Sunday, January 24, 2021

They Can't All Be 'Extremists'

I've got my Twitter page set to private, because folks at my college often scour my social media posts for objectionable posts, or "wrongthink," in Orwellian terms. 

The LAT article at the photo below is here, "Recall Newsom effort has ties to far-right movements, including QAnon and virus skeptics."

And here's the comments and photo I posted to Twitter a little while ago:

The recall signature petition has garnered well over 1 million signatures across the state thus far. These citizens can’t, by definition, all be “extremists,” but LAT goes with this above-the-fold headline anyway. MSM-Leftist-Dem collusion much? Pfft.


 

Arizona Republican Party Censures Doug Ducey, Jeff Flake, and Cindy McCain; Narrowly Reelects Kelli Ward as State Party Chairwoman (VIDEO)

The video report at ABC News 15 Phoenix is from yesterday.

And see the Arizona Republic this morning, via Memeorandum, "Ariz. GOP censures Cindy McCain, Jeff Flake, Doug Ducey; narrowly reelects Kelli Ward":


Kelli Ward, the fractious leader of the Arizona Republican Party, narrowly beat back significant competition on Saturday to win another two-year term as the organization's chairwoman despite the endorsement of former President Donald Trump.

The closely watched result offers an early, state-level indication that Trump retains sway over the activist base of the GOP, though it is more tenuous. The election also suggests the longstanding divisions in the state party in the Trump era have not abated.

Ward’s reelection was considered a foregone conclusion weeks ago, but many in the GOP had misgivings about the party’s past electoral performance on her watch and an uncertain future heading into the 2022 midterm elections.

The party members later passed three resolutions censuring high-profile Republicans: Gov. Doug Ducey, former Sen. Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain. It was another sign of the party's move to the right...

 

Friday, January 22, 2021

Baseball Legend Hank Aaron Has Died

I was just a kid, and Willie Mays was my favorite at the time (after leaving the S.F. Giants, he had just one more year or so with the N.Y. Mets before retiring), so I can't say I'm a "Henry Aaron" fanatic. I also wasn't watching that day, at Dodger Stadium, when he hit #715.

But Aaron's story is absolutely phenomenal and historic. Just reading his obit, I've been literally shaking my head at what the man dealt with in his life and career.

In any case, here's his NYT obituary (I know, I know, but FWIW), "Hank Aaron, Home Run King Who Defied Racism, Dies at 86":

Hank Aaron, who faced down racism as he eclipsed Babe Ruth as baseball’s home run king, hitting 755 homers and holding the most celebrated record in sports for more than 30 years, has died. He was 86.

The Atlanta Braves, his team for many years, confirmed the death on Friday in a message from its chairman, Terry McGuirk. No other details were provided.

Playing for 23 seasons, all but his final two years with the Braves in Milwaukee and then Atlanta, Aaron was among the greatest all-around players in baseball history and one of the last major league stars to have played in the Negro leagues.

But his pursuit of Ruth’s record of 714 home runs proved a deeply troubling affair beyond the pressures of the ball field. When he hit his 715th home run, on the evening of April 8, 1974, against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, he prevailed in the face of hate mail and even death threats spewing outrage that a Black man could supplant a white baseball icon.

Aaron was routinely brilliant, performing with seemingly effortless grace, but he had little flash, notwithstanding his nickname in the sports pages, Hammerin’ Hank. He long felt that he had not been accorded the recognition he deserved.

He played for teams far beyond the news media centers of New York and the West Coast, and his Braves won only two pennants and a single World Series championship, those coming long before he approached Ruth’s record.

Aaron did not enjoy the idolatry accorded the Yankees’ Mickey Mantle or match the exuberance and electric presence of the Giants’ Willie Mays, his outfield contemporaries and rivals for acclamation as the greatest ballplayer in major league history.

But when he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, his first year of eligibility, Aaron received 97.8 percent of the vote from baseball writers, second at the time only to Ty Cobb, who was inducted in 1936.

Aaron grew up in Alabama amid rigid segregation and its humiliations, and he faced abuse from the stands while playing in the South as a minor leaguer. Years later, he felt that Braves fans were largely indifferent or hostile to him as he chased Ruth’s record. And the baseball commissioner at the time, Bowie Kuhn, was not present when he hit his historic 715th home run.

All that, and especially the hate mail that besieged him, seared Aaron for years to come.

