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30 November, 2020

The Definitive Case Proving Donald Trump Won the Election

If Joe Biden taking the lead in Michigan and Wisconsin was the moment the dynamic of the Presidential race changed, this may be the moment the dynamic changes again.

A thorough and damning new analysis just published calls the legitimacy of this critical period into question and shows just how completely ridiculous and far-fetched the core of Joe Biden’s comeback really was in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia. It flags four individual vote dumps critical to Joe Biden’s “victory” in these states and shows, convincingly, that their ratios of Biden votes to Trump votes were profoundly anomalous when compared to other dumps in those states and virtually every other vote dump across the country.

The report is written in dry and academic language, filled with graphs, footnotes, and various hedges, but its implications could not be more obvious. Indeed, if the authors were less tepid, they might have fairly titled it:

Joe Biden’s Victory Was Not Legitimate. And Now We Can Prove it.

Because that’s exactly what the report does. It looks at election data and shows what many would expect: the states and cities that had the most suspicious circumstances on election night and into the next day are precisely where the analysis flags extreme anomalies.

Summary and Background of the Report

It starts out with the background on Michigan and Wisconsin — the famous “vote spikes” that were plainly ridiculous and fundamentally changed both the electoral reality and the narrative. The report reminds us of the infamous vote spikes in Michigan and Wisconsin.

The report is based on an analysis of the difference between successive updates in each state, each of which it calls “vote updates.” In online discourse, these are often referred to as “vote dumps” or “vote batches.”

It examines them across states and, controlling for how big a state is and how Democratic it is, does the following:

Defines, mathematically, what a “vote spike” is
Shows just how rare those are

Shows how, during a five-hour period, four particularly extreme vote spikes arrived favoring Joe Biden

Shows how crucial these were to Joe Biden’s election in MI, WI, and GA

Most damningly, shows how Joe Biden likely would have lost these states — and the election — were these only more “spiky” than 99% of all vote dumps

The report describes a measurement for showing the relationship between the number of votes Biden wins by (or loses by) in any given vote dump, and how well he did as a ratio of Trump’s votes in that vote dump, while controlling for size and political lean of a state. It thus normalizes the data across states, allowing for apples to apples comparisons. The key mathematical reason why these vote spikes are anomalous is that for every large vote dump heavily favoring Biden in any given area, you also would expect to have smaller vote dumps in the same area which favor him by similar margins. Quoting from the report:

The believability of these updates relies on the premise that the one or two most Biden-favoring parts of the state (perhaps by ballot type) were counted entirely in these two batches. If it cannot be shown that the ballots counted during these spikes were qualitatively different from all other vote updates in Michigan, then the results are likely too extreme along multiple dimensions to be accepted at face value. [Vote Integrity]

It goes on to describe how the same logic applies for the other updates as well. Large ballot dumps which heavily favor a candidate make sense, if there are also smaller ones which favor the candidate more. The “standardization” process used by the researchers here takes care of that, and shows how points up and to the right of the graph are the more “co-extreme” vote dumps, in the language of the report:

Making Sense of This

The analysis is incredibly dense but contains several key points, which American Patriots must remember in the coming days and weeks. The most important points are:

Four of the seven most extreme vote dumps decided the election for Joe Biden. This alone is bizarre and fundamentally cuts against his narrative of moderate increases in suburban and exurban areas. Moreover, the distribution is “heavy-tailed” and these vote dumps are vastly more “co-extreme” than even the points around the 99.5th percentile (the dotted black line in the graph above).

These four vote dumps were quantifiably far more extreme than virtually every other vote dump, with only a few others as extreme in their aberration from the inverse pattern observed elsewhere.

The odds of these three states (GA, WI, MI) being so well-represented at the top of the distribution is just over 1%. And when you factor in that a vote dump in GA is the 9th most extreme point, the odds that these three states have five of the top ten most extreme vote dumps drop to a mere 0.00337%.

Clearly, there’s something different about these states than others, including other blue states, or even other Midwestern states where a deep-blue urban population offsets the red rest of the state (e.g. Illinois, Minnesota), or states like Colorado, Texas, or Oregon, where the urban areas are also vastly more Democratic than the rest of the state.

These vote spikes all occurred in the same five-hour period. Wisconsin and Michigan both spent around eighteen hours counting votes, and the count took several days in Georgia. We have since learned that the “pipe burst” story in deep-blue Georgia was never in fact true.

This five hour period remains a period of great controversy surrounding how the vote counting was “stopped.” Recently, we learned that the story of a “pipe bursting” in Georgia was in fact not true. Combine that with the results shown in this piece, and an obvious picture comes into view: In all three states, the count was “stopped” to give cover for electoral fraud on the scale of hundreds of thousands of votes which were released in the middle of the night, hoping few would notice.

The burden of proof is now on Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, the Democratic party, and their various urban machine operatives to defend these results as legitimate. The on-the-ground circumstances in these states had been suspicious for weeks and warranted investigation in their own right. We now have the math to confirm our suspicions. This report, in winding sentences and hedged language, lays it bare for all of us to see: Joe Biden’s election “victory” relied on a fraudulent counting process in the dead of night.

The media has no interest in covering this, and indeed are trying actively to suppress it. An attempt to Google search for “precincts that stopped the count” makes this clear. The steal of this election, perpetrated in the middle of the night in several states, was allowed to happen only because of the extraordinary assistance given to the Democrats by Big Media and Big Tech. Nonetheless, thanks to what appears to be an anonymous group of researchers, we can definitively state what we knew all along:

President Donald J. Trump is the legitimate winner of this election. Republican state legislators in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia must refuse to seat electors for Joe Biden until a complete forensic audit has been conducted.

Never give up. Never back down. And never concede.


5 More Ways Joe Biden Magically Outperformed Election Norms

In all the excitement among objective journalists for Joe Biden’s declared victory, reporters are missing how extraordinary the Democrat’s performance was in the 2020 election. It’s not just that the former vice president is on track to become the oldest president in American history, it’s what he managed to accomplish at the polls this year.

Candidate Joe Biden was so effective at animating voters in 2020 that he received a record number of votes, more than 15 million more than Barack Obama received in his re-election of 2012. Amazingly, he managed to secure victory while also losing in almost every bellwether county across the country. No presidential candidate has been capable of such electoral jujitsu until now.

While Biden underperformed Hillary Clinton’s 2016 totals in every urban county in the United States, he outperformed her in the metropolitan areas of Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Even more surprising, the former VP put up a record haul of votes, despite Democrats’ general failures in local House and state legislative seats across the nation.

He accomplished all this after receiving a record low share of the primary vote compared to his Republican opponent heading into the general election. Clearly, these are tremendous and unexpected achievements that would normally receive sophisticated analysis from the journalist class but have somehow gone mostly unmentioned during the celebrations at news studios in New York City and Washington, D.C.

The massive national political realignment now taking place may be one source of these surprising upsets. Yet still, to have pulled so many rabbits out of his hat like this, nobody can deny that Biden is a first-rate campaigner and politician, the likes of which America has never before seen. Let’s break down just how unique his political voodoo has been in 2020.

1. 80 Million Votes
Holy moly! A lot of Americans turned out for a Washington politician who’s been in office for nearly 50 years. Consider this: no incumbent president in nearly a century and a half has gained votes in a re-election campaign and still lost.

President Trump gained more than ten million votes since his 2016 victory, but Biden’s appeal was so substantial that it overcame President Trump’s record support among minority voters. Biden also shattered Barack Obama’s own popular vote totals, really calling into question whether it was not perhaps Biden who pulled Obama across the finish lines in 2008 and 2012.

Proving how sharp his political instincts are, the former VP managed to gather a record number of votes while consistently trailing President Trump in measures of voter enthusiasm. Biden was so savvy that he motivated voters unenthusiastic about his campaign to vote for him in record numbers.

2. Winning Despite Losing Most Bellwether Counties
Biden is set to become the first president in 60 years to lose the states of Ohio and Florida on his way to election. For a century, these states have consistently predicted the national outcome, and they have been considered roughly representative of the American melting pot as a whole. Despite national polling giving Biden a lead in both states, he lost Ohio by eight points and Florida by more than three.

For Biden to lose these key bellwethers by notable margins and still win the national election is newsworthy. Not since the Mafia allegedly aided John F. Kennedy in winning Illinois over Richard Nixon in 1960 has an American president pulled off this neat trick.

Even more unbelievably, Biden is on his way to winning the White House after having lost almost every historic bellwether county across the country. The Wall Street Journal and The Epoch Times independently analyzed the results of 19 counties around the United States that have nearly perfect presidential voting records over the last 40 years. President Trump won every single bellwether county, except Clallam County in Washington.

Whereas the former VP picked up Clallam by about three points, President Trump’s margin of victory in the other 18 counties averaged over 16 points. In a larger list of 58 bellwether counties that have correctly picked the president since 2000, Trump won 51 of them by an average of 15 points, while the other seven went to Biden by around four points. Bellwether counties overwhelmingly chose President Trump, but Biden found a path to victory anyway.

3. Biden Trailed Clinton Except in a Select Few Cities
Patrick Basham, a pollster with an accurate track record and the director of the Democracy Institute in D.C., highlighted two observations made by fellow colleagues, polling guru Richard Baris of Big Data Poll and Washington Post election analyst Robert Barnes. Baris noted a statistical oddity from 2020’s election returns: “Biden underperformed Hillary Clinton in every major metro area around the country, save for Milwaukee, Detroit, Atlanta and Philadelphia.”

Barnes added that in those “big cities in swing states run by Democrats…the vote even exceeded the number of registered voters.” In the states that mattered most, so many mail-in ballots poured in for Biden from the cities that he put up record-breaking numbers and overturned state totals that looked like comfortable leads for President Trump.

If Democrats succeed in eliminating the Electoral College, Biden’s magic formula for churning out overwhelming vote totals in a handful of cities should make the Democrats unbeatable.

4. Biden Won Despite Democrat Losses Everywhere Else
Randy DeSoto noted in The Western Journal that “Donald Trump was pretty much the only incumbent president in U.S. history to lose his re-election while his own party gained seats in the House of Representatives.” Now that’s a Biden miracle!

In 2020, The Cook Political Report and The New York Times rated 27 House seats as toss-ups going into Election Day. Right now, Republicans appear to have won all 27. Democrats failed to flip a single state house chamber, while Republicans flipped both the House and Senate in New Hampshire and expanded their dominance of state legislatures across the country.

Christina Polizzi, a spokesperson for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, went so far as to state: “It’s clear that Trump isn’t an anchor for the Republican legislative candidates. He’s a buoy.” Amazingly, Biden beat the guy who lifted all other Republicans to victory. Now that’s historic!

5. Biden Overcame Trump’s Commanding Primary Vote
In the past, primary vote totals have been remarkably accurate in predicting general election winners. Political analyst David Chapman highlighted three historical facts before the election.

First, no incumbent who has received 75 percent of the total primary vote has lost re-election. Second, President Trump received 94 percent of the primary vote, which is the fourth highest of all time (higher than Dwight Eisenhower, Nixon, Clinton, or Obama). In fact, Trump is only one of five incumbents since 1912 to receive more than 90 percent of the primary vote.

Third, Trump set a record for most primary votes received by an incumbent when more than 18 million people turned out for him in 2020 (the previous record, held by Bill Clinton, was half that number). For Biden to prevail in the general election, despite Trump’s historic support in the primaries, turns a century’s worth of prior election data on its head.

Joe Biden achieved the impossible. It’s interesting that many more journalists aren’t pointing that out.



29 November, 2020

Johns Hopkins Study Saying COVID-19 Has 'Relatively No Effect on Deaths' in U.S.

Conventional wisdom is that COVID-19 has caused thousands of deaths in the United States and nearly 1.5 million worldwide. This perception has been directly challenged by a study published by Johns Hopkins University on Sunday, November 22.

Genevieve Briand, assistant program director of the Applied Economics master’s degree program at Johns Hopkins University, critically analyzed the impact that COVID-19 had on U.S. deaths. According to her, the impact of COVID-19 on deaths in the United States can be fully understood by comparing it to the number of total deaths in the country.

According to study, “in contrast to most people’s assumptions, the number of deaths by COVID-19 is not alarming. In fact, it has relatively no effect on deaths in the United States.”

Wait, what? Really?

That’s what it says. And, it should come as no surprise that not long after the study was published it was deleted within days.

Luckily, a back-up copy remains on The Wayback Machine, and we can still read the study.

So, how exactly did the study conclude that COVID-19 has had “relatively no effect on deaths”? Here’s how the study made this determination:

After retrieving data on the CDC website, Briand compiled a graph representing percentages of total deaths per age category from early February to early September, which includes the period from before COVID-19 was detected in the U.S. to after infection rates soared.

Surprisingly, the deaths of older people stayed the same before and after COVID-19. Since COVID-19 mainly affects the elderly, experts expected an increase in the percentage of deaths in older age groups. However, this increase is not seen from the CDC data. In fact, the percentages of deaths among all age groups remain relatively the same.

According to Briand, “The reason we have a higher number of reported COVID-19 deaths among older individuals than younger individuals is simply because every day in the U.S. older individuals die in higher numbers than younger individuals.”

Briand’s analysis found that the range of deaths amongst the older population has remained within the range of past years.

So, if COVID-19 has actually had no significant impact on U.S. deaths, why does it not appear that way?

To answer that question, Briand shifted her focus to the deaths per causes ranging from 2014 to 2020. There is a sudden increase in deaths in 2020 due to COVID-19. This is no surprise because COVID-19 emerged in the U.S. in early 2020, and thus COVID-19-related deaths increased drastically afterward.

Analysis of deaths per cause in 2018 revealed that the pattern of seasonal increase in the total number of deaths is a result of the rise in deaths by all causes, with the top three being heart disease, respiratory diseases, influenza and pneumonia.

“This is true every year,” explained Briand. “Every year in the U.S. when we observe the seasonal ups and downs, we have an increase of deaths due to all causes.”

Here’s where things get interesting.

When Briand looked at the 2020 data during that seasonal period, COVID-19-related deaths exceeded deaths from heart diseases. This was highly unusual since heart disease has always prevailed as the leading cause of deaths. However, when taking a closer look at the death numbers, she noted something strange. As Briand compared the number of deaths per cause during that period in 2020 to 2018, she noticed that instead of the expected drastic increase across all causes, there was a significant decrease in deaths due to heart disease. Even more surprising, as seen in the graph below, this sudden decline in deaths is observed for all other causes.

The study found that “This trend is completely contrary to the pattern observed in all previous years.” In fact, “the total decrease in deaths by other causes almost exactly equals the increase in deaths by COVID-19.”

Briand concludes that the COVID-19 death toll in the United States is misleading and that deaths from other diseases are being categorized as COVID-19 deaths.

There have reports of inflated COVID-19 deaths numbers for months. Patients who never tested positive for the disease had COVID-19 as their cause of death on their death certificates. In May, Jared Polis, the Democrat governor of Colorado, disputed official coronavirus death counts, saying even those of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were inflated from including people who tested positive for the coronavirus but died of other causes. In July, a fatal motorcycle accident victim was listed as a COVID-19 death.

On Thursday, Johns Hopkins University explained that they deleted the article on the study because it “was being used to support false and dangerous inaccuracies about the impact of the pandemic.”

They did not, however, challenge the accuracy of the data or its conclusions. In other words, the article was deleted because it didn’t fit the proper narrative.

This determination to put theory before the facts is truly malign -- JR


This Thanksgiving, I Choose the Safety of Freedom

Let’s have a little fun thinking about serious things. How about this? The public health aristocracy is advocating lockdowns for the holidays. Don’t travel, don’t associate in groups larger than six. And, don’t have fun.

For months leading up to the holiday season, many Americans have been flying. The flights have been fewer, but the planes have been full. The airports have been moderately crowded. Are the public health orthodocs telling us we shouldn’t be flying at all? Have they discovered that loaded planes are 'superspreaders'?

The short answer is, no.

Further, the mask mandators, who don’t want us flying or traveling, must have forgotten that the most compliant mask wearers are the flying public. In the dozens of flights that I have taken over the past months, I have observed that there is almost 100% compliance in the airport and on the planes.

Virtually everyone slaps a mask on their face from the moment they are dropped off on the airport curb, and continues to wear it until they have reached their destination and climbed into their cars heading away from the airport.

The airlines are strict enforcers of mask wearing.

The question then becomes, if mask wearing is so effective, then why would the public health cabalists insist that travel be verboten. Especially since traveling by plane will result in mask wearing by all on the plane. One would suggest that traveling by plane might be super safe.

Riding in an auto for hours with close friends and family may be the target of the autocrats, but aren’t those the same people who would be together at home for hours on end during the holiday lockdown?

And, how does all of this square with the shackles placed on free America by political leaders who believe they are too elite to live by the rules they make for others? All on the same day, New York Gov. Cuomo tearfully told the world that his out-of-state daughter cannot join his family for Thanksgiving. The world thinks, at last a Democrat leader who applies the same rules to himself that he imposes, by force, on others.

Oops. By mid-afternoon, Cuomo let the cat out of the bag: his 89-year-old mother and two of his other daughters are traveling to join in the holiday fete.

Goodness gracious. By early evening, the feckless one canceled the invitation to his mom and daughters. Illinois Governor Pritzker vacillates even more than Cuomo. He announced that he hasn’t decided if he or family and friends will travel while he locks down the state.

The Barrington Manifesto has more than 49,000 signers who are medical doctors, scientists, and professionals. They decry lockdowns. And, yet the pinnacle of public health pushes that we be locked away, against our will, in homes, apartments, etc., to avoid potentially catching the coronavirus. Yet, the studies are pretty determinative that one is more likely to catch the virus while in the closed settings that accompany lockdowns.

And, that’s not even counting the mental and physical health devastation that accompanies lockdowns. A recent report suggested that more than 50 percent of adolescents and young adults are suffering serious mental health issues, with a substantial increase of suicide ideations. And, seniors are also experiencing similar difficulties.

Isolation, which is the remedy most frequently advocated by our public health gurus, has brought to pass incredibly serious ramifications that many experts believe exceeds the real and serious impacts of the virus.

So, the experts insist that we lockdown and miss Thanksgiving. Miss out on our associations; shut down a brief moment of familial and friendly associations that bring some peace and joy in a season that has brought unprecedented discord in our nation.

I do not advocate that we take unnecessary risks. I am simply saying that each American should assess their risks and act as free, American adults. Make your decisions responsibly. We’ve been told for months that masks are the ultimate security. So, if I’m flying, I wear a mask. I’ll make the determination, with my loved ones, what risk we are willing to take.

If you want to stay locked down, isolated, and avoid whatever risks that associations with friends and family may pose, I support your decision. You, too, are free to make your choices.

I wish you all the best, and a Happy Thanksgiving, whatever your choice may be. If you choose the security of your homes and self-imposed lockdowns, I wish you well.

I, however, choose the safety of freedom, the joy of family associations, and the emotional wellbeing of friends, good food, fine conversations, and the peace of expressing gratitude.


Shocking MRC Study Shows Media Prevented Trump Landslide

A new report from the Media Research Center (MRC) shows the media’s role in thwarting what should have been a landslide win for President Trump in the 2020 Presidential race. The MRC surveyed Biden voters in seven swing states (AZ, GA, MI, WI, PA, NV and NC) and tested their knowledge of popular news topics about Trump’s successes and Biden’s corruption.

MRC found a whopping 82 percent of the voters were completely unaware of Trump’s successes, Biden’s corruption and the far left politics of his running mate, Kamala Harris. One in six, 17 percent, Biden voters said they would NOT have voted for Joe if they had known about one or more of these stories.

Voters were asked if they were aware of Biden’s sexual assault allegations, Hunter Biden scandal, how Harris is the most far-Left Senator, 33.1% economic growth, job creation, Middle East Peace Deals, U.S. Energy Independence, and Operation Warp Speed.

This latest report builds on an earlier post-election poll from MRC and McLaughlin & Associates that found 36 percent of Biden voters were unaware of recent evidence linking the Biden family to corrupt financial deals with China. If they had known these key facts, 4.6% of Biden’s total voters would not have voted for him in the 2020 Presidential race.

In the critical weeks before Election Day, from Oct. 14th – 27th, Media Research Center analysts found out of a total of 113 hours of news programming, ABC, CBS, NBC, these three networks combined spent a grand total of less than 22 minutes talking about the Hunter Biden scandal. God forbid they take a break from insulting President Trump to report the facts and hold a clearly corrupt politician accountable.

The left-wing media will stop at nothing to defend their beloved Biden family. When Biden allegedly interfered in Ukrainian politics last year, they insisted there was “no evidence” and he’d “done nothing wrong.” Then leading up to the election, they claimed Hunter Biden’s laptop scandal was nothing more than a Russian disinformation campaign. I wonder, is the media simply stupid or are they really that slimy to spread such a blatant lie? Someone, let me know.

Twitter of course also helped hide the Hunter Biden scandal. Although Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey eventually admitted they were “wrong” and corrected the issue, their actions are despicable and inexcusable. Too little, too late!

Biden’s B.S. aside, Google manipulated its basic search results to favor the Left. Last night researcher and psychologist, Dr. Robert Epstein was on Tucker Carlson Tonight and explained, “Google’s search results were strongly biased in favor of liberals and Democrats…the bias was being shown to pretty much every demographic group including conservatives. In fact, Conservatives got slightly more liberal bias in their search results than liberals did.”

He further claimed Big Tech’s manipulations, at the bare minimum, “could easily have shifted at least 6 million votes in just one direction.” President Trump tweeted a video of Tucker’s opening monologue and the full interview with Dr. Epstein.



27 November, 2020

Outrage when Trump pardons former national security adviser Mike Flynn

Where was the outrage when Bill Cinton pardoned Marc Rich, a genuine crook? No mention that Trump has used his clemency power less often than any other president in recent history.

The whole need for a pardon was that a Leftist judge refused to let go of Flynn, despite all reasons why he should let go. The pardon was in other words needed to correct a failing in the judicial system -- which is one of the traditional reasons for pardons

The President announced on Wednesday he was granting a full pardon to Michael Flynn, a retired former Army lieutenant general who briefly served in the Trump administration before being ousted for allegedly lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with the Russian ambassador during the transition.

“It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon,” Mr Trump tweeted. “Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!”

General Flynn simply tweeted “Jeremiah 1:19” – the Bible passage which reads, “‘They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the Lord.”

The move brings to an end a four-year criminal case, which the Department of Justice had attempted to drop in May this year after an independent review ordered by Attorney-General Bill Barr uncovered prosecutorial misconduct.

General Flynn twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, but later reversed course after retaining defence lawyer Sidney Powell, who fought to have the charges thrown out, alleging her client was “set up” by the FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team.

The case has been tied up in seemingly never-ending legal proceedings ever since, with DC Circuit Court Judge Emmett Sullivan refusing the DOJ’s request to dismiss the case and instead appointing an “amicus curiae”, or friend of the court, to argue against the government’s motion.

Democrats reacted with fury at the announcement, with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff saying in a statement that the President “abused the pardon power to reward Michael Flynn, who chose loyalty to Trump over loyalty to his country”.

“There is no doubt that a President has broad power to confer pardons, but when they are deployed to insulate himself, his family, and his associates from criminal investigation, it is a corruption of the Framer’s intent,” Mr Schiff said. “It’s no surprise that Trump would go out just as he came in – crooked to the end.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the pardon was “an act of grave corruption and a brazen abuse of power”. “Trump is again using the pardon power to protect those who lie to cover up his wrongdoing, just as he did when he commuted the sentence of campaign adviser Roger Stone, who was convicted on seven felony counts,” she said in a statement.


New research suggests immunity to COVID-19 is better than we first thought

Early in the pandemic, many researchers feared people who contracted COVID could be reinfected very quickly. This was because several early studies showed antibodies seemed to wane after the first few months post-infection.

It was also partly because normal human coronaviruses, which are one cause of common colds and are cousins of SARS-CoV-2, do not generate long-lasting immunity, so we can get reinfected with them after 12 months.

But new preliminary research suggests key parts of the immune system can remember SARS-CoV-2 for at least eight or nine months, and possibly for years.

When a country is invaded by an enemy, it rallies its forces, fights the war and hopefully repels the invaders. While the enemy has disappeared back to their own territory, a smart country sets up watchers to look for any signs of a new invasion.

Our immune system is exactly the same. Whenever we fight a bacterial or viral infection we leave behind certain cells that remember exactly what this invader looks like.

These are called memory cells and their job, in the event of another "invasion", is to warn our immune system early and ensure the right sort of response is mounted.

It means we don't have to start all over again to make a new response, and so reinfection is either eliminated or the time to recovery is much reduced.

This long-lived memory response can last a lifetime for some viruses such as measles.

We have two main parts of our adaptive immune response: B cells and T cells. Both of these cells can generate "memory".

We'll talk about B cells first. They make antibodies, which latch onto and destroy disease-causing agents such as viruses and bacteria.

A team of researchers from Australia, led by Menno van Zelm at Monash University, published a preliminary study last week showing the body can generate memory B cells specific to SARS-CoV-2. The research showed these cells last at least eight months, and likely even longer. This means these memory B cells could still rapidly produce antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 eight months post-infection, if the person were to be exposed to the virus again (although this work has not yet been peer-reviewed so should be treated with caution).

Other researchers from the United States showed memory B cells lasted at least six months, in a preliminary study also released last week.

While the researchers from Australia saw a drop in circulating antibodies against the virus after two months in the blood of the 25 patients they looked at, they found memory B cells against two important parts of the virus: the spike protein (what most vaccines are designed to target) and the "nucleocapsid", another structural protein of the virus.

They say this should give long-lasting immunity.

But we can't directly prove this, because that would involve reinfecting patients, which would be unethical. So to study this further, we have to rely on natural reinfections.

There have been just 26 confirmed cases of reinfection reported worldwide so far, according to a COVID reinfection tracker by Dutch news agency BNO News (although the true tally is likely higher). With 60 million people infected globally so far, reinfection therefore seems to be a very rare event.

What about T cells? These are cells that bind directly to infected human cells within the body and destroy them. All infected cells smuggle out bits of the invading pathogen onto their surface, as a kind of "SOS" signal that allows T cells to find the hidden enemy.

Researchers from the University of Oxford published a study in September showing memory T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2. This means certain T cells could remember how to respond to virus-infected cells, long after the initial infection was cleared —although there was no data on how long this may last.

A more recent study, published as a preliminary report last week from researchers in China and Germany, answers this question.

They studied patients from Wuhan, where the first reported COVID cases occurred, and who therefore have the oldest immune responses. They showed T cell memory responses were still present nine months after infection.

It would seem SARS-CoV-2 is not like its normal common cold coronavirus cousins. People's immune responses to common cold coronaviruses typically don't last very long, meaning we typically get reinfected by 12 months.

But it's clear people's immune systems can "remember" and respond to SARS-CoV-2. Interestingly, more severe coronavirus infections SARS and MERS appear to elicit longer-lasting responses up to three years.

So, people who've been naturally infected with SARS-CoV-2 can expect reinfection to be rare. If it does occur it will probably result in very mild disease, but otherwise they should be fully protected for at least eight or nine months after their first infection.

But we still don't know what would happen if someone was re-exposed after this timeline — only time will tell.


America’s Two Largest Republican States Announce They Will Have No More Lockdowns

America’s two largest Republican states — Texas and Florida — have announced that they will not be going into any more lockdowns as coronavirus cases surge across the country. The news comes as 45 out of 50 states have seen at least a 10% increase in coronavirus cases from the previous week.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott “said in an interview that there won’t be ‘any more lockdowns’ in the state and he wants to focus on ‘working to heal those who have Covid’ so they can leave the hospitals and get back to their normal routines,” NBC News reported. “A spokesperson for the governor told NBC News on Wednesday that Abbott’s plan to slow the spread of the virus will rely on ‘the data-driven hospitalization metrics used by doctors and medical experts.'”

Renae Eze, a spokesperson for Abbott’s office, issued the following statement last week outlining the state’s plan to deal with the spike in cases:

As some communities experience a rise in hospitalizations, the state of Texas is working closely with local officials to quickly provide the resources needed to address these spikes and keep Texans safe. The state’s coordination efforts go hand-in-hand with enforcing the existing protocols, a strategy that proved effective in slowing the spread over the summer and containing COVID-19 while allowing businesses to safely operate. The protocols work, but only if they are enforced. The reality is, COVID-19 still exists in Texas and across the globe, and Texans should continue to take this virus seriously and do their part by social distancing, washing their hands, and wearing a mask. These best practices, coupled with the governor’s metrics to monitor COVID-19 hospitalizations and local enforcement of protocols, are key to mitigating this virus and keeping our communities and our people safe.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also dismissed the notion of shutting down his state as cases surge around the country.

“Today we are back down to 4,500 [cases] and a 7.3% positivity rate,” a spokesperson for Governor DeSantis told CBS12 News. “We believe yesterday’s high number was due to a large submission file and skewed the numbers for that day. The Governor will not lock down and hurt families who can’t afford to shelter in place for 6 weeks. Especially not for a virus that has a 99.8% survival rate. One area of concern is Assisted Living Facilities. Since those over 70 face the greatest threat from [COVID] the Governor is monitoring those numbers daily and is prepared to move therapeutic and prophylactic assets to those facilities as needed.”



Trump vows he'll "never concede" despite administration starting transition move (Washington Times)

Pennsylvania, Nevada, North Carolina, and Minnesota certify their election results (NYT)

Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Arizona legislatures will hold hearings on election fraud (

GOP poised to flip four House seats in deep-blue California, more than any other state (Fox News)

Biden will immediately move to give citizenship to millions of illegals (Daily Wire)

The Dow surpasses 30,000 for the first time ever (

Home prices see biggest spike in six years in September (CNBC)

Restaurant employees out of work again as virus surges anew (AP)

Airlines absurdly discussing requiring proof of COVID vaccination for passengers (The Hill)

Seattle city council slashes police budget (Free Beacon)

California inmates part of a $1 billion unemployment fraud schemes (Politico) But remember: Voter fraud isn't a thing.

"Transhood" documentary despicably shows parents brainwashing four-year-olds (The Federalist)

Young kid get "baptized" into transgenderism at a woke "church" (Not the Bee)

"Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." —Matthew 18:6

Outdoor dining during COVID is starting to look suspiciously like indoor dining (Not the Bee)

Pete Davidson to lead all-star version of "It's a Wonderful Life" (NY Post)

Our Andrew Culper observes: "Davidson is trying to fill the shoes of Jimmy Stewart, a literal war hero. What a joke!"

Here's what a few notable communists would look like with bangs (Not the Bee)

Dude goes to a restaurant that's about to shut down, buys one beer, leaves a $3,000 tip (Not the Bee)

Policy: Socialism failed miserably for the Pilgrims, just like it does everywhere (The Federalist)

Policy: Americans should be free to decide how to celebrate Thanksgiving (Daily Signal)



26 November, 2020

Face Masks Are A Religion Now. All Hail The Almighty Mask!

Most religions, including Christianity, must by definition give the Almighty the benefit of any doubt when things don’t work out the way we mere humans would like. He is, after all, the creator of the universe. Who are we to question, right? A prayed-for sick loved one dies. God is good. An election doesn’t go our way? God is still good. A tsunami wipes out half a country? Well, you get the picture.

Real religions as an attempt to explain mankind’s greatest and oldest questions are one thing. However, turning an unproven scientific hypothesis into a de facto religion as a way to tarnish detractors as heretics and stifle debate is quite another, and anyone who doubts the fact that face masks have become just such a de facto religion should consider how they too ALWAYS get the benefit of any doubt. When COVID-19 spikes sharply in an area that’s already at ~100 percent mask compliance, the solution is always, always, always to “MASK HARRRDDDDERRRRR!” And when that inevitably doesn’t work, they call for lockdown measures, all the while never daring to question the efficacy of the sacred mask.

Masks can’t possibly have ANY negative side effects on health or society, we are told, even as social media giants censor legitimate medical professionals who conduct studies that suggest otherwise. In their zeal to worship the Almighty Face Mask, zealots even insist that high school athletes cover their faces with what soon becomes a wet washcloth while competing outdoors in the rain, their omnipotent power and glory being such that no negative health ramifications will ever occur. Masks are the “best tool” we have to “stop the spread of COVID-19,” our overlords constantly tell a population that is ALREADY well above the 80 percent mask compliance so-called "experts" once promised in May it would take to make cases “plummet.”

But cases aren’t "plummeting," now are they? Quite the contrary, they are exploding all over Europe and the U.S., despite the fact that Joe Biden once insisted that if only the Trump administration would have been more like Europe we would have stopped this virus in its tracks, or something. Now, media "geniuses" marvel at how European countries that supposedly "did EVERYTHING right (!!)" are nevertheless slammed with COVID-19 cases, yet not one of them will admit that perhaps "everything right" could just be … WRONG. They aren’t capable of questioning their previous assumptions and beliefs, in no small part because, again, those beliefs have become a religion.

