and, after that, started making noises about Feinstein’s cognitive abilities:

Feinstein, who turns 89 in June, is older than any other sitting member of Congress. Her declining cognitive health has been the subject of recent reporting in both her hometown San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Times. It seems clear that Feinstein is mentally compromised, even if she’s not all gone. “It’s definitely happening,” said one person who works in California politics. “And it’s definitely not happening all the time.”

Reached by phone two days after 19 children were murdered in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, in late May, Feinstein spoke in halting tones, sometimes trailing off mid-sentence or offering a non sequitur before suddenly alighting upon the right string of words. She would forget a recently posed question, or the date of a certain piece of legislation, but recall with perfect lucidity events from San Francisco in the 1960s. Nothing she said suggested a deterioration beyond what would be normal for a person her age, but neither did it demonstrate any urgent engagement with the various crises facing the nation.

Those two paragraphs make clear that, even as the essay praises DiFi’s past in politics, the Democrat party wants her gone. It’s bad enough to have Joe Biden’s dementia and Nancy Pelosi’s bizarre affect, complete with escalating eyebrows and manic hand gestures. DiFi is one decrepit Democrat too many. And if you doubt me on that point, just get a load of the picture New York magazine used to illustrate its article. With that headshot, DiFi could get the part of the Wicked Witch of the West in a remake of The Wizard of Oz.

Over the course of 52 years in elected office, Dianne Feinstein believed she could use the system for good. Despite everything, she still does. @rtraister reports https://nym.ag/3mjlite



BoJo dodges a bullet

JAZZ SHAW Jun 07, 2022 at HotAir:  

AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali, Pool

Yesterday, we looked at the convoluted process unfolding in the British Parliament as Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s own party called a vote of no-confidence over the Partygate scandal that could have removed him from office. At the time, I pointed out that a relatively small number of Conservative Party MPs could trigger such a vote, but it wasn’t clear that a majority of them were willing to support the measure. As it turns out, there weren’t enough and BoJo survived the vote. But there were still far more votes in favor of removal than Johnson’s supporters had hoped to see. This result assures him at least another year in office if he wants to stay, but his political position appears to be weakened for the time being. (NY Post)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson narrowly defeated a no-confidence vote by members of his Conservative Party Monday, but the outcome pointed to deep divisions fewer than three years after Johnson led the Tories to their biggest election victory since the zenith of Margaret Thatcher in the mid-1980s.

The 211-148 result means that Johnson cannot be challenged from within the Conservative ranks for one full year. However, the outcome also means that more than half the House of Commons either opposes Johnson or has expressed no confidence in him.

Sensing an opportunity to force an early election, the opposition Labour Party announced they would put forward their own no-confidence motion for the whole House to vote on Tuesday.

Most media outlets, including the Post, are describing the result as a “narrow” escape from removal for Johnson. But a 211-148 split in his favor actually represents a fairly healthy majority of his party that still supports him. But is it enough? Keep in mind that it was only the Torries voting yesterday. They hold a majority in Parliament, but the minority Labour Party still holds plenty of seats and none of them are supporters of BoJo. When you add their numbers to the 148 Conservative Party MPs who voted against Johnson, a majority of the Chamber can be assumed to have no confidence in him.

The Labour Party wasted no time in announcing that they would call for a no-confidence vote by the entire House of Commons. That has some British political analysts predicting that Johnson’s reprieve may be short-lived and his days as Prime Minister may still be numbered.

“While we doubt there will be changes to current party rules stipulating that Johnson cannot receive another leadership challenge for twelve months, he could still face another formal challenge just after that. And in the meantime he might still be forced to resign if his inner circle turn against him,” [J.P. Morgan Economist Allan Monks] noted.

He added that Johnson was likely to announce new policy initiatives in an attempt to win round both the Conservative party and public opinion.

“The most obvious would be to use any remaining leeway on fiscal policy to promise significant tax cuts and further giveaways, perhaps at the Conservative Party conference in October,” he added.

Most of the MPs make no bones about the fact that they watch the opinion polling of the public very closely and almost always base their votes on the results. If the voters in their districts are now viewing BoJo unfavorably because of the Partygate scandal, they will quickly jump ship, likely in favor of a less controversial conservative. There are also a significant number of districts in Great Britain that are very closely divided and regularly flip back and forth between the two major parties.

