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Saturday, July 30, 2022

Latvians: Now Less Gassy

 


Friends, if there's one thing that has characterized the Russia-Ukraine war so far, it's escalation.  That's true of the fighting on the ground, and of the rhetoric and sanctions flying between east and west.  Now, Russia is cutting off Latvia from all gas supplies, and it's throttling gas deliveries to all of Europe to boot.  When will someone see sense and step back from the brink?


https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2022/07/30/sanctions-war-russia-cuts-off-gas-supply-to-latvia/

 

In other news, the experts are trying hard to find good news for Democrats in recent polling -- much of it manipulated to produce only good news to begin with -- but objective factors make it highly unlikely that we'll see even a "small blue wave" in November.  The best the Dems can hope for, in my humble opinion, is a minimal thrashing and to hold on to the Senate.

 

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/midterm-misery-biden-key-economy-111529922.html 

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Back to the Future?

 


Friends, the biggest news today by far, although as usual most of the MSM won't mention it, is that a new political party is forming, "the Forward Party", partly the brainchild of iconoclast Andrew Yang.  The party is supposed to be practical and centrist and is meant to challenge the dominance of the ossified Democratic and Republican parties.  True, many Americans are looking for political alternatives and there's probably never been a time when confidence in existing institutions was lower.  On the other hand, third parties have an almost-perfect track record in this country of failing to enjoy genuine electoral success, although they do sometimes play the role of spoilers.  Ross Perot comes to mind, and Ralph Nader in 2000, who as the Green Party candidate probably sunk Al Gore.  Democrats are especially nervous about the Forward Party, and they should be, because Democratic voters tend to be less disciplined and less motivated.  Can Trump win a head-to-head matchup with Joe Biden, or Gavin Newsom, or Pete Buttigieg, or Hillary Clinton?  You betcha, but it's far from a sure thing, given Trump's high negatives.  Can Trump win a three-way race, on the other hand?  Without a doubt.  He can get to 45, 46, or 47% all day long.  He could therefore "pull a Boris" in 2024 and win handily, despite earning less than 50% of the popular vote.  So, in a nutshell, the Forward Party has my full and unqualified support!  I hope the Greens make a comeback too.  The more, the merrier!


https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/former-republican-democratic-officials-launch-new-political-party-rcna40378

 

If you haven't heard yet, we've now had two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.  Normally, that's called a "recession", but, since a Democrat is in office, we're going to use less offensive terminology, naturally.  It's a "slowdown" perhaps -- maybe even a "bump in the road" -- but not a recession.  Heaven forbid!  The funny thing is that the Dems think they can escape the political consequences of a slumping economy with their self-serving word games.  They're adorable, aren't they???


https://www.cnbc.com/2022/07/28/gdp-q2-.html

 

Higher mortgage rates are proving problematic for the housing market, unsurprisingly.  It will be fascinating to see how low housing prices go.  I've long believed they've been defying gravity.  In a sense, a correction was inevitable.

 

https://www.axios.com/2022/07/28/housing-slowdown-mortgage-rates-jump 


Finally, what is "heroism" these days?  Why, it's doing whatever the Western elite tells you to, while flexing your biceps for Vogue!  I hope Zelensky enjoys the plaudits, because he and his countrymen may have very little else to celebrate by year's end, if Russia gets its act together, which Russia has a nasty habit of doing.


https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2022/07/28/social-media-mocks-ukraines-zelensky-over-vogue-cover-shoot/

A Messiah He Is Not

 


Friends, my latest article concludes that Elon Musk is a neat guy, to a point, but his failure to secure the future of free speech on the internet comes as no great surprise, and his failure to make the world safe for conservatives was wholly predictable, since he never was "one of us" to begin with.  Check out my analysis and see if you don't agree:


Elon Musk Is Not Your Savior


Conservatives may have noticed the recent spat between Donald Trump and Elon Musk. Trump called Musk a “bullshit artist”, and Musk replied that it was time for Trump to “sail into the sunset”.

But Trump has a point. Remember how Musk was supposed to save free speech on the internet by buying Twitter for $44 billion and sending the Twitter censors packing? Now, he's backing out of the deal, allegedly because of doubts about the number of human customers Twitter has, as opposed to “bots”. Many suspect, however, that the original $44 billion price tag now looks absurdly high, given that tech stocks have been hammered in recent months, and Musk is actually trying to save himself some money by renegotiating. Another distinct possibility is that Musk has taken note of the Left's fury – and the pique of many of his virtue-signaling customers (a lot of CNN viewers drive Teslas) – and thus decided that remaking social media along libertarian lines wasn't worth the hassle.

In any case, Musk's retreat on the Twitter front has left many conservatives crestfallen, because it will mean that in the short term, and probably the long term, all major social media companies will remain in the hands of woke ideologues committed to “curating” the internet and purging it of dissent, including principled conservatism.

Thanks a lot, Elon!

There were always compelling reasons to doubt Musk's bona fides as the savior of free speech, however, and suggestions that he was a “conservative” were simply delusional.

Musk admits that he's never voted for a Republican before this year. He's described himself as a “socialist”, and, true to form, the business model of the world's richest man is heavily dependent on government subsidies, tax breaks, and contracts.

Musk is a fervent advocate of climate alarmism, since it helps to justify government support of “green energy” projects like his electric cars. Musk is also deeply committed to expanding his business operations in China, and he has thus lavishly (if cynically?) praised the dictatorial regime of the Chinese Communist Party.

