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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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JANUARY 3,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

SOMETHING ELSE YOU CAN'T MAKE UP – FROM THE WASHINGTON TIMES:   The 117th Congress kicked off with a fresh controversy Sunday when the Democrat delivering the opening prayer concluded by saying “amen,” and then added “a-woman.”  Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, Missouri Democrat, ended his prayer “in the name of the monotheistic god,” then added what sounded like “Brahma,” before finishing with “and god known by many names by many different faiths. Amen and a-woman.”  Critics, led by Republican lawmakers, were quick to point out that “amen” means “so be it,” and does not refer to the male gender, while “a-woman” doesn’t mean anything.  “Amen is Latin for ‘so be it,’” tweeted Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, Pennsylvania Republican. “It’s not a gendered word. Unfortunately, facts are irrelevant to progressives. Unbelievable.”  The Congressman is right.  Facts are irrelevant to progressives.  Which is why their views never seem to lead to any progress.

WELCOME TO THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF NEW YORK – FROM FOX:    A New York Democrat's bill that would allow the governor or his surrogates to detain individuals who pose a threat to public health "by a single order ... in a medical facility or other appropriate facility" sparked fierce backlash online.  New York State Assemblyman N. Nick Perry is sponsoring Bill A416, which will be taken up by the Assembly's Health Committee on Wednesday.  "So disturbing. NY bill allows for the *removal and detention* of anyone who 'may be a danger to public health.' Yes, that’s purposely undefined," conservative podcast host Allie Beth Stuckey wrote on Twitter. "Yes, it will be used, at least one day, to forcibly remove you or your children from your home for whatever reason the state sees fit."  Many critics of the bill tied it to austere measures taken by local and state officials with regards to the coronavirus pandemic, although earlier versions of the bill were introduced as far back as the 2015-2016 legislative session.  The Democrats are absolutely obsessed with expanding the power of government. 

January 3, 2021       Permalink

MAC MAKES HIS MOVE – AT 11:30 P.M. ET:  Fresh from a vote that almost made him speaker of the House...a Democratic-majority House...Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is asserting his position as a key spokesman for the Republican Party.  This is what we like to hear.  From Fox:

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Sunday took House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her party to task for being more concerned with a far-left agenda rather than focusing on the needs of the American people.

McCarthy’s fiery speech came after Pelosi was re-elected as House speaker by Democrats, who retain the majority in the House with the slimmest margin in 20 years.

Stopping short of mentioning Democrats by name, McCarthy called out House lawmakers for neglecting their responsibilities over the last two years "during some of the most challenging times for our country."

"When the need for more pandemic relief was obvious, did we deliver a timely lifeline America needed? Or did we say nothing was better than something until politics dictated our actions?"

McCarthy said. "When unrest spilled into the cities and communities across the country, did we deliver safety that Americans wanted or did we let calls to defund the police, intimidate us from protecting life, liberty and property?"

To this, multiple House members could be heard booing, while others cheered the House minority leader on.

McCarthy then contrasted the Republican platform with the Democrat one, saying that his party has actually listened to its constituents and they have made a "commitment to America to restore our way of life, rebuild the economy and renew the American dream."

That no Republican incumbent was defeated in the November election showed that voters have "endorsed common sense, not conflict," McCarthy said. 

COMMENT:  Good for Mac!  We need fighters right now, not establishment Republicans like the kind we have here in New York, who fight only when they get off the golf course.  McCarthy is a pretty careful guy.  He didn't deliver his speech without a real purpose, and that purpose was to take his place at the head of the line, leading his troops into battle.

January 3, 2021       Permalink

   

NANCY SURVIVES – AT 5:50 P.M. ET:  Nancy Pelosi has been re-elected speaker of the House, but by a very narrow margin.  The new House, meeting for the first time today, has a much smaller Democratic majority than the last one.  And some moderate Democrats defected, and refused to vote for Nancy.  From Fox: 

Nancy Pelosi on Sunday clinched enough votes in the House of Representatives to secure her fourth term as House speaker. 

