Interesting Items 12/26

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

In this issue –

1.  Twitter
2.  CDC
3.  Amazon
4.  Eastman
5.  NC Supremes
6.  House
7.  Omnibus
8.  Stoves

1.  Twitter.  The Twitter files are the gift that keeps on giving.  The three most recent releases of information were mostly background material but tend to flesh out the story of the depth of involvement between the FBI and Twitter.  Note that Twitter was not the only Big Tech entity working closely with the FBI.  At the top level, the FBI ended up being the central coordinating entity between the rest of the government and Big Tech.  They were the conduit for censorship requests from the CIA, DoD, State, and many other players.  They paid $3.5 million to Twitter to play along with censorship requests.  Last week, as this all came to light, the FBI responded by calling concerned Americans conspiracy theorists feeding the American public misinformation in an attempt to discredit the Agency.  Of course, the FBI is doing a spectacular job discrediting itself without any outside help.  Problem with that is that FBI involvement in swinging (and interfering in) elections has only grown since 2015.  They participated in swinging two Presidential elections, interfering with the transitions in 2016 (Russia collusion) and 2020 (Jan 6).  And I am supposed to think meddling in elections was a Bad Thing.  Apparently not when you can do it.  Victor Davis Hanson wrote a blistering response in American Greatness over the weekend noting that everything in the FBI’s response was untrue except the phrase about “… the bureau’s engagements which involve numerous companies over multiple sectors and industries.”  The FBI did not engage in correspondence with Twitter.  Rather, it hired Twitter to suppress free expression of some of its users.  FBI mucking around in censorship sometimes was worse than the actions of Twitter’s own in-house lefty censors.  The FBI is also claiming that its involvement was to assist Twitter in defending its terms of service.  I fail to see anything in the FBI charter that tasks it with defense of corporate terms of service.  With all of this in mind, we still do not know the extent of FBI participation in the Jan 6 festivities.  Hanson notes that the public still does not know how many FBI assets participated in Jan 6, what they were told to do, what they did, whose orders they took, and what they knew in advance.  NYT reporter Matt Rosenberg, who knows most about the riot called it no big deal, that Do(In)J was making it an organized thing that it wasn’t.  He also notes that there were a ton of FBI informants involved.  The longer this continues, the more Americans will be convinced that a Stasi-like FBI is defiant, unapologetic and attacks its critics.  Once that happens, the current agency and its 38,000 people are well on the road to political annihilation. 

2.  CDC.  The “honest brokers” of the CDC quietly removed a range of statistics on defensive use of firearms following a three-month long series of meetings with gun control advocates ending Sept.  At issue is a statistic from Gary Kleck that estimated there were up to 2.5 million defensive gun uses per year.  The CDC posted it in the fast facts portion of its website.  Note that the Kleck number was paired with another estimate that there were only 60,000 defensive uses of guns yearly.  Obviously, there is a huge difference between the two estimates, a factor of 40x, meaning that more work needs to be done to reconcile the two estimates.  The problem with the removal of the numbers is that it was done at the behest of the gun control community, which finds itself in a bit of a pickle whenever the topic of defensive use of firearms comes up.  Solution?  Do what they always do, lean on the feds (CDC in this case) to make inconvenient facts disappear.  And the CDC willingly complied.  Of course, they did their best bureaucratic crawfishing, promising to do the necessary work to reconcile the two numbers, but the general public no longer gets to see anything that even mentions, much less supports the notion of defensive use of firearms.  Remember this the next time the CDC corruptocrats get themselves into the gun control debate, which they have in the not-so-distant past.  Question out of all of this is precisely which part of the federal government not corrupt today? 

3.  Amazon.  One of the perks of shopping on Amazon is its support of a charity of your choice program.  With the Amazon Smile program, Amazon will donate a (very small) percentage of every purchase to a charity.  So far, so good, right?  Not so fast.  The problem is that Amazon will not allow you help groups deemed double plus ungood.  The designation started out with the Usual Suspects like the KKK (racist) or Nation of Islam (anti Semitism).  But like all designations, this all depends on who gets to build the list Amazon uses.  In this case, it is our old friends as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which has never found a conservative or Christian group they like.  With Amazon using the SPLC to build their list, Amazon managed to get themselves in the position of not allowing donations to conservative or Christian organizations.   Essentially, the SPLC took the program they used to bankrupt organizations supportive of or associated with the Klan, weaponized it, and aimed it at conservative groups.  The technique is to scare donors to those organizations away and get themselves funded as self-identified honest brokers (which they aren’t).  The SPLC has gotten so extreme in doing this that even the ACLU is calling them out for going after the Alliance Defending Freedom, which has argued and won several civil rights cases in front of the SCOTUS.  While Amazon acknowledges that they set up and are operating an imperfect system, they so far have been unwilling to modify or even discuss it while they continue to let the SPLC drive their charity bus. 