The next general election doesn’t have to be called until 2025. But in one year, the Labour Party could force the full no-confidence vote I mentioned above, and if they gain enough support from the Torries who appear to have turned on Johnson they can force an early election. BoJo has a lot of work ahead of him if he wants to charm enough of the rebel Conservative MPs back into his corner to forestall that sort of outcome. And if Great Britain’s economy continues to falter over the summer as it’s expected to do, that job will become even harder.

Starring Sour Puss, Liz Cheney of Wyoming…

“Unannounced adviser” to Dems on January 6 committee spiked Epstein story on human trafficking

KAREN TOWNSEND Jun 07, 2022; at HotAir:

AP Photo/ Andrew Harnik, Pool

The January 6 committee will hold its first televised public hearing in primetime on Thursday. Axios reports that the committee’s Democrats have brought on a previously unannounced adviser to turn the hearing into a primetime production. Think Watergate, but bigger.

Former president of ABC News, James Goldston, has been “quietly producing the hearing.” What sets this apart from Watergate is that the January 6 committee hearings will be in prime time so that the maximum number of viewers can be enticed to turn in. An industry pro like Goldston knows that he has to pull out all the stops to get eyes on the hearings. The biggest challenge is a lack of interest by the American public. Outside of the D.C. bubble, most regular Americans moved on long ago from the story of the protest on Capitol Hill that turned into a riot on January 6. Will Americans be interested in spending their evening down time watching a hyper-partisan congressional committee rake Trump and his supporters over the coals a year and a half after the riot happened?

Nancy Pelosi hand picked each member of the committee. There is no legitimate pretense that it is a bi-partisan committee so Republicans and conservatives will likely hesitate to tune in, knowing that it’s all about trashing them in order to keep the story in the press as the mid-terms approach. Democrats have no good news to rely on in the mid-term elections and they know a red tsunami is coming. This is their last shot at getting the attention of voters before Republicans take back the House and maybe the Senate, too. The problem with using a former network news executive, though, is that is looks so slimy. Swampy. This is how the game is played, though. Politicians and government officials leave the government sector and go to cushy jobs in network television. Look at Jen Psaki. She had a job lined up at MSNBC before she even finished her last day at the White House.

In this case, a normally boring, lopsided congressional hearing will be turned into a production. Goldston is tasked with turning the hearing – there will be several – into a “blockbuster investigative special”, according to Axios. The idea is to reignite interest in the actions of the day of January 6 and to encourage journalists to write about it. The committee promises live testimonies, and pre-recorded video testimony, as well as never-before-seen photographs.

James Goldston, who served as president of ABC News from 2014 until early 2021, has been working as an adviser to the House select committee and quietly producing the hearing. Goldston previously helmed “Good Morning America” and “Nightline.”

The committee tapped Goldston to help convert a cache of documents, depositions, recorded footage and other materials related to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot into compelling television for those who have not closely followed the proceedings.

The hearing — the first of several planned by the committee — will purportedly feature a mix of live in-person witnesses testifying about the events as well as pre-recorded content. Goldston is reportedly attempting to capture a “raw” feel that will hook journalists with fresh material to cover as well as members of the public watching at home.

The committee was never serious about it’s silly claim that it was out to save democracy by pinning the riot on Trump. It’s likely that Trump will run again in 2024 and Democrats are getting out ahead of any announcement he may make. Goldston, however, brings a unseemly element to the discussion. He’s the man at ABC News who spiked the story of Jeffrey Epstein’s involvement in human trafficking with minors. Paula Bolyard, editor of PJ Media, a sister publication, notes the connection.

He was accused in 2019 of quashing Amy Roboch’s interview with Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who alleges she was forced to have sex with British Royal Prince Andrew in a sex-trafficking scheme set up by serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Giuffre was 17 at the time. You may recall that Robach, a reporter for Good Morning America, was recorded on video, released by Project Veritas, venting about the story being spiked.

Like I said, it’s all so slimy. Both ABC and CBS have already said they will break away from normal primetime programming and carry the hearing on Thursday night. NBC, at least so far, has not made that commitment. CNN and MSNBC will carry the hearing but Fox News Channel will not. FNC viewers will be able to see coverage as primetime show hosts do cutaways to the hearings. And, there will be some coverage on Fox Business Network.

Fox stated while its flagship station will not cover the hearing in full, live coverage will be “offered to FOX broadcast affiliates across any of their platforms.”

The hearing will also be carried without interruption on Fox News Digital, Fox News Audio and Fox Nation.

