Sunday, February 28, 2021

Goveror Kristi Noem at CPAC (VIDEO)

She brought down the house. 

And Trump's supposed to be speaking any minute there at CPAC, so check it out, if you can. I might have to catch it later, 'cause I'm heading out with da family for some lunch.

I'll be back later.


Saturday, February 27, 2021

Anti-C.R.T. Activist Christopher Rufo Challenges N.Y.T.'s Michelle Goldberg to Debate

Actually, Rufo's challenging the entire leftist cadre of "woke journalists" and lefty columnists, like Ms. Goldberg, to debate, and that's not a bad idea. 

He writes on Twitter:

Today, the New York Times claimed that I want to ban critical race theory because I am afraid to debate it. This is false. In fact, I will debate any prominent critical race theorist on the floor of the New York Times. I will give them home field advantage—and dismantle them.

I give the New York Times and the professors of critical race theory—including those quotes in the article—five calendar days to accept this challenge. If they do not, we'll know who is afraid to debate, and who uses it as an excuse to shelter their ideas from public criticism.

Actually, though, when it comes to critical race theory (C.R.T.), Ms. Goldberg, may have a point. (And I note this with the full understanding that, Ms. Goldberg, who is Jewish, and perhaps has faced some anti-Semitism in her life, is nevertheless about as "privileged" as anyone could be today, with a "journalistic" perch at the "exalted" New York Times, which ain't nothing to sniff at, considering the sheer power of that institution). 

Here's her column, "The Campaign to Cancel Wokeness."

You can RTWT (besides the screenshot below), but what I've noticed is that Rufo, indeed, is somewhat "totalitarian" in his approach. I've seen him interviewed a least a couple of times on cable news, and he claims to be assembling a "high-powered" network of attorneys not just to challenge C.R.T, but to get it banned altogether from U.S. schools. 

Now, I'm obviously no big defender of C.R.T. --- and especially the "antiracism" corollary --- but if conservatives say they're truly for free speech --- the point Ms. Goldberg hammers --- hers is not an idle critique. I mean, if one is really conservative, the point of greatest impact should be at the local level, empowering, with conservative pro bono lawyers and lawsuits, the parents of kids who're being indoctrinated by such crap. Further, Rufo's approach, ideologically, mimics what so-called "right-wing" critics of leftist education doctrine always say --- that it's all "top down," especially driven by genuinely powerful teachers' unions, particularly the N.E.A. and A.F.T., both loathsome citadels of educational hatred, not to mention despicable indifference to the lives and welfare of the students they're supposed to represent. 

So, while I'm probably overthinking this too much, I'm looking forward to local conservative and traditional parent-activists to take it right to the authoritative bodies that are reaming their kids, and robbing them of the true "critical" thinking that youngins today so obviously need --- their local school boards. 

And to add, I personally favor Professor William Jacobson's approach, with his "Critical Race Training" initiative, which is a place where parents can find facts and be educated about what the situation is, so they can then make choices for themselves. So then, if some of those families indeed pursue litigation, at least it will be from a position of "choice," or in fact of "choice" denied, as many families aren't privileged, like Ms. Goldberg, who attended U.C. Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, with Berkeley being generally regarded as the top public university in the country.  

So I guess with that, you be the judge. *Shrug.* A lot of the ideological battles we're having these days are, in fact, dumb. 

Friday, February 26, 2021

Naomi Wolf Interview with Tucker Carlson (VIDEO)

Naomi Wolf is the author of, The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot

I honestly never even considered picking up the book (or putting my hands on it), much less purchasing it. She's a very-far leftist, who, according to one report, is "a life-long Democrat and liberal, not to mention a well-known feminist author who was a leader of the so-called third-wave of the feminist movement, and a former advisor to Bill Clinton and Al Gore."

In her book, she lays out "ten-steps" on the road to "totalitarianism," and at the interview, she asserts that with the current "Covid fascism" encroaching the land, America is now at "step 10":

Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy. 

Create secret prisons where torture takes place. 

Develop a thug caste or paramilitary force not answerable to citizens. 

Set up an internal surveillance system. 

Infiltrate and harass citizens' groups. 

Engage in arbitrary detention and release. 

Target key individuals. 

Control the press. 

Cast criticism as espionage and dissent as treason. 

Subvert the rule of law.

The book was published in 2007, during the G.W. Bush years (when it was popular on the left to call President Bush, "BusHitler").

So, frankly, she's not the kind of person you'd expect to see interviewed on "Tucker Carlson Tonight." But one of the reasons I rarely miss Tucker's show is that he's literally "fair and balanced," which I can't say about Sean Hannity, who, I think I mentioned previously, recently gave Texas Governor Abbott one of the most softball interviews earlier I've ever seen --- which was an abomination (like, c'mon, you know Texas screwed up, and even a so-called "conservative" governors may from time to time unwittingly [or not] enable the forces of leftist destruction right at home (or, that is, right at home, in Texas).

In any case, Tucker is most kind and gracious when speaking to Ms. Wolf, and she returns the kindness, which is really remarkable, because Tucker, towards the end of the interview, indicates, it's almost like the far-left media outlets (looking at you CNN) are deliberately "trying to divide us."

It's excellent:

Inside a Battle Over Race, Class and Power at Smith College (VIDEO)

Following-up from the other day, "Whistleblower Jodi Shaw Out at Smith College (VIDEO)."

It turns out that the New York Times, of all place, has published a long and detailed "investigative"-style report on Smith College, and it's a real humdinger. 

Christina Hoff Sommers reacted on Twitter, "Why I can’t yet give up on @NYTimes. Such excellent reporting by Michael Powell."

And Lee Fung, a former far-left "reporter" at Media Matters, wrote, "This story is a must-read, just incredible. Not unique at all to Smith College, though. This kind of cowardice and character destruction is permeating almost every institution dominated by highly educated liberals."

And Batya Ungar-Sargon, the not-very conservative opinion editor of the (Jewish Daily) Forward, also wrote, "A student at Smith got a janitor put on leave and a security officer tarred as racist, both of whom make less than her $78,000 yearly tuition, because she insisted on eating in a deserted dorm she wasn't meant to be in. Wokeness is a smokescreen for class."

It's a long article (link here), so I'll just copy a little, and hopefully the subscription "wall" won't prevent readers from accessing the whole thing: 

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. — In midsummer of 2018, Oumou Kanoute, a Black student at Smith College, recounted a distressing American tale: She was eating lunch in a dorm lounge when a janitor and a campus police officer walked over and asked her what she was doing there.

The officer, who could have been carrying a “lethal weapon,” left her near “meltdown,” Ms. Kanoute wrote on Facebook, saying that this encounter continued a yearlong pattern of harassment at Smith.

“All I did was be Black,” Ms. Kanoute wrote. “It’s outrageous that some people question my being at Smith College, and my existence overall as a woman of color.”

The college’s president, Kathleen McCartney, offered profuse apologies and put the janitor on paid leave. “This painful incident reminds us of the ongoing legacy of racism and bias,” the president wrote, “in which people of color are targeted while simply going about the business of their ordinary lives.”

The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN picked up the story of a young female student harassed by white workers. The American Civil Liberties Union, which took the student’s case, said she was profiled for “eating while Black.”

Less attention was paid three months later when a law firm hired by Smith College to investigate the episode found no persuasive evidence of bias. Ms. Kanoute was determined to have eaten in a deserted dorm that had been closed for the summer; the janitor had been encouraged to notify security if he saw unauthorized people there. The officer, like all campus police, was unarmed.

Smith College officials emphasized “reconciliation and healing” after the incident. In the months to come they announced a raft of anti-bias training for all staff, a revamped and more sensitive campus police force and the creation of dormitories — as demanded by Ms. Kanoute and her A.C.L.U. lawyer — set aside for Black students and other students of color.

But they did not offer any public apology or amends to the workers whose lives were gravely disrupted by the student’s accusation.

This is a tale of how race, class and power collided at the elite 145-year-old liberal arts college, where tuition, room and board top $78,000 a year and where the employees who keep the school running often come from working-class enclaves beyond the school’s elegant wrought iron gates. The story highlights the tensions between a student’s deeply felt sense of personal truth and facts that are at odds with it.

Those tensions come at a time when few in the Smith community feel comfortable publicly questioning liberal orthodoxy on race and identity, and some professors worry the administration is too deferential to its increasingly emboldened students.

