• 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

FBI: The Stench Of Today’s America!

FBI: No, we would never have told Zuckerberg to bury the Hunter laptop story

JAZZ SHAW Aug 28, 2022 at HotAir: 

Screenshots from alleged iCloud

When Facebook/Meta honcho Mark Zuckerberg went on the Joe Rogan show recently, he created some waves by confirming something most of us were pretty sure of already. In the weeks before the 2020 election, the FBI directly contacted Facebook and told them that the Hunter Biden laptop story was going to drop and that it was “probably Russian disinformation.” Of course, the story was 100% real and not disinformation of any sort, but Facebook went ahead and suppressed the New York Post story about it anyway until Joe Biden was safely past the general election. Twitter similarly shut down the story and banned the Post from their platform for weeks. Last night, the FBI finally responded to Zuckerberg’s revelation, saying that they would never (perish the thought) engage in any sort of election interference and they “routinely provide foreign threat indicators” to social media platforms. And besides… they couldn’t make Facebook squelch the story. (NBC News)

The day after Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook limited a polarizing story ahead of the 2020 election because of an FBI warning, the federal agency said it can only alert a private entity of a potential threat, not require it to take action…

In a statement Friday night, the FBI said it has provided companies with “foreign threat indicators” to help protect their platforms and customers, but that it “cannot ask, or direct, companies to take action on information received.”

“The FBI routinely notifies U.S. private sector entities, including social media providers, of potential threat information, so that they can decide how to better defend against threats,” the agency said.

Let’s start with two things that you won’t find in the linked NBC article. The first item of interest was revealed when Zuckerberg commendably agreed to a follow-up interview with Fox News. In that interview, he confirmed that the FBI had a direct line to someone at Facebook for passing along this type of “information.” And the notification was done only over the phone. Nothing was put in writing so there is no way for journalists to retrieve the warning through the FOIA process. (But I’m sure that’s just a coincidence, right?)

Here’s the second, and perhaps even bigger item. During that period several weeks before the election, the FBI had Hunter Biden’s laptop in their possession. They had the emails. They knew the story was true. This was confirmed well over a year ago when Fox interviewed Hunter Biden’s long-time business partner Tony Bobulinski, who was copied on some of the most damning emails. Just to be on the safe side, Fox interviewed Bobulinski again this week (Fox Nation subscription required) and he confirmed that the FBI never contacted him to get more information about the emails on the laptop and they still have not contacted him to this day, despite his name being plastered all over the relative documents.

How many ducks do we need to have lined up in a row before this becomes crystal clear? Will CNN or MSNBC accuse Zuckerberg of lying about this? (Because you know what a right-wing, MAGA-loving kind of guy he is, right?) Will any other cable news outlets or major papers ask the FBI to confirm that they not only had the laptop but that they were calling social media outlets to warn them about suppressing “misinformation” that was fully accurate information that they had in their possession?

I think we can just come out and say it at this point. In the runup to the 2020 election, the FBI was guilty of, at a minimum, gross incompetence, but that’s putting it far too charitably. They did something that they surely knew would result in provocative, accurate information related to the Biden clan being kept from the public and/or falsely described as “Russian misinformation.” That is pretty much the definition of election tampering. But it doesn’t sound like many people in the media plan on trying to uncover the rest of the story or hold the FBI accountable.

“That leaves Ukraine in the position of deciding whether a full counteroffensive in the near term is worth the risk.”

Will Ukraine risk a major counteroffensive?

by JOHN SEXTON Aug 26, 2022 at HotAir:  

AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

Yesterday, Allahpundit wrote about the Russian effort to feed more troops into the stalled war on Ukraine. Russia’s inability to advance creates a possible opening for a Ukrainian counterattack. And we’ve seen some signs that Ukraine has been taking the initiative with attacks on supply lines and ammunition depots in Crimea and elsewhere. Just today there is another story that Ukraine struck a Russian base and killed 200 paratroopers:

“The Armed Forces of Ukraine struck enemy fortifications in occupied Kadiivka, killing about 200 Russian paratroopers,” he wrote on Twitter.

