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JUNE 7-8,  2023

LIKE A THIRD-WORLD COUNTRY:  By now you all know the basic facts.  Former President Trump announced that he has been indicted by
the Biden Justice Department on several counts dealing with his handling of classified documents and also, apparently, a charge of obstruction of justice.   So the Biden Justice Department is going after Joe Biden's Republican opponent and the probable Republican presidential nominee in 2024. Welcome to the third world. All we need now is to change President Biden's title to commandante.

I don't know what the facts of the case are.  None of us really do.  The actual text of the indictment has not been released.  It was Mr. Trump's own announcement that told us he'd been indicted.

I think Mike Pence had it right a few days ago when he said that indicting former President Trump would send a very bad message to the world.   He was right.   We have never had the Justice Department go after political opponents of the president.  We have always felt, as a nation, that judgments about the president are reserved for the American people.

Some would argue that Mr. Trump may have broken the law.  True, but prosecutors have discretion, and some public penalty, like a fine, could possibly have been negotiated.  Now we have the prospect of a trial right before the presidential election.  Not a good thing for this country's reputation or our standing as the leader of the free world.

Again, I don't know the details.  I do know that a former president is being treated differently from any other president.   This indictment is the third major legal action against him to be taken as he seeks to regain his former office.  Undoubtedly a coincidence.  We look small.

June 8, 2023       Permalink

 

THERE IS SOME GOOD NEWS:  Gallup has just announced results of a detailed poll showing that America is moving right.  From Gallup:

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- More Americans this year (38%) say they are very conservative or conservative on social issues than said so in 2022 (33%) and 2021 (30%). At the same time, the percentage saying their social views are very liberal or liberal has dipped to 29% from 34% in each of the past two years, while the portion identifying as moderate (31%) remains near a third.

The last time this many Americans said they were socially conservative was 2012, during a period when consistently more U.S. adults identified as conservative rather than liberal on social issues.

The results are based on Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs survey, conducted May 1-24. The survey comes at a time when many states are considering policies regarding transgender matters, abortion, crime, drug use and the teaching of gender and sexuality in schools.

The increase in conservative identification on social issues over the past two years is seen among nearly all political and demographic subgroups. Republicans show one of the largest increases, from 60% in 2021 to 74% today. Independents show a modest uptick of five percentage points, from 24% to 29%, while there has been no change among Democrats (10% in both 2021 and 2023).

Since 2021, there have been double-digit increases in conservative social ideology among middle-aged adults -- those between the ages of 30 and 64. At the same time, older Americans’ ideology on social issues has been stable, while there has been a modest increase in conservative social ideology among young adults.

When Americans are asked to describe their views on economic issues, 44% identify as very conservative or conservative, 33% moderate and 21% very liberal or liberal. The percentage saying they are conservative averaged 40% between 2020 and 2022. The current figure is the highest since 46% in 2012.

Americans have consistently been more likely to say they are conservative on economic issues rather than liberal, by no fewer than 16 percentage points (in 2021).

COMMENT:  We always note that polls are snapshots in time.  But I'd rather have a smiling snapshot than a frowning one.   There do seem to be clear rightward trends among the electorate.  I don't hear any pollster shouting that liberalism is busting out all over, except maybe at Harvard.

The opportunities for Republicans to run the table next year, capturing both houses of Congress and the White House, are obvious.  And it is no pipe dream.  But candidate quality, especially in the presidential race, will probably be the single most important factor in determining which party shall rule.  And then there is the matter of overcoming media bias.  This must be a daily project for the Republican National Committee. 

The nominating conventions are a bit more than a year away. 

June 8, 2023       Permalink

 

IT'S BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE TONY BENNETT INFORMED US THAT HE'D LEFT HIS HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO.  Today, San Francisco is hardly the place to leave one's heart.  But you might simply leave.

