Sunday, January 31, 2021

California's Employment Development Department Was Completed Unprepared for the Flood of New Claims During the Pandemic, And It's a Scandal of Lessons Not Learned During Earlier Crises, Such as the 'Great Recession'

Boy, is it ever a scandal. 

While New York is no doubt the worst state in its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, the once-Golden State is so bad that Governor Newsom is nipping at Governor Cuomo's heels.

At LAT, "EDD’s lack of planning deprived jobless Californians of needed benefits amid pandemic, audit finds":

SACRAMENTO — Poor planning and ineffective management left California’s unemployment agency unprepared to help workers left jobless by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it failed to address problems in its system that were known for nearly a decade, according to an emergency state audit released Tuesday.

The report by State Auditor Elaine Howle was ordered by a bipartisan group of 40 state lawmakers who had criticized the state Employment Development Department for large backlogs of significantly delayed claims and its failure to prevent widespread fraud since the pandemic forced many businesses to close, putting millions of Californians out of work.

“Although it would be unreasonable to have expected a flawless response to such an historic event, EDD’s inefficient processes and lack of advanced planning led to significant delays in its payment of [unemployment insurance] claims,” Howle wrote to the governor and Legislature on Tuesday.

Howle said the agency was unable to automatically process nearly half of the claims submitted online between March and September 2020, and was forced to instead have the claims manually processed by staff.

“As a result, hundreds of thousands of claimants waited longer than 21 days — EDD’s measure of how quickly it should process a claim — to receive their first benefit payments,” Howle said. “EDD has begun to modify its practices and processes to increase the rate at which it automatically processes online claims, but the automation it has gained during the pandemic is not fully sustainable.”

The audit recommends the agency develop plans for times of high unemployment and address problems including call centers unable to handle large numbers of phone calls.

“EDD has at times been unable to help virtually any of the claimants that contact its call center and has not answered all web correspondence that claimants submit,” the audit said.

State lawmakers who requested the audit, including Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco), said Tuesday the report confirmed their worst fears about the agency’s preparedness and operations.

“This audit confirms that EDD has known it has been failing Californians for over a decade but hasn’t taken anywhere near the necessary steps to fix its situation,” Chiu said.

EDD director Rita Saenz, who took over the agency from outgoing director Sharon Hilliard on Jan. 1, told reporters Monday that she was working to address the problems in the state’s unemployment system, which has paid out an unprecedented $114 billion in benefits since the pandemic began in March 2020.

“We know that too many Californians are waiting on their payments, and we are working quickly to validate their claims and get their benefits to them,” Saenz said during a conference call.

In a written response to the audit released Tuesday, Saenz acknowledged that there were issues that needed to be addressed but said steps were being taken to improve the department.

“While there are additional improvements that EDD must make,” she said, “the department has taken steps to increase efficiencies, expedite payment processes and prevent fraud.”

The audit said the EDD knew of problems going back to the Great Recession of a decade ago but that in March 2020 the agency “had no comprehensive plan for how it would respond if California experienced a recession” and jobless claims surged.

“The 2020 claim surge was unprecedented and would have presented significant challenges no matter how prepared EDD was, but it failed to act comprehensively to prepare for downturns and to address known deficiencies,” the audit said.

Howle also said that EDD responded to the claim surge by suspending its determination of eligibility for most claimants, “thereby compromising the integrity of the UI program.”

State officials on Monday said they had confirmed that some $11.4 billion in benefits paid out by California involved fraud, and they are investigating suspicious claims involving another $19.3 billion in benefits.

Efforts to block fraud are hindering EDD’s work to get claims paid quickly, Saenz said.

“Security is stopping fraud and unfortunately creates longer waiting times,” she said. “Of course people are frustrated and angry.”

The lawmakers asked the state auditor to evaluate the performance of EDD call centers, the effects of the agency’s outdated technology, and the reasons for a backlog of delayed claims that last week totaled 941,000.

The EDD has made improvements in response to a strike team report by government experts in September, including hiring a contractor who put in place an identity verification system that allows more claims to be approved online, reducing the delays that accompany manual processing...

 

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Outrageous Internet Campaign of Lies and Smears Destroyed This Man's Life

You might think something like couldn't possibly happen, but the internet being what it is, I must say, this is one of the worst cases of online harassment I've ever heard of, dang.

At NYT (with all the usual disclaimers), "A Vast Web of Vengeance":

Outrageous lies destroyed Guy Babcock’s online reputation. When he went hunting for their source, what he discovered was worse than he could have imagined.

Guy Babcock vividly remembers the chilly Saturday evening when he discovered the stain on his family. It was September 2018. He, his wife and their young son had just returned to their home in Beckley, an English village outside of Oxford. Mr. Babcock still had his coat on when he got a frantic call from his father.

“I don’t want to upset you, but there is some bad stuff on the internet,” Mr. Babcock recalled his father saying. Someone, somewhere, had written terrible things online about Guy Babcock and his brother, and members of their 86-year-old father’s social club had alerted him.

Mr. Babcock, a software engineer, got off the phone and Googled himself. The results were full of posts on strange sites accusing him of being a thief, a fraudster and a pedophile. The posts listed Mr. Babcock’s contact details and employer.