Haidai noted that the occupiers had been based in a hotel in Kadiivka since 2014. The Russians claim that on Aug. 26, the Ukrainian armed forces fired 10 HIMARS missiles at the city.

This is not the first effective attack by the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Kadiivka. On July 15 and 18, Ukrainian defenders hit ammunition depots in the city, and on July 24, they hit the occupiers’ barracks.

Ukraine is once again crediting local “partisans,” local fighters using guerilla tactics and feeding information the Ukrainian military from within Russian controlled areas. But these strikes, as successful as they’ve been, don’t constitute a full counteroffensive designed to push Russia out of seized territory.

Putin’s focus on finding more troops probably suggests that he’s not going to launch any major offensives anytime soon. He’s waiting for reinforcements and is prepared to have this drag on for another year if necessary. The Russian war machine isn’t very good but by firing artillery endlessly from afar he can eventually wear down resistance. He’s probably also hoping the west will be too busy this winter with its own problem (some of which he helped create) and will grow tired of the hassle and expense of supporting Ukraine.

That leaves Ukraine in the position of deciding whether a full counteroffensive in the near term is worth the risk.

The timing for any such attack has emerged as a pivotal decision for Ukraine’s government. Both sides are preparing for a protracted war, but Ukraine has greater incentive to try to avoid it with potentially risky maneuvers as early as this fall — before the rainy season turns the countryside into impassable bogs, or energy shortages and soaring costs undermine European support.

“An offensive is risky,” said Michael Kofman, the director of Russian studies at C.N.A., a research institute in Arlington, Va., assessing Ukraine’s options.

“If it fails, the outcome could affect external support,’’ he said. “On the other hand, Kyiv likely sees this as a window of opportunity, beyond which lies the uncertainty of a protracted war against a Russian army that has had time to entrench.”

Failure is always bad but there’s at least as big a risk from not trying and having people lose hope or patience.

“The very difficult state of our economy, the constant risks of air and missile attacks and the general fatigue of the population from the difficulties of war will work against Ukraine” over time, Andriy Zagorodnyuk, a former defense minister, wrote in the Ukrainska Pravda newspaper. He said the military should be prepared to advance, rather than defend.

“It makes no sense to drag out the war for years and compete to see who will run out of resources first,” he wrote.

And of course, there’s also the potential upside of a counterattack. A win, even a modest one, makes the situation much more difficult for Putin. Putin is popular when he looks strong. Looking weak will take some of the nationalist wind out of his sails.

The US recently committed $3 billion in aid to Ukraine. An aide to President Zelensky said that would allow them to pursue a counteroffensive.

“This means that we’ll be in a position now to effectively counterattack, to launch a counteroffensive,” Podolyak said, referring to the influx of assistance. “And we can defeat the enemy with the new equipment and with the new numerical value that is attached to our capacity and our capabilities.”

They’re clearly thinking about it. We’ll have to wait and see just how ambitions they are.

When Has The Human Female Been Driven To Invent?

 AUGUST 28, 2022 BY STEVEN HAYWARD at Power Line:


Leftists will get impatient or roll their eyes when they hear someone like Jordan Peterson describe postmodernist “critical theory,” critical race theory, or any aspect of identity politics (especially the phenomenon of “gender fluidity”) as “cultural Marxism.”  And yet. . .

