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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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JUNE 9,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

KAMMIE, WHAT HAPPENED? – FROM THE NEW YORK POST:   Biden administration officials are “quietly perplexed” about Vice President Harris’ fumbling multiple questions about the border and are concerned her unforced errors will overshadow her first international trip, according to a report.  Speaking to CNN, administration officials discussed how the question of visiting the border dogged Harris for the whole trip, with her answer to NBC News’s Lester Holt stealing the spotlight from her work.  “At some point, you know, we are going to the border,” a defensive Harris told Holt on “Today” in Guatemala — 1,308 miles away from the southern U.S.-Mexico crossing. “We’ve been to the border. So this whole thing about the border, we’ve been to the border,” Harris said, to which Holt replied, “You haven’t been to the border.”
Biden officials are worried that Harris’s clumsy news conference will overshadow her first international trip as vice president.  Harris, seeming to laugh at her own joke, responded: “And I haven’t been to Europe. And I mean, I don’t understand the point that you’re making. I’m not discounting the importance of the border.”
Administration officials told CNN there was “a real hope” that the trip would be a success, and voiced their concern that “what looked like ill-prepared answers to that inevitable question would overshadow it.” When you choose public officials based on the groups they're from, rather than their ability and experience, this is what happens.

WISDOM – FROM FOX:   A magazine editor explained on "Fox & Friends" Wednesday why he's reconsidering whether to hire Ivy league graduates.  "I would just say that 10 years ago I would have seen that as a big positive on their resume and now I see it as a negative that they have to overcome in the interview because obviously there are going to be great kids all over in higher [education] at different schools," said the editor of "First Things" magazine, Rusty Reno.  Reno said back then, the negative tendencies of Ivy League graduates was that they had a "sense of entitlement" and "arrogance."  "They want to write the lead editorial on day one rather than proofread. But, hey, you can work with that. Because it reflects positives, which are confidence and ambition. These are good things." Reno said.  However, most of the worldviews of Ivy league graduates have changed over the years, Reno argued.  "Now, I'm seeing these young people that they have, to be frank, a kind of a distorted view of reality," Reno said.  Read the whole thing.  Reno says what many think. 

June 9, 2021      Permalink

 

A WARNING – COMING SOON TO A PLACE NEAR YOU – OVERNIGHT:  Chicago once again serves as a tragic indicator, as crime starts spreading beyond the city, striking first in the expressways leading to the once peaceful suburbs.  From CBS Local:

CHICAGO (CBS) — Expressway shootings are becoming so common around Chicago that there are now more than 10 a month on average.

One of those bullets narrowly missed a northwest suburban man. He spoke exclusively to CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov about what saved his life.

“Just a madman, you know, tried to ram the back of my car several times,” the man said.

That is how he said his expressway ordeal, began last August – with little warning as he and his new fiancée were driving west on Interstate 290 near Thorndale Avenue in Itasca.

“I was just completely caught off guard,” the man said.

But his car’s cameras caught the shooting – capturing the driver of a Nissan Altima flashing his lights and then pulling up beside the victim. The suburban man, who wanted his identity hidden, said he rolled down his window to ask if there was a problem.

“He’s not saying anything. He’s just looking at me, and from there, he lifted up a gun. He already had his finger on the trigger,” the man said. “As he’s rotating it, I’m able to slam on my brakes – and he fired.”

Gunsmoke appears in the security video. The bullet lodged in the door, just below the driver’s side mirror.

“It’s scary,” the man said. “I mean if I didn’t have the camera footages and have his license plates, I’m thinking that people can get away with this.”

And indeed the shooters do get away with it.

A spokesperson for the Illinois State Police said since the beginning of 2020, there have been more than 220 shootings on Chicago area expressways. But there have been only 3 arrests. One of them in this victim’s case

After a nine-month investigation, 26-year-old Micaro Masri was charged with the aggravated discharge of a firearm – a felony – last month. He was out on bond as of Tuesday night.

“I want more eyes to be on him,” the man who was fired upon said. “I want more eyes on all the shooters.”

That is the goal of a multimillion-dollar, taxpayer-funded expressway camera system that was supposed to be up and running more than a year ago.

We have reported extensively on the delays – even asking Gov. JB Pritzker about it last week.

“I am frustrated,” Pritzker said in the interview this past Thursday.

But neither he nor Illinois State Police can give us a date when all 600 cameras will be operational.

COMMENT:  We're moved that the governor is frustrated.  I'm sure the people who drive those expressways are even more frustrated, some of them are going to be dead unless Illinois sharpens its law enforcement.  But how can that be done when woke politicians are trying to defund, not expand, the police?