“My perception is that if you’re on the wrong side of issues of identity politics, you’re not just mistaken, you’re evil,” said James Miller, an economics professor at Smith College and a conservative.

In an interview, Ms. McCartney said that Ms. Kanoute’s encounter with the campus staff was part of a spate of cases of “living while Black” harassment across the nation. There was, she noted, great pressure to act. “We always try to show compassion for everyone involved,” she said.

President McCartney, like all the workers Ms. Kanoute interacted with on that day, is white.

Faculty members, however, pointed to a pattern that they say reflects the college’s growing timidity in the face of allegations from students, especially around the issue of race and ethnicity. In 2016, students denounced faculty at Smith’s social work program as racist after some professors questioned whether admissions standards for the program had been lowered and this was affecting the quality of the field work. Dennis Miehls, one of the professors they decried, left the school not long after.

Then in the autumn of 2019, the religious studies department proposed a class on Native American religion and spirituality. A full complement of students registered but well before classes began, a small contingent of Native American students and allies pasted bright red posters on buildings on campus reviling the course as harmful, intrusive and disrespectful and attacking the instructor, who was young, white and not on a tenure track. He had an academic background in this field and had modeled his course on that of his mentor, who was a well-known professor and a member of the Choctaw Nation.

The administration declined to challenge the student protesters and had the instructor submit to sessions of “radical listening” with the protesters. In the end, the religious studies department dropped the class...

Still more.

Friday Babe Roundup

Check it out, on Twitter.

Also, a bikini Tic-Tocker here.

And some big babes, here and here.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Effort to Recall Gavin Newsom Taps Into Pandemic Anger

I've haven't been keeping track of the recall signature drive, but it's definitely gaining steam. 

And I have no idea if Newsom's in threat of removal by the voters, although his public approval ratings have been tanking. See, "Newsom approval plummeting with a third of voters support recall amid COVID-19 criticism, poll finds."

But now we've got the New York Times weighing in, so California's pandemic politics, and the crashed economy in our once-"Golden State," has become major national news. 

See, "A Recall for Newsom in California? Talk Grows as Governors Come Under Attack." Also, un-gated article here:  

SACRAMENTO — Long before Orrin Heatlie filed papers to recall Gavin Newsom, he knew the odds were against unseating the suave ex-mayor of San Francisco who ascended to become California’s governor.

“Democrats have a supermajority here — it’s one-party rule,” said Mr. Heatlie, a Republican and retired Yolo County sheriff’s sergeant. Voters had elected Mr. Newsom in 2018 by a record 24-point margin. As recently as April, 70 percent still approved of his performance. Plus, just to trigger a recall election, Mr. Heatlie’s petition would require about 1.5 million valid voter signatures.

Lately, however, Mr. Heatlie has been feeling lucky.

California has been upended by the coronavirus. Most of the state is waiting — impatiently — for vaccinations. Schools in big cities have yet to reopen their classrooms. Prison inmates and international fraud rings may have looted as much as $30 billion from the state’s pandemic unemployment insurance program.

And then there was that dinner at the French Laundry restaurant that the governor attended, barefaced, after telling Californians to stay in and wear masks to avoid spreading the virus.

“This is an easy sell,” reported Mr. Heatlie last week, speaking by phone from rural San Joaquin County, where he was delivering petitions that he said pushed his haul over the 1.7 million-signature mark with three weeks to go before the deadline.

“I like to say we have nobody to thank but him,” he said, “and he has nobody to blame but himself.”

A year into the coronavirus crisis, Mr. Newsom is not the only governor who has hit a political rough patch. Across the country, pandemic-weary Americans are taking their rage and grief out on chief executives.

In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine, whose voter approval soared at the start of the pandemic, has been assailed for his strict enforcement of health precautions. Gov. Greg Abbott was under fire for runaway infection rates in Texas border cities even before winter storms collapsed the power grid. Crashes of the vaccine appointment system in Massachusetts have eaten away at the once unassailable popularity of Gov. Charlie Baker. “For the first time, he has a true political opponent — and it’s Covid-19,” said Mary Anne Marsh, a Boston political strategist.

And in New York, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s national image as a leader during the pandemic has suffered amid questions around New York’s incomplete count of coronavirus-related deaths of nursing home residents.

Dane Strother, a Democratic media consultant in California whose clients include governors and mayors across the country, said governors “are in an untenable position.” “The Trump administration gave them no guidance for the most part, but then threw them the responsibility,” he said. “I think it’s fair to say there’s not a governor in this country right now whose approval ratings are not taking a dip.”

Nor will the struggle fade soon: In the next two years, 38 states will hold regular elections for governor. Even if California’s recall attempt fails, Mr. Newsom is up for re-election next year.

As California works the kinks out of its vaccine rollout and starts to reopen classrooms, it is tough to determine whether Mr. Heatlie’s effort will pan out. A recent poll by the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, showed Mr. Newsom’s approval rates plunging, but only to 46 percent.

For the recall to move forward, proponents must gather 1,495,809 valid signatures from registered voters by March 17 — enough to equal 12 percent of the votes cast in the most recent election for governor. Counties must then verify them by April 29.

About 1.1 million signatures have been filed so far, and of the nearly 800,000 that have been vetted, nearly 670,000 have been deemed valid. If the measure qualifies, the campaign figures that the election would be in August or September; independent political analysts say November or December...

Actually, I think California is the worst state, right up there with New York. And when even NYT is starting to drill down to the horrendous governance and hypocrisy here and elsewhere, especially in Democrat-run states, it's actually pretty significant.

So, while it's still early, if this recall qualifies, and there's an election later this year, I'm going to be giddy --- at least for the intense heat that Newsom's going face. 

Until then, I'll be keeping my eyes open and I'll be posting updates. It's gonna be good!

The Equality Act Makes Women Unequal

It's Inez Feltscher Stepman, who's a very classy babe, at WSJ, "H.R. 5 Erases ‘Sex’ as a Legal Category, with Dire Consequences":

All people are created equal, but Congress is considering a bill that would make some people more equal than others.

H.R. 5, styled the Equality Act, would redefine “sex” under federal civil-rights laws to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” overriding basic biology along with millennia of tradition.

This isn’t only a question of semantics. Nor is it merely an attempt to prohibit employment discrimination against sexual minorities. A 2020 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court already does that.

The Equality Act would go much further by making it illegal to distinguish “identity” from biology and thereby prioritize transgender people over women. By erasing sex as a distinct legal category, the measure threatens to open up female-only spaces and opportunities designed to increase representation for girls to biological men, which can endanger the safety of women and girls.

The Equality Act would threaten the existence of women’s prisons, public-school girls’ locker rooms, and women’s and girls’ sports teams. It would limit freedom of speech, freedom of association, accurate data collection, and scientific inquiry. It would threaten the rights of physicians who doubt the wisdom of performing life-changing, reproduction-limiting procedures, and parents who seek to protect their minor children from such treatment...

The thing is, of course, none of this is a surprise. China Joe's minions, and his far-left Democrat congressional enablers, don't care about the rights of women. They care about power, and they care about ramming unpopular policies down the throats of Americans, all the while pushing massive distractions, like the bogus threat of "white supremacist domestic terrorism," which in turn, justifies the continued deployment of thousands of National Guard troops in D.C., hunkered down behind barricades and barbed wire.

It's really sickening, in fact. But if it's not this piece of legislation, it'll be one of the literally dozens of "executive orders" that will come back to bite Biden in the butt. The border crisis, to take yet another example, just can't be swept away now as "all Trump's fault." The far-left radicals in power, again, have no clue about how devastating their policies are, and they frankly do not care.

The 2022 midterms will be a real reckoning, I'd put money on it. Former President Trump is expected to speak at CPAC this weekend and it's gonna be hella lit. The left is doing everything they can to damage Trump, and that's to say nothing of the 74 million patriots who voted for him, including the larger (and getting larger) number of ethnic minorities (especially in Florida and Texas) who pulled the lever for the red ticket.

I'm not enjoying politics much right now, and I teach this stuff for a living. But it's gonna be pure schadenfreude when the voters' hammer comes down on the heads of idiot Dems in less than two years from now. 

There's more from the beautiful Ms. Stepman, at the link.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

James Oakes, The Crooked Path to Abolition

 At Amazon, James Oakes, The Crooked Path to Abolition: Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution.

Not All 'Anti-Racist' Ideas Are Good Ones

You don't say? 