Michael Anton drew my attention to a passage in the transcript of Leo Strauss’s seminar on Marx that he taught at the University of Chicago in 1960 (emphasis added):

Partly basing himself on Adam Smith, Marx makes this suggestion: the inequality of capacities which is empirically undeniable is the effect rather than the cause of the division of labor. So the inequality of capacities, in other words, is a social product, not a natural datum. Great inequality of capacities is certainly the effect of the division of labor. The division of labor in its turn leads rather to the impoverishment of the activities of the individual. All this would seem to lead to the conclusion that with the abolition of the division of labor, eventually there will be equality of capacities. But does not the inequality have natural roots? Yet what is the historical process except the conquest of nature, and therefore also to some extent of human nature? But to what extent is the historical process a conquest of human nature and therefore a conquest also of natural inequality? Marx is unable to give a principle here, and that is a revenge for his contempt about the question of the essence of man; because if the essence of man remains so wholly indeterminate, how can you then have any principle here?

Comment: this preceding paragraph expresses exactly the premises behind Kamala Harris’s seemingly incoherent recent statement that demonstrates the Marxist roots of her thought: “So equity, as a concept, says: Recognize that everyone has the same capacity, but in order for them to have equal opportunity to reach that capacity, we must pay attention to this issue of equity if we are to expect and allow people to compete on equal footing.”

To continue with Strauss:

Let us read the clearest passage of Marx on the natural root of the division of labor: “With the development of property the division of labor develops. The division of labor was originally nothing except the division of labor in the sexual act.”Period. In other words—that is of course an absolutely fantastic assertion, because if you want to be realistic you would have to say that this division of labor is not limited to the sexual act; it has to do with procreation as a whole. You know that men do not become pregnant but women do. But this wholly unreasonable limitation to the sexual act instead of taking the whole, procreation, is characteristic of the whole procedure. Now if you think this through, what is the conclusion? If the division of labor is rooted ultimately in the bisexuality of man—that is the primary form—and the division of labor is to be overcome, let’s get rid of the bisexuality. Yet don’t laugh. I mean, it is silly but it is a very serious problem, and there is of course—and you know, I’m not speaking of Mr. or Mrs. Jorgensen* in particular [laughter], but I’m concerned with the—people have given some thought throughout the ages to the question of producing human beings in test tubes. You know, the homunculus problem.Well, that is a practically absurd suggestion; that is clear. But we are concerned now—what is the principle which allows us to say that is absurd and not merely some vague knowledge of what we can do and cannot do?

* NB, from the footnotes: “Christine Jorgenson underwent sex-reassignment surgery in 1951. Jorgenson, previously known as George William Jorgenson, Jr., became a celebrity after a front-page story in the (New York) Daily News in December 1952 told her story (“Ex-GI Becomes Blonde Beauty”).

On other words, Strauss more than 60 years ago anticipates one way in which the wholesale madness of Marxism would go retail in our time, and why sooner or later it had to express itself through direct hostility toward the essentially differences between men and women.

“And it came to pass as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath, that they watched him.”

Musical chairs, RHIP, and the banquet: Sunday reflection

ED MORRISSEY Aug 28, 2022 at HotAir:

Bernardo Strozzi / Wikimedia Commons.

This morning’s Gospel reading is Luke 14:1, 7–14:

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully.

He told a parable to those who had been invited, noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table. “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor. A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him, and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then you would proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place. Rather, when you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, ‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’ Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Then he said to the host who invited him, “When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Remember the game Musical Chairs? Do people even still play that game at parties and events? Perhaps that belongs to a simpler time, but the game was easy enough to play. A certain number of players would walk around a collection of empty chairs while music played, with at least one more player than chairs available. When the music stopped, everyone tried to get a chair, but those who couldn’t find one lost and got booted out of the next round. The number of chairs dwindled down to one with two players still left, and the final round produced the winner.

Given today’s more kinetic tastes in competition, this may not be nearly as popular at parties as it used to be. But it still beats the Chicken Dance.

Anyway, this comes to mind in today’s Gospel — mainly from a conceit in Jesus’ parable that He doesn’t mention. This reading focuses on humility over vanity and the absurdity of self-promotion, which Jesus makes very plain in the teaching. And for good reason, since at that time (and ever since) people equated rank with privilege, and vice-versa, especially in the material context.