The images were the worst: photos taken from his LinkedIn and Facebook pages that had “pedophile” written across them in red type. Someone had posted the doctored images on Pinterest, and Google’s algorithms apparently liked things from Pinterest, and so the pictures were positioned at the very top of the Google results for “Guy Babcock.”

Mr. Babcock, 59, was not a thief, a fraudster or a pedophile. “I remember being in complete shock,” he said. “Why would someone do this? Who could it possibly be? Who would be so angry?”

Then he Googled his brother’s name. The results were just as bad.

He tried his wife.

His sister.

His brother-in-law.

His teenage nephew.

His cousin.

His aunt.

They had all been hit. The men were branded as child molesters and pedophiles, the women as thieves and scammers. Only his 8-year-old son had been spared.

Guy Babcock was about to discover the power of a lone person to destroy countless reputations, aided by platforms like Google that rarely intervene. He was shocked when he discovered the identity of the assailant, the number of other victims and the duration of the digital violence.

Uncensored Vengeance

Public smears have been around for centuries. But they are far more effective in the internet age, gliding across platforms that are loath to crack down, said Peter W. Singer, co-author of “LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media.”

The solution, he said, was to identify “super-spreaders” of slander, the people and the websites that wage the most vicious false attacks.

“The way to make the internet a less toxic place is setting limits on super-spreaders or even knocking them offline,” Mr. Singer said. “Instead of policing everyone, we should police those who affect the most people.”

The Babcock family had been targeted by a super-spreader, dragged into an internet cesspool where people’s reputations are held for ransom.

Mr. Babcock was sure there was a way to have lies about him wiped from the internet. Many of the slanderous posts appeared on a website called Ripoff Report, which describes itself as a forum for exposing “complaints, reviews, scams, lawsuits, frauds.” (Its tagline: “consumers educating consumers.”)

He started clicking around and eventually found a part of the site where Ripoff Report offered “arbitration services,” which cost up to $2,000, to get rid of “substantially false” information. That sounded like extortion; Mr. Babcock wasn’t about to pay to have lies removed.

Ripoff Report is one of hundreds of “complaint sites” — others include She’s a Homewrecker, Cheaterbot and Deadbeats Exposed — that let people anonymously expose an unreliable handyman, a cheating ex, a sexual predator.

But there is no fact-checking. The sites often charge money to take down posts, even defamatory ones. And there is limited accountability. Ripoff Report, like the others, notes on its site that, thanks to Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act, it isn’t responsible for what its users post.

If someone posts false information about you on the Ripoff Report, the CDA prohibits you from holding us liable for the statements which others have written. You can always sue the author if you want, but you can’t sue Ripoff Report just because we provide a forum for speech.
With that impunity, Ripoff Report and its ilk are willing to host pure, uncensored vengeance.

A Familiar Portrait

Google results are often the first impression a person makes. They help people decide whom to date, to hire, to rent a home to. Mr. Babcock worried that his family’s terrible Google search profiles could have serious repercussions, particularly for his 19-year-old nephew and his 27-year-old cousin, both just starting out in life.

Two weeks after Mr. Babcock discovered the pedophile posts, a friend called: He’d heard about the accusations from another village resident. Someone had spotted them while Googling an ice-cream parlor the Babcock family owned. Mr. Babcock soon installed a home security system; he’d read about vigilantes going after accused child molesters.

He and members of his extended family reported the online harassment to police in England and Canada, where most of them lived. Only the British authorities appeared to take the report seriously; a 1988 law prohibits communications that intentionally cause distress. An officer with the local Thames Valley police told Mr. Babcock to gather the evidence, so he and his brother-in-law, Luc Groleau, who lives outside of Montreal, started cataloging the posts in a Google document. It grew to more than 100 pages.

In October 2018, while scrolling through items deep in his Google results, Mr. Babcock came across a blog where a commenter falsely called him “a former janitor” who was “masquerading as an IT consultant.” It was similar to attacks elsewhere, but this one had an author photo attached: a woman with long, reddish hair, wearing a black blazer and chunky earrings...

Still lots more, including how Mr. Babcock was finally able to get the upper hand, and had his day in court, so to speak.

 

Library Girl

It's Kendra Sunderland, doing her thing, rather well, if I might add.

I lost the Twitter link for this shot, but you can check out profile here



Evelyn Taft's Saturday Forecast

The two-day storm wasn't that bad in the O.C., compared to other parts of the state.

Here's the beautiful Ms. Evelyn with the weekend forecast, for CBS News 2 Los Angeles:



'I'll Circle Back' (VIDEO)

Here's the laughably incompetent new Press Secretary Jen Psaki lampooned at Fox News, which, while I know a lot of folks are hating on Fox these days, for not being pure enough, or whatever, for me that's still a great place to score some lolz during all of these "TERRIBLE, HORRENDOUS, DANGEROUS TIMES --- TIMES SO THREATENING TO THE MAINTENANCE OF OUR DEMOCRACY, THAT WE MUST KEEP UP THAT 10-FOOT TALL RAZOR-WIRE WALL AROUND CAPITOL HILL, TO KEEP THE UNWASHED RUBES DAFUK OUTTA WASHINGTON." 

All the "racial healing" coming our way is literally killing me, lol, and while I say this a lot, it's also one of the only things right now that keeps a smile on my face, heh.

WATCH:



Hedge Fund Manager Claims Victim Status; Claims 'We Have to Work Together and Pull Together'

It's AoSHQ.