Musk has generally parroted the Left's agenda on social issues too, and he's lived an “alternative lifestyle” himself, fathering ten children with three separate women, with three of those children born within a month of one another in late 2021! Musk's idea of “traditional family values” consists of naming a recent son X, and a daughter Y. Father knows best, indeed!

You have to hand it to Musk, though. He practices what he preaches. He's said that “a collapsing birth rate is the biggest danger civilization faces”. That must be why he recently visited a famous Berlin sex club wearing a Zorro mask. Practice makes perfect, right? I mean, unless he spent his time there workshopping a new platform for the GOP. Seems unlikely, though.

All in all, Musk is a sometimes brilliant and visionary egomaniac, a ruthless and wildly successful businessman, and an intriguing celebrity with a unique backstory and a tendency to express himself freely and without concern for what anyone else thinks (and a healthy respect for others who dare to be different). All of this makes Musk an occasionally sympathetic figure for conservatives, who, like Musk, are outsiders disdained by the woke elite. None of this, however, makes Musk a conservative, per se, and there's certainly nothing in his background that would suggest, in any way, shape, or form, that his dedication to conservative, constitutional principles can compete with his vanity or his desire to make money.

In other words, conservatives, Republicans, and Trumpers, if you're looking for a man to make the world safe for right-wingers again, don't pin your hopes on Elon Musk. He's about as likely to persuade Twitter to un-censor you as he is to build a city on Mars (which is also, naturally, on his to-do list).

If you're in the market for a Savior, then, get out the Good Book and start reading. Musk will disappoint you 99% of the time. God has a much better track record.


Dr. Nicholas L. Waddy is an Associate Professor of History at SUNY Alfred and blogs at: www.waddyisright.com. He appears on the Newsmaker Show on WLEA 1480/106.9.

 

And here it is at American Greatness:  

 

https://amgreatness.com/2022/07/25/elon-musk-is-still-not-your-savior/ 


***


In other news, the Fed has raised interest rates yet again, in a series of moves designed to bring inflation under control -- at the risk of increasing the chances of a recession (which may already be underway).


https://www.cnbc.com/2022/07/27/fed-decision-july-2022-.html

 

Did the Trump administration try to provide National Guard troops to protect the Capitol on January 6th, 2021?  It sure looks that way, and the Capitol Police and the D.C. Police rebuffed those offers of federal support.  Why?  They were more afraid of the perception of the "militarization" of the election certification process than they were of violent protestors.  I find that entirely believable.  Leftists frequently view policemen and soldiers as "jack-booted thugs", and the security officials who made the key decisions leading up to January 6th would have been sensitive to Democrats'/progressives' paranoia.  Remember, there was also a lot of talk before January 6th about Trump staging a "coup".  Beltway insiders might have been afraid that National Guard troops would be acting in Trump's interests, and not in the interests of law and order -- and therefore they would have wanted to keep the feds away from the Capitol.  Makes perfect sense.


https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/capitol-national-guard-security/2022/07/26/id/1080453/

 

Finally, the enigmatic Joe Manchin now seems willing to back corporate tax hikes and significant new spending on "green energy" and prescription drugs.  Why the change of heart?  Who knows.  If the Dems think they can buy the gratitude of the American people this November, however, I confidently predict that they will be sorely disappointed.  In fact, more spending might fuel inflation, which will only dig the Dems' hole a tad deeper...

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-62328875 

Monday, July 25, 2022

Pretty Please, Joe -- Don't Run!

 


Friends, the avalanche of helpful advice flowing from the Left to Joe Biden keeps growing, most of it calculated to avert a Biden reelection bid.  Dems aren't outright attacking Biden (yet).  They're trying to nudge him gingerly in the direction of retirement...for his own good, so they say.  This article takes the cake.  It purports to argue that no one should ever want a second term as president, because second terms are sooooo lame.  Uh huh.


https://washingtonmonthly.com/2022/07/25/dont-run-joe-second-terms-suck/

 

In other news, check out this Los Angeles Times editorial, suggesting that Donald Trump should be charged with "crimes against the United States".  The article goes on to suggest that Trump is guilty of fraud and "conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding".  Both charges would amount to utter nonsense -- Trump's only crime was in exercising his free speech rights as a sore loser -- but one can't entirely dismiss the possibility that the DOJ would prosecute, or that a stacked jury might convict.  Then again, the Dems seem to want Trump to run in 2024, because they think he would be easy to defeat.  That would be hard to do from a jail cell, no?

 

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2022-07-24/prosecute-trump-criminal-charges-jan-6 


Russia is toggling gas supplies to Europe lower, yet again, and it's hard to imagine that this isn't meant to send a political/economic message.  Will Europe buckle under?  We shall see.  Enthusiasm for the endless fighting in Ukraine is certainly ebbing.


https://www.bbc.com/news/business-62291458

 

Finally, in another instance of establishment wish fulfillment, just as they imagine that, any day now, DJT will be breaking rocks in a federal prison, they've also persuaded themselves that by 2024 the GOP will have seen the error of its ways and will make Liz Cheney its standard-bearer!  Not likely, folks.  On the other hand, a Cheney run for the presidency in 2024 as the "Never Trump" candidate or as an independent is feasible, and personally I would love to see it.  The more divided the field is, the better Trump's chances of victory.  He probably ain't getting to 50% of the popular vote.  If he can win with 45%, so much the better.

