Coattails

A “Minnesota” Poll – which ,as we’ve noted in the past, has historically favored Democrats, sometimes to an absurd extent with deeply suspicious and one-sided patterns, even after numerous reboots and changes in management and pollsters – shows Governor Walz under water:

The crosstabs are even more ominous for Walz, and show President Biden to be a bit of a drag down-ticket.

Fearless predictions:

  • The Strib, Channels 4, 9 and 11, and the rest of the media will switch into full PR mode for the DFL for the next 13 months. Indeed, they have; Esme Murphy’s interview with Jennifer Carnahan – complete with the sort of on-air toenail-painting she normally reserves for DFLers – can be seen as nothing but an attempt to keep the MNGOP even more divided and impotent than normal.
  • MPR will be a little more artful about it – but the output from the DFL’s opposition research will get prominent placement.
  • And a quick reminder to Tom Hauser, perhaps the only genuinely detached journalist in Twin Cities TV or print news: drapes don’t have shoes.

I’m going to put a pin in this.

Innumeracy

According to the associated press, the Covid pandemic has tied a “grim milestones“: The death toll is even with that of the 1918 Spanish influenza:

The delta-fueled surge in new infections may have peaked, but U.S. deaths still are running at over 1,900 a day on average, the highest level since early March, and the country’s overall toll stood at close to 674,000 as of Monday morning, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, though the real number is believed to be higher.

Of course, if you are remotely numerate, you know the lede that got buried – in this case, down in paragraph seven:

The 1918-19 influenza pandemic killed an estimated 675,000 Americans in a U.S. population one-third the size of what it is today. It struck down 50 million victims globally at a time when the world had one-quarter as many people as it does now. Global deaths from COVID-19 now stand at more than 4.6 million.

But watching social media this past few days, it’s pretty clear – they’re not aiming the story at people with math or critical thinking skills.

Darn Those Science-Denying Trumpkins!

Vaccine mandates are on the hit list…

…of Black Lives Matter:

At a protest Monday in front of New York restaurant Carmine’s, Chivona Newsome, also a co-founder of the group, said of the vaccine mandates, “What is going to stop the Gestapo, I mean the NYPD, from rounding up black people, from snatching them off the train, off the bus?”

She further issued the threat that BLM was “putting this city on notice that your mandate will not be another racist social distance practice” and that “Black people are not going to stand by, or you will see another uprising .” She said vaccine verification “is not a free passport to racism.”

The catalyst for those remarks was an incident at Carmine’s last week wherein three black women from Texas were charged for assaulting a hostess at the restaurant, allegedly over a vaccine verification dispute and, as a lawyer for the women subsequently claimed, because the hostess, who is of Asian descent, used a racial slur.

And it doesn’t just seem to be just BLM:

Morning Consult found that Biden’s approval dropped a striking 12 points among black voters since September 8th, the day before the White House announced a comprehensive new COVID-19 mitigation plan that included a new OSHA rule, which, when drafted, will demand workplaces with 100 or more employees either require their workers to be vaccinated against COVID or submit to rigorous testing for the virus.

“President Joe Biden’s sweeping federal rules to mandate vaccines hasn’t hurt him with the overall electorate, but it appears to have spurred a weakening of his standing with one of the most reliable pieces of the Democratic Party’s coalition: Black voters,” Morning Consult noted.

Now – getting everyone to connect the dots from “unequal and racially-tone-deaf enforcement of arbitrary Covid regulations” to “unequal and racially tone-deaf policy” in general? That’s the challenge.

RIP, Property Rights?

A Massachusetts case on its way to the SCOTUS – and hoping to be the roughly 1% of cases granted a review – will have an immense impact on private property rights.

At issue in Desrosiers v. Baker is the legality of several COVID-19 lockdown orders issued throughout 2020 by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. The lockdown orders, which were some of the most draconian in the nation, generally banned all private assemblies that did not have a political or religious purpose after 9:30 p.m., no matter the size or location.

The orders imposed significantly stricter restrictions on assembly in “private residences” than on assembly in public settings. The orders encouraged “the public’s unselfish compliance,” and were enforceable variously by misdemeanor criminal penalties, civil fines, and court injunction. These penalties also applied to hosts who failed to cooperate with government requests for “lists of attendees at social gatherings.”

