Russia Believed Clinton Was Planning Anti-Trump Collusion Campaign In 2016, And U.S. Officials Knew It

Russia Believed Clinton Was Planning Anti-Trump Collusion Campaign In 2016, And U.S. Officials Knew It, by Joel Pollack.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe declassified intelligence on Tuesday that suggests Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign had created a plan in July 2016 to frame then-candidate Donald Trump for Russian hacking — at least according to Russian intelligence. …

It states that in late July 2016 — at the time that Wikileaks released emails from the Democratic National Committee server, right before the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — the U.S. became aware that Russian intelligence alleged “that U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had approved a campaign plan to stir up a scandal against U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump by tying him to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and the Russians’ hacking of the Democratic National Committee.” The U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) did not know if it was true.

Andrew McCarthy:

Hillary Clinton personally signed off on the Russiagate farce to distract attention from her email scandal, according to a Russian intelligence analysis that was obtained by U.S. intelligence agencies in July 2016.

That is the bombshell allegation that National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe has just dropped on the Senate Judiciary Committee …

Let’s put this information in context.

Mrs. Clinton was cleared of criminal charges in a July 5, 2016, press conference by then-director Comey. This prompted outrage over whether the Obama administration had distorted the criminal law applicable to mishandling classified information in order to give Clinton a pass. The email scandal would dog Clinton throughout the campaign.

On July 25, less than three weeks after the Comey press conference, the 2016 Democratic National Convention began in Philadelphia. Just three days earlier, on July 22, the hacked DNC emails began being published. By that point, former British spy Christopher Steele had been commissioned by the Clinton campaign (through a lawyer for the campaign and the DNC) to compile research tying Trump to Russia. Steele ran a London-based private intelligence business, whose clients include Russian oligarchs. …

Days after the hacked DNC emails began being published, Steele generated a dossier report alleging that Trump was in “a well-developed conspiracy of cooperation” with “Russian leadership.” …

Further, Steele ludicrously claimed that Trump had “moles within the DNC and hackers in the US as well as outside in Russia.”…

This story was absurd, through and through. … Plainly, it would have been easy for Steele to weave this tale together from public reporting about the hacking and publication of the emails, Russia’s suspected role in it, Trump’s campaign commentary on NATO, and so on.

Trump was in cahoots with the Russians? Sure, right. What an honest, upstanding bunch are the Democrat leadership of Obama, Clinton and Biden. They threw industrial scale muck for three years, and when it finally came time to question officials under oath the charges vanished. What a way to run a country.

If the press didn’t cover for them, this would never have gone anywhere. Of course, most of the population never found out in real time who the liars and scoundrels really were.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Ballot Harvesting For Ilhan Omar Exposed By Project Veritas

Ballot Harvesting For Ilhan Omar Exposed By Project Veritas, by Victory Girls.

This is just as terrible as you think it will be. Project Veritas has thrown quite a hand grenade straight into the Minneapolis area, bringing the receipts to prove ballot harvesting.

It seems that Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, along with other connected politicians in the Somali community, have quite an expansive ballot harvesting operation going on — so much so, that one of their operatives actually bragged about it on Snapchat. And not only are they going around collecting ballots, especially from the elderly, but they are paying for the ballots in cash.

Between video evidence and insider interviews, the picture being revealed is a system of ballot harvesting and payoffs so corrupt and entrenched that it might not be salvageable. …

Ballot fraud of this magnitude could definitely explain how, even though there was a lot of speculation about Omar’s lagging popularity within her own district, she still managed to pull out a commanding primary win, almost a full 20 points over her closest challenger. While local media attributed this to her progressive activist base and “get out the vote” campaign, it now looks a whole lot like a ballot harvesting machine of previously unrevealed proportions.

The biggest question is: now that the “open secret” is being revealed, what happens? We know the mainstream media will assiduously ignore Project Veritas until they are absolutely forced to cover the story, and even then the spin will all go the left’s way, as we no longer have a free and fair press.

See the link for the video.

Dem Tulsi Gabbard Raises the Alarm: ‘Ballot Harvesting Has Allowed for Fraud and Abuse’

Dem Tulsi Gabbard Raises the Alarm: ‘Ballot Harvesting Has Allowed for Fraud and Abuse’. By Tyler O’Neil.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) has raised an alarm over ballot harvesting and voter fraud, filing a bill to prevent the practice. Gabbard, a former presidential candidate, has shown an extraordinary willingness to buck the propagandistic groupthink in her party, and Democrats have not always appreciated it …

“Right now, there are still many states in our country that allow for something called ballot harvesting,” she warned. “This is a system that allows for third parties to collect and deliver ballots for other people, potentially large numbers of people.

“Unfortunately, ballot harvesting has allowed for fraud and abuse to occur by those who could tamper with or discard ballots to try to sway an election,” the Democratic congresswoman warned. …

“Our bipartisan bill protects the custody for every one of our ballots by prohibiting funding from going to states that allow this practice of ballot harvesting to occur,” she explained.

Gabbard later noted a Project Veritas video in which a ballot harvester identified as Osman Ali Dahquane boasts, “I have forty people,” each of whom he pays $800 for his or her ballot. The Project Veritas video revealed a stunning exchange of cash for a voter registration form, in which a ballot harvester gives a voter $200 in “pocket money” and promises $800 more for the ballot later. …

Many Democrats have rushed to champion vote-by-mail schemes, repeating the rote claim that there is no evidence of fraud connected to mail-in voting.

US Presidential Debate 1

US Presidential Debate 1.

Cameron Stewart:

Joe Biden did better than Donald Trump in the first presidential debate for the simple reason that he held his ground against a brawling and surly president in a clash that was ugly to watch.

Both men repeatedly spoke over each other, Trump more so, making it difficult to hear any coherent argument from either candidate about their plans for America.

