Monday, October 30, 2023

How DARE You???


Friends, a Minnesota Congressman named Dean Phillips (who the heck is he?) has decided to throw caution to the wind and challenge Joe Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2024.  Dem insiders and party hacks are contemptuous, naturally, which is exactly what you'd expect them to be as long as Phillips is behind in the polls.  But -- and it's a big "but" -- the hunger among Democrats and progressives for an alternative to old man Biden is so great that Phillips might just have a chance, or he could cause Biden to stumble and more people to enter the race.  Truth be told, Biden isn't written in stone until the Democratic National Convention chooses him as the presidential nominee, and even then there are some neat tricks that could flip the script.  Remember, it's the electoral college that chooses the president, meaning the electors themselves.  Assuming they're loyal Democrats, they'll vote for whomever the party establishment wants them to.  For now, that's Joe Biden.  A month from now, or a year from now, it could be someone different.  Anyway, the story of how Phillips got to this place is an interesting one, and you can bet your bottom dollar that, from this point on, the Dem hate machine will be working feverishly to discredit and vilify him.  He's a brave man -- and, one suspects, one destined someday soon to work in the private sector, once the ossified Democratic ruling class spits him up and crushes all his hopes and dreams.

In other news, the U.S. and the U.K. are both working hard to set limits on the advance of A.I. technology, which of course many people will support, although to me a lot of the "initiatives" recently announced by the Biden Administration sound like pure fluff.  The main threat that A.I. poses, for now, is that it will make it far easier to mislead the public, and that's an agenda that Joe Biden and most establishment figures wholeheartedly support, although they would never admit it.  My guess is that government won't be the solution to our concerns about A.I. -- it will, instead, be at the very heart of the problem.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Patriotism, Yes -- Patriot Act, No!


Friends, this week's Newsmaker Show reaches back into history to recall our obsession with terrorism in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and our decision to expand the "surveillance state" and curtail civil liberties to deal with the looming threat.  We ask, not surprisingly, whether some of the same mistakes may be repeated now that Hamas has caught Israel napping...

In addition, Brian and I cover many of the hot-button issues in the news today, including the House Speakership controversy (we recorded the interview before Mike Johnson's coup de main), the massive lawsuit targeting Meta for its supposed subversion of kids' "mental health", the social phenomenon of TikTok, the Biden Administration's handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict, and the poor showing of Joe Biden in the polls, even in deep blue NYS.

It's a tour de force as usual, folks!  Don't miss it.




And hearty congrats to our new House Speaker, Representative Mike Johnson of the great state of Louisiana!!!  I don't know much about Mike, but I do know that his first name isn't Hakeem, and that seems like a good sign.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Harken to the Prophet


Friends, Elon Musk, wise man, is warning us that we may be careening towards World War III -- and, what's more, it could be the last war that humans ever fight.  Alternatively, it could be a war that America loses, given the massive changes in the economic/industrial balance of power that have transpired in the last few decades.  Complacency is enemy number one, for the Israelis and for us.

In other news, the progressives' fever dream of EVs for everyone is running up against some very practical constraints and limitations.  It gives one pause, and it makes it hard to believe that this massive transition could be made in the record time that lefties' have in mind.

Monday, October 23, 2023

The X Factor(s)


Friends, two very interesting polls have been released in recent days, which give us our first taste of a Trump-Biden-Kennedy-West matchup.  The upshot of this scenario is that there is zero evidence that Trump performs worse in a four-way race, and some significant evidence that he performs better.  The key, in many ways, is West, who has the ability to do serious harm to Biden's candidacy.  RFK, Jr., by contrast, has a more ambiguous effect.  Keep in mind that we still don't know if there will be a centrist "No Labels" candidate, but if there is then such a scenario could become even bleaker for Biden.  A Green Party candidate and a Libertarian Party candidate will presumably also be in the mix.  So...a seven-way race for the presidency?  Why not?  We don't know, of course, whether Americans will perceive it that way.  The two major parties will work feverishly, along with their media allies, to convince voters that a vote for anyone other than Trump or Biden would be a giant waste.  That's generally worked in the past, but this time?  Hmm.  Just as important as these national numbers, I hasten to add, is how the hydra-headed presidential election turns out in the key swing states.  RFK, Jr., for instance, might help Biden a little in the national popular vote, but that doesn't mean that will be the case in Nevada, or Michigan, or New Hampshire.  Only time will tell.

