URLs du Jour


  • Eye Candy du Jour confirms: Biden has always been a scary guy. I'll be seeing that pic in my nightmares.

    Lance Morrow takes to the WSJ op-ed page to note: Biden’s Speech Had It All Backward.

    The Democrats have the “fascist” business wrong.

    Donald Trump isn’t a fascist, or even a semi-fascist, in President Biden’s term. Mr. Trump is an opportunist. His ideology is coextensive with his temperament: In both, he is an anarcho-narcissist. He is Elmer Gantry, or the Music Man, if Harold Hill had been trained in the black arts by Roy Cohn. He is what you might get by crossing the Wizard of Oz with Willie Sutton, who explained that he robbed banks because “that’s where the money is.”

    As for Mr. Trump’s followers, they belong to the Church of American Nostalgia. They are Norman Rockwellians, or Eisenhowerites. They regard themselves, not without reason, as the last sane Americans. You might think of them as American masculinity in exile; like James Fenimore Cooper’s Natty Bumppo, living in the forest has made their manners rough.

    If there are fascists in America these days, they are apt to be found among the tribes of the left. They are Mr. Biden and his people (including the lion’s share of the media), whose opinions have, since Jan. 6, 2021, hardened into absolute faith that any party or political belief system except their own is illegitimate—impermissible, inhuman, monstrous and (a nice touch) a threat to democracy. The evolution of their overprivileged emotions—their sentimentality gone fanatic—has led them, in 2022, to embrace Mussolini’s formula: “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” Or against the party. (People forget, if they ever knew it, that both Hitler and Mussolini began as socialists). The state and the Democratic Party must speak and act as one, suppressing all dissent. America must conform to the orthodoxy—to the Chinese finger-traps of diversity-or-else and open borders—and rejoice in mandatory drag shows and all such theater of “gender.” Meantime, their man in the White House invokes emergency powers to forgive student debt and their thinkers wonder whether the Constitution and the separation of powers are all they’re cracked up to be.

    Emphasis, as the say, added.

  • Some local election news. Josh Christenson looks at a recent CNN interview with Washington's senior senator: Patty Murray Defends Dem Donations to ‘MAGA Republicans’. There's a New Hampshire connection:

    Democrats are throwing money behind extreme candidates in hopes that they will be easier to beat in the general election. In New Hampshire, the party’s Senate Majority PAC purchased $3.2 million in ad time to attack moderate Republican Chuck Morse, Politico reported Friday. Morse, a long-serving state senator, is set to square off against far-right GOP candidate Don Bolduc in a September senate primary. Bolduc is beating Morse by double digits in the most recent polls, according to RealClearPolitics.

    Those anti-Morse ads are unavoidable if you watch any NH-market channels. They're spending a lot to make sure Morse doesn't win the GOP primary.

    Not that you care, or even should care, but I'm leaning toward Kevin Smith in the primary. He's running fifth, only slightly ahead of "Other" in the latest UNH Survey Center poll. But I'm impressed with the meatiness of his policy page. (Try, in contrast, to find anything about Jones Act reform at either the Bolduc site—although I like his doggie—or the Morse site.)

  • Because it's been fission for compliments. Andrew Cline of the Josiah Bartlett Center says Nuclear power is having a moment despite, not because of, environmental activists.

    Energy shortages in California and Europe have prompted a revival of interest in Nuclear power. And who gets the credit? Environmental activists, naturally.

    Why even environmental activists are supporting nuclear power today,” National Public Radio gushed last week.

    The few environmentalists highlighted in the story deserve credit for taking such an unpopular position within the movement. NPR even acknowledges their pariah status.

    Drew (I call him Drew) lists the dismal activist record of obstruction to plant construction in New England and (if the plants managed to get up and running) unceasing opposition to their continued operation. Bottom line:

    It’s nice to see the small group of pro-nuclear environmental activists get credit for being right when the rest of the green movement has been shamefully, dangerously wrong about nuclear power from the start.

    But that’s only a small part of the story. The bigger story is how the environmental movement put itself on the wrong end of one of the biggest fights of its existence and wound up hurting the environment as a result.

    And all the while, they sought to delegitimize the activists, policy wonks, industry experts, academics and researchers who told the truth. That’s the story that needs to be told.

  • Least surprising headline of the day. And it's from David Harsanyi: Hillary Keeps Shamelessly Lying About Her Emails, taking issue with a recent Tweet from Hill:

    None of what Clinton says in her thread is even remotely true.

    Hillary contends that “Comey admitted he was wrong after he claimed I had classified emails.” Even if the former FBI director had changed his mind, it would not have mattered very much once he was out of office. But Comey never did any such thing. After scrupulously detailing Hillary’s numerous evasions of laws governing the handling of classified information in July of 2016, Comey let the former Secretary of State skate, maintaining the FBI couldn’t prove intent. Clinton, he said, had merely been “extremely careless” in “handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.” Comey didn’t charge Hillary, probably to save himself the trauma of indicting someone he believed would be the next president.

    If you truly believe that Hillary, the most “qualified candidate ever,” had stumbled into setting up a secret server that was specifically used to circumvent government transparency, you’re a gullible fool. Whatever you believe, though, according to the FBI, Clinton sent 110 emails with clearly marked classified information — 36 of those emails contained secret information, and eight of those email chains contained “top secret” information. And the FBI also found that Hillary should have known many other topics under the discussion were classified, even if they were not so marked. “We assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account,” Comey explained at the time. The New York Times concurred.

    Lying continues to come naturally to Hillary. I didn't (and don't) much care for Trump, but the country really dodged a bullet back in 2016.

  • Magic 8-Ball says: Ask again later. Michael Shermer takes the occasion of Frank Drake's death to wonder about one of the Big Questions: Are We Alone in the Cosmos? And it's an interesting summary of what we know and what we don't. But here's what kind of grated:

    Is our existence a necessity—it could not have been otherwise? Or is our existence a contingency—it need not have been? A course-grained look at the question finds scientists roughly divided between astrobiologists and SETI astronomers who tend to be fairly optimistic, estimating a relatively high probability of intelligent life evolving in the cosmos (or re-evolving in an earth-bound thought experiment), and biologists and evolutionary theorists who tend to be fairly pessimistic, estimating a relatively low probability of intelligent life evolving elsewhere (or re-evolving here). Since the question cannot be answered in a laboratory experiment, we must turn to those sciences that attempt to answer it indirectly, such as those employed by SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) scientists and evolutionary theorists.

    Emphasis added to the grating words.

    Neither overt "optimism" or "pessimism" have a place in scientific inquiry into an open question. (Do black holes have hair? What's the optimistic answer to that?)

    But (on the other hand) I kind of appreciate the (unintentional) honesty. Shermer (and a lot of other folks) really want there to be life, preferably intelligent life, "out there". Somewhere. I'm unsure what the motivation behind that desire is. Maybe an underlying craving for proof of the "unspecialness" of humanity? Probably rooted in atheism? Just guessin'.

Last Modified 2023-02-09 1:47 PM EST