The most consequential outcome of the debate was that Biden did not commit a major gaffe and in doing so, undermined Trump’s portrayal of the 77 year old as barely able to string a sentence together.

Trump needed a strong performance to shake-up this presidential race and catch Biden in the polls, but this debate did not provide that moment. …

This was not a powerful performance from Biden but he was far more disciplined than Trump who appeared more angry as the debate went on.

Greg Sheridan:

The media narrative is that Trump was ruder than Biden and therefore alienated more voters and was the loser.

I’m not so sure.

Certainly it was an unedifying process.

And lots of US TV commentators were quickly into their stride arguing that Biden should refuse to participate in the next two scheduled debates.

Which of course seems to be a contradiction and leads to the obvious question: if it was such a disaster for Trump, why wouldn’t Biden want to do it as often as possible?

It is in fact possible that Trump made some progress in this debate.

Trump looked like a bully, let’s face it, he is a bully. But Biden looked like a bit of a weakling. Biden too hurled plenty of insults, calling Trump a racist and a clown and telling him to shut up. All fair enough really in the no-holds-barred world wrestling championship style of debate this was.

Paul Kelly:

This was a spiteful, chaotic, abusive, often out-of-control brawling encounter with both candidates revealing their contempt for each other.

On display was the reckless deterioration of American political life and the collapse of respect for civic life. Donald Trump and Joe Biden could barely tolerate each other exposing the raw hostility that plagues America today. There is one certainty from this debate – the Trump and Biden partisans will claim vindication and the divisions in America will only deepen. …

No form of abuse went untouched – from racism, to pandemic deaths to family dishonor. At the end Trump declared that he “hopes” it will be a fair election but warned that it could become a “fraudulent” event. America faces a dangerous several weeks.

Troy Bramston:

Donald Trump bounced around issues like a pinball machine, insulted, interrupted, was aggressive and unfocused….

Trump had no regard for debate rules and ignored moderator Chris Wallace. He scored some hits on Joe Biden. But voters are exhausted with the Trump Show. He did not change perceptions of his two biggest negatives: the pandemic and race-related violence. He refused to condemn white supremacists.

Biden owes Trump for setting the bar low for his performance. Trump said “Sleepy Joe” needed an ear piece and took performance-enhancing drugs. After 90 minutes, Biden showed he was cognitively, intellectually and physically up to the job of being president.

Caroline Overington:

Shouting, yelling, talking over each other, baiting and sniping and calling each other names.

“Oh shut up man.”

“Keep yapping.”

“Will he just shush for a minute?”

“Why don’t you inject some bleach into your veins?”

“He’s racist.”

“He’s Putin’s puppy.”

“He’s a fool, and a clown, and a liar.”

And no, that wasn’t Donald Trump being offensive. That was all Joe Biden. Clearly, he was trying to rile, or goad Donald Trump. …

It was surely the ugliest debate yet hosted. Start to finish, it was petulant, and juvenile. And yes, Trump did at times give as good as he got.

“You were a disaster … China ate your lunch,” he said, at one point.

“Did you use the word smart? There’s nothing smart about you. Don’t you use the word smart with me.”

But the fact remains that it was Biden, not Trump, lobbing the personal insults — fool, clown, liar — which was very likely a considered move.

Jack the Insider:

This was a shout-athon….

Trump went personal. Biden babbled about a Covid plan without providing a clue what it is. And then he went personal on Trump. Then they both talked over the top of one another again.

Igor Bobic (far left):

“Let me ask my question,” [moderator Chris] Wallace said at one point, and then finally: “Mr. President, I’m the moderator of this debate, I’d like you to let me ask my question and then you can answer. … My question, sir, is what is the Trump health care plan?”

Trump fired back: “Well, first of all, I guess I’m debating you not him. But that’s OK, I’m not surprised.” …

And in one of the most notable moments of the night, Trump refused to condemn white supremacists and militia groups. Instead, he said the Proud Boys, a neo-fascist group, should “stand down and stand by.”

Funny how the left wing account totally omits Trump bringing up Antifa and BLM as the source of the violence in the very next breath. Censored. But it’s there towards the end of the video above.

Farrah Tomazin:

There’s been a lot of mixed reactions to the debate – Republicans have praised Trump’s dominant style, but others have responded angrily to his aggressiveness and expressed disappointment over moderator Chris Wallace’s performance. Some also feared for democracy more broadly. …

Trump is now invoking a well-worn theme, claiming once again without evidence that mail-in ballots will lead to voter fraud. He starts claiming in West Virginia people are “selling the ballots, they’re being sold, they’re being dumped in rivers”.

“This is not going to end well,” he claims.

“They found some with the name ‘Trump’ just the other day in a wastepaper basket; they’re being sent all over the place…. This is going to be fraud like you’ve seen.”

Paul Mirengoff:

Biden showed that he can hang in with Trump at his most aggressive for two hours without faltering. There was no moment in which Biden struck me as being less than fully with it.

A check of the tapes would show, I think, that Biden was almost as sharp in this debate as he was in his 2012 encounter with Paul Ryan. Biden remains able to stick to a script, to lie with a straight face, to dodge questions to which he has no good answer (e.g., about packing the Supreme Court), and to brawl with his opponent.

President Trump has all of the same attributes, except that, for better or worse, he’s largely unscripted.