Consider the puzzlement contained in this Daily Beast article about Italy’s recent spike: “What's particularly troubling about the return of COVID in Italy is that the country has done everything experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci have been advising,” writes Barbie Latza Nadeau. “Face masks in public places have been compulsory for months, social distancing is strongly enforced, nightclubs have never reopened, and sporting arenas are at less than a third of capacity. Children who are back at school are regularly tested and strictly social-distanced, and yet, the second wave seems completely unstoppable.”

The Daily Beast is shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, that human measures touted for months have been almost entirely futile. Despite instituting an outdoor, 1,000 euro fine-enforced mask mandate, the virus nevertheless stubbornly insists on virusing. Italy had 37,237 cases Friday (the equivalent to 204,803 in U.S. numbers) and 699 deaths. If that played out in the U.S., it would mean 3,844 dead in one day alone, a number never reached even in the spring. It's almost like it doesn't really matter what humans do, short of draconian, destructive lockdowns that harm millions and delay the inevitable.

Democratic Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, like most of these power-hungry wanna-be dictators, was in the “it’s all your fault” camp for months. Chastising Nevadans for COVID-19 spikes like an angry parent threatening consequences for bad behavior, Sisolak, presumably while firmly wagging his finger, scolded, "I'm not going to come back in two weeks and say I'm going to give you another chance." His tone was a bit more humble, however, once news broke that he managed to catch the ‘Rona himself: “You can take all the precautions that are possible and you can still contract the virus. I don’t know how I got it."

Go figure. Viruses keep virusing, and humans keep twisting themselves and their societies into pretzels to little or no avail. A brazen, ridiculous CNN headline last week summarizes the absolute insanity of it all. “Their states are in crisis after they resisted masks and Covid-19 rules,” CNN wrote, referring to Republican governors like South Dakota’s Kristi Noem who have “largely taken a hands-off approach” to the virus. “It hasn’t worked out well,” they smugly write, conveniently leaving out the fact that the virus is spreading significantly in countless places that, like Italy, are supposedly doing “everything right.”

It’s journalistic malpractice, of course. Obviously, the virus was going to spread in the Dakotas, especially since they didn’t really have much of a spike before. It may even be a bit worse per capita for a while because of that, but as Noem has aptly pointed out, hospitals aren’t overwhelmed and they are handling things just fine. Meanwhile, Michigan broke the 10,000 case mark Friday for the first time, and cases are exploding in states like Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, all of which have doubled-down on forced masking as a way to control spread.

Except, it isn’t controlling the spread at all, and the spikes in countries that don’t implement forced masking, like Sweden and Norway, aren’t any worse and are often better than their masked counterparts.

Meanwhile, CNN continues to pee on our legs and tell us it’s raining by citing “research” before the November surge that basically cherry-picks a few rural areas in Kansas where 10 cases would equal a “50 percent spike!!!!” to contend that “mask-mandates work to slow the spread of Covid-19.” All the while conveniently ignoring all the masked areas where cases are exploding.

As Tucker Carlson so eloquently put it on his show last week: “If masks and lockdowns stopped spikes in coronavirus infections, then we wouldn't be seeing spikes in coronavirus infections.” Indeed, if masks work, why aren’t they WORKING?

It would all be a ridiculous joke if they hadn’t succeeded in making it a de facto religion.


It's time to go to bat for market forces

Comment from Australia

It could be the news of not one, but two, COVID-19 vaccines with over 90 per cent effectiveness that could be widely distributed before winter. It could be some economic green shoots, with some forecasters - particularly at the big banks - predicting a far faster recovery than first feared.

It could be just that it's nearly summer time.

Economic optimism is a good thing in more ways than one: it's like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Optimism breeds consumer and business confidence, which itself generates the desired investment and economic growth to beat the pandemic recession.

Of course, given what 2020 has dished out thus far, it might be wise to exercise some caution amid the optimism - lest we next suffer a plague of locusts or some other biblical black swan.

Yet, while the short-term issues associated with the recovery are crucially important, they're not the only serious economic problem we face.

Although it may seem like the sort of dull thing we used to be concerned about back when we didn't have any real problems (circa 2019), you may recall that wage growth leading into the recession was at near record lows, despite a 28-year run of uninterrupted economic growth.

As the Productivity Commission pointed out in its latest report on productivity, stimulating and maintaining productivity growth are the only things that will boost wages in the long term.

There are two roadblocks to rebooting productivity, one on the left and one on the right. From the right, the concern is the re-emergence of economic nationalism and protectionism. From the left, the issue is the strangling growth of regulation.

It took a long time for Australia to move away from protectionism. There is a serious risk that the border safety concerns of the pandemic will drive Australia, and the rest of the world, back towards the insular, protectionist attitudes that were prominent in the 1950s, '60s and '70s.

As the Productivity Commission explained, the "Fortress Australia" approach of protection all around was deeply flawed: "The walls of Fortress Australia were unable to protect us from the economic turmoil of the 1970s and contributed to Australia sliding down the income ladder."

Scepticism of a free trade-led approach to international relations had been growing for years before the pandemic.

In the United States, both sides of politics have been openly expressing hostility to the merits of free trade deals. President Donald Trump has been a strong proponent of economic nationalism: specifically the idea that America is a loser from trade with the rest of the world.

A big part of Trump's pitch to "make America great again" was bringing manufacturing jobs back to America.

Of course, the unexplained flaw in this argument is that most of the jobs were actually lost to automation not trade. And the ability to manufacture far more than we used to, at a lower price, thanks to automation and productivity gains, is one of the most tangible examples of why we should embrace a pro-market agenda.

A pro-market agenda is not a pro-business agenda: it's a pro-consumer agenda. After all, despite what the politicians say, the gains from trade do not primarily arise from chiselling out access to distant markets for producers.

The biggest benefit comes from the competition that foreign producers bring to domestic markets. Competition drives innovation and cuts margins: that means more products and lower prices for consumers.

Competition forces firms to become more efficient to thrive. Firms protected from that competition grow fat and lazy, taking their customers for granted because they have nowhere else to go.

Regulation is a different type of limitation on competition, one that is equally damaging and even more insidious. Whatever lofty language is used to justify them, regulations are primarily about government control over businesses and markets.

Sometimes that control is exercised effectively, for a good purpose; such as regulations around manufacturing standards for medicines and medical devices.

But more often, regulation - regardless of how well-intentioned government is - creates as many problems as it solves. Regulations may create barriers to entry and flow through into unaffordable price rises.

The best example here is childcare, where the National Quality Framework has driven rapid growth in prices and out of pocket costs, despite increasing government subsidies.

Overzealous regulators can also create perverse outcomes, like ASIC's enforcement of responsible lending laws.

And sometimes regulation exists solely for the purpose of protecting vested interests, to the detriment of consumers - such as restrictions on the placement and ownership of pharmacies.

The number and scope of regulations imposed by government has exploded in the last decade or so. It would be convenient to point to the global financial crisis and its supposed failure of capitalism as the genesis of this trend, but in reality a desire to tamper with market forces to control economic outcomes far predates this downturn.

The left of politics in particular has embraced the regulatory state, both because of a discomfort with markets and because the declining power of unions has weakened their ability to push their social and political agenda on business and society through industrial muscle.

The distrust of market forces and the supposed unfairness of the outcomes from free markets are common to both right-wing protectionists and left-wing regulationists. The COVID-19 pandemic has enabled and encouraged the expansion of these attitudes.

Yet, as the Productivity Commission and the governor of the Reserve Bank have both made clear in recent days, freeing up market forces is the key not only to emerging from the COVID-19 recession but to sustained income growth thereafter.

If the green shoots of recovery are indeed more robust than they seemed a few months ago, it will be because Australia's efforts at deregulation and opening of markets in the 1990s and 2000s made our economy one of the most resilient in the world, in spite of the hostility to those ideas that has been growing since then.

It will not be easy to reignite this agenda. A lot of the low-hanging fruit has been picked, and what's left will require taking on entrenched vested interests (particularly in the public sector, where the productivity gains promise to be the greatest).

But if we want broad-based wage growth, then it's time to go to work.



25 November, 2020

3rd major COVID-19 vaccine shown to be effective and cheaper

Drugmaker AstraZeneca says that late-stage trials show its COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective, buoying the prospects of a relatively cheap, easy-to-store product that may become the vaccine of choice for the developing world

The results are based on an interim analysis of trials in the U.K. and Brazil of a vaccine developed by Oxford University and manufactured by AstraZeneca. No hospitalizations or severe cases of COVID-19 were reported in those receiving the vaccine.

AstraZeneca is the third major drug company to report late-stage data for a potential COVID-19 vaccine as the world waits for scientific breakthroughs that will end a pandemic that has pummeled the world economy and led to 1.4 million deaths. But unlike the others, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine doesn’t have to be stored at freezer temperatures, making it potentially easier to distribute, especially in developing countries.

“I think these are really exciting results,” Dr. Andrew Pollard, chief investigator for the trial, said at a news conference. “Because the vaccine can be stored at fridge temperatures, it can be distributed around the world using the normal immunization distribution system. And so our goal … to make sure that we have a vaccine that was accessible everywhere, I think we’ve actually managed to do that.”

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in one of the dosing regimens tested; it was less effective in another. Earlier this month, rival drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna reported preliminary results from late-stage trials showing their vaccines were almost 95% effective.

While the AstraZeneca vaccine can be stored at 2 degrees to 8 degrees Celsius (36 degrees to 46 degrees Fahrenheit), the Pfizer and Moderna products must be stored at freezer temperatures. In Pfizer’s case, it must be kept at the ultra-cold temperature of around minus-70 degrees Celsius (minus-94 Fahrenheit).

The AstraZeneca vaccine is also cheaper.

AstraZeneca, which has pledged it won’t make a profit on the vaccine during the pandemic, has reached agreements with governments and international health organizations that put its cost at about $2.50 a dose. Pfizer’s vaccine costs about $20, while Moderna’s is $15 to $25, based on agreements the companies have struck to supply their vaccines to the U.S. government.

All three vaccines must be approved by regulators before they can be widely distributed.

Oxford researchers and AstraZeneca stressed they weren’t competing with other projects and said multiple vaccines would be needed to reach enough of the world’s population to end the pandemic.

“We need to be able to make a lot of vaccine for the world quickly, and it’s best if we can do it with different technologies so that if one technology runs into a roadblock, then we’ve got alternatives, we’ve got diversity,” professor Sarah Gilbert, a leader of the Oxford team, told The Associated Press. “Diversity is going to be good here, but also in terms of manufacturing, we don’t want to run out of raw materials.”

AstraZeneca said it will immediately apply for early approval of the vaccine where possible, and it will seek an emergency use listing from the World Health Organization, so it can make the vaccine available in low-income countries.

The AstraZeneca trial looked at two different dosing regimens. A half-dose of the vaccine followed by a full dose at least one month later was 90% effective. Another approach, giving patients two full doses one month apart, was 62% effective.

That means that, overall, when both ways of dosing are considered, the vaccine showed an efficacy rate of 70%.

Gilbert said researchers aren’t sure why giving a half-dose followed by a larger dose was more effective, and they plan to investigate further. But the answer is probably related to providing exactly the right amount of vaccine to get the best response, she said.

“It’s the Goldilocks amount that you want, I think, not too little and not too much. Too much could give you a poor quality response as well …,” she said. “I’m glad that we looked at more than one dose because it turns out to be really important.”

The vaccine uses a weakened version of a common cold virus that is combined with genetic material for the characteristic spike protein of the virus that causes COVID-19. After vaccination, the spike protein primes the immune system to attack the virus if it later infects the body.

Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London, said the finding that a smaller initial dose is more effective than a larger one is good news because it may reduce costs and mean more people can be vaccinated with a given supply of the vaccine.

“The report that an initial half-dose is better than a full dose seems counterintuitive for those of us thinking of vaccines as normal drugs: With drugs, we expect that higher doses have bigger effects, and more side-effects,” he said. “But the immune system does not work like that.”

The results reported Monday come from trials in the U.K. and Brazil that involved 23,000 people. Of those, 11,636 people received the vaccine — while the rest got a placebo.

Overall, there were 131 cases of COVID-19. Details on how many people in the various groups became ill weren’t released Monday, but researchers said they will be published in the next 24 hours.

Late-stage trials of the vaccine are also underway in the U.S., Japan, Russia, South Africa, Kenya and Latin America, with further trials planned for other European and Asian countries.

Researchers said they expect to add the half dose-full dose regimen to the U.S. trial in a “matter of weeks.’’ Before doing so they must discuss the changes with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The AstraZeneca trials were paused earlier this year after a participant in the U.K. study reported a rare neurological illness. While the trials were quickly restarted in most countries after investigators determined the condition wasn’t related to the vaccine, the FDA delayed the U.S. study for more than a month before it was allowed to resume.

AstraZeneca has been ramping up manufacturing capacity, so it can supply hundreds of millions of doses of the vaccine starting in January, Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said earlier this month.

Soriot said Monday that the Oxford vaccine’s simpler supply chain and AstraZeneca’s commitment to provide it on a nonprofit basis during the pandemic mean it will be affordable and available to people around the world.

“This vaccine’s efficacy and safety confirm that it will be highly effective against COVID-19 and will have an immediate impact on this public health emergency,’’ Soriot said.

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he felt “a great sense of relief” at the news from AstraZeneca.

Britain has ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine, and the government says several million doses can be produced before the end of the year if it is approved by regulators.

Just months ago, “the idea that by November we would have three vaccines, all of which have got high effectiveness … I would have given my eye teeth for,” Hancock said.

From the beginning of their collaboration with AstraZeneca, Oxford scientists have demanded that the vaccine be made available equitably to everyone in the world so rich countries can’t corner the market as has happened during previous pandemics.

Leaders of the world’s most powerful nations on Sunday agreed to work together to ensure “affordable and equitable access” to COVID-19 drugs, tests and vaccines.

“If we don’t have the vaccine available in many, many countries, and we just protect a small number of them, then we can’t go back to normal because the virus is going to keep coming back and causing problems again,” Gilbert said. “No one is safe until we’re all safe.”


Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ Plan Is Central Planning on Steroids

For more than two centuries, the American economy has been predicated upon free-market capitalism, which has led to the United States becoming the most prosperous and innovative nation in the history of the world.

However, the free-market engine that has fueled unprecedented American ingenuity and wealth creation could be in jeopardy. And it might happen sooner than you think.

According to Joe Biden’s economic agenda, known as the Build Back Better plan, “This is the moment to imagine and build a new American economy for our families and the next generation.”

Biden’s new American economy would be made possible via an influx of government spending, central planning, and regulations on the fossil fuel industry, among others.

However, to actually build a new American economy, it would also include dispensing with many of the principles and policies that created the current American economy. This would be unwise.

To accomplish these joint objectives, Biden has laid out an audacious agenda, which he claims “will mobilize the American people in service of four bold, national efforts to address four great national challenges.”

Before diving into his four bold, national efforts, it is disconcerting that Biden believes the national government, which has a long track record of failed economic interventions, would be capable of accomplishing such a monumental (and unnecessary) task.

Among his four bold, national efforts, first and foremost, Biden plans to “build a strong industrial base and small-business-led supply chains to retain and create millions of good-paying union jobs in manufacturing and technology across the country.”

As stated above, this would be best accomplished by the free-market instead of the national government. Time after time, the federal government has attempted to “create millions of good-paying jobs” and almost all of these attempts have failed.

From FDR’s New Deal policies to alleviate the Great Depression to Obama’s massive stimulus to cure the ails of the Great Recession, the national government has been unable to jumpstart the economy. In the midst of the pandemic-induced downturn, this same logic would apply.

Second, Biden plans to “meet the climate crisis, build a clean energy economy, address environmental injustice, and create millions of good-paying union jobs.”

Again, this is outside the purview of the national government. And if history is any guide, the national government’s recent attempts to subsidize green energy projects, such as Solyndra, have been less than stellar. Innovation is best accomplished through tinkering and trial-and-error, not via bureaucrats with gobs of money to waste.

The third pillar of Biden’s Build Back Better plan would provide free childcare, enhanced compensation for teachers, and more resources for those who care for the elderly.

Although this is laudable, it would do little to reignite America’s economy. And the nation cannot afford it, given our national debt exceeds $27 trillion.

The fourth and final part of his plan is perhaps the most insidious. According to his website, Biden would “pursue a dedicated agenda to close the racial wealth gap, to expand affordable housing, to invest in Black, Latino, and Native American entrepreneurs and communities, to advance policing and criminal justice reform, and to make real the promise of educational opportunity regardless of race or zip code.”

As covered previously, the federal government can ill afford to expand upon its already extensive social safety net programs. And like most of his proposals, much of these would be much better accomplished at the local level. And if Biden is concerned with educational opportunity, especially in minority communities, he would advocate for school choice, instead of doubling-down on failed government schools.

Biden’s Build Back Better plan is heavy on the rhetoric, light on specifics, and hopelessly misguided. If implemented in full, it would add more federal government oversight and spending in a time when the opposite approach would be a better path.

Instead of cajoling Americans into pursuing four bold, national agendas, we would all be better off if we were left to our own devices, while pursuing our own life, liberty, and happiness.



Trump campaign appeals Pennsylvania judge's decision to dismiss lawsuit that seeks to delay certifying election results (CBS News) and also requests second Georgia recount (NR)

Trump is running out of time as key states set to certify Biden victory (NPR)

Joe Biden to name Antony Blinken as secretary of state (USA Today)

Ilhan Omar suggests Biden should "reverse" Trump's Middle East agreements (Fox News)

Despite CDC travel warnings, one million pass through U.S. airports Friday (USA Today)

Operation Warp Speed advisor expects vaccine to ship mid-December, herd immunity by May (NY Post)

Mike Pompeo meets Taliban leaders ahead of planned U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan (Free Beacon)

Saudi Arabia should be a "partner" on any future nuclear deal with Iran, foreign minister says (CNBC)

U.S. officially pulls out of Open Skies Treaty with Russia over its blatant violations (Washington Times)

Weekend violence in Chicago leaves 47 shot, five dead (Fox News)

Oregon's nanny governor urges residents to tattle-tale by calling cops on shutdown violators (Washington Times)

California's clown governor exempts entertainment industry from COVID restrictions (Daily Wire)

Nevada governor issues three-week "statewide pause" as COVID cases surge (Fox News)

No joke: Andrew Cuomo will receive Emmy for coronavirus TV briefings (NY Post)

Powerful and connected New York City Democrats break COVID rules because they can (Not the Bee)

Appeals court rules Tennessee can outlaw abortions based on "sex, race, or disability" (Disrn)



24 November, 2020 

‘Experts’ Listed 27 House Races As Toss-Ups. Republicans Won All 27

On Monday, Burgess Owens, a former NFL player and vocal critic of Colin Kaepernick, was declared the winner of Utah’s 4th Congressional District. 

Despite running against an incumbent and trailing by 11% in final polling, Owens prevailed in a race deemed a “toss-up” by Cook Political Report, a “nonpartisan” election and campaign analysis group popular among legacy media outlets. 

Ahead of the 2020 election, Cook listed 27 races as “toss-ups,” meaning they were too close to predict one way or the other. Republicans won all 27.

That’s not a typo. Despite being assured by that conservatism was about to drown beneath an impending “blue wave,” Republicans won every single close race.

Republicans also won all 26 races deemed “leaning or likely Republican,” and even picked up 7 of the 36 seats listed as “leaning or likely Democrat.” 

Despite nearly unanimous predictions that Democrats would further cement control of the House, they now hold just a 218-204 advantage, with Republicans poised to pick up more seats, as they lead in 8 of the remaining 13 races.

Republican dominance in supposedly 50-50 districts is yet another reminder of just how wrong polls were in 2020, and how wrong they have been for some time. What should embarrass pollsters most, though, is not the fact that they were wrong, but how one-sided they were in the process.

Across the board, pollsters routinely underrepresented support for Republicans while falsely painting a picture of impending Democrat dominance. Are the American people supposed to think that it’s a coincidence that nearly every time a poll missed the mark in 2020 — which was often — it was in favor of Democrats? 

How many state and federal races were impacted by incorrect polling that showed stronger support for Democrats than actually existed? Think of the donors who refrained from giving to a candidate because the polls indicated that the race was already over. How many candidates missed out on key endorsements or support from outside entities because they were viewed as a lost cause? 

We’ll never know the answer to these questions, but what we do know is that pollsters will continue to mislead and misinform so long as they have a media willing to prop them up. It’s a cycle we’ve seen far too often: the leftist legacy media creates a narrative, then promotes polls which reinforce that narrative. When the polls turn out to be an inaccurate representation of reality — like in 2016, 2018 and 2020 — the media quickly moves on to the next news cycle, never taking responsibility or facing retribution for the error in their ways. 

Will the American people ever wake up and demand more? Will they stop funding the legacy media which propagates the failed predictions of pollsters en masse? Right now, it’s hard to say. I guess you could call it a toss-up.


Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ Plan Is Central Planning on Steroids

For more than two centuries, the American economy has been predicated upon free-market capitalism, which has led to the United States becoming the most prosperous and innovative nation in the history of the world.

However, the free-market engine that has fueled unprecedented American ingenuity and wealth creation could be in jeopardy. And it might happen sooner than you think.

According to Joe Biden’s economic agenda, known as the Build Back Better plan, “This is the moment to imagine and build a new American economy for our families and the next generation.”

Biden’s new American economy would be made possible via an influx of government spending, central planning, and regulations on the fossil fuel industry, among others.

However, to actually build a new American economy, it would also include dispensing with many of the principles and policies that created the current American economy. This would be unwise.

To accomplish these joint objectives, Biden has laid out an audacious agenda, which he claims “will mobilize the American people in service of four bold, national efforts to address four great national challenges.”

Before diving into his four bold, national efforts, it is disconcerting that Biden believes the national government, which has a long track record of failed economic interventions, would be capable of accomplishing such a monumental (and unnecessary) task.

Among his four bold, national efforts, first and foremost, Biden plans to “build a strong industrial base and small-business-led supply chains to retain and create millions of good-paying union jobs in manufacturing and technology across the country.”

As stated above, this would be best accomplished by the free-market instead of the national government. Time after time, the federal government has attempted to “create millions of good-paying jobs” and almost all of these attempts have failed.

From FDR’s New Deal policies to alleviate the Great Depression to Obama’s massive stimulus to cure the ails of the Great Recession, the national government has been unable to jumpstart the economy. In the midst of the pandemic-induced downturn, this same logic would apply.

Second, Biden plans to “meet the climate crisis, build a clean energy economy, address environmental injustice, and create millions of good-paying union jobs.”

Again, this is outside the purview of the national government. And if history is any guide, the national government’s recent attempts to subsidize green energy projects, such as Solyndra, have been less than stellar. Innovation is best accomplished through tinkering and trial-and-error, not via bureaucrats with gobs of money to waste.

The third pillar of Biden’s Build Back Better plan would provide free childcare, enhanced compensation for teachers, and more resources for those who care for the elderly.

Although this is laudable, it would do little to reignite America’s economy. And the nation cannot afford it, given our national debt exceeds $27 trillion.

The fourth and final part of his plan is perhaps the most insidious. According to his website, Biden would “pursue a dedicated agenda to close the racial wealth gap, to expand affordable housing, to invest in Black, Latino, and Native American entrepreneurs and communities, to advance policing and criminal justice reform, and to make real the promise of educational opportunity regardless of race or zip code.”

As covered previously, the federal government can ill afford to expand upon its already extensive social safety net programs. And like most of his proposals, much of these would be much better accomplished at the local level. And if Biden is concerned with educational opportunity, especially in minority communities, he would advocate for school choice, instead of doubling-down on failed government schools.

Biden’s Build Back Better plan is heavy on the rhetoric, light on specifics, and hopelessly misguided. If implemented in full, it would add more federal government oversight and spending in a time when the opposite approach would be a better path.

Instead of cajoling Americans into pursuing four bold, national agendas, we would all be better off if we were left to our own devices, while pursuing our own life, liberty, and happiness.


The red elephants – there is undeniable mathematical evidence the election is being stolen

President Trump does not plan to concede in the event that the media declares Joe Biden the winner of the election, and elected the 46th president of the United States. The Trump campaign and it’s top advisers called for multiple lawsuits on the grounds that the ongoing vote count would result in tallying illegally cast ballots.

The lawsuits will amount to an aggressive effort to highlight anomalies, statistical impossibilities, or other perceived problems that could affect vote counts before a final presidential winner is declared.

Many reporters at press conferences that took place in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Michigan on Thursday asked his political appointees and supporters for evidence of the wide-scale problems they alleged occurred.

If it is just the mathematical evidence Americans are looking for, there is endless evidence. Here are just the facts.

Statistical Impossibilities in Wisconsin and Michigan
In both Michigan and Wisconsin, several vote dumps occurred at approximately 4 AM on Wednesday morning, which showed that Joe Biden received almost 100 percent of the votes. President Trump was leading by hundreds of thousands of votes in both states as America went to sleep, and turnout in the state of Wisconsin seems to be particularly impossible.

The voter turnout in Wisconsin apparently annihilated the historical record of 66.8% by almost 30 percentage points.

Statistical analysts have noted that this five point deviation was not only a statistical improbability, but a virtual statistical impossibility.

The odds of this occurring are 0.00000189% or one in 52,910,052.

Wisconsin Voter Turnout (foto Red Elephants)
Some claim that this is because of same day registration, however 20 other states allow same day registration, and results within those states were not close to reaching a turnout this unprecedented. Additionally, it is highly dubious that hundreds of wards suddenly doubled their voter registration in a single election year.

With absentee ballots, former vice president Joe Biden was also 60 points in Pennsylvania and almost 40 points in Michigan According to the New York Times. Comparably, Biden was only up single digits in absentee voting in most other battleground states. Wisconsin has not yet been reported.

2020 Absentee (Mail In) Voting Advantage (%) to Biden (foto Red Elephants)
Elections officials in Michigan and Wisconsin could not explain Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s sudden and dramatic vote tally increase that occurred in both states Wednesday morning.

Voter tallies from both states spiked at around 6 AM. in favor of Biden, according to graphs of live tallies posted by FiveThirtyEight (

When asked at a Wednesday press conference how this occurred, Michigan Department of State spokesperson Aneta Kiersnowski told reporters “We cannot speculate as to why the results lean one way or another.”

This is particularly concerning considering republicans led in mail in ballots requested and mail in and in person ballots returned leading up to and at the start of election day

According to NBC News ( on election day before the polls opened, In Michigan, Republicans led 41% to 39% in Mail in Ballots requested. Republicans also led 42% to 39% with Mail in and in person ballots returned.

In Wisconsin on election day before the polls opened, Republicans led Mail in Ballots requested 43% to 35%, and Mail in and early in person ballots returned 43% to 35%. Almost ALL of the ballots found, while most in the country were sleeping, after they officials stated they would stop counting, were for Joe Biden.

Michigan Election Results 2020 (2) (foto Red Elephants)
Some statistically savvy observers noticed other mathematical flaws, as random numbers in statistics should follow a pattern in their distribution. If the numbers are falsified, it is easy to detect.



23 November, 2020 

US authorities grant emergency approval to Regeneron treatment given to Trump

New York: The Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency authorisation for the experimental antibody treatment given to President Donald Trump shortly after he was diagnosed with COVID-19, giving doctors another option to treat COVID-19 patients as cases across the country continue to rise.

The treatment, made by the biotech company Regeneron, is a cocktail of two powerful antibodies, casirivimab and imdevimab, that have shown promise in early studies at keeping the infection in check, reducing medical visits in patients who get the drug early in the course of their disease. A similar treatment, made by Eli Lilly, was given emergency approval earlier this month.

The emergency authorisation for Regeneron's drug is limited in scope: It is for people who have tested positive for the coronavirus and who are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19. Evidence so far suggests that antibody treatments work best early in the course of the disease, before the virus has gained a foothold in the body. Like Eli Lilly's treatment, Regeneron's is not authorised for use in people who are hospitalised or who need oxygen.

The emergency authorisation raises immediate questions about who will get access to the treatments as an average of more than 168,000 people are diagnosed each day with COVID-19 in the United States and hospitals are running out of beds in some regions of the country. Regeneron has said it will have enough of the drug for only about 80,000 people by the end of November, enough for 200,000 patients by the first week of January, and 300,000 by the end of January. After that, the company said, it will be able to ramp up production thanks to a partnership with Swiss manufacturer Roche.

Regeneron has received more than $US500 million ($685 million) from the federal government to develop and manufacture the treatments. Although the first 300,000 doses will be provided free, patients may be charged for having the treatment administered; it must be infused in a clinic or hospital. For some Medicare beneficiaries, that cost would be $US60, depending on the patient's coverage plan.

Antibody treatments have gotten less attention than vaccines, but health officials have long held out hope that they may serve as a possible bridge until a coronavirus vaccine is more broadly available. Two vaccines, one made by Pfizer and another by Moderna, were recently shown to be more than 90% effective in early analyses. Pfizer, which has completed its trial, submitted an application Friday for emergency authorisation of the vaccine, and Moderna said it planned to apply soon. Still, it will be weeks before a vaccine is available, and even then, access will be limited to people in high-risk groups.

Dr George Yancopoulos, Regeneron's president and chief scientific officer, said in a statement that he was encouraged by the recent vaccine results but that "there remains a need to treat patients who develop COVID-19, especially as some may not have had access to or were not protected by vaccination."

Regeneron enjoyed a burst of publicity in October, when Trump received an infusion of its cocktail and then enthusiastically promoted the drug as lending him a superpower-like feeling. In a video released October 7, the president claimed without evidence that it had cured him and that he had authorised it — something he does not have the power to do.

It remains impossible to know whether the Regeneron treatment helped Trump. He was given multiple drugs while at Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre, and many people recover from the virus on their own.

Since the spring, White House and health officials have been closely watching the development of the antibody treatments. In addition to Regeneron's deal with the federal government, Eli Lilly announced a $US375,000 deal in October to supply the government with 300,000 doses.

A similar antibody treatment that Regeneron developed to fight Ebola was approved by the FDA in October, bolstering confidence that its COVID-19 version would prevail in the ongoing trials of outpatients.

The president and two of his top advisers — Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, and Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law — have called Dr Stephen Hahn, the FDA commissioner, to press for speed in agency reviews. And Dr. Leonard Schleifer, the billionaire co-founder and chief executive of Regeneron, who has known Trump casually for years, has told associates that Trump calls him to ask about the status of the treatment.

Early data released by Regeneron suggest that its cocktail works best in people who do not appear to be mounting an early immune response to the virus, or who have high levels of the virus, and who are therefore at greater risk of faring poorly.

But early evidence also shows that the antibody treatments do not work well once people are sick enough to be hospitalised. Eli Lilly stopped giving its treatment to hospitalised patients in a government-run trial because, it said, it did not seem to be helping those patients. And Regeneron paused enrolling the sickest hospitalised patients in one of its trials.

This causes a challenge for distributing the drugs, since they are only authorised for people who are not hospitalised yet must be infused intravenously in a clinic or hospital.

Regeneron has suggested that the people who benefit the most from the treatment are those who have not yet mounted an antibody response and who also have high viral loads — but learning who those people are would require separate tests that are not routinely given to patients who test positive for the virus. Company executives have acknowledged that at first, such tests may not be available, and the emergency authorisation notes that people at high risk include those who are over 65 or have underlying conditions such as obesity or diabetes.

Getting the treatment to the right people will require quick turnarounds in testing, as well as coordination among federal, state and hospital officials — many of the same challenges that have complicated the U.S. response to the pandemic.

The distributor AmerisourceBergen will deliver Regeneron's treatment on a weekly schedule based on the number of COVID-19 cases in each state. The federal government plans to work with state health officials to determine which hospitals and clinics should receive it.

In a call with reporters this month to outline how the Eli Lilly treatment would be distributed, Janet Woodcock, a top federal drug official, said the administration was working with hospitals and infusion companies, and acknowledged the logistical complexity of a drug that takes an hour to administer, followed by an hour of observation. The hospitals and clinics will also have to figure out how to safely treat infectious patients without exposing other people to the virus.

"We're all going to need to get the word out that people at high risk have a therapeutic option now as outpatients, because until this point people have been told to stay home unless they get very sick," she said.

The emergency use authorisation, or EUA, was previously an obscure corner of regulatory law that mostly escaped broad public attention. But during the pandemic, it has become a centrepiece of the administration's health policy: Since February, the agency has granted hundreds of emergency authorisations related to COVID-19, many for diagnostic tests and others for personal protective equipment, blood-purification devices, ventilators and therapies.