The network added Fox News viewers who do wish to watch the hearing in full can tune in to Fox Business Network. Network hosts Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum will anchor special coverage for the hearing over on Fox Business Network.

Fox News Channel’s primetime shows have the highest ratings in cable television. I don’t know how Mr. Show Biz will make up for that deficit. He covered for a pedophile involved in human trafficking and now he’s covering for Pelosi who failed to appropriately work with Capitol security before the riot occurred, though there were warnings ahead of January 6 that something might happen. The committee has already met to produce suggestions on security on Capitol Hill and this hearing is all Hollywood. It’s sure not fun, lighthearted summer entertainment. Trump surrogates are ready with some counter-programming.

Trump and his inner circle will rely heavily on members of Congress — from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) — to drive counterprogramming, sources familiar with their planning tell Axios.

Trump himself has not ruled out making some sort of an appearance, one of the sources says.

People close to Trump have been working closely with members of Congress, the RNC and outside groups like the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to collaborate on their offensive narrative.

Matt Schlapp, former Trump White House political director and chairman of CPAC, has been a leader in the effort, sources say.

GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy slammed the choice of Goldston.

‘The Democrats have turned to the former ABC News exec, under whose leadership ABC spiked a story on Jeffrey Epstein, to choreograph their Jan 6 political theatre,’ McCarthy tweeted on Monday.

He also reupped an old post of his from November 2019 claiming that the then-President of ABC News was operating the network in a way that helped ‘bury the truth’ about sex offender Epstein, who died in jail in August of that year.

Are Americans interested in this kind of summer political theatre? We’ll know when the ratings come out.


“Incredible transition” update: Gas prices hit new record — and just miss $5 per gallon

ED MORRISSEY Jun 07, 2022 at HotAir: 

Did anyone hear about this new milestone on Joe Biden’s “incredible transition“? The new EIA calculation on the average gas price across all formulations didn’t make much of a splash last night, but it’s certainly worth noting. It nearly crossed the $5 mark two full weeks before my prediction last week, and may even cross that line sometime today, albeit without an official measure until next week. The new price of $4.977 per gallon is 102% higher than when Biden took office and 47% higher than the price at the start of the year.

Rather than use the same 30-year chart the EIA provides (and that I have used repeatedly already), I downloaded the data and charted the price over the last six years. Take note that the upsurge in price began in March 2021, and has only moderated occasionally since then on a historic slope upward:

Oddly, that news didn’t get a lot of play in the media. Fox News covered it from the unofficial (but still reliable) calculations from AAA, which does do daily averages:

The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. surged early Tuesday to $4.919, a 5.4 cent hike overnight from Monday’s $4.865, according to the latest numbers from AAA.

Sunday, the price for that same gallon of gasoline stood at $4.848, topping Saturday’s price of $4.819. Overall Tuesday, the price of gasoline rose about 10 cents since Saturday.

Forbes covered a broader range of local and regional records ($9.46 in Mendocino, CA!), but also added some analysis:

The big culprit of course is the soaring price of crude oil, up $16 a barrel in the last month to $119, for benchmark West Texas Intermediate. But the oil price alone doesn’t explain doesn’t explain why gas is so much more expensive now than it was in March when crude oil first spiked higher than $130 per barrel following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Basic supply and demand is an important factor. Developed world inventories are now at seven-year lows of 2.6 billion barrels of oil and petroleum products, 300 million below the five-year average. Gas inventories in the U.S. have sunk from 246 million barrels at the end of February to 219 million barrels last week, according to the Energy Information Administration. With refineries and oil companies pumping at maximum capacity, there’s precious little supply cushion to meet rampant demand for fuels, paired with the loss of millions of barrels per day of Russian supplies due to sanctions.

According to the Dallas Federal Reserve, only 1% of gas stations in America are owned by companies that also produce oil, and to acquire their wholesale supply they’re at the mercy of refineries, the intermediary between crude oil pulled from the ground and refined gasoline that can actually be pumped into cars. Crude oil accounted for 59% of the price of regular gasoline in March 2022, but 18% was refining costs, and this fraction grows when there are regional disruptions. Pricing can be hyperlocal. When a California refinery shut down for power outages in March, it led to higher prices in California and Arizona despite prices falling in much of the country as crude oil retreated.