As the 20th anniversary of his home run feat approached in the early 1990s, he told the sports columnist William C. Rhoden of The New York Times, “April 8, 1974, really led up to turning me off on baseball.”

“It really made me see for the first time a clear picture of what this country is about,” he said. “My kids had to live like they were in prison because of kidnap threats, and I had to live like a pig in a slaughter camp. I had to duck. I had to go out the back door of the ball parks. I had to have a police escort with me all the time. I was getting threatening letters every single day. All of these things have put a bad taste in my mouth, and it won’t go away. They carved a piece of my heart away.”

Aaron’s achievements went well beyond his home run prowess. In fact, he never hit as many as 50 homers in a single season.

He was a two-time National League batting champion and had a career batting average of .305. He was the league’s most valuable player in 1957, when the Milwaukee Braves won their only World Series championship. He was voted an All-Star in all but his first and last seasons, and he won three Gold Glove awards for his play in right field.

Aaron combined with the Hall of Fame third baseman Eddie Mathews for 863 home runs during their 13 years together on the Braves, the most ever for two teammates.

Aaron remains No. 1 in the major leagues in total bases (6,856) and runs batted in (2,297); No. 2 in at-bats (12,364), behind Pete Rose; and No. 3 in hits (3,771), behind Rose and Cobb. He won the National League’s single-season home run title four times, though his highest total was only 47, in 1971. Matching his jersey number, he hit exactly 44 home runs in four different seasons.

At six feet tall and 180 pounds, Aaron was hardly the picture of a slugger, but he had thick, powerful wrists, enabling him to whip the bat out of his right-handed stance with uncommon speed.

“He had great forearms and wrists,” Lew Burdette, the outstanding Braves pitcher, recalled in Danny Peary’s oral history “We Played the Game” (1994). “He could be fooled completely and be way out on his front foot, and the bat would still be back, and he’d just roll his wrists and hit the ball out of the ballpark.”

Aaron was quick on the bases and in the outfield...

More at the link.


Thursday, January 21, 2021

A Last Look at a Remarkable Presidency

At Issues & Insights, "Trump’s Top-10 Triumphs":

President Donald Trump became an ex-president on Wednesday, as Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States. We wish him nothing but the best. But before we let Trump go, we thought we’d review some of his biggest accomplishments while in office. We call them “triumphs,” because they were all big achievements executed against great odds.

More than any other president of recent memory, Trump fought hard for average working Americans. And contrary to the epithets thrown at him by his far-left detractors in the Democratic Party, his policies helped low-income and minority Americans most of all.

We believe – we hope – that Trump’s post-presidential career and reputation will resemble President Ronald Reagan’s. For those old enough to remember, Reagan also was called every vile name in the book, from “senile” to “fascist” and everything between. Yet, today, in retrospect, his presidency shines as a beacon in our nation’s history.

Given the at-times unhinged nature of the criticism directed at Trump’s presidency by the left and Republican “never-Trumpers,” Trump’s performance in just four years was nothing short of remarkable. He promulgated dozens, if not hundreds, of successful policies that other presidents talked about, but never secured.

He reached so many we can’t highlight all of them. But here are 10 that we believe stand out — and that future presidents (are you listening, Joe Biden?) would be foolish to reverse or overturn:

1. Slashed taxes on individuals and businesses. As an earlier administration said, “It’s the economy, stupid.” As much as anything, Trump’s growth-boosting $1.9 trillion in tax cuts and doubling of the child tax credit led to the bottom-up growth of our economy, as unemployment rates plunged for African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanics and women, and poverty rates plummeted to an all-time low in 2019, before COVID-19 struck. The bottom 20% of incomes posted a 16%-plus rise, the largest ever for those on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder.Yes, Wall Street and Silicon Valley moguls made out well as stocks boomed. But so did average Americans, especially the middle class. More than half of all Americans now own stock, a fact that’s lost on those who curse the stock market and “tax cuts for the rich.” By the way, the top income earners were the only group to pay more to Uncle Sam under the Trump tax cuts. And income inequality under Trump fell, after rising during Obama’s eight years in office.

