Interesting Items 03/01

Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information.  Enjoy –

In this issue:

1.  Republicans
2.  Georgia
3.  Fakebook
4.  Starlink
5.  SCOTUS

1.  Republicans.  Much has been said about what comes next for the Republicans and President Emeritus Trump.  He gave a bit of a hint with his speech yesterday at CPAC.  The first half was a defense of his administration and blasting away at what Harris – Xiden has done so far.  The second half was the interesting part where he spent time talking about election fraud and what to do about it.  He named every single Republican who voted to impeach and convict him, all but promising primary challenges for all of them. Most Presidents show how the office ages them.  Trump hasn’t, other than letting his hair grey up a bit.  Worth you time to watch.

https://www.c-span.org/video/?509084-1/president-trump-addresses-cpac&live

But this piece was about Republicans and more importantly what changes are underway as the Trump administration recedes into the past.  Sadly (for the democrats), there will be no third party.  Trump is in complete control of the Republican party at this time and will be for a while.

  • If you are going to be in control of a political party and not its nominee, you become King maker, responsible for its nominees, particularly nominees with something larger than a snowball’s chance in a Very Hot Place of winning the race they are about to enter.  With this, we have a few names that have cropped up over the last week in connection with upcoming races. 
  • First is Hershel Walker, former University of Georgia Heisman Trophy winner and professional football player.  Walker became a friend of Trump during Trump’s ownership of the New Jersey Generals in the early 1980s.  They have been close ever since.  Walker’s name has been floated as a possible Republican candidate to run against newly elected Raphael Warnock in 2022.  If this happens, it should be a fun race.  Former Senator David Perdue announced last week he would not be running in 2022.  The only problem with this is that Walker does not currently live in Georgia and would have to move back into state to run.  He is still wildly popular on both sides of the political divide. 
  • Second would be Ric Grenell, Trump’s hatchet man in the Intel community during his time in office.  Grenell was appointed as DNI by Trump to speed along declassification of documents that were being slow rolled by the hostile (to Trump) intel community.  Now that California voters are on the verge of recalling their second democrat governor in 20 years, Grenell has been toying with announcing he will be a candidate to replace Gavin Newsom should he be recalled.  The recall signature gatherers are closing in on enough to submit.  The only problem with this is that our experience in California with a newly elected Republican following a recalled democrat (Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003) as Arnold folded like the proverbial deck chair upon pushback by incumbent democrats in the State Assembly.  He ran as a conservative and quickly decided that being loved was more fun than an eternal fist fight with elected democrats, which as an entertainer is not unexpected.  Grenell in addition to being a gay guy is made or somewhat sterner stuff.
  • Final couple names are in connection with possible presidential runs:  Kristy Noem of SD and Ron DeSantis of FL.  Both have done spectacularly well in their terms as governor during the COVID pandemic and subsequent shutdowns.  The obvious caveat is that any 2024 predictions based on anything taking place in early 2021 are worth precisely doodly squat, just ask Presidents Hillary Clinton, Jeb! Bush, Mitt Romney and Mario Cuomo.
  • One of the things Trump did to the Republican Party is rebrand it, from one previously identified with Wall Street, big business, Chamber of Commerce, large institutions, and turn it into the party of the Little Guy, essentially a populist blue-collar party.  Election results from November demonstrate nicely how this is in the process of swinging both black, primarily black men, and Latinos to vote Republican early and often.  With the last election, democrats are increasingly identified with Big Tech billionaires, Hedge Funds, tone-deaf politicians who turn over their cities to the mob, and the white-collar world.  The division is no longer about race, despite how hard Big Tech, the government media and democrats pretend it is.  Rather, the divide is now about class.  Perhaps it always was.  Joel Kotkin writing in The American Mind last week described the impending economic war in the US between the coastal elite and everyone else.  He focused on energy and climate change edicts as leading examples of the outbreak of this war. 
  • Rich Danker in the American Thinker late last week wrote a piece about Rush Limbaugh transitioning from Reaganite conservatism to right-wing populism.  In some ways, this conclusion is a Back to the Future moment, as Reaganism was heavily based on union members and disillusioned democrats.  Bush 41 did everything in his power to drive those guys into the arms of Bill Clinton, which is where they went for a while.  Even his own audience of 25 million didn’t necessarily identify with the conservative movement, a warning Limbaugh gave to Ted Cruz.  Like we see out of the political left these days, conservatism demanded allegiance to institutions.  Populism is defined as “optimism about people’s ability to make decisions about their lives.”  There were never enough conservatives to deal with the left after the end of the Cold War.  There is a political realignment under way, though not in the way the political left, their media or Big Tech wants it to be, which is why cancel culture is all the rage. 