 

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/07/25/establishment-media-repurpose-liz-cheney-2024/ 

Friday, July 22, 2022

Nothing to See Here

 


Friends, yesterday, Lee Zeldin, the Republican candidate for Governor of New York, was attacked by a man at a campaign rally.  The assailant tried to stab (and kill?) Zeldin, and today, the mainstream media is hard at work...burying the story.  Maybe, just maybe, if the attacker had succeeded, and had brandished Zeldin's severed head for the cameras, CNN and MSNBC would have covered the incident.  I mean, a severed head is always good for ratings...  But a mere life-threatening attack, presumptively perpetrated by a leftist who hated Zeldin?  Nah, that's not news.  It doesn't fit the narrative.  What narrative am I referring to?  The one that says that "right-wingers" are dangerous, violent, and hate-filled, while leftists are sweet as pie.  The hypocrisy here, given the media's incessant caterwauling about January 6th, which in the vast majority of instances amounted to trespassing at worst, is palpable.  Oh well.  We're used to it.


https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/07/22/nolte-alleged-lee-zeldin-attacker-already-released-without-bail/

 

In other news, the economy is performing...worse than expected, and expectations were already pretty glum.  Recession, here we come!

 

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/us-business-activity-contracts-in-july-for-first-time-in-2-years-survey-shows/ar-AAZRn9l?fromMaestro=true 

Thursday, July 21, 2022

The Dems Are Turning On Each Other -- With A Purpose

 


Friends, there's nothing we conservatives enjoy more than a good leftist circular firing squad.  Why not let the Bolshies do our work for us?  Alas, the Left's penchant for self-immolation isn't all for our amusement.  Sometimes they burn off the chaff and what remains is surprisingly serviceable.  My latest article suggests that prominent Dems are increasingly turning on Joe Biden, but that we right-wingers shouldn't necessarily celebrate, because their project of self-reinvention might actually work.


Read all about it at Townhall:


https://townhall.com/columnists/nicholaswaddy/2022/07/21/robert-reich-says-the-left-needs-another-great-purge-n2610599

 

***

 

In other news, President Biden has cancer -- presumably brain cancer, since he doesn't actually have cancer, but thinks he does.

 

https://nypost.com/2022/07/20/joe-biden-says-he-has-cancer-in-possible-gaffe/ 


He does have COVID, at least if you believe those COVID tests, which are frequently wrong.  I hope he doesn't develop any COVID-related brain fog.  That would be truly tragic.


https://apnews.com/article/biden-covid-health-karine-jean-pierre-government-and-politics-d9dbee6cc390f648396c46dd504c31c3

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Sweltering, Are We?

 


Friends, no doubt you've seen and heard the latest from the virtue-signaling elitists on climate change: the "world is on fire" (!!!), and it's your fault, because of that Chevy Suburban you rented for a road trip to Sioux Falls back in '87.  On this week's Newsmaker Show, I confront the climate alarmists head on.  I don't deny that climate change is real, but I argue that its effects need to be interpreted in a more balanced and realistic way.  A slightly warmer planet isn't a planet that will cease to sustain any and all life, much as the climate change ideologues would love to make you believe that it is.  Once we dispense with climate fanaticism, Brian and I also tackle "President" Biden's senility tour in Israel and Saudi Arabia, which seems to have convinced more than a few Dems that it's time for him to pass the torch to someone still capable of holding it upright.  We also discuss Vladimir Putin's trip to Iran, and what it means for the future of global affairs and Western dominance (such as it is).  We conclude with further discussion of the machinations of the January 6th committee, the parliamentary gymnastics of Mitch McConnell, the future of NATO, and what the agenda of a Republican House of Representatives should be, starting in January 2023.


Man, oh man!  We didn't even have time for "This Day in History".  That's how action-packed this week's show was...


Tune in today!


https://wlea.net/newsmaker-july-20-2022-dr-nick-waddy/

 

***

 

Here's an article that presents compelling evidence that "climate change" is less than apocalyptic.  Judge for yourself:

 

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2022/07/20/the_climate_agenda_is_whats_melting__147922.html 


Well, Boris Johnson has given his last speech as P.M., and apparently he thinks his legacy will be defined by his pandemic fascism and his up-to-the-hilt advocacy of Ukraine's cause.  Now I'm convinced: it was high time for him to go!!!


https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/boris-johnson-farewell/2022/07/20/id/1079581/

 

And, in yet another sign that the economy is wobbling, the demand for mortgages has sunk to a 22-year low.  Given the importance of the housing market, and the fact that mortgage rates are destined to rise considerably higher, the future looks mighty bleak!


https://www.breitbart.com/economy/2022/07/20/mortgage-demand-falls-to-lowest-level-since-2000/ 

Monday, July 18, 2022

Grumpy Old Men

 


Friends, today's column by Robert Reich is historic.  He specifically comes out against a Biden run for reelection in 2024.  That's very significant (to me), because Reich is a mouthpiece for the Democratic establishment.  He feeds red meat to the leftist base on a regular basis -- that's his thing -- but it's all red meat inspected and approved by the white-jacketed experts at DNC headquarters.  Reich's article advising Biden not to run again actually says startingly little about Biden himself.  Reich is trying to give the old man a way to leave the scene with his dignity intact, and no doubt he fears the wrath of leftists who might see his article as a betrayal.  Be that as it may, Reich is on the record: Biden shouldn't run again.  Those voices seem to be proliferating every day.  And the Dems haven't even faced the voters yet!  When that happens, in November, expect the pressure on Biden to escalate to undreamed-of heights...