Refining capacity is a major part of the problem, but again that can be traced at least in part to adverse policies from the Obama and Biden administrations. Both erected a number of regulatory obstacles to building new refineries. The policy hostility toward refining of oil has at the same time chased off the investors needed to build new plants and new capacity (as well as the capital needed to expand exploration and extraction). The result is a bottleneck that will exist even when crude oil supplies become plentiful again, especially given the necessity of specialty formulations such as those demanded in California, for instance.

And refinery capacity is actually decreasing rather than staying constant, as the EIA noted a year ago:

As a result of several U.S. refinery closures in 2020, U.S. operable atmospheric crude oil distillation capacity, the primary measure of refinery capacity in the United States, dropped 4.5% to a total of 18.1 million barrels per calendar day (b/cd) at the start of 2021. The end-of-year 2020 total is 0.8 million b/cd less than the 19.0 million b/cd of refining capacity at the start of 2020. According to the data in our annual Refinery Capacity Report, the beginning of 2021 marks the lowest annual capacity figure to start the year since 2015. Based on information reported to us in our recent update, U.S. refining capacity will not expand significantly during 2021.

At the beginning of 2021, 129 refineries were either operating or idle in the United States (excluding U.S. territories), down from 135 operable refineries listed at the beginning of 2020. The additional refinery closures in the 2021 Refinery Capacity Report largely reflect the impact of responses to COVID-19 on the U.S. refining sector.

In 2019, the 335,000 b/cd Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, experienced a major refinery incident. It has not resumed operation since the incident. We listed the facility as idle in the 2020 Refinery Capacity Report because the decision to permanently close the facility was not final. As of January 1, 2021, we considered the refinery to be permanently closed, and it is not included in our 2021 report.

The decline has been fairly sharp over the last couple of years, as this chart from EIA data shows:

Some of this can be explained by the drop in demand during the pandemic. Now, however, we’re well past the pandemic and our refining capacity keeps dropping, in part because it’s either aging out or in need of extensive restoration. If this administration wanted to do something about gas prices, it should accelerate either expansion of existing refineries or incentivize the rapid addition of more refineries to produce more gasoline. Instead, Biden’s EO 13990 adds more red tape to any attempts to add to the “processing” of oil and gas products. Even if investors were inclined to invest in this sector with Biden’s expressed hostility toward fossil fuels, the regulatory hurdles his administration has already erected and will likely continue to erect would chase off most capital holders — and it has.

All of this is by design, let’s not forget:


And when it comes to the gas prices, we’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place that, God willing, when it’s over, we’ll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over.

We won’t be less reliant, but we will be poorer. Bet on $5.20 a gallon in the next EIA report on June 13.

Fascism In Biden’s America Causes Trouble!

The Sovietization of American Life

Behind all our disasters there looms an ideology, a creed that ignores cause and effect in the real world—without a shred of concern for the damage done to those outside the nomenklatura.

By Victor Davis Hanson at American Greatness:

June 5, 2022

One day historians will look back at the period beginning with the COVID lockdowns of spring 2020 through the midterm elections of 2022 to understand how America for over two years lost its collective mind and turned into something unrecognizable and antithetical to its founding principles.

“Sovietization” is perhaps the best diagnosis of the pathology. It refers to the subordination of policy, expression, popular culture, and even thought to ideological mandates. Ultimately such regimentation destroys a state since dogma wars with and defeats meritocracy, creativity, and freedom. 

The American Commissariat

Experts become sycophantic. They mortgage their experience and talent to ideology—to the point where society itself regresses. 

The law is no longer blind and disinterested, but adjudicates indictment, prosecution, verdict, and punishment on the ideology of the accused. Eric Holder is held in contempt of Congress and smiles; Peter Navarro is held in contempt of Congress and is hauled off in cuffs and leg-irons. James Clapper and John Brennan lied under oath to Congress—and were rewarded with television contracts; Roger Stone did the same and a SWAT team showed up at his home. Andrew McCabe made false statements to federal investigators and was exempt. A set-up George Papadopoulos went to prison for a similar charge. So goes the new American commissariat.

Examine California and ask a series of simple questions. 

Why does the state that formerly served as a model to the nation regarding transportation now suffer inferior freeways while its multibillion-dollar high-speed rail project remains an utter boondoggle and failure? 

Why was its safe and critically needed last-remaining nuclear power plant scheduled for shutdown (and only recently reversed) as the state faced summer brownouts? 

Why did its forests go up in smoke predictably each summer, as its timber industry and the century-old science of forest management all but disappeared from the state?