Even the disciples fell into this trap. James and John and their mother asked to be seated at the side of Jesus in the new kingdom in Matthew 20:20-28, a very close parable to today’s Gospel from Luke. Again, Jesus tries to warn all three that the measure of that rank and privilege would be very different than what they expected:

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons and made a request of him after kneeling before him. 21 “What do you wish?” he asked her. She said to him, “Promise that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and the other at your left, in your kingdom.” 22 Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?” They said to him, “We can.”

23 He then said to them, “You shall indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not in my power to grant. Those places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”

24 When the other ten disciples heard this, they were indignant at the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. 26 This must not be so with you. Instead, whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your servant. 28 In the same way, the Son of Man did not come to be served but rather to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

This looks all the more absurd after Jesus reaches the completion of His mission and the disciples understand it more clearly. Jesus already had the “best seat in the house,” so to speak, in His Trinitarian life with the Father and the Holy Spirit since the Creation. Instead of standing on rank, Jesus condescended to become one of us so that we might gain the grace and forgiveness necessary for all of us to gain our own seats at the banquet. In terms of rank, Jesus descended from the very highest in eternity to the depths of temporal rank to achieve our salvation.

The petty squabbling over ranking at the bottom must have frustrated Jesus, amused Him, or perhaps a little of both. Thus we get the parable of a humiliation based on self-promoted rank in relationship to others at the table, and a reminder that only the Host Himself gets to make that judgment.

But even this only gets to part of the hubris and self-absorption. In eschatological terms, it’s the banquet itself that matters, not the ranking order of the chairs. It is the welcoming of all to the table, all those who wish to be admitted and adhere to its requirements. Jesus emphasizes this at the end by reminding this host to invite those who need the banquet most rather than those with whom the host wishes to curry favor. Otherwise, the hospitality of the banquet becomes just another means to assert temporal rank, a status which is laughably irrelevant to eternal life.

We miss this because of our immersion in a fallen world of limitations. The worry of the missing chairs, or at least the potential of the missing chairs, is always with us. We hoard when we should share; we consume when we should distribute. The anxieties of survival in this fallen world push the concept of rank and privilege as a survival strategy as well as a way to blindly judge from our own limited perspectives what is virtue and what is vice. Rank has its privilege, and that privilege usually takes the form of acting in God’s place rather than His stewards. Jesus’ warning to the host of the banquet at the end of this passage is keenly tuned to stripping that illusion from the host and for all of us.

The illusions must be stripped from us in our path to the eternal wedding banquet of the Lord in order for us to claim our seat. We are not going to care which chair we get at that feast in the Trinitarian life; all that matters will be a life in the presence of the Lord, not our relative juxtaposition to Him. There will be no need for competition, and rank among us will not have its privileges. The fullness and abundance of the Lord will be ours, every single one of us, in equal measure. The anxieties of our hard lives in a fallen world will melt away, leaving only love and joy at our arrival. Rank will have no privilege because rank will be rendered utterly meaningless. Every seat will be the best seat in the house, and no one will lack for access who are invited and who accept.

We don’t need to worry about which chair we get or which side of the table we’re on. What we do need to consider is where we stand when the music stops on this side of the Kingdom — and whether we’ve walked away from that abundance of chairs the Lord wishes us to use.

The front-page image is a detail from “Banquet at the House of Simon” by Bernardo Strozzi, c.1630. On display at the Gallerie dell’Accademia.Via Wikimedia Commons


August 28, 2022

A Third Nomination of Trump Is What Conservatives Need Most

By Christopher Paslay at American Thinker:

Last week, National Review senior writer Charles C.W. Cooke issued “A Long Goodbye to Trump,” declaring in his article that it’s time to get over the former president and that it’s going to take a team effort by conservatives to topple Trump, “bit by bit, day by day, cut by cut, sigh by sigh.”

Cooke’s piece was unsurprising, being that National Review is the embodiment of the Washington establishment GOP, and that this same publication ran an entire issue in the winter of 2016 titled “Against Trump,” writing, “Trump is a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP in favor of a free-floating populism with strong-man overtones.”