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jul/17/as-a-76-year-old-let-me-say-joe-biden-is-too-old-to-run-again

 

And here's a story that you'll see virtually nothing of in the mainstream media.  An armed civilian stopped a mass shooter in his tracks in Indiana.  Could the answer to guns in the hands of the wrong people be...guns in the hands of the right people?  Heavens, no!  That's icky!  Unless, I guess, the "right people" are Ukrainian, in which case we should arm them to the teeth...

 

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/gunman-kills-three-in-indiana-mall-before-being-shot-by-armed-bystander/ar-AAZGkOI 

Saturday, July 16, 2022

The Border That Wasn't

 


Friends, while the Dems wring their hands and clutch their pearls re: the great "insurrection" of '21, Americans with their feet on the ground are worrying about real problems like inflation, crime, and illegal immigration.  That's right -- I said "illegal".  This CBS News article is filled with useful info and statistics about the current wave of migrants, but they prefer the term "unlawful" to "illegal".  It's a little softer and less...racist, I guess.  It still walks right up to the line of suggesting that, kinda sorta, not every single one of these migrants is a gift from God to the good ole USA.  Slightly heartening is the fact that even the Biden administration is deporting some migrants, although it's letting in a boatload, and presumably many of those expelled simply try, try again.  Oh well.  It was nice having laws and borders while it lasted.  It was nice having a currency too.  Nothing lasts forever!


https://www.cbsnews.com/news/despite-decrease-unlawful-crossings-along-u-s-mexico-border-set-a-record-for-june/

 

The Rod Squad may still be clinging to hope, but based on her own actions -- avoiding her home state during election season in favor of hobnobbing with the Beltway elite -- Liz Cheney has seen the writing on the wall and knows she's going to lose the Republican primary in about a month.  That's baked in at this stage.  What's more interesting is this question: what will Cheney do after she loses?  Will she run as an independent?  Has the Biden administration got a golden parachute ready for her (ambassador to Bhutan, perhaps)?  Will CNN give her a primetime show?  I can't wait to find out...


https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/07/16/liz-cheney-going-get-beat-wyoming-primary-race/

 

Does Dr. Waddy have any profound and quotable thoughts on the problems of inflation and food insecurity in the U.S., you ask?  Of course he does!  Check out this Sputnik News article:

 

https://sputniknews.com/20220716/observers-food-bank-shortages-indicate-bidens-economic-failure-midterms-to-be-moment-of-truth-1097382140.html?fbclid=IwAR3FofvOYJOi4vcVNtIkwJQWIhz8eYuUym4bblB2UDDXVHBLQ5t-HpE2V0s 

 

Finally, the race for the premiership in the U.K. is heating up, and I can't say any of the contenders excite me much.  Are there any Trump relations left in Scotland?  Maybe they could ride to the rescue...

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-62186878 

Friday, July 15, 2022

A Bump Too Far?

 


Friends, as you know, I approve of friendly relations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.  I mean, we lost the Shah, so cuddling up to some Saudi royals is a simple necessity these days.  There's an argument to be made, though, that Biden's fist bump with the Saudi crown prince, who is widely believed to have authorized a brutal murder in 2018, was an excessive demonstration of bonhomie.  That is, why not show a little dignity and reserve and shake the man's hand instead?  Maybe because Biden is so "hip"?  Maybe because hand-shaking spreads COVID?  Maybe because Biden has the manual grip strength of a malnourished toddler?  I don't know the answer, but I do question Biden's judgement.  Let's face it: even FDR had the good sense not to fist bump Uncle Joe Stalin.  Think before you bump, Sleepy Joe!


https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/joe-biden-mohammed-bin-salman-fist-bump/2022/07/15/id/1078968/

 

In other news, want to "save democracy"?  Who doesn't.  Consider that the foundation of democracy is pluralism, and you can't have pluralism without respectful and lawful dialogue between people of varying views.  In other words, try talking to someone who thinks differently than you do, and, as this article suggests, try listening to them rather than berating them.  You might learn something!

 

https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/commentary/politics-discussions-students-democracy-20220714.html 


Speaking of democracy, I mentioned yesterday that there was lots of good news on that front, with many states taking steps to improve election integrity.  Pennsylvania's new law that criminalizes the private funding of elections is a giant leap forward, and I'm especially heartened by the fact that it was signed by the state's Democratic Governor.  Even he sees the writing on the wall.


https://thefederalist.com/2022/07/14/pennsylvania-outlaws-zuckbucks-ahead-of-midterm-elections/

 

Does climate change, which used to be called "global warming", portend the death of us all?  I mean, it could, assuming you find an 80 degree day comfortable, but an 82 degree day causes instant, agonizing death 100% of the time...  Climate anxiety is largely a question of perception, and there are a lot of people trying to alter your perceptions on a constant basis, as we all know.  Be on guard!