Why do the state’s criminals so often evade indictment, and if convicted are often not incarcerated—or are quickly paroled? 

Why are its schools’ test scores dismal, its gasoline the nation’s highest-priced, and the streets of its major cities fetid and dangerous—in a fashion not true 50 years ago or elsewhere today?

In a word, the one-party state is Sovietized. Public policy is no longer empirical but subservient to green, diversity, equity, and inclusion dogmas—and detached from the reality of daily middle-class existence. Decline is ensured once ideology governs problem-solving rather than time-tested and successful policymaking.

In a similar fashion, the common denominator in Joe Biden’s two years of colossal failures is Soviet-like edicts of equity, climate change, and neo-socialist redistribution that have ensured (for the non-elite, in any event) soaring inflation, unaffordable energy, rampant crime, and catastrophic illegal immigration. Playing the role of Pravda, Biden and his team simply denied things were bad, relabeled failure as success, and attacked his predecessor and critics as various sorts of counterrevolutionaries.

Biden rejected commonsense, bipartisan policies that in the past kept inflation low, energy affordable, crime controlled, and the border manageable. Instead, he superimposed leftist dogma on every decision, whose ideological purity, not real-life consequences for millions, was considered the measure of success.

The Caving of Expertise

Entire professions have now nearly been lost to radical progressive ideology.

Do we remember those stellar economists who swore at a time of Biden’s vast government borrowing, increases in the monetary supply, incentivizing labor non-participation, and supply chain interruptions that there was no threat of inflation? Were they adherents of ideological “modern monetary theory”? Did they ignore their own training and experience in fealty to progressive creeds?

What about the Stanford doctors who signed a groupthink letter attacking their former colleague, Dr. Scott Atlas, because he questioned the orthodoxies of Dr. Anthony Fauci and the state bureaucracies—who we now know hid their own involvement with channeling funding to deadly gain-of-function research in Wuhan? Did they reject his views on empirical grounds and welcome a give-and-take shared inquiry—or simply wish to silence an ideological outlier and advisor to a despised counterrevolutionary?

Or how about the 50 retired intelligence “experts” who swore that Hunter Biden’s laptop was not genuine but likely Russian disinformation? Did they really rely on hundreds of years of collective expertise to adjudicate the laptop or did they simply wish to be rewarded with something comparable to a “Hero of Woke America” award?

Or what about the 1,000 medical “professionals” who claimed violating quarantine and protective protocols for Black Lives Matter demonstrations was vital for the mental health of the protestors? Or the Princeton creators of a video identifying Jonathan Katz as a sort of public enemy for the crime of stating that racial discrimination of any sort was toxic?

Career Advancement, Cowardice,
and Membership in the Club

There can be no expertise under Sovietization; everything and everyone serves ideology. Our military—especially its four-star generals, current and retired—parroted perceived ideologically correct thought. Repeating party lines about diversity, white supremacy, and climate change are far more relevant for career advancement than proof of prior effective military leadership in battle. 

The ultimate trajectory of a woke military was the fatal disgrace in Afghanistan. Ideologues in uniform kept claiming that the humiliating skedaddle was a logistical success and that misguided bombs that killed innocents were called a “righteous strike.” Afghanistan all summer of 2021 was to be Joe Biden’s successful model of a graduated withdrawal in time for a 20th-anniversary commemoration of 9/11—until it suddenly wasn’t.

Pentagon decision-making increasingly privileges race, gender, sexuality, and green goals over traditional military lethality—a fact known to all who are up for promotion, retention, or disciplinary action.

How predictable it was that the United States fled Kabul, abandoning not just billions of dollars worth of sophisticated weapons to terrorists, but also with Pride flags flying, George Floyd murals on public walls, and gender studies initiatives being carried out in the military ranks. Ask yourself: if a general during the Afghanistan debacle had brilliantly organized a sustainable and defensible corridor around Bagram Airfield but was known to be skeptical of Pentagon efforts to address climate change and diversity would he be praised or reviled?

The elite universities in their single-minded pursuit of wokeness are ironically doing America a great favor. For a long time, their success was due to an American fetishization of brand names. But now, most privately accept that a BA from Princeton or Harvard is no longer an indication of acquired knowledge, mastery of empiricism, or predictive of inductive thinking over deductive dogmatism. 

Instead, we now understand, various lettered certificates serve as stamps for career advancement—proof either of earlier high-school achievement that merely won the bearer admission to the select, or confirmation that the graduate possesses the proper wealth, contacts, athletic ability, race, gender, or sexuality to be invited to the club.