The exodus out of San Francisco, now a center of crime, homelessness and degeneracy, continues.  Businesses are simply giving up, disgusted by a hard-left city government that refuses to solve the city's problems because the solutions would be labeled "racist."  From PJ Media: 

Not too long ago, San Francisco was still a remarkably beautiful city, although even then it could change on a dime. One could be in the midst of a leisurely stroll down a gorgeous street filled with chic cafes, turn a corner, and find oneself without warning in the middle of a large crowd of menacing homeless drug addicts. Now, after decades of far-Left misrule that has picked up speed in the wake of the COVID hysteria, the city’s dirty, degrading, and dangerous areas are growing rapidly and taking the whole place over, and the city’s remaining sane people are fleeing. The end is near for the Golden Gate City: the day is approaching when its ruins will bear silent witness to the ways in which Leftism destroys human societies. In anticipation of that day, a luxury hotel chain is leaving town.

Park Hotels & Resorts Inc., which owns and operates the 1,921-room Hilton San Francisco Union Square and the 1,024-room Parc 55 San Francisco, has announced that it is pulling out of Pelosiville, and can you blame them? The inaptly named Thomas J. Baltimore, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Park Hotels & Resorts, announced Monday that it was going to stop payments on a $725 million commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) loan that is secured by the Hilton Union Square and the Parc 55. That means that unless someone steps in to take them over, those two hotels will close up, and their shells will become new monuments to the cost of electing Leftists to run cities.

Baltimore (wasn’t Joe San Francisco available?) announced, “This past week we made the very difficult, but necessary decision to stop debt service payments on our San Francisco CMBS loan.” His explanation for this was devastating: “After much thought and consideration, we believe it is in the best interest for Park’s stockholders to materially reduce our current exposure to the San Francisco market.” Why, Baltimore? Did someone get misgendered? Not exactly: “Now more than ever, we believe San Francisco’s path to recovery remains clouded and elongated by major challenges – both old and new: record high office vacancy; concerns over street conditions; lower return to office than peer cities; and a weaker than expected citywide convention calendar through 2027 that will negatively impact business and leisure demand and will likely significantly reduce compression in the city for the foreseeable future.” Thomas J. Baltimore, Jr. is risking the wrath of the woke by making all this clear, but who can deny that he is actually understating his case?

All the points he made go back to the same root cause. Why is San Francisco suffering from “record high office vacancy” and a “lower return to office than peer cities”? Because people don’t want to work in a place where they could have their car broken into and their possessions stolen, only to have police dismiss the incident as a “basic city experience.” Why are there “concerns over street conditions”? Because in San Francisco today, people die of drug overdoses on the street virtually every day. At any given moment, people walking down the street could be menaced by violent drug addicts, and once again, the cops will do nothing. Why is there a “weaker than expected citywide convention calendar through 2027”? Because no one wants to attend a convention in a city where there are actually maps to help people avoid stepping in all the human excrement that is all over the city sidewalks.

COMMENT:    Read the rest.   I'd point out that similar comments are being made about New York and Chicago.  Other cities will follow.  The nation's capital, Washington, is high on the list. 

Not only are these cities in rapid decline, there appears to be no realistic route for them to follow to get back to decency.  It is a frightening prospect. 

Some say that a democracy's normal life is 250 years.  The United States will reach that point in three years. 

June 8,  2023     Permalink

 

 

 

JUNE 5-6,  2023

RON SCORING AGAINST DON IN IOWA?  Some polls say that DeSantis is narrowing former President Trump's lead among fiercely independent Iowa voters.  At the very least, the Republican race is becoming more and more interesting.  From the New York Post: 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is closing the gap on former President Donald Trump in the early nominating state of Iowa, according to an internal poll out this week.

The survey by WPA Intelligence for the DeSantis-supporting Never Back Down super PAC showed the 44-year-old governor in a virtual tie with the 76-year-old Trump in a head-to-head contest.

Trump had 45% support, while DeSantis had 43% support and 12% were undecided.
An early May head-to-head poll, taken before the Florida governor formally entered the race, showed Trump with 53% support, DeSantis on 39% and 8% undecided.

DeSantis also made up ground on Trump in an Iowa survey that incorporated the full field.
In that poll, Trump had 39% support, DeSantis had 29%, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) had 7%, and former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley had 6% support.