Generally speaking, Trump doesn’t need a script. However, he missed out on several opportunities because he didn’t offer specifics to back up some of his potentially explosive statements. …

The same kind of thing happened on the question of Trump getting rid of federal “sensitivity training” and “critical race theory” programs. Trump called the programs in question anti-American propaganda, as indeed they are. But he failed to give concrete examples of their radical content. Thus, with the help of Chris Wallace (if there was any doubt as to whom Wallace supports, it vanished early tonight), Biden was able to make it look like Trump is against sensitivity to matters of race. …

On the personal side, both men were nasty. Biden was probably the nastier of the two. He called Trump a liar, a racist, and a clown. But Trump may have seemed nastier because he interrupted Biden so frequently. Biden was nastier, but Trump was more obnoxious. …

Most incumbent presidents lose the first debate, but go on to win the election. But the incumbents to whom this applies weren’t behind in the polls by around 6 points, as Trump is

CNN Pre-Debate Poll Shows Biden Clearly Won Debate

CNN Pre-Debate Poll Shows Biden Clearly Won Debate. By the Babylon Bee.

In a highly accurate and scientific CNN poll taken pre-debate, presidential candidate Joe Biden has had a clear win over incumbent President Donald Trump, with 98% saying Biden won the debate tonight and only 2% saying Trump won. …

The Trump campaign has denounced the poll as “fake news,” even though the poll was made using numbers and a computer which are common instruments of science.

It is unclear if the actual debate tonight could affect the poll results, but most experts expect that it will not.

What is a Western Chauvinist?

What is a Western Chauvinist? By the Proud Boys.

A Western Chauvinist is a proponent of Western Civilization, someone who supports a secular government whose legal code is informed by Judeo-Christian ethics and whose origins lie in the Greco-Roman tradition of the Republic.

It’s a fairly new term, coined by Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, and it has created a new connotation to the word “chauvinist.”

Originally, the word “chauvinist” indicated a zealous attitude, over-the-top patriotism. Over time, the word’s connotation also expanded to include bigotry or bias, particularly during the social upheaval of the 1960s. This is where we see popularization of the term “male chauvinist.”

Now that the term “Western Chauvinist” has hit the mainstream, the word “chauvinist” has developed a third distinct meaning, which I would define as a person displaying blatant or unapologetic patriotism.

When we Proud Boys say, “I am a proud Western Chauvinist,” we are saying “I am a proud and unabashed proponent of Western Civilization.”

That is it.

It has nothing to do with race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, or even national origin.

News media outlets have displayed an elementary, perhaps blatant, misunderstanding of our usage of the term, even going so far as to imply that Proud Boys adhere to the second definition, i.e. that we believe men are superior to women.

Don Lemon at CNN has even called us “misogynistic.” In order to look directly into the camera and make that claim with a straight face, Lemon must be ignorant, incompetent, or completely dishonest.

Now that we’ve cleared up any confusion about what is and what is not a “Western Chauvinist,” the media have no excuse to get it wrong.

Quick history aside:

The word “chauvinism” is a reference to Nicolas Chauvin, a soldier of Napoleon’s army. It is not clear whether he existed in real life, but more important is the legend surrounding his name, namely that he displayed an exceptional degree of service and loyalty to Napoleon.

After Napoleon’s defeat and the re-establishment of the French monarchy and aristocratic class, Chauvin’s name took on a negative connotation, firmly associating “chauvinism” with being, in short, unreasonable.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

New York Times: We Have Trump’s Tax Returns

New York Times: We Have Trump’s Tax Returns. By Joel Pollack.

The New York Times published details Sunday of what it claimed were President Donald Trump’s tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), going back more than two decades, showing “chronic losses and years of tax avoidance,” it said.

Donald J. Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. In his first year in the White House, he paid another $750.

He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.

As the president wages a re-election campaign that polls say he is in danger of losing, his finances are under stress, beset by losses and hundreds of millions of dollars in debt coming due that he has personally guaranteed …

The Times story, if based on authentic documents, appears to debunk several conspiracy theories held by Democrats for years.

  • The tax returns do not “any previously unreported connections to Russia,” the Times reports.
  • Moreover, the Times story appears to confirm Trump’s claim — long treated as an excuse by Democrats — that he is under audit by the IRS.
  • And the Times could not find “any itemized payments to Mr. Cohen,” ostensibly the subject of the New York investigation. …

Past exposures of Trump’s tax returns have confirmed that he has paid millions of dollars in personal income taxes. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow was widely mocked in 2017 for revealing a 2005 tax return that showed Trump had paid $38 million in federal income taxes that year.

It is illegal for the IRS to leak the personal tax returns of any individual. The Times is guarding its sources closely.

Hello? Ever heard of negative gearing?

That’s where you borrow lots of money, and make a loss each year because of the interest bill. No (or less) tax is paid. But the assets you bought are appreciating. Until the assets are sold, it is a loss making operation — yet if the asset goes up enough, it is a winner. Millions of people get rich this way. Especially in real estate — and Donald Trump is a real estate mogul! Incredible. Don’t tell the New York Times.

Here’s the real tax problem going into the presidential election:

How come Obama is worth $50m+?

No, You Idiots. That’s Not How Taxes Work. An Accountant’s Guide To Why You Are a Gullible Moron

No, You Idiots. That’s Not How Taxes Work. An Accountant’s Guide To Why You Are a Gullible Moron. By Larry Correia. Warning: Bad language.

I posted that last night on Facebook, and sure enough, this morning my feed is filled with people who don’t know shit about taxes retweeting the stupid opinions of other morons who also don’t know shit about taxes. This is just as annoying as last week when these same idiots all suddenly became Constitutional Scholars. Or the month before that when they were all experts on use of force laws and police tactics. Or the month before that when they suddenly got their epidemiology degrees from the University of Internet and turned into infectious disease experts.

Holy shit, you Dunning-Krugerands are annoying. Of course the comments are all about the “morality” of paying your “fair share”. Which isn’t how any of this works in real life. Just stop it with your vapid hot takes already. You clearly have a child-like grasp of a complex topic, and your words are making America dumber.

