OK, This Trips Over Godwin’s Law …

… but I believe the Battle of the Bulge is an apt historical analogy to some things happening now.

There’s a post over at the Federalist with polling data about the lack of support for teaching critical race theory in the Loudon and Fairfax County schools. The parents’ opposition to CRT in those counties is not unique; indeed, most parents in most jurisdictions oppose inflicting CRT on their children. So why are so many school districts in such a rush to add it to their curricula?

I believe that they’re doing it for the same reason that the Democrats in the House and Senate are trying to jam as much of their wish through as quickly as possible, even if they have to get rid of rules that that they normally value when they can use them to protect their own interests. Their present tactical situation is analogous to that faced by Field Marshal von Rundstedt in January, 1945.

The Democrats’ breakthrough in the 2020 presidential election achieved a level of surprise not unlike von Rundstedt’s breakthrough in the Ardennes. However, the Democrats’ failure to secure adequate victories in state and local elections and their razor thin margins in Congress have left them overextended and unsupported much like Army Group B found itself as the battle progressed.

Von Rundstedt’s attack disrupted the Allied advance, but he didn’t make it all the way to Antwerp. The Democrats’ winning the presidency is disrupting the economic and regulatory advances of the previous four years, but they are unlikely to make to 2023 in control of either house of the Congress.

Blue states are losing House seats. The Democrats aren’t going to control reapportionment. Many Leftists can see that the 2022 election will likely flip both the House and the Senate back to Republican control. The next two years may be the Left’s last chance to enact items from their wish lists, and they seem ready to offend enough voters to guarantee their defeat in 2022 to pass those laws and regulations.

Half-baked planning led to half-baked results at the polls. Inadequate legislative control led to desperation. Desperation is leading to overreach.

The next couple of years are likely to be very ugly.

UPDATE—A minor edit to spread the blame. (H/T, @SumEgroMonstro)

Mechanics: Terrestrial, Celestial, and Political

The Gentle Reader may remember the pointage, laughery, and mockification that resulted for Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) asking an admiral if the Navy might cause the island of Guam to capsize if too many personnel were stationed there. Earlier this week, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) asked the associate deputy chief of the Forest Service a question about climate change.

I understand, from what’s been testified to the Forest Service and the BLM, you want very much to work on the issue of climate change.

I was informed by the immediate past director of NASA that they’ve found that the moon’s orbit is changing slightly and so is the Earth’s orbit around the sun. We know there’s been significant solar flare activity. And so, is there anything that the National Forest Service or BLM can do to change the course of the moon’s orbit or the Earth’s orbit around the sun? Obviously, that would have profound effects on our climate.

The usual suspects saw what they thought was an opportunity, and they pounced.

However, there is a significant difference between the two incidents. Johnson was asking his question in all seriousness. Gohmert’s question was framed to make the rhetorical point that the Sun probably has a greater effect on the Earth’s climate than anything the Forest Service might do.

Remind me. Which is the party of Science?

Harbingers of Stagflation

The recent employment report was expected to show around a million new jobs. Only around a quarter of a million were created. The Consumer Price Index for April rose 4.2 %, even greater than the expected 3.6 % inflation.

And in other news, the Xiden administration wants to dump multiple trillions of deficit spending into the economy.

Carter’s second term is beginning to look like the best case scenario.

I wonder how badly the values of my 401k and IRA will be hit.

Doing Science in the Laboratories of Democracy

Different states have taken different approaches in dealing with the Wuhan Virus Pandemic. Some states have operated based on a working hypothesis that said extensive lockdowns, prolonged masking, and the like would provide better outcomes than states which began returning to normal life more quickly.

The various experiments have been run, the differing hypotheses tested.

Texas began reopening fairly early and reported no deaths from Covid-19 on Sunday.

Maryland, a smaller state which has followed a middle course, reported 3 Covid deaths for Sunday.

New York, which has taken one of the most restrictive approaches, reported 35 Covid deaths for Sunday.

The Gentle Reader may form his own conclusions as to which, if any, hypothesis has been shown false.

Racism in America

During his speech last night, Tim Scott said that America is not a racist country. He’s correct. It’s interesting that many Leftists are acting as if he claimed there is no racism in America. He didn’t say that, and if he had, he would have been wrong. It’s clear that there are still some individuals, most of whom seem to be on the left side of politics, who judge others on the color of their skin rather than the content of their character. But America, the country as a whole, has moved away from much of its racism over my lifetime.