We have ample warnings that violent crime is moving outward from cities to suburbs.  Where is the outcry?  Indeed, where is our own side?  Republicans, get moving!

June 9, 2021       Permalink

 

 

 

 

JUNE 8,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

ANOTHER GREAT MOMENT IN EDUCATION – FROM DAILY MAIL:   Oxford students have voted to take down a portrait of the Queen from their common room because she 'represents recent colonial history' and would make some people feel unwelcome.  Members of the Middle Common Room at Magdalen College - which is made up of graduates - passed the measure by a substantial majority, with one student commenting that 'patriotism and colonialism are not really separable'.  The committee will now explore replacing the portrait with 'art by or of other influential and inspirational people' and subject any future depictions of the Royal Family to a vote.  One student argued that the move was 'about making people feel welcome,' according to committee minutes seen by the Guido Fawkes blog.  It sparked an immediate backlash today, with one royalist opponent saying: 'In an era where debates on no-platforming and cancel culture rage strong, effectively ''cancelling'' the Queen and brandishing her as a symbol of colonialism – so often used as a synonym for racism – sends a dire message that is sure to enrage.  Moreover, it is culturally insensitive for a common room so heavily comprised of international students to seek to remove a national symbol from a British institution.'    Western nations, including the United States, seem to have a death wishThey may get the wish.  I don't want to live in that society.

IMPORTANT ADVANCE – FROM THE JERUSALEM POST:    An unmanned Boeing aircraft successfully refueled a US Navy fighter jet while in mid-flight for the first time in aviation history.  The combined US Air Force-Boeing refueling exercise demonstrated that the Boeing MQ-25 Stingray can carry out tanker missions utilizing the Navy's probe-and-drogue aerial refueling method, the US NAVAIR Public Affairs office announced in a statement.  “This flight lays the foundation for integration into the carrier environment, allowing for greater capability toward manned-unmanned teaming concepts,” said Rear Adm. Brian Corey. Corey oversees the Program Executive Office for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons.  “MQ-25 will greatly increase the range and endurance of the future carrier air wing – equipping our aircraft carriers with additional assets well into the future,” he added.  During the historic June 4 exercise, the Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet warplane made an approach to the MQ-25 T1 test asset and established a tight formation - at points coming in close to 20 feet behind the unmanned drone - to ensure peak "performance and stability prior to refueling," Boeing said.   An important step forward, which will allow aircraft carriers to stay much further away from a target when launching planes against it.  The mainstream media shows little interest in defense developments.  We don't feel the same way here. 

June 8, 2021       Permalink

 

NO PROGRESS – OVERNIGHT:   Looks like the promise of bipartisan cooperation on an infrastructure bill has just collapsed.  The culprit appears to be Joe Biden, under pressure from the leftist fanatics who have taken over his party.  From Fox:

President Biden broke off negotiations with a group of GOP senators led by Sen. Shelley Capito on Tuesday (R-W.Va.) amid disagreements regarding the structure and size of his proposed infrastructure spending plan.

Discussions between the White House and Capito’s group were cordial, and Biden walked away feeling as though the negotiations ran their course and were in good faith, an administration source told Fox News. Talks broke down because Biden wanted Republicans to present a more significant number for infrastructure investments and because he felt their plan to pay for a proposed $1 trillion package lacked specifics.

President Biden "informed Senator Capito today that the latest offer from her group did not, in his view, meet the essential needs of our country to restore our roads and bridges, prepare us for our clean energy future, and create jobs," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. "He offered his gratitude to her for her efforts and good faith conversations, but expressed his disappointment that, while he was willing to reduce his plan by more than $1 trillion, the Republican group had increased their proposed new investments by only $150 billion."

With talks with Capito’s group effectively dead, Biden shifted his efforts toward negotiations with a bipartisan group of 20 senators. The president and top Cabinet members will continue discussions with the group on infrastructure during Biden’s upcoming trip to Europe.

GOP lawmakers offered a $928 billion infrastructure proposal that included roughly $330 billion in new spending on related projects. Biden had proposed a $1.7 trillion spending plan funded by tax hikes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans.

"Despite the progress, we made in our negotiations, the president continued to respond with offers that included tax increases as his pay for, instead of several practical options that would have not been harmful to individuals, families, and small businesses," Capito said in a statement.

COMMENT:  The White House should have been more skilful, realizing that the American people will not accept new taxes or new gimmicks that will result in higher prices.  A deal could have been made.  The GOP proposals were reasonable.  But Democratic rigidity, based on ideology, does not allow for fruitful discussions.  We are not far from the launching period for the 2022 midterms, and both parties are maneuvering with that in mind.

June 8, 2021       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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