Yesterday we learned that Amazon has offered to put its considerable logistical infrastructure at the disposal of the federal government, to aid in the distribution of the COVID vaccines.
Amazon made this offer on Inauguration Day, after Donald Trump’s term had officially ended. That might have been a coincidence—if you happen to be a very gullible person. It is doubtful that the idea came to Jeff Bezos suddenly on Wednesday.
Nor is it likely that President Trump would have turned down the offer, had it been made to him. President Trump showed a clear preference for private- over public-sector solutions.
Yesterday there was also a COVID-related press conference (above video), in which Anthony Fauci stood alone at the podium, presumably while President Biden took his afternoon nap.
As everyone will recall, President Trump insisted on being front-and-center during most of the COVID White House updates, often to his detriment. The press used these opportunities to ask belligerent questions, and Trump usually responded in kind.
In yesterday’s briefing, Dr. Fauci was clearly enjoying his new, enhanced role. That said, Fauci (unlike the average CNN journalist) is a professional and classy guy. The reporters in the room constantly tried to goad him into saying that he preferred working under Biden versus Trump. After several back-and-forth exchanges in which he demurred, Fauci finally acknowledged, in so many words, that he preferred working for Biden.
For the sake of my fellow Americans, I hope that the distribution of the COVID vaccine proceeds smoothly under the Biden administration. But yesterday’s news conference, and the timing of the Amazon announcement, demonstrate some stark truths about the Trump presidency.
Donald Trump was never the president of the Hollywood celebrity, the journalistic class, or the billionaire tech CEO. Donald Trump was the president of the forgotten American, in forgotten corners of the flyover states.
Donald Trump’s temperament was, in many ways, unsuited to high office. He made many mistakes during his time in the White House. But we saw yesterday further evidence of just how determined the representatives of the establishment, the elites, the “swamp”—whatever you want to call them—were to undermine him at every turn.
We can only wonder what Trump’s time in office might have been, had those same parties not worked against him from the outset. It’s hard to run the country with its most powerful agents actively working against you. And Donald Trump ultimately wasn’t up to that task.
In case you missed it, the Dow Jones had a record rally yesterday, as Joe Biden was sworn in as president.
The stock market likes stability. Since November, the US political situation has been anything but stable. Now we have a new status quo, such as it is.
In the short term, President Biden will spend like a drunken sailor on shore leave, flooding the economy with cash.
Consumers will spend money.
Businesses will make money.
Then the problems will come.
Here’s an analogy. Suppose you max out your credit cards and take out several bank loans. In the short term, you will have the appearance and feeling of prosperity. You can acquire lots of new stuff. You’ll be flush with cash.
But that prosperity will be very temporary, because it’s built on a house of cards—credit cards.
The Biden economic plan is built on the government’s version of the credit card: debt and printing money. The Democrats will raise taxes; but they won’t be able to raise taxes enough to pay for all of their spending schemes.
The credit card bills will come due. Consider the personal analogy again: What would your financial situation look like, after an extended credit card- and loan-financed spending spree?
That is what President Biden and the Democrats are now doing to the US. As the government prints money to pay for its unsustainable spending, each dollar in the economy loses value.
In a worst-case scenario, the result could be hyperinflation. That is one of the chief risks of printing money to pay for unsupported government debt.
It’s happened before. Hyperinflation is what took down the economy of Weimar Germany (preceding the rise of Hitler). More recently, hyperinflation made Zimbabwe’s currency so worthless that its government had to print $100 trillion notes.
As I said in my last post, Joe Biden was not my man in the 2020 election. That said, I’m willing to give him a chance and see how things go. At this point I wish him all the best. If Joe Biden succeeds, then America succeeds.
The immediate problem will not be Joe Biden, but the radicals who won’t let the Trump era go.
No, I’m not talking about the diehard Trumpists. I think you’ll find that very few Trump voters are interested in causing real trouble, now that the Biden administration is a fait accompli .
But consider this headline from CNN:
As Barack Obama famously said (and later regretted, perhaps): Elections have consequences.
Indeed they do. Joe Biden’s agenda will be very different from Trump’s. We’ll see how it works out.