2. Forged peace in the Mideast. The big media have tried to pretend that Trump’s unorthodox but astoundingly successful peace deals don’t exist. But it’s no accident that Trump has already been nominated — twice — for the Nobel Peace Prize. He deserves it. This year, thanks almost entirely to Trump’s efforts under the “Abraham Accords,” Israel has normalized diplomatic ties with four Arab League members: Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Sudan and Morocco. Jordan and Egypt already have ties. Terrorist sponsor Iran, meanwhile, has never been more isolated and on the defensive than it is now, thanks to Trump’s pulling out of President Barack Obama’s phony “nuclear deal” with Tehran’s mullahs. And while the terrorist group ISIS still exists, it has effectively been neutered, a shell of its former self, pushed out of nearly all its strongholds in Syria and Iraq.

3. Created Operation Warp Speed. The Chinese virus hit the U.S. hard. It’s now clear that China’s communist regime downplayed the deadly virus outbreak early, leading to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus that official data show has killed 400,000 Americans. Trump was ridiculed and berated for daring to think he could push the creation of a new, effective vaccine within the remaining months of his term. Yet, as Bloomberg noted on Wednesday, “Vaccinations in the U.S. began Dec. 14 with health care workers, and so far 16.3 million shots have been given, according to a state-by-state tally … In the last week, an average of 806,716 doses per day were administered.” The vaccine critics were dead wrong, and Trump’s push may well end up saving hundreds of thousands of lives in coming years.

4. Deregulated the nation’s economy. It’s not sexy. But Trump promised to cut two regulations for every new one proposed. He beat even that estimate, cutting eight regulations for every one added. If you think that doesn’t matter, consider this: Regulations currently cost the economy nearly $2 trillion a year, or about $14,000 a year for every U.S. household. Trump’s rule-cutting saved the average American household an average of $3,100 a year.

5. Got rid of Obamacare’s “individual mandate”. By far the most odious element of Obama’s first step toward socialized medicine was its requirement that all Americans must buy health insurance. For the first time ever, the U.S. government forced its citizens to purchase something, whether they wanted it or not. This part of the 2010 bill was clearly unconstitutional, as a federal appeals court ruled late last year. Americans are, for now, safe from being forced to buy insurance policies they don’t want. At least, that is, until the new Democratic administration begins its push for Medicare for All, or some other nationalized health care scheme.

6. Restored Supreme Court balance. By naming three new justices, Trump assured Americans that the court’s days of rulings based on politics and ideology, not the Constitution, are over. At least for the foreseeable future. Trump’s three Supreme Court nominees, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, are all strong constitutionalists who have sterling reputations for fairness and non-political legal decision making. “A judge must apply the law as written. Judges are not policymakers,” Barrett said during her nomination hearings in the Senate, a fitting description for all Trump’s choices. That includes the more than 230 judges he appointed to the federal bench.

7. Forced NATO to reform. Trump pushed NATO members to live up to their commitments to spend at least 2% of their GDP on defense, part of a 2014 deal that came after years of NATO countries shirking their duty to pull their own weight in the military alliance. In Trump’s first year in office, just four of the 30 NATO members met the 2% floor. Today, 10 do, and more will increase spending by $400 billion by 2024. By demanding NATO to keep its promises, Trump likely saved the West’s main military alliance.

8. Encouraged U.S. energy independence. By encouraging fracking and approving the Keystone XL pipeline, Trump set off an energy boom. And he did something that no one thought possible just four years ago: He made the U.S. energy independent for the first time in 70 years, meaning we would no longer be held hostage to unstable petro-powers and the vagaries of foreign energy supplies. Fracking enabled the U.S. to boost its output of natural gas, with many major utilities now using the cheap, clean source of energy instead of coal and other major sources of carbon dioxide emissions. The result: the U.S. is one of the only major countries whose CO2 emissions are plunging, with output now at the lowest levels since 1985.

9. Reformed immigration and built the border wall. Despite being called a “racist” and “fascist” and “anti-immigrant,” Trump has now built more than 450 miles of wall to restore control of our nation’s borders against illegal entrants into the U.S., including gang members, smugglers and drug dealers. As journalist Deroy Murdock recently noted, “federal apprehensions and encounters on the U.S.-Mexico border have plunged from 977,509 in fiscal year 2019 to 458,088 in fiscal year 2020 — down 53.1%.” A blow to Mexico? Not according to a recent Reuters headline: “Mexico’s Lopez Obrador says Trump helped Mexico.“

10. Withdrew from the Paris Climate Deal. The U.S. is the only major country actually living up to the Paris Climate Accords’ steep cuts in CO2 emissions. But the deal is still a bad one, since it commits the U.S. and other major industrial nations to shrink their economies over the long run to meet arbitrary CO2 limits in the future. Meanwhile, fast-growing countries such as China and India have few binding requirements on their emissions. The result: Those two countries, with more than a third of the world’s population, continue to spew CO2. This year China’s coal use surged above 2015 levels, “undercutting climate pledges,” according to a news report out this week. Biden’s plan to rejoin the Paris deal will only bolster China and hamstring the U.S. going forward. It’s a climate-based “America last” policy...