Racism isn’t dead; it’s on life support, kept alive by politicians in need of an issue, professional do-gooders in need of a clientele to serve/manage, and grifters running new plays on an old con. The Gentle Reader should note that it was after minority unemployment reached a record low and minority incomes achieved massive growth, that the current round of unrest popped up. Note also that its the woke grifters who have bought nice houses while properties such as an affordable housing project were burned by rioters.

The real issue isn’t racism per se. Racism is just a tool used to acquire and manipulate power. As we get closer to a full implementation of Martin Luther King’s vision of seeing each other based on our character, the more we will understand how those who would divide us are poisonous to our society and should be kept from positions of leadership and authority.

That’s what they’re afraid of.

I’m Not Making This Up, You Know

In a speech this evening before a mostly empty chamber of the House of Representatives, Joe Xiden described the 6 January brouhaha at the Capitol as “the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.”

None of the American citizens of Japanese ancestry interred during the Roosevelt administration were available for comment.

Shooting to Stop

I’ve read and heard some rather absurd comments about what the policeman who shot the knife-wielding teenager in Columbus should have done. Based on my training and experience (I’m a former soldier and a gunfight survivor), the silliest suggestion is that the officer should have shot the assailant in the leg.

The new video from a security camera across the street show that the shots were taken at a distance of several car lengths. Under slow-fire, target shooting conditions, an above average pistol shooter could probably get an accurate, first shot hit on a stationary target the size of someone’s leg at that range. However, none of those conditions were present. The shot was taken under stress, and both the officer and the assailant were moving. The odds that a leg or arm shot would miss and continue past the target (endangering bystanders) was too great, so the officer aimed for the assailant’s torso, a larger target he was less likely to miss. He continued to fire until he saw the assailant was no longer a threat to the intended victim of the knife attack. Most of us living in the Real World can’t shoot as well as The Lone Ranger did on the radio.

Suppose the assailant had been hit in the leg? Would that have prevented a lunge toward the intended victim? If the femoral artery had been hit, how quickly would the assailant have bled to death? Any shot taken at a human being has the potential of being fatal. That being the case, the safest way of stopping an attack is to fire at the center of mass (for the highest likelihood of a hit without endangering bystanders) and to continue firing until the attack has been stopped.

Was the officer’s performance perfect? Probably not, but it was good enough to save a life.

Other dumb ideas include “warning shots”. A bullet fired in a random direction will strike something eventually. A bullet fired into the air will fall to the ground somewhere. All shots need to be properly aimed. What or who, other than the assailant, should have have been the target of a “warning shot”?

It’s reasonable to ask questions about safe gun handling and proper procedures. It’s counterproductive to offer uninformed advice about life and death situations.

On Xiden’s “Infrastructure” Program

After reviewing the basics of Joe Xiden’s “infrastructure” proposals, it seems to me that the principal deficiency relates to the management of the various schemes. Almost none of the effort is under the government department with related expertise. Clearly, any program based on organic fertilizer should be run by the Department of Agriculture.

A Supreme Bench Slap

The Supreme Court has struck down California’s covid regulations limiting home Bible studies and prayer meetings. The per curium opinion closes with these words—

This is the fifth time the Court has summarily rejected the Ninth Circuit’s analysis of California’s COVID restrictions on religious exercise. … And historically, strict scrutiny requires the State to further “interests of the highest order” by means “narrowly tailored in pursuit of those interests.” Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. Hialeah, 508 U. S. 520, 546 (1993) (internal quotation marks omitted). That standard “is not watered down”; it “really means what it says.”

The decision was 5-4, with Roberts in the minority.

Free Speech at UVA

My podcasting partner Stacy McCain has a post up about a federal lawsuit relating to free speech at the University of Virginia. A medical student’s questions about microagressions got him banned from campus.

Skepticism and disagreement are impermissible on the 21st-century university campus. Bhattacharya’s questions made him a Thought Criminal, and soon UVA faculty ordered him to undergo psychiatric evaluation.

The former student Kieran Ravi Bhattacharya has sued the university, and a federal judge has rejected the school’s motion to dismiss.

The school’s founder Thomas Jefferson was unavailable for comment.

Article IV, Section 4

Article IV of the Constitution deals with the relationship between the United States and the individual states. Section 4 requires that the United States “…  shall protect each of them [the states] against Invasion[.]”

Would this create a cause of action for a state on the southern border against the federal government because of that state being flooded with foreign nationals who the feds are allowing to enter the country illegally?

How Confident Are They?

