Interesting Items 10/24

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

In this issue –

1.  Saudis
2.  Bannon
3.  Filming
4.  Truss
5.  Pipeline
6.  Masking
7.  Stocks
8.  Alex Jones

1.  Saudis.  Projection is the process of displacing one’s feelings onto a different person, animal or project.  In the political world, it is typically blaming others for doing sometime in the very near future what you are already doing or used to be doing in the past.  Democrats are masters at this.  The Abortion Wars being among the most obvious examples.  While democrats routinely blast pro-lifers for wanting to get governments into the bedroom, it is democrats who not only invite government in, but give them an active, leading role.  Latest example of projection took place last week when Biden asked the Saudis (and OPEC) to hold off on their announced production cutback until November.  Saudis laughed and ignored the request, prompting China Joe to threaten them with reprisals.  I am sure the Saudis are impressed with the threat (/sarc).  Why is Biden leaning on the Saudis?  It is all about Nov 8, as the price of gasoline (oil and natural gas along with it) is one of the most obvious signals of ongoing economic distress.  Lower gasoline prices generally means less pain for the incumbent party, democrats in this case.  And Biden’s handlers are Hell-bent to bend the curve downward, at least for a little while.  It is why they are releasing oil from the National Petroleum Reserve, normally oil held in reserve for a national emergency.  For Biden’s handlers, any democrat distress in an election is indeed a national emergency.  Here is where it gets interesting, as if congress plays by the same rules the House played by during Trump’s first impeachment in 2019, Biden will be impeached by a Republican House majority in 2023.  Reason?  Biden’s request was a political quid pro quo, which was precisely the same thing Trump was accused of in 2019.  As usual, the rest of the media doesn’t seem to think Biden’s request and following threat aimed at the Saudis was anything other than mere diplomacy.  A lot of the rest of us would tend to disagree.  By the standards for impeachment set by democrats in 2019 this ought to be a slam dunk case.  My personal prediction is that if we get majorities in congress in a couple weeks, Biden will be impeached.  He might even be removed should democrats figure it is in their best political interest for the upcoming 2024 campaign.  While I would rather he not be impeached / removed, I understand that democrat noses need to be bloodied to the point they quit playing this game.  I would be much happier if the House would go through the Executive Branch like a chainsaw, impeaching and removing Mayorkas at DHS, Garland and Clarke at DoJ, Granholm at Energy, Haaland at Interior, Wray at the FBI, Austin at DoD.  There are more, but you get the idea.  If democrats think impeachments are fun, let’s have some fun.  The difference between impeaching Trump and impeaching half of Biden’s cabinet leadership is that the latter will improve things a bit. 

2.  Bannon.  Speaking of precedent, we have the trial and conviction of Steve Bannon, who was sentenced to four months in prison and a $6,500 fine for contempt of congress.  Aside from the obvious comment that this congress deserves and has richly eared our contempt, this conviction is yet another exercise in projection.  It will also end up being an exercise in forcing democrats to play under their new rules.  Bannon was charged for ignoring subpoenas from the Jan 6 Committee.  The Committee found Bannon in contempt and sent the case over to Garland’s Do(In)J for prosecution, something they gleefully pursued.  Contempt of congress disputes happen all the time, though Executive Branch employees are rarely prosecuted.  The last I know of was a woman at the Reagan EPA in the early 1980s.  In Bannon’s case, he was shielded by Executive Privilege from President Trump.  Under advice of counsel, he was told not to testify, though he could have certainly showed up and taken the Fifth.  Bannon’s legal team refused to present a case.  He was summarily convicted and sentenced.  The judge allowed him to stay out of jail during the appeal.  Law involving Executive privilege between congress and the Executive is murky at best.  What rights do congress have going after former administration officials?  What rights do the Executive have to prosecute members of congress refusing to follow their own rules?  What happens if a subpoena is issued by what is arguably an illegitimate, unlawful congressional committee like the Jan 6 Committee?  If the DC Circuit and SCOTUS are smart, they won’t want anything to do with setting this precedent.  I don’t the DC Circuit is that smart.  I think SCOTUS is.  Note also the little game being played by Pelosi’s House majority.  Hold hearings.  Go after any number of Trump officials.  Send referrals to Do(In)J, starting their process just before that majority is overturned.  I can guarantee that the Garland Do(In)J will not respond in kind to any referrals from a Republican House majority in the next couple of years. 

3.  Filming.  House Speaker’s daughter Alexandra is a documentary filmmaker.  She was present at the Capital on Jan 6 with her mother for a documentary project.  Some of the video taken on Jan 6 was presented to the Jan 6 Committee last week.  It shows Pelosi and Schumer making phone calls from a secure location during the festivities.  It also shows Pelosi wanting to punch out Trump and being happy with going to jail afterwards.  Most importantly, it shows no small number of democrat congress critters wandering the halls of congress.  If it is truly a government altering event, why are they not showing any sense of urgency?  Ray Epps made a guest appearance, filmed screaming at protesters to get in the Capitol building.  Epps has never been charged nor served detention.  Epps is right next to two of the first people who entered the building.  Nancy knew a lot more about what was about to happen than she is telling anyone, and she was far more comfortable with the outcome than she is letting on.  Why else would she have her daughter and grandson present with her during the festivities.  The more we know what went on in the background, the more we will find that Jan 6 was little more than another democrat persuasion operation aimed at Trump.  Note that for the record, it isn’t paranoia if they really are out to get you. 