Speaking of 2024, efforts to exclude Trump from the ballot in Colorado are rapidly coming to a head.  The lefty judge in the case will almost certainly show DJT the door, but what the State Supreme Court or SCOTUS will do remains to be seen.  I strongly suspect that Trump will remain on the ballot, at the end of the day, but that doesn't mean that every third party or independent candidate will make it on to every state ballot -- and these omissions could be as decisive to the outcome as any other factor (mark my words!).

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Speak to the Hand!


Friends, the dastardly Dems and their allies in the media are beside themselves with worry because our august House of Representatives has ground to a halt.  "Democracy" is on the brink, don't you know!  My latest article reveals the hollowness of the Left's talking points re: the battle for the Speakership.


In other news, one of the many judges in one of the many trials that DJT is now undergoing has threatened him with imprisonment, a couple of times in one day!  And this, I think, is where American politics is headed: Trump will be jailed, initially for "contempt", and probably later on because he's been convicted of any number of bogus crimes, thus preventing him from campaigning effectively for the presidency; and, moreover, the legal action(s) against him will be used to justify efforts to exclude him from the ballot, or to throw out the votes that are cast for him.  All this will seem transparently political, opportunistic, ruthless, and anti-democratic to Republicans and conservatives, but equally reasonable and fair-minded to Trump haters.  The key question is: how will middle-of-the-road independents and swing voters react?  So far they've been filled with ennui regarding the melodrama of The United States vs. Donald J. Trump, but later on who can say how they will actually vote.  And, even if they did vote for Trump, would it matter if enough jurisdictions and/or states discounted their ballots?  That could render the whole election a moot point.


Finally, the fiscal health of our nation continues to deteriorate, and all the while we're told how Bidenomics has uplifted us to undreamed of economic heights.  Still, perceptions of economic adversity are all relative, and it's not clear that the American people are anxious enough about the economy to propel DJT, or any Republican, to victory. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

We'll Always Have Alaska...


Friends, devious, bloodthirsty supervillain Vladimir Putin is on the cusp of conquering the noble Ukrainian people, and thereafter rolling his tanks into Berlin and Paris, but one thing is for sure: he won't get his diabolical hands on the ice fields of Alaska, because -- thank God! -- our check cleared in 1867, so we own it.  The U.S. purchase of Alaska is just one of several interesting historical themes that we cover on this week's Newsmaker Show with me and Brian O'Neil.  We also discuss "shell shock" in WWI and how it reshaped our understanding of courage and cowardice in modern war, the sterling acting career of Sir Michael Caine, the dynamics of "Iran-Contra", and Napoleon's disastrous invasion of Russia in 1812.

In terms of current events, Brian and I hash over the interminable battle for the Speakership of the House of Representatives, the border crisis and its political fallout, the dangers of escalation in the Middle East and Ukraine, the sad fate of George Santos, and the evolving Russian-Chinese partnership and the degree of threat that Americans should perceive in it.

It's a show that rises to the very high standard that Brian and I have set heretofore...  Truly, you are blessed to have the opportunity to listen to it!  Might this prove, therefore, that we really do live in the best of all possible worlds?  Hmm.  Could be.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Tactical Retreat


Friends, thousands of charging Zulus don't faze Sir Michael Caine, eminent British actor, but old age apparently does.  He's exiting the stage for the last time and retiring from the acting profession.  Farewell, therefore, to a class act and a truly great Thespian.

In other news, home sales are down and so, for the first time in ages, is rent.  I find it extraordinary that the median rent in America is over $2,000!!!  That's a lot for ordinary mortals to shell out.  On the other hand, it also tells you something about how broadly prosperous America is.