Former Vice President Mike Pence and tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy each had 4% support, while none of the other contenders cracked 1%.

In early May, the same survey found Trump had 48% support, DeSantis had 24% and Haley had 10% support, with no other candidate topping double figures.

“The Republican presidential caucus is a two-person race between Governor Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump,” wrote WPA CEO Chris Wilson and managing director Conor Maguire, both advisers to Never Back Down.

COMMENT:  Read the whole thing.  There are many other fascinating statistics.  Clearly, polls at this point reflect very early opinions and are not predictive.  But they are fun, and a truly competitive race will draw more attention to the Republican cause. 

As for the Democrats, I sense they're approaching panic mode.  They are totally dependent on a president whose re-election race is dominated by serious questions about his physical ability to serve.  If he has to drop out, or is forced out of the race, will the Dems actually turn to Kamala?  Stay tuned.  This is getting as good as old-time radio.

June 6, 2023       Permalink

 

ANGRY BLACK PARENTS.  GOOD, GOOD, GOOD!  I've always wondered when black parents would rise up and finally complain about the condition of their kids' schools.  We're seeing some action.  From Fox: 

The Maryland NAACP called on state and local school leaders to save the dire situation unfolding in public schools, announcing plans to hold a conference later this month focused on developing strategies to help African-American students across the state.

"Although African American children have the potential to learn as others, the situation of African American students in public schools in Maryland continues to be intolerable. It has been a concern of the Maryland NAACP for some time," a June 1 press release read. 

"Lagging academic achievement, students graduating without necessary proficiency, breakdown in school discipline, inappropriate treatment of special education students, and school to prison pipeline are among ongoing issues plaguing too many of these students as well as others," it continued.

The press release detailed plans for the statewide conference set to take place on June 15 and 16 at the Maritime Institute in Linthicum Heights and said its goal is to bring together educational experts in from the local, state and federal levels to provide solutions for "dreadful" outcomes schools currently exhibit.

The organization said it has already tried to work with state and local education agencies to remedy education problems, but to no avail.

"The consequences are becoming more evident beyond schools in communities throughout the state," the press release continued, later concluding by saying, if no progress is made to improve outcomes for Maryland's African-American students, "other actions may be necessary and will have to be pursued."

Concerns follow dismal education statistics from students across The Old Line State, including several that point to high schoolers scoring below proficiency in both reading and math. 

At the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, 77% of students tested at an elementary-school reading level at Patterson High School in Baltimore, according to local FOX 45 news.

Seventy-one of the 480 students who scored at an elementary level on the iReady reading test were reading at the kindergarten level.

Earlier this year, the Baltimore public school system earned a dismal grade in math and took heat for reporting that zero students across 23 schools were proficient in the subject.
"Failed leadership in our schools diminishes their opportunity for a brighter future," Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., tweeted at the time.

COMMENT:  I'm glad to see black parents speaking out.  It's much too late, but maybe some good will come of it.  What is needed, though, is a revolution, where the schools are run for the students and families, not for the teachers' unions and political machines.  That will require the kind of leadership given by Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin of Virginia, who made education the core of his election campaign.

Forget the Dems.  They are hopeless, and generally owned by the unions.

June 6,  2023     Permalink

 

 

 

JUNE 3-4,  2023

KAMMY, WE HARDLY KNEW YE:  The race for president heats up a bit each day.  But there's one prospect that creates genuine dread.    It's the nightmare scenario.  From Fox: 

A New York Post writer is sounding the alarm about Vice President Kamala Harris’s chances of becoming president. 

Opinion writer Michael Goodwin warned that Harris is a ‘Biden fall away’ from entering the White House. 

Critics say the prospect of a Harris presidency is worrisome due to her constant word salads and low approval ratings.

A mid-May Monmouth poll saw Harris’s approval rating at 37%. An April Fox News poll found 43% of voters approve of her job performance. 

Fox News’s Tom Shillue argued on "The Big Weekend Show" that Democrats are "stuck" with the vice president. 