And this is Matthew Yglesias, someone who blocked me on Twitter back in the day. I obviously don't care for the guy, but, as it's happening a lot these days, he's been on the wrong end of leftist "cancel culture." See Fox News's report, "Vox co-founder Matthew Yglesias quits, cites 'inherent tension' and desire to be 'independent' voice: Yglesias follows Glenn Greenwald, Bari Weiss, and Andrew Sullivan in exodus of journalists from prominent news outlets."

Yglesias is up at WaPo with an op-ed, here, "Not all ‘anti-racist’ ideas are good ones. The left isn’t being honest about this: On some topics, progressives prefer pointing out right-wing hypocrisy to debating substance":

The same Republicans championing free speech and deploring “cancel culture” are trying to pass laws criminalizing protests, bar classroom discussions of the New York Times’ 1619 Project on slavery and penalize people who advocate boycotts to oppose Israeli settlements. Combine that with the idea that we’ve got more important issues to deal with, from the pandemic to the Jan. 6 insurrection, and many progressives think they don’t have to engage with the argument that the left is too conformist and dogmatic on certain topics involving race. They don’t want to hear about the San Francisco Board of Education stripping Abraham Lincoln’s name from a high school, or Oregon teacher-training materials claiming that asking math students to “show their work” reinforces white supremacy.

“One of America’s major parties has turned against democracy,” Vox’s Zack Beauchamp tweeted Feb. 9, after a Times a reporter who had used the n-word in a discussion with students about racism was compelled to resign, “and we’re talking about . . . the Times’ staffing decisions?”

But it would be a significant mistake for mainstream progressives to duck the substance of these controversies. After all, it is progressives who in recent years have attempted to increase the stigma attached to racist speech while also expanding the scope of what’s “racist.” That double move introduces complications into discussions of racism that should invite more argumentation, not less.

In educated liberal circles these days, everyone knows that racism is not just a question of individual prejudice or hatred. The conversations are about “structural” or “systemic” racism — impersonal properties of systems, embedded in processes. Certainly it’s true that race and racism have shaped many legal, political and social institutions, since America’s earliest days. But when you make the scope of racism so expansive, that necessarily means pushing the conversations into contestable terrain.

The shift from dismantling monuments to the Confederacy to erasing homages to Lincoln, for example, raises important questions about how to balance the praiseworthy and lamentable aspects of political figures. (The school board noted that during Lincoln’s presidency, the military hanged 38 rebellious Native Americans in Minnesota.) But whether to cancel Lincoln is — for most people — a fairly easy case. Consider a more challenging one, involving land use restrictions in American cities. Having studied the issue, I believe that excessively strict regulations embody structural racism in housing: Such rules price low-income people, who are disproportionately Black and Brown, out of many areas. To me, it’s clear that the sensible (and progressive) course of action is to allow denser construction in the most expensive neighborhoods; increasing housing supply will have ripple effects that reduce housing prices for everyone. But I’m also aware that many people sincerely believe that allowing real estate development fuels gentrification and displacement — and that the key to racial justice is even more stringent regulations.

Nothing is gained if the different parties in this debate call each other racists or invoke the specter of “white supremacy” to discredit their opponents. The affordable-housing question requires dispassionate analysis, not the censoriousness and scolding that might be appropriate for combating expressions of traditional prejudice, such as redlining.

Yet many commentators urge a more fiery approach. Ibram Kendi, author of the bestseller “How to Be an Antiracist,” argues for an extremely expansive concept of racism that pushes the boundaries of structural analysis to the limits. According to Kendi, any racial gap simply is racist by definition; any policy that maintains such a gap is a racist policy; and — most debatably — any intellectual explanation of its existence (sociological, cultural, and so on) is also racist. He has famously argued that anything that is not anti-racist is perforce racist.

This reaches its most radical form in Kendi’s conflation of measurements of problems with the problems themselves. In his book — ubiquitous in educational circles — he denounces not the existence of a large Black-White gap in school performance but any discussion of such a gap. Kendi writes that “we degrade Black minds every time we speak of an ‘academic-achievement gap’ ” based on standardized test scores and grades. Instead, he asks: “What if the intellect of a low-testing Black child in a poor Black school is different from — and not inferior to — the intellect of a high-testing White child in a rich White school? What if we measured intelligence by how knowledgeable individuals are about their own environments?”

We certainly could do that. But the fact remains that if African American children continue to be less likely to learn to read and write and do math than White children, and less likely to graduate from high school, then this will contribute to other unequal outcomes down the road. Education is not a cure-all for labor market discrimination, and educational disparities don’t fully account for the Black-White earnings gap. But they partially account for that gap while also leaving people less able to organize politically, protect themselves from financial scams and otherwise navigate the modern world. Stigmatizing the use of test scores and grades to measure learning undermines policymakers’ ability to make the case for reforms to promote equity — from providing air conditioning in schools to combating racially biased low expectations among teachers...

I disagree with most of this piece (Yglesias is much too soft on his fellow leftists), but he's got a point about the toxicity of Ibram X. Kendi, which is something I'm dealing with at my college, and which Tucker Carlson has been hammering in recent segments as "the most destructive ideology" of our lifetimes. 

It's bad. Very bad. And as hard as it is, I sure hope more and more parents yank their kids out of public schools. That will help, but then there's the universities families have to consider. Professor William Jacobson created a new website to track racial indoctrination on campuses all across the country, and with luck, the word will get out, and spread farther, and more and more families will vote with their dollars, and they'll ultimately abandon all the "woke" education B.S., turning instead, one hopes, to decent, family-values oriented educational institutions. 

Again, this is not easy to do, especially for families who're not wealthy, but if enough families indeed choose alternative educational paths for their kids, sooner or later the "woke" totalitarians will get what's coming to them --- ultimate repudiation and banishment from polite society. 


Explosive Lindsey Boylan Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Govenor Andrew Cuomo (VIDEO)

I was watching "Outnumbered" this morning on Fox News, and the news was just breaking on this Lindsey Boylan blockbuster story.

And there's additional Fox News reporting here.

She's posted her whole story at Medium, "My Story of Working with Governor Cuomo":

Let’s play strip poker.”

I should have been shocked by the Governor’s crude comment, but I wasn’t.

We were flying home from an October 2017 event in Western New York on his taxpayer-funded jet. He was seated facing me, so close our knees almost touched. His press aide was to my right and a state trooper behind us.

“That’s exactly what I was thinking,” I responded sarcastically and awkwardly. I tried to play it cool. But in that moment, I realized just how acquiescent I had become.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected. His inappropriate behavior toward women was an affirmation that he liked you, that you must be doing something right. He used intimidation to silence his critics. And if you dared to speak up, you would face consequences. That’s why I panicked on the morning of December 13.

While enjoying a weekend with my husband and six-year-old daughter, I spontaneously decided to share a small part of the truth I had hidden for so long in shame and never planned to disclose. The night before, a former Cuomo staffer confided to me that she, too, had been the subject of the Governor’s workplace harassment. Her story mirrored my own. Seeing his name floated as a potential candidate for U.S. Attorney General — the highest law enforcement official in the land — set me off.

In a few tweets, I told the world what a few close friends, family members and my therapist had known for years: Andrew Cuomo abused his power as Governor to sexually harass me, just as he had done with so many other women.

As messages from journalists buzzed on my phone, I laid in bed unable to move. I finally had decided to speak up, but at what cost? Parts of a supposed confidential personnel file (which I’ve never seen) were leaked to the media in an effort to smear me. The Governor’s loyalists called around town, asking about me.

Last week, Assemblymember Ron Kim spoke out publicly about the intimidation and abuse he has faced from Governor Cuomo and his aides. As Mayor de Blasio remarked, “the bullying is nothing new.” There are many more of us, but most are too afraid to speak up. I’m compelled to tell my story because no woman should feel forced to hide their experiences of workplace intimidation, harassment and humiliation — not by the Governor or anyone else. I expect the Governor and his top aides will attempt to further disparage me, just as they’ve done with Assemblymember Kim. They’d lose their jobs if they didn’t protect him. That’s how his administration works. I know because I was a part of it.

I joined state government in 2015 as a Vice President at Empire State Development. I was quickly promoted to Chief of Staff at the state economic development agency. The news of my appointment prompted a warning from a friend who served as an executive with an influential civic engagement organization: “Be careful around the Governor.”