Still more.

 

Tucker Carlson: Democrats Are Demonizing Half the Country (VIDEO)

Following-up, "Biden's Inauguration Brings Back 'American Carnage'!"

Here's Tucker's opening from last night --- the man is on fire!



Salma Hayek Flaunting

 At Celeb Jihad, "Salma Hayek Flaunts Her Gigantic Stuff."


Biden's Inauguration Brings Back 'American Carnage'!

It's Sultan Knish, at FrontPage Magazine, "Hail to the Thief":

Democrats celebrate a “victory for democracy” with barbed wire, soldiers, and political terror.

On a cold, windy day with a small group of spectators watching from behind barbed wire, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. swore another in a long series of false oaths before his motorcade passed between a long row of soldiers with their backs to him looking outward for threats.

No inauguration has been this empty in a century of American history. And at no inauguration have the spectators been outnumbered by a raw display of armed force. American presidents have been inaugurated in wartime and during actual national emergencies with a better turnout.

Through world wars and wars on terror, Washington D.C. has remained a national capital where the hundreds of millions of taxpayers who labor to pay for its grand edifices, free museums, and lavish lifestyles could briefly come to enjoy a little of the life lived by the ruling class in the Imperial City. Now the ruling class has made it clear that it doesn’t want peasants entering D.C.

Even as Biden’s team prepped the executive orders that would end the national emergency at the border and shut down construction of the wall, new walls topped by razor wire were rising across the imperial city. The new Fortress of Government sealed off two miles of the National Mall and parts of downtown D.C. and filled it with more soldiers than are deployed in Iraq.

The Secret Service designated green and red zones. Some 25,000 National Guard members were dispatched from Vermont, Maine, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Arkansas, Missouri, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Colorado to prepare for a fake invasion that never came. But the armored vehicles and heavy weaponry did come. President Trump had wanted a military parade that would show America’s strength to the world. Biden held his own military parade to intimidate his fellow Americans.

Democrats had deployed more soldiers in D.C. than they had in Iraq and Afghanistan while authorizing them to use lethal force and investigating their politics before the deployment. The radical leftists who had resisted using the military to fight terrorism or secure the border from invasion were eager to deploy the military against the people of the United States of America.

The handfuls of ordinary people who arrived, as Americans always do, to attend the inauguration of a new president were confronted with heavy weapons and barbed wire.

D.C. had become a Baghdad and Berlin of checkpoints, choking off access to much of the city, closing roads, bridges, and metro stations. Soldiers could be seen on every corner, and the 25,000 troops were bolstered by 4,000 Marshalls, and a motley crew of local forces, including 200 members of the NYPD, 40 members of the Chicago police, New Jersey and Maryland state troopers, Miami-Dade cops, and other law enforcement officers who were needed back home.

24 people were shot in Chicago this weekend and murders are already up 125% this year in New York City. Those officers could have done more good at home, but Democrats don’t care about murder victims in urban areas, instead redeploying officers to D.C. in a show of force.

Biden took office in a city under military occupation whose businesses were closed and boarded up. The D.C. government had tried to force hotels to shut down. The hotels didn’t close, but there were hardly any people. Instead the hotels were filled with soldiers tramping through their lobbies. Any tourists that did come found nothing to see except barricades and barbed wire.

Sometimes what you don’t see is more important than what you do see.

Filling D.C. with soldiers meant that no one was going to measure Biden’s crowds. The only crowds were heavily armed and had been ordered to come. The complete lack of enthusiasm for the new one-party state that was getting its Mussolini on was the dog that didn’t bark.

Questioning Biden’s election has been deemed to be incitement. It’s enough to get you censored, deplatformed, and fired by the companies standing behind him. The election challenges have been used as the pretext for a military occupation of Washington D.C. But the cloud of a disputed election, like the winter clouds overhead, still hung over the inauguration.