Finally, kudos to Australia and New Zealand, both of which gave a shot in the arm to the political right on Saturday.  Australia rejected constitutional changes that would have promoted identity politics and given separate representation to the Aborigines.  New Zealand rejected an incumbent Labour administration that inflicted on hapless Kiwis some of the most draconian COVID policies in the entire world.  Needless to say, the global media is miffed -- and that's a sign that democracy still works, once in a while.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023



Friends, in a very worrying sign for our country's future, standardized test scores are continuing to tumble -- and we should bear in mind that fewer students are taking the SAT and ACT, and we can safely assume that those who aren't taking it are even dimmer than those who are!  So, in a nutshell, we is dumb, and we is getting dumber all the time.

In Israel, they've formed a "unity government" to deal with the Hamas offensive.  That's remarkable, because just days ago Israeli politicians were at each other's throats, accusing one another of undermining "democracy", whatever that is.  A notable casualty of Hamas' aggression, therefore, may be the conservative government's program of judicial reforms.  Or maybe the government's hand will ultimately be strengthened?  We shall see.

Poor George Santos has been hit with about two dozen new federal charges, which will be added onto the charges he was already facing.  It's quite an avalanche of judicial scrutiny for the New York Republican!  As we all know, Santos' real crime was winning a seat that Democrats thought was safe for them.  From that point on, he's been hounded by the media and by the DOJ.  If he'd just been a good boy and lost, no one would have bothered him.  Be all this as it may, Santos appears to be a crook, or at least a serial liar and a cheat.  On second thought, maybe Congress is exactly where he belongs!

And that's not all!!!  You've also got this week's Newsmaker Show with me and Brian O'Neil to engross you, covering everything from the Israel-Hamas conflict to the trials and tribulations of Will Hurd.  It's not be missed!

Saturday, October 7, 2023

The Best of Us vs. The Rest of Us?


Friends, today I share with you a very interesting article about Thomas Jefferson's idea that America should be led by a "natural aristocracy" of men (and possibly some women) of extraordinary virtue and merit.  This elite should not be based on birth, of course, but on personal excellence.  Well, that's all well and good, but who's to say who among us is virtuous, or wise, or talented, or naturally disposed to leadership?  And, once someone has claimed the mantle of leadership, what's to stop them from ossifying the power structure, and jealously guarding their status and privileges and handing them on to their (potentially unworthy) offpsring?  Not much, as it turns out.  And, in the final analysis, should we be led by an elite at all?  Isn't that "undemocratic", i.e. the very antithesis of what America stands for?  So many of the key conflicts in modern America can be read as the establishment versus the people, or "expert-led" progressivism versus conservative populism, or (top-down) science versus (bottom-up) religiosity.  I don't claim to have all the answers to these vexing questions, but it seems to me that we Americans are a long, long way from sorting out just who should be in charge, and why, and how.  Granted, we all need leaders, but which leaders, and how shall they be chosen?  Jefferson, I think, was naive in suggesting that this natural aristocracy would bubble up to the surface on its own.  I submit that it's a lot more complicated than that!


In other news, Hamas has attacked Israel from its bases in the Gaza Strip, and the Israelis are reeling as they haven't since the Yom Kippur War of 1973.  No doubt the IDF is very capable of bringing the matter in hand, but these developments cast into doubt the competence of Israel's political and military leadership -- and may also be a reflection on President Biden's recent decision to pay off Hamas' backers, the Iranians.  DJT says that all this proves that Joe Biden has brought us perilously close to WWIII.  Well, I dunno about that.  If our opponents in WWIII are going to be Hamas militants, I'd say we're in pretty good shape.  But if our opponents in WWIII are going to be nuclear-armed Russians, then the stakes just got a lot higher!  Trump is right that only a  fool could suggest that the world has grown more stable, peaceful, or prosperous since Biden took the helm in the USA.