 

https://raheemkassam.substack.com/p/red-is-the-new-yellow 


What would America be like if it became one big progressive utopia, like, say, California?  Well, one thing's for sure: housing, which is already expensive, would be even more so.  Lefties love to make it hard to build houses (think of the spotted owls, people!), and they invariably drive up housing prices, which benefits the wealthy, who already have masses of housing equity, and hurts the poor and the working class.  But don't worry: the Dems have a plan for that...  Print more money!  Voila!  Problem solved.


https://justthenews.com/nation/states/center-square/report-california-has-most-severe-housing-deficit-nation

Thursday, July 14, 2022

The Rules of the Game

 


Friends, whoever the Republican nominee in 2024 turns out to be (gee, I wonder...), it's critical that he (or she) should have a fair chance to win.  In other words, the ground rules for the election shouldn't artificially favor any candidate, and those ground rules should be followed to the letter.  That certainly wasn't the case in 2020, as you'll read below (and Mr. Adams only scratches the surface).  Things are looking much better for 2022 and beyond.  That's because state courts are standing up to leftist attempts to rejigger our election infrastructure to favor Democrats, and state legislatures are closing loopholes and cracking down on the use of private money to fund our boards of election.  By and large, our state-level election laws are already written in a way that locks the system down and prevents fraud.  The problem is that, in the context of the COVID pandemic, Dems and their fellow travelers felt empowered to ignore those laws.  There's ample reason to believe they won't get away with that again, and, if they try it, we now have a Supreme Court that may slap them down.  SCOTUS doesn't like overturning elections once they've happened -- that much is clear -- but that doesn't mean it won't intervene before the fact to ensure that those elections are conducted fairly.  Fingers crossed!


https://thefederalist.com/2022/07/14/courts-squash-democrats-most-secure-election-lie-swing-states-didnt-follow-their-own-election-laws-in-2020/

 

Speaking of 2024, the tea leaves are settling in such a way that it's getting harder and harder to deny that DJT is very likely to run, and extremely likely to win the Republican nomination.  Now, if he announces before November, Trump mania could upend the midterms (although personally I suspect the dynamics wouldn't shift that much -- the Dems are going to run against Trump either way).  Now, the Dems keep telling us that Trump will be wearing an orange jumpsuit any day now!  Really and truly!  Uh huh.  That could have quite an impact...but only if the Dems know what they're talking about, which is always doubtful.

 

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/3559279-trump-says-hes-made-up-his-mind-about-2024-big-decision-is-if-announcement-is-before-or-after-midterms/ 


Finally, as you all know, the GOP is heavily favored to take the House in November, but not necessarily the Senate.  Sean Trende says that a Republican Senate is still more likely than not, based on historical...well, trends, which are Trende's cup of tea.  I'm inclined to agree.


https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2022/07/13/gop_likely_to_take_senate_but_its_far_from_a_lock_147883.html

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend

 


Friends, you surely won't want to miss this week's Newsmaker Show, starring Yours Truly.  That's because we cover all the hottest topics, including President Biden's controversial trip to Saudi Arabia, the rise of China and India, the persistent infatuation that most Republicans have with Donald J. Trump, the continuing woes of the Democrats in terms of polling for the midterms, and more!


When we get to "This Day in History", Brian and I discuss the Battle of Kursk and the primacy of the Eastern Front in WWII, George Wallace and once-diverse Democratic Party, and the momentous career of Lee Iacocca.


Wow!  It's like my knowledge of the world and its problems is practically encyclopedic.  That's reason enough to tune in, I'd say...


https://wlea.net/newsmaker-july-13-2022-dr-nick-waddy/

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Russia: More Feeble Than Fearsome?

 


Friends, check out my most recent article, which argues that the U.S./Western obsession with confronting Russia, when China and India are looming much larger as potential future adversaries (or allies?), is a sign of abject foolishness and self-delusion.


The West's Radar Screens Are Tuned to Find Russian Bears and Very Little Else


This week brought news that few Americans will ever hear, because few American news editors will have the imagination to report on it, but which will nonetheless lastingly alter the global balance of power and the arc of world history. The U.N. reports that soon – next year – India will overtake China as the world's most populous country. Both countries will have roughly 1.4 billion inhabitants, compared to just 330 million in the U.S.

There are several reasons why this headline ought to fill Americans with equal parts awe and dread. One is that America, and the West, are currently engaged in a bitter proxy war with Russia, and the Western media and security infrastructure are therefore predictably fixated on addressing threats, both real and imagined, that emanate from the regime of Vladimir Putin.

The simple fact, however, is that Russia has a population of just 147 million. Its economy, even measured according to the more generous PPP (purchasing power parity) methodology, is less than 20% the size of America's. If one were to compare Russia to the combined population, wealth, and industrial resources of NATO, then, Russia is a mere pipsqueak. No surprise, therefore, that the Russian military is struggling to wrestle even a minor power like Ukraine into submission.

The lesson here is, first, that the only way Russia could ever win a conflict with NATO is if NATO countries were too cowardly to fight back (a depressingly realistic prospect, mind you); and, two, Russia is completely incapable of sustaining the role of long-term strategic rival to any of the world's current first-rate powers, including us. Russia is a loose cannon, yes, but it is an obsolete, undersized, poorly aimed cannon, more likely to explode in Putin's face than in ours.

The pusillanimity of the Western elite in the face of China's rise, and despite China's brazen disrespect for international law and global norms, is well known by now. President Biden's mumbled assurances to Taiwan aside, there is little evidence that any Western country has the moxie to upbraid China verbally, much less to take the hard-headed decisions that would be necessary to contain China militarily, diplomatically, economically, or otherwise. Are we ready, then, to tackle the Chinese dragon, should it rear its ugly head in the mid-21st century? Not remotely.