Universities’ abandonment of test scores and diminution of grades—replaced by “community service” and race, gender, and sexuality criteria—has simply clarified the bankruptcy of the entire higher education industry. 

Our “diversity statements” required for hiring at many universities are becoming comparable to Soviet certifications of proper Marxist-Leninist fidelity. Like the children of Soviet Party apparatchiks, privileged university students now openly attack faculty whose reading requirements or lectures supposedly exude scents of “colonialism” or “imperialism” or “white supremacy.” 

Faculty increasingly fear offering merit evaluation, in terror that diversity commissars might detect in their grading an absence of reparatory race or gender appraisals. The result is still more public cynicism about higher education because it is apparent that the goal is to graduate with a stamp from Yale or Stanford that ensures prestige, success, and ideological correctness—on the supposition that few will ever worry exactly what or how one did while enrolled.

We have our own Emmanuel Goldsteins who, we are told, deserve our three minutes of hate for counterrevolutionary thought and practice. Donald Trump earned the enmity of the CIA, the FBI, the Justice Department, and the IRS. Now Elon Musk and his companies are suddenly the targets of the progressive state, including repartees from the president himself. To vent, the popular Soviet directs its collective enmity at a Dave Chappelle or Bill Maher, progressives who exhibit the occasional counterrevolutionary heresy.

Cabinet secretaries ignore their duties—somewhat understandable given their resumes never explained their appointments. What binds a Pete Buttigieg, Alejandro Mayorkas, and Jennifer Granholm is not expertise in transportation, border security, or energy independence but allegiance to an entire menu of woke policies that are often antithetical to their own job descriptions.

“Diversity,” “equity,” and “inclusion” started out as mandated proportional representation as defined by the state allotting spoils of coveted admissions, hiring, honors, and career advancement by race and gender percentages in the general population. The subtext was that federal and state governments imported and incorporated largely academic theories that alleged any disequilibrium was due to bias. 

More specifically, racial and sexual prejudices were to be exposed and punished by morally superior castes—in politics, the bureaucracy, and the courts. There was never any interest in detailing how particular individuals were personally harmed by the system or by the “other,” which explains the Left’s abhorrence of racially blind, class-based criteria to establish justified need.


In the last five years, American Sovietization has descended into reparatory representation. Due to prior collective culpability of whites, heterosexuals, and males, marginalized self-defined groups of victims must now be “overrepresented” in admissions, hiring, and visibility in popular culture 

As the Soviets and Maoists discovered—and as was true of the Jacobins, National Socialists, and cultural Marxists—once radical ideology defines success, then life in general becomes anti-meritocratic. The public privately equates awards and recognition with political fealty, not actual achievement.

Were recent Netflix productions reflections of merit or ideological criteria governing race and gender? Do the Emmys, Tonys, or Oscars convey recognition of talent, or of adherence to progressive agendas of diversity, equity, and inclusion? Does a Pulitzer Prize, a Ford Foundation grant, or a MacArthur award denote talent and achievement or more often promote diversity, equity, and inclusion narratives?

Consequences of Failing Up

Where does woke Sovietization end once accountability vanishes and ideology masks incompetence and malfeasance?

We are starting to see the final denouement with missing baby formula, epidemics of shootings and hate crimes, train-robbings reminiscent of the Wild West in Los Angeles, Tombstonesque shoot-up Saturday nights in Chicago, spiking electricity rates and brownouts, $7 a gallon diesel fuel, unaffordable and scarce meat, and entire industries from air travel to home construction that simply no longer work. 

Everyone knows that the status of our homeless population in Los Angeles or San Francisco is medieval, dangerous, and unhealthy. And everyone knows that any serious attempt to remedy the situation would cause one to be labeled an apostate, counterrevolutionary, and enemy of the people. So, like good Eastern Europeans of the Warsaw Pact in the 1960s, we mutter one thing under our breath, and nod another publicly.

Behind all our disasters there looms an ideology, a creed that ignores cause and effect in the real world—without a shred of concern for the damage done to those outside the nomenklatura. 


 JUNE 7, 2022 BY SCOTT JOHNSON at PowerLine:


New York Post columnist Miranda Devine and two Post reporters have obtained a video of Hunter “casually wav[ing] around a handgun” and “point[ing] it at the camera while cavorting with a nude hooker in a swank hotel room[.]” The video was provided to The Post by the nonprofit Marco Polo research group. The Post story runs as “Packin’ heat: Nude Hunter Biden cavorts with hooker, illegal gun in latest mess for president.”

