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Scene above:  Constitution Island, where Revolutionary War forts still exist, as photographed from Trophy Point, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
 

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FEBRUARY 5,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

HOW MUCH DO WE PAY THEM EVERY YEAR? – FROM FOX:   The United Nations was roundly ridiculed on Twitter Thursday for offering a list of things that must be normalized for men, the first of which, was "crying."  The other things that must be normalized for men, according to the U.N.’s entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, included "sharing the care, showing emotions, seeking help," and "sharing feelings."  Twitter users were quick to mock the UN Women’s tweet, arguing that making these things a priority was not the best use of resources.  "1.2 billion of US taxpayer-dollars at work," quipped Twitter user Tunku Varadarajan, a British-Indian writer, and journalist.  I would put nuclear proliferation advancement of freedom somewhat higher on the list.

TYPICAL – FROM FOX:   Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., tells ‘The Faulkner Focus’ Judiciary Committee Democrats blocked his request to say the Pledge of Allegiance in hearings.  Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., slammed comments made by House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler and House Democrats on Friday, after his request to recite the Pledge of Allegiance was shut down and allegedly mocked by colleagues behind closed doors.  During an interview on "The Faulkner Focus," Gaetz stated that it was "disheartening" to hear his colleagues "mocking" him, in what he described as an attempt to unify the country and celebrate patriotism.  When asked by Gaetz for the committee to recite the pledge, in what he considered "a nice gesture," Nadler shut him down, claiming that "it’s unnecessary" since the full House begins each day with the text and that there was "no need" to do it twice.  Democrats no longer believe in nice gestures.  It's all about power, money, and socialism.

February 5, 2021       Permalink

 

AND THEN THERE'S CHINA – AT 1:48 P.M. ET:  While we're busy breaking the Treasury and trying to remove a president who isn't president anymore, the Chinese are hyper-active, constantly moving against us, and trying to deny us even our rights to the sea lanes.  Not a pretty picture, and we wonder if President Biden is taking it seriously enough.  From Fox: 

One day after sailing through the Taiwan Strait, the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain conducted a freedom of navigation operation near the disputed Paracel Islands while shadowed by Chinese warships.

All interactions were safe and professional, officials told Fox News. U.S. forces operate in the South China Sea on a daily basis, as they have for more than a century.

This is the first freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea since President Biden took office.

"Unlawful and sweeping maritime claims in the South China Sea pose a serious threat to the freedom of the sea, including freedoms of navigation and overflight, free trade and unimpeded commerce and freedom of economic opportunity for South China sea littoral nations," 7th Fleet spokesperson Lt. Joe Keiley said in a statement. "The United States upholds freedom of navigation as a principle."

"As long as some countries continue to assert maritime claims that are inconsistent with international law as reflected in the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention and that purports to restrict unlawfully the rights and freedoms guaranteed to all States, the United States will continue to defend those rights and freedoms," Keiley added.

COMMENTS:  The Chinese international program is vast.  We learn that China has building projects in a number of countries, trying to influence the economies and policies of those countries.  They are even trying to lure Israel away from the United States. 

The problem is that there are powerful forces in this country who have no problem with China, and who benefit from China's economic strength – very much as some American companies benefited from their trade with Nazi Germany before World War II.  We see the impact of Chinese influence here in the constant underplaying of China's role in the worldwide pandemic,.

President Trump understood China and its ambitions.  He even referred to the Covid 19 virus as the "China virus," Of course, the fashion plates of the left lambasted him for that. 

Previous American generations were taught that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.  I wonder how much vigilance the current administration actually has.

February 5, 2021       Permalink

 

GOP FIGHTING BACK IN SENATE – AT 11:20 A.M. ET:  As the coronavirus relief bill makes its way through a bitterly divided Congress, the Republicans are putting up a good fight, and forcing Democrats to take votes on items that will hurt them in next year's congressional elections.  From Fox: 

The "vote-a-rama" in the Senate that started at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday concluded shortly before 6 a.m. Friday after a marathon process in which Republicans forced Democrats to take votes on tough issues for more than 15 hours.