My first encounter with the Governor came at a January 6, 2016, event at Madison Square Garden to promote the new Pennsylvania Station-Farley Complex project. After his speech, he stopped to talk to me. I was new on the job and surprised by how much attention he paid me.:

My boss soon informed me that the Governor had a “crush” on me. It was an uncomfortable but all-too-familiar feeling: the struggle to be taken seriously by a powerful man who tied my worth to my body and my appearance.

Stephanie Benton, Director of the Governor’s Offices, told me in an email on December 14, 2016 that the Governor suggested I look up images of Lisa Shields — his rumored former girlfriend — because “we could be sisters” and I was “the better looking sister.” The Governor began calling me “Lisa” in front of colleagues. It was degrading...

Keep reading

As all the hipsters like to say now, the woman's "got the receipts." (She's posted all kinds of screenshots of implicating texts and email, etc.)

For 'Woke' Progressives, Asian-American Achievement is An Embarrassment

It's Bill McGurn, at WSJ, "The Woke ‘Model Minority’ Myth":

The North Thurston Public Schools in Lacey, Wash., made headlines in November when their “equity report” classified Asian-Americans along with whites instead of as “students of color.” Apparently the Asian-Americans were doing too well academically to be students of color. After what the district said was “an overwhelming public response,” it admitted its “category choices” had “racist implications” and dropped the equity report from its website.

To normal Americans, it makes no sense. How are Asian-Americans not “people of color”? But give the North Thurston folks credit for following progressive logic to its conclusion. Modern progressive theory more or less divides the nation between the oppressors, defined as whites, and the oppressed, defined as everyone else. In this framework, achieving success puts you on the side of the oppressors and thus makes you white or “white-adjacent”—even if your family came from China or India.

Calling it progressive to send children of color the message that achievement is white is an irony lost on the woke. Bigoted laws such as the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 or actions such as the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II were once thought among the worst stains on American history left by anti-Asian racism. But these days the characterization of Asian-Americans as the “model minority” triggers the woke.

“Asian-Americans are caught in a bind—condemn the system of white supremacy and privilege along with other people of color or be ‘banished’ from the victim group as white-adjacent,” says Wenyuan Wu, executive director of Californians for Equal Rights. “The end goal here is to pit people against each other as if our hyphenated identities are bigger than our common destiny as Americans.”

The principal reason for this is the fact of Asian-American achievement. This is an embarrassment to progressives because it undermines the claim that structural racism dooms nonwhite citizens to the margins of the American dream. So Asian-American achievement must either be dismissed as somehow white or sacrificed at the altar of equity.

Examples abound. A report last year called “The Secret Shame” notes how public schools in America’s most progressive cities have been failing their black and Latino children for decades. How does New York Mayor Bill de Blasio respond? In January America’s self-styled progressive in chief announced that New York will abolish the entrance exam for the city’s gifted-and-talented programs for young students. If you can’t fix the schools that are broken, you cut down to size the schools that are working.

In 2019 Mr. de Blasio’s School Diversity Advisory Group reported that though Asians are only 17% of New York’s kindergarten population, they account for 42% of the gifted-and-talented seats. Plainly the mayor’s “success” requires reducing the number of Asian-Americans no matter how qualified they are. The mayor has also tried to abolish the entrance exam for the city’s high-performing high schools, where Asian-American students again are “overrepresented.” And the progressive war on merit is by no means confined to New York. San Francisco’s renowned Lowell High School abolished its own merit-based admissions this month, again in large part because a student body selected by merit will have too many Asian-Americans and too few students from other minority groups.

The progressive contention is that admitting students on individual merit is really about upholding white dominance...


I teach this in my classes. I mean, the horrendous discrimination Chinese and Japanese Americans have endured in this country goes all the way back to the Gold Rush era in California. Now, of course, times change, but you see it's actually radical leftists now who're harming --- actually obliterating --- the basic civil rights of these groups.

It's disgusting.

Still more, in any case.


Voluptuous Jamie Graham Photos

 At Celeb Jihad, "Jamie Graham Photos Ultimate Collection."

A Week in 'Woke' America

 It's the phenomenal Caroline Glick, "One Week in Progressive America":

The Democrats had a lousy week. It began with former President Donald Trump’s acquittal in the Senate.

Trump’s acquittal was a major blow to the Democrats. It isn’t that anyone believed Trump would be convicted. Whether Republicans love or hate the former president, the fact is that it is unconstitutional to hold an impeachment trial for a former officeholder. And for that reason alone, there was no chance that more than a smattering of Republicans would support the move.

But once their farcical trial ended, public focus moved to the Democrats – who now control both houses of Congress and the White House. True, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is already planning to drag Trump back to center stage with her “January 6 Truth Commission.” But that won’t happen for several months. And in the meantime, for the first time in five years, the Democrats find themselves, and their actions, the focus of public attention.

The first casualties of the scrutiny have been the Democrat governors of the most populous Democrat-run states in the Union – Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gavin Newsom of California.

After a nearly a year in which Cuomo was lavished with adulation for his leadership of the coronavirus pandemic in New York; upheld as the future of the Democratic Party; touted as a possible candidate for Attorney General; and even won an Emmy for his press conferences, the truth has caught up with “America’s governor.”

Last March, as the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in New York hospitals mounted and fears that hospitals would be overwhelmed rose, Trump ordered the Army to set up a field hospital at the Javits Center and sent the Navy’s USS Comfort floating hospital to New York harbor. Not wanting to give any credit to Trump, Cuomo ordered nursing homes to take in COVID-19 patients from hospitals. The result was disastrous. COVID-19 spread like wildfire among the most vulnerable population and thousands of elderly New Yorkers died.

Republicans and conservative journalists long pointed out that Cuomo’s move was lethally misguided. But protected by the media, Cuomo indignantly denied the allegations.

Recently, though, his ability to deny the charges was dealt a fatal blow. New York’s Democrat Attorney General Letitia Jones released a report that showed Cuomo’s data on nursing home deaths from COVID-19 were false. Whereas Cuomo claimed that 8,500 nursing home residents died of COVID-19, the real number is more than 15,000.

This week, Associated Press reported that Cuomo also understated the number of COVID-19 patients that were transferred to nursing homes from hospitals by nearly 40%. In the face of the actual data, many Democrats have joined Republicans in calling for federal and state authorities to open criminal investigations against Cuomo.

Last December, the chorus of California business owners and parents making impassioned pleas to Governor Gavin Newsom to lift his draconian COVID-19 lockdowns that barred California children from school and shuttered most businesses, including restaurants for both indoor and outdoor dining was becoming a groundswell. As he imperiously rejected the calls, Newsom and his wife were photographed dining with friends at a swanky French restaurant in Napa Valley. Newsom’s mind-blowing hypocrisy reinvigorated a Republican campaign to recall him from office in special elections. This week, activists garnered the requisite one and a half million signatures – a month before the deadline – and so guaranteed that California will hold a gubernatorial election later this year. Facing an enraged public, Democrats fear that they may lose their total control over their deep blue state for the first time in 15 years.

This then brings us to President Joe Biden. Less than a month into his presidency, Biden has managed to turn off US allies and anger his own voters.

Both during the campaign and since taking office, Biden pledged to rebuild America’s standing in the world after Trump allegedly destroyed respect for America with his “America First” foreign policy. Yet, as Walter Russell Mead laid out in the Wall Street Journal this week, US allies are not at all pleased with how Biden’s “return to normalcy” is shaping up...

Still more.


Monday, February 22, 2021

L.A. Teachers' Union Demands Vaccinations Before School Reopenings

Well, I can't say I'm surprised. 

This whole state is completely messed up. Well, actually, Newhall schools, up by Santa Clarita, announced they'll open up for in-person instruction, but they're obviously an outlier from the leftist insanity.

At LAT, "No quick path to reopening L.A. Unified is emerging as school year slips away":

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new plan to vaccinate school staff more quickly does little to move campuses toward reopening in Los Angeles, where the teachers union remains opposed until community infection rates drop further and vaccines take full effect for returning workers — calling into question whether a robust return to in-person instruction is possible before the end of the school year.

The union’s posture — similar to that of school employee unions in San Francisco and of the California Teachers Assn. — comes as union leaders in the nation’s second-largest school district continue protracted negotiations with officials over what a return to school will look like and as parents in diverse areas of the city express passionate and opposing views over reopening.

United Teachers Los Angeles President Cecily Myart-Cruz said the union is holding firm to protect the health of students and their families as well as its members, who include teachers, librarians, counselors and nurses.