N.R.’s distaste for Trump has more to do with style than substance, and even to this day, the bulk of its arguments against Trump have little to do with policy.  NeverTrumps are revolted by him because he had the audacity to position himself among the Washington GOP establishment as if he were their equal — as if he had come up the political ranks and had been approved by the party’s cultural and political gatekeepers — which he certainly had not. 

“Ultimately, voters who want to rid the GOP of Donald Trump need to decide whether we truly mean it when we say that he is uniquely unsuited to office, and to tease out what that means in practice,” Cooke writes in his piece.

But Cooke never explains what “uniquely unsuited to office” means.  NeverTrumps rarely do.  It’s implied that Trump is wrong because he’s the result of “free-floating populism,” which is another way of saying the common person is too dumb and classless to understand what’s good for him or his country.  Only the polished, college-educated, politically established Beltway conservatives know what’s best.  Everyday folks from middle America need to pipe down and listen to the experts.

Trump is “uniquely unsuited to office” because his very existence is a painful reminder of the  2016 referendum on the establishment GOP.  Trump won the Republican nomination by a landslide because Americans were disgusted by the pathetic inaction of so-called conservative politicians and their failure to stand up against leftist progressivism.  They allowed the Obama administration to selectively enforce immigration laws, downplay Islamic extremism, and racially polarize America by fueling the propaganda associated with the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.  

When Obama sided with activists of BLM and invited members of the Muslim Brotherhood (who had known ties to terrorist groups) into the White House, not much was said.  Likewise, when Obama turned the American health care system on its head and was busy violating the Constitution with dozens of “pen and phone” executive orders, much of the GOP establishment went along for the ride, afraid to rock the boat.  Republicans even let Obama weaponize the IRS against the Tea Party, knowing that their competition was being eliminated. 

Then Donald Trump came down the escalator in Trump Tower in June of 2015 and announced he was running for president.  Beltway conservatives laughed, but little did they know that the joke was on them.  By the time they realized what was happening — that they’d lost touch with the people — it was too late.  

Trump made quick work of “low energy” Jeb Bush, running over the Bush family dynasty like a steamroller.  No doubt the Bush clan was humiliated and felt personally attacked, and Beltway conservatives cried foul.  

“Little Marco” Rubio was next, followed by “Lying” Ted Cruz.  Mind you, Trump achieved all this after skipping the Fox News GOP debate (which no one ended up watching) because of his spat with Megyn Kelly.  When Trump announced he was going to skip the 2016 CPAC, choosing to campaign in Kansas and Florida instead, the GOP proclaimed that this was political suicide, that no one could ever win the nomination without attending.  Trump skipped the conference and won the Republican nomination by over 6 million votes.

It was the establishment GOP that hated Trump first and hated him the hardest.  He’s “uniquely unsuited to office” because he takes the totality of the Washington swamp — and all its networks of power — and renders them useless.  That’s why Trump is so “dangerous” and is a threat to so many powerful people.  This threat rose exponentially, of course, when he toppled “Crooked Hillary” and the Clinton Crime Syndicate.  Together, the Bushes and the Clintons and all the Beltway swamp creatures, both Republican and Democrat, and all their media allies have done everything possible to disrupt Trump, stop him, smear him, take him down.  Russia collusion, quid pro quo, January 6 — all of these sensationalized, theatrical, and mostly unfounded allegations have been used to get rid of an outsider who defies their rules and power structures.  

What no one ever talks about, of course, is policy.  Cooke writes:

In the more immediate term, conservatives who wish to see Trump retired in 2024 ought to stop talking about him all the time, in favor of building up other politicians who are engaged in active controversies right now; they ought to think more seriously than they have about why Trump rose to prominence in the first place; they ought to explore what Trump failed to do with his time in office, and how someone else might improve upon it; they ought to get into the habit of talking to their neighbors, friends, and co-ideologues about why a third nomination would be a terrible idea; and, above all, they ought to concentrate on the issues that conservatives care about — inflation, wages, education policy, abortion, zoning, the courts, energy production, immigration, and the scourge of race-and-gender-obsessed identity politics — and make clear that they care dearly about them, too.