In the meantime, though, CNN could do much to heal the nation if its journalists didn’t begin every headline over the next hundred days with a jab at Trump, and his former voters.
Daily Kos is the leftward lunatic fringe of the media. CNN is merely filled with immature incompetents. Hopefully there are still a few adults in charge over at the network Ted Turner founded. Our nation does need healing; and someone needs to restore CNN’s status as the serious news outlet it once was.
I did not vote for Joe Biden, but I hope and pray for his success. Because to do otherwise would be kind of like shooting myself—and everyone I care about—in the foot.
Most of all, I would like to see America return to the centrist politics that prevailed for most of my lifetime. One thing I liked about growing up and coming of age in the America of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s was that you could ignore politics most of the time.
Over the last few months, I’ve lost not many—but at least two or three—friends over politics. It didn’t used to be like that.
My maternal grandfather was a lifelong Democrat. (I kept waiting for him to grow out of it, but he never did.) We bet on every election. Sometimes I won, sometimes he did, but it never affected our relationship.
He’s been gone since 1998, and I still miss him every day. I actually look back warmly on our old political debates.
That’s the way it should be. The partisan divide of the twenty-first century has not been normal, healthy, or productive for America. Perhaps we can all agree on that.
Sometime between the George W. Bush and Obama years, CNN ceased to be a genuine news organization, and drifted into leftwing advocacy journalism. Individuals in the media generally did not like George W. Bush. And every one of them was giddy over the idea of America’s first black president.
During the 2016 election season, though, CNN’s tone became shriller, more unabashedly partisan. If the press disliked George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Sarah Palin, the press absolutely loathed Donald Trump. They made no bones about their biases.
Trump, CNN, and “fake news”
And Donald Trump disliked them back. Trump had no interest in currying favor with journalists. Trump accused the mainstream media of being biased against Republicans. He called them “fake news”.
CNN responded by taking even more liberties with the truth, and becoming even more partisan in their reporting. By the start of 2020, the relationship between President Trump and the mainstream media had deteriorated into an open feud.
We saw stark evidence of this during the early reporting of the COVID-19 pandemic. From the start of the pandemic, the press framed every news story with an anti-Trump angle. This sometimes made for tragicomic results.
CNN immediately dismissed certain COVID treatments simply because President Trump was bullish on them. Democratic politicians used their bully pulpits to pile on President Trump. Trump was a buffoon, an idiot, we were told. His ideas were stupid!
Then, in at least a few documented cases, Democratic governors quietly asked the federal government for those very same treatments. Before long, most viewers recognized that CNN’s COVID-19 reporting was more about politics than medicine or science.
CNN’s new role in the Biden era
But today Joe Biden will move into the White House. While the media may still do the occasional hit piece on Donald Trump, the journalistic class will no longer be able to use him as a daily projection of their own biases.
We might reasonably ask, then: Will CNN get better under Joe Biden?
CNN will almost certainly get worse. We’ve seen evidence of this already. In recent days, CNN has filled its television broadcasts and website with ersatz, hagiographic pieces on the president-elect.
The above is the homepage of CNN this morning, Inauguration Day. The lead “analysis” from CNN writer Stephen Collinson reads:
“Biden prepares to conjure hope and bear pain for a grieving nation”
Joe Biden and I have two things in common: we’re both teetotalers (neither Joe nor I consume alcoholic beverages), and we were both raised Roman Catholic. The CNN reporting on Joe Biden reminds me of the stories I heard of the Catholic saints in my grade school religion classes. Joe Biden will “conjure hope”, and “bear pain” for us? Seriously?
The hagiographic treatment doesn’t stop with Joe Biden, of course. Kamala Harris is portrayed as the whip-smart heir apparent who will take the helm from the octogenarian Biden in 2024. (Biden, the oldest candidate to take the presidency at 78, will turn 82 in 2024. No one seriously believes that he will run for a second term.)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, meanwhile, continues to be the media’s wunderkind darling. AOC is the bold young progressive whose wisdom and life experience, acquired from a brief stint as a Bronx bartender, will guide us toward our long-term progressive future.