In signing off on the emergency authorisations, FDA scientists in the agency's Office of Infectious Diseases had to weigh the need for clear evidence that the treatments worked with the increasing desperation for useful drugs as the pandemic accelerated again in the United States. Unlike a full FDA approval, which requires a rigorous vetting of clinical trial data showing a drug is safe and effective, an emergency authorisation simply requires the potential benefits of a drug to outweigh its risks.

The emergency authorisation for Regeneron may still have the unintended effect of complicating the role of clinical trials in proving the treatment's effectiveness for different age groups. If the drug becomes available more broadly, fewer people may want to sign up for clinical trials and risk the possibility that they may receive a placebo


Masks 'DON'T stop you getting Covid': Top experts criticise 'troubling lack of evidence' to justify wearing them after major Danish study concluded they don't protect the wearer

Top scientists have warned there is a 'troubling lack of evidence' that face masks prevent Covid-19 infection, after a major study in Denmark found they don't protect people who wear them. 

Governments around the world — including the UK — have made it mandatory to wear a face covering in indoor public spaces, despite a dearth of rigorous trials into their effectiveness.

The rationale has been that masks must be better than nothing because they block at least some virus being exhaled or inhaled by the wearer.

But a randomised study published by scientists at Copenhagen University, thought to be the best of its kind so far, found no statistical evidence that they offer any protection whatsoever. 

Reacting to the finding in a column in The Spectator today, Oxford University's Professor Carl Heneghan and Dr Tom Jefferson said there had been 'a troubling lack of robust evidence on face masks and Covid-19'.

There have only been three 'real life' studies comparing mask-wearers to non-mask-wearers — one in Guinea-Bissau, one in India and the new Denmark study. All have shown masks to have no benefit in preventing the disease.

But the experts added: 'Now we have properly rigorous scientific research we can rely on, the evidence shows wearing masks in the community does not significantly reduce the rates of infection.'  

The Copenhagen experts recruited 6,000 volunteers in the spring — before masks were mandatory there — and split the them into two groups, with half wearing masks in public and half not. 

After a month, the mask-wearing volunteers were tested for current and previous Covid-19 infection and compared with the control group who didn't wear them.  

Results showed that, after one month, 1.8 per cent of the people wearing masks had been infected with the virus.

By comparison, 2.1 per cent of the people in the unmasked group had tested positive for Covid-19. The difference between the two groups was not found to be statistically significant. 

'The study does not confirm the expected halving of the risk of infection for people wearing face masks,' the authors wrote in a press release. 

'The results could indicate a more moderate degree of protection of 15 to 20 [percent], however, the study could not rule out that face masks do not provide any protection.' 

The team, from Copenhagen University Hospital, said the findings should not be used to argue against their widespread use, however, because masks may prevent people infecting others.

The results from the Danish study - called Danmask-19 - mirror the findings of studies into influenza. 

Nine other trials looking at the efficacy of masks on influenza have found that masks make little or no difference in whether people catch the virus. 

Professor Heneghan and Dr Jefferson added: 'The low number of studies into the effect different interventions have on the spread of Covid-19 – a subject of global importance – suggests there is a total lack of interest from governments in pursuing evidence-based medicine.'

They said the only trials which have shown masks to be effective in stopping airborne diseases have been 'observation studies' which are considered a much less accurate form of research.

In these studies, scientists compare people who normally wear masks with people who say they don't, rather than attempting to create a randomised control group. 

The experts said these types of studies are flawed because 'in the heat of a pandemic, not very many people will recall if and when they used masks and at what distance they kept from others'. 

Previous studies have concluded similar findings, saying masks provide only limited protection for the person wearing it, but can dramatically reduce the risk to others if the wearer is infected, even when showing no symptoms.     

But some experts disagree and say they are weaknesses to the study such as the authors not independently verifying mask use or that users wore them correctly. 

'There is absolutely no doubt that masks work as source control,' Dr Thomas Frieden, former director of the CDC, who wrote in an editorial.

'The question this study was designed to answer is: Do they work as personal protection? An N95 mask is better than a surgical mask. A surgical mask is better than most cloth masks. A cloth mask is better than nothing.'

Last week, the CDC updated its guidelines saying  masks protect wearers from contracting COVID-19, not just those around them. 

Health officials said cloth masks block droplets from being exhaled by the wearer and also provide 'filtration for personal protection' by preventing droplets from reaching others.   

The team from the new study says the findings 'should not be used to conclude that a recommendation for everyone to wear masks in the community would not be effective in reducing SARS-CoV-2 infections, because the trial did not test the role of masks in source control of SARS-CoV-2 infection.'



22 November, 2020 

What they DON'T tell you about Covid: Fewer beds taken up than last year, deaths a fraction of the grim forecasts, 95% of fatalities had underlying causes

How accurate were the Government’s grim predictions?

The short answer is: not very. In a July report commissioned by Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, scientists estimated that there could be 119,000 deaths if a second spike coincided with a peak of winter flu. Yesterday, that figure stood at 54,286 – less than half that.

In fact, the second peak seems to have passed – over the past week there has been an average of 22,287 new infections a day, down from 24,430 the week before.

In mid-September, Sir Patrick made the terrifying claim that the UK could see 50,000 new coronavirus cases a day by mid-October unless more draconian restrictions were introduced. Yet we have never got near that figure.

What about its prophecies on deaths?

Ditto. Its warnings simply don’t bear any relation to reality.

During the ‘Halloween horror show’ press conference used by Sir Patrick and Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty to scare the Government into implementing a second lockdown, one of their slides suggested that daily Covid-19 deaths could reach 4,000 a day by December.

With ten days to go, we’re still at less than 15 per cent of that figure. In fact, as the graph above shows, the current death rate is significantly below almost every modelled winter scenario.

Are hospitals close to full capacity?

The answer is ‘no’ – contrary to what the Government experts would have you think after they last month published a chart that gave the impression that hospitals were close to overflowing, when at least half didn’t have a single Covid-19 patient.

Currently, only 13 per cent of NHS beds are occupied by patients with Covid-19.

On Monday this week, 16,271 hospitals beds across the UK were taken up with patients who had tested positive for Covid-19.

This did show a steady rise from the previous Monday, when there were 14,279 patients with Covid.

But to put this figure into perspective, the NHS in England had 101,255 general and acute beds available in March of this year plus 15,392 in Scotland and 10,563 in Wales.

How does it compare with last year? Remarkably, as the graph shows, the number of NHS England beds currently occupied is lower than last year’s average. 

On November 5, the most recent date available, there were actually 1,293 fewer patients in hospital beds than last year’s November average.

Surely intensive care beds are full?

Some hospitals are under pressure but that is not the picture everywhere as the chart above shows. On Wednesday, 1,430 people with Covid-19 were occupying beds with mechanical ventilation.

Given that before the crisis there were 4,119 intensive care beds in England plus 269 in Scotland and 153 in Wales, roughly only 31 per cent of ICU beds – not including those which have been recently converted from normal beds – are currently occupied by patients with Covid.

In fact, on November 8, the number of occupied critical beds was actually lower than five-year average for 2015-19.

Even at the height of the first wave in the spring, the percentage of mechanical ventilation beds in existing NHS hospitals that were used never exceeded 62 per cent, according to a study by University College London.

But wasn’t that because of the Nightingale hospitals?

Not at all. In fact, despite all the fanfare surrounding the Nightingale hospitals’ rapid construction, they were never more than 1.23 per cent full.

Moreover, doctors are now far better prepared to treat Covid-19, such as knowing when and when not to put patients on ventilators.

So who is Covid-19 killing?

To put it simply, the victims are overwhelmingly the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. 

Of the 37,470 Covid-19 deaths recorded by NHS England up to November 18, 53.7 percent were of people aged over 80.

In comparison, there have been just 275 deaths (only 0.7 per cent of the total) in people under 40.

And crucially, those who have died from Covid-19 are overwhelmingly likely to have suffered from a pre-existing condition.

Of those who have died from coronavirus, 35,806 people (95.6 per cent of the total) had at least one pre-existing serious medical condition.

In fact, there have been just 42 deaths of people aged under 40 without a pre-existing condition.

Some 27 per cent of them had diabetes, while 18 per cent had dementia – both of which render a person extremely vulnerable to any viral infection.

Are more dying now than in the first wave?

No. The number of Covid-19 deaths is significantly lower than the peak in April as the graph above shows. On April 21, for example, there were 1,224 Covid-19 deaths, and a daily average for the week of 838. Yesterday, 511 new deaths were reported.

Are more dying now than last year?

Despite what the fear-mongers would have you think, deaths are not far above average for this time of year as the graph above shows.

But that hides the fact that in contrast to the spring, when deaths from non-Covid-19 causes were running above average, non-Covid-19 deaths in recent weeks have actually been running substantially below average.

Surely more elderly people are dying than normal?

It doesn’t look like it. According to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures – for October 2020 – in spite of all the Covid-19 deaths, the average death rate in the over-75s was significantly lower this year than it was last October – 6,901.7 per 100,000 people, compared with 7141.7 for last year.

But isn’t the infection rate now going up?

The latest ONS estimate shows that in the week ending November 14, new infections were already levelling off: one in 80 people in England had the disease that week, compared with 1 in 85 the week before.

And it could now be falling: according to research published this week by scientists at Cambridge University – whose data is used by the Government’s Sage advisory group – infection rates of Covid-19 have actually stopped growing across England.

Indeed, they claim, the R rate – the average number of people infected by somebody with the virus – has fallen to one.

If the figure is below one, the epidemic subsides; above one and it grows; and if it is one, infection rates stay the same.

Couldn’t that just be an anomaly? Actually, that figure for the R rate tallies with a number of other studies. 

The Government’s latest estimate – derived from Imperial College London’s REACT study, which has been swabbing tens of thousands of people every week – is that the R number for England as a whole is currently between 1 and 1.2.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 Symptom Study run by King’s College London, even puts the R number at 0.9 – the lowest it has been since August.

Whatever the truth, data released by the ONS yesterday confirmed that infection rates are levelling off in England and Scotland.

Does it matter when the elderly are more likely to be infected?

That’s the claim of critics of the Great Barrington Declaration – which in October called on governments to abandon one-size-fits-all lockdowns in favour of targeted shielding – who believe that the current wave of infection will tear through the elderly. 

Yet the infection rate is actually highest in school-age children and students – the least vulnerable demographics – and lowest among the over 70s. 

In the week to November 14, the infection rate among secondary school pupils was 2.03 per cent, while in those over 70 it was just 0.48 per cent and falling.

What about the areas seeing a spike?

There is certainly a regional variation when it comes to rates of infection – with the North generally seeing higher levels than the South.

One of the reasons the figures may seem particularly striking is because, embarrassingly for the Government, the same figures over the autumn were based on a data error, which reported student infections as happening at their parents’ address – predominantly in the South.

At the height of the problem, in September and October, one in eight cases was reported to the wrong local authority.

Isn’t mass testing going to fix all this?

Don’t bet on it. The Government has put a lot of faith in Operation Moonshot – its plan to test the entire population once a week using ‘lateral flow tests’, a type of Covid-19 test that give results in only an hour.

Yet their rapidity comes with a cost: they are not very reliable.

According to a recent study by the University of Oxford and Public Health England’s Porton Down laboratory, the LFT being used in the pilot scheme across Liverpool succeeded in detecting Covid-19 in only 79.2 per cent of cases even when performed by laboratory staff.

Is that really so bad?

Just wait. When used by trained health professionals in the community, the detection rate fell to 73 per cent and when used by self-trained members of the public it fell to just 58 per cent.

Worse, in a way, were the false positives. Overall, 0.32 per cent of people given the tests were falsely told they had the virus.

If the entire population were obliged to take the tests it could mean that 200,000 – a city the size of Portsmouth – would be ordered to self-isolate when they don’t actually have the disease.


Biden COVID Advisory Board Member says Indoor Dining, Gyms, and Gatherings in Homes Should Be Targeted ‘for Closures’

During an interview aired on Friday’s broadcast of the Fox Business Network’s “WSJ at Large,” Biden COVID-19 Advisory Board member Dr. Celine Gounder stated that “places that we know are big contributors to transmission are indoor restaurants, bars, gyms, and also private social gatherings of friends and family in the home” “are really the places we need to target for closures” while prioritizing keeping other services, like schools, open.

Gounder said that the advisory board’s “consensus” is that “the draconian lockdowns, shutdowns that we had in the spring,” are unneeded, and that increased knowledge means we can “be much more targeted about how we tighten up some of our measures. I think of it like a dimmer switch, whereas before we had an on and off light switch. So, we can dial up and dial down in a much more granular fashion. So, some of the places that we know are big contributors to transmission are indoor restaurants, bars, gyms, and also private social gatherings of friends and family in the home. So, those are really the places we need to target for closures while keeping other services, for example, schools that are — have not been major contributors to transmission, they’re not zero-risk, but they are much lower risk, and they’re an essential service. And so, we’re really prioritizing keeping schools, for example, open.”

Gounder also emphasized the importance of measures like masking, socially distancing, meeting outdoors instead of indoors, getting tested, and cooperating with contact tracing and stated that it’s “really in everyone’s power to prevent a shutdown if they take those measures.”



Biden declares there will be "no national shutdown" (Examiner) | He also discussed a national mask mandate with governors (NR)

Biden transition adviser wanted Congress to probe Brett Kavanaugh last year (Fox News)

Palestinians eagerly anticipate Biden "reset" — by which they mean "anti-Israel policies" (Washington Times)

Nearly a third of Democrats believe the election was stolen from Trump (PJ Media)

Trump tax write-offs are ensnared in two New York fraud investigations (NY Times)

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac overseer seeks to end federal control (WSJ)

CDC pointlessly warns Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving (NR)

Hypocrite Gavin Newsom orders one-month curfew in California (The Hill)

Georgia's Floyd County terminates election director after state audit uncovers uncounted votes (Fox 5)

California school replaces third-grade math class with "anti-racist" curriculum (Not the Bee)

A NYC fight club was broken up by the cops for not social distancing (Not the Bee)

German police arrest popular protester for COVID crimes (Not the Bee)

Chalk sketch found in Italy could be a Da Vinci depiction of Christ (Disrn)

Policy: The pandemic isn't killing cities. Housing regulations are. (NR)



20 November, 2020 

Rigorous New study: Lockdowns & masks are useless and might even increase COVID-19 spread

A recently completed research study by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in cooperation with the Naval Medical Research Center and published in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that strict quarantine, tightly controlled social distancing, and continuous use of masks did absolutely nothing to contain the spread of COVID-19, and might even have increased its spread.

First, the study used 1,843 Marine volunteers, individuals well trained to follow orders as well as the required procedures. Second, their quarantine took place at Marine facility under the supervision of the military. Both factors meant that the volunteers were going to follow procedures much more correctly than the general public.

Third, no one could enter the study without undergoing 14-days of quarantine beforehand, plus a test to prove they were negative of COVID-19 at the study’s start. The study itself was held in a tightly controlled quarantine campus run by the Marines.

The volunteers then had to follow this incredibly strict quarantine regiment:

All recruits wore double-layered cloth masks at all times indoors and outdoors, except when sleeping or eating; practiced social distancing of at least 6 feet; were not allowed to leave campus; did not have access to personal electronics and other items that might contribute to surface transmission; and routinely washed their hands. They slept in double-occupancy rooms with sinks, ate in shared dining facilities, and used shared bathrooms. All recruits cleaned their rooms daily, sanitized bathrooms after each use with bleach wipes, and ate preplated meals in a dining hall that was cleaned with bleach after each platoon had eaten. Most instruction and exercises were conducted outdoors. All movement of recruits was supervised, and unidirectional flow was implemented, with designated building entry and exit points to minimize contact among persons. All recruits, regardless of participation in the study, underwent daily temperature and symptom screening. Six instructors who were assigned to each platoon worked in 8-hour shifts and enforced the quarantine measures. If recruits reported any signs or symptoms consistent with Covid-19, they reported to sick call, underwent rapid qPCR testing for SARS-CoV-2, and were placed in isolation pending the results of testing.

Instructors were also restricted to campus, were required to wear masks, were provided with preplated meals, and underwent daily temperature checks and symptom screening. Instructors who were assigned to a platoon in which a positive case was diagnosed underwent rapid qPCR testing for SARS-CoV-2, and, if the result was positive, the instructor was removed from duty. Recruits and instructors were prohibited from interacting with campus support staff, such as janitorial and food-service personnel. After each class completed quarantine, a deep bleach cleaning of surfaces was performed in the bathrooms, showers, bedrooms, and hallways in the dormitories, and the dormitory remained unoccupied for at least 72 hours before reoccupancy.

The result? The virus still spread through this population. As they noted in the paper:

Epidemiologic analysis supported multiple local transmission events, including transmission between roommates and among recruits within the same platoon.

None of these strict lock down mandates, including continuous mask use, did anything to prevent transmission.

More significantly, the control group of Marines who did not participate in this study, and thus were not under the same strict lock down rules, actually saw FEWER infections, as shown on the table from the study. While the difference wasn’t very large, it existed nonetheless. One could argue that the overuse of masks probably contributed to the higher numbers in the study group, since even in this tightly controlled setting it is still impossible to expect people to wear masks properly. Even if they replaced them regularly, it is unrealistic to expect people to never touch them while they wear them. Over long periods the masks will become havens for the virus, where the person breathes.

The study also demonstrated once again the relative harmlessness of the disease. Almost all of these young healthy Marine recruits who tested positive were ASYMPTOMATIC, meaning that they wouldn’t have even known they were infected if they had not been participating. Furthermore, it appears no one even got very sick.

Once again, this data continues to reinforce the very very early data from March. COVID-19 is not dangerous to the young or healthy, and it will spread no matter what you do. The best way to beat it and thus protect the vulnerable older and sick population is to have it spread as fast as possible through the young and healthy population, so that it will die out quickly and thus no longer be a threat.

This is how humans have handled these respiratory diseases since time immemorial. Darwin’s rules made us do it that way, with good results. Too bad our bankrupt political leaders and health officials have decided to abandon these well-proven practices. The result has not only been more COVID-19 deaths, but more deaths overall, from the bad consequences of economic loss, depression, reduced medical treatment available for other illnesses, and numerous other issues caused by the lock downs, not the virus..

Sadly, I fully expect that our fans of lock downs and masks will either refuse to read this study, or if they do, will find any excuse to dismiss it.

Immunity to the coronavirus may last years, new research indicates

In a study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, researchers found that the amount of “B Cells” in patients infected with the coronavirus had actually increased six to eight months after infection. B Cells are a type of “memory cell” in the immune system that remembers a pathogen. If a person is reinfected with a pathogen, the B Cells will then produce antibodies to fight it.

The study examined 185 men and women ages 19 to 81. It tracked the production of B Cells, coronavirus antibodies, and two types of immune system cells called T Cells. The antibodies showed a modest decline after six to eight months, while the T Cells showed a much smaller decline.

Previous research had found that the number of people with detectable coronavirus antibodies had fallen 26% in three months, suggesting that immunity to the virus was short-lived. However, it is common for antibodies to decline, according to immunologists. Antibodies are just one part of the human body’s immune response.

Shane Crotty, a virologist at the La Jolla Institute of Immunology and one of the researchers on the study, suggested that the increase in B Cells was particularly good news.

“That amount of memory would likely prevent the vast majority of people from getting hospitalized disease, severe disease, for many years,” Crotty told the New York Times.

The results also suggest that a coronavirus vaccine may have long-lasting effects.


Australian research: Kids’ saliva may be key to fighting COVID-19

It’s long baffled the experts: why don’t children appear to contract or spread coronavirus? New Aussie research may have the answer.

Children exposed to coronavirus from their infected parents have produced antibodies to the virus without testing positive, new research has revealed

A Murdoch Children’s Research Institute expert says an antibody in the children’s saliva could hold the key to explaining why the children were protected.

The case emerged early in the pandemic when the Victorian children had close contact with their symptomatic infected parents, including one child who shared the parents’ bed but never got coronavirus.

“The parents were positive but the children weren’t despite us doing lots of tests,” Associate Professor Nigel Crawford told 3AW on Wednesday.

“But we did find they had an immune response similar to their parents, suggesting they’re getting protection from the virus.”

Dr Crawford said testing showed that the children’s saliva started to produce some immune response.

“They started to show the children were producing antibodies in their saliva, which may have stopped the virus from invading their system and causing more severe disease,” he said.

“So there is evidence saliva is something we need to learn more about. This may even be a way to potentially test for the virus as well rather than the more invasive nasal swab.”

Dr Crawford, who is also a paediatrician at the Royal Children’s Hospital, said the finding could begin to shed light on why children were shielded from the virus.

“We haven’t seen very many children admitted to hospital, certainly not many becoming very unwell or sick, despite the increased numbers with that second wave,” he told the radio station.

“So we can start to unlock the mystery of why children are protected. We may then be able to understand how we can get protection broader in the community, including with vaccination programs.”

The institute is doing an in-depth investigation and monitoring more than 20 families, including some in which parents were COVID-19 infected but their children weren’t, to obtain more detailed findings on protective immunity in children.


Shocked Americans and Europeans cooped up in lockdown marvel at the 52,000 screaming Australian football  fans packed into a stadium with no masks or social distancing

Australia is the envy of the world after hosting the biggest crowd at a sporting event since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Thousands around the globe who tuned into the State of Origin decider were stunned to see over 52,000 eager fans packed in Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium with no social distancing and very few face masks.

International viewers watching in countries with hundreds of thousands of active infections marvelled at the spectacle as almost all major sports worldwide are now played behind closed doors or with very limited, spaced out crowds.

But Australia has fought the pandemic so successfully that it has relaxed restrictions so much that big sporting crowds are possible.

Many overseas onlookers praised Australia and the Sunshine State for the pandemic policies which made the event possible.

But some locals were furious and questioned why thousands were allowed to gather at the footy, but they were banned from attending funerals and weddings.

Queensland were too strong for New South Wales and went on to win the brutal match 20 to 14 after surviving a late fightback.

But for a large number of viewers, the contest was not as impressive as the event itself.

Queensland has not had a single community transmission of Covid-19 in months and there are now only 94 active cases in all of Australia - the vast majority oh which were acquired overseas.

'Look at the crowd for the state of origin in Australia. Are they on the same planet as us?' One Twitter user posted.

'Breaks me seeing that and thinking about the state that our sports are in.' 

Another said: 'Around 50,000 fans inside Suncorp Stadium for State of Origin III decider this morning. Amazing to see. Makes me very, very jealous to see.'



Black former NFLer Burgess Owens flips Utah-4, becomes 12th GOP House pickup (Examiner)

Reparations advocate tapped for Biden team (Disrn)

Biden transition official wrote op-ed advocating free speech restrictions (NY Post)

House leaders urge Democrats not to join the Biden administration to maintain majority (NY Post)

Georgia recount unearths more than 2,600 uncounted ballots in Floyd County (Fox News)

Professor shows students how easy it is to hack a Dominion voting machine in 2018 NY Times video (

Ilhan Omar calls Trump events "Klan rallies" (Post Millennial)

The Washington Post tries to use data to prove that the Republican Party is authoritarian and it's the stupidest thing ever (Not the Bee)

Suspect filmed beating Trump supporters in DC is a journalism student (Post Millennial)

Portland anarchists attacked a Democrat Party HQ and suddenly vandalism isn't cool anymore (Hot Air)

Even though it kills more than 480,000 American annually, the pandemic has people smoking again (Vox)

Dow Jones sets new record after promising vaccine news (Time)

Thanks to Republican deregulation and corporate tax cut, household incomes increased more in 2018 than in the previous 20 years combined (FEE)

American Spirit: 38% of Americans still planning a big Thanksgiving despite COVID (NY Post)

Nearly 90,000 sex abuse claims filed against Boy Scouts of America (Axios)



19 November, 2020 

Mouthwash can kill coronavirus within 30 seconds, study finds

Mouthwash could become a vital part of people’s daily routine after laboratory tests found it can kill off coronavirus within 30 seconds.  

The initial results of a non-peer-reviewed Cardiff University study showed “promising signs” of mouthwashes containing at least 0.07 per cent cetypyridinium chloride (CPC) being capable of combatting the virus.  

Scientists carried out tests at the university's laboratory by mimicking the conditions of a person's naso/oropharynx passage and using mouthwash brands including Dentyl.

Their report - titled “The Virucidal Efficacy of Oral Rinse Components Against SARS-CoV-2 In Vitro” - is yet to be peer reviewed but supports another study published last week that found CPC-based mouthwashes are effective in reducing Covid's viral load.  

A clinical trial will next examine how effective over-the-counter mouthwash is in reducing the levels of Covid-19 in the saliva of coronavirus patients at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. The results are expected to be published in early 2021.  

Dentyl is the only UK mouthwash brand to have taken part in the 12-week clinical trial, led by Professor David Thomas from Cardiff University.

Dr Thomas told the PA news agency: "Although this in-vitro study is very encouraging and is a positive step, more clinical research is now clearly needed.  

"We need to understand if the effect of over-the-counter mouthwashes on the Covid-19 virus achieved in the laboratory can be reproduced in patients, and we look forward to completing our clinical trial in early 2021."  

Dr Nick Claydon, a specialist periodontologist, said he believed the research was "very valuable".  

He added: "If these positive results are reflected in Cardiff University's clinical trial, CPC-based mouthwashes such as Dentyl used in the in-vitro study could become an important addition to people's routine, together with hand washing, physical distancing and wearing masks, both now and in the future."


The Resistance Has Begun

I have to be careful in writing this column, not because I might say something I don’t mean, but because I might say exactly what I mean and the editors will cut it because it’s…well, let’s just say “not quite family friendly.” In “Groundhog Day,” Bill Murray tells Phil the groundhog “Don’t drive angry.” Writing angry is fine, but writing disgusted is something different. So, if you pick up on any subliminal messages in this piece, they are by accident (mostly).

Whatever ends up happening with the challenges in the election (the media called it for Biden and in between the time this is written and published a million accusations will have flown), I didn’t want to write an “I told you so” piece about the people pushing the “Trump in a landslide” lie (but I was right, they were selling themselves to move books, get subscribers and clicks and you should remember that). I was left wondering what do I write about as everyone absorbs the latest news.

Then I noticed that leftists, as they always do, showed the world who they really are, and it was disgusting. And it also made my choice of topic easy.

The “conservative blogger” at the Washington Post, a troll named Jennifer Rubin, tweeted yesterday, “Any R now promoting rejection of an election or calling to not to follow the will of voters or making baseless allegations of fraud should never serve in office, join a corporate board, find a faculty position or be accepted into "polite" society. We have a list.”

Leftists do love their lists, don’t they?

Never one to let something stupid pass her by, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez chimed in with, “Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future? I foresee decent probability of many deleted Tweets, writings, photos in the future.”

To put it as someone might tweet it, Rubin and AOC: Can’t. Understand. Normal. Things.

Not to be outdone, a group of former Pete Buttigieg’s staffers decided they wanted to make their own list, because when a dumb idea occurs to one liberal is occurs to them all, and they started one – The Trump Accountability Project.

The idea behind it was as simple as the totalitarian philosophy that inspired it – an enemies list to hunt and hound anyone who’d supported President Donald Trump the way a celebrity stalker just can’t get over the fact that the object of their desire has no idea they exist.

According to the group’s website, “We must never forget those who furthered the Trump agenda.” Pretty sick use of Holocaust language there, but leftists always love to embrace, subtly, their history.

“We should welcome in our fellow Americans with whom we differ politically,” the statement on their website continues, magnanimously allowing some Americans to live, at least until the first round of purges are done.

“But,” the message continues, “those who took a paycheck from the Trump Administration should not profit from their efforts to tear our democracy apart. The world should never forget those who, when faced with a decision, chose to put their money, their time, and their reputations behind separating children from their families, encouraging racism and anti-Semitism, and negligently causing the unnecessary loss of life and economic devastation from our country's failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Think improperly and the left will come for you the second they get a whiff of power.

Their targets are “Individuals who worked for the Trump for President campaign, Republican National Committee, and affiliated PACs in 2016 or 2020,” and “Individuals who worked in any role as a political appointee in the Trump Administration. And finally, “Individuals who used their massive personal wealth and influence to bundle money for Trump.”

Thousands upon thousands of Americans targeted for destruction for working toward a goal Democrats deem unacceptable. Do you think they’ll stop there? Of course not.

What does it say about Joe Biden that former campaign staffers for someone under serious consideration for a Cabinet position in a potential administration would advocate and assemble a list of unacceptable people whose lives must be ruined for the sin of taking a job?

This is who liberals are – the ultimate in conformists, hell-bent on dominance and destruction of anyone they deem unacceptable. Whether it was in Moscow, Berlin, Beijing, or anywhere else “progressive” power has been flexed since it leaped from academia to the realm of politics, they’ve loved their lists. And you never want to be on one of them. It starts off with harassment, but it never ends there. Geography doesn’t matter, ideas do.

The left regularly shows the world who they really are, we’d better start believing them.


The 2020 Election Results Look Like a Massive Rebuke of Socialism

Summarizing the key lessons that Democrats should take away from election results that were much less favorable than expected, Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D–Va.) reportedly told fellow members of her caucus during a conference call on Thursday that they shouldn't say the word socialism "ever again."

This would be good policy advice, whether or not it's good political advice. But as it turns out, socialism is looking like a major political loser this election cycle, with the specter of it likely costing former Vice President Joe Biden his chance at winning Florida. Indeed, this could be a rough couple of years for progressives: A Biden presidency coupled with a Republican-controlled Senate—an outcome that is far from certain, but gaining some degree of likelihood—would make it almost impossible for Democrats to push through the structural changes (such as D.C. statehood or an expansion of the Supreme Court) that could allow the left to take power.

This is something of a reversal of fortunes. For democratic socialists, the 2020 election cycle began with great promise; the hard left had not one but two ardently progressive primary candidates in Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.), the latter of whom had shown auspicious resilience against Hillary Clinton in 2016. There had also been small, encouraging signs in the years between then and now: the surprise election of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) in 2018, the success of socialist magazines and podcasts, the increasing salience of issues like economic inequality and Medicare for All, the formation of "the Squad."

But neither Warren nor Sanders could overcome Biden, the candidate who had worked hardest to put serious distance between himself and the term socialist. If anything, Biden needed to work even harder at this, since President Donald Trump's reelection campaign was able to tie Democrats to Latin American socialism in the minds of some Florida voters, leading to a surprisingly good showing for Trump among Latino—and particularly Cuban—voters.

Progressives often operate under the assumption that their failure to win elections is a result of malfeasance: More democracy, more activism, and more turnout will produce the broad mandate they need to enact change. They also assume that an increasingly racially diverse electorate will override the white voters who don't support fundamental, revolutionary changes to the economy. But the 2020 results are casting doubt on both of these beliefs: Trump is on track to have the GOP's best showing among minorities in decades, and while he will indeed lose the popular vote to Biden, the unusually high turnout did not lend itself to any sort of blue wave.

Not all of the results are in yet, and it's possible that subsequent election-related developments could change the outlook for progressives. But a GOP-controlled Senate will kill any chances of big, lofty, leftist legislation. The Senate could vote down Biden's judicial picks, and they could thwart liberal Cabinet nominees. Warren's bid for Treasury Secretary will be dead in the water.

"The Biden presidency will be doomed to failure before it starts," writes New York magazine's Eric Levitz, who correctly notes that progressives are on the brink of catastrophe.

Democrats are clearly unhappy with this result, and many blame the excesses of the left for putting them in such a position.

"Democrats' messaging is terrible; it doesn't resonate," Rep. Kurt Schrader (D–Ore.), a moderate Blue Dog Democrat, told The Washington Post. "When [voters] see the far left that gets all the news media attention, they get scared. They're very afraid that this will become a supernanny state, and their ability to do things on their own is going to be taken away."

Former Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, now a commentator for MSNBC, told viewers on Wednesday she was worried that far-left positions on issues were scaring potential voters away. Her remarks drew a rebuke from Ocasio-Cortez, who said McCaskill's loss in 2016 means she's no expert on winning elections. (McCaskill might have responded that AOC's own victory in an inner-city House district hardly confers a great deal of political expertise.)

Even some progressives think it's in the party's best interest to at the very least stop using the word socialism. 

"I think Republicans did get some traction trying to scare people on this 'socialist narrative,'" Rep. Jared Huffman (D–Calif.), a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told The Washington Post. "What's the point of embracing a phrase like that?"

If a large number of Democrats actually absorbed this message, it would be icing on the cake. Right now, it appears that some of the worst impulses of both parties have been checked, and the next administration will take office with neither a mandate nor an ability to enact transformational economic policy changes.



18 November, 2020 

Democrats may feel smug, but there’s plenty to be worried about with Biden in charge

As has been looking increasingly clear since the morning after election night a narrow win in key states will deliver Joe Biden a comfortable election win in the electoral college. This is much as it was four years ago when Trump won, and much as it looked like it might be for him again when voting first halted on election night, before the late rush of mail-in ballots proved to be even stronger for the Democrats than expected.