Finally, here's some intriguing speculation on how life might...distribute itself about the galaxy.  It certainly is one of, uhh, life's great questions: how prevalent is organic (or non-organic) life in the Milky Way?  Who knows -- perhaps in the years ahead we may finally found out. 

Friday, October 6, 2023

Build It, and Maybe They Won't Come?


Friends, in his own idiosyncratic take on "Field of (Crushing Refugees') Dreams", President Biden has decided that building a wall on our border with Mexico is...while still a bad idea, something he's willing to try anyway.  Talk about political courage!  My latest article examines the political fallout that's sure to come from this about-face:


In other news, here's a very witty piece that tackles the corrupt, inside-the-Beltway campaign against Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs), which I've written about before:

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Painting the Night Sky Red


Friends, this week's Newsmaker Show with me and Brian O'Neil includes a somber reflection on the historical significance of the Sovet Union's firsts in space, including Sputnik, as well as an analysis of how World War I came to an end.  In addition, we naturally cover all the most newsworthy recent developments, including the possibility of British troop deployments in Ukraine, the ouster of Kevin McCarthy and the search for his replacement as Speaker of the House, the (not yet confirmed) independent candidacy of RFK, Jr. for the presidency, the ongoing persecution of DJT in NYS courts, the politics of illegal immigration, the Congressional "fire alarm" controversy, the potential for a collision between Trump and the leftist judges who may try to "gag" him, and the abominable choice that Gavin Newsom made when selecting California's latest U.S. Senator.


We've got all our bases covered this week, folks!


In other news, El Presidente Biden of Las Americas has decided a wall on our border with Mexico!  Actually, his administration has waived a number of permitting requirements to allow the Department of Homeland Security to build about 20 miles of new barriers, but this still represents a very important political retreat for a president who promised that he wouldn't build "another foot" of Trump's border wall.  Clearly, Biden is reading the polls that say that the border crisis is growing acute, and he's sensitive to the complaints from deep blue governors and mayors, who are complaining about the influx of migrants.  Biden's calculation, one assumes, is that showering these Democratic areas with federal dollars, and making a few empty gestures towards immigration enforcement, will be enough to give him political cover.  We shall see. 

Public support for the war in Ukraine is slowly falling, even among Democrats.  Meanwhile, news coverage of the war is also diminishing.  This seemingly undercuts the political viability of the pro-Ukraine, anti-Russia cause, but, then again, hawkish establishment types might reason that "no news is good news", and, as long as the public isn't thinking about Ukraine, the deep state can get away with defying public opinion and supporting the Zelensky regime come what may.  This logic may be sound as well, sad to say. 

Is a recession a-comin'?  That's hard to say, but high interest rates are really starting to weigh on the housing market, although, as yet, not enough to cause prices to fall in any serious way.  Eventually, though, since most of our economy is based on debt, the high cost of borrowing money ought to be, well, crippling.  And there's no end in sight.


Finally, there's big news in the race for the presidency today: Cornel West is definitely running, but NOT as the Green Party candidate.  He'll run instead as an independent.  Is this good news or bad, for DJT and the GOP?  Well, without the resources of the Greens, West might find it harder to get on the ballot in key states.  That's bad.  On the other hand, in some of those key states, voters might be choosing between Trump and Biden and RFK, Jr. and West and a separate Green Party candidate, whomever that may be.  That's very good!  We want lefties to have as many choices besides Biden as possible.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

McCarthyism Ain't What It Used To Be


Friends, poor Kevin McCarthy arguably never stood a chance.  While I'm surprised and disheartened by his ouster as Speaker of the House, the truth is that holding such a narrow Republican majority together was always going to be excruciatingly difficult.  C'est la guerre.  Now Republicans face the arduous task of choosing another Speaker, and of forming up into disciplined ranks (ha!) to do battle with the dastardly Dems.  In the process, they'll need to keep the government running, chip away at Biden's popularity with an impeachment inquiry, and do what they can to restrain spending and fix our broken border with Mexico.  Good luck to them!  But, to those who say that this will sink the GOP brand, I would respond that the performance of the Biden Administration in office will have far more to do with the 2024 outcome than will the antics of House Republicans.  In November 2024, Kevin McCarthy will be a minor footnote, and even that's generous.  Joe Biden and Donald Trump, on the other hand, are the substance of American politics (God help us!).  So, to all those anxious right-wingers out there, I say: this too shall pass.  At the very least, Hakeem Jeffries won't be Speaker, and that's a victory in itself!

