Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue:
- Kavanaugh. Latest pot shot at SCOTUS Justice Kavanaugh was a breathless piece out of the hyper-partisan NYT accusing the Judge of exposing himself to one of his accusers as a drunken teen. The piece excerpted a soon to be published book on the confirmation festivities and intentionally left out all exculpatory the piece’s original authors claimed to have included. Apparently, the editors “accidently” removed that part on purpose. There were two bombshells in the story, neither of them was the ones the NYT wanted to explode and damage Kavanaugh. The first is that the actual victim, Deborah Ramirez, who chose never to go on record during the hearings, did not remember the event. The guy who made the report was an acquaintance of Kavanaugh at the time who “remembered” the incident decades later after working for the Clintons, making this a Clinton hit. The second and most important bombshell in the piece was confirmation of attempted witness tampering by Blasey-Ford’s allies, which pressured her friend Leyland Keyser to change her story so as to better support Blasey-Ford’s account. And who figured this out? FNC? Breitbart? Not hardly. How about CBS? Keyser told the FIB that Blasey-Ford’s allies pressured and threatened her with a public smear campaign if she didn’t change her story. Details of Keyser’s story started coming out a year ago. Only in the book does she completely dismiss Blasey-Ford’s claims as not believable. With Keyser, we now have all four people Ford identified as being at the summer 1982 HS party saying that no such party occurred. The only remaining piece of this will be any recommended action by the Senate Judiciary Committee to indict Blasey-Ford and her lawyers for lying to the committee. I don’t expect democrats to do this. But I most certainly do expect Republican members to get off the dime and get this done.
- Guns. Democrat Presidential candidate Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke committed Truth in public during last week’s presidential debate when he promised “Hell yes. We’re going to take your AR-15’s” giving the NRA and gun owners the best Christmas present they’ve had in years from democrats. AR-15s are the new target for the gun grabbers. Good luck getting them, as Americans don’t have a real high level of tolerance for gun grabbing. Kurt Schlichter reminded that actual shooting started in the American Revolution when British troops tried to seize armories in Concord and Lexington. More recent attempts were Ruby Ridge and Waco, neither of which turned out all that well for the feds.
- Regulations. President Trump may go down in history as the Great Deregulator. He has had a real good summer, rolling back a number of onerous regulations. For example, it looks like they are about to get out of the way of dishwasher manufacturers’ ability to produce a product that won’t take more than an hour for a cycle. Of course, they are going to have to do something about the regulations on dishwasher soap that make it so ineffective. They are also targeting O’Bama regulations requiring an increased number of compliant energy efficient light bulbs by Jan 1, 2020. Not unexpectedly, all the usual suspects are incensed with the new regulations. So much winning. So much winning. And no, I’m not tired of it yet.
- Donley. One of the great things about the MAGA years is Republicans have finally decided to start fighting back. One small example here in Anchorage when School Board member Dave Donley, the only conservative on the Board pushed a proposal to get the National Anthem and State Song sung at public school at least once a month. The proposal had been languishing in committee until Donley forced it out. They held an evening’s worth of hearings and decided by a 4-3 vote not to approve the change in school schedule. Public testimony was generally supportive though teachers and their union leadership suggested that the ugly rise of nationalism was afoot. But look what Donley did. He got 4 current ASD members to vote against both the National Anthem and the Alaska Flag Song, an act which they will hear about next April when they are up for reelection. Nicely done.
- Pebble. Alaska Governor Dunleavy sent a letter to the CEO of Wheaton Precious Metals Corporation last month stating that the State of Alaska would defend the proposed mine from unfair interference and “frivolous and scurrilous attacks.” The letter was more of a defense of due process in permitting than anything else. Last week, 19 democrats and one Republican responded with their own letter, blasting Pebble, the Governor and most importantly, the process. 20 legislators, 95% of them democrats just signed up against new jobs in one of the most poverty-stricken part of the state. Not being able to even remotely describe the proposed mine accurately, their letter described the mine, a mere 230 miles upriver from Bristol Bay as on the “edge of Bristol Bay” and therefore a mortal threat to The Salmon and all jobs in the region. This means there are 40 legislators who are potential supporters of the mine, including even some democrats. This is not a bad sign for future progress.