"Nobody could have seen this coming because we knew that voters didn't really like Kamala Harris too much. She never really had much support. You know, and she attacked Joe Biden and then he made her his vice president. And then she came into office. We thought, well, she'll grow into the role. She's gotten worse. She has gotten worse," he said. 

"Originally, she talked to children like she was talking to children. Then she started talking to adults the way that she talks to children. So I don't know what she's doing, but I don't know that her presidency would be much different from Joe Biden's," he continued.

Co-host Anita Vogel highlighted Harris’s impressive resume but questioned what happens once the vice president gets in front of the camera. 

"She is an accomplished person. Right? She has a law degree from UC Hastings. I mean, the woman has an amazing resume. She was a district attorney in Alameda, California. She was elected as district attorney to the city and county of San Francisco. She was the first African-American woman to serve as the California attorney general. She went on to be elected to the Senate representing the state of California. And now she is vice president. She is a seemingly very accomplished and smart woman," Vogel said. "But when she gets in front of the cameras and in front of people, I don't know what happens." 

COMMENT:  Maybe they should have thought of that problem before they made her a vice-presidential candidate.  But that's not how identity politics works.  All that counts is group affiliation.  Handling World War III is not on the agenda. 

Geez, could you see her trying to handle a serious threat of World War III?

I'm rushing to my backyard shelter.

June 4,  2023     Permalink

 

PLEASE READ THIS.  HARVEY MANSFIELD, HARVARD'S LEADING CONSERVATIVE, IS ABOUT TO RETIRE.  AND HE HAS SOME ADVICE FOR THE STUDENT BODY.  FROM THE HARVARD CRIMSON: 

Not long ago, an Iranian woman in my class told me that in her country, one had to be careful about what you said in public, but could say what you wanted in private.

“At Harvard, however, it’s the reverse,” she said.

This is the self-censorship some Harvard students complain of. Only some complain because the complaint is directed against the rest who dominate conversation and do not want to hear opposition. These dominant students may not begin as a majority, but the activist few create the majority who accept their view and then impose it on those who disagree, forcing them to censor themselves.

The punishment for not censoring yourself is to lose the company of fellow students and to be disregarded and shunned. You are not put in jail, as happens in Iran and other countries, but you are deprived of the fellowship you want from college life.

I don’t know how widespread the necessity to censor oneself is felt, but I think the judgment behind it is pretty accurate. In practice, Harvard is a one-party spot, much more so than even the practically one-party state and one-party city in which it resides. But is this such an unhappy fact?

Self-censorship might seem to be a part of self-control based on the need to respect others. Everyone knows what tact is, and as one matures one gains experience of the great truth that it often pays to keep your mouth shut. You may be proud of the many wise and witty things you say, but with your mouth shut you will not be embarrassed by the few foolish remarks you let slip. From the standpoint of tact, self-censorship might seem to be an education in prudence and responsibility.

Perhaps the complainers about self-censorship should be boasting of their ability to exercise prudence. They are getting a better education than the many who live unprotesting and almost unconscious in the Harvard bubble. Conservatives, I like to say, get more from Harvard by having to be critical of its boring, politicized conformity — and by being forced into self-censorship. Upon graduation they can go elsewhere and enjoy a freedom they have prepared for themselves.

Yet if self-censorship is a benefit, should it not be made more general than it is? All should experience the feeling of taking a course where one sits in silence as an unaddressed minority. Why should genuine education be reserved for conservatives? But this reasoning might suggest that everyone should spend a term in jail to learn what it’s like. Then let’s move from the benefit to the harm of self-censorship.

Today, self-expression has much greater sway than self-control. To be free, it is said, you must be able to express yourself and be safe while doing so. To express yourself fully means to fashion your own identity. And to do that, the danger of being offended in your identity becomes a vital point: You must be free both to take offense when you are disrespected and to give offense when your own identity demands it.

COMMENT:  Please read the whole thing.  It is well worth it – the conservative argument presented, with appropriate restraint, by a master.  Harvard may not miss Harvey Mansfield.  But Harvard doesn't understand what it's losing.

June 3, 2023       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 "What you see is news.  What you know is background.  What you feel is opinion."
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