The Massachusetts lockdown orders even included a quasi-adultery ban, in effect at all hours, on assembly involving close physical contact by the un-cohabiting, instead of by the unmarried. Under the orders, “participants who [were] not members of the same household” had to keep six feet of distance from each other at all times. The orders warned that a “gathering shall violate this provision where, no matter the number of participants present, conditions or activities at the gathering are such that it is not reasonably possible for all participants to maintain this degree of separation.”

I’m not sure what I’m more worried about – a Roberts-led majority deciding there’s a prudential reason to allow government extraordinary powers in a state of emergency, or the near-violent reaction of Big Karen to having their power, and their reason for existence, struck down.

OK, definitely more worried about “a”.

I accept “B” as a foregone conclusion.

More, Faster

If the Feds (and the State of Minnesota’s) response to Covid were being driven by public health rather than politics (or, perhaps worse, a clumsiliy-politicized approach to public health), the “national conversation” would include a serious look into the effects of acquired immunity – the level of natural immunity that people who’ve had and recovered from Covid have.

There have been 40 million diagnosed cases of Covid in the US, and it seems inevitable that there are many millions more – some estimates say well over double. Let’s be (what else?) conservative and say “several million”.

The fact that this nation isn’t systematically testing for antibodies, and not only studying the effects of acquired immunity but publicizing the output of those studies, is to say the least troubling.

The fact that we apparently need a Senator to clue our “public health” apparatus into asking, and publicly discussing, this basic question should be enough to make anyone question the results the bureaucracy is actually looking for.

Priorities

Minneapolis, 2021.

There is so much gunfire in North Minneapolis and Uptown, they had to get a liquid-cooled shot spotter system.

The economy is falling apart.

Downtown is becoming blighted. The North Loop, the jewel of the city’s redevelopment plan, is turning into a shooting gallery

The schools are collapsing.

The wealth disparity gap is growing.

But, by golly, they’ve got their priorities straight.

Armageddon Denied

Just a few weeks ago, COVID numbers from the Sturgis motorcycle rally and, we were breathlessly assured, “super spreader event“, turned out to be lower, per capita than any sample of over a half million people in the general population.

The numbers came out just in time to tamp down a bit of the excitement Minnesota is “Karen“ population was feeling at warning Minnesota, yet again, of impending doom over the state fair.

Which didn’t prevent Karen from Karening.

But all good things – I like the inflated feeling of self importance one gets from being a joyless Jeremiah – come to an end. The numbers from the state fair just aren’t that bad.

State officials say 228 confirmed COVID cases have been traced back to the State Fair as of Friday. For a little perspective, there were more than 1.3 million people in attendance.

During the period of the state fair, they were roughly 1400 new cases detected per day in Minnesota – a rate of 254 cases per day, per million Minnesotans.

228 cases over 10 days, across 1.3 million people, breaks down to a rate of about 180 cases per million per day.

In other words, assuming the math in my head is correct (Not to mention the numbers coming from the Minnesota Department of health), Minnesotans who went to the fair were almost a third safer than Minnesotans who didn’t.

Could we stop the hysteria over public events held outdoors, already?

A Matter Of Trust

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The headline is ominous. Without drastic changes….and that’s great for Conservatives, right?
Well, it would be, if voting mattered. Does it? Do you really believe there won’t be a 4:00 A.M.pause in counting ballots, followed by a remarkable leap in Democrat votes? How will we counter that – vote harder?
It doesn’t matter how unpopular Castro was, he always won the election because he controlled the counters. Likewise, all the indicia of election fraud we weren’t allowed to talk about for the past year are still out there, still indicating systemic election fraud, still a problem for the next election.
Joe Doakes

Question: if we, the People , decide that the elections truly are rigged, what do we do?

Anyone Have “Socialist Patrician Scofflaw” On Their Democrat Bingo Card?

Turns out the couturier who created AOC‘s “Taxi The Rich“ dress from the Met Gala last week, and whom Ocasio-Cortez hailed as a “fellow woman of color“ who had endured the de rigeur persecution that AOC seems to see around every corner, is:

  • is a tax dodger,
  • has left her workers withholding taxes unpaid
  • has been dodging Workmen’s Compensation claims
  • and hires scads of unpaid interns, which is funny and ironic for those who remember AOC and Ilhan Omar jeering “Experience Doesn’t Pay the Bills, Yo” when pimping for an absurdly high minimum wage.

Note to self:

  • Move to Vegas
  • Start a bookmaking establishment focusing on wagers on politicians’ behavior.

Not that anyone would take “AOC’s coutourier is hypocrite” as a bet.