There were no crowds, just soldiers. After the military and police contingent, the second largest group there for the inauguration weren’t Biden’s civilian supporters, but his propagandists. With few people, the media had to work twice as hard to manufacture the illusion that this was a popular leader taking office instead of a usurper imposed by Amazon, Google, Facebook, and the rest of the political, cultural, and economic oligarchy which owns the media on America.

CNN, a subsidiary of AT&T, had already gushed about, "Joe Biden's arms embracing America". MSNBC, a subsidiary of Comcast, compared Biden to God. "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." The only wounds being bound up were those of the ruling class which had temporarily lost electoral power to an army of flyover country workers and peasants, only to reclaim it with sedition, wiretapping, abuse of power, billions of dollars, and soldiers in the street.

Popular leaders, elected or unelected, might have troops in their cities, but they also have adoring crowds to cheer them on. Biden’s only cheers were coming from employees of huge corporations whose jobs depend on praising him as the greatest thing since SuperPACs.

Biden couldn’t manage the cheering crowds that greeted even the most mediocre presidents on their arrival. The band might as well have struck up a rousing chorus of, “Hail to the Thief.”

Jokes like that are all but illegal these days even though they were ubiquitous during the Bush and Trump administrations. But jokes only need to be banned when they’re too close to the truth. The hysterical fascist theater with troops in the streets and fawning praise on the lips of the press are all efforts to overcompensate for the hollow man taking a false oath on a bible.

This isn’t the pageantry of Stalin or Hitler. It’s the weary theater of Brezhnev, a senescent leader of a decaying regime being propped up by desperate threats of force by the nomenklatura. Even though the media has told us more about Biden’s dogs than it has about any of the Americans killed by Islamic terrorists enabled by the open borders that Biden just reinstated, no one cares.

Biden isn’t a charismatic leader. He isn’t moving the cause forward. He’s a placeholder for a ruling class that wants homes in Dupont Circle that it buys by selling out America to China, by ruining our economy with environmental consulting gigs and racial contract quotas, and for all the manifold ways which the swamp is coming back as Biden’s wetlands restoration project.

“Hail to the Thief” is as much their anthem as it is Biden’s. They fought to keep hold of D.C., the center of their power base not because they care about its history or that of this country, but because it’s where they network, collaborate, and do their dirty little deals at our expense.

The troops in the street are their warning to the rest of the country about who is really in charge.

And it isn’t Joe Jr, who, along with his criminal family, will be allowed to dip their beaks in cash and cocaine until they’re sopping wet, along with every aide, staffer, and associate. Biden will be fawned over, his idiot wife will be dubbed a doctor, and the investigations involving his son and brother will be swiftly dropped. And when the time is right, Kamala Harris will step into his place.

When the Soviet Union was entering its last days, one leader quickly made way for another. The parade of old Communist hacks in their dotage became a procession of political funerals. Generations after the revolution and the purges, the only thing anyone in Moscow believed in was the power and decadence of the ruling class. That and the threat America posed to them.

These are still the only three things that Washington D.C.’s ruling class believes in anymore.

Democrats and their media claim that this charade is a “victory for democracy”.

"We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it, would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy. And this effort very nearly succeeded. But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated," Amanda Gorman, the Harvard youth poetess, sonorously recited her tin-eared Maoist verses at the inauguration.

But where is this democracy? Where are the adoring crowds, the joyous mobs celebrating and the people cheering the tremendous victory of the democracy of Google, Facebook, Amazon, AT&T, Comcast and their D.C. lobbyists and associates over the Rust Belt and the flyovers

Biden and the Democrats celebrated their democratic victory with barbed wire, troops in the streets, political terror, and the threat of even more political repression to come.

"There is a broader societal issue that is going to take years to detox the disinformation," Ben Rhodes, the Obama adviser who had boasted of creating a media echo chamber, ranted on Comcast's MSNBC. On that same state TV news network, John Brennan warned that "because of this growth of polarization in the United States" members of the Biden team would be "moving in laser-like fashion" to "root out an insidious threat to our democracy".

Democracy is in a state of permanent emergency that requires locking down D.C., filling it with soldiers, walls, and barbed wire, and investigating political crimes. And D.C. will do everything it can to end the threat that Americans pose to democracy even if its ruling class has to live in its green zone surrounded by troops and barbed wire until democracy is saved from Americans...

Still more.