“Now more than ever we are feeling the pressure to return to physical schools before we have the necessary conditions and measures in place to ensure the safety of everyone. And the pressure is coming from all sides,” Myart-Cruz said in a Friday broadcast to members and the public. “Local and state officials did not help create the right conditions to reopen schools for in-person instruction and educators are being targeted for trying to protect our students and our communities.”

Myart-Cruz also left open the possibility that union members would refuse to return to work if their safety concerns are not fully addressed. Union members will vote internally to clarify their position in early March, she said.

Schools Supt. Austin Beutner has not announced any firm plans for reopening campuses — and has also echoed concerns that vaccinated school employees and lower coronavirus rates are critical elements to the safe reopening of campuses for the 465,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

The stances of both the union and Beutner are more cautious than the latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which endorses the immediate reopening of elementary campuses, provided they follow strict safety procedures.

Students and parents allied with the union expressed their fears about reopening too quickly during a downtown car caravan rally and news conference Saturday. Parents emphasized that Black and Latino families have been devastated by the virus and said they do not believe community conditions are safe enough to reopen...

"Black and Latino" students? Are there any others attending L.A.U.S.D.? 

Well, in fact, the district has a small number, 8.8 percent, of white students, stuck in the circus, and those kids are being held hostage by "woke" teachers, and especially "woke" and lazy parents, whose kids are no doubt eating up all the free food supplied by the district, while lounging around all day, with their parents letting those kids' minds "go to waste," and terribly so.  

Rise in Migrant Children Tests Biden Border Strategy

Actually, China Joe doesn't have a "border strategy." He has an anti-Trump strategy, by which he seeks to literally undo any and every policy the former president implemented or pursued, and damned be the consequences.

On the migrant issue, Biden's now taking things even further than Barack Obama. Democrats in general do not want any borders --- or any border controls --- because everyone knows that the Dems can't win without "undocumented" voters, and don't even get me going about criminal aliens who commit heinous crimes, only to be released under the new administration's policies. 

Democrats are lawless and intentionally oblivious to the concerns of everyday Americans, as my posts here recently have pointed out.

At WSJ, "Administration seeks to avoid new crisis as child shelters near capacity":

WASHINGTON—The Biden administration is looking for ways to stave off a fresh humanitarian crisis at the southern border as the number of unaccompanied children arriving to seek asylum is beginning to rise again, this time amid a global pandemic, according to government officials and others familiar with the conversations.

Children have been crossing the border illegally in increasing numbers for the past few months after a lull, when the start of the pandemic and lockdowns across Latin America last spring briefly brought border crossings to historic lows. In January, 5,707 children arrived at the border alone, up from 4,855 the month before.

The numbers are smaller than in 2018 and 2019, when waves of children and families overwhelmed border-patrol stations and migrant shelters.

But this time, government capacity is limited: The child-shelter network run by the Department of Health and Human Services to house migrant children has reduced its capacity by 40%, and as of Friday, shelters were 93% full.

“They’ve seen very large growth in a very short period of time,” said Mark Greenberg, a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan Washington think tank, who oversaw the shelter network during the Obama administration. “The closer you get to 100% capacity, the harder the system is to manage.”

On Monday, the government plans to reopen an emergency shelter in Carrizo Springs, Texas—a converted encampment that once hosted oil-field workers—to house 700 additional children. That facility, which opened in 2019 to manage the surge of children, and other emergency shelters had come under criticism from Democrats, in part because they didn’t follow standards governing care at permanent government shelters.

Unaccompanied children enjoy unique protections under immigration law that forbid the government from quickly deporting them. They are required to be sent to HHS shelters, where the government cares for them until they can find a suitable sponsor, typically a family member or family friend living in the U.S.

The risk, when HHS shelters get full, is that children get backed up in border-patrol stations, where they are housed in stark cells—with just a bench and a toilet—that are designed to hold single adults for a few hours rather than children for days.

As of Friday, more than 700 children were in Border Patrol custody, up from 150 on Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the numbers.

“A jail cell is no place for a child, even for the shortest possible duration,” said Andrew Meehan, who served as the spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the border patrol’s parent agency, during the 2019 crisis.

The increase has several likely causes, U.S. and international officials say. Sagging economies and gang violence in Central America, exacerbated by the pandemic and a pair of hurricanes last year that hit the region, have continued to push migrants to flee.

“If we were not in the middle of a pandemic, we wouldn’t be facing the situation that we are in right now,” said an HHS official.

Human smugglers working in the region have also been telling would-be migrants to attempt the journey now, saying the new administration would prove more lenient than its predecessor...

Oh, yes, those "human smugglers" who China Joe and his far-left minions care about not one whit. And who is most hurt? Children, of course, because as any human trafficker knows, the Democrats are soft on border control, and traffickers can literally "make a killing" with their human prey.

This should make any person, and decent and thoughtful person, angry as hell.

Still more.


Sunday, February 21, 2021

Whistleblower Jodi Shaw Out at Smith College (VIDEO)

This is a huge story involving a very brave woman.

It turns out that Ms. Jodi Shaw has resigned her position at Smith College, and her video and resignation letter are both bold and courageous, and her super-supportive followers are legion.

Bari Weiss reports, "Whistleblower at Smith College Resigns Over Racism."

And here's Ms. Shaw's latest video, and the full text of her resignation letter below. (And to note, I've had my own battles over evil "antiracism" initiatives at my college, and all the mandatory "woke" training and so forth, going back at least 10 years in my case; so Ms. Shaw is certainly not only correct in taking her strong stand against the progressive hate, but she's providing much-needed leadership, and as you can see at her video here, it's all taking a toll. God bless her.)

Dear President McCartney:

I am writing to notify you that effective today, I am resigning from my position as Student Support Coordinator in the Department of Residence Life at Smith College. This has not been an easy decision, as I now face a deeply uncertain future. As a divorced mother of two, the economic uncertainty brought about by this resignation will impact my children as well. But I have no choice. The racially hostile environment that the college has subjected me to for the past two and a half years has left me physically and mentally debilitated. I can no longer work in this environment, nor can I remain silent about a matter so central to basic human dignity and freedom.

I graduated from Smith College in 1993. Those four years were among the best in my life. Naturally, I was over the moon when, years later, I had the opportunity to join Smith as a staff member. I loved my job and I loved being back at Smith.

But the climate — and my place at the college — changed dramatically when, in July 2018, the culture war arrived at our campus when a student accused a white staff member of calling campus security on her because of racial bias. The student, who is black, shared her account of this incident widely on social media, drawing a lot of attention to the college.

Before even investigating the facts of the incident, the college immediately issued a public apology to the student, placed the employee on leave, and announced its intention to create new initiatives, committees, workshops, trainings, and policies aimed at combating “systemic racism” on campus.

In spite of an independent investigation into the incident that found no evidence of racial bias, the college ramped up its initiatives aimed at dismantling the supposed racism that pervades the campus. This only served to support the now prevailing narrative that the incident had been racially motivated and that Smith staff are racist.

Allowing this narrative to dominate has had a profound impact on the Smith community and on me personally. For example, in August 2018, just days before I was to present a library orientation program into which I had poured a tremendous amount of time and effort, and which had previously been approved by my supervisors, I was told that I could not proceed with the planned program. Because it was going to be done in rap form and “because you are white,” as my supervisor told me, that could be viewed as “cultural appropriation.” My supervisor made clear he did not object to a rap in general, nor to the idea of using music to convey orientation information to students. The problem was my skin color.

I was up for a full-time position in the library at that time, and I was essentially informed that my candidacy for that position was dependent upon my ability, in a matter of days, to reinvent a program to which I had devoted months of time.

Humiliated, and knowing my candidacy for the full-time position was now dead in the water, I moved into my current, lower-paying position as Student Support Coordinator in the Department of Residence Life.

As it turned out, my experience in the library was just the beginning. In my new position, I was told on multiple occasions that discussing my personal thoughts and feelings about my skin color is a requirement of my job. I endured racially hostile comments, and was expected to participate in racially prejudicial behavior as a continued condition of my employment. I endured meetings in which another staff member violently banged his fist on the table, chanting “Rich, white women! Rich, white women!” in reference to Smith alumnae. I listened to my supervisor openly name preferred racial quotas for job openings in our department. I was given supplemental literature in which the world’s population was reduced to two categories — “dominant group members” and “subordinated group members” — based solely on characteristics like race.