Under The Table

Thesis: If people can’t trust the institutions they have relied on to enforce the laws and administer the justice system fairly, impartially, honestly and diligently, they will start their own institutions to do it for themselves.

Corolary: This is usually an extraordinarily ugly thing. See also: The Mafia, the Provos, the various Lebanese militias, Salvadoran and Argentinean and other nations’ “death squads” of the left and right.

Observation: we are having trouble trusting our institutions to administer justice fairly, impartially, honestly and diligently.

Exhibit 1: young woman notes the FBI slow-rolled the investigation of famous man who abused her horribly at age 15 – and then allegedly lied about her statements:

Bear in mind, Ms. Maroney is at least a C-list celebrity – the crowd who can usually count on some name recognition to deter the worst abuses. If FBI handles the case of someone with name recognition, a public profile and a photo with Barack Obama on her resume, what can the average schnook expect?

Exhibit 2: 49 people may have died because the FBI didn’t want to lose an informant:

Exhibit 3: As noted in the Tweet above, the FBI was alleged to have shaken and baked the “plot” to kidnap Michigan Governor Whitmer to fluff up their “oncoming wave of white nationalist terror” meme.

In this case, it seems there are some limits even the FBI won’t transgress

…that we know of.

If the people can’t trust their institutions to administer the justice system fairly, impartially, honestly and diligently…

…what, then?

I don’t want to keep seeing the same hands.

Selective

Iowa governor Kim Reynolds’s approval rating has been moving up well into positive territory.

Current polls in the Des Moines register show 53% of Iowans approve of her job, while 43 do not – which, at +10, pretty decent ratio in this very polarized society.

The article in the Des Moines Register is actually fairly comprehensive about reporting the story.

With one exception.

Go ahead, read it.

In what paragraph this very favorable story is the governors party mentioned?

Answer below the jump.

Continue reading

What A Difference A Little Access To Power Makes

Senator Melisa Lopez Franzen took what some called a “brave” stance in going after the perps in a sexual harassment scandal at the MN STate Capitol earlier this year.

A Senate staffer, Cynthia Callais, reported being harassed by a Legislative staff manager who happened to be related to Senator Jason Isaacson, a prominent DFLer.

The fracas led to the resignation of Susan Kent from her Senate Minority Leader role, and her announcement she wasn’t going to run again – potentially opening a seat for a GOP challenger, but that’s another story.

So Lopez Franzen just got elected to Kent’s old position.

And look who’s BFFs:

It’s not about justice, for women or anyone else. It’s about power – personal, and partisan.

A Small Victory

Half of our society is figuring it out:

Lots of ground to make up.

But it’s a start.

Urban Progressive Privilege:Somebody Else’s Neighborhood

Saint Paul progressives are all about high density housing and development.

In the Midway. Or out on the East Side. Or all up and down University Avenue.

Not, you know, where they live:

Neighbors who rallied together under the title “Friends of A Better Way St. Paul” had said the St. Paul Planning Commission had mishandled a series of zoning variances related to the height and density of the proposed structure, which would span 80 residential apartments and four restaurant-ready commercial spaces at ground level.

Fearless prediction: the development gets built, but only after the city spends enough on fighting the court case against the well-heeled neighborhood to have hired 200 cops.

What The In Crowd Knows

A tale as old as time:

Dominant liberal culture is, if nothing else, fiercely rule-abiding: they get very upset when they see anyone defying decrees from authorities, even if the rule-breaker is the official who promulgated the directives for everyone else. 

While I appreciate the willingness of Glenn Greenwald, a man of the Left, to call out the hypocrisy of our Ruling Class, this observation isn’t quite right, actually. Dominant liberal culture is all about rule promulgation, not necessarily personally abiding by rules. As time goes on, the pretense fades, and why wouldn’t it? Nothing ever happens to the Ruling Class.

Dobie Gray, a more perceptive social critic than our man Greenwald, was all over this way back in ’65:

I’m in with the in crowd
I go where the in crowd goes
I’m in with the in crowd
And I know what the in crowd knows
Any time of the year, don’t you hear?
Dressin’ fine, makin’ time
We breeze up and down the street
We get respect from the people we meet
They make way day or night
They know the in crowd is out of sight

Back in ’65, the term “out of sight” roughly meant cool, fashionable, au courant, like that. Some 56 years later, out of sight has a more conventional meaning: in the shadows, behind the curtain, holed up in nondescript office buildings in and around the Beltway. Our in crowd is an industrious lot, and they keep coming up with more rules at all times, whether our Congresscritters weigh in or not.