The new villain for the new narrative: you
My grandfather was prone to salty language and metaphors. When someone talked like this, my grandfather used to quip that he needed to put his boots on, because the bull excrement was piling up on the floor. That will be CNN over the next four years, as the network cheerleads Saint Joe, Heir Apparent Kamala, Young Visionary Ocasio-Cortez, and all the rest of them.
But that will get boring, you say. Yes, it will, or it would. Every good narrative needs a villain, a Snidely Whiplash*. But since Donald Trump vacates that role today, the press needs a new boogyman.
They have already picked a new villain—you. If you live in a rural or blue-collar area of one of the flyover states, if you vote Republican, if you own a gun and you question the narratives of the left-leaning establishment, you have just been cast as the villain in the mainstream media’s new narrative.
We see this already, in the constant fretting over “rightwing extremists” and “white supremacists”. We are told that rightwing extremists and racists are going to take over any day now, if not for the constant vigilance of the Democratic Party and their allies in the media. But not to worry: the Democratic Party and their allies in the press will keep us all “safe”.
The media and government will be joined by likeminded corporate executives, especially in the tech sector. They will collude to keep inconvenient facts and opinions off the Internet. We have already seen this, in the Big Tech collusion against Parler, and CNN’s calls for Newsmax and OAN to be “cancelled” by telecom carriers.
Pretexts for restricting freedom
It is worth asking: Are there really “rightwing extremists” and “white supremacists” out there? Let’s do the math. There are now 328 million people in the United States. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), no less, estimates that there are now between 5,000 and 8,000 active white supremacists. That means that their share of the population is .002439 percent.
White supremacy, the boogyman of leftwing/progressive imagination, has no significant constituency in twenty-first century America. The America of today is simply too integrated for that. Even the rural, red-state branch of my family in Indiana has black and Latino bloodlines.
All it will take, though, is a half-dozen oddballs on a street corner somewhere in America, waving Confederate flags, for the media to sound the alarm about “rightwing extremism.” Clampdowns on speech and expression will immediately follow, as we’ve already seen.
This is all a matter of spin, of course. During the summer of 2020, leftwing BLM and antifa mobs torched both public and private property in forty-one of America’s fifty largest cities. The media billed those as “peaceful protests”.
“White supremacists” and “rightwing extremists” exist mostly in the minds of journalists and leftwing Twitter. What is real are the (at least) 75 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump last November. Many of those Americans are dubious about the integrity of the election. They object to the Democratic Party’s plans for open borders, astronomical levels of debt spending, and a far-left approach to the teaching of history and culture. Those same Americans are alarmed at the campaign by Big Tech and Big Media to stifle the voices of the opposition.
But if the media can brand dissident Americans as “white supremacists” and “rightwing extremists”, then the media need not address their actual concerns. People who work in the media understand the art of spin. They know exactly what they’re doing.
Dark days ahead
We are about to enter into a period of “soft dictatorship”. There likely won’t be any gulags or firing squads…at least not yet. But there will be a vast, politically left-leaning corporate-governmental complex aligned against individuals, groups, and opinions deemed “unsafe” by our new authorities.
CNN has an important role to play in that Brave New World. As the Joe Biden era begins, CNN will talk less and less about Donald Trump. Instead they’ll be focused on you, the dissident American who refuses to fall into line with the progressive program.
*Snidely Whiplash was the black-hatted villain in the cartoon series The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends, which aired from 1959 to 1964 on ABC and NBC.
This is a time for black humor, aka gallows humor. In the face of despair, one must look for the bright side.
Or at least the side that one can laugh at. The four years ahead of us should be filled with tragicomic moments, giving us cause for both laughter and tears.
If you’ve been reading this blog of late, you’ll know that I’m keeping my expectations for the Biden administration low. Very low. If Joe Biden manages to stay alive and not turn the USA into Venezuela by 2024, I’ll be happy.
Just remember: it could be worse. It could always be worse.
The Evil Orange Man will be gone in a matter of hours. The Democrats have a majority in the Congress, as well as control of the White House. Our new vice president will be a politically left-leaning woman of color.
The radical left is appeased.