As a former accountant, please allow me to explain why all of today’s newly formed tax experts are fucking morons

First off, “morality” doesn’t have jack shit to do with taxation. You pay what you legally owe. Nobody willingly pays the government more than they legally owe. …

Second, “loopholes” is a term most often used by people who don’t understand accounting or tax law, to complain about how somebody else used the existing laws created by congress to pay less than what that person thinks is “fair.” Regular people have heard the bullshit term loopholes tossed around so much that they start to believe that it is some magical easy button that rich guys can just push that makes it so they don’t have to pay taxes.

Nope. They’re just laws. These “loopholes” exist because at some point in time congress (both democrat and republican both!) decided that they wanted to promote some type of behavior or discourage some other behavior. So they basically put a reward into the law saying if you do this thing we like, you’ll pay less taxes! Or the opposite, congress wanted to discourage some behavior, so if you do that thing we don’t want, it will cost you more.

Both sides have done this forever, state and federal. We want you to drive electric cars so if you buy an electric car you get a tax break this year. YAY! Uh oh, we want you to stimulate the economy by buying this kind of machinery faster, so you have to depreciate your assets this other way or you’ll pay more! BOO! You get a discount for paying your employees health insurance, YAY! Oh, wait… Not that kind of health insurance. BOO! …

Why was mortgage interest deductible? Because at one point congress said “we really want people to own houses!” Even regular people have things that are considered “loopholes” to somebody. …

How big is the US tax code? NOBODY KNOWS! (and I’m only partially kidding with that answer, because there’s thousands of pages of actual laws, and I don’t think anybody can actually pin down how many thousands of pages there are of supporting documentation and IRS regs and findings that translate those broad laws into the nitty-gritty real world application accountants have to deal with).

It is this complexity that makes it hard to figure out what anyone actually owes. …

Trump’s tax return:

Which brings us to today, with people freaking out about how Trump allegedly didn’t pay taxes for 10 out of 15 years and how that’s UNFAIR. Assuming that the anonymous tip isn’t total bullshit — and this is the New York Times we’re talking about and they love to just make shit up — and that the information is accurate (which means that whoever leaked it committed a felony, but that’s a whole different discussion) … my answer is, so?

Is it plausible that a billionaire paid no taxes for a period of several years? Yep. Totally. See all that stuff I wrote above about the complicated tax code and how it is an accountant’s sacred duty to take advantage of all the stupid laws congress has passed to save their client’s money? Pretty much that. It has happened many times before, and it will happen many times again.

One thing that’s really unfair about our tax system is that it is rigged in favor of people who have more resources. Government meddling makes it more costly to conduct business. The more complicated the regulatory burden, the more smaller companies can’t compete. Make the laws complicated enough and the only companies that stay in business are the ones who can afford to pay for twenty guys like me. (My last regular accounting job paid extremely well, and nearly everything I did was jump through government mandated hoops, filling out government mandated paperwork which nobody in the government would probably ever read.)

Trump has those resources. I bet he’s got a room full of accountants, and their leader is probably a grizzled old CPA with an eye patch and a raven who sits on his shoulder. The raven also has an eye patch and an accounting degree. This man has wrestled bears, and he’s going to take advantage of every tax break in the US Code for his client, and do so gleefully, knowing that many of those laws were signed by Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

On the other side, you know damned good and well that the IRS has sent their most fearsome auditor against him. This man sold his soul to the devil, and then fined the devil for failing to list that soul as a depreciable asset. When he shows up to audit your company, he appears a flash of fire and brimstone, as a Finnish death metal band plays his theme song. He is an auditor bereft of mercy, compassion, or pity, and beneath his leathery wings serve a legion of IRS goblins, who will crawl into every nook and cranny of the Trump Corporation’s P&L looking for errors, and if a mouse so much as shits a turd large enough to unbalance that ledger, there will be hell to pay.

How the tax system really works:

On one side CPAs, and the other, hellspawn audit demons, and they’ll argue, and battle, and go to court over what is and is not owed to the government, and then the client will pay what is legally owed plus any applicable fines and penalties (and not a dime more). Both sides of this titanic eternal struggle are far smarter than anyone at the New York Times and they have access to the actual financial data, unlike all the blue check mark idiots on Twitter who are whinging on today about their feelings. Barf. Your feelings don’t mean shit.

Same as the rest of us, Trump owes what he owes. And the IRS will determine if that number is accurate or not.

Richard McEnroe:

There is no interpretation of “fair share” that doesn’t translate to “I want your shit.”

More at the link.

The doctors still crippled by Covid-19 six months after they caught it: None of these medics were hospitalised after catching coronavirus yet they’ve all been struck by ‘long Covid’

The doctors still crippled by Covid-19 six months after they caught it: None of these medics were hospitalised after catching coronavirus yet they’ve all been struck by ‘long Covid’. By Lucy Elkins.

Some can barely walk they’re so exhausted and their muscles so weak. Many have lost the ability to recall everyday facts or hold a conversation. Others have developed life-threatening allergies or chronic dizziness.

All have suffered months of ill-health — careers are on hold, social lives are mothballed and family life is a shadow of what it was.

It was these personal experiences that prompted 39 doctors affected by ‘long Covid’ to write a joint letter, published in the BMJ [British Medical Journal] recently, calling for more help for those affected.

These weren’t people who’d been left fighting for life on a ventilator. Some had barely any symptoms of Covid-19 infection at first, and none had to be admitted to hospital.

Yet most are now more affected by their post-Covid symptoms than when they had the infection.

The vast majority had previously been fit, young individuals. But many are now wondering if they’ll ever be well again. …

The number affected so far in this country [by long Covid] has already exceeded 60,000

‘If [long Covid] affects 10 per cent of the population [as one study suggests] and we never get better — and go from being economically active to long-term inactive and unable to work — then even if you remove the human suffering element, it is something policy-makers need to take into account,’ Dr Jake Suett, 32, an anaesthetist who initiated the letter, told Good Health.