Every day, I watch my colleagues manage student conflict through the lens of race, projecting rigid assumptions and stereotypes on students, thereby reducing them to the color of their skin. I am asked to do the same, as well as to support a curriculum for students that teaches them to project those same stereotypes and assumptions onto themselves and others. I believe such a curriculum is dehumanizing, prevents authentic connection, and undermines the moral agency of young people who are just beginning to find their way in the world.

Although I have spoken to many staff and faculty at the college who are deeply troubled by all of this, they are too terrified to speak out about it. This illustrates the deeply hostile and fearful culture that pervades Smith College.

The last straw came in January 2020, when I attended a mandatory Residence Life staff retreat focused on racial issues. The hired facilitators asked each member of the department to respond to various personal questions about race and racial identity. When it was my turn to respond, I said “I don’t feel comfortable talking about that.” I was the only person in the room to abstain.

Later, the facilitators told everyone present that a white person’s discomfort at discussing their race is a symptom of “white fragility.” They said that the white person may seem like they are in distress, but that it is actually a “power play.” In other words, because I am white, my genuine discomfort was framed as an act of aggression. I was shamed and humiliated in front of all of my colleagues.

I filed an internal complaint about the hostile environment, but throughout that process, over the course of almost six months, I felt like my complaint was taken less seriously because of my race. I was told that the civil rights law protections were not created to help people like me. And after I filed my complaint, I started to experience retaliatory behavior, like having important aspects of my job taken away without explanation.

Under the guise of racial progress, Smith College has created a racially hostile environment in which individual acts of discrimination and hostility flourish. In this environment, people’s worth as human beings, and the degree to which they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, is determined by the color of their skin. It is an environment in which dissenting from the new critical race orthodoxy — or even failing to swear fealty to it like some kind of McCarthy-era loyalty oath — is grounds for public humiliation and professional retaliation.

I can no longer continue to work in an environment where I am constantly subjected to additional scrutiny because of my skin color. I can no longer work in an environment where I am told, publicly, that my personal feelings of discomfort under such scrutiny are not legitimate but instead are a manifestation of white supremacy. Perhaps most importantly, I can no longer work in an environment where I am expected to apply similar race-based stereotypes and assumptions to others, and where I am told — when I complain about having to engage in what I believe to be discriminatory practices — that there are “legitimate reasons for asking employees to consider race” in order to achieve the college’s “social justice objectives.”

What passes for “progressive” today at Smith and at so many other institutions is regressive. It taps into humanity’s worst instincts to break down into warring factions, and I fear this is rapidly leading us to a very twisted place. It terrifies me that others don’t seem to see that racial segregation and demonization are wrong and dangerous no matter what its victims look like. Being told that any disagreement or feelings of discomfort somehow upholds “white supremacy” is not just morally wrong. It is psychologically abusive.

Equally troubling are the many others who understand and know full well how damaging this is, but do not speak out due to fear of professional retaliation, social censure, and loss of their livelihood and reputation. I fear that by the time people see it, or those who see it manage to screw up the moral courage to speak out, it will be too late.

I wanted to change things at Smith. I hoped that by bringing an internal complaint, I could somehow get the administration to see that their capitulation to critical race orthodoxy was causing real, measurable harm. When that failed, I hoped that drawing public attention to these problems at Smith would finally awaken the administration to this reality. I have come to conclude, however, that the college is so deeply committed to this toxic ideology that the only way for me to escape the racially hostile climate is to resign. It is completely unacceptable that we are now living in a culture in which one must choose between remaining in a racially hostile, psychologically abusive environment or giving up their income.

As a proud Smith alum, I know what a critical role this institution has played in shaping my life and the lives of so many women for one hundred and fifty years. I want to see this institution be the force for good I know it can be. I will not give up fighting against the dangerous pall of orthodoxy that has descended over Smith and so many of our educational institutions.

This was an extremely difficult decision for me and comes at a deep personal cost. I make $45,000 a year; less than a year’s tuition for a Smith student. I was offered a settlement in exchange for my silence, but I turned it down. My need to tell the truth — and to be the kind of woman Smith taught me to be — makes it impossible for me to accept financial security at the expense of remaining silent about something I know is wrong. My children’s future, and indeed, our collective future as a free nation, depends on people having the courage to stand up to this dangerous and divisive ideology, no matter the cost.


Jodi Shaw

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Democrats 'Going Bold' on Immigration Reform?

Well, the idiot Dems are no doubt "bold" in thinking that abolishing our nation's borders is good public policy. But of course, just about everything "China Joe" has done thus far, along with his weak "majority" cohorts in Congress, has been to hammer any and all "MAGA" supporters of former President Trump. From defunding the "wall" at the southern border, to canceling the Keystone pipeline up in South Dakota, it's like the dumb Dems are just oblivious to the real concerns of American citizens in the heartland. 

Of course, we'll see how it all turns out, when the 2022 midterms roll around, but you can bet good money that a LARGE number of uber-progressive Democrat legislators will be sweating out VERY tight campaigns to keep their seats.

That'll be fun to watch. The Senate is literally tied, and only with the help of V.P Harris can Dems get anything passed in that chamber; and in the House, Speaker Pelosi looks like she's flipped her wig, with all her wild rants and distractions about "white supremacist domestic terrorists." And, never forget, Trump, sure, was impeached twice, but never found guilty of all the hateful left's bogus attacks, dating back literally to the days after the 2016 election (Hillary won the popular vote! Russia! Ukraine! Bwawhahah!). 

So, we'll see. We'll see.

At LAT, "Democrats unveil broad immigration reform bill with citizenship path for 11 million":

WASHINGTON — President Biden made official on Thursday his aggressive opening salvo in a decades-long effort to reform a broken U.S. immigration system, which ground to a near-halt under his predecessor.

Democratic lawmakers introduced the legislation that Biden officials touted on his first day in the White House — an ambitious bill that would offer a pathway to citizenship for an estimated 11 million immigrants in the United States without legal status.

With Democrats having a tenuous hold on both chambers of Congress, progressives have pushed the Biden administration to go “big, bold and inclusive” on immigration reform, as Rep. Linda T. Sanchez (D-Whittier) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), the bill’s chief sponsors, put it in a statement Wednesday.

Republicans, for their part, began to decry the bill before it was announced, a potential sign that Biden’s proposal may join the congressional graveyard of efforts before it under both Democratic and Republican administrations.

“I look forward to working with leaders in the House and Senate to address the wrongdoings of the past administration and restore justice, humanity and order to our immigration system,” Biden said in a statement Thursday. “These are not Democratic or Republican priorities — but American ones.”

But administration officials said that “this is not a bipartisan bill,” and they signaled Wednesday that they view it more as an opening bid and don’t necessarily expect it to pass with the needed Republican support in its current form.

“It is his vision of what it takes to fix the system,” one White House official said in a call with reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity without providing a reason, “and it’s also a chance to kind of reset and restart conversations on immigration reform after the last four years.”

At a news conference Thursday introducing the bill, Menendez, the highest-ranking Latino in Congress, said he knows the path forward will demand negotiations, but he refused to make concessions from the start, calling it “the righteous thing” to do...

And you know, it's not "11 million undocumented migrants" in this country. Only Democrats push that lie, but that's who they are, and that's what they do.

Awful ghouls, all around. 


Texans Face Skyrocketing Energy Bills

As readers have noted, I've not been defending Texas state officials, neither Governor Abbott nor Senator Cruz.

That said, perhaps the governor and senator can redeem themselves by vacating the high energy bills Texas residents are facing due to the failed power grid, which, once more, was no fault of their own.

At NYT, "His Lights Stayed on During Texas’ Storm. Now He Owes $16,752":

After a public outcry from people like Scott Willoughby, whose exorbitant electric bill is soon due, Gov. Greg Abbott said lawmakers should ensure Texans “do not get stuck with skyrocketing energy bills” caused by the storm.

SAN ANTONIO — As millions of Texans shivered in dark, cold homes over the past week while a winter storm devastated the state’s power grid and froze natural gas production, those who could still summon lights with the flick of a switch felt lucky.

Now, many of them are paying a severe price for it.

“My savings is gone,” said Scott Willoughby, a 63-year-old Army veteran who lives on Social Security payments in a Dallas suburb. He said he had nearly emptied his savings account so that he would be able to pay the $16,752 electric bill charged to his credit card — 70 times what he usually pays for all of his utilities combined. “There’s nothing I can do about it, but it’s broken me.”