Any time of the year, don’t you hear? Mocking fools, making rules

But many of our fellow citizens don’t hear, nor are they listening. Instead, we all hear our animatronic Leader of the Free World as he is sent out to joust with the Teleprompter.

We make every minute count
Our share is always the biggest amount
Other guys imitate us
But the original’s still the greatest

Just ask them. If you can identify them.

 

 

 

Congratulations, Gavin Newsom

To: Gavin Newsom, Premier of California
From: Mitch Berg, Obstreporous Peasant
Re: Congratulations

Governor Newsom,

In a state dominated 2:1 by registered voters from your party, you evaded being recalled by a 7:4 margin.

After outspending the initiative by 5:1, with the united efforts of an in-the-bag media and a full turnout of the national social nomenklatura, in a vote that still saw your support among Latinos erode still further.

Sleep tight, Democrats.

That is all.

We Interrupt…

…the frat bros and sorority sisters of Big Left fist-bumping each other over Gavin Newsom winning the recall (after outspending the opposition 5-1) to point out that the ongoing Prog pipe dream of a “Blue Texas” seems to be slipping away as we speak.

Texas Monthly stated that much of the problem is the Democrat party’s assumption that Hispanic voters would default to voting Democrat as the left considers itself the party of the minority. This is increasingly proving to be a hubristic stance by the left, and Hispanic voters, Texans in particular, are teaching them not to take them for granted:

“Banking on an identity-based appeal, Democrats last year trotted out the sort of bilingual messaging in South Texas that has played well among Mexican Americans in Los Angeles and Puerto Ricans in New York, focused on a celebration of diversity and immigration. Republicans, by contrast, recognized that Hispanic South Texans share many of the same values as non-Hispanic white voters elsewhere in Texas and swept in with a pitch about defending gun rights, promoting the oil and gas industry, restricting abortion, and supporting law enforcement. Republicans proved more persuasive.”

Of course, this is the Great Sort in action.

But if there’s a state the GOP – and whatever future conservatism has at the national level, in whatever form – needs to hold, it’s Texas.

The Praetorians

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Our last defense against liberal tyranny has always been the military. They won’t fire on us, they are us, the military think the way we do.
Not anymore. In a couple of years, the new officers trained under the new regime will be in the field commanding troops. Either we will see officers leading troops against Americans, or a massive surge of fragging. Neither is good for the nation.
Joe Doakes

The US military has over 20 years of constant warfare become one of America’s most respected institutions.

For the past 40 years or so, Americans have trusted it to be the last, best defense against tyranny, whether imposed from abroad or within.

I think Joe may be a tad Pollyanna-ish: The flag rank officers who came up through the upper field grades under the Obama administration, reflect in the politics of that era.

Our founding fathers were right to be nervous of the standing military. I’m hoping we don’t we don’t find out exactly how right they were in the near future.

Being Locked Down And Nothingness, Part II

As I pointed out yesterday, I didn’t have a lot of personal sturm und drang during the “lockdown”. Life changed, of course – but I don’t think I especially did.

I was listening to an NPR science show a few weeks back. It discussed new discoveries about the interconnectedness of pleasure and pain – literal pleasure and pain,, in this case, and their role in addiction.

Doing something pleasurable triggers a jolt of dopamine – which is pleasant, and makes you happy. Doesn’t matter what the pleasure impulse is – a small victory, a shot of bourbon, sex, a good TV show, it all triggers dopamine. Of course, there’s an inner pendulum of sorts – as the body experiences pleasure, it pushes back, so the pleasure is followed by nearly equal, nearly opposite pain. Sugar is followed by crash; Big victory is followed by “so, what’s next?”.

One of the article’s many points was that humans have more stimuli for dopamine now than ever before; 24/7 entertainment, smart phones, porn on demand, drugs from caffeine to Fentanyl and everything in between. Humans aren’t built for all the pleasure modern times presents them; eveolutionariliy, everyone in the world is a virtual Norwegian Bachelor Farmer, expecting an aescetic life.

And this past 19 months have stripped away a lot of the stimulation people used to get – and made some of the more transient ones, video games and cell phones and the like – old hat. Buzzes get old; to quote the great psychiatrist Axl Rose, “I used to do a little but a little didn’t do it, so a little got more and more”.

And “creatives”, I think, are much more addicted to more dopamine, more need for stimulus and variation, than most.

And those are the ones writing the extended laments of the misery of thjis past two years.