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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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MARCH 5,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT: 

THE READING PUBLIC SPEAKS – FROM FOX:    Dr. Seuss’s books seem more popular than ever amid the controversy over a small selection of titles that will no longer be sold because they were deemed to have "insensitive and racist imagery."  Copies of the beloved children’s author’s most popular books were virtually flying out of Amazon and Barnes and Noble’s warehouses, with his most popular books making up 9 out of the top 10 bestsellers on both companies' lists as of Thursday evening.  "The Cat in The Hat," "Oh, The Places You'll Go" and "Green Eggs and Ham," three of Seuss’s best-known works, were all out of stock on Amazon but still available at a higher price on Barnes and Noble’s website as of Thursday evening.  Dr. Seuss Enterprises, which preserves the author’s legacy, announced this week six books - "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street," "If I Ran the Zoo," "McElligot’s Pool," "On Beyond Zebra!," "Scrambled Eggs Super!," and "The Cat’s Quizzer" – would no longer be printed.  This is modern McCarthyism.  Michelle Obama read Dr. Seuss to the nation's children while first lady.  You'd think she'd have the courage to speak out against the current madness, but she doesn't.

MINNEAPOLIS TRIAL OF POLICE OFFICER TO BEGIN – FROM FOX:    As the Derek Chauvin trial is set to begin with jury selection on Monday, some Minneapolis business owners are cautiously bracing for potentially another round of unrest and mayhem after recently getting back on their feet from the criminal rioting last June that resulted in an estimated $500 million in damage in Minneapolis alone.   "The word I use is opportunist," business manager Jay Chau told Fox News. "They just found opportunity and they just took what they want."  Chau is a manager of a family-owned hair salon across the street from Minneapolis’ fifth police precinct. The salon was looted and flooded during the George Floyd riots and over the course of several months was replaced with all new materials. It just reopened in recent weeks.   The death of George Floyd, allegedly at the hands of Chauvin, was used as the torch to ignite nationwide riots and the tearing down of historic statues.  And yet, no one has been convicted in Floyd's demise.

March 5, 2021       Permalink

 

HANDICAPPING THE FUTURE OF THE GOP – OVERNIGHT:  Already the pundits and pundits-in-training are assessing the possible Republican candidates for president in 2024.  We have a depth of talent in the party.  The Dems may have to go to Central Casting.  From Fox:

To state the obvious: Former President Trump remains the dominant force in the GOP and the most popular figure among Republican voters.

As Trump flirts with a 2024 presidential run to regain the White House, the early data clearly shows that if the nomination race were held today, the former president would be the overwhelming favorite.

Without Trump in the race, a new survey conducted by a GOP pollster who worked on Trump’s 2016 campaign and the then-president’s 2020 reelection campaign, points to former Vice President Mike Pence and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as the early favorites in what may end up being a large field of GOP White House hopefuls.

But with no formal 2024 announcement from Trump expected anytime soon, the former president will continue to dominate all 2024 discussions going forward.

"I think the elephant in the room is obviously Donald Trump," veteran GOP pollster Neil Newhouse told Fox News. "If the election were held today and if he wants the nomination, he’d be the odds on favorite."

Last weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference – the biggest and oldest annual gathering of conservative activists and leaders which is better known by its acronym CPAC – Trump returned to the spotlight for the first time since he left the White House on Jan. 20.

He predicted that in 2024 "a Republican president will make a triumphant return to the White House." And teasing a potential run, he asked "I wonder who that will be?"

 Later in his speech, Trump once again falsely claimed he won last November’s presidential election and triggered an explosion of applause and cheers when he said of the Democrats, "Who knows … I may even decide to beat them for a third time."

Following his speech, Trump touted his showing in the CPAC secret ballot straw poll. Asked during an interview on Fox News’s "The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton" on Sunday night on the chances he’ll run again for the White House in 2024, the former president said, "If you look at the kind of numbers, the support is tremendous. But we'll have to see."

Ninety-seven percent of those voting in the straw poll said they approved of the job Trump had done as president, and 95% said they wanted the Republican Party to continue to advance Trump’s agenda. That’s no surprise, given that CPAC has turned into a Trump lovefest over the past five years. But only 68% said they wanted the former president to run again in 2024, and his support dropped to 55% in the 2024 horserace question.