The first point to make is that — legal challenges withstanding — this makes it a clear and orthodox presidential victory. Much like our own system often turns on narrow margins in key seats, it is entirely normal for a US presidential result to hinge on relatively few votes in swing states.

Especially given the temporary electoral changes for this election — widely relaxed rules around mail-in ballots that boosted “turnout” and helped deliver victory to the Democrats — Republicans will need uncommon grace to acknowledge and accept the result. That is because the Democrats and large swathes of media commentary have spent the past four years undermining the legitimacy of the Trump presidency, pointing to the nationwide popular vote and the narrow margins in crucial states.

This was nonsense then and is nonsense now — the nationwide popular vote does not matter, it never does, because neither the campaigns nor the voters have an interest in winning it. The bulk of the difference, for instance, is contained in one state, California, and if the national vote mattered it would lead to a very different campaign in that state and give Californian Republicans a much greater incentive to turn out.

Republican supporters must, and most likely will, hold themselves to a higher standard than Democrat supporters who first started smashing widows and burning cars on election night 2016 and did not stop until they won the White House back. Lord knows what will happen when Biden disappoints them.

The Biden win will be attributable to a focused and successful campaign in the states that matter, the states Hillary Clinton ignored and, it must be said, the states Trump did a solid job trying to hold. Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania are key, Georgia was a bonus, and Arizona may well have been gifted to the Democrats thanks partly to Trump’s unforgivable disrespect towards the late senator John McCain — the ghost of McCain had the last laugh.

So, just as it was for Trump, Biden must be chastened and urged on by the realisation that his tenure in the White House hinges on less than 100,000 votes across about five crucial states. This is a political reality that Trump at least understood — it means that to win a second term you must entrench that support and broaden it, something the property billionaire had achieved before this year of the pandemic.

The legal challenges will play out through the tried and tested checks and balances of the US system; that is as it should be. But the role of the mail-in ballots will warrant serious examination by both parties and political analysts.

On first blush it seems to have delivered the highest “turnout” because it removed the burden of having to turn out. On one level this should be welcomed for encouraging more Americans to be involved in their democracy.

But there are questions. There is no doubt it increases the opportunity for rorting. It will also reward greater organisation in encouraging and arranging delivery of votes — did the Democrats and their union and party organisations do this better, and do the Republicans need to improve this element of the ground game?

Some of the changes — allowing any voter to ask for a mail-in ballot for any reason, mailing out mail-in applications to all voters, or extending the time period for such voting — are temporary in most states. Will there be a case and a push to make them permanent?

This could change electoral dynamics forever. Much might rely on what transpires in the investigations and court cases prompted by a president who shows no sign of budging at the moment.

Calm and the rule of law must prevail. January 20 seems a long way away.

Still, if Trump moves on what will we miss? What will we lose?

First, the incessant drama and permanent combativeness around the White House will not be missed. There will be a return to something approaching normality; less fun, fewer stories, less belligerence, more order.

What Trump’s always emotional and often dishonest media critics never acknowledge — fixed as they are on “character” above effectiveness — is how his unpredictability delivered some historic developments in global affairs. Only the volatile and unorthodox approach of Trump could have delivered the breakthrough in the Middle East peace process, the concessions from China on trade and, indeed, the unfinished rapprochement with North Korea.

At home Trump delivered lower taxes and high jobs growth before he was sideswiped by the coronavirus. He also focused on cheap and reliable energy, relieving the US of the multilateral constraints of the Paris agreement.

The US will suffer a tough winter at the hands of the coronavirus; Biden will not be able to change much. Health management rests mainly with the states, just as it does here, and the US social and political dynamic means brutal lockdowns will not be tolerated or respected.

Biden will be less active, less confrontational, and less dynamic. He will be more of a puppet of his party; by contrast Trump used the Republican party like a parasite uses a host.

There is a grave risk that he will be pushed by Bernie Sanders and The Squad of Far Left Democrats. They have publicly proclaimed their intent to make him the most progressive president since FDR.

But the strong Republican showing under Trump will provide some protection. The Democrats should be denied the Senate and their majority in the House has been cut. The Senate should block fundamental changes to the Supreme Court and the political reality of these narrow margins should curb Biden’s activism.

Still, Biden will rejoin the Paris deal and launch an assault on the oil and gas industries the likes of which the US has never seen before. This will attack the very building block of the largest and most innovative economy the world has ever seen.

Biden has also been a captive of identity politics, in all its destructive guises. There is a contest between the police in major cities, against activists, anarchists and protesters, and we should worry that Biden will continue show ambivalence about where he stands. So, there is plenty to be worried about.

It is laughably hypocritical for Biden and his media barrackers to start taking the high moral ground now, calling for unity and respect, when they have spent every day of the past four years questioning the legitimacy of President Trump and calling him everything from a white supremacist to a Russian collaborator. Healing will not be easy — almost half the country’s voters will be aggrieved.

Some Democrats have already been wise enough to recognise the limitations of their victory, the fact that it does not represent a widespread repudiation of Trump’s agenda or an overwhelming endorsement of the Democrat alternative. Much will depend on how Biden handles this period before the inauguration when an outgoing president is usually a lame duck but this time will be more like a wounded bull.

Apart from the dynamic in the Middle East and the strength on China there is one thing about Trump that I will miss most. Like no president before him, even a host of other Republicans who are so reviled by the White House press corps, Trump has taken the vitriol from the media and turned it straight back at them. No president has exposed the jaundice and hypocrisy of journalists so courageously.

He was enabled in this by the tool of social media. Usually a platform for the juvenile Left, Trump used it to reach voters directly and expose the games and dishonesty of the media. Many of us will miss that, especially when we can already see the cosy cabal around a Democrat president-elect and a mainstream media smug about getting the president it wants.



If there's fraud in the 2020 election, then we must find it

There’s more evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 election than there ever was of Russia collusion, so America is owed a legal examination of the election irregularities alleged by the Trump campaign.

It’s not crazy to say this, despite the gaslighting from much of the media. Basically, the election is down to roughly 120,000 votes of almost 150 million votes cast. That’s 0.08 percent, a tiny margin by anyone’s reckoning.

Recounts have been ordered. President Trump’s campaign is challenging hundreds of thousands of votes in the courts.

Five swing states are within 1 percent, all with Joe Biden in the lead.

In Georgia, Biden was ahead on Sunday night by just 10,352 votes.

In Arizona, he was ahead by 19,438 votes.

In Wisconsin, he was ahead by 20,540.

In Pennsylvania, he was ahead by 43,251.

In Nevada, he was ahead by 31,464.

It is not outlandish or unprecedented to accept the possibility that at least some of those margins may be erroneous, whether through human error or, indeed, fraud.

Electoral fraud is not unknown in America. Probably the most famous example was in 1960, when Chicago Mayor Richard Daley allegedly rigged the ballot for John F. Kennedy, dead people were found to have “voted” and 677 election officials were indicted.

Due to the pandemic, around 40 percent of votes in Tuesday’s election were cast by mail, double the percentage in 2016.

Even the New York Times once reported the truth that mail-in voting is the most vulnerable to fraud. This is why most developed countries ban the practice.

So, as you can see, it is perfectly reasonable in such a close election to take seriously allegations of irregularities and suspicious activity.

An honest media would investigate rather than dismissing the allegations out of hand as “baseless,” “false” and “conspiracy theories.”

The Trump campaign’s legal team, led by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, claims that, in Pennsylvania alone, 600,000 ballots are in question because they were counted without any poll-watchers observing to ensure they were legitimate, as state law requires.

In Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Giuliani says that “50 to 60 poll-watchers … will all testify that they were uniformly deprived of their right to inspect any single part of the mail-in ballots … Not a single one was inspected as the law required. Even when a court order was obtained to allow the Republican inspectors to get six feet closer, they moved the people counting the ballots six further feet away.

“It’s really simple. If you have nothing to hide with these mail-in ballots, you allow inspection.”

Giuliani has promised one lawsuit will be filed today and four more by the end of this week.

Another Trump team lawyer, Sidney Powell, claimed yesterday that 450,000 ballots had been found with only votes for Biden and no down-ballot selections, which she regarded as suspicious.

She also claimed in an interview on Fox News that two pieces of software called Hammer and Scorecard were used to flip votes from Trump to Biden in some pre-election voting ballots.

As well, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Saturday an “issue involving reporting” of votes in Fulton County on Friday, and said he had sent “investigators onsite.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a statement that he will be investigating “all credible allegations of voting irregularities and misconduct” after receiving a sworn affidavit from Pennsylvania postal worker Richard Hopkins alleging that Erie Postmaster Robert Weisenbach had told workers he was “back-dating the postmarks on the ballots to make it appear as though the ballots had been collected on November 3, 2020 despite them in fact being collected on November 4 and possibly later.”

Graham, R-S.C., also yesterday claimed that in Pennsylvania, the Trump team has found “over 100 people they think were dead but 15 people that we verified that have been dead who voted … Six people registered after they died and voted.”

All of this may not amount to a hill of beans. But it deserves to be examined, or otherwise 71 million people who voted for Trump may end up believing the election was stolen.

Whatever comes of the allegations, in reality, nothing is more important than two Georgia US Senate runoffs, on which control of the Senate may depend.

Since neither of the Republicans, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, has reached the 50 percent threshold in votes required under Georgia law to win outright, there has to be a redo on Jan. 5.

If they both were to lose, the US Senate would be deadlocked 50-50, with the vice president, Kamala Harris, having the deciding vote. In other words, the Democrats would be in control and nothing would impede their radical agenda, including the Green New Deal, packing the Supreme Court and adding two new states.

In the end, it’s worth remembering that the situation we are in today is not unprecedented.

It took 37 days for the legal battles to be sorted out after the very close 2000 election, and George W. Bush to be declared the winner.



17 November, 2020 

A second lockdown would smother our economic recovery and only delay the inevitable spread of COVID-19.

European countries are imposing harsh lockdowns again as a second wave of COVID-19 spreads throughout Europe. It was a mistake last spring, when most U.S. states followed Europe’s lead in imposing lockdowns during the first wave, and it would be an even bigger mistake to copy the failed lockdowns again today.

I was stunned when Italy imposed regional lockdowns in late February and a national lockdown on March 9. In short order, most other European countries did the same. Then, influenced by the sensational predictions from Neil Ferguson’s team at Imperial College London that more than 500,000 Britons and 2.2 million Americans might die from the virus, the United Kingdom and most of the United States followed suit.

Panic and herd mentality drove policy making in March, and frightened populations ceded their personal, economic, and religious liberties on a scale unprecedented even during wartimes. With eight months of hindsight, it seems obvious that the lockdowns did more harm than good on a number of accounts. Not only did they throw tens of millions worldwide out of work, decimating entire industries (think restaurants and bars, travel, tourism, airlines and aerospace), but they also triggered waves of secondary medical problems, including anxiety and depression, increased substance abuse and domestic violence, and other adverse health outcomes as many surgeries and screenings were delayed or missed.

Some economic damage was inevitable because of COVID-19, but long, indiscriminate lockdowns made the contractions much worse. The simultaneous timing of increased COVID cases and lockdowns in March and April made it difficult to determine which was, in fact, causing more economic harm. But as Southern states began to reopen over the summer, both their COVID cases and economic activity surged. The region had the highest number of daily new COVID cases and the lowest unemployment rate (6.9 percent) in the country.

The lockdowns probably did save hospitals from being overwhelmed in New York City, New Orleans, and elsewhere, but hospitals were nowhere near capacity in most of the United States. In fact, because of the widespread cancellation of non-emergency surgeries, many hospitals were overstaffed and laid off workers.

Europe and the United States are now facing a second wave of COVID-19 infections. Over the last month daily cases tripled in France and increased by a factor of four in England, six in Germany, and ten in Italy, according to the New York Times Covid Case Counter. As a result, the countries are locking down again.

France has closed bars and restaurants and is requiring people across the entire country to stay home. Factories can continue to operate but “non-essential” stores must close. The United Kingdom just announced what amounts to a new national lockdown. Germany has shut down its restaurants, bars, gyms, theaters and hotels, and is now prohibiting gatherings of more than ten people. Protests and riots have erupted in Italy over its reimposed restrictions.

Here in the United States, meanwhile, cases have nearly doubled over the past month. California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and some other Northern and Western states, have kept many of their restrictions in place and are requiring travelers from other states to quarantine. Florida, Texas, Georgia, Tennessee and most Southern and Midwestern states have mostly reopened — and some, such as South Dakota, never locked down.

Even with California, New York, and Massachusetts maintaining tight restrictions on personal and commercial activities, the economic recovery — driven in large part by the open states — has exceeded expectations. The United States recorded its most rapid economic expansion in history during the third quarter (July-September) of 2020 — bouncing back at an annualized rate of 33.1 percent. Unemployment, which hit 15 percent last Spring is now under 8 percent nationally, according to a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A second lockdown would smother the recovery while only delaying the inevitable spread of COVID-19.

Instead of following Europe into a second round of lockdowns, the United States should follow the advice of the top scientists and medical experts who have signed the Great Barrington Declaration. They advise avoiding lockdowns and focusing instead on protecting the most vulnerable, letting the disease spread among the young and healthy to build population immunity.

Heeding their guidance would better preserve the economic recovery and more quickly end the pandemic than another round of lockdowns.

Eli Lilly Covid Antibody Drug Gets FDA Emergency Clearence

Eli Lilly & Co.’s antibody therapy was granted an emergency-use authorization by U.S. drug regulators for treating Covid-19, widening access to a treatment that early data suggest is effective in keeping people infected with the coronavirus out of the hospital.

The Food and Drug Administration authorized the experimental treatment, called bamlanivimab, for use against mild-to-moderate Covid-19 in adults, including those who are 65 and older, and pediatric patients, the agency said in a statement.

Shares of Indianapolis-based Lilly gained as much as 5.2% in late trading on Monday. Through the close, the stock had advanced 8.3% so far this year.

The clearance gives doctors an option for tackling the virus in high-risk patients before they’re sick enough to require hospitalization. Other treatments that received the regulatory go-ahead, such as convalescent plasma, a component collected from the blood of recovered Covid patients containing immune factors, and Gilead Sciences Inc.’s antiviral remdesivir, are intended for use in severely ill Covid-19 patients.

The U.S. government will pay Lilly $375 million for 300,000 vials of the antibody treatment. The initial agreement is for delivery over the first two months following a regulatory green light. The U.S. also has the option to purchase an additional 650,000 vials through next June for as much as $812.5 million.

Now begins an even greater challenge: Keeping pace with demand.

“We’re in the middle of this surge in cases, so we have to continue to try to squeeze out as much supply as we can,” Chief Executive Officer David Ricks said in an interview. “We’re loading the trucks right now, so that they can move as fast as they can. We’ve made 88,000 doses that are being loaded tonight, and we about that much inside of a week shipping out to centers across the country.”

The drugmaker has a manufacturing partnership with Amgen Inc., among others, and plans to pursue more collaboration pacts in order to increase supply, Ricks said. “It still might not be enough,” he said.

Experimental antibody treatments could become a powerful component of the arsenal that doctors use to treat the coronavirus. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious-disease official, has referred to antibody-based medicines as a bridge to a vaccine. The class of treatments was thrust into the spotlight when President Donald Trump received an antibody cocktail made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. after becoming infected with Covid-19.

The therapies, which rely on lab-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off the virus, also are being studied as short-term treatments that could be given to people such as nursing-home residents or staff who may have been exposed during a local outbreak to prevent them from getting sick.


Flooding our nation with electoral ballots was a catastrophic mistake

If the current vote totals hold up, Joe Biden will win the presidency. But if there’s any truth to the widespread stories we’re now seeing about voting irregularities and even outright fraud, he’ll take office on January 20 not only as one of our most deeply flawed presidents but also as our least legitimate one.

No one — Democrat or Republican — should feel good about such a prospect, but it boggles the mind that such an inept and uninspiring old candidate could amass three million more votes than a youthful and charismatic Barack Obama posted during his remarkable 2008 campaign — a campaign that was unprecedented in terms of its energy, its mass-movement appeal, and its voter-turnout efforts.

It boggles the mind, that is, if we categorically dismiss the possibility of voter fraud.

We’ve already heard about the Sharpiegate lawsuit in Arizona (disputed though it is) and the hundreds of complaints received by the state’s attorney general’s office. And the ridiculous-on-its-face 88% voter turnout in Wisconsin, which was a whopping 21% higher than its higher-than-average turnout four years earlier. And the goings-on in Georgia’s Democrat-rich Fulton County, where Republican ballot-counting officials were told to go home only to have county officials continue to count votes in their absence. And the efforts of Philadelphia’s vote counters to keep Republican observers from getting close enough to see what’s actually happening with the votes being counted.

Again, if there’s any truth to these allegations, none of them instills confidence in our electoral system. None of them sets the stage for a peaceful transfer of presidential power. And that’s because no one knows where Biden’s record-shattering 72 million (and counting) votes have come from.

Normally in matters of politics, there’s plenty of blame to go around. But the Democrats own this problem entirely. After all, they’re the ones who unilaterally rigged the game and flooded the country with mail-in ballots.

What did they think was going to happen? Exactly what is happening. As National Review’s Andrew McCarthy has noted, this deluge of ballots is part of “a two-step scheme to enable post-election cheating: First, infiltrate as many illegal ballots as possible into the state systems; second, keep chanting that ‘every vote counts’ and demagogue anyone who says otherwise.”

Indeed, charges of voter suppression and election stealing are powerful deterrents.

The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh comes out and says what a whole lot of us are already thinking: “Mail-in voting and early voting create more opportunities for things to go wrong, either through intentional subterfuge, human error, or other circumstances. This is largely why I hold the scandalous view that all voting should take place in person, on election day. Voting should end when that day ends, and begin when it begins. Exceptions could be made for active duty military and perhaps a few other very limited and carefully selected groups. But the vast majority of people should be expected to show up, in person, on the day of voting to vote.”

All voting should take place in person on Election Day.

No one knows where Election 2020 will take us, but the coming weeks promise to be some of the most bitter we’ve ever experienced as Americans. When we lose faith in our most sacred institutions, we lose faith in the things that sustain us. And we end up in a very bad place.

We’re in a heck of a mess. And we have the Democrats to thank for it.



Trump campaign releases initial list of dead Georgia residents that "voted" in 2020 election (Just the News)

Texas social worker charged with 134 counts involving election fraud (CBS DFW)

Belly laugh of the week: Top officials claim 2020 Election most secure in U.S. history (AP)

Biden under pressure from the Left to erase student debt (Washington Examiner)

Biden likely to scrap parts of Trump decision to pull troops from Germany (Washington Examiner)

Seven deleterious things Biden could do with a Democrat-controlled Senate (Daily Wire)

2020 election results set Republicans up for success in 2022 and beyond (Washington Examiner)

"The message wasn't right": Election losses leave stunned Democrats rethinking path forward (Washington Examiner)

Spendthrifts Pelosi and Schumer see $3.4 trillion as "starting point" for next COVID stimulus (Disrn)

Justice Samuel Alito rips Supreme Court for not considering church coronavirus lawsuits (Washington Examiner) | Alito warns of dangers to free speech and religious liberty (Fox News)

Trump eyes digital media empire to take on Fox News (Axios)

Parler adds five million users as conservatives grow tired of censorship (

Feds strike deal to make vaccine free at major pharmacies (NY Post)

"Cancel traditional Thanksgiving": Chicago issues stay-at-home advisory (Washington Examiner)

Sweden imposes partial lockdown for first time (Daily Caller)

Great timing: Georgia secretary of state to quarantine, wife tests positive for coronavirus (Fox 5)

Massachusetts prepared to legalize abortion up to moment of birth (Disrn)

California set to reopen strip clubs before churches (Free Beacon)

Appeals court rules Harvard doesn't discriminate against Asian American applicants (NPR)

Excerpt: "Proponents of ending race-based considerations at U.S. universities were unfazed by Thursday's decision and plan to bring the case to the Supreme Court."

Michael Cohen's bogus book about Trump is being made into Hollywood movie (Daily Mail)



16 November, 2020 

Arthritis drug 'cuts elderly Covid-19 deaths by two-thirds', say researchers - raising hopes that it will save the most vulnerable

An arthritis drug has been found to cut deaths in patients admitted to hospital with Covid-19 by a remarkable two-thirds – giving medics a powerful new weapon in their armoury against the disease.

The daily pill, first earmarked as a potential Covid game-changer by a British firm, reduces deaths by 71 per cent in those with moderate or severe illness, researchers say.

Importantly, it works in the elderly, raising hopes that it will save the most vulnerable.

Called baricitinib, and marketed under the brand name Olumiant, it is a relatively new drug for rheumatoid arthritis that has been available for only three years.

But in February it was identified as a strong candidate to help treat what was then the new threat of Covid-19.

The drug was picked out by London-based BenevolentAI, which examined thousands of existing medicines for signs they might combat Covid.

Its artificial intelligence program predicted baricitinib would ‘reduce the ability of the virus to infect lung cells’.

Now the idea has been validated with pan-European researchers, led by Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, reporting baricitinib slashes death rates in those admitted to hospital with the disease by two-thirds.

Last night NHS cancer specialist Professor Justin Stebbing, of Imperial College London, predicted that baricitinib would help save thousands of lives. 

The results, in the journal Science Advances, come from patients hospitalised with Covid-19 pneumonia at two hospitals, in Italy and Spain.

Professor Volker Lauschke, of the Karolinska, who led the study, said: ‘These results are especially encouraging seeing as the study included a large cohort of elderly patients, a group often excluded.’


Positive lessons conservatives can learn from Trump

Like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher before him, Donald Trump has redefined conservative politics throughout the Western world. Every centre-right party in the West now has a Trumpist faction. Like Reagan and Thatcher, some of Trump’s policy achievements are unlikely to be reversed.

Of course, Trump is no Reagan or Thatcher. It’s easy to forget both Reagan and Thatcher were furiously vilified by the left when they were in office. Reagan was portrayed as a simpleton — “It’s what he knows for sure that just ain’t so,” Walter Mondale wisecracked. Thatcher was regarded as a warmonger, a heartless destroyer of communities and would-be authoritarian, and Thatcherism was an analogue for fascism.

Reagan and Thatcher each won multiple elections, cementing their revolutions. Each was succeeded by a paler, plainer associate.

Reagan and Thatcher behaved properly in public and private life. No one could say that of Trump. Reagan was widely loved.

Trump is still in office. His strange purge of the upper echelons of the Defence Department may be just spite. But they could indicate a big surprise, possibly a sudden withdrawal of all US troops from Afghanistan.

Overall, it’s not likely, but it is possible. Trump’s actions here, as elsewhere, are weird.

Ultimately, Trump will likely accept Joe Biden’s victory. But still we should marvel at the closeness of the result. Last time, Trump won Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, which put him over the top in electoral college votes, by a cumulative sliver of 77,000 votes.

This time he’s behind in Pennsylvania by a bit under 60,000 votes, in Georgia by 15,000 and Arizona 11,000. Those three states would have given Trump victory. In an election of just under 160 million voters, Trump will lose office by a cumulative total of less than 90,000 votes; 90,000 out of 160 million. If it was a fluke for Trump to win in 2016, it’s a fluke that he lost this time.

And, as widely commented, the overall results were very shabby for the Democrats. The Senate now stands at 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats, with two Senate run-off elections in Georgia in January. The Democrats lost the governorship in Montana and did not win one from the Republicans. They did not capture a single state legislature from the Republicans, including critical states like Texas, Michigan and Pennsylvania. They lost eight or more seats in the House of Representatives and now have a narrow and vulnerable majority there.

Trump went backwards in his share of white male voters but went up with Hispanic voters, black men and most other demographic groups. Trump lost, Biden won. It was a narrow result. But beyond the presidency, the Democrats did very poorly.

Out of all this cross-grained complexity and electoral ambivalence, how is it that Trump has transformed conservative politics?

First, there are two lessons out of the Trump phenomenon that conservatives definitely should not learn.

One is that to be successful, a conservative leader or movement must be as aggressive, crude, dishonest and offensive as Trump. That would be a disastrous lesson, for conservatives and for democracy.

However, there is an opposite lesson that also should not be learnt, and that is that in order not to be like Trump, conservatives should not fight, should not be aggressive politically as opposed to personally, should not campaign for cultural values as well as economic or defence policy, that in order not to be Trump they need to become like Charles Dickens’ Uriah Heep, famous for his perennial ‘umbleness.

American conservatism has a huge effect on conservatism all over the Western world. It wasn’t always thus. Because it is so self-consciously a nation of the New World, the US was often thought not to be really conservative at all in the European sense. It lacked traditions of throne and altar, and of close ethnic association with nationality, as in German Germans, Italian Italians and so on.

Today conservatism right throughout the West is profoundly influenced by the US and very often defined in US terms. American conservatives have big think tanks, a continuing conservative rural base, private universities and liberal arts colleges, a thousand journals and a vast multiplicity of activist groups to draw on.

They also have a much higher degree of religious belief and practice than European nations, or Australia. And right throughout the West there is a close correlation between churchgoing and overall conservative attitudes.

I don’t want to be misunderstood. Christianity, in most policy areas, does not adjudicate definitively between centre-right and centre-left parties. But it is a simple sociological fact that one of the best predictors of conservative social and political attitudes in countries with predominantly Christian backgrounds is frequency of church attendance. And the US still has a much higher rate of church attendance than most Western nations, with a very few exceptions such as Poland. What should conservatives therefore make of the Trump period?

First, of course, Trump is not likely to leave the scene. He has just received more than 72 million votes for president. His overwhelming desire to be the centre of attention means that he will surely tease Americans, and torture the Republican Party, with the prospect of running again for the presidency in 2024, when he would only be Joe Biden’s age now. Indeed, if Biden survives four years in office and runs for a second term, Trump at 78 could still be the youth candidate.

Or if Kamala Harris succeeds Biden as the Democrats’ candidate, will she be able to win states like Pennsylvania and Michigan against Trump? This will be especially the case if Biden’s pro-regulation, pro-green policy bent has damaged US economic growth.

Trump’s likely presence on the national and international stage, perhaps at the head of a new right-wing cable news network or other media ventures, makes it all the more important that conservatives learn the real lessons of the Trump presidency.

Conservatives who dislike Trump must recognise the real achievements of his presidency: lower taxes; deregulation; high economic growth before COVID-19; better enforcement of American borders; conservative black letter law judges; three new Middle East peace deals; a positive revolution in Israel’s position in the Middle East; containing Iran; calling out China; trade deals that help American jobs; onshoring of more manufacturing production in the US; a higher defence budget; putting pressure on NATO countries to increase their defence expenditure; stronger support for pro-life measures and movements than any previous president. It would be a strange conservative who held that list of achievements as nothing. Equally, however, those conservatives who have fallen in love with Trump should acknowledge his substantial failures and disasters.

His response to COVID-19 was chaotic, ineffective, counter-productive on key measures like mask wearing and social distancing generally, and politically calamitous. It’s wrong to blame Trump personally for most US virus deaths, it’s right to say his response was ineffective and chaotic. As well, needlessly and constantly, Trump tells lies. He seems to lie as often as he tells the truth, and indeed seems indifferent as to the difference. He even boasted to Bob Woodward in the book, Rage, that he lied about the severity of COVID in order not to alarm the nation.

Trump often lies about international affairs, as in his ridiculous early boast that he had removed the North Korean nuclear threat by his love-ins with Kim Jong-un.

Trump’s administration was needlessly unstable, with a bewildering and dangerous turnover of key personnel in defence and national security areas in particular. He trashed the value of alliances.

There was also a consistent vindictive nastiness to Trump. It’s one thing to be nasty to The New York Times. It’s quite another to express contempt for the war service of Senator John McCain, who spent five years as a prisoner of war being brutally mistreated by North Vietnamese communists and refusing early release, insisting instead that, according to the rules of war, combat pilots should be released in the order in which they were captured.

And for all that some of Trump’s achievements need to be recognised, his ultimate political fate was that with positive economic reviews, and all the advantages of incumbency, he was still defeated by Biden, who took five states Trump had won in 2016 and won the popular vote by more than five million.

Nonetheless, there are important positive lessons for conservatives in Trump’s politics. One is that nationalism and patriotism are powerful forces that galvanise voters in a positive direction. This is a deep insight that conservatives should embrace more energetically. It is a cleavage between left and right in modern Western politics. Pope Francis, undoubtedly a good and holy man but a pontiff with a left-wing view of politics and economics, in his latest Encyclical, Fratelli tutti (All Brothers), argues for a kind of world government of technocrats to solve international problems.

At the kindest, you would have to say that this formulation is unrealistic, given how despotic and dysfunctional so many national governments are. But it’s also wrong in principle. Pope John Paul II, also a good and holy man but one with a conservative view of politics, argued in his Encyclicals that family and nation were natural states of humanity. They were mechanisms of human solidarity, not to be despised.

Similarly, however coarsely, Trump vigorously rejects the toxic notion that Western societies today are responsible for historic misdeeds of centuries ago, or that their national stories are inherently and intrinsically evil. Trump is not well equipped to make these arguments intellectually, but instinctively he wants to fight such culture wars. He’s right to do so.

Many conservative leaders are scared of these conflicts. But the more they give in to the cultural left, the more they are endlessly apologising, inviting defeat. Conservative politicians shouldn’t make these issues the centre of their politics, but they shouldn’t be scared of them. A bit of fight is no bad thing.

A lesson which it is astonishing that Trump should teach us is that conservative parties must seek out ethnic minority voters.

Trump went backwards with white men but came within an ace of winning a second term by increasing his vote with Hispanics and blacks. He won something like 40 per cent of Hispanics in Florida but also a large share in Texas.

Democrats have thought for decades that demography is their friend. They’re wrong. Conservatives should never accept a vote is lost to them on the basis of a citizen’s ethnicity. Hispanics are natural Republicans — they love the military and enlist in disproportionate numbers, they love religion, family is the centre of their life, they run many small businesses. They don’t necessarily favour illegal immigration. In opposing illegal immigration Republicans must support legal immigrants.

Republicans have been poor at seeking out Hispanic and black voters just as Liberals in Australia have been poor at seeking out ethnic Indian and Chinese voters. Boris Johnson’s government is good at this, as was Canada’s last Conservative PM, Stephen Harper. So long as conservatives are truly colour blind in civic matters, their values should resonate with ethnic minorities much more powerfully than woke, left-liberal, postmodern identity politics obsessions. Most minority voters like law and order.

For all that, economics is the key to everything. Trump had powerful appeal to minorities, and to mainstream voters, because prior to COVID he had provided jobs and wages were rising.

Conservatives must be pragmatic. They are patriotic and socially conservative but they should not be wedded to any government ideology, whether it’s libertarianism, free markets, social welfare cuts or anything else. Trump in 2016 appealed because he promised results rather than dogma.

Finally, conservatives need leaders who command the public square. If in our culture it is now impossible to have cut-through, like Reagan, unless you are nasty, like Trump, then we are in a mess.



15 November, 

National Election Fraud: Evidence of National Chicanery During America’s 2020 Presidential Election

Below is part of a large study of election fraud.  See the original for links

Regardless of where one falls politically, the sanctity of the vote is a bedrock of a functioning representative democracy. Voters have to believe their vote matters. And that the vote is free, fair, and accurate. 

The basic facts of the 2020 American Presidential election are concerning because mounting evidence indicates there’s been a concerted effort by state Democratic Parties to flip the election from President Donald Trump to former Vice President Joe Biden in a number of key swing states with the help of notoriously corrupt Democratic Party machines in at least five American cities — Detroit, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, and Atlanta.

Here are the basic facts of the case: On Election Night when America went to bed, President Trump had a commanding lead in virtually every swing state, as well as Virginia, which no one expected him to win. However, when America woke up the next day, we found that he’d lost these leads, largely on the basis of mail-in ballots found in the middle of the night and out from under the watchful eye of legal election monitors. 

What’s more, these massive caches of votes – almost all of which were for former Vice President Biden – came via large dumps primarily from the five aforementioned cities in states predominantly run by Democratic governors.

When one looks at the statistical likelihood of the reported turnout, the numbers are so improbable they’re more at home in a one-party state like Saddam Hussein’s Iraq or North Korea.

What’s more, Biden’s victory does not square with the results of the Republican Party nationally: Republicans won 28 of 29 competitive House seats and Democrats were unable to flip a single state legislature. Joe Biden secured a scant three of the so-called “Bellwether Districts” that almost always choose the winner, one of which was in Delaware. Judicial Watch found 353 counties in 29 different states who had higher than 100 percent turnout. 

Anecdotally, swing states tend to follow Florida in terms of swinging left or right. This is particularly true in Michigan, which has voted in lockstep with Florida since 1968. Nearly three dozen states had counting machines connected to the Internet during the election, which is inherently insecure. Joe Biden’s lead among mail-in ballots was massive in two states — Michigan and Pennsylvania — while it was in the single digits in most states.