Just head over there for your morning jolt, anyway, including this "flaming skull" bombshell post, "Kevin Clinesmith, the Corrupt FBI Lawyer Who Forged Documents to Frame an Innocent Man, Gets... NO JAIL TIME, HAS TO PAY A HUNDRED DOLLAR FINE," not to mention all the other tricks and treats the gang over there is wont to post from time to time, lol.

Have a great day, the proud but few "Band of Brothers" who continue to log on to visit my humble blog, lol. 

I appreciate your support as readers, but I probably don't say that enough.

Have a great weekend.


Thursday, January 28, 2021

'How is That Not Rigging The Game?' CNN's Poppy Harlow Questions Ethics of Cutting Off Reddit Investors but Not Hedge Funds (VIDEO)

Watch, at Mediaite.

PREVIOUSLY: "GameStop Stock Soars as Reddit Investors Take on Wall Street Elites!"


Belle Delphine Makes $1.2 Million in November on Her 'OnlyFans' Account!

This young woman is a cosplay nude genius, dang!

At Lad Bible.

BONUS: "Belle Delphine Christmas Video Leaked."

Umm, these links are probably NSFW. 


GameStop Stock Soars as Reddit Investors Take on Wall Street Elites!

This is the best, I'm telling you, lol!

At the Other McCain, "GameStop: The Best Story EVER!":

Oh, my! Oh, my! What a storm of hilarious schadenfreude has overtaken the stock market this week! The hero of this saga is a guy with a Reddit account called “DeepF**kingValue” who, in September 2019, accumulated $53,000 in stock in the retail chain GameStop.

From any objective analysis, this was the Stupidest Investment Ever, because GameStop’s business model — selling physical copies of videogames and equipment in brick-and-mortar stores, mostly at shopping malls — is doomed in the online digital era. And yet . . .

“DeepF**kingValue” had a hunch that GameStop was drastically undervalued when it was selling as low as 30 cents per share. His argument was that the retailer was shifting to online sales, competing with Amazon, while cutting costs by closing many of its brick-and-mortar stores. So he kept buying, and the share price kept going up, and as “DeepF**kingValue” shared his story on the Reddit channel WallStreetBets, a cult following developed. By December, with GameStop selling at $4 a share, “DeepF**kingValue” was a legit millionaire.

God Bless America, land that I love!

You can imagine every agent in Hollywood trying to get their client the lead role of “DeepF**kingValue” in The GameStop Story, a yet-to-be-made movie that will win every Academy Award. And the brilliant plot twist, the Second Act turn, is when actual corporate guys started to notice what was happening with this Reddit-driven phenomenon. Ryan Cohen, CEO of the online pet-supply business Chewy-dot-com, ploughed $82 million into GameStop at an average price around $9 a share (as much as 30 times what “DeepF**kingValue” had paid for his shares in 2019), which got Cohen a seat on GameStop’s board. Meanwhile, the Reddit crew on WallStreetBets discerned that hedge funds, which considered GameStop a sure loser, had gone short on the company, i.e., investing money on the proposition that its share price would go down.

Billions. B-I-L-L-I-O-N-S — these hedge fund wizards were so sure that GameStop was overpriced that they shorted the stock to the tune of something like $13 billion. And they got screwed. Bad.

Prison gang rape is the only metaphor that comes to mind for how badly the hedge funds got screwed on their GameStop shorts. How bad was it? So bad that NASDAQ intervened, so bad that Discord shut down the WallStreetBets chat channel, so bad that the Securities and Exchange Commission is now investigating the Reddit crew.

The “creative destruction” of capitalism can be a beautiful thing to watch, and if I were asked to write the script for The GameStop Story, the closing scene would be when “DeepF**kingValue” (played by Seth Rogen with a neckbeard) drives up to Mar-a-Lago in his gull-wing Lamborghini, with a Swedish supermodel named Elsa in the passenger seat.

Donald Trump comes out to greet him, personally...

Sill more.

Also, at Memeorandum, "Robinhood Stops Users From Trading GameStop Stocks, Other Reddit YOLO Picks."


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Abigail Shrier, Irreversible Damage

At Amazon, Abigail Shrier, Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters.



High-Speed Police Chase in Battle Creek, Michigan: Najee Rechelle McGilbray Body Recovered After Fatal Crash (VIDEO)

You gotta read the whole thing, at the Other McCain, "Manufacturing an Atrocity Narrative: How BLM Distorts the Reality of Crime":


Go watch that video again. It’s 3:30 in the morning, and it seems fair to guess that McGilbray had been out partying somewhere. Given how she was weaving all over the road, she was probably drunk. With a prior record and a suspended license, she was almost certainly driving under the influence when Officer Gammons turned on his blue lights.

This is a very common scenario in police pursuits. I’ve watched dozens of them on YouTube in the past couple of months and, based on this extensive research, I know that there is a certain predictability in the answer to the obvious question, “Why do they run?” Having a suspended license is one common answer. Most of the time, the fleeing driver is, like McGilbray, someone with a prior criminal record who fears that being busted for a traffic offense will violate their probation and send them back to prison. In many cases, the police pursuit involves someone driving a stolen car, or someone with drugs and/or guns in the car. In other cases, the driver is wanted on an active arrest warrant.

My point is, fleeing/eluding is not usually about a mere traffic violation. Almost always, there is some more serious underlying crime involved, and guess who knows this? Cops, that’s who.