What's more disheartening, however, is that another country, India, has plotted a similar ascent, and Western academics, corporate leaders, journalists, and politicians have barely noticed. India's progress since the early 1990s has been extraordinary, increasing the per capita income of Indians in PPP terms roughly eightfold. India's GDP is now around $12 trillion, half that of the U.S. and climbing quickly. India is, moreover, a functioning democracy with a history of conflict with communist China – seemingly, therefore, an ideal candidate for an alliance with the West aimed at containing future Chinese aggression. India, however, has seen little reason to hitch its wagon to the West's fading star. In fact, in the context of NATO's proxy war in Ukraine, India has actually strengthened its economic ties with Russia – sensing that there is money to be made in the short term, and there is also no discernible Western appetite for butting heads, beyond the current fashion for arms shipments and virtue signaling vis-à-vis Ukraine. India seems to realize that the West's bark is a thousand times worse than its bite.

This leaves us, the United States of America, in a depressingly isolated and steadily weakening position. Two rising great powers, China and India, and one decaying 20th century superpower, Russia, are circling coyly around one another, trying to decide the constellation of forces, friendships, and feuds that will decide the fate of the world in the 21st century. The West, meanwhile, mired in its ossified, Cold War mentality, seems hellbent on projecting its own dwindling might into Eastern Europe, so it can contain an expected Russian armored thrust into Central Europe that, to be sure, seemed plausible in 1949, but looks, to any rational observer, downright fanciful in 2022.

Or, to put it another way, we in the West seem determined to stick our heads in the sand, as the world moves further and further beyond us, and as new powers rise and flex their muscles, some of which we barely recognize, and none of which our bumbling schoolchildren could find on a map.

It's hard to escape the conclusion that, as the West fades into self-imposed irrelevance, the world might actually be better off. That's because at least a few of the powers and leaders that usurp us might have the good sense to see the world for what it is, instead of what the Western ruling elite wishes it to be.


Dr. Nicholas L. Waddy is an Associate Professor of History at SUNY Alfred and blogs at: www.waddyisright.com. He appears on the Newsmaker Show on WLEA 1480/106.9.

 

And here it is at American Greatness:

 

https://amgreatness.com/2022/07/13/the-wests-radar-screens-are-tuned-to-find-russian-bears-and-very-little-else/ 

 

***

 

But that's not all!  Here's a very intriguing article, by a leftist, about why it's high time that Democrats told the Supreme Court to go screw itself.  The rising contempt that many "progressives" have for the Court is, naturally, predictable, and it may eventually lead to a top-tier Democrat, like President Biden, directly and unambiguously defying the Court and denying its legitimacy.  We'll see.  The other reason the article is interesting, though, is because the author refutes the concept of "judicial review", which, as he points out, does not appear in the Constitution.  The Court arrogated to itself the ultimate say over what's constitutional and what isn't, and I personally have some sympathy for the idea that SCOTUS has overplayed the hand that the Framers dealt it.  Is the Left's current rejection of the Court's powers entirely self-serving?  Sure.  That doesn't mean that all of their arguments will be baseless.  There are, in fact, legitimate questions to be asked about how powerful the Supreme Court ought to be.

 

https://prospect.org/justice/the-case-against-judicial-review/ 


As this article suggests, an enrollment crisis is unfolding in American higher ed, and quite a few colleges and universities may not survive the reckoning that's bearing down on them.  One effect of lower enrollments will surely be, as the article says, that outcomes for graduates will become more significant, and students will become more canny in judging which colleges and which degree programs offer the best value for money.  Another effect, I fear, is that the traditional liberal arts core of American higher ed will be hollowed out, as more and more students demand career-oriented and "practical" education, in lieu of expanding their skills and knowledge base more broadly.  This could be bad news for Western Civ, which is my bread and butter course!


https://www.realcleareducation.com/articles/2022/07/11/college_enrollment_is_down__but_theres_a_silver_lining_110743.html

 

Yet another sign that a recession is impending is record-low optimism among small business owners:

 

https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/small-business-sentiment-plunges-48-year-low-inflation-worries-mount 


Is loyalty to Trump waning in the GOP, because of the incessant screeching of the January 6th committee?  There isn't much polling evidence to support that conclusion.


https://www.newsmax.com/politics/donald-trump-ron-desantis-2024-gop/2022/07/12/id/1078487/

 

Finally, it may not seem like "news", but, thanks to the James Webb space telescope, our understanding of the universe, and our ability to locate habitable worlds in nearby star systems, are both receiving a major upgrade.  Is it time to put a deposit down on a vacation home orbiting Alpha Centauri?  Maybe not, but expect some fascinating advances in astronomy in the years ahead, setting homo sapiens up to become an interstellar phenomenon.

 

https://www.breitbart.com/science/2022/07/12/nasa-unveils-color-images-distant-galaxies-james-webb-space-telescope/ 

Monday, July 11, 2022

From Bad to Worse

 


Friends, the comparisons between the presidencies of Jimmy Carter and Joe Biden keep coming, although arguably all such analogies are grossly insulting...to Jimmy Carter.  But I digress.  Contrary to Dem/lefty expectations that they could turn around bleak public perceptions with a little misdirection, courtesy of the January 6th committee, some conveniently-timed mass shootings, and 170 million plaintive wombs crying out for more abortions, the truth is that the polling numbers for Biden and the Democrats just keep getting worse.  This New York Times article predicts doom for Team Blue, at least in 2022 if not necessarily in 2024.  Public pessmism, in fact, is literally off the charts, historically speaking.  With additional evidence pointing to the onset of a recession, and energy markets buckling, it's hard to see how the Left can alter the script in time to make a difference, although we all know that they'll leave no stone unturned...


https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/bidens-approval-hits-33-percent-democrats-want-2024-options-poll-shows/ar-AAZrdFj?li=BBnb7Kz

 

https://www.breitbart.com/economy/2022/07/11/bank-of-america-slashes-u-s-gdp-forecast-again-1-2/ 


https://www.cnbc.com/2022/07/11/europe-fears-extended-shutdown-as-russia-halts-gas-flows-to-germany.html

 

Under these circumstances, what are the chances that every Democrat's favorite Republican, Liz Cheney, could win a Republican primary in deep red Wyoming?  Not good!!!

