Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue –
2. 907 Initiative
4. Jan 6
1. Speaker. The House of Representatives finally got itself a new Speaker Saturday on the 15th ballot, Kevin McCarthy (R, CA). Agreement in the conference happened pretty quickly following the election, though it took a while to get all the promises in writing and we ended up with a rather ugly affair over the last week. In the end, McCarthy was elected Speaker with 217 votes. Do not sleep on the democrat leader, Hakeem Jefferies, who has no small amount of persuasion skills. At issue was a dissident 20, mostly Freedom Caucus Republicans with varying lists of demands, all of which McCarthy acceded to over the course of the past week. These include, but were not limited to the following:
- A promise to restore public access to the capitol
- A proposal to reduce the linkage between the NRCC and House steering committee process
- A proposal to cap spending on suspension bills
- A proposal to limit leadership reports and make conference more engaging with more members
- A proposal to provide a 5-day notice for suspension votes
- A proposal for additional conference meeting s ahead of key votes
- A proposal that ends omnibus bills, a return to the appropriations process
- A proposal limiting suspension waivers from committees
- A proposal to make cosponsored amendments in order
- A cap on discretionary spending to 2021 levels, including both defense and domestic spending to balance the budget in 10 years
- Create a Church Committee equivalent to investigate Weaponization of the Federal Government
- Reinstate the Holman rule, that allows reduction in government officials salaries and other compensation paid by the US government
- Lower the number of House members necessary to start the process of removing the Speaker from 5 to 1.
- Keep the Congressional Leadership Fund, controlled by the Speaker out of open House primary races
- Appoint House Freedom Caucus members to seats on the House Rules Committee
- Give House members 72 hours to review bills before they come to the floor
All in all, a good set of rules. And the new rules passed today, much to the distress of the media. While many on Our Side were calling this the proverbial clown show, I believe it was a fight worth having. Better still, given the widespread skepticism in McCarthys’ conservatism, he agreed to enough things that put him in a strait jacket, capable of being removed should he wander off into Nancy-land. Why is it Our Side is singularly unable to call a win a win or to even recognize one?
2. 907 Initiative. My Lovely Lady received a piece of campaign literature a couple weeks ago from an outfit that calls itself the 907 Initiative. The 8.5 x 11’ mailer was in color, glossy, printed on both sides, card stock, quite expensive. It took Anchorage Mayor Bronson to task for slow response to snowfall in ANC mid-December. Turns out that it snows in Alaska during the winter. Who knew? We set a record for snowfall in December when four snowstorms dumped around 41” in town over 10 days, about the amount Buffalo received a couple weeks ago in national news. This is just over two thirds of our normal yearly snowfall, most of which comes in spring. Needless to say, snow clearing was significantly slowed down and streets got narrow. Generally following a significant snowfall, a road grader makes a pass, shoving the snow in the streets off to the side. This usually makes the streets narrow, as you lose a lane of road width until snow is removed to a snow dump. But we do get by, as it is part of the price of living on the top of the ball in the cold country. The flyer is the first round of carping by local democrats in the runup to our Municipal elections in April where half the Assembly and half the School Board will be elected. Suzanne Downing took a look at the dark money group behind the flyer, in a fabulous piece of journalism in her Must Read Alaska (MRAK). Turns out that the head of the 907 Initiative is one Aubrey Wieber, former aide to one of the nastier democrats on the Assembly, Chris Constant. He was also a local reporter. The group formed in August and attacked Governor Dunleavy as its first campaign act. The group pretends to work on public policy, so it doesn’t have to register as a campaign PAC. The officers are a who’s who of local democrat activists. The back side of the flyer was a shopping list of “Bronson is incompetent” quotes from the Anchorage Daily News, our shrinking leftist local paper. There was also one from Suzanne’s MRAK, skillfully pulled completely out of context. Comments following the article in MRAK were most interesting. It turns out that Bronson asked the Assembly for more money for snow clearing in September. The Assembly, as it reflexively does to all Bronson proposals, turned it down without discussion. Worse, the Assembly “borrowed” at least $100,000 from the street maintenance (snow clearing) budget to fund its Equity Officer, a racialist appointed by the Assembly, answerable to the Assembly, working in City Hall to look over Bronson’s and his staff’s shoulders, reporting everything he sees to his masters on the Assembly. The Assembly and their proxies in the 907 Initiative hope to reprise the Jany Byrne mayoral election in 1979 where the Dailey machine was tossed following poor response to a massive snowstorm in Chicago.
3. Trans. Interesting observation from a Valued Reader last week concerning the use of the term “trans.” It has been long known that if you control the language, you then control the conversation. This is why the left takes such great pains to redefine words every step of the way along their long march through the institutions. Latest redefinition is the word “trans”, which has two meanings. The first is transvestite, a person who dresses as or otherwise pretends to be the opposite sex. In blunt terms, chooses not to get the surgery. These are the guys who can and will sexually molest the opposite sex. The other is transexual, someone who physically mutilates their bodies to change what they think is their sex. Think Katelyn Jenner. The former group is much larger than the latter, which is why the left is intentionally blurring the difference in order to pump up the numbers.