There are patterns to criminal behavior, and an experienced cop knows that if he blue-lights somebody and they take off, he’s probably dealing with somebody who’s already got criminal record. That’s why, if you watch enough of these videos, you become accustomed to the “felony stop” procedure when the chase finally comes to an end. The officer who initiates the pursuit will call for back-up, and usually there are at least three or four squad cars on the scene at the end of the pursuit. All the cops exit their vehicles with guns drawn, and the command is shouted at the suspect: “Show me your hands!” It’s a tense moment, because the police have reason to suspect they may be dealing with an armed felon.

Anyway, after watching video of this police chase in Battle Creek, I did a Google search and located the information about Najee McGilbray’s prior incident of felony fleeing/eluding. There also was a story about McGilbray’s family reacting to her death..
.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Jordyn Jones Selfies

At Drunken Stepfather, "JORDYN JONES SELFIES FOR HIRE OF THE DAY." 

BONUS: "Nipple-Pokie Steplinks of the Day."


Lol! Lincoln Project Senior Advisor Rachel Bitecofer Blames Capitol Hill Riot on NYT's David Brooks

Heh. 

She's is (or was) a very successful up-and-coming political scientist with something of an un-academic background (working class, even), which didn't necessary endear her to some in the "elite" political predictions-modeling-forecasting community. And now it looks like some unwanted attention is surrounding here, and it's not fair!

As she was working her way up in the discipline, Emory University Professor of Political Science Alan Abramowitz, mentored her, helped her refine her modeling, and (I think) co-published some academic articles with her, thus helping her get established, and get placed in a university position. Abramowitz, as you might recall, is a forecaster at Larry Sabato's (hilarious wrong) "Crysal Ball," so if Abramowitz was still associating with her amid the period of her "Lincoln Project" affiliations, maybe he'll be running for the tall grass pretty soon here, lol. 

At the Other McCain, "Lincoln Project Senior Adviser Blames Capitol Riot on … David Brooks?":


If you’ve never heard of Rachel Bitecofer before, she’s a Ph.D. political scientist who captured widespread attention from liberals for her analysis of the 2016 election and her accurate prediction of the 2018 midterm elections. This got her a gig as a “senior adviser” to the Never-Trump grift gang at the Lincoln Project, and let me say this: Not everything she says is wrong. Bitecofer’s theory of how Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election was that a lot of people didn’t bother to vote because they didn’t believe Donald Trump had any chance of winning. Also, black voter turnout was way down because, let’s face it, Hillary wasn’t Obama.

But I could have told you that, without benefit of a Ph.D. Whereas I am just a blogger, Bitecofer has leveraged her credentials to market herself as an all-knowing, all-purpose political expert, which led her to offer the remarkable claim that David Brooks of the New York Times is somehow responsible for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot...

Keep reading.  


Gavin Newsom Completely Revokes California Statewide Stay-at-Home (Lockdown) Order — It's a Miracle! (VIDEO)

It's not a miracle, actually. 

Newsom, for the first time in his political career, is getting political pushback, and he's obviously not having fun (and is freaked out that his epic hypocrisy is finally catching up to him -- hello nearly-qualified gubernatorial recall!).

Business groups are filing some BIG lawsuits as well, so the heat is on, lol. 

At LAT (FWIW), "Newsom cancels California’s COVID-19 stay-at-home orders":


California officials lifted regional coronavirus stay-at-home orders across the state on Monday, a change that could allow restaurants and businesses in many counties to reopen outdoor dining and other services.

All counties will return to the colored tier system that assigns local risk levels based on case numbers and rates of positive test results for coronavirus infections.

Most areas will be classified under the “widespread” risk tier, which permits hair salons to offer limited services indoors but restricts many other nonessential indoor business operations.

“Today, we can lay claim to starting to see some real light at the end of the tunnel as it relates to case numbers,” Newsom said at a Monday news conference. “Each region’s a little bit different, but we are in a position projecting four weeks forward with a significant decline in the case rates, positivity rates. We are anticipating...still more decline in hospitalizations and more declines in ICU, and that’s why we’re lifting that stay at home effective immediately today.”

After a winter surge, coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are beginning to decline across the state. But compared to when the governor established the stay-at-home order framework last month, total confirmed cases have more than doubled, daily confirmed cases have increased, the seven- and 14-day positivity rates are higher and ICU capacity is lower in each region of the state except Northern California, according to the most recent state data available.

The change could lessen restrictions in the Southern California, Bay Area and San Joaquin Valley regions, which were still under stay-at-home orders before the announcement, unless local officials adopt stronger restrictions. Throughout the pandemic, local leaders have been allowed to go beyond the state’s rules, approve their own stay-at-home orders or shut down additional activities they deem too risky for their areas.

“Seven weeks ago, our hospitals and front-line medical workers were stretched to their limits, but Californians heard the urgent message to stay home when possible and our surge after the December holidays did not overwhelm the healthcare system to the degree we had feared,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly.

Los Angeles County, which has become a national hotbed of the coronavirus with hospitals overwhelmed by patients, “will essentially align with the state, by the end of the week, to allow for the reopening of permitted activities under the Purple Tier,” said County Supervisor Hilda Solis. The move — which comes after more than 5,000 people have died of COVID-19 in L.A. County in less than a month and as Southern California continues to report zero hospital capacity — will allow for the reopening of personal care services and outdoor dining at restaurants.