 

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/07/11/betting-markets-harriet-hageman-favored-defeat-liz-cheney-92-cents-dollar/ 


Finally, while the West pursues its archaic grudges against Russia, China looms large as a potential future adversary, and India rises inexorably and barely attracts our notice.  I had no idea that India was poised to surpass China in terms of population.  Sad to say, but Russia, China, and India are probably all closer to one another than any of them are to us.  That's probably because our foreign policy is designed by corrupt ignoramuses!

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-62126413 


https://www.breitbart.com/news/world-population-to-top-8-billion-in-november-amid-long-term-slowdown/

Arizona: Breaking Public Schools' Monopoly on K-12 Education

 


Friends, major kudos tonight to the great state of Arizona, where Republicans have passed into law one of the biggest expansions of school choice in American history.  Every public school student in Arizona will be eligible for a $7,000 voucher to cover the cost of a private school education or homeschooling.  If there's one thing -- just one thing -- that politicians could do to brighten the future of this country, it's provide parents with a greater range of choices when it comes to the education of their children, at least if you ask me.  Right now, millions of children are locked into an ossified, bureaucratic public education system that values neo-Marxist indoctrination over learning.  School choice is the best way I can think of to shake up that system -- unless, of course, we were to abolish public education altogether.  Alas, that probably isn't in the cards, so the Arizona approach looks like the best we can do.  I can't wait to see how it pans out...


https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/restoring-america/community-family/how-we-led-the-way-on-school-choice-in-arizona

 

Americans have been impressed by the unity and perseverance displayed by the Ukrainian people in the face of a brutal Russian invasion.  That's fair enough, but that image of unity and perseverance is undergirded by two things: the refusal of the Western media to report any story that conflicts with the approved, pro-Ukrainian narrative, and the refusal of the Ukrainian government and pro-war Ukrainians to tolerate any form of dissent.  In other words, every Ukrainian seems like a bitter enemy of Russia now, but if Russia wins the war we may find that Ukrainian public opinion was always considerably more nuanced.


https://www.theamericanconservative.com/ukraine-bans-political-opposition/

 

Finally, here's an insightful piece about how public opinion can be "led" or manipulated by pollsters.  It's always wise to remember that many ordinary people have rather malleable and "soft" views and are hard therefore to peg either in terms of partisanship or ideology.  Thus, every poll should be taken with a grain of salt, since every pollster's methodology is a little different.

 

https://thefederalist.com/2022/07/08/look-how-even-democrat-opinion-shifts-on-abortion-laws-when-polls-stop-using-leftist-framing/ 

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Russia Gets Its Revenge?

 


Friends, today hearty congrats are due to the glorious Republic of Kazakhstan (the home of fictional character "Borat").  That's because Elena Rybakina, who plays for Kazakhstan, won the women's singles title at Wimbledon.  Needless to say, that's the first time a Kazakh has won Wimbledon.  Kudos!  This is also, however, arguably a moral victory for Russia and the Russian people.  Elena is ethnically Russian, you see, grew up in Russia, and played for Russia until 2018.  Had she still been an officially "Russian" player in 2022, she wouldn't have been allowed to play at Wimbledon, because the All England Club prohibited Russian and Belarusian players from competing this year, to demonstrate its ire at Putin.  Since Elena plays for Kazakhstan, however, she was let in.  There's some small irony, therefore, in the fact that, in the year in which Russians were banned, a Russian seized the coveted trophy!  Of course, tennis isn't political, or at least it needn't be.  Elena played first-rate tennis, and so she won the crown.  Good for her!


https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/wimbledon-rybakina-tennis/2022/07/09/id/1078078/

Friday, July 8, 2022

Fare Thee Well, Boris!

 


Friends, the good news for Boris Johnson is that he'll be able to spend a lot more time with his comb from now on, so there's a good chance that he'll get that mop of flaxen hair under control.  The bad news is that his own party has essentially ejected him from the premiership, and thus Britain will soon choose a new Conservative Prime Minister.  We here at WaddyIsRight take no position on who should succeed Boris, or whether he needed succeeding in the first place, but we express our fervent wish that Britain and the British people will cleave to the ideals of liberty and limited government that used to be the strength of the Anglo-American political tradition.  Moving to the pink-hued "center" of British politics will not save the Conservatives.  Maintaining a steadfast commitment to conservative principles just might.


In other news, Elon Musk's offer to buy Twitter is hanging by a thread, after Musk himself announced that the offer was withdrawn.  The legal haggling (and perhaps the financial negotiations) may be just beginning.  In any case, the deliverance that conservatives had hoped for and believed was at hand on Twitter looks like it might disappear like a wisp of smoke.  I can't say I'm surprised.  The forces that were arrayed in opposition to a liberty-minded social media platform were always immensely strong.


https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/elon-musk-terminates-twitter-acquisition

 

Putin is talking tough on Ukraine, claiming that Russia has only begun to fight, and that Ukraine had better cry uncle soon or else Russia might re-invest Kiev.  Clearly, the momentum in the war has shifted, but this may be idle boasting on Putin's part.  We'll see.  One thing's for sure: the capacity of the Ukrainian people, and of the Russian people, for sacrifice is impressive, and wildly exceeds any such capacity demonstrated by the citizens of NATO countries thus far.