Evidence of chicanery, irregularities, and outright manipulation have poured in from a variety of states — Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Texas, New Jersey, Nevada, and Arizona. This evidence could easily be dismissed as simply weird if one is being generous or naive.

While much of this took place at the state level, there are also irregularities that are occurring across state lines and these are worthy of consideration. It’s not evidence per se, but there was a massive spike in the number of Google searches for “election fraud punishment” in swing states in the 30 days leading up to the election. 

Below we explore the details and the data of what happened across the nation on Election Day, with flagrant and often sloppy irregularities occurring from coast to coast. Elsewhere we explore similar efforts in the key swing states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Georgia. 

All of the posts in this series will be updated as more credible information is uncovered. 

The General Landscape of American Election Fraud

The media is trying to weave a narrative with ever-shifting goalposts. They began by saying that not only did voter fraud not happen, but that it’s impossible. Now, they have shifted their story to saying that there is always minor fraud, but that it never really matters much. 

The Heritage Foundation has identified 1,200 elections where voter fraud made the difference in recent decades, long after the era of Jim Crow when election theft was de rigueur. Of these, fully 15 were thrown out specifically because of cheating by mail-in ballot. 

Mail-in ballots are largely banned in Europe, where voter ID requirements are likewise the norm. Florida has been recognized specifically as an offender.

Another narrative in the controlled media is that illegal aliens and other non-citizens don’t vote. This is patently untrue. In fact, they vote at alarmingly high rates. A 2019 study found that approximately 2.2 percent of respondents admitted to voting illegally, which implies a little under a million ballots cast by non-citizens every year. 

The counterargument is that respondents are either lying or misunderstood the question, but this is simply not true — those who conducted the study verified their votes.

So we can see that electoral fraud is not only impossible, it is common. It is not negligible, it has determined elections in living memory. With this as our backdrop, we will now investigate voter irregularities throughout the nation during the 2020 Presidential election. 

What Constitutes Evidence of Electoral Fraud?

Before going further, it is worth discussing what constitutes evidence for electoral fraud. Well, the Carter Center has a set of standards that they use to determine whether or not there has been electoral fraud somewhere. 

These are the standards used by globalists to determine whether or not elections they disapprove of have been conducted fraudulently. Several of them are present in the contested states:

* Counting procedures should be verifiable.
* Votes should be presented for independent review.
* Elections should be subject to recounts.

Additionally, the Carter Center states that it is the right of dissidents to challenge and question the results of an election that they believe to be fraudulent. Harassing dissidents is considered evidence of chicanery in and of itself. 

“Effective redress” is the term they use and it is considered by the Carter Center to be vital for establishing an election as legitimate. The resistance of the Democratic Party to recounts and audits should be a red flag in and of itself.

There are also mathematical anomalies that are worth looking into because, regardless of turnout and outcome, elections will follow certain patterns. One of these is that, because of mail sorting, mail-in ballots will consistently show the same ratio of support for each candidate. We did not see that, however — there is a significant spike in support for Biden and fall off in support for President Trump as Election Night dragged on. 

Indeed, in Wisconsin, this anomaly became massive around 4 a.m., the same time that the massive ballot drops without supervision began. The same phenomenon occurred in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia, all four of these states with copious amounts of electoral chicanery and irregularity. Virginia was another state with similar mathematical irregularities.

Benford’s Law is another area where we see mathematical irregularities. Put simply: When we have large datasets of numbers, there is a pattern we can find with regard to the final and penultimate digit of each number in this data set. 

Benford’s Law analysis is one of the first things run by forensic accountants looking for financial malfeasance or tax cheating. 

Many of the electoral tallies in disputed states violate Benford’s Law — but only for Joe Biden, whose distribution more closely resembles the curve when people type “random” numbers in. President Trump, Jo Jorgensen, Howie Hawkins, and Kanye West’s numbers do not violate this law, but former Vice President Biden’s do in disputed areas. 

The Wikipedia article about Benford’s Law was altered and locked after several enterprising Twitter users began investigating this strand of the 2020 election theft. 

The Glitch From Coast to Coast

One recurring theme throughout the 2020 election is the glitch. There have been a number of glitches, many detailed in our series on irregularities in different states. This, in and of itself might not be cause for concern — however, in every case, these so-called “software glitches” favor former Vice President Biden at the expense of President Donald Trump. 

Again, we have detailed these in our state series article, but we will mention some here just to give you a general idea of what has been going on with these “glitches.” 

One in Michigan sent 6,000 votes to Biden that were meant for Donald Trump. Another in Wisconsin, robbed Donald Trump of 19,500 votes. Another similar glitch in Georgia saw an unspecified number of votes go to Biden that were, once again, meant for the President. 

There appears to be a pattern here. Were these all bona fide mistakes, we would likely find votes that were meant to go for Joe Biden going to Donald Trump before the situation was corrected. But we are unaware of any such error in favor of the President. 

The common denominator? The voting software used to calculate the vote made by a company with deep connections to the DNC. 

The Turnout That Wasn’t

The DNC’s victory in the 2020 Presidential election relies heavily upon a massively increased turnout, again centered around a handful of large cities controlled by the Democratic Party. One example of this is 90 percent turnout in the entire State of Wisconsin, which would not only be the highest level of turnout in American history, but also comes close to the 92 percent average in Australia where voting is mandatory. In the city of Milwaukee alone, the turnout was 84 percent. 

Compare this turnout to Cleveland, a culturally comparable city not in a swing state, which had a comparatively scant 51 percent turnout. This is an important city to draw a contrast with because, while it is a Democratic stronghold, as are most large cities, and it has a similar minority population, it was not in a state that was considered in play this election. Democrats attempted to steal the election by fabricating astronomical turnout in urban areas they control in swing states. 

The turnout gambit becomes even more laughable when one considers that Biden is one of the least invigorating Democratic candidates since John Kerry or Mike Dukakis. Yet somehow this candidate was able to increase his vote above what Barack Obama enjoyed, with some districts in Milwaukee putting up more votes than there are registered voters in the area. 

A broad study conducted by Judicial Watch found that 353 counties across 29 states had turnout exceeding 100 percent of registered voters. Eight of these had turnout exceeding 100 percent across the entire state: Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont. 

Perhaps more damning, the study was limited to 37 states publishing their voter registration data. This means that, of the 37 states that Judicial Watch had access to, 78 percent of them had turnout exceeding 100 percent. 

Vetting of Mail-In Ballots

The American public was warned for months in advance that mail-in balloting, illegal throughout most of Europe, is inherently insecure and lends itself to the kind of mass voter fraud that we are seeing in action right now. 

But the mail-in ballots that we are seeing in this election are not just nonspecifically “suspect.” They are rife with irregularities and a lack of accountability that should cause them to be closely investigated, audited and, where appropriate, thrown out entirely.

Mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania are particularly questionable. This is a state where Biden enjoyed a 60.5 percent lead in mail-in voting. More damning is the fact that many of these ballots seem to have arrived before they were even sent, arrived the same day or arrived within one day of being sent. This is an abnormal amount of processing time, especially when we consider the surge in mail due to the election. 

James O’Keefe found two whistleblowers at USPS, one of whom was willing to come forward, who told of backdating ballots. This whistleblower was intimidated by the feds and it was falsely reported that he recanted his report.

Vetting of mail-in ballots is particularly important because they are widely open to electoral fraud, as we have discussed above. So it is troubling that we have multiple reports, including in the form of sworn affidavits presented before the court, of poll watchers being thrown out, mocked, intimidated and even physically assaulted during the course of counting mail-in ballots. 

Of special note is the strong resistance to poll workers in swing states to allow anyone to watch them. In Pennsylvania, poll workers were caught on video expelling poll watchers despite knowledge of a court order preventing them from doing so. Reports of expelled poll watchers were part of the lawsuit filed in Michigan and there were similar reports out of Georgia. This raises the obvious question — why don’t they want anyone watching them?

More <a href="">HERE</a>



13 November, 2020 

As coronavirus rages around Europe, Slovakia launches a daring mission to test every adult

A little blue form can change the way you live in Slovakia. The COVID-19 certificates are being issued to everyone who participates in an enormous testing program — designed to reach every Slovakian over the age of 10. That's roughly 3.8 million people.

Those who test negative can avoid a lockdown, but those who refuse to be swabbed are required to stay at home.

For economics student Viktor Frühwald, the decision to get tested was an easy one. "I can go wherever I want because I'm safe," he told the ABC.

Staff at shops, bars and restaurants can ask to see patrons' blue certificates before granting them entry.

"It's an experiment for sure," he said. "[But] it's better for everyone to know if they're infected or not."

Another student, Dorota Bartkova, said she hoped the mass testing program would help her country control the virus.  "I think it's a good time for us, for our country to do the screening of the population," she said. "I want to do my part.

"And, of course, I want to be involved in normal life, again, to do shopping and go to work and school."

At a testing centre in the town of Zvolen, Maria Zvalova closes her eyes and winces slightly as a swab is inserted into her nose.

Fifteen minutes later, she is given her blue certificate to prove she tested negative. She said she hoped it would provide some extra freedom and peace of mind. "We are grandparents and our family contact is limited," she said. "Now, it's about my health and the health of my partner."

The Slovakian Government hopes to lead the world in mass testing.

Luxembourg previously announced a similar strategy, although its population is just 600,000 people.

Two rounds of testing were held over the last two weekends with 3.6 million people – two thirds of the population – taking part on the first weekend in November and just over 2 million tested last weekend.

Participants are swabbed through their nose and their sample is analysed using an antigen test, which looks for specific proteins on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Unlike a PCR test, it does not need laboratory analysis.

However, what Slovakia's antigen test gains in speed, it loses in accuracy. "The test can detect maybe half the real infectious people," said Marek Plesko, a doctor swabbing patients in the central city of Banska Bystrica.

"So, if someone receives a negative test he or she cannot be satisfied they are not a virus spreader."

Slovakia recorded just a handful of daily cases over the European summer, but late last month they surged to more than 3,000 a day. In the latest round of rapid testing, 13,509 samples (0.66 per cent) returned a positive result.

Mask are compulsory in public and social interactions are limited to six people.

Dr Plesko said the mass testing program risked undermining the public health guidance if people put too much faith in the accuracy of the tests and assume they've not infected. "They have to be careful and still comply with regulations."

Dorota Bartkova agreed. "Psychologically, it can affect people and they will not accept the rules," she said. "So I think it would it would be good to present [to] people that it's only screening and the sensitivity of this is not 100 per cent."


The economics of plague

Boris Johnson’s decision to lock down England again until December 2, is economically and scientifically bizarre. It is based on advice from the faulty mathematicians at Imperial College, who proved to be hopelessly in error when the COVID-19 pandemic first arrived in March. It will damage the British economy, and probably kill more people than it saves. We seem to have completely lost the calm efficiency with which we faced plague outbreaks in 1665.

The Imperial College forecast of COVID-19 mortality in March, prepared by Neil Ferguson, who had a track record of erroneous forecasts, predicted COVID-19 would take 500,000 lives in Britain in 2020 –ten times the actual number – and resulted in a nationwide lockdown. An initial short lockdown was defensible; we did not know either the mortality or the transmittability of the new disease. However, after an achingly slow and partial reopening, another Imperial College forecast of 4,000 deaths per day has caused Boris Johnson to lock the country down again. This will do untold economic damage; it will also cost lives, as necessary medical tests will not be carried out and fragile personalities left in isolation will succumb.

In March, it was defensible to get the forecast wrong; it is not defensible now. At that time, we did not know the mortality rate from Covid-19; the World Health Organization, another bunch of bunglers, was claiming it to be around 4% and implying the case fatality rate (measuring known cases) in the early outbreak was equivalent to the infection fatality rate (measuring all cases). Now we do know the infection mortality rate, at least to a moderate degree of accuracy; it is between 0.4% and 0.6%, depending on what you assume about the medical treatment available to the patient. The very old suffer higher mortality, but in the cold mathematical calculation, they have fewer years of life to lose, and hence their premature death is less important than that of a younger person. (I speak as one of the vulnerable ones, being old, fat and diabetic.)

The central error in both the Imperial College forecast, apart from the mortality rate, is the mathematical curve that an epidemic follows. Contrary to popular delusions in the mass media, its spread is not exponential. Instead, as the Nobel prize winning Professor Michael Levitt of Stanford University School of Medicine explained, epidemics follow a Gompertz curve, a function identified by Benjamin Gompertz (1779-1865), under which the rate of spread falls exponentially with the current size of the infected population. Hence, instead of spiraling out of control and producing 4,000 deaths per day in Britain’s 70 million population, it naturally slows when the infected population is large, reducing the new infections rate and the death rate.

The most unpleasant feature of the epidemic, however, is that, after the spread has slowed and infections have declined for a few weeks, it can speed up again, because the number of people who are then infectious is much lower. This gives rise to the “waves” of infection seen in all countries since COVID-19 first appeared; while each new “wave” can produce more cases than the previous one (because testing is better), its mortality is less – partly because of improved medical knowledge and partly because the population as a whole has acquired a partial immunity to the infection.

“Experts” will always produce forecasts that require you to up-end the economy and devote your entire attention to their nonsense. In epidemiology as in global warming, they should be ignored, or preferably de-funded.

COVID-19 is not especially lethal, nowhere near as lethal as Ebola or even SARS, the Chinese coronavirus that spread earlier this century. However, it is especially infectious; it spreads more rapidly than most other known viruses and is infectious for up to two weeks before symptoms appear (if they ever do; there are many asymptomatic patients). Since it also appears not to bring its victims long-term immunity, it is likely to recur in large waves for the foreseeable future. Eventually, we will discover a vaccine that is fully effective against it, or effective enough to prevent it spreading rapidly through the populace. However, it appears likely that the first vaccines will not have a high level of efficacy, and hence while dampening the worst epidemics will not eliminate the disease from the population – any more than flu vaccines, even if universally administered, would completely eliminate flu from the population.

One problem that has caused Boris Johnson to lock down Britain is the inadequate capacity of the National Health Service. Since 1948, British health care has been run on a Soviet style central planning model, with market forces playing no role (not that U.S. health care is a perfect free market model, far from it). As a result, Britain has only 6.6 intensive care unit beds per 100,000 population, compared to 34.7 ICU beds per 100,000 in the U.S. and 29.2 per 1200,000 in Germany, a well-run hybrid system that has coped well with COVID-19. Naturally, as in all centrally planned economies, this has produced a severe shortage of beds when the healthcare system is put under the strain of a novel virus. The normal NHS approach, of lining all the patients up in a lengthy queue of several months and ignoring those who die before treatment can be received, works poorly in this case; too many patients die for lack of ICU facilities.

The system has had eight months to prepare for a recurrence of Covid-19. For a fraction of the cost of the idiotic economic bailouts that are now being brought again into action, additional temporary ICU facilities could have been prepared, as they were in New York in April under the magnificent leadership of President Trump (who the world is going to miss badly after January 20). In 1665, the British political system knew that flexibility was required, moving the entire seat of government to Oxford when plague struck. Under the socialist dead weight of the NHS, no such flexibility appears to be possible.

While the world has been spared a pandemic of this nature since 1918’s Spanish influenza, it should be prepared for future recurrences. There remain large parts of the world where living conditions are overcrowded and sanitary conditions poor, and in those areas, diseases can always mutate and spread themselves into the general population. One behavioral change that would mitigate this is a drastic reduction in international air travel – COVID 19 spread throughout the world within weeks because of the ubiquity of mindless international travelers, especially among the student population. While domestic quarantines can do little to limit the spread of a disease once it has entered the population, international ones can certainly slow its initial transmission. The fact that Italy, for example, was full of Chinese workers from Wuhan on temporary visas is a pathological side-effect of excessive globalization that we should prevent.

There is a blessed Darwinian rule of thumb relating to naturally-generated pandemics: either their mortality rate is high, or their infection rate is high but not both. If the disease has a high mortality rate, it is unlikely to be especially infectious, or to have a latency period as long as COVID-19, because it would quickly create a local desert and run out of victims. Thus, lockdowns are almost always futile; a disease like COVID-19 can beat them, and the economic and medical damage done by the lockdown is far greater than its benefit.



The Fight for Georgia: Democrat candidate Raphael Warnock slammed police, honored Jeremiah "God D—n America" Wright (Daily Wire)

Leftists invite voters to exploit the Peach State's weak residency rules to stuff ballot boxes (Tennessee Star)

Pennsylvania received 10,000 mail-in ballots after polls closed on Election Day thanks to court-sanctioned "grace period" (Washington Examiner)

The Pennsylvania lawsuit explained (Power Line) | A user's guide to the PA challenge (Washington Examiner)

In 353 U.S. counties, 1.8 million more voters registered than eligible citizens (Daily Wire)

Trump legal assault exposes election shenanigans — but faces high hurdles (Washington Times)

Biden in September: I will not declare victory until the election is independently certified (Breitbart)

Lincoln Project backstabbers face backlash for urging people to harass Trump's legal team (Sara Carter)

GOP Senate would leave Biden to pursue tax agenda through administrative action (Washington Examiner)

Biden coronavirus adviser wants U.S. to distribute vaccine globally before it's available to all Americans (Fox)

Black Lives Matter pens letter to Biden and Harris: "We want something for our vote" (Daily Wire)

Mitch McConnell unanimously reelected GOP leader — hopefully long term (NY Post)

California voters reject revamp to property tax system (Fox Business) and expanded "rent control" (NR)

Vatican's Theodore McCarrick report says Pope John Paul II knew of misconduct allegations nearly two decades before cardinal's removal (Washington Post)

Authors retract study showing efficacy of mask mandates — as Biden pushes nationwide requirement (FEE) | On the flip side, CDC report says masks protect wearers and everyone else (NBC)

U.S. gets scolded by tone-deaf China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran on human rights at UN (Examiner)

Japanese town deploys "monster wolf" robots to deter wild bears (OAN)

Policy: Trump's greatest achievement: The president has exposed the rot and corruption of our ruling class (American Mind)

Policy: Why a Biden presidency would be a gift to Iran (FrontPage Mag)



12 November, 2020 

Trump was a valuable aberration, never a long-term option

One opinion

Veni, vidi, vici. Donald Trump came, he saw, he conquered. Not for long. But long enough to leave a substantial legacy. Like a case study in Joseph Schumpeter’s creative destruction, the deal-making entrepreneur came, he saw and he disrupted many of the political and policy baselines that had been the received wisdom.

But the chaos candidate asked too much of voters at the 2020 election. Most people can hold their noses for only so long to avoid his badmouthed, bad-mannered, boorish, bullying and often deranged behaviour. Another four years was beyond the pale.

Trump was always going to claim, with scant evidence to date, that dark forces stole high office from him. Mr Fake News warned us that he is a bad loser. His behaviour confirms why a blustering, self-obsessed and insecure man who tweets in capital letters like a madman is an aberration, not a long-term option for Republicans.

That said, his legacy is undeniable. Before his arrival, the Republican Party was dangerously uninterested in the dislocation felt by millions of Americans, economically and culturally. It isn’t any more. Voters who were forgotten by the Republican establishment were out-and-out despised by the other side. Demo­crats, and Hillary Clinton, learned the hard way that dissing possible Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables” was not a path to victory.

Trump’s legacy is that the Democrats chose Joe Biden, a working-class kid from Scranton, Pennsylvania, who was able to reconstruct the blue wall of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania that Trump, the disrupter, breached in 2016.

On policy, the disrupter-in-chief challenged a cosy consensus that China’s economic growth — the communist country is now the second largest economy — would bring it closer to the West. Trump confronted China’s gaming of its “developing country” status, where countries self-declare their status to the World Trade Organisation to attract “special and differential treatment”. It is obscene that some of the wealthiest WTO members — including Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Israel, Kuwait, Brunei and Qatar — self-declare as developing members to avail themselves of special treatment that applies to sub-Saharan Africa.

Trump has reminded Europe and NATO to fund more of their own security. Europe is learning from Trump that every country needs to secure its own borders.

He shook-up the media, too, even if that didn’t last long. After his 2016 win, The New York Times and Washington Post delivered grovelling apologies for not under­standing or caring about large swathes of the country who voted for Trump. If they do not glean anything from the fact Trumpism was not trounced at the ballot box last week, Trump’s case to voters will remain powerful: the country is at risk of being stolen from mainstream voters by big bus­iness, big media and cultural elites.

It is Trump’s legacy, too, that Americans voted in record numbers. Just as Trump was a necessary jolt to the system, Biden’s win is a sensible shift in this political cycle, signalled by him securing not only the electoral college votes but also the largest popular vote in US history. Even so, Democrats should be wary of gloating. After all, Trump won the second largest popular vote recorded.

Just as Democrats regrouped around Biden after Trump’s win in 2016, Republicans now can search for a longer-term alternative to Trump. Sound economic policies, tackling PC culture and identity politics, and a nation’s security cannot rely on a foul-mouthed bully who lacked grace and decency in the highest job. His vulgar contempt for the country, not yet conceding defeat, confirms why Americans voted strategically: on personality, they categorically fired Trump. But Biden was not handed a resounding policy win.

No Republican standing for re-election in the House of Represen­tatives lost their seat. With Dem­ocrats losing at least seven, their majority is reduced to the thin­nest margin in decades. No wonder centrist Democrats are coming for house Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Republicans look set to maintain their Senate majority, too. There are more GOP governors than Democrat ones and Republicans control most state legislatures.

In other words, Americans do not want to veer wildly to the left. The results are an invitation to moderates on both sides to take steps to lead the country out of a period of profound polarisation.

Doubt there is a constituency for a depolarisation project? Notice that woke folk didn’t get a blank cheque from voters even in California. A state measure, Proposition 16, would have introduced race-based preferences into state education, hiring and contracts. Supported by most of California’s political and business elites, it was rejected at the same ballot box that swung Biden’s way.

Writing in Politico Magazine, Michael Grunwald summed up the election this way: “Trump called Biden ‘the most boring human being I’ve ever seen’, and a majority of the country seemed OK with that. Normal is underrated in politics, and norms are underappreciated until they’re gone,” he wrote. “While Trump’s great-again message evoked a certain kind of nostalgia for an America before diversity workshops and gender-neutral bathrooms, Biden evokes a different kind of nostalgia for an older brand of politics.”

Biden delivered a pitch-perfect speech on Sunday, pointing out the need to start healing divisions in America. Not just in America, in fact. “It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric,” he said, “lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again and to make progress. We have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies.” It’s schmaltzy. And it’s true. Many of us are exhausted, disappointed and bewildered by the confected and downright crazy Armageddon arms race launched by the extremes of both side of politics, and not just in the US but in Australia too.

Just as Trump’s win in 2016 was not the end of the world for the left, neither is his defeat the end of Western civilisation for the right. Biden said he understood the disappointment of Trump voters: “I’ve lost a couple of elections myself. But now let’s give each other a chance.”

If he is serious about transforming the teleprompter stuff into action, he could start by reminding his party and the broader liberal-elite hegemony that if you deem certain views deplorable, don’t be surprised if another deplorable populist exploits genuine voter frustration. Can Trump supporters give Biden a chance? Many won’t, especially those in the media. They have invested too much, often their careers, in Trump and Trumpism to admit when he crossed countless lines of basic decency. They emboldened Trump to descend into the final Borat-style farce of claiming hundreds of thousands of votes were stolen from him. His blinkered boosters have ensured he is a laughing-stock, despite his legacy elsewhere.


Wait Just a Minute! Some Very Good News May Be Coming

Like many, I spent the last few nights waking up at 2:03 A.M., no reason, then looking at my phone for news, any news, that might be positive for President Trump.  I survived on Rush, Bongino, Mark Levin.  When the news continued to be ugly, I even checked in on ridiculous bloggers promising that ballots were watermarked and D.J. (our household name for a president we love) was actually launching a sting on the Deep State.

Enough already.  Stop the madness.  

Hey, I have a degree in statistics, and I have some level of critical thought.  If there is such pessimism in my tribe, I am not going along.

So today, I started to dig into the numbers, and as I did, I fought my confirmation bias at every step.  

I realized that I, like millions of others, had been numbed into despondency by the overwhelming press, media, social media push to certify President-Elect Biden.  (I put that in there so you can see how repellent it is.)

Hey guys, this thing is not only not over; it is scary for Biden.  I mean really scary, and most of all, the media know it.  Thus, the rush to get everyone in line with the narrative that a 78-year-old, early-dementia former V.P., who could not draw a crowd larger than a dozen, just beat D.J. in a fair election.

Process that for a moment.

Start with Pennsylvania.  Biden, as of this writing, is at 290 electoral votes.  Pennsylvania is 20.

I read the Justice Alito opinion, and it is pretty clear that he wants the after election night at 8:00 P.M. votes separated for a reason.  Biden is going to lose at the Supreme Court, and they know it.  Four justices already said the Pennsylvania Supreme Court cannot adjust voting rules.   A new arrival, Justice Barrett, says she is there to apply the rules in the Constitution.  OK, wanna bet she does?

Remove the after 8:00 P.M. ballots, and Biden loses Pennsylvania.  Biden 270.

Let's visit Nevada.  I have lots of friends in California who have condos in Nevada to evade state taxes.  There are not a couple of people doing this; there are tens of thousands.  Everyone knows it, and California seeks them out.

Our old pal Harry Reid knows it as well, and he apparently has them voting in droves in this election.  Probably not a big D.J. constituency.  Within 72 hours of the election, the Trump team found, validated over 3,500 of them.  I do not suspect that Trump's people stopped counting.

Every one of these is a ballot reduction for Biden

Nevada, as of now, is well within reach for DJ and the Trump team — particularly when the California crowd is reduced.  And a few of them may testify since a false vote is a very bad thing, with jail time if convicted.  Maybe a bigger story here.

Remember where we are, people.  Biden is at 270 after a highly probable Supreme Court decision (read Alito and concurring opinions).

Lose Nevada, lose the election.

But wait: it gets better.

Let's visit Wisconsin.  Right now, it is 20,000 votes in Uncle Joe's direction.  Lots of stories out there, well below the Google fold, that there are way more Wisconsin votes than there are registered voters.  OK, maybe the dead can vote up there — probably a Midwest thing.

Well, last night, we found that Wisconsin election clerks were told, and followed the direction, to modify mail-in ballots and fill in the blanks where witnesses left out critical info.

I am sure it was just a good customer service thing and they meant no harm.  The problem is every such ballot is now toast.

There were "thousands" of such prima facie wrongful votes.  Oops.  Biden up 20,000 — now that number is in question.  No more truckloads of votes coming in, so every ballot D.J.'s team eliminates gets President-Elect Biden one step closer to former V.P. Biden who lives in a basement.  Not good here.

North Carolina.  That one pretty much looks like as though it is over and D.J. won it.  Fox News is rumored to call it for Trump around April 2021.

Remember where we are here.  Biden is probably going to lose Pennsylvania, so if he loses even one state, even one Electoral College vote, ouch! 

Either D.J. wins outright, or it goes to the House, which means that D.J. has four more years.

We're not done yet.

Michigan.  Oh, yes, the land of the "glitches" in the voting machines.  Six thousand votes for Trump given to Biden in one of 47 counties where that software is used.  About 150,000 votes in Biden's favor right now.  

Google the 130,000 Biden votes that showed up in the middle of the night, and you can see how the wonderful people at Google are fact-checking this "debunked" story.  In fact, for fun, Google "Michigan voter fraud," and you get literally three pages of "this was fact checked and proven to be false."  Why would Google be so assiduous?

They too see that if Amy votes with the four, Biden is one vote away from the basement.

Lawsuits in Michigan and the other states are being launched, and discovery will take place.  Google will not be there.  

Voter fraud is kind of like larceny.  A little is OK.  It is even kind of entertaining.

Dead people have been voting for a hundred years in Democratic cities.  It is such a constant that one would think the Republican Party would consider a Dead Voter Outreach program to get their share.

But voter fraud on this scale is just not sustainable.  It does not pass the common sense test. 

We have bloggers with lots of time on their hands going through voter rolls and showing that person after person who voted in a swing state also fought in the Civil War or maybe the War of 1812.  It was funny at first, but the overwhelming number now goes beyond humor and rubs our faces in it.

I think D.J. has to swing one state.  Actually, one electoral vote.  Not only is this thing not over, but the Biden team must be sweating bullets.

Voter fraud at scale seemed like a really cool idea until D.J. went to the mattresses.  Now that he is fighting it out one voter at a time, with the Supreme Court likely to create the starting point at Biden 270, Biden has everything to lose.



11 November, 2020 

The coronavirus tradeoffs

“It’s precisely because COVID-19 has shown us that life is so fragile that we should make a priority to actually live it.” —New York Post columnist Karol Marcowicz

No doubt Marcowicz will be pilloried for her above sentiments, but she is only restating in far more personal terms an immutable reality expressed by Hoover Institution senior fellow Thomas Sowell: “There are no solutions. There are only tradeoffs.”

Is a nation where fear has been relentlessly cultivated for almost a year ready to deal with that? In the long run, we’re all dead. But what about the interim between now and then? Should you attempt to maintain some semblance of normalcy, or submit to the demons of isolation, loneliness, and boredom, along with all the possible pathologies such misery engenders?

For many Americans, the answers are elusive for one overriding reason: The coronavirus has been the most politicized affliction in the history of the nation. And perhaps the most damning part of that politicization has been the twisted effort to raise the importance of death by coronavirus over death by anything and everything else. Thus, while America is bombarded with a steady diet of coronavirus death totals, deaths from suicide, drug overdoses, and, most especially, the thousands of Americans suffering from serious conditions who died as a result of delaying or not seeking care have been largely suppressed. This suppression has occurred despite the reality that the levels of excess deaths not related to the coronavirus — but directly related to what columnist Jeffery A. Tucker labels “disabled human freedom and social functioning” — are nothing short of astounding.

Nonetheless, they remain largely irrelevant, because in modern-day America, where there is politicization, Big Tech/Leftmedia censorship of “unreliable” viewpoints follows in short order. “Experts” and “outliers,” labeled as such insofar as they serve or don’t serve the interests of our Ruling Class corporate oligarchy, have been quickly identified as those to be revered or despised.

That many of the revered, such as the World Health Organization or Dr. Anthony Fauci, have blatantly lied or flip-flopped? That the effectiveness of certain drugs was promoted or dismissed based largely on political considerations? That social distancing has been measured not in terms of science but in terms of what more than 1,000 health professionals considered “legitimate” large gatherings against “racial injustice” versus “illegitimate” large gatherings such as church attendance or political rallies derided as “super-spreaders”? That the quest for a vaccine has already been reduced to political and racial considerations about its potential effectiveness?

While this orchestrated cacophony remains ongoing, one thing is appearing more certain than ever: The chief culprit behind the literal reordering of our entire society remains largely unaccountable. No matter how many Americans die, how hard our constitutional rights are trampled, and how much our economy has been shattered — to the point where some sectors may never recover — our elitist oligarchy and its useful idiot political allies in both parties remain “bullish” on China.

How grotesque is their capitulation? More than 5,400 Americans were killed in the Pearl Harbor and 9/11 attacks combined. As of this writing, more than 230,000 American have died of coronavirus — as in more than 40 times the number killed in the two worst domestic attacks this nation ever endured.

How is this reality not part of the political equation going forward? Because when push comes to shove for the nation’s globalist elites, American lives are more expendable than Chinese market share.

Moreover, the most serious question surrounding the pandemic remains unanswered. What if an effective vaccine is never produced? Even now, according to CDC estimates for the 2018-19 season, the flu vaccine was only 29% effective. Even if a coronavirus vaccine doubled that level of effectiveness and everyone received it, more than two-fifths of Americans would remain vulnerable to the virus.

Have Americans faced the possibility that there’s no end to the pandemic for the foreseeable future? The antipathy directed at those who suggest herd immunity is the answer — as in the idea those who even broach the subject “don’t care how many people die” — is disingenuous. No matter how unpleasant, there may be no other choice available, other than societal suicide.

It has been less than a year, and “pandemic fatigue” is already an integral part of the national equation, especially among younger Americans who face the possibility of never going through the myriad of social rituals that transitioning to adulthood normally involves.

At what point does the seemingly quixotic and dubious effort to “flatten the curve” completely flatten all hope for the future?

It may very well be that, going forward, therapeutics mitigating the effects of the virus rather than eliminating it are the only answer. That most Americans don’t want to hear that is unsurprising, because it will require people to make choices they would dearly love to avoid. Thus, for every Karol Marcowicz who chooses to see those who matter on Thanksgiving, possibly for the last time, there’s a California Governor Gavin Newsom who decrees that gatherings (implicitly including Thanksgiving) must be celebrated outdoors, for a shortened period of time, and limited to three or fewer households, even if that means some family members can’t attend.