4. Jan 6. A warning from Scott Adams last week concerning Jan 6. He notes that the Charlottesville riot was a federal operation with at least the FBI and some (or several) intel agencies participating. The riot and President Trump’s reaction to it became the one of the stated self-righteous foundations for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. Worked so well that Biden is still lying about it today. Jan 6 was a similar operation, with the FBI and some unknown number of intel and other agencies participating, orchestrating (per Ray Epps) the festivities. Also included is Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, the Capitol Police, and the DC Police. Expect Jan 6 to be the foundation for Biden’s reelection campaign next year. The new House majority has a big job in front of them to release all internal communications between Pelosi’s office and Capitol Police in the runup to, during, and following the festivities. Second phase will be to get FBI and intel agency internal communications for the event. Release all that stuff like Musk’s Twitter released the Twitter files over the last month.
5. 61. SpaceX ended last year with 61 launches, all of them successful. This launch rate approaches what the Soviet Union was doing in the late 1970s when they led the world in 1979 with 99 launches and 101 in 1982. SpaceX is planning on attempting over 100 launches in 2023. Another way to parse this launch rate is the US launched 1,796 objects into space in 2022, the biggest part of a worldwide launch of 2,163 in 2022. Most of these were Starlink satellites and Cubesats. The closest nation was China with 131 objects launched in 2022. As the new year begins, SpaceX may be called to rescue a Space Station crew due to a leaky Soyuz. No decision has been made on this yet. In the upcoming year, we will hopefully see the first successful flight of the Starship stack, which will put the reusable first stage down in the Gulf of Mexico, and the upper stage into the Pacific following a partial orbit. Neither part of the stack is planned for recovery as yet, though both ultimately will be once it becomes operational. For your viewing pleasure, the Jan 3 Transporter 6 launch and recovery. Video has been edited. It was a beautiful clear day and cameras at the Cape watched the booster all the way up and down to a landing back at the Cape. Space.com has a compressed version of this showing the view down the first stage booster the entire ride.
6. EPA. The busy little beavers at the EPA have really accelerated their rule making, unwinding both Trump-era environmental rules by reinstating O’Bama-era rules, and telling the SCOTUS to pound sand. The SCOTUS threw out the O’Bama Waters of the United States rule in 2016 as overly broad. The Trump EPA rewrote the rule, which was thrown out in 2021. The Biden EPA rewrote the Trump rule and finalized it in December. Essentially, the EPA has claimed that every single body of water that ever at any time connects to anything navigable is now theirs to regulate. A US District court judge Aug 2019 found the rule to be unconstitutional. Expect the SCOTUS to rule on this as a case pointed at this rule is already on the docket for this term. Second bit of EPA mischief was new emissions standards for heavy duty trucks. These are 80% stronger than current standards, scheduled to go into place in 2027. Cali and VA both have similar state standards scheduled to go into place about the same time. These standards essentially regulate the heavy trucking industry out of existence as nothing sold today other than the Tesla heavy duty truck can meet the new standards. Legislation passed as part of the infrastructure bill in October has nearly $1 for 389 school districts to purchase “clean” school districts. Just don’t get them wet. Note that all this green foolishness is coming via the usual bipartisan Uniparty top-down legislative cramdown where various rent seekers get their ashes hauled in green legislation that nobody reads before passage.
7. Blackouts. Nothing like a cold winter blast in the central and eastern part of the nation to finely focus the attention on problems associated with so-called green energy. Such was the case with the Bomb Cyclone that buried Buffalo and got much of the Midwest and South pretty cold. The event triggered several pieces, in AIER, American Greatness and WUWT. The AIER piece made the case that we are normalizing blackouts. The jumping off point for this piece was Christmas Eve in NC, where Duke Energy alerted its customers of rolling blackouts in the wake of a winter windstorm. At least 12 other states received similar warnings. The writer made the case that these were unprecedented and believes that customers are being prepared to accept future lack of performance by their utilities. Could be. OTOH, perhaps a heart-to-heart talk by corporate lawyers to their management is much more to blame. As we install more and more wind and in turn make the grid more unstable, we will by definition see more of this. As it comes as surely as night follows day. The American Greatness piece accurately makes the case that the more wind turbines we have, the greater chance customers have of freezing at home when they don’t spin in the winter, a harsh lesson learned in Texas a few winters ago. Finally, WUWT cross-posted a JunkScience.com piece calling net zero a road to nowhere (good Talking Heads song, lousy destination). Net Zero by 2050 is the Next Big Thing in the green war on Americans, mentioned in over 6,000 SEC filings last year. It is widespread in the corporate world and among investor group statements. All this is probably due to the SEC’s attempt to force Net Zero 2050. Note to self: Losing a presidential election given the size and power of the Executive Branch these days is not a loss to be taken lightly.
8. Reeducation. As a reminder of how fascist Justin Trudeau’s Canada has become comes a story out of Canada where psychologist Jordan Peterson was ordered by the Ontario College of Psychologists to report to a reeducation camp for criticizing Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and his policies. Should he not report, the general threat is to pull his license for practicing medicine in Canada. The complaint that triggered the reeducation order was perhaps a dozen out of 15 million who followed him in a four-year period. Free speech no longer exists (as if it ever did) in Canada.
More later –