Well, covid did come from a Chinese bioweapons lab.

And the Chinese Government did impose the world’s harshest lockdown to date, to minimize the damage to Chinese citizens.

Discussing deaths as if it is the only health cost of covid is dangerously naive.

The military have long known that it is more effective to wound an enemy combatant than to kill them, because a wounded person requires more resources to be spent on them, rescuing them and hospitalizing them, often tying up another two or three people for months.

Same principle with disease. The bioweapon that most weakens another society would be a highly contagious disease that merely subtly impairs. Not deadly enough to go all medieval and stop at all costs, so it’s allowed to run wild (and didn’t the Chinese and their WHO puppets say that covid was just a bad flu?).

If it impairs, it will inevitably kill a few of the least fit. But that’s just the side-effect.

Coronavirus: Truth losing out to new ‘yes minister’ mob

Coronavirus: Truth losing out to new ‘yes minister’ mob. By Gary Banks.

Unlike the permanent heads, or “mandarins”, of Westminster tradition, public service leaders today are essentially there at the pleasure of the minister (and ultimately the prime minister or first minister). And many can really only keep their jobs as long as the minister keeps his or hers, and the government remains in power. The incentives this creates for our top public servants are obvious, and the results have been on display at Victoria’s quarantine inquiry …

These days, the most senior public servants have become a highly mobile group, with a number moving in and out of the public sector and following their side of politics (Labor or Liberal) around the country according to its political fortunes.

That government ministers would wish to exert control over senior appointments, particularly for policy departments, is not surprising in today’s hyper-political world. However, once started, the process acquires its own momentum, as such appointments are typically regarded by the opposition as compromised and needing to be replaced when regaining power. …

It is also inevitable that an appointments process conditioned by politics will involve some trade-off with merit, which is fundamental to the Westminster system. Anyone in a position to observe the public service at close quarters in recent years could not but wonder at the basis for certain senior appointments, nor fail to observe a decline in capabilities more generally. …

Without doubt, the most disturbing spectacle was the “three monkeys” performance by department heads at last week’s hearings in Victoria. That some public service leaders would risk subjecting themselves to ridicule and bringing their organisations into disrepute, rather than admit knowing something they should (or certainly could) have known, but that would be problematic politically, tells us all we need to know. …

In short, what is being revealed throughout this health crisis is a crisis in bureaucracy itself. Australia has effectively acquired by stealth a system of government that has become less Westminster and more Washington, but without the clarity of the former or the checks and balances of the latter. While the problems appear more acute in Victoria than elsewhere, the trends are all one way.

If this “Washminster” transformation is irreversible, as I believe it is, can the system at least be made to work better? Among other things, there needs to be greater transparency around senior appointments (and dismissals), and more incentive to balance the wishes of a minister with the interests of the public. However it looks like the present system suits too many as it is. If so, we must prepare ourselves for more of the same.

From the best-ever documentary on the Westminster system:

Chinese State Media Outlet Throws Support Behind Black Lives Matter

Chinese State Media Outlet Throws Support Behind Black Lives Matter. By Paul Joseph Watson.

Look at what Chinese state media just published:

Who are the Chinese to criticize?

This is pretty rich given that China literally incarcerates dissidents in re-education gulags and harvests the organs of political prisoners.

Respondents to the tweet pointed out the revolting irony.

“So how are the Uighurs doing up in Xinjiang?” asked one.

Another respondent pointed out how China literally removes black people from promos for Hollywood movies:

China is one of the most racist countries in the world towards black people.

As this Spectator article documents, even Chinese people with darker skin are treated badly, with children being called “monkeys” if they don’t have a pale complexion.

You just know the Chinese have our best interests at heart. Just like they worked so hard to prevent us getting infected with that disease that somehow escaped from their bioweapon lab in Wuhan.

Modern Society Staggers On Dumbly

Modern Society Staggers On Dumbly, by the Z-Man.

The evidence is pretty good that Western man is dumber than his ancestors. We have more overall knowledge than our ancestors, but our ability to add to it is in sharp decline along with our ability to use it. The people in charge now struggle to do the basics of government, like maintain order and the infrastructure. In America, streets are crumbling and there are regular power failures in parts of the country.

A good small-scale example is the city of Baltimore. All of the machinery that was put in place back when it was an important city is still in place. The people running that machinery today are not doing so well. They clearly lack the intellectual firepower to operate that machinery. Baltimore is one of the most dangerous cities in the world and it is suffering from a steady population decline. The political class is so incompetent they can’t even run the graft system properly. …

When you look at many American cities like Baltimore, St. Louis, Detroit, Newark and so on, the question is not “How did they get to this point?” The question is, “How have they not collapsed by now?” Part of it, of course, is the surrounding infrastructure that keeps them propped up. In the case of Baltimore, the rest of the state is taxed to keep Baltimore City government going. Federal dollars pour in to keep the cops on the streets and the schools open for business.

That’s fine for cities, but that cannot work for the country as a whole. Like those cities, the national government is increasing incompetent. Both official political parties are in such steep decline that the next election will offer a choice between a carny barker and a dementia patient.

The sober minded will always feels as if the current age sits on the shoulder’s of giants, but the gap between the best we have today and just a few generations ago is breathtaking.

For six months the government at all levels has been sabotaging the economy and civic life with the Covid panic. Tens of millions have been thrown out of work. No one knows how many businesses have closed for good due to the Covid lock downs. Food lines are popping up in the suburbs. How is it that none of this has resulted in civil unrest or at least a few protests?

Of course, no one can really know what is happening. The media told us over 50 million people were thrown out of work due to the panic. The empty streets seem to confirm it, but they also tell us unemployment is below 10%. The stock market has returned to the levels it was at before the panic. The media also tells us that the riots we saw over the summer were a figment of our imagination. How can anything work when no one can be sure of anything being told to them by the rulers?