In other news, Americans are fed up with our two-party system.  Gee, I wonder why?  The mystery is how so many Americans can support the formation of a third party, and how utterly impossible it seems to be for third parties to win elections.  Could this, however, be the moment when a third party could genuinely get off the ground?  If so, how, and of what sort?  The best prospect for a third party that I can see is for DJT to be denied the GOP presidential nomination, in which case he'd almost certainly form a Trumpist party and run anyway.  In the meantime, I don't see third parties, like the Greens or the Libertarians, doing anything but playing the role of spoilers.  And that's fine by me, just so long as they spoil things for Democrats.

Monday, October 2, 2023

Silence, Infidel!


Friends, there's a rising hue and cry on the Left in favor of a "gag order" to silence Trump in '24, and better yet, from their perspective, would be a decision by a judge to jail him because he (inevitably) defies said order.  To the dastardly Dems, it's clear that any and all efforts to jail Trump are justified, and, if they can skip the silly "trial by jury" business and jump ahead to the jailing part, so much the better!  And don't be shocked if it happens.  The key question is whether the federal courts, and ultimately the Supreme Court, would intervene on Trump's behalf...or let him moulder behind bars.  That could easily go either way.


If the gag order gambit fails, then why not remove Trump from the ballot?  SCOTUS doesn't look like it wants to evict Trump from the ballot itself, but all it would need to do is stand aside and let a few states and localities exercise their discretion and "find" Trump ineligible, and his goose is cooked! 

In other news, a Democratic Congressman pulled a fire alarm to prevent a vote in the House of Representatives.  He says it was an innocent mistake, and his office says all Republicans are Nazis anyway, so we should get our own house in order before we come after poor, hapless Dem Congressmen who don't even know how doors work.  Amazingly, though, the Congressman is walking back claims that Republicans are "Nazis".  Wow!  Since when do lefties exercise ANY restraint when it comes to denigrating their enemies?  Seems to me that we right-wing fanatics are ultra-Nazis, and no level of contempt for us could ever be too much.  The pity is that we can't be jailed for a thousand lifetimes, but who knows -- maybe they'll come up with a way...


We have our first polling evidence on the all-important question of whether an independent RFK, Jr. bid for the presidency would help or hurt Trump and Biden.  The answer is fairly obvious: it helps Trump and hurts Biden, although not by a lot.  Of course, what we need is a poll that throws West into the mix as well.  That would be enlightening. 

Speaking of which, Bill Maher, prolific windbag, says that Biden should bow out and if he doesn't he could become the equivalent of Ruth Bader Ginsburg on a presidential scale.  I agree!  Timing is everything in life, and Biden simply is not the Dems' best bet to win in 2024.  By refusing to acknolwedge his own limitations, Biden could doom his party to defeat.  Now, none of this may matter if Biden has no intention of leaving office regardless of the outcome of the election...but wouldn't it be better, from the Dem perspective, to win outright?  You'd think so.


Finally, the great state of California has a new Senator.  True to his word, Gavin Newsom appointed a black woman.  Amazing!  Identity politics are out of control, if you ask me.  That a Democrat can declare openly that they intend to make major decisions on the basis of racism and sexism, and that they can get away with it totally, tells you everything you need to know about the state this country is in.  I suppose Newsom, for his part, is playing a very dicey game: he's trying to be centrist enough to be electable nationally, but he's trying to ingratiate himself with all the right Dem constituencies at the same time.  He's smart and smarmy enough that he might just pull it off.