The Senate adopted a budget resolution for coronavirus relief 51-50 with Vice President Harris casting the tie-breaking vote. It's not a final bill, but allows the Senate to proceed toward a final bill under the budget reconciliation rules, which would let Democrats pass a coronavirus stimulus plan without help from Republicans if their caucus remains united.

Senate Republicans were taking advantage of a Senate procedure that allows them to propose a plethora of amendments to the budget resolution Democrats are using to advance their coronavirus stimulus plan.

Among the issues Republicans forced votes on were efforts to support the remain in Mexico policy from the Trump administration, oppose the blocking of the Keystone XL Pipeline by President Biden, oppose banning fracking, oppose the increase of the federal minimum wage during the pandemic and more.
A final Democratic amendment proposed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., undid three GOP-proposed amendments that passed with bipartisan majorities on fracking, the Keystone XL Pipeline and opposing stimulus checks for illegal immigrants.

Senate Minority Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., indicated that Republicans would drag out the process with the aim of extracting a pound of flesh from Democrats in uncomfortable votes.

"We're going to put senators on the record," he said on Thursday. "Expect votes to stop Washington from actively killing jobs during a recovery — like terminating the Keystone pipeline; that job-killing, one-size-fits-all minimum wage hike; and whether to bar tax hikes on small businesses for the duration of this emergency."

He'd also previously said Republicans would bring up amendments on stimulus checks for illegal immigrants, federal funding for schools districts that don't get children in classrooms and more.

COMMENT:  The sad fact is that many things the Dems want are being made possible by the loss of those two Senate seats in Georgia last month.  One vote in the Senate the other way, and the GOP would be able to block some of the worst ideas of the Democratic Party's salute-to-Lenin fringe. 

But the GOP is forcing the Dems to build a record that won't fly well in highly competitive states and congressional districts.  Please remember that the start of the 2022 campaigns will occur late this year.  We'll be back in combat.

February 5, 2021       Permalink

 

 

 

 

FEBRUARY 4,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

DISGRACEFUL – FROM COLLEGE FIX:   The Department of Justice in October had filed a lawsuit against Yale University, alleging it discriminates against white and Asian applicants during its admissions process, but on Wednesday the department withdrew the litigation.  The Justice Department, now under President Joe Biden, put forth a two-sentence filing in U.S. District Court that gave notice of the government’s “voluntary dismissal of this action,” NBC reports.  “The case had marked an escalation in the Trump Justice Department’s attacks on affirmative action programs that many conservatives consider illegal,” it reported.  When the DOJ had first filed the lawsuit under President Trump’s administration, it argued that a lengthy investigation had found “Asian and White applicants have a significantly lower chance of admission to Yale College than do similarly-situated Black and Hispanic applicants.” The discrimination faced by Asian-American applicants is especially stark.  There is a difference between thoughtful affirmative action and blatant discrimination, and too many colleges, in the name of "justice," have crossed over that line.  The bursting of the higher-education bubble is coming.

REASONED POLITICAL RESTRAINT – CHOKE – FROM TRENDING POLITICS:   After spending 30 years in Washington, there isn’t much Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) can take credit for, with the exception of becoming one of her party’s best gaslighters.  Because if you can’t really accomplish anything legislatively as a lawmaker, then find something else to be good at — right?  “Mad Maxine” was at it again Wednesday during an appearance with one of cable news’s biggest racists, MSNBC’s Joy Reid, “where she made the bold claim that Trump should be charged with premeditated murder,” PJ Media reported, adding: “Waters even launched a new conspiracy theory by alleging, without evidence, that Trump had ‘advance planning about the invasion’ at the Capitol.”  “What’s so interesting about all of this is they tried to make themselves the victim when indeed they are following the president of the United States of America who had advance planning about the invasion that took place in our Capitol,” Waters claimed without any pushback from Reid.  What a waste of taxpayers' money.  I wonder if Waters ever did anything for African Americans.

February 4, 2021      Permalink

 

JEFF, WE HARDLY KNEW YE – OVERNIGHT:  Jeff Zucker expects to depart CNN at the end of the year.  No Trump, no Zucker.  Maybe they'll team up.  From NBC News: 

CNN President Jeff Zucker said he expects to leave the network when his contract expires at the end of this year, he told employees Thursday.