4.  Eastman.  An Alaska District Court judge Friday found that while he personally dislikes the Oath Keepers, Alaska legislator David Eastman took no concrete action to overthrow the US government and is as such not disqualified from holding office.  The lawsuit was brought by a democrat in his district supported by a local NGO.  It was a typical lawfare effort to use the courts to do what democrats were unable to in an election campaign.  It was the first one of these I have heard of in the last year that actually made it to trial.  This was a bench trial with no jury empaneled.  I do not know who is responsible for legal fees, as public interest lawsuits up here are generally reimbursed.  In this case, it was the process that was punishment, attempting to impoverish Eastman by forcing exorbitant legal bills to defend himself. 

5.  NC Supremes.  From the land of “be careful what you wish for”, comes a rather harsh lesson in judicial activism using techniques pioneered by activist democrat state judges against them.   At issue is a 2018 NC legislature amendment to the state constitution requiring voter ID at all polling places.  This was hotly and roundly opposed by all the Usual Suspects.  The NC Supreme Court in an outrageous 4-3 democrat majority last week found part of the state constitution unconstitutional, throwing out the amendment on racial grounds.  The law was passed by the legislature, vetoed by NC’s democrat governor at the time, and overridden by the legislature, passing it.  Democrats on the state Supreme Court pulled their opinion out of their backsides, rushing it through the system before the majority on the court, a newly elected 5-2 Republican majority, could hear the case.  Expect the case to be taken up by the new majority and the previous opinion tossed aside like so much trash.  I would also expect a rather stern lecture on the notion of invalidating part of the constitution, calling it unconstitutional and dare democrats to do something about it.  I really don’t think these clowns are gonna enjoy playing under their new rules. 

6.  House.  There are perhaps three things that the new House majority needs to do in the first couple months of their majority to expose the recklessness and perfidy of the Pelosi-led democrat majority over the last few years. 

  • First would be a release of communications between Pelosi’s Office, The Seargeant at Arms, and the Capitol Police in the weeks leading up to, during and after the Jan 6 protest.  I am of the opinion that it was a planned and orchestrated event intended to embarrass Trump.  The fact that it provided grist for Do(In)J and the FBI to arrest and imprison over 1,000 political prisoners will take only a little more time to prove.  That information MUST be released.
  • Second would be a complete declassification and release of every single bit of information from the Jan 6 Select Committee.  Upon doing this, the new majority could either convene a new select committee or simply take over the current one with a new majority, and ask the questions so conveniently ignored by the get-Trump membership over the last couple years.  This would also include specifics from the FBI and intel community on their operatives participating and leading the protest.
  • Finally, I would subpoena the last 6 years of every single House Ways and Means Committee member who voted to release Trump’s tax returns to the general public.  The release of Trump’s tax returns goes beyond outrageous.  That release also made John Robert’s SCOTUS attempt at a third way look foolish, as the SCOTUS demanded a careful, thoughtful analysis before any of the returns or summaries of them were released.  The only thing that Ways and Means considered was how close they were to the swearing in of the new congress, which was a public embarrassment aimed at Roberts, something I expect he will remember while dealing with future congressional requests. 

7.  Omnibus.  Congress did their annual yearend porkfest last week with passage of a 4,100+ page monstrosity that funds government for the rest of the fiscal year.  Attempts to simply pass a month-long continuing resolution to allow the new House majority their say were ignored by the 18 Republican senators and 9 Republican representatives who voted with democrats to pass this.  While we conservatives rail against this sort of foolishness on an annual basis, we need to recognize that the problem is no longer personal.  Rather, it is structural.  The stuff that ends up in these packages has changed, as has negotiation and the process.  These are dropped at the last minute.  They contain EVERYTHING both sides want to spend money on.  Policy things become secondary and are either buried or pass / fail depending on who has the majority.  Because they contain everything each senator wants to spend, there is no negotiation necessary or done.  These things never see the light of day in the committee structure.  As such, the issue is now structural.  Do I have a solution?  Sure, the old, standard, committee process for doing a budget.  Problem is that once you give everyone everything they want on the spending side, it is difficult to enforce or even consider normal order for spending. 

8.  Stoves.  Looks like Harris – Xiden is about to take a stab at banning new natural gas appliances for home use.  Richard Trumka, Jr (son of former AFL – CIO President) a commissioner on the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a couple weeks ago that the commission would put out a formal request by March for information on hazards associated with natural gas stoves and possible solutions.  This sounds a lot like an invitation for the greens to belly up to the bar with as much terrifying testimony on natural gas appliances in 2023 as humanly possible.  Claimed problems are expected to include (but are not limited to) pollution, hazardous substances in the air, and asthma.  The greens are going to ride the health of children as their vehicle to an eventual ban or at least regulations that will make the appliances unaffordable, which works just as well.  While the focus will be air quality, the expected ban will have “secondary benefits in terms of climate change.”  3 of the current membership are Biden appointees.  One is a Trump holdover.  The request for information first surfaced in late Oct but did not get significant public attention at the time.  Note that screwing around with appliances over the last couple decades all in the name of some trumped up  environmental concern or another really damaged the effectiveness of dish washers, clothes washers and dryers much to the disgust of the rest of us.  It also had the not so unimportant side effect of making those appliances more expensive and fragile.  They also didn’t work as well anymore.  My prediction is a lot of cooking on propane grills in the not-so-distant future. 

More later –

– AG

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