4.  Truss.  British Prime Minister Liz Truss resigned as Prime Minister last week after just 45 days in office.  Her replacement appears to be former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s right hand man Rishi Sunak who took office today.  She was elected to transform Great Britain into a low tax high growth economy.  The British swamp in her own party wasn’t real happy with those goals, and obstructed her.  Truss spent a lot of time talking about Thatcher, apparently most of it wishful thinking.  The British conservative party managed to transform itself into what Beltway Republicans on this side of the Atlantic have become, simply another face of the UniParty, Labor Lite according to Nigel Farage.  I predict some political ugliness in Great Britain before this sorts itself out.  Truss was an unsuccessful start.  Whatever replaces her will be much more disruptive for the British Swamp than she ever dared to be.

5.  Pipeline.  New England is facing natural gas shortages this winter.  FERC noted that fuel availability is a primary concern in the six New England states.  Strong demand for LNG is keeping prices high and the region lacks pipeline capacity.  Interestingly, fuel shortages in New England will not impact other regions and power grids (other than perhaps California which has its own problems).  Why the shortage this year, especially with a natural gas producing state, PA, right next to New England?  You need look no farther than green policies of idiot democrat governors, legislators, mayors and city councils.  In this case, then Governor Andrew Cuomo, who infested the NY governorship 2011 – 2021, and his political appointees blocked construction of a natural gas pipeline intended to supply NY and New England first in 2016.  Since then, he has managed to block three pipelines with a total capacity of 1.5 billion cubic feet / day of natural gas.  At the local level, there were at least a dozen MA towns with a local moratorium on new natural gas connections.  Some of these date back to 2014.  ConEd in NY announced no new connections in Westchester County due to a lack of pipeline capacity.  All this is taking place while the region shifts from burning oil and coal to natural gas.  Vermont joined MA in the festivities by shutting doing reactors in both states.  Give greens and democrats a free rein, and they will destroy your energy security.  This works kind of in Cali, the font of all this lunacy, where the weather is generally nice.  Works far less well in the cold part of the world like New England and Michigan.

6.  Masking.  A pair of masking stories this week.  Both demonstrate that once the left gets their hot little hands on a vehicle that will force compliance, they will use it time after time, because compliance is more important than the actual medical utility of wearing the mask.  A NC state judge threw a juror into jail for 24 hours last week for contempt after the juror refused to wear a mask in the courtroom.  Note that there is no statewide, local, or even judicial mask mandate left in NC.  The judge was appointed by the former democrat governor.  He was refused a phone call to his minor child at home.  The incident took place at jury selection.  The juror wasn’t selected for a trial at the time of the jailing.  Second story comes out of Rutgers, which reinstated a mask mandate at campus libraries and in individual classrooms if a prof required it.  The university administration reversed their policy dropping mask mandates after three faculty members complained to the NY Public Employment Relations Commission about the upcoming end of university mask mandates.  Never forget that masking is and always will be about little more than submission, first, last and always. 

7.  Stocks.  I mentioned some weeks ago about Executive Branch employees and political appointees making millions of dollars via trading stock of businesses that they regulate (oversee).  WSJ did an investigation into stock trades of government officials earlier in the month that tells you how and why the Swamp operates the way it does.  It also tells you why the Swamp despises Trump and his supporters so strongly.  Across 50 federal agencies, over 2,600 officials reported stock investments in companies while the companies were lobbying the agencies for favorable policies / treatment.  This crossed administrations.  When the financial holdings caused a conflict, the agencies waived their rules as some unspecified rate.  Note that these are individual stocks rather than collectives like Mutual or Index funds.  Average rate of doing this government-wide was around 23%, so it is widespread.  DoD people tend to own aerospace and defense stocks.  Some owned stocks in Chinese companies while the US considered blacklisting those companies.  DoD also invested in a wide array of tech stocks.  EPA invested in oil and gas stocks.  FDA allowed ownership of food and drug stocks on its no-buy list.  Amazon, Alphabet, Apple and Meta were all popular.  Follow the money continues to be a great cheat code in the Swamp game.

8.  Alex Jones.  Relatives of eight Sandy Hook dead won a second judgement against InfoWars host Alex Jones, this time for a whopping $965 million.  The first jury awarded nearly $50 million to the parents of another slain child.  The trial was held in a Travis County court.  Travis County (Austin) is one of the most liberal counties in Texas.  Jones is infamous for his belief that the Sandy Hook shooting was a staged affair, and he took that opinion for all it was worth.  Lawyers for the families larded up the jury with tears, and claims that the families had been threatened and harassed by people who believed Jones.  There is a third trial scheduled for around the end of the year by yet another family of a dead child.  It is unclear how much of the verdicts Jones can afford to pay.  He has publicly stated that $2 million was his maximum.  His company filed for bankruptcy protection.  An economist for the families testified the company was worth as much as $270 million.  It remains to be seen how much of this money Texas will allow to be grabbed, as there is an upper limit on jury awards in civil suits.  I do expect the Texas legislature to get itself involved setting limits before it is all over.  Much like the 21+ sexual harassment lawsuits filed against former Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson, I expect what is going on in Austin is little more than a money grab.  And what better way to grab money that to destroy the most unpleasant target possible?  Are we about to make the precedent that any media organization can be destroyed in court when they hurt the feelings of their target?  Darned shame that doesn’t apply to those of us on the political right.  While I mourn the dead at Sandy Hook and the pain of their families, I remind everyone that they wouldn’t be dead unless the local government hadn’t turned the school into a free fire, gun free zone, just like every single school shooting over the last several decades. 

More later –

– AG

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