Like Rome for close to three centuries, America staggers on, despite the problems and the decline of the ruling class. In the case of Rome, there was no organized force capable of toppling her. In the case of America, the global order assumes America will be the pivot point, the fulcrum on which order balances. As long as people are being fed and have shelter, they will not rise up to challenge the rulers. Like Rome, the great stagger will continue until the corpse of the empire collapses.

Are modern people really dumber? Afraid so.

According to reaction time data — from which IQs can be inferred — the average IQ in London around 1850 was 15 points higher than the average IQ in Britain today. That’s the difference between a teacher and a doctor, or between the white group average IQ and the black group average IQ in the US today. We encourage our smart women to have careers rather than kids, and there is next no winnowing of the gene pool that natural selection needs to make a population fitter. Affluence is making us dumb.

Woman Who Tried to Drive Her Car Into Group of Trump Supporters Charged With Attempted Murder

Woman Who Tried to Drive Her Car Into Group of Trump Supporters Charged With Attempted Murder, by Rick Moran.

A California woman who was part of a Black Lives Matter “Caravan for Justice” group protesting the grand jury verdict in the Breonna Taylor death drove her car directly into a group of Trump supporters counterprotesting. Two people were injured and taken to the hospital. [The man suffered two broken legs and the woman had major injuries].

The woman, Tatiana Turner, of Long Beach, Calif., driving a white sedan, appeared to calmly get in her car and deliberately drive into the pro-Trump crowd. …

Turner was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. It’s the third instance of a driver plowing into protesters in California this week.

Ordinarily, you could claim the woman was surrounded by protesters and felt her life in danger. But that’s not the case here. She got into her car and began driving. Some protesters didn’t get out of the way fast enough to her liking and she sped up.

It’s a far cry from BLM protesters pounding on the windows of vehicles driven by innocent people and screaming at them.

Steve Sailer comments on the Los Angeles Times‘ story of the incident:

If you are very clever, you might figure out who was the criminal and who were the victims by combining clues in the 2nd and 5th paragraphs, but plenty of readers will get bored before realizing what really happened and intend take away the newspaper’s intended meaning: more murderous Trump Nazis ran over Peaceful Protesters.

It’s not until paragraph 11 of the LA Times story that it becomes clear: “The people in the crowd that were hit were in the Trump support group”…

You won’t be hearing about this in your mainstream news. Don’t expect your PC friends to know about this, or to believe you if you mention it to them.

The Amy Coney Barrett Apocalypse

The Amy Coney Barrett Apocalypse.

ACB, 48, lives in South Bend, Indiana, with her husband lawyer Jesse Barrett and their seven children, two of whom were adopted from Haiti, one in 2005 and one after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Her youngest biological child has Down Syndrome.

She is also a devout Catholic. No wonder the left hate her.

Another first the left would have trumpeted if she was one of theirs:

Her speech at the White House, accepting the nomination:

Rod Dreher:

You can believe that she shouldn’t be on the High Court, but I don’t know how you can watch that without believing that Amy Coney Barrett is an admirable person. One thing that the ACB nomination will do is expose the worst of the left-wing haters for what they are.  In this sense, it will be an apocalypse — an unveiling. Yet another one in this apocalyptic year!

Take a look at the wicked, race-obsessed man who has become America’s No. 1 public intellectual. Here he is answering a claim (removed from Twitter by its author) that ACB can’t be racist because she has adopted black children:

Kendi’s remarks are evil, but perfectly in line with his racialist philosophy. I agree with Mollie Hemingway:

“Of this reprehensible and evil tweet from Big Media and the elite left’s newest highly funded racist, a friend writes: “We are just at the beginning of this hideous line of attack: not just upon Amy Coney Barrett, but upon ourselves, our families, and our children.” …

I cite these two examples [only one quoted above] because they reveal the staggering spite many left-wing elites have towards those not like themselves.

The Kendi tweet is especially important, given how he has become the guru on all things racial to institutional elites. This is where Ibram Kendi Thought leads. People have got to wake up and see this, and what the elites who fund this charlatan (e.g., Jack Dorsey of Twitter gave $10 million to his Boston University Center for Antiracism Research) are paying for. For example, Kendi believes that the US should pass a constitutional amendment to ban racism, and establish a cabinet-level agency to monitor the population for racism, and punish them. You want to talk about soft totalitarianism? There you have it. That’s the mind of Ibram X. Kendi, the darling of all the progressive elites, including woke capitalists like Jack Dorsey.

Paul Mirengoff:

The left’s trashing of Amy Coney Barrett is already underway. Readers of the Daily Kos were informed:

“Barrett is a religious extremist, a member of a small sect that takes the inherent misogyny of traditional Catholicism and adds to it the by doubling down with … more misogyny. She’s a originalist extremist, holding onto a view of Constitutional interpretation so strict, she’s ready to toss out the 14th Amendment.”

Bill Maher chimed in with this rant:

“But apparently the pick is going to be this omy…a-omy…Amy Comey [sic]. Well, we’ll be saying this name a lot I’m sure because she’s a f***ing nut. Amy, I’m sorry but, Amy Comey [sic] Barrett — Catholic, really Catholic, I mean really, really Catholic, like speaking in tongues. Like she doesn’t believe in condoms. …”

Fortunately, a liberal who is actually a legal scholar, and who also knows Amy Barrett, has written a piece that describes the real Judge Barrett, instead of a cardboard cutout version. Noah Feldman is a professor at Harvard Law School and the author of a fine biography of James Madison. He clerked with Barrett on the Supreme Court. Here is the essence of his assessment of the nominee:

“Regardless of what you or I may think of the circumstances of this nomination, Barrett is highly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court.