And that’s assuming Americans will be allowed to make any choices for themselves. The autocratic tendencies of several politicians cannot be denied, even to the point of advocating for the familiar police-state tactic of snitching on one’s fellow Americans for failing to follow their diktats.

What level of control — and surveillance — sold as concerns about health will Americans tolerate? It is already clear, despite no mention whatsoever in the document itself, that millions of Americans are willing to embrace the suspension of constitutional rights as a tradeoff for dealing with a “national emergency.”

National emergency as defined by whom, and based on what? There are strong indications that the coronavirus mortality rate will decline to flu-like levels. What then? And since widespread draconian lockdowns, better described as a “template for oppression,” are still being implemented — despite all the scientific evidence of their deleterious and often deadly effects — what else, even something wholly unrelated to disease or healthcare, can be declared a national emergency in order to implement the same kind of oppression? Oppression inevitably accompanied by economic and social catastrophe?

Will Americans ultimately allow government to define what “actually living” means?

“We all miss normal and long for its return,” Marcowicz writes. “Even all the side pleasures of COVID — the baking and the togetherness, the empty subways and the beautiful outdoor dining set-ups — only manage to somewhat mask that we yearn so badly for our lives, our real lives, the ones hopefully waiting for us on the other side of this.”

We’re already on the other side of this and our real lives have been irrevocably changed. And realistically speaking, anything resembling normalcy going forward will come down to one overriding choice: allowing our yearning to conquer our fear.

That’s the ultimate tradeoff — all the distractions and machinations in the world notwithstanding.


GOP Adds at Least 11 Women to House

The strong performance of Republican congressional candidates may be one of the most unexpected and even shocking outcomes of the election, especially for House Democrats. Not only did the Democrat Party fail to expand its majority by “double digits,” as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had been predicting, but they lost a net total of five seats with a real possibility of losing another five or six. So much for a blue wave. If anything, this wave was red.

Even worse for Democrats is that the ones leading this red wave were women. The number of female Republican representatives in the House has at least doubled with the addition of 11 members.

Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who helped lead the effort to recruit more women candidates, called it “the night of Republican women.” She added, “Despite the media and the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] issuing demeaning comments and saying it wasn’t possible, look at the outcome. We are going to have incredible women who have earned this victory themselves in these districts in the next Congress.”

Stefanik argued that one of the biggest motivating factors that pushed more Republican women to run was the hubris of the Democrats’ identity politics. “One interesting theme in my early conversations with these women candidates on the Republican side is that [they said] the party of Nancy Pelosi does not represent the vast majority of women in America,” she explained. “The Democratic Party does not have a monopoly on women candidates or women voters.” Amen to that.

Also of significance, these wins serve to double the number of pro-life women in the House. “The surge of victorious pro-life women candidates in the U.S. House is a stunning blow to Nancy Pelosi and her pro-abortion agenda,” asserted Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List. “So far, we have more than doubled the number of pro-life women in the House, with more races to be called. Seven pro-life women candidates flipped pro-abortion Democrat-held seats.”

Will mainstream media pundits celebrate this important increase in the number of women representatives as they did in in 2018? Given the mainstream media’s distain for Republicans, don’t bet on it. That said, while it appears there will be little celebrating for Republicans and conservatives when it comes to the presidential election results, there are some significant bright spots that shouldn’t be missed.


The Left Threatens GOP: 'We Have a List' and You'll Never Work Again if You Helped Trump

Former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden used the power of the office to spy on the media and political enemies, including, of course, Donald Trump. Obama kept a disposition matrix, an assassination list. And now the D.C. Left is trotting out a new list. It goes something like this: If you complain about potential voter fraud in the 2020 election, you’ll never work in this town again and if you ever worked for Trump, you’re through.

The threat has been issued by Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, who explicitly threatens to cancel any Republican “making baseless allegations of fraud,” among other things. Of course, as per usual, they’ll decide the meaning of “baseless,” thank-you-very-much. In fact,  Jen will probably pull a Crazy Hirono and DM Merriam-Webster demanding they change the definition of the word “baseless” or “fraud” before the deadline. Or else.

The Lincoln Project, and their siren, Tokyo Rose Rubin, have held themselves out as principled conservatives. Their principle is pretense. The organization has been anything but principled, what with claiming that Trump’s a secret Russian agent, and worse disinformation, such as he won’t leave if he’s defeated, and will change the law to stay 12 years. We’re talking unhinged here. Their purpose in life is to troll the president and if the lo-fo crowd buys their agitprop, so be it.

Being the “principled conservative” that she is, Rubin is more than happy to pile on.

“Any R now promoting rejection of an election or calling to not to follow the will of voters or making baseless allegations of fraud should never serve in office, join a corporate board, find a faculty position or be accepted into “polite” society. We have a list.”

And she’s not alone in keeping a list. My colleague Stacey Lennox points me to this AOC tweet followed by a blue checkmark named Michael Simon, who’s starting an entire project to keep track of people who deigned to become Trump supporters. They’re finished.

Simon is a former Obama administration analytics guy who has started the  “Trump Accountability Project” to keep a list of, as Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez calls them, “Trump sycophants.”

He was right there to pick up what she was throwing down. “Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future? I foresee decent probability of many deleted Tweets [sic], writings, photos in the future,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.

Simon responded, in a now-deleted tweet:

Yes, we are. The Trump Accountability Project (@trumpaccproject) [sic] Every Administration staffer, campaign staffer, bundler, lawyer who represented them – everyone.

And what will they do with such information?  As Tokyo Rose Rubin pointed out in her above tweet, anyone supporting Donald Trump should “never serve in office, join a corporate board, find a faculty position or be accepted into ‘polite’ society.”

We have a list.

Diversity of opinion will not be tolerated. Because of your views, you’ll never work in this town — or anyplace in the business world, universities, or board rooms.

We have a list. It is the disposition matrix of people with different political views. They won’t kill you, just your livelihood.

Like the good totalitarians they are.



Biden to increase H-1B visa limit, remove country quota for green cards (Economic Times)

Campaign manager says the Left's puppet is "going to make good" on "incredibly progressive" agenda (The Hill)

Seven big items on the White House agenda (Daily Signal)

"Extremely hostile to anything that even smells progressive": AOC lashes out at Democrat Party (The Blaze)

Fox News wrongly called five Democrat pickups in House in addition to early Arizona call (Power Line)

Dr. Fauci said Trump "asking for trouble" with "super spreader" rallies — but silent on Biden celebrations (Fox News)

"Since this was developed under Trump & because of his leadership, will Kamala Harris & the other Dems who said they wouldn't take a 'Trump vaccine' still refuse, or are we just going to pretend none that happened?" —Allie Beth Stuckey

"You are about as smart as a clump of sand if you think the timing of this announcement is a coincidence. They waited until the media declared Biden the winner. Then we hear about the vaccine." —Matt Walsh

Tropical Storm Eta makes landfall in south Florida (Fox News)

Snippet: The reason our democratic republic has functioned as well as it has for the past 231 years is because of our trust in the electoral process. When confidence in the election process disappears, confidence in the legitimacy of government disappears with it. It is a very potent way to destabilize a democracy.

Policy: The constitutional way to defeat Cancel Culture (Heritage Foundation)



10 November, 2020 

There is a way to Win back the stolen election

Quantitative analysis could help

Did America just hold a deeply fraudulent election?  Many people believe so.  Disturbingly few seem willing to vouch for its integrity; instead, they insist that “there is no evidence of fraud.”

Fair enough.  It’s actually possible to split that difference.  America just held an election featuring many anomalies that have not yet been proven fraudulent.  It thus seems obvious that what America now needs is a fraud investigation.

Any inquiry into the integrity of Tuesday’s elections must consider the entire process.  Taking things in order, ballots are produced (i.e., printed), distributed (to voters), completed (by voters), transported (via a chain of custody), delivered (to an Elections Board), handled (by a worker), tabulated (by computer or by hand), and reported (as part of the information revealed to the public).

In the 2020 election, nominally under the duress of “ballot access during COVID,” jurisdictions across the country introduced new and untested procedures pushing ballot integrity in precisely the wrong direction—on each and every step.  As anyone with any experience in systems knows, new and untested procedures heading into a major event guarantee failure—even if the new procedures are objectively “better” than those they replace.  Too many people need to retrain, coordinate their actions, and realign their expectations too quickly.  

An electoral system with safeguards would introduce mechanisms designed to protect the integrity of each step.  While some of these safeguards are complicated and technical, others are common sense.  People who show up at a specific time and place offering an ID are less likely to be acting fraudulently than those who do not.  Ballots mailed only to those who request them are less likely to fall into fraudulent hands than to those broadcast to a pre-existing list.  Advanced registration using verifiable data reduces votes from ineligible voters.

The 2020 election walked away from each of these safeguards.  In 2020, for the first time, many states mailed ballots to everyone on their voter rolls—without first cleaning those rolls.  They encouraged people to vote by mail rather than in person.  They legalized, popularized, or promoted insecure distribution networks like dropboxes and ballot harvesters.  They dropped standard requirements for validating documents, like legible signatures and postmarks and a trusted chain of custody.  

The resultant electoral system lacked safeguards capable of ensuring either that every tabulated ballot came from an eligible voter, or that every legal vote placed into the distribution system was tabulated.  Because systems designed to ease fraud typically invite fraud, it was predictable and predicted that the tabulations would include most but not all properly cast votes, along with a sizable number of illegal ballots.  

Common sense and logic, however, do not constitute “evidence.”  They can’t identify which ballots were fraudulent or what effect the fraud had on the election.  Yet sifting through millions of ballots looking for indicia of fraud on each one is a painstaking process.  Given the sheer numbers and time constraints, it’s effectively undoable.  

Fortunately, modern technology has developed advanced statistical techniques known as data mining and Artificial Intelligence.  Data scientists have deployed these tools with great success to identify fraud in a variety of financial markets and elsewhere. They have been utilized for years to identify and track transactions linked to terrorist and other criminal activities. Without getting into technical specifics, these data tools develop a sense of “normal” behavior, then highlight only things that appear unusual.  

Individual ballots voting for only one office or splitting parties are more interesting than those voting a straight party line.  

Precincts that doubled their voter turnout, or shifted their partisan preferences significantly, are more interesting than those showing the same voting patterns as they did in recent elections.

Ballots delivered in a batch skewing far more favorably for one candidate than the balance of the jurisdiction that cast them are interesting; those that solidify a community’s leanings are not.

These sophisticated quantitative tools alone are still not enough to “prove” fraud.  They are, however, a critical step along the way.  They can eliminate the vast majority of ballots from consideration and focus the attention of fraud investigators on the anomalies most likely indicative of fraud.  From there, the work remains challenging—but the task becomes achievable.

We already know that the 2020 electoral system was designed using new and untested procedures, many of which reduced safeguards capable of deterring fraud.  Record numbers of ballots arrived from many new sources, delivered in many new ways.  Many anecdotes of improprieties are circulating—at least some of which appear highly credible.  Patterns of tabulation and reporting, particularly since election night, are statistically improbable.  

America deserves to know—quickly—if it has been defrauded.  Without that knowledge, America may send the election’s legitimate winner packing—and will certainly inaugurate a President operating beneath a permanent cloud.  In other words, there’s only one way forward.  In addition to the phalanx of lawyers already descending upon the most anomalous states, send in the quants!


Trump campaigners claim hundreds of instances of 'voter irregularity'

Chairman of the American Conservative Union Matt Schlapp has claimed to have found hundreds of examples of “voter irregularity” during Nevada’s electoral process.

Speaking today in Las Vegas, Mr Schlapp said an investigation would be launched into the matter – which he claimed involved many instances of votes being cast in the names of deceased residents of Clark County in support of now President-elect Joe Biden.

“It’s important for people to know that what happened in Vegas, the entire world needs to understand,” he said.

“In this election cycle, it is critical that the vast majority of Americans have confidence in the result of this election.

“We have seen political division like we haven’t seen in a number of years.

“The way we resolve division, even when you don’t get your way in an election, is to count every legal ballot … and make sure that illegal ballots do not reduce the civil rights and the votes of those who voted legally.”


Why did so many people vote for Trump? Like it or not, he is a 'safe space' for millions

A Leftist view:

While the world watches and waits, the half of Americans who didn’t vote for Trump are trying to understand why the other half doubled down on their support of him, and why he was able to improve his vote by about seven million votes from 2016.

It was also confounding, not to mention saddening, to many progressives to learn Trump made incursions into voter bases the Democrats have traditionally owned - black men, Latino people, and Asian people.

Trump’s mass appeal remains incomprehensible to many, particularly to those of us outside the United States.

American philosopher and author Sam Harris addressed this very mystery in an episode of his podcast Making Sense, recorded just before the vote.

“I've been struggling for years to understand how it is possible that nearly half of American society admires or supports Trump,” he said.

Trump’s secret, Harris opined, is that no matter how boastful and narcissistic he is, “he is never actually communicating that he is better than you, more enlightened, more decent, because he’s not, and everyone knows it”.

“Because he is never really judging you ... he offers a truly safe space for human frailty and hypocrisy and self doubt,” said Harris. “His personal shamelessness is a spiritual balm.”

This appeal makes sense, Harris reckons, when you juxtapose it with the moral superiority, judgment and sanctimony that many of Trump’s supporters (and others) associate with the left.

There seem to be two divergent theories when it comes to explaining Trump’s appeal. One is economic - his supporters see him as strong on the economy, tough on economic “rivals” like China, and a booster for the blue collar workers whose socio-economic status is threatened by globalisation.

The other theory cleaves close to Harris’ - that Trumpism is an identity marker, a protest against the social forces of liberalism. It is about identity and feeling, having little to do with rational economic forces.

Trump has style. It is a style they enjoy watching – bombastic, iconoclastic, a f--k you to the morals and niceties of the liberal middle class. In Freudian terms, Trump is the ultimate id – all instinct and impulse, unchecked by any real controls.

It is mesmerising to watch, and perhaps many millions of people who are happy for him to be that way, because they feel they can’t be that way themselves. Research this year from the Cato Institute found 62 per cent of Americans felt the contemporary political climate prevented them from saying things they believe because others might find them offensive. The fear was stronger in Republicans than others.

When you remember Trump’s route to the White House was via the yellow brick road of American celebrity, the passionate support of his followers makes even more sense. We need our celebrities to live large and be outrageous, and we forgive them everything if we like their style.

We don’t need them to be perfect, on the contrary, we actively want them to be kind-of terrible. When Mariah Carey demands a room-full of puppies on her show rider, it reinforces the essence of her Mariah-ness. If you accept who Trump is, and don’t take everything he says terribly seriously, you might find his blustering messages on the “Chinese flu” pleasing, and enjoy it when he denounces progressive elites.

It is performative, and perhaps you believe that, putting aside the showmanship, he gets the major calls right – the economy has done well (exit polls show 76 per cent of Trump voters think the economy is “excellent or good”, while 81 per cent of Biden voters think it’s “not so good or poor”). He has also “stood up to China”, and been “tough” on borders 

The only upside of Trump's enormous personal celebrity appeal is it will be impossible to recapture when he goes. But his indelible mark on American democracy means plenty of others will try, both in the United States and abroad.



Trump won highest share of non-white vote of any Republican since 1960 (National Review) | Trump performed historically well with Jewish voters (Free Beacon)

Pelosi silent on House losses in Biden victory memo to fellow Democrats (Washington Examiner)

Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro — who stated "Trump is going to lose" — directed voters who need assistance to the Democrat help line (Not the Bee)

National Guard called into Portland amid widespread violence after election (NY Post)

Portland votes to create community-run police oversight board (The Hill)

Kim Foxx, Cook County's crooked State's Attorney, fends off Republican challenger (Chicago Tribune)

Illinois voters reject governor's push to hike taxes on rich (Fox Business)

French military kills 50 jihadist fighters, detains 4 in Mali strike (Disrn)

Why defending Taiwan is an American political consensus (AEI)



9 November, 2020 

The surprising stock market

I follow only the Australian stock market but it generally mirrors Wall st. and I gather that it is still doing so at the moment

The surprise is how robust stock values are at the moment. The lockdowns knocked about 12% off the value of my portfolio but the election has substantially reversed that.  My portfolio is now only about 6% down on where it was

There were a lot of pundits who said the market was in for a big fall. So what happened?  It seems to be that investors now expect gridlock in American politics.  And gridlock is something conservatives rather like.  If there is no agreement in politics, no new laws will be passed and no new regulations will be issued.  That means that businesses have to cope with market challenges only, not political changes.  While the politicians are squabbling with one another, it gets them off the back of business

There was a good example of that during the British prime ministership of the unfortunate Theresa May.  Her weak leadership plus a near balance in the House of Commons  meant that very little got done politically.  And British business boomed at that time.

So it seems that U.S. business is expecting something similar now.  And that expectation will be well and truly fulfilled if, as expected, the GOP retains control of the Senate.  

And over the last 4 years the GOP has very largely become the party of Trump. His attitudes and policies have not only won huge approval among the GOP rank and file but have also percolated into the thinking of most Senators, the contemptible Mitt Romney being the obvious exception.  But even waverers like Romney, Collins and Murkowsky have generally gone along with the rest of their Senate colleagues anyhow.  So a Senate dominated by Trump thinking will be a total roadblock to any of the insane new legislation that Biden has proposed.

And note that the GOP has also done well both in the House and in picking up State governorships. So even if sufficient new votes are "found" to deny the GOP complete control of the Senate, Congress as a whole will end up finely balanced and should as such fulfil its traditional role as a brake on change. Getting a majority for anything in either house is not easy. Only measures with a considerable degree of consensus behind them normally get up.   

It took the first two years of his presidency for Obama and his supporters to get Obamacare through, during which little else got done

And I haven't even  mentioned yet the now very conservative Supreme Court.  The one big thing that conservatives wanted from Trump was to rebalance the Supreme Court and he achieved exactly that.  And the Supreme court has a proven ability to knock on the head any adventurous legislation or regulations -- JR


Brash and bold, Trump’s legacy will endure

Donald Trump has transformed America. The election is gone, Trump is still there. At time of writing, the odds favour Joe Biden getting across the line. Trump’s huge vote and Republican advances in congress could be seen as a moral victory. But Trump is not remotely interested in moral victories.

Everyone’s calculations got thrown out this election because people who voted on polling day voted Trump, while those who voted by mail-in ballot voted Biden. Therefore in some states Trump had leads of hundreds of thousands, which withered when the mail votes were counted.

The purpose of Trump’s allegations are twofold. One is to give some momentum to the legal challenges his campaign has launched against counting certain votes that they claim came in too late or were otherwise invalid. It is perfectly legitimate for Trump to pursue all legal avenues.

However, even if they have some modest success, these actions won’t get so many votes excluded that it changes the result.

Second, Trump sets up the narrative that the election was stolen. This enables him to stay the centre of attention and continue what he loves most, wage a campaign of grievance.

There is a theoretical, extreme scenario in which Republican state legislatures, say in Georgia, decide votes have been rigged and so choose only electoral college delegates who will support Trump as president. It’s technically possible but pretty much inconceivable if courts have ruled the votes valid.

One of the ironies of Trump’s likely defeat is it means the Republican Party is not rid of Trump. He can threaten to run for the presidency again for the next three years. If he had won the presidency, at least the Republicans could start to sort themselves out about who they can run next time, and on what basis.

But Trump’s legacy for the Republicans, for America and for the world is huge. It does not hinge on this one set of comments.

Let’s consider them one by one: Trump’s legacy for democracy, for America, for conservative politics and for the world.

First of all, consider Trump’s vote. Biden won the popular vote. He has about 74 million votes now and by the end of all states doing all their counting will have probably a couple of million more. He already has more votes than have ever been cast for any presidential candidate previously in US history. On any measure, that is a huge achievement for Biden. If as seems likely he inches ahead in the electoral college and becomes president there can be no doubting the legitimacy of his presidency, nor his singular place in the history of American presidential elections.

Guess who has the second highest popular vote in US presidential history? One Donald J. Trump. He has about 70 million votes now and he too should end up with a million or two more by the end. More people voted for Trump than ever voted for Barack Obama, the previous record holder, or for Hillary Clinton last time, or for any other president.

Not only that, Trump clearly held up the Republican vote. It’s still murky but it seems that the Republicans have held control of the Senate and have actually picked up a net gain of six seats in the US House of Representatives. It’s possible that two senators will have to go to run-off elections in Georgia on January 5. The Republicans would need to win one of them to retain control of the Senate.

This is because Georgia has a provision that if the winning candidate does not win 50 per cent, a run-off is held. Would Georgians vote to constrain a Biden presidency with a Republican senate? Would they vote to make it more likely a Biden presidency could get key legislation passed? What role will Trump himself play in such an election?

But let’s stick with Trump’s vote for a minute. According to the US liberal establishment, the nation was reeling under its moral revulsion at Trump and his Republican enablers. This is plainly just not true. Republicans picked up a state governorship in Montana and now control the governor’s mansion in 27 of 50 states.

Not all the seats in the House of Representatives are decided, but one projection suggests the Democrats will end up with 226 and the Republicans 209. It is rare for a president to sweep to power and his party lose seats in congress. That suggests Biden was more popular than the Democratic Party and its far-left platform.

It is also important because in two years there will be a mid-term congressional election. In these, the president’s party normally loses seats. This happened in huge bad results for Democrats in Bill Clinton’s first mid-term election in 1994 and similarly in Barack Obama’s first mid-term in 2010. Obama was personally popular yet Democrats lost 63 house seats in 2010. There is every chance that in two years Biden could be president, but the Senate, the house and a majority of state governors all Republicans, with the federal court system and the Supreme Court mainly peopled by judicial conservatives.

There are lots of reasons for conservatives to be deeply worried about the long-term effects of Trumpism. Electoral failure does not seem to be one of them. As one wag put it, the election was a contest between those who disliked or hated Trump’s personality, as opposed to those who disliked or hated the Democrats’ swing to the left. Democrats talking of socialism, defunding the police and ending fossil fuels is enough to make voters very wary. Commentators routinely decry gridlock. But Americans vote for gridlock quite deliberately. In Maine Biden trounced Trump in the presidential vote. But Republican senator Susan Collins trounced her Democratic challenger. Despite the heightened partisan divides of America, millions of Americans voted deliberately to put Biden in the White House and make sure he couldn’t do anything.

Even people who like Trump find him exhausting. The mood of America may have been quite well captured in these paradoxical results: we want a sleepy old guy who is kindly and snoozing in the White House, and a congress and judiciary that keeps him paralysed. In this time of ideological turmoil, we vote deliberately for do-nothing government. Elmer Fudd in the White House, Deputy Dawg in the Senate, Yogi Bear in the house and Dudley Do-Right in the judiciary. Put sports back on the front page (except when it’s taking a knee).

Trump also has changed the content of conservatism in some positive ways. Trump will get 47 or 48 per cent of the vote in the end. This actually understates his support. Because of the structure of the electoral college, he didn’t campaign at all in California or New York or even Illinois. If he had campaigned in those states he wouldn’t have won them, but he would have tightened the popular vote considerably.

America is just about a 50-50 nation and Trump was considered the best man by roughly half America. If polls tell you otherwise ignore them, for in this election the polls proved themselves worthless, systematically understating not only Trump’s vote but the conservative vote generally, and by appalling margins.

The old ideological construct of the pre-Trump Republican Party is dead. It won’t come back. Trump himself is much less an international outlier here than is often claimed. The old Tory dispensation is dead in Britain. Boris Johnson won his huge parliamentary majority on the back of Brexit and support from northern working-class England and in exchange his policies included a lot of big government and intervention for working-class people, including industry policy. Scott Morrison was returned to government by provincial Queensland seats and working-class Tasmanian seats and he has put all ideology in the bottom drawer if not altogether the dustbin of history. His government is taking direct measures to revive manufacturing.

Centre-right parties around the world are seeking and gaining the support of working-class people while centre-left parties are dominated by green, woke identity-politics, climate-change crusades, and draw their support from upper-income, service-industry, limousine liberals.

The poorest three states in mainland America are Arkansas, Mississippi and West Virginia. They all voted overwhelmingly for Trump and now always vote Republican. The states at the other end of the income scale, the wealthiest states in America — Maryland, New Jersey, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Connecticut — now always vote for the Democrat in presidential elections. US citizens with average incomes and below overwhelmingly donated money to Trump. Those with above average incomes overwhelmingly donated money to Biden. Trump also got more non-white voters than any recent Republican. They’re not that woke either.

The old Republican program was free trade, low taxes, lower spending, cuts to welfare to reduce the deficit, globalisation, strong defence, global security leadership, border control. Trump is an outlier in his often gross rhetoric. But in his actual policies, he is fairly normal contemporary centre right. He junked the version of free trade that saw the US obey the rules but endure enormous trade deficits with China and other nations that don’t obey the rules. For Canada and Mexico Trump didn’t embrace protectionism but negotiated a better deal. He wants a much bigger manufacturing industry and lots of manufacturing jobs. He kept border control and low taxes and, pre COVID-19, his tax cuts produced a booming economy. But he won’t cut welfare because he now represents millions of people who are on welfare or might go on welfare one day.

Trump kept the commitment to strong defence and the military budget reflects that. But he doesn’t like providing security to allies who don’t bear their share of the burden. Some reaction like this was bound to come eventually. The failing here is not primarily Trump’s, but rather that of free-riding US allies.

But here is one Trump innovation. He utterly, straightforwardly, vigorously, contemptuously rejects the politically correct, woke culture. In my view he does this coarsely and crudely. But as one wag put it, Trump is the only middle finger ordinary Americans had available to raise at the preening left-liberal establishment which holds that they are all racists and their national sentiment contemptible.

Can a more mainstream Republican, who doesn’t have Trump’s genius for making himself the centre of attention, overcome the enormous financial advantage the Democrats now have? Big tech, social media and almost all mainstream media went all in for Biden. Social media crossed a dangerous Rubicon when it started censoring Trump and mainstream newspapers and conservatives if they weren’t backing Biden.

This is the most sinister, anti-democratic and genuinely disturbing development of this election. Trump was never an authoritarian leader. He doesn’t control the military, the media, the judiciary or a mass movement in the streets, and he has never disobeyed a court ruling against his administration. The real danger of US authoritarianism now comes from the alliance of political power in Biden and the Democrats, with financial power in Big Tech, media power in social and mainstream media, and cultural power in Hollywood. They share ugly, coercive conformism.

Which is why Republican control of the Senate and so many state governorships is so important, and so healthy.

In international affairs Trump damaged American soft power. But hard power is more important than soft power. Trump built new leverage against China, Iran, Mexico, NATO partners, even multilateral institutions which desperately want the Americans back. If Biden is smart he will use that leverage to achieve US policy aims, not just give it away in a silly desire to reverse everything Trump did.

Out of office, Trump has the potential to be wildly destructive, not least of Republicans. But so far, his legacy is mixed, by no means all bad.



8 November, 2020

The battle might be over for Joe Biden but the war has only just begun – and it’s one the world can’t afford him to lose

The battle might be over for Joe Biden but the war has only just begun. Now the struggle to save the soul of America rests in the hands of a man who struggles to remember the name of the man he’s fighting against.

The good news is that this is no longer a fight against Donald Trump but a fight for the hearts and minds of the 70 million Americans who turned out to vote for him. The bad news is that unlike Trump they are not going anywhere.

There will be a lot of armchair quarterbacking after this stunning US election, the most electrifying presidential poll this century. It is therefore important to record in this first draft of history the facts as they stand, before they are rewritten by the victors.

The first is that virtually all the mainstream polls and pundits got it wrong again. And not only did they get it wrong after getting it wrong the first time and promising they’d learnt from their mistakes but they got it even more wrong.

Four years of constant commentary about Trump’s record unpopularity, his accidental and undemocratic somersault into the White House, his illegal and illegitimate presidency, his murderous incompetence and his projected electoral wipe-out once he sought a second term have all proved to be utterly, utterly wrong.

Yes, after days of nailbiting vote-counting where swing states have flickered red to blue on the slimmest of margins, it is impossible for Trump to win – assuming none of his conspiracies about voter fraud come true.

However that does not erase the fact that he turned out a record number of votes for any Republican candidate in US history and came within a bee’s bollocks of winning a second term – again in flagrant defiance of just about every public poll and prediction.

Democrats should thank their lucky stars that they preselected Biden as their candidate, a genial, familiar and moderate man who is as close to the embodiment of mainstream Middle America as the party has on its books. It is why I backed him in the primaries and why I nervously maintained he would win even as the electoral map turned into a sea of red.

Only Biden was able to straddle an incredibly broad spectrum of voters that stretched from young Trump-hating socialists to urbane Trump-hating Republicans and the bare minimum of working-class white men in the Midwest. The result was the highest vote for any presidential candidate in American history and it’s impossible to see how other contenders like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren or Harris could have done the same. Biden might not be lucid but at least he is likeable.

But the second highest vote for any presidential candidate goes to Donald J Trump and now those voters are looking for a home.

It is clear now, as it was four years ago, that the political, media and academic establishment simply does not understand them and dismisses their hopes and fears as illegitimate – even “deplorable” you might say. Whether by accident or design Trump tapped into these hopes and fears and a new American revolution was born.

And so there are more than 70 million souls sitting there waiting for the next messiah to take them to the promised land and unless the Democrats think they can pull together a bigger coalition of communists and corporates at every election in the future then they’d better start listening to them.

And the key word here is listen. The one thing that keeps coming up again and again is that these people are sick of being dictated to and told they have to squeeze into a preordained ideological template or be cast on the political scrap heap.

One example is the gobsmacking video voiced and distributed by Harris in which she used cartoon figures and comic book font to explain the difference between “equality” and “equity” to people who were apparently too stupid to understand it.

Maybe it was an attempt to scold voters for their privilege or maybe it was an attempt to provide a theoretical framework to explain how she was helping poor oppressed people who were apparently too ignorant to know they were oppressed. Either way I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more nauseatingly condescending piece of political propaganda.

And so it goes on. Working class people are told they have to sacrifice their jobs for the sake of climate change, that they have to sacrifice their religious views for the sake of progress and that they have to sacrifice their language for the sake of tolerance.

And, quite frankly, they’re f***ing over it.

Joe’s genial demeanour and big smile went a long way to reassuring those people that the party was listening again but it will have to do a lot more than that. Even as the penny drops among the so-called educated classes the belated evolution from bewilderment to enlightenment is itself a damning indictment.

As one US Professor of Economics observed of the result: “My takeaway is that a large number of people HATE the cultural left (not the econ left) and are willing to put up with almost anything, including incompetence, chaos, corruption and bad policy, to signal their views loud and clear.”

Well, yes. No shit.

Likewise a social science and psychology lecturer from New Zealand tweeted: “We social scientists failed to predict or even understand the appeal of Trump. We need to do better to understand why people chose to vote for him. A lot of people did, so there are probably some strong reasons. If we don’t understand we’ll miss the next one, too.”

Again, quite so. And yet how chilling that the academic class is so mystified by Trump’s appeal that they feel the need to study his supporters like lab rats.

And full credit to this brave lone columnist from the New York Times for his soul-turning mea culpa: “Our job in the media is to capture reality so that when reality voices itself, like last night, people aren’t surprised. Pretty massive failure. We still are not good at capturing the rightward half of the country.”

So true. Even after four long years of chaos and condemnation they were still not good. And they also still fail to realise that this “rightward half” includes vast numbers of working class people who thought they were the left until the left left them behind. In all the blue-collar swing states we still talk about today they voted for Obama and then they voted for Trump.

Democrats will rightly be breathing a massive sigh of relief after this election – an election that was a far more close-run thing than it should have been – but they should not for a minute think that the struggle is over.

Unless they win back the working class and win back Middle America, unless they start reflecting their values instead of dictating them, it might just be the last election they win for a very long time.


Think a Trump defeat will be the end of Trumpism? Think again

Within a few days - or weeks if the result is disputed - we will know if Donald Trump is to remain US president or if his Democratic challenger Joe Biden will take over the White House.

But even if Republican Mr Trump loses on 3 November, his legacy and impact on American society are clear.

And according to some political experts, it’s one that will endure for years.

The beliefs of many of his supporters will remain, they say, as will the underlying factors that led to his victory. His impact on how future leaders choose to govern will also be significant.

'Trump’s legacy will endure'

Mr Trump appealed successfully to voters with his breed of conservative populist nationalism in 2016.

In office, those ideals were given credence with bans on immigration from Muslim-majority countries, trade wars with China and the removal of the US from global groups such as the World Health Organization.

He mixed it with his style of fiery populism, making an enemy of the press while branding himself an ‘outsider’ president, damaging governance institutions and making friends with dictators.

His response to the COVID-19 pandemic, by reassuring people it would just “disappear”, could be said to be populism 101; a simplistic response to a complex problem.

But his brand of nationalism and populism has been dangerous, says Brendon O'Connor, an associate professor in American politics at the University of Sydney's United States Studies Centre.