The news, which follows months of speculation that Zucker would leave as early as last month, gives CNN at least a year to find a successor to the man who radically transformed the network and its role in American journalism.

"I am going to stay at CNN through the end of this year," Zucker said on a call with staff, according to two people who participated. "I am going to stay and finish my current contract, which ... will keep me here until the end of this year. At that point, I do expect to move on."

"Some of you will hear what I'm saying as an announcement that I am leaving," he added. "That is truly not the way I see it."

Under Zucker, CNN became known for wall-to-wall saturation coverage on one big story, whether it was politics or the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 or the infamous "poop cruise." That was a departure from the days when CNN sought to cover all the major news headlines from across the world in a digest more akin to the BBC.

The biggest story of Zucker's tenure would be President Donald Trump: a man who before his presidential campaign owed his national celebrity in part to Zucker himself. As president of NBC Entertainment in the early aughts, Zucker had signed Trump to host "The Apprentice." NBC Entertainment is owned by NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News.

COMMENT:  The problem, of course, is that Zucker turned CNN into the anti-Trump network.  Some may have liked it, but CNN's journalistic reputation has not been enhanced.  Credibility in journalism, once lost, is extremely difficult to get back.

I hope that Zucker's successor will at least make the attempt to return the network to traditional news gathering, and make far better use of the 24 hours a day that it has on the air.

February 4, 2021       Permalink

 

THE FORMER PRESIDENT FIGHTS BACK – AT 5:30 P.M. ET:  The idiot Democrats, but I repeat myself, have requested former President Trump to testify under oath at his impeachment trial this week.  The former president has replied.  From Fox: 

Former President Trump's legal team fired back at Impeachment Manager Jamie Raskin's request for the former president to testify as part of the Senate impeachment trial, calling it a "public relations stunt" and saying they "cannot prove" the allegations against him.

The comments come after House impeachment managers requested that Trump provide testimony under oath either before or during the Senate impeachment trial about "his conduct" on Jan. 6.
The president's legal team did not say, one way or the other, whether the president would testify.
"We are in receipt of your latest public relations stunt," Trump's attorneys Bruce Castor and David Schoen wrote. "As you certainly know, there is no such thing as a negative interference in this unconstitutional proceeding."

"Your letter only confirms what is known to everyone: you cannot prove your allegations against the 45th President of the United States, who is now a private citizen," they continued.

They added: "The use of our Constitution to bring a purported impeachment proceeding is much too serious to try to play these games."

The request from impeachment managers came after Trump’s legal team filed an answer to the Article of Impeachment denying what managers call "incontrovertible facts about the president’s conduct on and leading up to" the Capitol riots.

Trump’s legal team responded saying that "the 45th President of the United States performed admirably in his role as president, at all times doing what he thought was in the best interests the American people."

Lead Impeachment Manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., on Thursday wrote a letter to Trump, saying he has "attempted to put critical facts at issue notwithstanding the clear and overwhelming evidence of your constitutional offense."

"In light of your disputing these factual allegations, I write to invite you to provide testimony under oath, either before or during the Senate impeachment trial, concerning your conduct on January 6, 2021," Raskin wrote. "We would propose that you provide your testimony (of course including cross-examination) as early as Monday, February 8, 2021, and not later than Thursday, February 11, 2021. We would be pleased to arrange such testimony at a mutually convenient time and place."

Raskin added: "If you decline this invitation, we reserve any and all rights, including the right to establish at trial that your refusal to testify supports a strong adverse inference regarding your actions (and inaction) on January 6, 2021."

COMMENT:  The level of worminess on the part of the Dems is something to behold.  Raskin is an old leftist of no particular consequence.  The entire impeachment charade is an embarrassment to the country.  We hope the "trial" ends quickly in an acquittal.  But keeping Trump in the news is good for the news industry, so expect more fireworks, especially from the attorney general of New York.

February 4, 2021       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"What you see is news.  What you know is background.  What you feel is opinion."
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      of The New York Times.


"Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred. "
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