The outdoor dining ban had been highly controversial, with some elected officials and the restaurant industry fighting in and out of court to overturn it. Those affected said the restrictions had devastated restaurant owners and their employees, who were already struggling amid the pandemic. Outdoor dining offered a lifeline for some, and restaurants invested thousands of dollars to be able to offer it.

Last week, a group of more than 50 wineries and restaurants across Napa and Sonoma counties sued to overturn a state ban on in-person dining, with owners saying their constitutional rights were being trampled as they slipped into financial ruin.

Meanwhile, officials in some other Southern California counties have been even more critical of the state-imposed rules, and had urged Newsom to give them more local control.

Newsom’s announcement marks another significant shift in the governor’s reopening plan, a constantly changing process that has sparked questions and few answers about the data and reasoning behind his decisions.

Though business owners were relieved by the possibility of reopening some outdoor services again, others were concerned that Newsom’s directive was premature...

Still more (FWIW).  


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.

 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Biden Invokes Nazi Propagandist Joseph Goebbels to Condemn Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley as 'Part of the Big Lie' of the 'Far-Right's' Election Fraud Conspiracies (VIDEO)

Following-up from previously, "Goebbels and the New American Terror."

At Mediate:

President-elect Joe Biden specifically called out pro-Trump Senators Ted Cruz (TX) and Josh Hawley (MO) for being “part of the big lie” that is Donald Trump’s disinformation campaign to delegitimize the results of the 2020 election, invoking the propaganda tactics of Nazi Joseph Goebbels in his answer.

During a press conference on Friday afternoon, Biden was asked about Cruz and Hawley, who were on the forefront of pushing alleged concerns about widespread election fraud, of which there is no evidence to support. Both senators also joined in the effort to object to the Electoral College results certifying Biden’s victory. That political stunt was interrupted when violent, pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, resulting in five deaths, including one Capitol Police officer...

Still more

And at the video, scroll ahead to about 3:10 minutes for the Goebbels smear. And this is the "unity" the President-Elect is going with, pfft. They're all liars, the whole lot of America's internal enemies, the Leftist-Democrat-Big Tech Party:



Gavin Newsom's Botched Coronavirus Updates, Going from Bad to Worse

You know, the Newsom opponents' recall campaign now has well over 1 million signatures, and Democrats are freakin' scared, resorting to allegations that the recall drive is a white nationalist "coup" to "overturn" democracy in California

Seriously? 

The initiative, referendum, and recall mechanisms are all right there in the California state constitution. Er, Sacramento, we have a problem.

At LAT, "Newsom’s COVID-19 briefings often leave more questions than answers, some officials say":

SACRAMENTO — In his last news briefing of 2020, one of more than 100 held since the COVID-19 pandemic exploded in March, Gov. Gavin Newsom looked seriously into the camera and assured Californians that public schools could reopen as soon as February.

The pressure to return to in-classroom learning had been intensifying for months, and Newsom’s “California Safe School for All” plan was an attempt to temper growing discontent.

It didn’t work. Superintendents in seven of California’s largest school districts said Newsom failed to address the needs of big-city schoolchildren and called his policy “confused.” The state’s largest teachers’ union said it left “many unanswered questions.” The independent Legislative Analyst’s Office, which evaluates proposals for state lawmakers, said the governor’s proposal was “likely unfeasible.”

Once a reassuring elixir to millions of Californians facing the harrowing unknowns of a contagious, deadly virus, Newsom’s briefings — streamed on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and covered extensively by California news outlets — appear to have lost the impact they commanded in the spring.

Part of that can be blamed on natural fatigue after being imprisoned by a pandemic for 10 months, making people more likely to tune out.

“The public has gotten tired of hearing about the coronavirus, and so I think messaging has gotten increasingly difficult because people have stopped listening. Instead of talking more, you have to really sharpen your message to one or two things that people need to understand,” said Jennifer Kent, who was appointed director of the state Department of Health Care Services during the administration of former Gov. Jerry Brown in 2015 before resigning last year.

Newsom himself may share much of the blame. The governor, who had already come to embody the left in this polarized nation, used the briefings to cement himself as the sole voice of the state’s response — inflaming the politicization of the pandemic, while at the same time boosting his name recognition in California and beyond its borders...

 More at that top link, FWIW. 


Rashida Jones Leaked

NSFW.

At Celeb Jihad, "Rashida Jones Uncovered."

BONUS: "Rashida Jones Leaked!


Eugene Robinson and Nikole Hannah-Jones on MSNBC: We Must 'Deprogram' 74 Million Trump-Supporting 'White Nationalists' (VIDEO)

Watch at the Washington Examiner, "Washington Post columnist says that white Trump supporters need to be 'deprogrammed'." 

It's not just Robinson. Nikole Hannah-Jones, of "1619 Project" infamy, is also quoted at the piece:

“I know we can look to history,” Hannah-Jones said. “What ultimately breaks that power structure in the South is enforcement, right? There has to be consequences. And then once you get those consequences … people have to take a second look at their actions.”

Hannah-Jones said that people become too focused on reconciling their differences after bitter events, which only “emboldens” the type of people who participate in violence.