Mr. Willoughby is among scores of Texans who have reported skyrocketing electric bills as the price of keeping lights on and refrigerators humming shot upward. For customers whose electricity prices are not fixed and are instead tied to the fluctuating wholesale price, the spikes have been astronomical.

The outcry elicited angry calls for action from lawmakers from both parties and prompted Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, to hold an emergency meeting with legislators on Saturday to discuss the enormous bills.

“We have a responsibility to protect Texans from spikes in their energy bills that are a result of the severe winter weather and power outages,” Mr. Abbott, who has been reeling after the state’s infrastructure failure, said in a statement after the meeting. He added that Democrats and Republicans would work together to make sure people “do not get stuck with skyrocketing energy bills.”

The electric bills are coming due at the end of a week in which Texans have faced a combination of crises caused by the frigid weather, beginning on Monday, when power grid failures and surging demand led to millions being left without electricity.

Natural gas producers were not prepared for the freeze either, and many people’s homes were cut off from heat. Now, millions of people are discovering that they have no safe water because of burst pipes, frozen wells or water treatment plants that have been knocked offline. Power has returned in recent days for all but about 60,000 Texans as the storm moved east, where it has also caused power outages in Mississippi, Louisiana, West Virginia and Ohio.

The steep electric bills in Texas are in part a result of the state’s uniquely unregulated energy market, which allows customers to pick their electricity providers among about 220 retailers in an entirely market-driven system...

No state, especially nominally "Republican" states like Texas, should be in need of MORE federal regulation of their energy markets, but I'll be damned if I said that Texas should benefit from some kind of exceptions. I mean, the screwballs in Austin (and Houston, Sen. Cruz's residence) messed up, and bad. Frankly, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is doing a better job helping Texans than any of the elected officials in the Lone Star State, which must be embarrassing, frankly.

More at the link, FWIW.

Lottie Moss, Supermodel Kate Moss's Younger Sister, Shows Off Bikini Body in California (PHOTOS)

 At the Sun U.K., "LOTTIE'S A HOTTIE Lottie Moss soaks up some Californian sun in a skimpy snake-print bikini."

BONUS: At the Fappening, "Lottie Moss Sexy (23 Photos + Video)." 

(WATCH: "Lottie Moss Sexy Glow Compilation (2021)." 

Friday, February 19, 2021

Janice Dean Slams Andrew Cuomo's 'Bullying and Threatening' of Critics (VIDEO)

I blogged briefly about Ms. Dean here, "Chris Cuomo's Conflicts of Interest (VIDEO)."

The lady's a one-woman incinerator of Democrat sleaze and corruption, and she's got ultra-moral authority on the issue.

In any case, here's the video of her appearance on Hannity's last night, so enjoy:

RELATED: At the New York Post, "Rattled Andrew Cuomo rants about nursing home scandal ‘lies,’ won’t take responsibility."

Well, this should get interesting, as it's not just Fox News now that's hammering the New York Governor. The idiot's on the ropes, and it's beautiful, lol

Sheer Demi Rose

At Taxi Driver, "Demi Rose Posing in Sheer Black Body Suit."

Also, "Demi Rose Nipple Pokies."

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin to Oppose Far-Left Radical Neera Tanden for Office of Management and Budget

This one's kinda hilarious. It's like Manchin's actually siding with the Republicans (supposed enemies) in the upper chamer, heh.

At Politico, "Manchin to oppose Tanden for OMB, imperiling major Biden nomination: Without Manchin’s vote, Tanden likely would need at least one Senate Republican to back her in order to win approval."

I wrote about the idiot Tanden way back in November, "Top CAP Executive Neera Tanden is Biden's Pick for Director of Management and Budget."

Lauren Boebert Rips 'Gun Control' Dems Who Mocked Her for 'Gun Fetish' on Zoom (VIDEO)

There's a piece up at "The American Independent," an obvious far-left website I've never heard of, slamming Rep. Boebert for her defense of Second Amendment rights, and her right, as a Member of Congress, to "open carry" her weapons in the halls of that august body.

I'm no expert on this area, but guns in Congress were extremely common in the 19th century, and in recent years the Supreme Court has ruled (twice) that the right to bear arms is an "individual right." So, I'm very interested to see gun control freaks try to "wish away" SCOTUS precedents on this matter.

Here's the piece, via Memeorandum, "2nd Amendment defender Lauren Boebert upset others might want to amend Constitution." (Safe link.)

And you can watch the interaction from some of the actual committee hearing in question, at the video:

RELATED: Again, while I'm no expert on this topic, SCOTUS returned to the Second Amendment in a case last year, in Thomas Rogers, et al. v. Grewal, where it states at the opinion:
The text of the Second Amendment guarantees that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” As this Court explained in Heller, “[a]t the time of the founding, as now, to ‘bear’ meant to ‘carry.’” 554 U.S., at 584. “When used with ‘arms,’ . . . the term has a meaning that refers to carrying for a particular purpose— confrontation.” Ibid. Thus, the right to “bear arms” refers to the right to “‘wear, bear, or carry upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.’” Ibid. (quoting Muscarello v. United States, 524 U. S. 125, 143 (1998) (GINSBURG, J., dissenting); alterations and some internal quotation marks omitted).

“The most natural reading of this definition encompasses public carry.” Peruta v. California, 582 U. S. ___, ___ (2017) (THOMAS, J., dissenting from denial of certiorari) (slip op., at 5). Confrontations, of course, often occur outside the home. See, e.g., Moore, supra, at 937 (noting that “most murders occur outside the home” in Chicago). Thus, the right to carry arms for self-defense inherently includes the right to carry in public. This conclusion not only flows from the definition of “bear Arms” but also from the natural use of the language in the text. As I have stated before, it is “extremely improbable that the Framers understood the Second Amendment to protect little more than carrying a gun from the bedroom to the kitchen.”

Quite right. 

So, again, I only suggest, as a "non-expert," that idiot leftist gun-control freaks back the f*ck off, sheesh.

(And note, SCOTUS denied certiorari in Rogers, because the lower courts had already affirmed previous SCOTUS rulings holding that the Second Amendment indeed confers an individual right the bear ("carry") arms in public. But no matter, I stand with Rep. Boebert, and I hope she continues to hammer her arguments in defense of the Second Amendment.)


Patrick Soon-Shiong Exploring Sale of Company of Los Angeles Times?

L.A. Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, a surgeon by training (a very wealthy surgeon) denies the story

But here it is, at WSJ, "Los Angeles Times Owner Exploring Sale of Company":

Billionaire biotech investor Patrick Soon-Shiong is exploring a sale of the Los Angeles Times less than three years after buying it for $500 million, people familiar with the matter said.

The move marks an abrupt about-face for Mr. Soon-Shiong, who had vowed to restore stability to the West Coast news institution and has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into the paper in an effort to turn it around.

When Mr. Soon-Shiong acquired the Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune and a handful of weeklies from Tribune Publishing Co. TPCO +0.00% , then called Tronc Inc., in 2018, it was met with great fanfare from staff and media watchers after years of turmoil and downsizing at the publications. At the time, he said that the sale represented the beginning of a new era and that he intended to do what it took to make the business viable for the next 100 years.

He has since grown dissatisfied with the news organization’s slow expansion of its digital audience and its substantial losses, the people said. He also has increasingly come to believe that the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune—together known as the California Times company—would be better served if they were part of a larger media group, they said.

Mr. Soon-Shiong has been heavily focused on efforts by his immunotherapy company to develop a Covid-19 vaccine and has had little time to devote to the Times, people familiar with the matter said. “Covid really brought him back to the lab,” said one of the people.

Mr. Soon-Shiong didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment and a spokeswoman for the Times had no immediate comment...

So, no comment from the newspaper's owner of spokeswoman?  

I'll bet there really is some "dissatisfaction" over in El Segundo, where Mr. Soon-Shiong moved the paper shortly after his acquisition a few years back.

One thing, though, despite his protestations on the accuracy of WSJ's reporting, I see enough tweets from L.A. Times journalists to know that it's definitely up-and-down at L.A.'s last remaining "broadsheet" newspaper. 

And since I'm a subscriber, I'll be keeping my eyes peeled, as I'd hate to have to rely on the New York Times for the occasional local story, like the one a couple of weeks ago, on the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital.

We'll see. We'll see.

Ted Cruz's Cancún Blunder

Following-up from yesterday, "Ted Cruz Flew to Cancun with His Family Amid Power Crisis in Texas (VIDEO)."