“We've got two very broad brush and often simplistic ideas that can be dangerous without moderation or at least some degree of more sophistication,” he told SBS News.

“And that's what you've got with Trump. You know, these simple solutions, often targeting groups or scapegoating based on fear and opposition, and not much regard for negotiation or compromise.”

'Radical beliefs won’t change overnight'

There's no denying Mr Trump's popularity - 62 million voters threw their support behind him in 2016.

Even if some of those have since been put off by his leadership to change their votes, his die-hard fans will remain, as will their belief structures.

“You're still going to see a lot of white people vote for Donald Trump in this coming election no matter what his record is,” Associate Professor O’Connor said. 

For those who felt left behind by globalisation, not much has changed economically. And a financial crisis fuelled by COVID-19 won’t have made things any easier for many.

“There’s clearly a lot of people in America who feel financially vulnerable. That's not going to change overnight and certainly not in a COVID-created sort of recession,” Associate Professor O’Connor said. 

“There’ll be plenty of people who have a sense that politics and the economy haven’t served them particularly well.”

US Political Scientist Seth Masket, who is based in Denver, Colorado, says the sense of economic dislocation and the polarising issue of race will still be there.

“People have just become more polarised and there's a deeper strain of radicalism since [the Obama era] so I think we're still moving in that direction,” he said. 

Trump supporters who are against immigration, believe minorities get better treatment, and that white people are losing their status, aren’t likely to change their mind soon either, Associate Professor O’Connor said. 

“This kind of status entitlement is really the current thing being whipped up by Trump.” 

“We've seen that people who see themselves as being the ‘real Americans’ because they’re white and have been in America for maybe a little longer than more recent immigrants - that element of politics has been really destructive.”

Mr Masket has a different view. He says like most other types of supporters, Trump backers rely on the man himself to fuel their beliefs.

“I think the main thing that was motivating them was their enthusiasm about Donald Trump. And they were willing to adopt a lot of the things that he believed, simply because they liked him,” he said. 

“These supporters might adapt their views somewhat but they're going to be looking for someone new to sort of carry that mantle forward.”

'Conservative media will be emboldened'

Associate Professor O’Connor says the role of the conservative media is also significant; they’ve seen what rates and will sell that, regardless of its impact or validity.

“These people have been whipped up into a frenzy by the sort of media organisations supportive of Trump.

“Those people won't suddenly go, ‘Ahh, that was a bit over the top’. You know, the media stations keep them coming back for more by having this level of frenzied alarm.

“And that style of politics will be one of the big legacies of Donald Trump - that by saying ridiculous things, by using scare tactics, by kind of being abusive of your opponents and making all sorts of outlandish claims against them - gets a lot of attention.

“It will be hard to believe that another showboating sort of narcissist won’t want to replicate that.”

'Trump will keep tweeting'

Even if Mr Trump loses, he’s unlikely to disappear from the public sphere and will probably continue to rally his base behind him via his social media accounts, political experts say. And that’s likely to have an impact on public discourse and how future leaders after him govern.

“If Trump is alive and well, it’s hard to imagine him maintaining a low profile," Brandice Canes-Wrone, a professor of public and international affairs at Princeton University in New Jersey told The New York Times.

"And, even without Trump, there are likely GOP presidential candidates popular with this wing of the party [Trump insurgents].” 

But, Mr Masket says, Mr Trump will lose a lot of the power he wields against elected Republicans if he loses.

“While he'll still be very vocal and they'll still be using Twitter a lot and giving speeches and everything, I think a lot of Republicans would feel a little more free to essentially ignore him.”

'We’ll probably have someone like Trump again'

Political experts say the next leaders, especially from the Republican base, may well follow aspects of Mr Trump's leadership style.

“He'll leave a long stain on the Republican Party for his racism and his xenophobia," Associate Professor O’Connor said - allegations Mr Trump has denied. 

"So that will be a common legacy that the Republicans will need to reckon with.” 

“And I think that it's pretty likely that there will be future candidates who campaign in the Trump mould. We probably can't see them because they may come from outside of elected politics.”

Mr Trump’s strategy in 2016 was so successful it’s already been replicated in some of the congressional races since, he added. 

“A lot of people who've taken the Trump path and drawn on a similar voting base that Donald Trump got to get the Republican nomination in 2016, they've been pretty successful, becoming the party candidate.”
Mr Masket says the level of coarseness in politics that worsened in the Trump era might remain.

“We're seeing at least some evidence that Republicans have largely followed his lead on that and it's at least up until now, they haven't lost a whole lot of elections because of it. I don't know that they see that there's a major political price for following this path.

“Things could still grow coarser.”

And it might not be the end of Mr Trump trying to win the White House back.

“I think there's a good chance he will be trying to run for president yet again in four years,” Mr Masket said.   

One thing is for sure, if Mr Trump wins, Trumpism certainly isn't going anywhere.



6 November, 2020

The Good News Is That Biden Is Screwed, Even if He Wins

Hanging on to the Senate was brilliant

My gut says that Donald Trump will snatch victory from the jaws of the pollsters. A great deal hangs on Pennsylvania, where Trump now leads by 600,000 but where 1.7 million mail-in ballots remain to be counted. There’s a 2:1 ratio of registered Democrats to registered Republicans among mail-in voters, and the pundits are saying that this will cancel out Trump’s lead. What they don’t consider is that a lot of registered Democrats in Pennsylvania will vote for Trump. Of course, getting the ballots counted fairly is a non-trivial problem.’s headline this morning reads, “Biden looks screwed even if he wins.” The Republicans kept a Senate majority and reduced the Democratic majority in the House. If Biden squeaks by, he will have no popular mandate, no Senate, and no help from the Supreme Court. He won’t be able to pass tax increases, big changes in health care, or his Green New Deal boondoggles. He will have the same headaches confirming his favorite nominees as Trump did, and worse, as a Republican Senate casts a jaundiced eye at Biden’s supporting cast.

The good news is that the election stymied the Democratic Party’s plan for radical transformation of the United States into an Orwellian state enforcing political correctness, and turning the federal budget into a pinata for Democratic constituencies. That’s the genius of the American political system. To make big changes you need either a big majority or a small majority for a very long time, and the Democrats have neither.

Of course, a Biden administration would have the freedom to undo some of President Trump’s accomplishments in foreign policy, for example, returning to the repugant Obama policy of coddling Iran.

If Trump wins — as I hope and expect — the White House will still have freedom of action in foreign policy, as well as the ability to go after Big Tech. He will also have time to drain the swamp in the Intelligence Community. Trump will not forget that Twitter and Facebook suppressed the New York Post’s revelations about the Hunter Biden emails on the recommendation of a gaggle of retired spooks.

As Glenn Greenwald, a left-leaning investigative journalist, told Tucker Carlson last week:

The real story of the last four years of the Trump administration is that for a long time on the Left there was a healthy skepticism of the CIA,. That is all disappeared. And the reason it has disappeared is that the CIA from the very first days of the Trump administration, even before he was inaugurated, devoted themselves to sabotaging his administration because he questioned a few of their pieties.

That can’t be done in Washington. Whoever does that must be destroyed. And so the CIA and Deep State operatives became heroes of the liberal Left…They are now in a full union with the neo-cons, the Bush-Cheney operatives, the CIA, Silicon Valley and Wall Street.

Fifty former top intelligence officials published a manifesto on October 19 to denounce the Biden emails as a “Russian information operation.” They said: “We write to say that the arrival on the US political scene of emails purportedly belonging to Vice President Biden’s son Hunter, much of it related to his time serving on the Board of the Ukrainian company Burisma, has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”

The mainstream media spiked the political story of the year at the diktat of the spook establishment — perhaps the scariest thing that ever has happened in American political history. If the Deep State can do this sort of damage when it is out of power, I shudder to think what they will do if and when Biden brings them back into power.

That’s why the White House is critical. It’s the Deep State vs. the American republic. But even if Biden squeaks through, the Republican Senate and the Supreme Court provide constitutional bulwarks against the Democratic cabal. We will live to fight another day and win another presidential election.


Wall Street jumps higher as Congress gridlock looms

US stocks surged to close higher on Wednesday (US time) as the presidential election race remained cloudy but the likelihood of gridlock in Congress made investors optimistic that major policy changes would be difficult to enact.

Both President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden still had paths to reach the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win as states kept counting mail-in ballots. Biden held a narrow lead in Wisconsin while Trump's campaign said it had filed a lawsuit to try and halt vote counting in that state.

A surprise win by Republican Senator Susan Collins in Maine dimmed hopes by Democrats that they could get control of the US Senate.

The S&P 500 finished 2.2 per cent higher while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.3 per cent higher and the tech-heavy Nasdaq jumped by 3.9 per cent. The ASX is set for gains, with futures at 7.59am AEDT pointing to a gain of 9 points, or 0.2 per cent, at the open.

Growth stocks, currently comprised of a large portion of names in areas such as tech, surged 4.3 per cent as investors expected them to keep outperforming value stocks as they have in recent months. Value names, which closed flat, are currently comprised of mostly cyclical stocks such as banks and energy.

"Even if Joe Biden wins the Presidency, it looks like we are going to have a divided congress so the opportunity to have meaningful change at the fiscal level is pretty slim, and that is what is being priced into the back end of the market today," said David Joy, chief market strategist at Ameriprise Financial in Boston.

"If we are going to have a similar type of economic environment as we’ve had, then we are going back to an emphasis on trying to find earnings in a relatively scarce earnings environment, back to the same winners as before."

Still, investors said they favour a definitive, swift resolution of the presidential race that would clear the way for a deal on a stimulus package to revive the economy.


Trump Campaign Manager on Why He's Still Confident in Re-election

President Trump's re-election campaign manager Bill Stepien is confident that 45 will be reelected. But that only happens, he explained on a Wednesday morning phone call with reporters, if there are no shenanigans. In his speech earlier this morning, Trump pledged to go to the Supreme Court if need be to stop states from counting suspicious ballots.

"The Democrats are pushing to count late ballots," he said. "Why? They know and we know that if we count all legal ballots, we win."

"We are confident in our pathway...we project confidence because of the math that we believe is in front of us," Stepien said. He laid out that pathway to victory in a handful of battlegrounds still counting ballots.

In Pennsylvania and Arizona especially, Stepien says the math adds up. "When we count the remaining ballots in a legal fashion, apply realistic and conservative estimates to those remaining ballots, the president can win, the president will win."

Of course, the Biden campaign says that their math shows that the Democratic nominee has the same states in the bag.

“I want to share with all of you that Joe Biden is on track to win this election and he will be the next president of the United States,” Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon told the press.


Liberal Law Professor Shreds Dems' Calls for Barrett to Recuse Herself From Election-Related Cases

George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley slammed Democrats' assertion that Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett should have to abstain from any cases related to the 2020 presidential election. According to Turley, there's no reason for Barrett not to participate simply because she was confirmed before an election.

"Jonathan, so that brings us to the fact that Justice now Amy Coney Barrett is in this position in this Court that is now nine, filling the spot of deceased Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Democrats, during that hearing, were saying, 'You have to recuse yourself if an election case comes to the Supreme Court after November 3rd.' I assume we're going to hear that more," Fox News' Bret Baier said.

"It will and it's utterly ridiculous and it's also incredibly insulting. There's no reason under the usual interpretation of the standard for recusal for Justice Barrett to withdraw from this case," Turley explained. "She doesn't have an interest in this case. She doesn't have a financial interest in this case. She didn't work on underlying litigation or cases related to any appeal. None of those conditions exist."

"I know of no case in history where a justice would recuse herself simply because she was nominated shortly before an election and some people, as you heard, as a judicial shill," he said.

Turley made the statement shortly before President Donald Trump addressed supporters around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning. The president made clear that he plans to litigate mail-in ballots in some of the key swing states. 

As of now, results from battleground states like Pennsylvania and Michigan might not be decided until the end of the week.


USPS Whistleblower in Michigan Claims Higher-Ups Were Engaging in Voter Fraud

According to James O'Keefe, the Office of the Inspector General for the USPS is investigating.

A United States Postal Service worker on Wednesday told Project Veritas that a supervisor named Johnathan Clarke in Traverse City, Michigan – one of the big swing states this election cycle – potentially engaged in voter fraud. 

"We were issued a directive this morning to collect any ballots we find in mailboxes, collection boxes, just outgoing mail in general, separate them at the end of the day so that they could hand stamp them with the previous day's date," the whistleblower stated. "Today is November 4th for clarification."

Michigan Courts ruled that ballots had to be received by the election clerk before the polls on Election Day, which would mean 8 p.m. eastern time on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

According to the whistleblower, the ballots are in "express bags" so they could be sent to the USPS distribution center. 

"In regards to a hamper, there's a standard hamper that all letter mail is supposed to go to and they had a tub next to it that we were supposed to put any ballots collected today into," the carrier stated.

The postal worker said they decided to come forward because things appeared "sketchy" and they didn't like the corruption, even though he or she is afraid of potential retaliation. The person said they want other postal workers who see similar things to come forward.

"How are we supposed to have any integrity in this county if we are just going to let things slide based on a scaling issue?" the whistleblower asked rhetorically.



It's Hazy, Man. Marijuana legalization measures pass in at least four states — NJ, AZ, SD, and MS (ABC News)

DC votes to decriminalize hallucinogenic mushrooms by wide margin (The Hill)
Oregon decriminalizes possession of hard drugs (Washington Post)

GOP Rep. Greg Gianforte wins Montana governor's race, ending 16-year Democrat streak (The Hill)

California passes Prop 22 in a major victory for Uber and Lyft (The Guardian)

Utah voted to make hunting and fishing a constitutional right (USA Today)

Trevor Noah provokes outrage by posting a video of Florida being obliterated by the Death Star (Daily Mail)

Policy: Tech hangovers: Unresolved challenges for the next administration (AEI)



5 November, 2020 

A young person who understands

Paige McCullough

From the time I was old enough to understand the simplest definition of what an election was, I have watched TV on each election night with my colored pencils and map — ready to fill in each state red or blue. I have always known that it was an important day, but I did not know the full extent to which it mattered to the rights of every American until 2020.

As a high school student having to adjust to the "new normal" of COVID-19, this year has proven to be one of the most stressful in my life thus far. What has stood out to me most is how divided our country has become. That hits especially close to home because I am the daughter of a police officer.

I have been judged for publicly speaking about how blessed I am to have a father who serves and protects my city and everyone around me. I have been judged by people who claim that they are "tolerant" — unless you are a conservative who loves our country and the people who protect it. Right?

The events occurring across our nation prove to all of us that there are two paths we can take.

I'm still too young to vote, but that doesn't mean my voice won't be heard this year. I choose to stand for the America that defends ALL of its citizens, including those who honorably protect and serve others. I choose to stand for those whose businesses and careers have been destroyed. I choose to stand for those who are judged for not agreeing with "mainstream" ideas promoted by the media and on social media. I choose to stand for those who cannot fight for themselves.


Pivotal Evangelical Voting Bloc Is ALL IN for Trump, Poll Finds

Every four years, evangelical Christians support the Republican nominee for president, and every four years, the legacy media acts surprised and outraged. Yet according to a new study, the most Spiritually Active and Governance Engaged conservative Christians (SAGE Cons) supported Donald Trump reluctantly in 2016 and are far more enthusiastic about pulling the lever for him this year. A whopping 96 percent of SAGE Cons plan to vote for Trump, while only 0.5 percent will vote for Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

“The 2020 election is not about personalities, parties, or even politics. It is an election to determine the dominant worldview in America,” Dr. George Barna, director of research at Arizona Christian University’s Cultural Research Center (CRC), said in a statement.

CRC conducted a study commissioned by the Family Research Council (FRC) in order to determine where SAGE Cons stand in the 2020 election. In 2016, a whopping 91 percent of SAGE Cons voted, and 93 percent of those who voted cast their ballots for Trump. The study predicted that the president will improve on this margin in 2020.

While SAGE Cons only represent about 9 percent of the U.S. population, they are expected to have a strong impact on the election. Slightly less politically and spiritually active conservative Christians (termed “almost SAGE Cons” or ASC) make up about 10 to 12 percent of the U.S. population, and their attitudes mirror those of SAGE Cons.

In the past four years, SAGE Cons have grown to trust and admire Trump, for whom they begrudgingly voted in 2016. In 2016, only 19 percent of them described Trump as “trustworthy,” while 63 percent described him that way this year. More SAGE Cons also describe Trump as smart (35 percent in 2016 and 76 percent in 2020), presidential (15 percent in 2016, 53 percent in 2020), and a strong leader (54 percent in 2016 and 89 percent in 2020). These Christians considered Trump “arrogant” in 2016 (59 percent), but far fewer consider him arrogant this year (33 percent).

What explains this shift? The president has a strong record on the issues SAGE Cons care about most. These Christians say that five issues most drive their votes: abortion and reproductive rights (52 percent), religious freedom in the U.S. (43 percent), federal court nominations (43 percent), crime control/law and order (26 percent), and economic growth/stability (24 percent). These evangelical Christians prioritized the same issues in 2016, and Trump has proven himself on these issues.

SAGE Cons overwhelmingly describe Trump as a “patriot” (89 percent), a “strong leader” (89 percent), “smart” (76 percent), “trustworthy” (63 percent), and “presidential” (53 percent). Almost SAGE Cons also describe Trump in such terms. Meanwhile, very few of these evangelical Christians say the same about Biden.

By contrast, more SAGE Cons describe Biden as “polarizing” (40 percent) rather than Trump (27 percent). A whopping 85 percent describe Biden as “incompetent” and 75 percent call him “mentally unstable.” Majorities also call the Democrat “too old” (60 percent), “senile” (74 percent), and a “political hack” (61 percent). Almost none of them described Trump with those terms.

Almost SAGE Cons also describe Biden in these terms, not applying them to Trump. About a third (32 percent) of SAGE Cons say Biden is “racist,” while only 1 percent said the same of Trump.

Many of these attitudes make sense. While Biden is only a few years older than Trump, the president has jetted across the country, hosting 4, 5, or 6 rallies a day, and Biden has spent many days at home, even in the critical lead-up to Election Day. Biden has also made repeated gaffes, most notoriously seeming to invent a word by slurring: “Trunalimunumaprzure.”

Biden has expressed hostility to religious freedom protections and embraced radical positions on abortion and LGBT issues. It stands to reason that evangelical Christians consider his positions radical, divisive, and not trustworthy.

Evangelical Christians may still hold some reservations about Trump’s moral character, although it seems he has not engaged in sexual misconduct in the White House (unlike Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy). Yet Joe Biden is also morally compromised by a sexual assault claim, lying about the man who got into an accident with Biden’s late wife, and his shiftiness on evidence-based claims that he was personally involved with Hunter Biden’s business deals in China.

Evangelical Christians shocked the legacy media by turning out in large numbers for Trump in 2016, helping the Republican win a close race. This year, it seems they’re likely to turn out in even greater numbers.


Brace for Impact

By Catherine Mortensen

In my newsfeed this morning I read that George Washington University in D.C. is urging students to prepare for election as they would for a hurricane or blizzard. Students are advised to stock up on at least a one-week supply of food and refill any prescriptions that may run out in the next two weeks.

A few minutes later, I got a call from my 22-year-old daughter at Utah State University north of Salt Lake City. She is scared about election night violence and riots. “People here are hoarding toilet paper again,” she said. “I’ve seen four posts on my newsfeed today warning me to “be prepared for a civil war.”

At lunch, a friend who has family in rural Idaho told me the town is forming a militia. “I heard in one meeting they were teaching the group how to slip a person’s throat,” she said. To which I responded, “Well, that escalated quickly!”

In all seriousness, Americans everywhere are on edge. And in some cases, they have good reason to be. In D.C., a group called #ShutDownDC is organizing protesters to target Republican officials and government buildings during a series of planned election-week demonstrations.The demonstrations will culminate Friday, when—based on the election results—protesters will attempt to blockade bridges, major highways, intersections, and government office buildings.

In the days leading up to the election, business owners in downtown D.C. have already begun boarding up windows to protect their stores from rioters and looters. Anti-police protesters vandalized and looted dozens of businesses this summer following George Floyd’s death.

A JL Partners-Independent poll found that 72% of voters say they’re concerned about post-election violence. A YouGov survey says 56% of voters expect such unrest after Nov. 3. And a group of scholars who wrote an op-ed for Politico earlier this month said their research shows that about one in three Americans who identify as Democrat or Republican believe violence could be justified to advance their party’s political goals – a substantial increase over the last three years.

“We are increasingly anxious that this country is headed toward the worst post-election crisis in a century and a half,” they wrote.

In anticipation of election day, elected officials in cities around the country are preemptively proposing similar measures like restoring curfews and working to close off streets, while police departments across the country are advising businesses to secure their properties.

The boarding-up of businesses has become a regular occurrence in D.C., with many businesses and federal offices in the District now going behind plywood for the third time this year. The police department is preparing by purchasing $130,000 of tear gas. President Trump has moved his Election Day celebration from his hotel to the White House where he will be protected by concentric rings of security barriers. This week crews put in an additional barrier, a “non-scalable fence. ”

I went to D.C. to check it out for myself. I parked 3 blocks west of the White House and as I walked toward it, I passed building after building boarded up. It was nearly impossible to see the White House through all the fences and barricades now surrounding it. Four secret service officers on bicycles passed me as I watched crews prepare the grounds outside the White House for the National Christmas Tree. The city around the White House was eerily quiet. The calm before the storm, perhaps.

It’s not right that businesses in our nation’s capital should be boarded up or that college students should be stocking up on food and medicines.  BLM and Antifa thugs are holding our cities hostage, threatening violence if the election doesn’t go their way.  This is outrageous and unacceptable.

If we are to remain a free people, we must take back our cities by restoring law and order. Only one candidate has promised to do that, Donald Trump.  We need him to win, and to win decisively.


Democrats have outsmarted themselves on mail-in voting

A sickening feeling is spreading among some of the smarter Democrats that they have royally screwed up their election strategy.  The plan that seemed so smart, once they realized that COVID was a golden opportunity to distract from President Trump's massive foreign policy and economic triumphs, is backfiring.

The plan, in short, was to terrorize Americans with fear porn over the purported dangers of COVID (despite it being 99%+ survivable for all but those over 70, and despite huge progress in therapeutics driving the survival rate even higher), while emphasizing mail-in voting for their base.  Republicans, they thought, could be discouraged from in-person voting on Election Day, and with compliant state governors, A.G.s, and secretaries of state extending deadlines for mail-in votes, the margin of victory could be manufactured in the days afterward.

In a series of tweets, Larry Schweikart laid out the plan and why it is collapsing: 

Several things began to severely damage that plan. First, the GOP won 11/14 court cases, with the remaining 3 likely headed to the USSC. Most of these drastically limited the time and/or conditions under which these votes can be counted and for how long.

Then the anvil fell. RBG died. That meant that there would be NO appeals related to fraud that could succeed.

At around the same time, President Trump got the China Virus, overcame it, & showed that we do not have to walk in constant terror.

This meant that the Ds would be heavily voted out by election day, but also that whoever was still available would have to vote under a cloud of terror

This strategy also dramatically damaged their ability to use fraud, because


Rs (and the world) could tell how many ballots were outstanding. It made it harder to keep from "calling" a state" early.

It also worked against the election day chaos in which DemoKKKrats could "find" votes. With a more orderly (and much smaller) flow of people at a given time, it made it harder for one or two ballot-counters "on the take" to work their magic.

But now the pollsters were also stuck with the failed initial strategy showing Biteme up by a million. They had no legitimate way of bringing polls into even remotely normal ranges.

And, like 2016, the pollsters & DemoKKKrats gave their hapless followers false hope. Like 2016, this will boil over in new waves of anger when Trump wins. And he will win. Bigly.



4 November, 2020 

White evangelicals want a puncher, not a preacher, in the Oval Office

Earlier this year at a huge "Evangelicals for Trump" rally in Miami, Florida, a pastor welcomed the President by shouting a prayer that sounded like the introduction to a heavyweight title bout: "Lord I thank you," he bellowed. "America did not need a preacher in the Oval Office, did not need a professional politician in the office. It needed a fighter and a champion for freedom and Lord that's exactly what we have." Cheers of adoration resounded.

This moment captured much of what is complex, confusing and disturbing about the highly politicised religious landscape of America today and the bearing it will have on the presidential election. Eighty-one per cent of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and that figure looks like holding. That statistic is the accentuation of a pattern that has existed since the 1980s when an alliance emerged in the Republican Party between big business, populism and the religious right.

You can't understand America without understanding its religion and that, you might say, is something of a riddle. The non-conformist origins of the US spawned a bewildering array of denominations and expressions of belief. Even the term "evangelical" means so many different things depending on who is using it. Traditionally it signified a devout faith that, as historian David Bebbington describes it, prioritises conversion, the Bible and a personal relationship with God. But in popular usage today it most often simply means "politically conservative Christian".

The Republican Party has most successfully captured those who self-identify as evangelical. (That's if the person is white. Black protestants, themselves often theologically conservative, reliably vote Democrat to the tune of nine to one). The widely held perception among believers is that the Democratic Party has become secularised to the point where there is no room for the specific commitments of religious adherents.

Andy Crouch, former editor of Christianity Today Magazine, a leading evangelical publication, believes the brutally contested nature of contemporary American politics signifies something much deeper than the surface issues surrounding presidential elections and the appointment of Supreme Court judges.

"The best word I can think of is respect or recognition," he tells me. "The recognition of parts of our society that feel very unseen, or when seen, feel held in contempt … And the people who feel least respected and feel least included by the systems and institutions of American life … are looking for someone to validate them, and say, I see you. I recognise you. You matter." Crouch says this is by no means limited to religious people but says all kinds of groups who feel left behind in American life are looking for someone in their corner.

When it comes to evangelicalism as a cultural and historical movement, Kristen Kobes Du Mez, author of Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation believes this desire for a strong leader to offer protection and power has led to a distorted faith that favours rugged masculinity, of the John Wayne-type, alongside a misplaced Christian nationalism. "Love your enemies" and "turn the other cheek" can start to sound a bit awkward in such an environment. "Jesus becomes the warrior Christ and he's going to slay his enemies," says Du Mez. "And so they actually change the Jesus of the gospels to fit this ideal and in doing so, I argue, change Christianity itself."

A figure like Donald Trump fits perfectly the image of tough masculine protector uninhibited by virtues of kindness or self-control.

But not all believers buy it. Christians against Trumpism and Political Extremism is a recently birthed movement of influential Christian leaders who are calling for an end to the poisonous rhetoric and "extreme and dangerous methods of civic engagement" they see as characteristic of the current administration. The movement says it stands against political extremism of both "left" and "right" that uses "violence, chaos and degrading language", seeking instead justice, truth and unity.

It remains to be seen exactly what role religious communities will play in the election. But Christianity at its best centres on its founder who defied easy categorisation – being socially conservative and politically radical, as he was.


From Tiffany to Target, stores are boarding up windows in case of election unrest

Retailers in Democrat cities are boarding up shops in preparation for a Democrat election loss. Lefties know they are the violent ones

Retailers across the US are stepping up security measures to try to head off any damages to their stores during election-related protests in the coming days. Tiffany, Saks Fifth Avenue, CVS, Target and Macy's are among the chains that are boarding up some of their stores' windows in preparation.

"While we intend to remain open where possible, out of an abundance of caution the windows of select stores in key cities will be boarded in anticipation of potential election related activity," said Nathan Strauss, spokesperson for Tiffany.

Stores around the US were damaged this summer, and merchandise was stolen during protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Retailers are hoping to prevent this from happening again.
CVS said it is boarding up stores in areas where they have been damaged by unrest in the past. Stores where windows are covered "will continue to be open to serve customers as long as it is safe to do so," said CVS spokesperson Mike DeAngelis.

Tom Buiocchi, CEO of ServiceChannel, an online platform that connects retailers with local contractors, said 750 stores have requested orders on the platform to board up their windows around the country since October 27, with the most in California, New York and Illinois.


My Kid Has Cancer and ObamaCare Is Making Everything Worse

‘Before ObamaCare went into effect, the private marketplace offered us a wide range of relatively inexpensive plans.’

Joe Biden has been running an ad in which he says he can’t imagine what it would be like to have a child with cancer and no health coverage. I don’t have to imagine. Under the health “reform” championed by Biden when he served as President Barack Obama’s vice president, I live that reality every day.

Twice over the past three years, ObamaCare has had no plans to sell us that covers little girls ravaged by cancer or recovering from that ordeal—and it might leave us floundering again.

In November 2015, my wife got the most dreadful call a parent can get. The doctor knew why our daughter Colette, then 2 ½ years old, hadn’t been feeling well: Blood work had revealed leukemia.

Thanks to ObamaCare, we were already in financial straits. In 2014, the law had eliminated a great plan we had had for years. Before ObamaCare went into effect, the private marketplace offered us a wide menu of relatively inexpensive plans that covered specialist care, even out of state.

Afterward, however, all that was left were increasingly costly plans with fewer benefits. Premiums swelled. In 2017, I took my family into the ObamaCare marketplace to escape at least the crushing premiums.

But things were about to get much worse than expensive. In mid-2017, President Trump merely suggested scrapping massive ObamaCare subsidies to insurance giants that only delivered lousy care at ever-greater cost. In response, every insurer in northern Virginia with a family plan pulled out for the following year.

That is, except one. But Cigna Connect wouldn’t cover Colette at Inova Fairfax, the one hospital in the region with a pediatric cancer ward. Under ObamaCare, our daughter was effectively without coverage for cancer.

Panicked, we called the politicians, the media and Cigna. We retained an attorney. Nothing changed. No full policy coverage from Cigna. Without options, I shut down part of my consulting business and started work at a friend’s organization for its group insurance—and got saddled with monthly premiums far in excess of what we could afford.

Thanks to the publicity and some strong-arming by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Cigna agreed to cover the hospital—but it was too late for us. Then, for 2020, we purchased a better plan from Anthem, newly returned to the ObamaCare marketplace. We thought we might be done with insurance crises.

How naïve. In mid-March, with the novel coronavirus sweeping the country, Colette’s cancer doctors told us Anthem had decided that, in two weeks, it would no longer cover her clinic. Once again, thanks to ObamaCare, we were left without coverage for our daughter recovering from cancer.

Perhaps the marketplace would grant us a waiver to buy the Cigna plan still for sale in our ZIP code? Nope. So, like in 2017, we were forced to turn to Warner, to bully Anthem into its covering the clinic—at least through April 1, 2021.

After that? Who knows.

Open enrollment for next year starts Nov. 1. I could beg Warner to gear up for another round of veiled threats to a private company, to force one to cover us. Perhaps President Trump could issue an executive order prohibiting the insurance companies from pulling out of the market midyear, leaving children stranded.

But none of these is the right long-term answer. We must repeal ObamaCare and put into the hands of Americans real, automatically renewable insurance products curated to individual needs. Too many Colettes will suffer, and possibly die, waiting for the personal carve-outs only a few of us can ever get anyway.

To solve the inherent instability of ObamaCare, the state could just take over all medical facilities. It’s called single-payer. But then we would all be at the mercy of the same government bureaucracy that has been working for years to slowly kill my daughter.

And that has taught us a lesson. Turns out there is a nightmare worse than one’s watching cancer brutalize one’s little girl. It’s having Obama’s law—which his vice president rightly claims as his own—collude with the disease against her.

Mr. Biden, you might try imagining what that feels like.

Does vitamin D protect against COVID-19?

Recent studies have found a link between low vitamin D levels and an increased risk of COVID-19 infection, but they don't prove that the vitamin is protective.

In the absence of a COVID-19 cure or vaccine, scientists are investigating whether vitamin D can reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection or the severity of the disease. Indeed, the idea of taking a vitamin to ward off COVID-19 infection certainly is appealing.

But although some recent studies have suggested a link between low vitamin D levels and a higher risk of catching the disease, experts say it's not enough to prove that vitamin D itself protects against the disease, or if other factors are playing a role. 

One study, published Sept. 3 in JAMA Network Open, found that the risk of COVID-19 infection in people with vitamin D deficiency was nearly two  times higher than in people with sufficient levels of the vitamin. Another study, published Oct. 27 in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, found that hospitalized COVID-19 patients had higher rates of vitamin D deficiency than a control group of patients who didn't have COVID-19 but whose vitamin D status was measured pre-pandemic.

These associations don't prove that vitamin D deficiency causes increased COVID-19 risk, said Adrian Martineau, who studies respiratory infections and immunity at Queen Mary University of London, and , who was not involved with either study. "But it's suggestive and it's enough to justify doing further research to find out whether or not there is a true cause-effect relationship," Martineau told Live Science. 

A protective effect? 

There are several reasons to hypothesize that vitamin D might reduce COVID-19 risk, Martineau said. Vitamin D has been shown to boost the immune system's response to viruses and dampen its inflammatory response; an excessive inflammatory response characterizes severe COVID-19 cases, he said. 