“What has long been the case in this country is that we have wanted to quickly move on to reconciliation,” Hannah-Jones said. “We’ve always been afraid that if you actually punish those kind of white nationalists element in our society will only make things worse. But, in fact, what history shows is not reacting, not forcing accountability, only emboldens those people and those movements.”

“What has long been the case in this country is that we have wanted to quickly move on to reconciliation,” Hannah-Jones said. “We’ve always been afraid that if you actually punish those kind of white nationalists element in our society will only make things worse. But, in fact, what history shows is not reacting, not forcing accountability, only emboldens those people and those movements.”

BONUS: Here's a Sky News Australia video, which starts off with the insane Katie Couric whining about "How are we going to deprogram all these people for the cult of Trump."

I'm just loving all the "racial unity" leftist-Dems have promised since November. *Eye-roll.*


Monday, January 18, 2021

Police Command Structure Crumbled Fast During Capitol Riot

 You don't say?!!

At the Associated Press, via Memeorandum:

WASHINGTON (AP) — As the rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol, many of the police officers had to decide on their own how to fight them off. There was no direction. No plan. And no top leadership.

One cop ran from one side of the building to another, fighting hand-to-hand against rioters. Another decided to respond to any calls of officers in distress and spent three hours helping cops who had been immobilized by bear spray or other chemicals.

Three officers were able to handcuff one rioter. But a crowd swarmed the group and took the arrested man away with the handcuffs still on.

Interviews with four members of the U.S. Capitol Police who were overrun by rioters on Jan. 6 show just how quickly the command structure collapsed as throngs of people, egged on by President Donald Trump, set upon the Capitol. The officers spoke on condition of anonymity because the department has threatened to suspend anyone who speaks to the media.

“We were on our own,” one of the officers told The Associated Press. “Totally on our own.”

The officers who spoke to the AP said they were given next to no warning by leadership on the morning of Jan. 6 about what would become a growing force of thousands of rioters, many better armed than the officers themselves were. And once the riot began, they were given no instructions by the department’s leaders on how to stop the mob or rescue lawmakers who had barricaded themselves inside. There were only enough officers for a routine day.

Three officers told the AP they did not hear Chief Steven Sund on the radio the entire afternoon. It turned out he was sheltering with Vice President Mike Pence in a secure location for some of the siege. Sund resigned the next day.

His assistant chief, Yogananda Pittman, who is now interim chief, was heard over the radio telling the force to “lock the building down,” with no further instructions, two officers said.

One specific order came from Lt. Tarik Johnson, who told officers not to use deadly force outside the building as the rioters descended, the officers recounted. The order almost certainly prevented deaths and more chaos, but it meant officers didn’t pull their weapons and were fighting back with fists and batons.

Johnson has been suspended after being captured on video wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat while moving through crowds of rioters. Johnson told colleagues he wore the hat as a tactic to gain the crowd’s confidence as he tried to reach other officers who were pinned down by rioters, one of the officers said. A video of the incident obtained by the Wall Street Journal shows Johnson asking rioters for help in getting his colleagues.

Johnson, who could not be reached for comment, was heard by an officer on the radio repeatedly asking, “Does anybody have a plan?”

More at that top link.

 

Joe Biden's Call for Unity

Right!

At CNBC, "Biden calls for unity and healing after Electoral College certifies his victory."



Look at All the Democrats Who Boycotted Trump's Inauguration

Wow! 

If Democrats didn't have double-standards, they'd have no standards at all!

At Pajamas, "Political Amnesia: Look at All the Democrats Who Boycotted Trump's Inauguration."


Izabel Goulart on the Beach

 At Drunken Stepfather, "Izabel Goulart is Topless on the Beach of the Day..."


David J. Garrow, Bearing the Cross

At Amazon, David J. Garrow, Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.



MLK Day 2021

A surprising headline at the Los Angeles Times, "Martin Luther King’s Promised Land may be closer than we think."

Plus, seen on Facebook earlier:




Regnery Picks Up Senator Josh Hawley's Book After Simon & Schuster 'Cancelled' It

Heh.

Free speech is like water running downhill. If a tree falls to block the flow, the stream just rolls up and over and keeps on going down.

At Yahoo News, "Hawley Book Picked Up by Regnery Publishing after Being Dropped by Simon and Schuster."


Crimony! End the Lockdowns So This Woman Can Go Out and Get Some Fun-In-The-Sun!

She's could use a tan, sheesh.

At Country Girls:




Hmm, 'Far-Right' Protesters Stayed Home on Sunday?

 That's not what we were told. 

The story's at NYT (FWIW), "After Capitols Become Fortresses, Far-Right Protesters Are Mostly a No-Show."

Also a screenshot of my post on Facebook yesterday: 




Molly Hemingway, Justice on Trial

Molly Hemingway, Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court.




James Wesley Rawles, Patriots

At Amazon, James Wesley Rawles, Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse.




Kim Strassel, Resistance (At All Costs)

At Amazon, Kim Strassel, Resistance (At All Costs): How Trump Haters Are Breaking America.



Saturday, January 16, 2021

Ravens Fan Amber Athey is Not Pleased

On Twitter, "I'm upset. No one talk to me."

(On the other hand, pro golfer Paige Spiranac is "1-0 as a Bills fan," and the Bills themselves aren't holding back on the celebratory trolling lol.)




Lincoln Project's John Weaver Comes Out as Gay! Who Knew, LOL?!!