My own heading pays tribute to the best-selling collaborative literary hoax published in 1969 under the title Naked Came the Stranger. The Hunter Biden saga has pornographic elements far exceeding the imagination of the Stranger hoaxers. However, Hunter Biden’s saga is stranger than fiction and resistant to satire.

This chapter of the saga could not be more timely. It meshes nicely with Papa Biden’s senescent gun control mania last week.

I wish the New York Post had held its editorial fire slamming Politico last week — see “The Post takes offense” — to address the current edition of West Wing Playbook by Max Tani and Alex Thompson. Please check it out. Perhaps the Post will return to take it up, but I doubt it.

It opens with a long note on the media’s laptop from hell coverage. You’d never know that Politico has distinguished itself in the disgrace department with its own coverage. It winds to this ill-timed conclusion:

The New York Post spends much of its time these days taking self-satisfied victory laps over the decision to publish stories and images from the laptop before the 2020 election. The Post has published numerous editorials in recent months slamming the Times, Washington Post and even this newsletter over much of the mainstream media’s caution surrounding the laptop and its contents.

It deserves more attention than I can devote to it this morning. Please check it out.

“Here is the terrifying truth: the radical left wants mass murders in schools.”

June 6, 2022

The Most Terrifying Reality about School Shootings

By Charles Turot at American Thinker:

The initial reaction to the mass murder of children in Uvalde, Texas was horror and bewilderment.  Not again.  How could this happen?  Perhaps you, like me, imagined that the killer shot his way into the school and wrought havoc fast, before police could respond.  We were wrong.  Law enforcement knew he was on his way, armed and dangerous.  The door was unlocked.  A good-sized contingent of police failed to act for an hour.  Finally, members of an elite Border Patrol unit engaged the murderer, taking fire, and prevailed.

That demons prowl among us, plotting harm to schoolchildren, is well known.  The list of schools assaulted with weapons is long, their names evocative: Columbine, Sandy Hook, Parkland.  We’ve had plenty of time to address that somber fact.  What’s been said and done in the few days since the murders?  That tells the tale.

The radical left has called for disarming the innocent, entirely or piecemeal, by various extreme means.  This is the leftists’ default response.  The volume varies with the value of the opportunity.  This one was not to be wasted.  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Canada, a nation woefully lacking a Bill of Rights, chose the occasion to call for a “pause” to all handgun sales.

What else was said and done?

The California Legislature ended a standing legal requirement that school employees report threats of violence.  Read that again: not added, but ended.  The legislature’s rationale is that such reports affect “people of color” disproportionately.  If they do, it’s surely not intentional.  I have no doubt that employees of the California schools would do anything to avoid the living hell unleashed upon them after such a report.  The obvious effect of eliminating the requirement will be fewer warnings of threatened violence.  Threats often lead to actual violence — e.g., shootings in schools.  We should know that well after the Parkland murders.  (For the complete story, read the heartbreaking Why Meadow Died by Andrew Pollock, father of one of the victims.  The short version: Everyone knew that the killer would strike some day.  His many criminal acts went unreported so the school district would look better.  Disaster was the result.)

The Officeholder Formerly Known as Joe Biden told us through his hapless press secretary that he does not support “hardening” schools — that is, making it more difficult for killers to enter.  “Hardening” would presumably include such measures as locking doors.  That is “not something he believes in.”  Instead, he believes in “giving teachers the resources to be able to do their job,” a non sequitur of grand proportions.  An online video shows teachers how to use a metal chair to wedge a door closed.  Why should every classroom not have a simple handle adjacent to the door that does the same?

If you’re keeping score, that’s two responses leading to more murders in schools.

The Uvalde Police Department and the school district’s police force have stopped cooperating with an investigation by the Texas Department of Public Safety.  That’s understandable, from a human point of view.  They look very bad now, and will no doubt look even worse after an investigation.  No one wants to face that.  No one wants to face an armed man, either, but the imminent slaughter of children demands it.  An honest investigation will prevent murders if we listen to its conclusions and act on them.  Stonewalling by the police will lead to more murders in schools.

I’m seeing a pattern.  Nothing said or done so far will prevent more school shootings — least of all bans on firearms or certain types of firearms.  We’ve been there before, many times.  Focusing on the weapon in use is truly looking through the wrong end of the binoculars.