“I disagree with much of her judicial philosophy and expect to disagree with many, maybe even most of her future votes and opinions. Yet despite this disagreement, I know her to be a brilliant and conscientious lawyer who will analyze and decide cases in good faith, applying the jurisprudential principles to which she is committed. Those are the basic criteria for being a good justice. Barrett meets and exceeds them. …

“To add to her merits, Barrett is a sincere, lovely person. I never heard her utter a word that wasn’t thoughtful and kind — including in the heat of real disagreement about important subjects. She will be an ideal colleague. I don’t really believe in “judicial temperament,” because some of the greatest justices were irascible, difficult and mercurial. But if you do believe in an ideal judicial temperament of calm and decorum, rest assured that Barrett has it. …

“And when she is confirmed, I am going to accept it as the consequence of the constitutional rules we have and the choices we collectively and individually have made. And I’m going to be confident that Barrett is going to be a good justice, maybe even a great one — even if I disagree with her all the way.”

So I guess Judge Barrett doesn’t speak in tongues, after all. And I doubt that Feldman would have written this piece if he had any reason to believe she wants to “toss out the Fourteenth Amendment.”

John Hinderaker:

The Democrats can’t dispute Barrett’s qualifications, which are conceded by the liberal American Bar Association. Nor will they be able to attack her character, which has been attested to by everyone who knows her. But in truth, qualifications and character are irrelevant, as we saw with the Brett Kavanaugh nomination.

The Democrats object to Amy Barrett because she is not a left-winger dedicated to perpetuating the Court as a liberal super-legislature, which is the only sort of justice they want.

That is why they object to her, but they hate her because she is a Christian. The extent of anti-Christian bigotry on the left is astonishing, given that until recent years the U.S. was widely described as a Christian country. No longer.

The confirmation process will be a fiasco, like Justice Kavanaugh’s. Everyone expects it, and the Democratic base demands it.

I think at this point the public has pretty much caught on. Hard as Kavanaugh was to demonize with fraudulent allegations and testimony, Barrett will be even harder. But in the end, it doesn’t matter. President Trump either has the votes or he doesn’t, and as far as anyone can tell, he does. Everything that happens between now and the confirmation vote is entirely for show.

Yup:

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Trump is now more progressive than the left

Trump is now more progressive than the left, by Brendan O’Neill.

Something striking has happened in recent weeks: Trump has joined the culture wars with relish. And he’s joined on the side of those who want to live in a post-racial, free society that cherishes the leaps forward made by revolutionaries in the past.

You don’t need to be an expert on 1930s and 1940s Europe to know that this isn’t what Hitler was about. Post-racial? Hitler was all about race. He loved it. He saw everything through its noxious prism.

Trump, in contrast, has set himself up as an opponent of racial thinking in its entirety. In a striking intervention last week, he attacked the racial myopia of the new left and the identitarian set. At a White House Conference on American History, he ridiculed critical race theory — the fashionable, academia-spawned outlook that says America is an inescapably racist country and that all white people are privileged and all black people are oppressed. It is a ‘horrible doctrine’, he said, which, ‘by viewing every issue through the lens of race’, risks imposing a ‘new segregation’ in American society. …

So where are Harris, AOC, Pelosi, Biden, and the rest of them?

The question isn’t ‘Is Trump being opportunistic when he criticises the poisonous new politics of race?’. It’s ‘Why hasn’t Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders or the apparently high-minded, left-leaning writers at the New York Times done likewise?’.

The modern left has so thoroughly abandoned its old universalist principles — its rejection of racial thinking and its preference for character over colour — that it now falls to Trump to make these good, decent, liberal points. It’s no good people saying he’s just pretending to be an anti-racist, unless they also explain why so much of the contemporary left has fully and dangerously bought into the rehabilitation of racial thinking and the replacement of the MLK outlook with a wholly regressive view of whites and blacks as irredeemably different beings.

Who are the authoritarians now?

In relation to the ideology of political correctness that insists that everyone must adhere to correct-think on race, gender and other issues, Trump said: ‘If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras, and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted and punished.’

He’s right. It used to be the left, especially the countercultural left, that bristled at any ideology that demanded unflinching conformity. Now, much of the left imposes just such an ideology, or denies that it exists (‘cancel culture is a myth’), while it is left to Trump to stand up for the freedoms of thought and speech.

Trump is an old style leftie. He was a registered Democrat, and his positions mostly agree with those of Bill Clinton while President. But, starting in the 1990s, the left moved on to identity politics, and all the bigotry and postmodern craziness that entails.

The author above, Brendan O’Neill is also from the old left. If, like Brendan, you regard the values of the old left as “progressive,” then Trump is indeed more progressive than the new left.

All that “Trump is Hitler” stuff from the modern left is just projection. They are obsessed with race and bossing people around, and Hitler was a socialist (but less socialist than the only viable alternative in 1930s Germany, the communists, who are supported by Antifa and today’s left).

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Trump Is Consistent and Truthful on Abortion

Trump Is Consistent and Truthful on Abortion, by Rachael Bovard.

One of President Trump’s most endearing qualities for social conservatives is his willingness to tell the truth about abortion. During a debate with Hillary Clinton in 2016, he didn’t hesitate to characterize the reality of the procedure when performed in late-term pregnancy: “If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month, you can rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.” …

Some, but not all, states ban abortion after a certain number of weeks. Late-term abortions still occur nevertheless. And ardent pro-choicers, including Clinton, are in favor of strengthening protections for this practice. In fact, Clinton was among the proponents of the successful passage of a law in New York state that allows abortions up until the moment of birth.

Trump correctly characterized the logic of the pro-late-term abortion position, which has become the mainstream Democratic Party position: abortion should be legal at every stage of pregnancy, if there is a health reason for it — including reasons of emotional health.