Ah, yes, the issues.  Under Trump, inflation was in check and employment was on the rise.  Trump brought due process back to Title IX, rooted out CRT in education, and pushed a pro-American curriculum in K–12 schools.  He put three pro-life judges on the Supreme Court and blocked funds to Planned Parenthood over abortion referrals.  He placed over 200 conservative judges on federal courts and kept gas prices low through American energy independence and support for clean fossil fuels.  And of course, he secured the border and lobbied for merit-based immigration.  As for identity politics, no one disrupted wokism and smashed through political correctness like Trump.

The only valid argument against Trump is that he can’t win, that the fix is in, that the swamp was caught off guard in 2016 and that this won’t happen again, ever.  Does this mean conservatives should just give up and let the swamp win?  No, it does not.  The fight must go on.  What the swamp is doing to Trump will ultimately be done to DeSantis or Cruz, or any other conservative who dares follow Trump’s lead.  

The idea that Trump is “uniquely unsuited to office” is simply propaganda put forth by those who find him offensive in terms of style, and can’t argue against the merit of his policies or his power in fighting leftist radical progressivism head on.

A third nomination of Trump is what conservatives need the most.

Dennis Prager “Lectured” Very Successfully At Our Minnesota State Fair!

AUGUST 27, 2022 BY JOHN HINDERAKER at Power Line:


Scott has been writing about the race for Governor of Minnesota that is now in progress. Incumbent left-wing Governor Tim Walz is running scared, for obvious reasons. Challenger Scott Jensen, a doctor rather than a professional politician, is working hard and resonating with voters. The latest polling has the race tied.

We spent the day today at the Minnesota State Fair, one of the world’s extraordinary events. The two candidates’ fair presences highlight the differences in their campaigns. Scott Jensen is running an admirable campaign: fact-based, data-driven, all about the issues. This is his fair booth; it features charts and graphs:

Scott engages with passers-by, talking facts and issues. Here he is explaining a chart that shows the violent crime rate in Minnesota. Scott’s staff placed Tim Walz’s head at the point in time where he took office. The chart speaks for itself:

So what of Tim Walz? He can’t run on his record, which has been disastrous. On the other hand, he and his party are rolling in money. Insiders say that he will outspend Scott Jensen by ten to one. So Walz, like Joe Biden in 2020, has gone to ground. He is doing as little as possible, counting on his huge cash pile and the Democrats’ registration advantage in Minnesota to carry him through, despite being a lousy governor.

Three weeks ago at FarmFest, Walz and Jensen debated before a large, rural audience. It did not go well for Walz. His record is indefensible, and he is an angry, unlikeable man. So Walz pulled out of the remaining scheduled debates. Yesterday, at the State Fair, he was interviewed by a reporter who asked him why he won’t debate Dr. Jensen. He said that he didn’t want to participate in spreading disinformation. There is contemptible, and then there is beneath contempt. Tim Walz, darling of the far left, is in the latter category.

So this year’s race for governor is a conflict between substance and smears. Rich liberals from the coasts are pouring millions of dollars into Walz’s campaign, and local television is deluged with ads, all of which are about abortion. Which, needless to say, is not on the ballot.

If money were the key in factor in politics, Scott Jensen’s issue-based campaign wouldn’t have the chance of a snowball in Hell. But facts matter, and buying votes isn’t as easy as the Democrats think. Still, our best candidates need and deserve our financial support. You can contribute to a solid conservative campaign, run by a hard-working candidate who eminently deserves to win, here. I might add that during the caucus process, I supported my good friend Kendall Qualls, who I thought had the best chance of winning in November. But Dr. Jensen got the nomination, and he has done a terrific job as the Republican nominee. I support him unreservedly.