I wanted to highlight this NYT piece on Senator Cruz, which is kinda shocking in its details. What's so interesting is the text messages Cruz's wife sent out before the trip, to some of her neighbors and friends in Houston, which were later leaked to the press, which I guess seems both naturally appropriate and gross and sleazy at the same time.

See, "Ted Cruz's Cancún Trip: Family Texts Detail His Political Blunder":

Like millions of his constituents across Texas, Senator Ted Cruz had a frigid home without electricity this week amid the state’s power crisis. But unlike most, Mr. Cruz got out, fleeing Houston and hopping a Wednesday afternoon flight to Cancún with his family for a respite at a luxury resort.

Photos of Mr. Cruz and his wife, Heidi, boarding the flight ricocheted quickly across social media and left both his political allies and rivals aghast at a tropical trip as a disaster unfolded at home. The blowback only intensified after Mr. Cruz, a Republican, released a statement saying he had flown to Mexico “to be a good dad” and accompany his daughters and their friends; he noted he was flying back Thursday afternoon, though he did not disclose how long he had originally intended to stay.

Text messages sent from Ms. Cruz to friends and Houston neighbors on Wednesday revealed a hastily planned trip. Their house was “FREEZING,” as Ms. Cruz put it — and she proposed a getaway until Sunday. Ms. Cruz invited others to join them at the Ritz-Carlton in Cancún, where they had stayed “many times,” noting the room price this week ($309 per night) and its good security. The text messages were provided to The New York Times and confirmed by a second person on the thread, who declined to be identified because of the private nature of the texts.

For more than 12 hours after the airport departure photos first emerged, Mr. Cruz’s office declined to comment on his whereabouts. The Houston police confirmed that the senator’s office had sought their assistance for his airport trip on Wednesday, and eventually Mr. Cruz was spotted wheeling his suitcase in Mexico on Thursday as he returned to the state he represents in the Senate...

Now who was it who leaked those texts to the New York Times? I mean, if you can't trust your "friends and neighbors," who can you trust (that is, if you should be trusting these same "friends" and "neighbors" with this kind of bombshell "vacation" planning in the first place)?

That said, for the second day this story's headlining at Memeorandum, so you know hated-addled leftists can't get their fill of their hateful demonic schadenfreude. *Shrugs.*

ADDED: Via Ashley Parker on Twitter, and yes, it is funny. "Cancún-gate," lol. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


The Legacy of Housing Discrimination (VIDEO)

This segment below, from "CBS This Morning," is really well-done --- and troubling.

I mean, there's so much leftist anger and hatred over "racism" and "white supremacy," which nowadays neither is anywhere near the "devastating" levels idiot leftist-Dems want "the rubes" to believe. 

But if you honestly go back to the 1950s and 1960s, you do see patterns or real racial discrimination, and this segment is particularly interesting, as "CBS This Morning" co-host Tony Dokoupil's grandfather settled in the suburb of Lyndhurst, New Jersey, and at the video, Dokoupil conducts a set of generally decent, and not "blame-casting," interviews, discussing the phenomenon of racial "redlining," which back in the day, kept black families from being able to buy homes, and thus build generational wealth.  

It's well-done:

Sydney Sweeney Bikini



Thursday, February 18, 2021

Brother Cornel Threatens to Leave Harvard — Again

I met Cornel West when he spoke at my college a few years ago, and while at that time I was no big fan, I gotta admit the guy's a powerful speaker with an uncanny attractiveness: Signing my book (that came with the event program, etc.), he wrote, "Brother Donald! Stay Strong!" (Photo below.)

So, while I don't agree with all his writings (nor his public statements, on Israel, in particular), he's definitely an interesting character, and it looks like he's taking a principled stand against Harvard University, since the powers-that-be there are denying him tenure. (And I guess Harvard, in fact, has not had a good record of late in granting tenure to scholars of color, so that's also interesting to me, because, I mean, c'mon, Harvard?!!)

In any case, RTWT, at the Boston Globe, "Cornel West threatens to leave Harvard again."

Emma Watson on Tape

 At Celeb Jihad, "Emma Watson With Her New Boyfriend."

Bob Dole Diagnosed With Lung Cancer (VIDEO)

His farewell speech in the U.S. Senate is here.

He wasn't the greatest presidential candidate, obviously, but he's a true patriot, serving his country in WWII, where in the Italian campaign he took German machine gun fire in the Apennine mountains near Castel d'Aiano, southwest of Bologna. His personal recovery from his injuries was apparently miraculous, and his physician was a Holocaust survivor who helped him develop an outlook on loss and recovery after such great personal sacrifice. 

He's got stage 4 lung cancer, which is what killed Rush Limbaugh yesterday, so it's pretty clear that Dole, who is 97-years-old, has got a tough battle ahead. 

Prayers up. 

More at MSNBC:

Ted Cruz Flew to Cancun with His Family Amid Power Crisis in Texas (VIDEO)

At Fox News, via Memeorandum.

The surprising thing is Senator Cruz is a really smart guy, so this "vacation" to Cancun was a huge "own goal" on his part. 

And, while I haven't seen them, apparently some "top" conservatives on Twitter have been defending the Texas senator, for behavior that is political indefensible. 

Not me.

I like Ted Cruz, but he's failing his constituents by taking "his children" on vacation, away from the state's weather disaster, while Texas residents are literally freezing to death.

WSJ Pushes Back Against the Left's 'Renewables' Lobby Amid Texas Energy Catastrophe

Following-up from yesterday, "Global Warming is Man-Made," the Wall Street Journal comes back with a humdinger of an editorial.

See, "Texas Spins Into the Wind: An electricity grid that relies on renewables also needs nuclear or coal power":

While millions of Texans remain without power for a third day, the wind industry and its advocates are spinning a fable that gas, coal and nuclear plants—not their frozen turbines—are to blame. PolitiFact proclaims “Natural gas, not wind turbines, main driver of Texas power shortage.” Climate-change conformity is hard for the media to resist, but we don’t mind. So here are the facts to cut through the spin.

Texas energy regulators were already warning of rolling blackouts late last week as temperatures in western Texas plunged into the 20s, causing wind turbines to freeze. Natural gas and coal-fired plants ramped up to cover the wind power shortfall as demand for electricity increased with falling temperatures.

Some readers have questioned our reporting Wednesday ("The Political Making of a Texas Power Outage") that wind’s share of electricity generation in Texas plunged to 8% from 42%. How can that be, they wonder, when the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (Ercot) has reported that it counts on wind to meet only 10% of its winter capacity.

Ercot’s disclosure is slippery. Start with the term “capacity,” which means potential maximum output. This is different than actual power generation. Texas has a total winter capacity of about 83,000 megawatts (MW) including all power sources. Total power demand and generation, however, at their peak are usually only around 57,000 MW. Regulators build slack into the system.

Texas has about 30,000 MW of wind capacity, but winds aren’t constant or predictable. Winds this past month have generated between about 600 and 22,500 MW. Regulators don’t count on wind to provide much more than 10% or so of the grid’s total capacity since they can’t command turbines to increase power like they can coal and gas plants.

Wind turbines at times this month have generated more than half of the Texas power generation, though this is only about a quarter of the system’s power capacity. Last week wind generation plunged as demand surged. Fossil-fuel generation increased and covered the supply gap. Thus between the mornings of Feb. 7 and Feb. 11, wind as a share of the state’s electricity fell to 8% from 42%, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Gas-fired plants produced 43,800 MW of power Sunday night and coal plants chipped in 10,800 MW—about two to three times what they usually generate at their peak on any given winter day—after wind power had largely vanished. In other words, gas and coal plants held up in the frosty conditions far better than wind turbines did.

It wasn’t until temperatures plunged into the single digits early Monday morning that some conventional power plants including nuclear started to have problems, which was the same time that demand surged for heating. Gas plants also ran low on fuel as pipelines froze and more was diverted for heating.

“It appears that a lot of the generation that has gone offline today has been primarily due to issues on the natural gas system,” Electric Reliability Council of Texas senior director Dan Woodfin said Tuesday. The wind industry and its friends are citing this statement as exoneration. But note he used the word “today.” Most wind power had already dropped offline last week.

Gas generation fell by about one-third between late Sunday night and Tuesday, but even then was running two to three times higher than usual before the Arctic blast. Gas power nearly made up for the shortfall in wind, though it wasn’t enough to cover surging demand...

Still more.