During last year’s elections, the Democrats managed to get their guy into the White House, just barely flipped control of the Senate, and maintained a slim margin of control of the House. OTOH, they did not do well in state races, and they will not be in control of the reapportionment of House districts coming before the next election. Moreover, many states are reforming their election laws to improve election integrity. 2022 could be a challenging election year for the Democrats.

Looking at the Democrats’ legislative agenda, it appears that they are trying to ram as much of their wish list through as quickly as possible, regardless of the political cost. For example, their pending “infrastructure” bill spends a couple of trillion dollars with less than half going to actual infrastructure projects. The bulk of the bill simply directs government spending into the pockets of favored businesses and not-for-profits.

They’re proposing the biggest tax increase in almost 30 years to pay for their schemes. Now, Joe Xiden was in the Senate in the 1990s, and if his mental faculties were intact, he should remember that tax increases and gun control were what caused the Democrats to lose control of the House in the 1994 midterm elections. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi managed to keep their House seats in ’94, but they should remember that loss and what caused it. So why are they pushing legislation that’s likely to ensure a similar loss in 2022?

It could be that they don’t remember or that they discount the possibility of an electoral backlash because they believe America has changed. They thought that was the case when they rammed Obamacare through on a party line vote, and they lost the House in the next election, but they may think that this time will be different.

Perhaps, but I believe that Xiden (78), Pelosi (81), and Schumer (70) see this Congress as their last chance. They see handwriting on the electoral wall for 2022, and they want to get as much of their agenda passed while they still can.

Whether because of arrogance or desperation, we should expect the Democrats to act recklessly.

Is it 2023 yet?

A Change in Staffing

CNN (they haven’t folded yet) reports that Richard Torres-Estrada has been reassigned from his recently hired job of head of diversity and inclusion at US Special Operations Command. Questions have arisen about his qualifications for the position following the circulation of a photoshopped image that compared Donald Trump with Adolph Hitler.

Actually, I’m surprised by this development. I had supposed that the image in question demonstrated Torres-Estrada’s qualification for such a post in the Xiden Administration.

Hmmmm.

Papiere, Bitte!

I was given a shot record card with the details of first dose of COVID vaccine, and I expect it will be updated when I receive the second dose. I’ll pass the information on to the appropriate health care providers so they can keep my records up to date.

Yesterday, Rep. Mike Loychik tweeted, “Vaccine passports have no place in a free society,” to which I replied, “Well, yes. That’s why they are being proposed.”

I don’t plan to carry my vaccination records as some sort of internal passport.

A Lawless Lawmaker

Speaker Pelosi thinks she has the power not to seat a duly elected member of the House.

She’s wrong, and that’s not just my opinion. The Supreme Court has already ruled the Speaker, indeed the whole House, does not have that power. Powell v. McCormack, 395 U.S. 486 (1969). Unless the House can show that the winner of an election does not meet the constitutional qualifications for office (for example, isn’t at least 25 years old or isn’t a resident of the state represented), the member must be seated.

Once a member is seated, he or she can be expelled, but that requires a 2/3 vote. Pelosi doesn’t have the supermajority necessary to expel Mariannette Miller-Meeks, so she doesn’t appear to have a lawful means of stealing the Iowa Second District seat for the Democrats.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that the arrogant overreach that has been on display thus far this session won’t lead her to do something foolish.

Stay tuned.

Making Votes Count

One of the House elections in Iowa last year was very close. After careful counting, the Republican candidate Mariannette Miller-Meeks was declared the winner by a 6 vote margin, and she was subsequently seated in the House. Now, the House Democrats want to vote on whether she should remain a member.

I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this—who will count the votes, and how.

—Joseph Stalin

Sanctioning America’s Allies

Last week, the Xiden Administration threatened to impose sanctions against Germany and India. Germany has been a key NATO ally for decades, and India is a member of the Quad (with America, Australia, and Japan) seeking to constraint Chinese aggressiveness in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Why?

It seems that the Germans are on the verge of completing a natural gas pipeline from Russia that will provide 55 billion cubic meters of gas a year, mostly at the expense of the 87 billion cubic meters now flowing through a Ukrainian pipeline.

India is planning to purchase a Russian S400 air defense system which would increase its ability to defend against Pakistani or Chinese aircraft.

Now, a reasonable argument can be made for opposing those deals because of their benefits to Russia. OTOH, another common denominator between them is their potential adverse effects on Xiden family allies—Ukraine and China.

Hmmm.