 

https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/russia-ukraine-vladimir-putin-donbas/2022/07/07/id/1077799/ 


Finally, control of the Senate hangs in the balance this November, and it could all come down to a marquee matchup between Herschel Walker and Raphael Warnock in Georgia.  Who could have imagined that the Peach State would be choosing between two black men in a race for the U.S. Senate???  Only in America!


https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/07/08/georgia-poll-herschel-walker-narrowly-leads-democrat-raphael-warnock-senate-race/

Thursday, July 7, 2022

BoJo NoMo?

 


Friends, this week's Newsmaker Show masters the American political scene, as per usual, as we discuss the reemergence of the gun control issue (surprise surprise!), and the declining political fortunes of Joe Biden.  We also, however, take a good look at Boris Johnson's political predicament.  A lot of Conservatives are resigning from his cabinet in an effort to convince him to resign in turn.  So far, no success, but how long can Boris survive the onslaught?


When we get to "This Day in History", Brian and I talk about several weighty issues, such as: Nixon's policy of Vietnamization, Hitler's role in the Holocaust and the character of the Nazi leadership, and the legacy of Sandra Day O'Connor.


What a wide-ranging and stimulating discourse, you say?  Then take the next logical step, and listen in...


https://wlea.net/newsmaker-july-7-2022-dr-nick-waddy/


And here's additional context on Boris Johnson's woes, which seem to be escalating by the day!


https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/boris-johnson-parliament-england/2022/07/06/id/1077595/

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Does Moral Ambiguity Exist in Ukraine?

 


Friends, the Western media's celebration of Ukraine's struggle against the Russian invaders has been emphatic, uncritical, and relentless.  Thus, stories like this one, which show the powers-that-be in Ukraine in an unflattering and ever-so-slightly fascistic light, aren't ones that you're likely to hear about.  It's interesting, therefore, that the remarks referenced below have become such a scandal in Germany...  Draw your own conclusions, but it seems to me that we need to choose our friends carefully, especially when tens of billions of dollars are being spent to underwrite their cause.


https://pjmedia.com/spengler/2022/07/03/auto-draft-4-n1610144

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stepan_Bandera 

Monday, July 4, 2022

Is It Retirement-O'Clock for Joe Biden?

 


Friends, Happy 4th!!!  Despite all that's wrong with our nation (and those who lead it), I hope you'll take time out today to be thankful for all the freedom, prosperity, and plain human decency that we continue to enjoy here.  America is still the place to be!!!


In other news, a pal o' mine has written this piece analyzing the left-wing sharks that are starting to circle the Biden presidency.  None of this is surprising in the least.  An unpopular president, especially one with Biden's personal and political weaknesses, will always attract some onside criticism.  The question is: how hard will it be for progressives and Democrats to convince Biden and his confederates that his day is done?  Biden himself seems mighty oblivious, as you may have noticed!  He could go quietly, or he could go kicking and screaming.  We'll see.


https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2022/07/the-pincer-movement-to-dump-biden-taking-shape.php

 

And, as you may have noticed, the Ukrainian province of Luhansk is now in Russian hands.  The fighting has been of a slow and grinding nature, but there's no question that Russia is advancing and Ukrainians are giving ground.  The standard line in the West is that all this will change when MORE WEAPONS arrive.  You would think by now the Ukrainians would be swimming in NATO-issue weaponry.  Could the Russians exhaust themselves?  Sure.  We also have to confront the possibility that Ukraine's security forces could crumble at some point as well.  And then what?  Probably the best case scenario, from the Western perspective, is that Ukrainians and Russians will slaughter each other for years to come.  At least that's how most Western leaders seem to see it: the whole purpose of this exercise is to attrit those infernal Russkies.  Personally, I'd rather see everyone -- Russian, Ukrainian, and otherwise -- live to see another day...but I always was a bit of a contrarian.

 

https://news.yahoo.com/ukraine-withdraws-battered-lysychansk-city-031101143.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall 

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Handicapping the Midterms

 


Friends, I'm not generally a huge fan of Nate Silver, but his latest analysis of the two parties' chances in November is worth a read.  He's surprisingly candid, and his metrics tell us what we already know: that Republicans are almost certain to take the House, and have a better than 50/50 shot at capturing the Senate too.  What's more, Silver admits that much of the polling now being published is slanted towards the Democrats...so, for instance, a two point average lead for Republicans on the generic ballot question now could easily translate into a five or six point advantage on election day.  To make a long story short, therefore, January 6th and Dobbs haven't moved the needle, and, as of now, the midterms are still our election to lose.


https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-republicans-are-favored-to-win-the-house-but-not-the-senate/

 

Those of you reading the economic tea leaves are probably aware already that signs of a recession keep proliferating.  Someone should tell Nate Silver that a bleak environment for Democrats may be about to get considerably worse!

 

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/07/01/atlanta-fed-gdp-tracker-shows-the-us-economy-is-likely-in-a-recession.html 


Finally, is the GOP still Trump's party?  Well, I guess that depends on who you ask.  If you ask Republicans, the answer would be an emphatic YES!!!  If you ask the mainstream media, you might get a very different perspective.


https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/07/02/trump-towers-over-2024-field-40-point-lead-closest-competitor/