Guess again. Yesterday BLM “protesters” blocked a highway in Seattle, shutting down traffic for hours.
What were they protesting, pray tell? Perhaps the position of the moon around the third planet in the Alpha Centauri star system. Do they even bother to cite reasons anymore?
Those of you who thought that the banishment of Trump and the elevation of Biden would end the BLM/antifa shenanigans….guess again. You’re going to very quickly find out that this will be “same sh*t, different day” after January 20th.
Donald Trump, remember, was just an excuse. So was the unfortunate case of George Floyd.
The radical left really has only one goal: the nihilistic destruction of our civilization. The sooner we realize that and deal with them accordingly, the better.
Mark my words: within the year, they’ll be calling Joe Biden a fascist, too.
“Donald Trump is furious that Joe Biden has managed to attract a star-studded lineup to his inauguration, it has been claimed – in sharp contrast to the president’s own ceremony four years ago.
Trump, who will leave the White House before noon on Wednesday, was reported by The Washington Post to be angry that a roll call of stars are signing up to Biden’s event.
While Trump famously struggled to attract big names, Biden has confirmed Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Tom Hanks and country star Garth Brooks for his event, which he is urging people to watch from home owing to the COVID pandemic.”
The title of the article is equally silly:
“Where were my A-listers? Trump is ‘livid’ at Biden’s star-studded inauguration line-up of Lady Gaga, Tom Hanks and Jennifer Lopez as Field of Flags is lit up on National Mall and President packs his bags for Florida”
The Daily Mail is a UK-based publication. This piece seems to have been written by a wet-behind-the-ears London reporter who doesn’t grasp American political culture at all.
The journalist, Harriet Alexander, is revealing nothing but her “Trump blinders”. That’s what it would take to write the above assessment.
The Democratic Party has long had a lockdown on the Hollywood and entertainment elites. Everyone in the US knows that. This goes all the way back to the early 1960s, when stars like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr were schmoozing with the Kennedys.
There have been a few exceptions. Reagan was already a Hollywood outsider by the time he entered the White House in 1981, but he did maintain some friendships from his acting days. Liberace, of all celebrities, was a political conservative, and actually visited the Reagan White House.
For the most part, though, celebrities were the kids who were “different” in school, but“different” in the exact same way as the other kids in their “different” crowd.
They carry this into adulthood. At least since Bill Clinton, almost all celebrities who are the slightest bit “political” have sought to align themselves with Democrats. This tendency was conspicuous during the Trump era; but it isn’t as if Trump “lost” the celebrity demographic for the GOP. The GOP never had it.
If your goal as an individual American voter is to see yourself in alignment with Taylor Swift, Jennifer Aniston, and Jon Bon Jovi, you should vote Democrat for the rest of your life. But if you are really turning to Taylor Swift and Jon Bon Jovi for political advice, perhaps you…should rethink your priorities.
Likewise, Republicans in the United States have differing opinions about President Trump and what he achieved (or not) while in office. But there is not a single Republican voter in the land who is saying, “If only Lady Gaga and Tom Hanks had been with us!”
I seriously doubt that the outgoing President Trump is giving Lady Gaga or Tom Hanks much thought, either.
To avoid talking about tomorrow’s unspeakable event, while still keeping somewhat on theme: I present to you my first Inauguration Day, in 1977.
This wasn’t really my first Inauguration Day, mind you. (That would have been in 1969.) But this was the first Inauguration Day that I was able to meaningfully watch, with an understanding of what was taking place.
I was in the third grade in January 1977. Teachers then, as now, were always eager for some excuse to substitute an audiovisual presentation with actual teaching. Our teacher wheeled a television into the classroom. (I can still hear the caster wheels rolling atop the hardwood floor.) We spent most of that morning watching Jimmy Carter being sworn into office.
In the above video, you can watch some of what I watched, 44 years ago. Jimmy Carter begins by thanking outgoing President Ford for “healing our country”. He is referring to Ford’s cleanup after the Watergate scandal, which was still very much a recent memory in 1977. (I will confess, though, that I was oblivious of Watergate while it was actually unfolding in 1973 and 1974. I was still too young.)