This is how far the Democratic Party has evolved on abortion. It is so far to the left that their presidential candidate, Joe Biden, has been required to show evidence of his evolution on the issue as well. Biden, a Catholic, for years has supported statutory restrictions that prevent federal money from paying for abortion services. But his party has moved on, and now, he has, too.

Trump, however, has continued to embrace the pro-life cause in ways that are both surprising and fearlessly consistent. On Wednesday, he announced he would be signing an executive order to protect infants born alive after botched abortions, and infants born prematurely, regardless of disabilities.

This latest move from the administration again makes clear just how radical Democrats are on the issue of abortion. In March 2019, 44 Senate Democrats, including Biden’s running mate, Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), voted against this very policy — to guarantee legally that babies born alive after an attempted abortion should be treated as patients, rather than discarded and left to die.

Democracy be damned, the administrative state/left know better than the people.

The left made a strategic error on abortion — or maybe they knew they just never had enough support. They got their way using the Supreme Court, on the transparently false excuse that the US Constitution contained a right to abortion (Roe versus Wade, 1973).

For five decades the left failed to legislate their preferred abortion policies into existence, despite at times controlling both houses of Congress and the Presidency, and numerous states. They had their chances. Now, as luck or a greater being would have it, they are going to lose control of the Supreme Court. Their abortion legislation from the bench might get overturned.

Revolution 2020: The Administrative State is Taking Over

Revolution 2020: The Administrative State is Taking Over, By Angelo Codevilla.

Aristotle, in Book 5 of the Politics, describes how revolutions kill regimes (such as America’s) that balance the contrasting interests of ordinary people with those of the wealthy, of officials, and of other prominent persons. As the balance between any complex regime’s components shifts over time, the system may seamlessly transform into unmixed democracy, oligarchy, or some kind of monarchy. The revolution may be barely perceptible — providing that those who impose themselves, whether from above or below, do so without adding insult to injury.

But, if the party that takes power thereby destroys the friendship that had bound the several parts, even trifling incidents can spiral into all-consuming violence. … Today, the oligarchic transformation of America’s republic is turning violent. …

The U.S. Constitution had codified as fine a balance between the powers of the Many, the Few, and the One … Its authors … were under no illusions about the efficacy of “parchment barriers” to prevent interests from coalescing into factions against the common good.

During the 19th century, interests and opinions in the South and the North coalesced into antagonistic ruling classes that fought the century’s bloodiest war.

In the 20th, the notion that good government proceeds from scientific expertise, as well as the growing identity between big business and government, fostered the growth of a single nationwide Progressive ruling class. Between the 1930s and the early 21st century, the centralization of administrative power in this class’s hands did much to transform the American republic established in 1776-89 into an oligarchy. …

From the very first, the blurring of lines between public and private — the focus of government on distributing tasks and rewards– shifted decision-making from citizens who merely vote to the administrative system’s “stakeholders.” …

As the decades passed, it became ever clearer that membership in the U.S. ruling class depends primarily on sharing the right socio-political opinions.

Education become indoctrination, and a recruiting ground for the administrative state:

The European tradition of government by experts reaches back beyond Napoleon and Hegel to royal techno-bureaucrats. Being essentially amoral, it treats transgressors as merely ignorant. It may punish them as rebellious, but not as bad people. …

America’s growing oligarchy, however, always had a moralistic, puritan streak that indicts dissenters as bad people. More and more, America’s ruling class, shaped and serviced by an increasingly uniform pretend-meritocratic educational system, claimed for itself monopoly access to truth and goodness, and made moral as well as technical-intellectual contempt for the rest of Americans into their identity’s chief element.

The education system has failed to educate, but does a nice job of feeding the administrative state:

In 1950, Americans at all levels of government spent 2% of GDP on K-12 education and 0.37% on higher education. In our time we spend 4.4% on K-12 and 1.9% on higher education, of a GDP that is about ten times as large. By any measure, the increases have been huge. These were supposed to uplift Americans intellectually and (maybe) morally.

But they have dumbed down the nation to the point of mass illiteracy at the bottom and, at the top, created herds of ignorant, haughty, debt-ridden college graduates, fit only to enforce government edicts against Americans they despise.

But the money also built up and entitled a class of monied, entitled, self-indulgent educrats — mostly administrators. U.S. college towns nowadays are islands of luxury, ease, and hate. They act as the ruling class’s gatekeepers.

The war on poverty was really an aid program for the administrative class:

In 1965, the Census counted some 40 million people as “poor” — roughly the same number as today. Over the succeeding half-century, the Federal government has spent some $22 trillion to lift people out of poverty. Had that money been divided evenly between all the poor, each would have been a millionaire.

Instead, the War on Poverty swelled and solidified America’s underclass. Because the government paid to support women with children so long as they were not married, marriage and family cohesion declined. With only about one in eight black children growing to adulthood with two married parents, the black community and America as a whole are beset by a self-perpetuating flow of dysfunctional youth. This led to the long-term imprisonment of more than a million people. Prisons became an industry.

But the war on poverty enriched countless contractors, consultants and members of the “helping professions.”

These initiatives are scams. Whatever else they have done, they have increased the number of people whose livelihoods depend on government. … Whatever else these initiatives have done, they surely have created a lot of patronage.

Looking at the results instead of the claimed motivations reveals the real goals of the administrative state.

Trump’s election was perhaps the last gasp of democracy. But the administrative state prevented him from implementing his promises:

  • He couldn’t build a wall.
  • He could prevent immigration from the third world, especially of culturally-antagonistic Muslims.
  • He couldn’t control or close the borders, even during a pandemic.
  • He couldn’t withdraw the US from the wars in the Middle East.

Trump was simply overruled by … some unelected, vaguely identified members of the administrative state, and of course the Democrats and the media. Instead, he has spent much of his time fighting off claims that he was a Russian agent, or being impeached for what the Democrats did as a matter of course in the Ukraine.

hat-tip Charles