Heh. 

Following-up, "Lincoln Project Co-Founder John Weaver Accused of 'Grooming' Young Men, Offering Jobs for Sex."

At the Other McCain, "John Weaver: ‘The Truth Is I’m Gay’":

Sunday, I blogged about the accusation that John Weaver, the former top campaign aide to John McCain and co-founder of the anti-Trump “Lincoln Project,” had been sexually harassing young men. Now he has been forced out of the Lincoln Project:
Lincoln Project cofounder John Weaver is no longer affiliated with the Democratic Super PAC after admitting — in the classic tradition of the Friday evening news dump — to having “inappropriate” sexual conversations with young men.

“The truth is that I’m gay,” Weaver told former Washington Free Beacon journalist Lachlan Markay in a prewritten statement. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”

Weaver reportedly took a medical leave of absence from the Lincoln Project over the summer, and will not be returning to the controversial Super PAC.

Over the past few days, dozens of young men have come forward with accusations that Weaver engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct, including text messages and phone conversations, as well as “grooming” them by promising lucrative career opportunities in exchange for sex. The allegations were broght to light through the reporting of journalists Ryan Girdusky and Scott Stedman.

Weaver admitted to making the young men “uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations,” which included at least one instance in which Weaver allegedly emailed an unsolicited photo of his penis. However, he appeared to suggest the men accusing him of grooming them, or offering favors in exchange for sex, are lying, perhaps for nefarious reasons.

“While I am taking full responsibility for the inappropriate messages and conversations,” Weaver wrote in the statement, “I want to state clearly that the other smears being leveled at me … are categorically false and outrageous.” The emergence of the allegations, Weaver suggested, was facilitated by political critics of the Lincoln Project.
Wait — “dozens of young men”? This implies a number in the 25-30 range, at least. Your homosexuality is not really secret, if you’re engaged in such large-scale solicitation...

Maybe they're all homos at the Lincoln Project,  NTTAWWT!

Still more at the Other McCain.


Eat it! Eat It! No One Can Be Defeated, LOL!

At Instapundit, "ONE YEAR AGO":




Folks Can't Leave the Bay Area Fast Enough

Yeah, and it's bad all over this once-Golden State.

At NYT, "They Can’t Leave the Bay Area Fast Enough":

SAN FRANCISCO — The Bay Area struck a hard bargain with its tech workers.

Rent was astronomical. Taxes were high. Your neighbors didn’t like you. If you lived in San Francisco, you might have commuted an hour south to your job at Apple or Google or Facebook. Or if your office was in the city, maybe it was in a neighborhood with too much street crime, open drug use and $5 coffees.

But it was worth it. Living in the epicenter of a boom that was changing the world was what mattered. The city gave its workers a choice of interesting jobs and a chance at the brass ring.

That is, until the pandemic. Remote work offered a chance at residing for a few months in towns where life felt easier. Tech workers and their bosses realized they might not need all the perks and after-work schmooze events. But maybe they needed elbow room and a yard for the new puppy. A place to put the Peloton. A top public school.

They fled. They fled to tropical beach towns. They fled to more affordable places like Georgia. They fled to states without income taxes like Texas and Florida.

That’s where the story of the Bay Area’s latest tech era is ending for a growing crowd of tech workers and their companies. They have suddenly movable jobs and money in the bank — money that will go plenty further somewhere else.

But where? The No. 1 pick for people leaving San Francisco is Austin, Texas, with other winners including Seattle, New York and Chicago, according to moveBuddha, a site that compiles data on moving. Some cities have even set up recruiting programs to lure them to new homes. Miami’s mayor has even been inviting tech people to move there in his Twitter posts.

I talked to more than two dozen tech executives and workers who have left San Francisco for other parts of the country over the last year, like a young entrepreneur who moved home to Georgia and another who has created a community in Puerto Rico. Here are some of their stories...

RTWT.

 

Friday, January 15, 2021

Kristen Clarke’s Disastrous Nomination to Head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division (VIDEO)

 From Joseph Klein, at FrontPage Magazine, "Biden’s Disastrous Pick to Head DOJ Civil Rights Division":

Senate must reject Kristen Clarke’s nomination.

Kristen Clarke, President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, is a disastrous choice. Clarke has a long record of making racially charged-comments, going back to her time in college and continuing to this day. She also has spoken out in favor of anti-Semites. Back in college, Clarke led a student group that provided an anti-Semitic professor a platform to spew his vile remarks. Much more recently, Clarke supported an advocate of the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. If Clarke’s name is not withdrawn from consideration, the Senate must reject her nomination.

Back in the day when Clarke served as the president of the Black Students Association (BSA) at Harvard, she co-authored a letter to the Harvard Crimson asserting that blacks are born with “superior physical and mental abilities.” It’s all due to the chemical melanin, Clarke claimed, which “endows [b]lacks with greater mental, physical and spiritual abilities -- something which cannot be measured based on Eurocentric standards." The Harvard Crimson editors at the time called for Clarke to resign her position at the BSA unless she was “prepared to retract her statements, and apologize publicly for making them.” The furthest that Clarke was willing to go at that time was stating that "The information [contained in the letter] is not necessarily something we believe.” [Emphasis added] There was no public retraction back then.