What, then, is the goal?  Democrat representative Mondaire Jones of New York expressed it clearly: the radical left will use the murders as a pretext to take permanent control of the United States government, ending the republic as we know it.  Jones minced no words: “you will not stop us from advancing the Protecting Our Kids Act today.  You will not stop us from passing it in the House next week.  And you will not stop us there.  If the filibuster obstructs us, we will abolish it.  If the Supreme Court objects, we will expand it.  And we will not rest until we have taken weapons of war out of circulation out of our communities.”

And that, comrades, will settle that.  No representation in any branch of government and no weapons.  Permanent majority?  Check.  Backed by the courts?  Check.  Means of self-defense eliminated?  Check.  Then the police can be defunded, the prisons abolished, the borders erased, and the carnage unleashed.

Here is the terrifying truth: the radical left wants mass murders in schools.  They are useful for gaining power.  I can no longer blame friends who imagine that the killers are some sort of Manchurian candidates, released to further a narrative and serve the purposes of the left.  I don’t believe that, but the idea follows logically from the same conclusion I’ve drawn about school shootings: the left likes them.  The left is powerful.  There will be more.  We could prevent them.  We won’t.


Zelensky slams U.S. mayors for not ending sister-city relationships with Russia

KAREN TOWNSEND Jun 06, 2022 at HotAir: 

Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine spoke via video to the United States Conference of Mayors in Reno, Nevada last Friday. During his speech he called out several American cities for failing to end their sister-city relationships with Russian cities. Some cities have suspended their relationships with sister-cities in Russia but that isn’t good enough. Zelensky wants the mayors to sever their relationships altogether.

Mr. Zelensky, who spoke to the gathering of mayors just after Vice President Kamala Harris, criticized Chicago; Jacksonville, Fla.; Portland, Ore.; San Diego and San Jose, Calif., for maintaining sister-city ties in Russia. He said those relationships should be severed.

“What do those ties give to you? Probably nothing,” Mr. Zelensky said. “But they allow Russia to say that it is not isolated.”

I hadn’t thought about sister-cities relationships after Putin’s invasion into Ukraine but Zelensky makes a good point. To paraphrase a Trump quote, American mayors could be asked, “What the hell do you have to lose?” Putin is busy losing a war in Ukraine (maybe) and Russian officials are busy worrying about the future of their cities in the aftermath of Putin’s aggressive land grabs in Ukraine. Will Russian citizens ever rise up and overthrow Putin? I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Chicago announced earlier this year that it was suspending, but not permanently ending, its sister-city relationship with Moscow, which had been in place since 1997. Local outlets in San Jose reported earlier this year that city leaders decided to maintain a sister-city relationship with Ekaterinburg, Russia. As of Friday, websites for the sister-city programs in Portland, San Diego and Jacksonville continued to list Russian partners.

But Mr. Zelensky, who spoke to the mayors 100 days after Russia invaded his country, said it was wrong to give Russia even the smallest bit of added credibility.

“Don’t make any excuses; don’t maintain relations with Russia,” said Mr. Zelensky, whose speech received applause from the mayors and city employees who had gathered in Reno, Nev. “And please don’t let those who became murderers call your cities their sister cities.”

Sister-city relationships are often largely symbolic. Cities large and small develop such relationships with other cities around the world. They can provide business and cultural exchanges. My own city of Houston lists nineteen sister-cities around the world, including one with Tyumen, Russia made in 1995.

US mayors can help show that Russia is being isolated from Western countries by severing ties with its cities. It’s a shame the people of Russia have to suffer for the actions of Mad Vlad but that is what is happening. Would the people in Tyumen suffer if Houston severed its relationship with them? It’s unlikely that any damage would be done. After the war and hopefully after the end of Putin’s evil reign, a renewed relationship could begin.

Zelensky spoke to the mayors after Kamala did. As usual there was plenty of cringe during her speech. Our sister publication Red State has a post by colleague Becca Lower and I encourage you to read it for yourself. Kamala sounds as she always does – uttering nonsense and trying to pass it off as wise words to the audience. Then she added a little cackle to mix. Becca calls it “cringetastic” and that’s a good word to use.


No one ever knows what she’s talking about. She concentrated on gun violence talk and spending more taxpayer money, along with blaming Putin for Biden’s domestic failures. Same old, same old. This administration is clueless and we’re all screwed as long as they occupy the White House.