I’ve written before in this space about Jimmy Carter. He was not, on the whole, a successful president. But he was—and is—a good man.
One of the nice things about my formative era, the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, was that you really didn’t need to worry about US politics very much. If Republicans were at the helm, business would operate a bit more freely and taxes would be lower. If Democrats were in charge, labor unions would be more influential, regulations would increase, and taxes would go up slightly. But things would basically stay the same, either way.
Republicans and Democrats had the same goals for America. They differed only on the most effective tactics and strategies for getting there. There was none of this radical shifting from one extreme to the other every four or eight years, as has been the pattern during the 21st century.
If this assessment sounds pessimistic about our present and immediate future, I suppose it is. I am not optimistic about the next four years. Likewise, I feel fortunate to have spent my early years in the era in which I did. To quote Neil Peart in “Red Barchetta”, that was “a better, vanished time”.
New York’s Andrew Cuomo is America’s second most self-aggrandizing governor. (The top slot goes to Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan.) But Governor Cuomo is determined to protect his people from the Great Invasion of Trump, which he is sure is on its way.
To this end, he’s decided not to expose the state’s greatest asset—his own person—to any dangers on Inauguration Day. Even though Washington DC has been evacuated and heavily garrisoned, Andrew Cuomo plans to hunker down in his executive mansion while Biden is sworn in on Wednesday.
The governor’s person should remain secure. New York, let’s face it, is not exactly Trump country. Governor Cuomo has nevertheless turned the state capitol at Albany into an armed fortress, to combat the rightwing, neo-Nazi Trump human wave.
Cuomo is taking no chances, though. While sending his “best wishes” to Joe Biden, the governor pleaded his obligations at home. “The people of the state of New York elected me governor and I think the governor should be here on this day.”
I don’t think they intended that you could never leave the state, Andrew.
But no matter. Should Republican barbarians invade Albany on Wednesday, Governor Cuomo will be there to stand atop the ramparts. The people of New York will rest easier as a result. As will we all.
CNN’s Oliver Darcy suggests that two CNN competitors, Newsmax and OAN, be “cancelled” for political reasons by their carriers:
“Just a reminder that neither @Verizon, @ATT, nor @comcast have answered any questions about why they beam channels like OAN & Newsmax into millions of homes. Do they have any second thoughts about distributing these channels given their election denialism content? They won’t say.”
I hate to break this to Oliver Darcy: but Verizon, ATT, and Comcast don’t owe him an explanation.
Let us not forget that in the wake of the 2016 election, CNN was a bullhorn purveyor of “election denialism”. The network constantly spouted crackpot theories about mysterious Russian agents swinging the 2016 election for Donald Trump.
No one talked about colluding to remove CNN from the airwaves, though. (Many of us did, however, privately stop watching CNN during the Trump years, as their biases constantly showed.)
This will be the new modus operandi: entrenched, politically connected players like CNN and Twitter will use collusion with likeminded (or coerced) business partners to “cancel” competitors. The Democratic Party will cheerlead and pitch in where necessary.
Notice that Twitter’s free-speech competitor, Parler, was “cancelled” through a collusion among a group of left-leaning tech companies. This happened after conservative Twitter users abandoned Twitter for Parler in large numbers.
And now CNN will attempt the same with Newsmax and OAN. They’ll use the same excuse: “public safety”—the go-to pretext of dictatorships since time immemorial.
There is never a valid “public safety” argument for permanently censoring a news outlet. Or a social media platform, for that matter…much as I dislike social media.
I lived in Chicago for 108 days in 1991—from July 15 to October 30. Sort of. I actually lived in the Elk Grove Village area, in the northwest suburbs.
I will openly admit that the Windy City was not my cup of tea. I pretty much hated it, in fact. Over the years, I’ve spent significant time in Sao Paolo, Mexico City, Tokyo, Osaka, Nashville, Dallas, Toronto, and El Paso. There is only one city that makes me physically ill at the mere mention of its name: Chicago. I left Chicago one grey, overcast day almost 30 years ago, and I have rarely gone back.
With one exception: I have been to O’Hare International Airport more times than I can count. O’Hare is a common connection point when flying from Cincinnati to Japan and back—something I’ve done many times.