According to a meta-analysis by Martineau, first published in 2017 in the journal BMJ and updated to include more recent studies this July on the preprint server medRxiv, vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of acute respiratory tract infections in general compared with a placebo. (However, the meta-analysis did not include studies about COVID-19.) 

Additionally, there's an overlap between the groups of people with higher risk of vitamin D deficiency, such as older people and people with darker skin, and those at higher risk for COVID-19, Martineau said. "People put two and two together and thought, 'Well, this is quite a striking coincidence, if it is indeed a coincidence.".

An earlier study published May 6 in the journal Aging Clinical and Experimental Research found that in 20 European countries, the lower the average vitamin D levels, the higher the rate of coronavirus cases  and deaths were for a given country. 

Still, not all studies have suggested a protective effect. A study published May 7 in the journal Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome found no statistically significant association between vitamin D levels and COVID-19 risk once the researchers took into account other factors that could affect COVID-19 risk.



The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a top swing-state newspaper, hasn't endorsed a Republican in almost 50 years — but is backing Trump now (The Blaze)

Twitter restores New York Post account — and all it took was a Senate hearing (Washington Times)

Trump adviser Jason Miller hints legal battle to stop Dems from stealing the election (Washington Examiner)

Biden pledges to "collaborate" with the Chinese Communist Party (Free Beacon)

Scranton Joe's final Philly gaffe: says he's wearing an Eagles jacket, but it's a Delaware Blue Hens jacket (Washington Examiner)

Biden staffers can't stop calling Kamala "the next president" (Post Millennial)

Facebook removes 29K-member pro-Trump group, reinstates after Trump blasts on Twitter (Disrn)

Boston Globe columnist suggests no "difference" between Trump supporters and ISIS (Fox News)

Gavin Newsom sends kids back to class at fancy private school while public schools remain closed (Daily Wire)

Walmart reverses decision to remove guns and ammo (The Hill)

Study finds 20% of grocery workers had coronavirus, most without symptoms (New York Post)

Kyle Rittenhouse, dubiously charged with killing two Kenosha protesters, extradited to Wisconsin (NBC News)

Fraudster attempts to register dead Americans as Democrat voters in Florida (Fox News)

U.S. Postal Service likely lost thousands of Pennsylvania mail-in ballots (Free Beacon)

So close: Alyssa Milano dresses as RBG for Halloween, misspells name. Deletes and reposts. Misspells name again. Deletes. (Daily Wire)



3 November, 2020 

‘Hermit nation’: World’s astonishment at Australia’s response to COVID-19

The NYT has oversimplified, as one would expect.  It was only the State of Victoria that had severe lockdowns and a significant death toll (819).  In my home State of Queensland deaths were negligible (6) and there were few everyday restrictions.  I live my life pretty much as I ever did

Even in Victoria however there is a huge contrast with Europe and the USA in the death rate.  Deaths in Victoria seem to have ceased now in fact. As I read of the huge difficulties elsewhere in the world, I feel I am living in an oasis of civilization

The world is flabbergasted by Australia's response to COVID-19, but one major newspaper reckons strict rules have turned us into a “hermit nation”.

Articles published internationally over the weekend highlighted Australia's monumental success, reporting that Saturday was the first day of no community transmission cases of virus in 145 days.

The New York Times ran a piece saying Australians now embrace the isolation they tried to escape for so long, but that our rules are so strict they’ve essentially turned us into a “hermit nation”.

The author wrote that our rules were so strict they “seem like something out of China or North Korea”.

“The virus has turned this outgoing nation into a hermit. Australia’s borders are closed, internationally and between several states.” the author wrote.

“Rather than chafing against isolation, though, Australians these days are more willing to smile in the mirror. Island living looks like a privilege when the world is pestilent. “

American current events opinion website Business Insider said we had an advantage over most countries from the start.

“It’s an island with relatively low population density,” they wrote. “But its rules were still far stricter than in many other countries.”

With Victoria reporting another day of zero cases on Sunday, it appears the state is on track to easing restrictions this coming weekend.

More rules are set to be scrapped on November 8, including the 25km travel radius for Melburnians, and now it has been revealed that even more restrictions could be eased than previously thought.

Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said on Sunday that some of the rules around gatherings could also be changed on November 8.

“We can always make consideration of what the caps might be in certain settings, what the density quotients might be and some of the specific industries that might come on board in terms of being able to operate,” he said.

Australia’s success comes amid sharp rises across the rest of the globe.

The US reported 99,321 new Covid-19 cases today – the highest single day number of cases recorded for any country to date. It marks an alarming jump of almost 11,000 more cases compared to yesterday.

Meanwhile the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a national lockdown after passing one million coronavirus cases, and France is recording around 50,000 new cases daily.


Eastern Europe Fights for Its Life Against a Virus It Thought It Had Crushed

The leaders of seven eastern European countries who gathered in Bled, Slovenia, at the end of August were so certain they’d overcome the coronavirus that they staged a panel called “Europe after Brexit and Covid-19.”

Less than two months later, that confidence has been shattered. Despite having beaten back the initial wave with some of Europe’s fastest and strictest lockdowns, countries from the Baltic to the Black Sea are suffering an explosion of new cases. 

Their early advantage squandered, governments across the region are struggling with the same issues as their western counterparts -- or often worse.

Soaring death tolls and a spate of high-profile infections are eroding trust and feeding into a communist-era tradition of skirting rules, exacerbating the crisis. 

Field hospitals are popping up as the virus threatens to overwhelm health-care systems and measures that devastated economies this spring are returning..“The coming months, quarters -- I hope it isn’t years -- will be the toughest Poland has faced in decades,” Polish Premier Mateusz Morawiecki told parliament last week.

Morawiecki was on stage at Bled along with leaders from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia. Since then, coronavirus cases have more than tripled in Poland to exceed a quarter of a million on Monday. Deaths there more than doubled to 4,438, according to the World Health Organization.

And it’s not even the region’s worst-hit country. The Czechs now lead the European Union both in new cases and deaths per capita, followed by Hungary.

It didn’t start that way. When Slovakia reported just five cases of the virus on March 9, its capital Bratislava closed elementary schools. Within a week, the Czechs shut schools and banned public gatherings, Hungary declared a state of emergency and Serbia postponed elections. 

All of that happened before France closed its schools, even though it had recorded more than 3,000 cases and 79 fatalities.

It was a textbook plan to fight a pandemic: Eastern European governments shut borders, shops and factories and imposed social-distancing restrictions. 

With the virus raging in Italy, the U.S. and the U.K., newspaper headlines in the continent’s former communist half declared sympathy while boasting of their countries’ resilience and wisdom in following rules.

That resolve melted in the summer and millions went on holiday abroad as soon as borders reopened. Those who stayed home thronged beer gardens, mountain huts and national parks.

Hoping to rebuild after the lockdowns decimated economies and to save key industries such as tourism, politicians urged people to get back out and spend. Having opened the state’s coffers to help businesses and furloughed workers, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, Hungary’s Viktor Orban and other leaders vowed that even if the virus returned, they’d avoid strict lockdowns.

Leaders in Western Europe are experiencing a similar sense of dismay. Italy and Spain, had sworn off any second lockdowns. Looking at the situation getting exponentially worse with their eastern neighbors, they too are coming to terms with the idea of whether they also declared victory too soon.

By mid-September, the number of new daily cases in the Czech Republic exceeded those in Germany, a country with almost eight times as many people. They did in Poland too, where President Andrzej Duda won a second term after his allies in the government had to postpone elections. 

He’s now quarantining after testing positive for the disease.Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov -- another Bled attendee -- is also convalescing with Covid-19, which is on track to kill as many people in his country in September and October as in the first six months of the pandemic combined.

Governments, however, are reluctant to return to the playbook that served them so well in the spring, or to tap into what the pandemic has taught the world in the past seven months.

Their mixed messaging, along with frequent rule-breaking by leaders, has spread public doubt about the effectiveness of restrictions. That’s especially dangerous in a region where people spent decades circumventing official decrees under communist governments, according to Jan Hartl, chairman of the Prague-based researcher the STEM Institute.

“People in former communist countries perceive authorities differently than citizens in the West,” he said. “They intuitively rebel against strict orders from the government since they intuitively consider them stupid. That’s a heritage of totalitarianism.”

At the weekend, as Czech soldiers completed a 500-bed field hospital near a shopping mall in the Prague suburb of Letnany, images flooded media of throngs at a farmers’ market in the city center


The Great American Recovery: Third Quarter GDP Blows Past Expectations

After releasing his plan to reopen America safely in April, President Trump remarked that prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, the United States had “built the greatest economy anywhere in the world . . .  and we’re going to build it again.”

At that time, the consensus among economic forecasters was that pandemic-induced lockdowns would result in a sharp economic contraction in the second quarter, and that the economy would experience tepid growth in the third quarter as it slowly clawed back pandemic losses. But because of the President’s pro-growth policies that set a strong pre-pandemic foundation—and the extraordinary speed and scale of the Administration’s support for America’s families and businesses—our nation’s recovery continues to exceed expectations.

This morning’s release of U.S. GDP for the third quarter of 2020 from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) affirms President Trump’s statement that “we’re coming back, and we’re coming back strong.”

The BEA estimates that real GDP grew 7.4 percent (33.1 percent at an annual rate) in the third quarter, the largest single quarter of economic growth on record and roughly twice the prior record of 3.9 percent (16.7 percent at an annual rate) set in the first quarter of 1950. This growth follows the most severe pandemic-induced contraction on record in the second quarter of 2020, which occurred as the government mandatorily shut down all but nonessential services, and Americans made sacrifices to slow the pandemic.

With the historic third-quarter growth, the United States in a single quarter has now recovered two-thirds of the economic output lost due to the pandemic during the first half of the year (Figure 1). In the recovery from the 2008-09 recession, it took 4 times as long to regain the same share of lost economic output.


Las Vegas Oddsmaker Announces Final Prediction: Trump Electoral Landslide Coming

It's all there. All the cards fell into place. Liberals and the biased and bribed mainstream media are just too blind to see it.

It's Donald Trump's win over Hillary Clinton all over again. It's George H.W. Bush overcoming a 17-point deficit to beat Michael Dukakis all over again. It's the final days of Ronald Reagan versus Jimmy Carter, when all of America broke for Reagan at the same time.

At this moment, if you're not blind, deaf or very dumb, it's clear that in these final days up to the election, a majority of American voters, certainly crucial voters in battleground states, are breaking to reelect President Trump.

It's all adding up to a Trump electoral landslide.

And I'm not just talking about tightening polls, the few polls that show Trump actually in the lead or battleground states where Trump is outperforming his numbers from his race against Clinton four years ago.

Much more importantly, I'm talking early-voting numbers. Trump is doing extraordinarily well in early voting in Florida, Nevada, Iowa, North Carolina and Arizona. Trump and Republicans are outkicking the coverage. In other words, they're kicking the Democrats' butts -- with the physical votes on Election Day still to come. And we all know Republicans rule on Election Day.

If Florida is representative of battleground states all over the country, Trump is about to win both the Florida popular vote and an electoral landslide. Democrats are panicking in Florida and all over the country.

Trafalgar Group, which ran the most accurate state-by-state poll of 2016 by factoring in the "shy Trump voters" (people afraid to tell a stranger on the phone they support Trump), shows Trump taking the lead this week in Florida, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Rasmussen shows Trump's approval rating at 52%, five points better than former President Barack Obama's at this same time in 2012 when he was heading for reelection victory.

On Friday, Poll Watch came out with its electoral map, which shows a Trump landslide of 312 electoral votes to 226.



2 November, 2020 
A contagion of hatred and hysteria: SUNETRA GUPTA tells how she has been intimidated and shamed for backing shielding instead of lockdown

(Professor Sunetra Gupta is an infectious disease epidemiologist and a professor of theoretical epidemiology at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford)

Lockdown is a blunt, indiscriminate policy that forces the poorest and most vulnerable people to bear the brunt of the fight against coronavirus. As an infectious diseases epidemiologist, I believe there has to be a better way. 

That is why, earlier this month, with two other international scientists, I co-authored a proposal for an alternative approach — one that shields those most at risk while enabling the rest of the population to resume their ordinary lives to some extent.

I expected debate and disagreement about our ideas, published as the Great Barrington Declaration.

As a scientist, I would welcome that. After all, science progresses through its ideas and counter-ideas.

But I was utterly unprepared for the onslaught of insults, personal criticism, intimidation and threats that met our proposal. The level of vitriol and hostility, not just from members of the public online but from journalists and academics, has horrified me.

I am not a politician. The hurly-burly of political life and being in the eye of the media do not appeal to me at all.

I am first and foremost a scientist; one who is far more comfortable sitting in my office or laboratory than in front of a television camera.

Of course, I do have deeply held political ideals — ones that I would describe as inherently Left-wing. I would not, it is fair to say, normally align myself with the Daily Mail.

I have strong views about the distribution of wealth, about the importance of the Welfare State, about the need for publicly owned utilities and government investment in nationalised industries.

But Covid-19 is not a political phenomenon. It is a public health issue — indeed, it is one so serious that the response to it has already led to a humanitarian crisis. So I have been aghast to see a political rift open up, with outright abuse meted out to those who, like me, question the orthodoxy.

At the heart of our proposal is the recognition that mass lockdowns cause enormous damage. We are already seeing how current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health.

The results — to name just a few — include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health.

Such pitfalls of national lockdowns must not be ignored, especially when it is the working class and younger members of society who carry the heaviest burden.

I was also deeply concerned that lockdowns only delay the inevitable spread of the virus. Indeed, we believe that a better way forward would be to target protective measures at specific vulnerable groups, such as the elderly in care homes.

Of course, there will be challenges, such as where people are being cared for in their own multi-generational family homes.

I am certainly not pretending I have all the answers, but these issues need to be discussed and thrashed out thoroughly.

That is why I have found it so frustrating how, in recent weeks, proponents of lockdown policies have seemed intent on shutting down debate rather than promoting reasoned discussion.

It is perplexing to me that so many refuse even to consider the potential benefits of allowing non-vulnerable citizens, such as the young, to go about their lives and risk infection, when in doing so they would build up herd immunity and thereby protect the lives of vulnerable citizens.

Yet rather than engage in serious, rational discussion with us, our critics have dismissed our ideas as ‘pixie dust’ and ‘wishful thinking’.

This refusal to cherish the value of the scientific method strikes at the heart of everything I, as a scientist, hold dear. To me, the reasoned exchange of ideas is the basis of civilised society.

So I was left stunned after being invited on to a mid-morning radio programme recently, only for a producer to warn me minutes before we went on air that I was not to mention the Great Barrington Declaration. The producer repeated the warning and indicated that this was an instruction from a senior broadcasting executive.

I demanded an explanation and, with seconds to go, was told that the public wouldn’t be familiar with the meaning of the phrase ‘Great Barrington Declaration’.

And this was not an isolated experience. A few days later, another national radio station approached my office to set up an interview, then withdrew the invitation. They felt, on reflection, that giving airtime to me would ‘not be in the national interest’.

But the Great Barrington Declaration represents a heartfelt attempt by a group of academics with decades of experience in this field to limit the harm of lockdown. I cannot conceive how anyone can construe this as ‘against the national interest’.

Moreover, matters certainly are not helped by outlets such as The Guardian, which has repeatedly published opinion pieces making factually incorrect and scientifically flawed statements, as well as borderline defamatory comments about me, while refusing to give our side of the debate an opportunity to present our view.

I am surprised, given the importance of the issues at stake — not least the principle of fair, balanced journalism — that The Guardian would not want to present all the evidence to its readers. After all, how else are we to encourage proper, frank debate about the science?

On social media, meanwhile, much of the discourse has lacked any decorum whatsoever.

I have all but stopped using Twitter, but I am aware that a number of academics have taken to using it to make personal attacks on my character, while my work is dismissed as ‘pseudo- science’. Depressingly, our critics have also taken to ridiculing the Great Barrington Declaration as ‘fringe’ and ‘dangerous’.

But ‘fringe’ is a ridiculous word, implying that only mainstream science matters. If that were the case, science would stagnate. And dismissing us as ‘dangerous’ is equally unhelpful, not least because it is an inflammatory, emotional term charged with implications of irresponsibility. When it is hurled around by people with influence, it becomes toxic.

But this pandemic is an international crisis. To shut down the discussion with abuse and smears — that is truly dangerous.

Yet of all the criticisms flung at us, the one I find most upsetting is the accusation that we are indulging in ‘policy-based evidence-making’ — in other words, drumming up facts to fit our ideological agenda.

And that ideology, according to some, is one of Right-wing libertarian extremism.

According to Wikipedia, for instance, the Great Barrington Declaration was funded by a Right-wing think-tank with links to climate-change deniers.

It should be obvious to anyone that writing a short proposal and posting it on a website requires no great financing. But let me spell it out, since, apparently, I have to: I did not accept payment to co-author the Great Barrington Declaration.

Money has never been the motivation in my career. It hurts me profoundly that anyone who knows me, or has even a passing professional acquaintance, could believe for a minute that I would accept a clandestine payment for anything.

I am very fortunate to have a house and garden I love, and I couldn’t ask for more material wealth than that. Far more important to me are my family and my work. Yet the abuse continues to flood in, increasingly of a personal nature.

I have been accused of not having the right expertise, of being a ‘theoretical’ epidemiologist with her head in the clouds. In fact, within my research group, we have a thriving laboratory that was one of the first to develop an antibody test for the coronavirus.

We were able to do so because we have been working for the past six years on a flu vaccine, using a combination of laboratory and theoretical techniques. Our technology has already been patented and licensed and presents a rare example of a mathematical model leading to the development of a vaccine.

Even more encouraging, however, is that there is now a groundswell of movements — Us For Them, PanData19 and The Price of Panic, to name but three — seeking to give a voice to those, like me, who believe that the collateral damage of lockdown can be worse than the virus itself.

On Thursday, a broad coalition was launched under the banner of Recovery. Drawing people from across the mainstream of political views, the movement is calling for balance and moderation in our response to Covid-19, backed by a proper public debate and a comprehensive public inquiry.

I am delighted that it has received such a level of support.

For, ultimately, lockdown is a luxury of the affluent; something that can be afforded only in wealthy countries — and even then, only by the better-off households in those countries.

One way to go about shifting our perspective would be to catalogue all the ways in which lockdowns across the world are damaging societies. At present, I am collaborating with a number of colleagues to do just this, under the banner

For the simple truth is that Covid-19 will not just go away if we continue to impose enough meaningless restrictions on ourselves. And the longer we fail to recognise this, the worse will be the permanent economic damage — the brunt of which, again, will be borne by the disadvantaged and the young.

When I signed the Great Barrington Declaration on October 4, I did so with fellow scientists to express our view that national lockdowns won’t cure us of Covid.

Clearly, none of us anticipated such a vitriolic response. The abuse that has followed has been nothing short of shameful.

But rest assured. Whatever they throw at us, it won’t do anything to sway me — or my colleagues — from the principles that sit behind what we wrote.


Too little, too late:  Bernie Sanders slams the Democratic Party for becoming the 'party of rich, coastal elites' and ignoring working-class people for many years

In an appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers, Sanders criticized the party from getting off track when it comes to meeting the needs of working class people.

Seth Meyers seemed to be in agreement, acknowledging that the party has gotten away from America's working class, to which Sanders nodded in agreement. 

Meyers then asked Sanders what former Vice President Biden could do to 'bring the Democratic Party back to serving the working people in this country' if he won the election.  

'I think it is fair to say that in many ways the Democratic Party has become a party of the coastal elites, folks who have a lot of money, upper-middle-class people who are good people, who believe in social justice in many respects,' Sanders said, Newsweek reports. 

'But I think for many, many years the Democratic Party has not paid the kind of attention to working-class needs that they should've.'

Party demographics have shifted as more donors and businesses fund campaigns, Sanders asserted. He then stressed the need for Democrats in Congress to 'start bursting out of the blocs in an effort to protect working people.' 

Sanders emphasized the importance of passing a 'very substantive' coronavirus bill that was similar to the one passed in March by Congress. 

Under the Vermont politician's proposal, the weekly $600 payment that supplemented state unemployment benefits would be extended and an additional $1,200 would be given to individuals and families.

Sanders also stressed the need for the government to provide health care to anyone who might have lost it and to provide aid to cities so that they don't have to furlough or lay off workers. 

The senator also voiced his support for raising the minimum wage to at least $15 while making it easier for workers to join unions. He also advocated for women to receive equal pay for their work, compared to their male counterparts.  

'If the Democratic Party does not stand firmly for working families and have the courage to take on the drug companies and the insurance companies and the big money interests, shame on them,' Sanders said.



1 November, 2020 

There’s No Going Back To ‘Normal’ After Trump. The Republican Party Is Changed Forever

No more cringing before the Left

Donald Trump is not a Republican. He never was before, and he is not one now. As the nation speeds toward Nov. 3, members of the GOP have been all over the board with predictions about the outcome, but some prominent Republicans have been consistently negative about Trump’s prospects and even hopeful for his defeat.

Peggy Noonan penned an archetypal anti-Trump article this month, titled “Biden, Pence and the Wish for Normalcy.” Noonan mused almost longingly that America might be headed toward an unprecedented landslide in favor of Joe Biden. If this happens, she said, one of the primary reasons will simply be “that [Biden] is normal … and people miss normal so much.”

Noonan, like many Republicans who don’t like Trump, wants to go back to normal. The reality is we are never going back to “normal.” The old Republican Party is dead. Trump made a new party, and that is the party of the future.

The Old GOP Is Dead

In 2016, Trump hijacked the Republican Party. Although he was billed as Republican, the support propelling him to victory was a new configuration of the electorate. Many mainstream Republicans still don’t understand this, but no other GOP candidate was going to win in 2016. Trump won because he was not actually a Republican.

Both the Republican and the Democratic parties are in the midst of internal civil wars. The extreme left wing of the Democratic Party is hurtling toward socialism and the destruction not only of statues but of American values and the fundamental principles of this country. Indeed, the escalating rhetoric currently employed by the left historically does not just silence dissent, it eventually seeks to eliminate the dissenters. America is in a struggle not only for its identity, but for its life.

While the left remakes itself, Republicans are engaged in their own struggle. When Trump won the White House, many of the anti-Trumpers of the Republican Party pivoted on a dime. For most, it wasn’t a unity move, but a power play for survival. Trump won, so the GOP decided to ride that wave. They stacked the White House with their people, promoted mainstream Republicans toward presidential appointments, and benefited as best they could from the electoral upset, but they never coalesced behind Trump or his new party’s plan for American renewal.

Both the NeverTrumpers and the “ReluctantTrumpers” are hell-bent on holding out until Trump is out of office to return to the “normal” times for which Noonan yearns. What all Republicans need to realize is that the party, as it was, is dead. Its leaders lost the GOP’s soul by following globalist policies and pursuing their personal wealth at the expense of the American people.

While those Republicans were busy chasing their own interests and melding into a ruling elite in Washington, the country, and indeed the world, changed. What has come to be in the GOP’s stead, and what will continue to develop, is a new party. Trump is not a fluke president. He unified a movement and formed a new party that will continue on, even after he leaves office.

The Party of Trump Isn’t All Republicans

The makeup of Trump’s party is new. He didn’t win in 2016 only by motivating greater Republican turnout. Trump flipped voters, pulling them from across the aisle. This excerpt from a Wall Street Journal article provides a striking example:

‘What happened in 2016 is [Trump] got a great many people who had supported Barack Obama and Democrats in the past to vote for him,’ Republican strategist Whit Ayres told me earlier this week by phone. ‘Trumbull County in northeast Ohio is my classic example. Obama beat [Mitt] Romney there by 22 percentage points. Trump beat [Hillary] Clinton there by seven — a 29-percentage-point turnaround. So it was far more changing the allegiance of existing voters rather than generating a substantial turnout of new voters.’

Making this even more clear, after one of his recent rallies in Florida, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel reported that “31.8% [of attendees] were NOT Republicans. 16.3% were Democrat. 24.4% did not vote in 2016. 14.4% did not vote in the last 4 elections.”

Trump’s new party cuts across traditional party lines and draws from every socioeconomic stratum in America. Although Trump’s base remains the strong conservatives who once vitalized the old Republican Party, he has attracted new voters among blue-collar Democrats, immigrants, and minorities. What are the core values of this new Party of Trump?

The “Make America Great Again” slogan captures the spirit that unites these people. Trump’s party retains the core family values of the old GOP but with an additional and robust focus on economic nationalism, strong sovereignty and national security, and smart foreign policy. The people in Trump’s party are risk-takers and wealth-builders, and they truly live the American ideals of independence and free thought.

Trump’s “Promises Made, Promises Kept” theme is a direct rebuke to the years of betrayal by Washington elites, years of big social and economic pledges from politicians on the campaign trail followed by inaction toward those promises or disloyalty to those principles following a successful election. The Party of Trump isn’t interested in politicians who just talk, or even those who merely take some action. This new party wants someone who will deliver.

Never Trumpers Want Their Sinecures Secured

The people who oppose Trump have something in common too. They are predominantly takers. They don’t build; instead, they want the safe route to success. This type of person can also be found in every stratum of society, from politicians like Joe Biden and Mitt Romney, to the middle-class people with safe corporate jobs who have no skin in the game, to the poor who would rather get a handout than a hand up.

The NeverTrumpers within the Republican Party are working hard against the president and his coalition. Just last week, the New York Times highlighted the organized elements of this insurgency in an article titled “The Crowded, Competitive World of Anti-Trump GOP Groups.” Leading the pack are the Lincoln Project, founded by Rick Wilson, George Conway, and their ilk, and Reclaim Our Party, a super PAC run by Greg Schott, “who sold his business software company to Salesforce in 2018 for a reported $6.5 billion” and has poured $1 million into targeted ads trying to convince soft Republicans to vote against Trump.

The type of Republican who does not believe in Trump does not understand how the world has changed and cannot face the crisis we are in now. In addition to those like Noonan, who yearn for a long-abandoned sense of normalcy, they commonly come in one of two other flavors: the corrupt self-interested and the weak. Many of these figures want politics to revert to its former glory, when they held power and made money. Others can’t stand up to the assault of the left because they want to be perceived as having that most-prized trait: gravitas.

Trump’s Is the Party of Fighters

Four years ago, Trump understood something had to change in America, and now it is clear we are in more of a battle than we ever imagined. The unfolding facts of the elite bureaucracy’s attempted coup and the radical resolve of the far-left to destroy our institutions, our history, and perhaps us, too, requires a new kind of Republican.

Politicians today must be fighters. Although Trump is unique in his style, every politician who successfully follows after him in this new party will need to show Americans that he or she is willing to fight for the good of the nation with the same uncompromising and aggressive resolve. Politicians who can take on our new party’s platform will be winners in America.

The old Republican Party is dead. Trump supporters have witnessed the corruption at home and understand the threats we face from abroad, and we see that politics has changed. We cannot go back to “normal” if we want to turn this ship around. Trump’s new party is composed of people who still believe in the American dream for themselves and for each other. This new party is ready to do the difficult work necessary to peacefully but decisively, and without apology or compromise, return this country to its founding principles.

Be wary of the negative assaults of otherwise “good” Republicans, and don’t let them dissuade you. When the chaos of this current realignment settles, it will be clear that they aren’t in our party. Their party failed. Ours is going to lead America back to prosperity and encourage a global movement toward national sovereignty and freedom.


New Data Suggests President Trump May Be Right About Success of Regeneron

When President Trump emerged from Walter Reed Medical Center, he seemed pretty convinced that the treatment he was given was a cure for COVID-19. He reported feeling better almost immediately after being given Regeneron, a polyclonal antibody formula. Yesterday, Regeneron published the results of the first three phases of their trials for treating COVID-19.

Regeneron has completed the required randomized, double-blind studies that Dr. Fauci insisted on. At the end of September, the company reported that the treatment reduced viral levels in a study of 275 patients who had no evidence of an immune response before receiving the therapy:

“After months of incredibly hard work by our talented team, we are extremely gratified to see that Regeneron’s antibody cocktail REGN-COV2 rapidly reduced viral load and associated symptoms in infected COVID-19 patients,” said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron. “The greatest treatment benefit was in patients who had not mounted their own effective immune response, suggesting that REGN-COV2 could provide a therapeutic substitute for the naturally-occurring immune response.

Now the company is confirming that the treatment significantly reduced medical visits in a trial of another larger group of patients:

“The first job of an antiviral therapeutic drug is to lower the viral load, and our initial data in 275 patients strongly suggested that the REGN-COV2 antibody cocktail could lower viral load and thereby potentially improve clinical outcomes. Today’s analysis, involving more than 500 additional patients, prospectively confirms that REGN-COV2 can indeed significantly reduce viral load and further shows that these viral reductions are associated with a significant decrease in the need for further medical attention,” said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron.

Once again, patients with the highest viral load and no native immune response demonstrated the most benefit. The antibody cocktail reduced COVID-19-related medical visits by 72% in patients with one or more risk factors. The preexisting conditions included being over 50 years of age, obesity, cardiovascular, metabolic, lung, liver, kidney disease, and immunocompromised status.

The study also showed there was no difference in outcomes between the high-dose and low-dose treatment. The low dose also had no infusion reactions. This is good news because there is a limited supply of the drug as the company moves to obtain an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA. This would allow current production to treat more patients as the company ramps up production.

According to NBC News, Eli Lilly and Co. has a similar therapy and applied for a EUA. Between Regeneron and Eli Lilly, the government has contracted for 600,000 doses of the treatment. President Trump has said he would push for a EUA after his experience with the therapy and wants it to be free for Americans who need it.

Any significant delays in the authorization must be viewed skeptically at this point. The FDA still has a warning regarding the use of HCQ for COVID-19 outside a hospital setting on its website. This causes politicians and professional boards to interfere with its use to treat COVID-19 in the outpatient setting in some states.

This dishonest attack on HCQ, even though millions of patients worldwide have taken this medication safely for decades, is an indictment of the agency. According to Yale epidemiologist Dr. Harvey Risch:

There is extensive evidence that HCQ, when used within the first five days of symptom onset, produces a sharp and statistically significant reduction in hospitalization and mortality. Seven controlled, well-conducted clinical studies show this: 636 outpatients in São Paulo, Brazil; 199 clinic patients in Marseille, France; 717 patients across a large HMO network in Brazil; 226 nursing-home patients in Marseille; 1,247 outpatients in New Jersey; 100 long-term care institution patients in Andorra (between France and Spain); and 7,892 patients across Saudi Arabia.

All of these studies pertain to the early treatment of high-risk outpatients, and all showed 50% or higher reductions in hospitalization or death. Not a single fatal cardiac arrhythmia attributable to the HCQ was reported among these thousands of patients. In addition, a new summary analysis of five randomized controlled trials has also shown a statistically significant outpatient benefit, proving the case.

The barriers to effective outpatient therapy are becoming unconscionable, and everyone should be concerned that the FDA will drag its feet on Regeneron as well. Our agencies should be making every effort to reduce hospitalizations and the progression to severe illness.



GOP wins one: Eighth Circuit says absentee ballots counted in Minnesota must be received by Election Night (The Daily Wire)
Leftmedia & Big Tech

Lil Wayne endorses the Platinum Plan (Washington Examiner) | Partisan hacks slam rapper after he appears to endorse Trump (Washington Examiner)

"I'm not an Uncle Tom": Flint, Michigan, Democrat Councilman Maurice Davis endorses Trump (Washington Examiner)

Add Florida to list of swing states where early voting data favors a Trump victory (Washington Examiner)

Twitter shares plunge as user growth slows — and for good reason (Fox Business)

Weekly jobless claims total 751,000 vs. 778,000 expected (CNBC)

Man behind Gretchen Whitmer kidnap plot also wanted to kill Trump (The Post Millennial)

U.S. to allow Americans born in Jerusalem to list Israel as birthplace (The Washington Free Beacon)

California Trump supporters find "Racism Lives Here" signs planted on their properties (Disrn)

Walmart removes guns, ammunition from store displays ahead of election amid concerns of civil unrest (USA Today)

Jerry Falwell Jr. disingenuously sues Liberty University over sex scandal-driven resignation (UPI)

Former Malaysia PM claims Muslims have a right to "kill millions of French people" (The Daily Wire)

Policy: The results are in: Reopening fuels record economic expansion (The Daily Signal)



For the notes appearing at the side of the original blog see HERE

Pictures put up on a blog sometimes do not last long. They stay up only as long as the original host keeps them up. Some newsapers keep their published pictures online for as little as a week. I therefore keep archives of all the pictures that I use. The recent archives are online and are in two parts:

Archive of side pictures HERE

Archive of this year's pictures in the body of the blog. Note that the filename of the picture is clickable and reflects the date on which the picture was posted. See here