A national survey conducted the past two weeks among Republican voters by veteran GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio indicated that slightly more than half would support Trump if the 2024 primary were held today.

COMMENT:  These polls, so early in the game, are mostly meaningless, but they're great fun.  And I would agree that Pence and DeSantis are the two strongest contenders in the field, as of today, should Trump not run.

Also, I'm not all that sure that Trump's popularity will hold up.  People forget, history fades, and Trump has not lost his ability to antagonize the immediate world. Further, he is facing investigations in New York State that could bite.

And the world can change.  The Congressional elections next year might produce new Republican stars.

March 5, 2021       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

MARCH 4,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

THIS DATE – Why is March 4th so significant?  Starting with George Washington's second inaugural,  March 4th became the official date for the inauguration of the president.  There were exceptions.  If March 4th fell on a Sunday, the inauguration would be held on a Monday.  Or, in the case of the death or resignation of a president, the new president was sworn in immediately.  The official date was changed to January 20th, in time for Franklin D. Roosevelt's second inaugural in 1937.   It was felt that the March 4th date had been appropriate in an age of slow travel, but was obsolete in the new age of fast trains and faster planes.  We still make the change more slowly than many other countries.  In Britain, if the prime minister is tossed out of office by a national election, the new chap usually moves into the official residence at 10 Downing Street the next day.  Doesn't even get a paint job.

OUTRAGEOUS – FROM FOX:  Amazon continues to generate headlines for canceling content that doesn’t coincide with its liberal politics, and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas appears to be the latest victim.
The documentary film about Thomas, "Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words," was removed from Amazon’s streaming service last month, and the filmmaker said he was never given an explanation.
"What Amazon has done is a disservice to anyone—black or white—who is interested in the rich history of black Americans," Wall Street Journal columnist Jason L. Riley wrote about the decision.  The film features extensive interviews with Thomas and chronicles his journey from "the depths of poverty" to the Supreme Court and everything in between, including his contentious confirmation hearings where Anita Hill accused him of sexual harassment.   I thought this was the United States, where freedom of expression is cherished.  Apparently I was misinformed.

March 4, 2021       Permalink

 

IS IT OKAY TO COME OUT OF OUR BOMB SHELTERS? – AT 11:30 P.M. ET:    I really hope so.  I mean, wasn't this the day – March 4th – when the Trump hordes, aided by the Ku Klux Klan and led by Robert E. Lee, were going to storm the Capitol again?  Don't be deceived by the fact that only four people showed up.  Obviously, they were an advance guard, or scouts.  Nancy Pelosi had surrounded the Capitol with National Guard troops, and the House went out of session, the better to be protected from the insurrection.

Stonewall Jackson was spotted near the Kennedy Center. 

Some swear that Lincoln's statue was singing "Dixie."

Oh, they'll be back, undoubtedly with chemical weapons cooked up in the kitchens of Trump hotels and golf courses. 

This is from USA TODAY, some hours ago:

WASHINGTON – The House left town early, the Senate continued to debate a $1.9 trillion bill for coronavirus relief and U.S. Capitol Police braced for a potential security threat Thursday as a possible follow-up to the Jan. 6 insurrection.

The House moved up its voting on a measure to overhaul policing to late Wednesday, after Capitol police alerted to a potential security threat. The police released a statement warning of a “possible plot to breach the Capitol by an unidentified militia group.” Downtown businesses have warned tenants about potential protests.

March 4 has been highlighted by the debunked QAnon conspiracy theory as an inauguration day for former President Donald Trump to return to office. March 4 was the date presidents were inaugurated until the 20th Amendment to the Constitution was adopted in the 1930s.

"The USCP is steadfast in ensuring that an incident of this nature will never occur again, especially with the realization that the possibility of a similar incident occurring in the current environment is a very real and present danger," acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman told lawmakers Wednesday.

FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Tuesday that the problem of domestic terrorism has been metastasizing, and “it’s not going away any time soon.”

COMMENT:  I wonder if he includes left-wing terrorism in that assessment.  I'm not sure he does. 

March 4, 2021       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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