O’Hare, like most everything else in Chicago, is big, old, crowded, and overpriced. Nothing runs on time or works efficiently. Everyone is either guarded or on the make. The only thing worse than having a long layover in O’Hare is actually living in Chicago.
That’s why I’m baffled that this California man, Aditya Singh, 36, recently spent three months in O’Hare, hiding out. The reason: he was afraid of COVID, apparently.
I understand fears of COVID in California. (The high taxes alone would be enough to make someone flee the People’s Republic of California.) But if I were to pick an airport to hole up in for three months, I can think of many more pleasant alternatives to O’Hare. Next time, Mr. Singh should consider booking a flight to Nashville or Dallas.
Even the airport here in Cincinnati is more pleasant than O’Hare, and Chicago won’t be waiting for you immediately outside the walls.
**VENETIAN SPRINGS** A young teacher risks all to save his wife from a ruthless drug lord.
Today is Martin Luther King Day. It is a day we should all acknowledge. Martin Luther Kingforced mid-twentieth century America to come to terms with the contradictions between our Constitution and the realities of racial segregation. The Jim Crow order of the pre-Civil Rights era was both immoral and incompatible with American values. America is a better country today, for all of us, as a result of Martin Luther King’s efforts.
But this is a new century, with new ideas on the far, radicalized left, like critical race theory (CRT).
Martin Luther King would have rejected critical race theory (CRT). King’s objective was a colorblind society. Reread some key passages from King’s “I Have a Dream” speech:
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”
MLK’s objective was not to make everything about race and racial grievance, but to move race and history to the background. Each individual should be judged on individual merits, or—as King said—“by the content of their character”.
Critical race theory, a mindset now in vogue in our media, cultural, and academic institutions, is the polar opposite of that. Critical race theory says that race must always be at the forefront of everything.
That is more or less what Bull Connor and the Klansmen said. One thing I’ve long observed: At their extremes, the far left and the far right tend to reach similar conclusions and take similar actions.
Martin Luther King asked us to put aside race and deal with each other only as individuals and fellow human beings. That is why he belongs to all Americans.
The radical Black Lives Matter movement, on the other hand, will never belong to all Americans, just as the Ku Klux Klan will never belong to all Americans.
Words have consequences. The entire world, moreover, listens to the words of American politicians, especially those who are, or might become, the President of the United States.
Joe Biden and the Democrats have vowed to make the US southern border little more than a formality, if even that. This will be a sharp reversal from the policies of the Evil Orange Man of leftwing imagination, who “put kids in cages” and built the malevolent “wall”.
With the Democrats now in control of the government, the floodgates will be open.
If you open the door, they will come. About a week ago I pointed out an inconvenient truth: There are 652 million people in Latin America. That is almost twice the current population of the United States.
Surveys reveal that—with some variation by country—approximately two thirds of Latin America’s population would like to come to the United States. This is not because they are evil, but because Latin America is such an economic, social, and political basket case.
Nevertheless, we simply run out of money if we allow in everyone who wants to come. But this is the Democrats’ plan. They realize that in the short term, at least, every new arrival from a poor country is a new Democratic voter eager for “free stuff”, which Democrats promise in spades.
Lo and behold, a massive migrant caravan—the sort of thing we largely didn’t see during the Trump era—has already formed and begun heading north, toward the US border. You can be sure that this will be the first of many.
This is inconvenient timing for Joe Biden, as it proves his critics right, before he has even taken office. Biden has publicly said,“Now is not the time” to rush the US border. Wait until he takes office, at least! But the masses of Latin America have been waiting for four long Trumpian years. They’re tired of waiting.
This will result in major turmoil. We will likely see the reemergence of citizen vigilante groups like the Minutemen, who will be determined to do what the government will not. These groups have been dormant during the Trump years, because the Trump administration actually upheld our national sovereignty by controlling our borders.
Well, that is all about to change. You can bet that the Minutemen—or some new iteration of them—will be back.
There will also be overcrowding and crime waves in cities like Phoenix, El Paso, and Houston. It will be interesting to see how all this dovetails with another Democratic Party brainchild: “defund the police”.