2.  Georgia.  The Georgia Legislature is working on legislation to clean up elections in the state.  One of the provisions is a ban on private funding of election administration like we saw with Zuckerberg’s $419 million spent over the last couple years.  Zuckerberg’s non-profit wrote $24 million in grants to four counties.  These grants were successfully spent as Biden out-performed Hilly by more than 200,000 votes in those counties.  The charity also donated over $3 million to Secretary of State Raffensperger’s office for voter education.  Grant rules included snap-back provisions, whereby the money would be returned to the charity if all the provisions of the grant were not followed to the letter.  Essentially, the grants allowed Zuckerberg’s charity to run local elections.  So far, both the Georgia Governor and Secretary of State, both Republicans, have refused to endorse the legislation.  Raffensperger has gone so far as publicly speak out against it.  Expect this legislation, and legislation like it to make its way through numerous legislatures over the next year or so.  Kemp and Raffensperger need to be careful as once you get in the habit of accepting danegeld, which they did with Dominion and Zuckerberg, you are never rid of the Dane and quickly become a wholly owned subsidiary. 

3.  Fakebook.  When you get big enough to purchase your own government (Harris – Xiden, for example), it isn’t long before you believe your own press clippings that you are now an actual government, something both Fakebook and Twitter have apparently come to believe.  There are numerous nations with newly passed legislation that allows that nation to tax Big Tech for ad revenue they are making from citizens of those nations.  As taxation cuts into the bottom line, Big Tech is not too happy about it.  They have responded in two different ways.  Goolag, accurately seeing the writing on the wall, came to an agreement with some of those nations.  Australia (Oz) is one example.  Fakebook took the other tack, refusing to negotiate and shutting all news feeds into and out of Oz down for about a week.  As most news is accessed via Fakebook these days, this was a very big deal and got the attention of government leaders in Oz.  It took Fakebook about a week to realize the error of their ways, and came to an agreement that turns the newsfeeds back on.  Now you generally don’t start screwing around with actual nations if you think those nations or others like them (including the one you are based in) can’t do anything about your actions.  This would be a mistake of historic proportions for the Masters of the Universe, one they will make again soon. 

4.  Starlink.  Elon Musk is a disruptor, much to the chagrin of the military – civil space complex.  He is using his SpaceX reusable Falcon rockets to launch satellite internet streams.  As of today, service is just ramping up and coverage is not yet global, though is pretty good on the part of the globe underneath space station orbits 51.6°.  The constellation is not yet complete, and the system is not yet loaded so speeds are highly variable, from twice as fast as average internet speeds here in the US to jaw-grindingly slow.  Subscription costs are $99/mo with a $499 equipment.  While this is not competitive with wired broadband, it is better than existing satellite internet especially in rural and unserved locations.  The disruption comes with Starlink’s plans for global coverage by their system.  Think Russia, Scandinavia, Greenland, Canada and Alaska in the North and the tip of South America and Antarctica in the south and everything at sea.  We here in AK have a LOT of land, most of it currently snow-covered, with miles and miles between villages.  Internet, phone and other communications infrastructure has long been a bone of connection between the Bush and urban Alaska.  If Starlink is successful, actual broadband is coming to the Bush, which will be profoundly disruptive.  Additionally, it looks like Starlink is about to get themselves into the telephone business, offering services for emergency calls and access prices for low-income users.  The potential is so disruptive that Russia is now threatening to fine citizens for using Starlink.  Progress, what a concept.

5.  SCOTUS.  The cowardly majority sitting on the SCOTUS refused to review the Pennsylvania election challenge last week describing it as moot.  The Opinion was 6-3 with the 3 liberal justices refusing to take up the course.  Justices Alito, Gorsuch and Thomas voted to take the case up.  Not unexpectedly, Chief Coward John Roberts chose not to go anywhere near the case.  Unexpectedly, so did Trump-appointed Justices Kavanaugh and Barrett.  Justices Thomas and Alito penned blistering dissents, warning that the cases were not moot, that there is a reasonable expectation that they will face the same problem in the future.  Thomas pointed out that “Our fellow citizens deserve better and expect more of us.”  There were two additional election cases in the pipeline that were both rejected.  Not to be completely undone, the SCOTUS also rejected a Trump attempt to shield his taxes from an New York Grand Jury.  Cyrus Vance got a state Grand Jury to subpoena eight years of Trump’s business and financial tax returns so that his office could conduct a Stalinesque fishing expedition in search of a crime, notwithstanding that federal tax law is not really in the State of New York’s wheelhouse.  It continues to amaze how close the democrats have come to emulating the old Soviets.  Laverntiy Beria, chief of the Soviet Secret Police was quoted “You bring me the man, I’ll find you the crime.”  Jurisprudence in NY aided and abetted by the SCOTUS has gone full Soviet.  But with both refusals, the SCOTUS has set the stage for some real awfulness.  For instance, any governor or Secretary of State can make last-minute changes to state election laws and can defend their actions under the 6-3 Opinion describing the Pennsylvania case as moot.  Any sufficiently political prosecutor can go after any politician who does business in his or her locale, conduct a fishing expedition into their tax returns, and bring charges after a raft of carefully orchestrated leaks, all protected by the refusal to shut this fishing expedition down.  As Kurt Schlichter has noted time after time, I don’t think the left (or the cowards on the SCOTUS) are going to enjoy playing under their new rules.

More later –

  • AG

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