So, why was I at the Fair? My organization, Center of the American Experiment, had a booth at the Fair today. It was astonishingly successful. Our booth was in a prime location, and we had a spinning wheel where people could win American Experiment merchandise. We also are giving away a $250 gasoline card, and fairgoers could enter our drawing which will be held on Monday. Somewhere around 1,800 people entered the drawing.

We had people lined up for our spinning wheel a half hour before the booth even opened:

That was what it looked like all day, for 8 1/2 hours straight.

(Note: It’s about twenty five years ago when I first met Dennis Prager. It was at the Minnesota State Fair. He was lecturing conservatism from morning through supper. Years earlier I had spent many seasons at the fair lecturing the art of landscaping for the Minnesota State Horticultural Society.

I had never noticed a conservative lecturer lecturing in public before. The guy had a good voice lecturing which lectured me to stop to listen. I had become a conservative via President Ronald Reagan!

I wound up Prager listening for about three hours and came back the next couple days simply to hear him speak again. I returned again and again the following years and joined his Twin City social group. ghr)

The Messiah, by G. F. Haendel

(at least a bit of good news)

Quarter billion in stolen fed relief funds recovered by… the Secret Service?

JAZZ SHAW Aug 27, 2022 at HotAir:

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

We’ve been covering the economic epidemic of fraud and abuse in the various pandemic relief programs here for nearly as long as the programs have been in place. Much of the abuse was seen in the Paycheck Protection Program, where the number of vultures grabbing up money was simply staggering. Some of the fraudsters were so overly greedy that they got caught after stealing record-breaking amounts of funds. Other smaller amounts wound up in the hands of people engaged in sex trafficking. But at least some of the money is finding its way home. We learned this week that people have been pilfering other relief funds, including the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. But more than a quarter of a billion dollars in stolen funds were recovered recently, mostly from thieve in Florida. And who wound up nabbing the perps and getting the money back? It was the United States Secret Service. (Associated Press)

The U.S. Secret Service said Friday that it has recovered $286 million in fraudulently obtained pandemic loans and is returning the money to the Small Business Administration.

The Secret Service said an investigation initiated by its Orlando office found that alleged conspirators submitted Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications by using fake or stolen employment and personal information and used an online bank, Green Dot, to conceal and move their criminal proceeds.

The agency worked with Green Dot to identify roughly 15,000 accounts and seize $286 million connected to the accounts.

It may come as a surprise to learn that it’s the Secret Service doing all of this work. Aren’t they supposed to be protecting the President and other dignitaries? But they’ve been working on these fraud cases for quite a while. It’s being reported that the SS has launched more than 3,850 pandemic-related fraud investigations and they’ve thus far recovered more than $1.4 billion nationally on top of helping to return more than two billion in bogus unemployment benefits to the states. That’s still a drop in the bucket, sadly. Back in December, the SS reported that they believe more than $100 billion in pandemic relief has been stolen.

One promising sign is found in this latest report because the Government Accountability Office recognizes that our own government is largely to blame for the fact that so many people were so easily able to steal that much taxpayer money. The system was slapped together in a panic at the start of the pandemic, and suitable protections were simply not put in place. They’re describing it as a “tradeoff.”

In March, the Government Accountability Office reported that while agencies were able to distribute COVID-19 relief funds quickly, “the tradeoff was that they did not have systems in place to prevent and identify payment errors and fraud” due in part to “financial management weaknesses.”

I suppose we should look at this as at least a bit of good news. If we have to go through all of this again when the next pandemic blows into town, perhaps these lessons will stop us from repeating these mistakes. And some of the money is slowly being returned to the taxpayers, so that’s a positive development as well. But it’s almost universally agreed that we’ll never recover all of it. The number of people who will eventually succeed in fleecing these programs and getting off scot-free will likely never be known.