Clarke also invited the late Wellesley Professor of Africana Studies Anthony Martin to speak at a 1994 Black Students Association-sponsored event. Clarke’s guest used his time to slander Jews with the accusation that Jews had a “tradition” of persecuting blacks. "There was a Jewish monopoly over Blacks being cursed," Martin said during his address.

Clarke defended the choice of Martin to speak after receiving criticism from the Harvard-Radcliffe Hillel. "Professor Martin is an intelligent, well-versed Black intellectual who bases his information on indisputable fact," Clarke said. The real indisputable fact is that Jews have put their lives on the line in the cause of the black civil rights movement. For example, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman served in 1964 as voting-registration volunteers in Meridian, Mississippi and were murdered by Klansmen.

Now that Clarke is craving for the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights position in the Biden administration, she wants a do-over. In a recent interview, Clarke said that she realizes it was a mistake to invite Martin to speak at Harvard. “Giving someone like him a platform, it’s not something I would do again,” Clarke said, adding that “I unequivocally denounce antisemitism.”

Clarke’s recantation comes way too late. If Democrats had an ounce of intellectual honesty, which they do not, Clarke’s invitation to an anti-Semitic professor to speak at Harvard when she was a student would be reason enough for them to “cancel” Clarke now. After all, Democrats in the Senate were willing to throw Trump nominees’ alleged behavior in college and high school back at them when their nominations were being considered. The worst case involved the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. But there were others as well who were targeted by the cancel culture crowd.

In any case, we don’t even have to look back at Clarke’s college days to find proof of her support for radicals who espouse anti-Semitic views. In 2018, for example, Israel denied Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, entry to the country because of his organization’s support for the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. Clarke tweeted, “Incredibly disturbed to hear that @VinceWarren was detained and denied entry into Israel on a trip that was carefully and thoughtfully planned out over the course of several months. #CivilRights Lawyers should not be penalized for their work to promote justice.”

As for the letter to the Harvard Crimson Clarke co-authored, claiming that blacks have “superior physical and mental abilities,” Clarke is now saying that it was all a misunderstanding. She claims that the letter was intended as a satirical response to the book The Bell Curve, which posited genetic differences between whites and blacks. Clarke wants us to believe that her letter’s references to melanin as the cause of black superiority “was meant to express an equally absurd point of view — fighting one ridiculous absurd racist theory with another ridiculous absurd theory.” That’s disinformation. At the time when the letter was written, Clarke said that she was uncertain whether the melanin theory of black superiority was true or not. There wasn’t a hint of sarcasm in the letter.

Putting aside her comments about melanin back in college, Clarke certainly shows no uncertainty today in embracing critical race theory, which posits that America is inherently racist. In her capacity as president and executive director of Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Clarke condemned the Trump administration’s decision to remove critical race theory from federal government training programs. "Our nation stands at an inflection point as communities are grappling with the ongoing threat of racism, white supremacy and police violence," Clarke said in a statement. "President Trump's latest federal directive is an attempt to discredit, condemn and silence important conversations happening in communities and workplaces about anti-racism and about our nation's history of white supremacy. By banning government support for these discussions, he sends a dangerous message to the country that racism is a fallacy."

Last year, Clarke denounced what she claims is “systemic racism that pervades every aspect of our lives, especially when it comes to policing and the operation of the criminal justice system of our country.” She supports defunding of the police. “I advocate for defunding policing operations that have made African Americans more vulnerable to police violence and contributed to mass incarceration, while investing more in programs and policies that address critical community needs,” she wrote last June for Newsweek. She called the concerns regarding the violence that broke out last year in the wake of the George Floyd killing a “distraction.”

Clearly, if Clarke were to become Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights and have her way, she would push to put the police on trial all over the country. She would also force-feed critical race theory to all federal employees and beyond. She would support the BDS movement as a civil right.

 

The Senate's Coming Impeachment Fiasco

A great piece, from Byron York, "Byron York's Daily Memo":

Remember that the primary purpose of an impeachment trial is to remove the convicted official from office. Here is the description of impeachment from Article II of the Constitution: "The president, vice president and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." The Constitution gives the Senate "the sole power to try all impeachments" and says that "no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the members present." If the official is convicted, the punishment "shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States."

But the removal part will be off the table. The Senate trial will not begin until January 20 at the earliest, after President Trump leaves office. So Democrats propose to use impeachment to disqualify Trump from ever holding federal office again, which they say requires only a majority vote in the Senate. But the Constitution clearly requires a conviction before punishment, so two thirds of the Senate would have to convict former President Trump before he could be disqualified.

*****

There are two new polls on the impeachment question. An NBC survey shows the public narrowly divided on the issue, with 50 percent for and 48 percent against. An ABC-Washington Post poll shows a wider spread, with 56 for and 42 percent against. But both polls asked respondents whether they supported removing Trump from office without mentioning that in real life Trump will already be out of office when the impeachment verdict is rendered. This is just a guess, but it seems opinion might change when the public realizes that Democrats are using impeachment against a president who has already left office...

Still more.

And read those polls, especially the one from ABC News. Americans of all partisan persuasions repudiate the violence of the Capitol Hill riot, including 76 percent of Trump supporters.  

And as usual, don't forget all the caveats about media polling, perhaps the biggest one is that their samples are always biased toward the Democrats, and often questions are rigged (push-polling) to get the desired results of making Trump, Republicans, and conservatives look bad. 

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