- Renewables. Three minor stories about renewables last week. The first from the Foundation for Economic Education discussed the environmental costs of renewable energy, up to the point where renewables are just as environmentally devastating as fossil fuels are claimed to be. What happens if we replace fossil fuel generation with wind and solar (other than making energy less reliable and far more expensive)? One thing would be a dramatic increase in the extraction of metals and rare earth minerals, mining. As Thomas Sowell notes, there are no solutions. There are only tradeoffs. Second story comes out of Carpe Diem at AEI. This one was entitled The environmental fiasco of wind energy… One thing never mentioned about wind is the very large chunks of concrete and pieces of the windmills themselves when they are retired after 20 years of operation. Did anyone know that concrete is a net CO2 emitter? When the turbines are removed, what happens to the millions of tons of concrete poured for their pads? Better yet, the blades are not recyclable, and are huge, often over 100’ long. There is an Iowa landfill that will no longer take the defunct blades because they are simply too big. Every windmill has at least three of them and they need to be replaced every 10 – 20 years. Where do these go? Final story is more of a “no good deed goes unpunished” story than anything else and describes states hitting electrical vehicle owners with high fees, in many cases higher than fees paid by owners of gasoline or diesel vehicles. The rationale is that these vehicles are not paying gasoline taxes and the states (always needing the appropriate excuse to gouge the taxpayer) has to recoup the loss in road maintenance and use fees (or so they say).
- Iran. At least 17 cruise missiles / drones struck the two largest oil processing facilities in Saudi Arabia last week, destroying at least for a while, Saudi’s ability to export oil. The attack was initially blamed on Iranian-backed (and armed) Houthi rebels in Yemen that the Saudis have been fighting in a proxy war against Iran for a few years. Both sides went into immediate finger pointing and the war drums started beating loudly. Scott Adams noted that while the attack was pretty serious, it looked to be sufficiently calculated so as not to trigger an immediate and devastating response on Iran like an attack on Mecca, Riyadh or any Saudi water desalinization facility would have done. There will be a response. It will be military, though in response President Trump did crank down Iranian sanctions another notch, and it will come at a time and place most damaging to Iran. There was a time when the halt of oil shipments out of the Arabian Gulf would have sent shockwaves through the global economy, though this one certainly did to those who depend on Saudi oil. But we don’t depend on that oil any more as the US is now self-sufficient when it comes to oil and natural gas thanks to the frackers who took Palin’s “drill, baby drill” call to heart. These are the same frackers that democrats like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders want to put out of business. If we produce our own, there is far less reason to go to war in the Middle East, a minor detail they seem to not recognize. Perhaps one day they will. Nah.
- Warren. As of the last debate, it looks like Elizabeth Warren is solidifying her early lead as the presidential candidate of choice for the democrats. The latest attack on Trump (the Ukrainian phone call whistleblower) looks to be nicely boomeranging on Joe Biden. It is not beyond the realm of possibility this was dropped by the Clintons to remove Biden early from the race as Warren has sidled up closely to Hillary and seems to be the Chosen candidate by the Clintons. Kamala Harris es to drop in the polls like a stone and Bernie Sanders support looks to be capped and he is starting to fade. Mayor Pete, our favorite Vicar, has both a color problem in South Bend and an abortion problem, as an aborto-doc whose business South Bend allowed to continue passed away and the family found at least 2,000 body parts from aborted kids preserved in his garage. Warren will be a formidable candidate as she does learn and has lots of energy. Her problem is that clanging so hard left really undermines her ability to reclaim any of the rust belt states Hillary lost in 2016.
- Oligarchy. The Daily Caller last week ran a piece entitled American Renewal: The Real Conflict Is Not Racial Or Sexual, It’s Between The Ascendant Rich Elites And The Rest Of Us. The piece notes that the real cultural problem in the US today has absolutely nothing to do with race, sexual orientation or any of the Usual Suspects trotted out by the media and democrats. Rather, the problem is entire class, pitting an ascendant upper class with the increasingly embattled middle- and working-class Americans. We’ve seen this fight before, though no on this continent and in this nation. It essentially reprises the end of the French feudal era where the Third Estate made up of commoners, revolted against the First and Second Estates, church and aristocracy. Today, the middle class worldwide is under attack, shrinking in most places, while prospects for upper mobility for them and the working-class declines. The anger is fueling populist movements in Europe and the US. Today’s neo-feudalism is attacking property rights, with the best examples in California and the blue cities. In the US today, the ascendant First Estate (clerisy) is media, universities, cultural leaders, and upper echelons of the bureaucracy. The Second Estate is a rising oligarchy in tech and Wall Street, busily consolidating control of the economy. This is a devastating view of what is coming and the new First and Second Estates in the US need to be very careful, as the TEA Party was one attempt to solve this growing problem. The First and Second Estates successfully fended it off and delegitimized it and its members. The election of Donald Trump was a second, and far more blunt reaction. And if the new clerisy and oligarchy successfully take him down, the next round will involve tar, feathers, rope and trees.
More later –