The California Democrat, who has led her party in the House since 2003 and is the only woman to be speaker, had been widely expected to retain her post. Pelosi received 216 votes to 209 for Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who again will be the chamber's minority leader. 

Earlier, 427 members announced themselves as present -- 220 Democrats and 207 Republicans. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., needed a majority, or 214 votes, to return as speaker, meaning that she could afford to lose just six Democratic votes.

COMMENT:  So she won basically by getting two votes above the minimum needed.  Not a famous victory.  And when she gets to actual legislation, she'll be up against moderate Democrats who may not want to commit political suicide by going along with their radical comrades. 

Control of the Senate will be decided by Tuesday's runoffs in Georgia.  I've rarely seen things this close. 

January 3, 2021       Permalink

 

 

 

 

JANUARY 2,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

HEY, YOU NEVER KNOW – FROM THE NEW YORK POST:   When the first sign of intelligent life first visits us from space, it won’t be a giant saucer hovering over New York. More likely, it will be an alien civilization’s trash.  Avi Loeb, the chair of Harvard’s Department of Astronomy, believes he’s already found some of that garbage.  In his upcoming book, “Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), out Jan. 26, the professor lays out a compelling case for why an object that recently wandered into our solar system was not just another rock but actually a piece of alien technology.  The object in question traveled toward our solar system from the direction of Vega, a nearby star 25 light-years away, and intercepted our solar system’s orbital plane on Sept. 6, 2017.  If they come, and are conservatives, we should let them in illegally, and allow them to vote.  We can play that game, too.

THE EMPIRE STATE FAILS AGAIN – FROM THE NEW YORK POST:  New York’s slow-footed COVID-19 vaccine rollout has been a mismanaged mess, critics said Friday, with recent data showing that even Florida has doled out shots at a faster clip than the Empire State.  The harsh words come a day after The Post reported that New York State has injected less than a third of the vaccines it has — casting doubt on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s dream of jabbing a million city residents in January.  “It’s chaos out there. The state has no idea what it’s doing,” said Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin, particularly taking aim at the leadership of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.  “The Cuomo handling of the vaccine is blithering incompetence.”  Speak it, brother Speak it.  New York is a mess, which is why you can't even get a moving van in New York City.  So many people are leaving.

January 2, 2021       Permalink

 

STATE OF THE CHALLENGE – AT 11:40 P.M. ET:  The Republican steam engine has left the station, and is gaining speed in an attempt to challenge the results of the presidential election.  There's not much chance that the challenge will succeed, as we've pointed out, but any action that draws attention to the issue of voter fraud is potentially valuable.  From Fox: 

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., said Republican congressmen held a rare Saturday night conference call to address their goal of overturning the Electoral College’s votes Jan. 6.

"Our fight for honest & accurate elections gains momentum," Brooks tweeted as the conference call continued.

"[Jim Jordan] & I co-lead conference call w 50+ Congressmen who join & fight for America's Republic," he said, adding that the call began at 6 p.m. and continued well through 7 p.m.

"President Trump & [White House Chief of Staff] Mark Meadows speaking. Morale is HIGH! FIGHT!"

Neither Brooks nor Jordan could be reached immediately by Fox News to confirm which representatives were on the call.

Trump applauded the Republican congressmen who have said they will reject the Electoral College votes. He has shown his frustration for congressmen who have accepted the Biden victory, calling them "weak and tired" in a Tuesday tweet. 

In order for an objection to be considered, it must be endorsed by at least one senator and representative, which ia looking more likely as a dozen senators came forward Saturday following Sen. Josh Hawley’s announcement that he would object Pennsylvania’s results. 

COMMENT:  One by-product of this challenge is to prompt the Republican Party to look at its immediate future.  Republicans are starting to ask whether this is a party of its members, or Donald Trump's party.  The question isn't easy, for Trump, even in defeat, commands significant loyalty from the Republican base. If he continues hinting that he may run for president in 2024, he can wreck the progress of other, younger candidates.  

The Republican National Committee is already working on the 2022 Congressional races.  Historically, the GOP should pick up seats and almost certainly retake the House.  Party unity will be crucial, and is not guaranteed.

January 2, 2021       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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