Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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In a world where everyone is a Constitutional scholar one week and a virologist the next, it’s not surprise everyone now knows what constitutes news these days. Particularly, people who are allegedly in the news business. Since COVID-19 became the latest reason to blame President Donald Trump for everything bad in the universe, media types and their fanboys/fangirls have decided to weigh in on whether certain news outlets like Fox News and OANN should be a) allowed to spread information, b) given the same consideration as other established media outlets, and c) exist. To these folks, Fox News and OANN are as useless as a teleprompter at a Joe Biden rally.

These same folks bring up an interesting question: what constitutes a real journalist? The Left has an easy answer (i.e. anyone who works for conservative media), but it isn’t the right answer. I know I was as shocked as you when I came to the same conclusion! So, what is the right answer? Let’s find out!

real journalist

What the Left thinks it means – someone who holds the Trump Administration accountable and should be admired and encouraged

What it really means – a rare breed of reporter who doesn’t root for a side and digs for the truth wherever it leads

I used to study journalism in college and had every intention of becoming a reporter once I got my sheepskins. Then, something I discovered along the way changed my mind forever. That something?

Most of the people who call themselves real journalists are dishonest hacks who would prefer to be stenographers for Leftist causes than to do a lick of research that might cause them to rethink their support of said causes.

Any reporter worth his or her salt understands the power he/she has to shape public opinion. Unfortunately for us, most of the reporters out there today aren’t worth the sodium chloride. The media know they have the power to make people believe, think, and say what they want, even when what they want people to believe, think, and say are lies.

Take the recent favorite squawking point of President Trump calling coronavirus a “hoax.” Here are the President’s words:

One of my people came up to me and said “Mr. President they tried to beat you on Russia, Russia, Russia. That didn’t work out too well.” They couldn’t do it. They tried the impeachment hoax that was on a perfect conversation This is their new hoax.

This could have been worded a lot better, but I’m not sure it would have mattered. The message the President was trying to convey was the Left’s making political hay out of the coronavirus was the latest attempt to discredit him. How do I know this?

Because before the “hoax” comment, the President said the following:

The Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus.

You know, for as much time as they talk about nuances in language, the Left really sucks at figuring out context.

But try telling that to “real journalists,” who are conflating what they do into heroic actions more than John Kerry bucking for another Purple Heart. The overarching subject of President Trump’s remarks wasn’t to downplay COVID-19, but to attack the Left for trying to make a medical situation into a political strategy. The “real reporters” who pride themselves on holding the Trump Administration accountable for lies reported the “hoax” comment as truth while leaving out a vital portion of the statement.

In other words, a lie of omission. And from people who steadfastly claim they’re telling the truth, no less.

Now, consider the reason these same people want Fox News taken off the air and OANN reporters removed from White House Press Corps rotations is because they don’t tell the truth, or they’re “covering for the President.” You know, not unlike the bulk of the media did under Barack Obama?

Even though I have concerns about how Fox News and OANN present the news, it’s the same concerns I have with the rest of their Left-leaning peers with a press pass and a penchant for open bars. The fact you can tell a reporter’s slant by what he or she says is a major issue with me because it shows how little the journalism profession regards truth. And, if you really think about it, the truth is an important part of their fucking jobs!

Remember when I said the Left’s answer was the wrong one? Here’s the right answer: Fox News and OANN prove they no longer control the narrative. Even CNN, once a trusted name in news, has more credibility problems than a Nigerian prince who actually wants to give away money. Instead of figuring out why the media are declining, the “real reporters” are trying to eliminate the competition. There are times Fox News gets sloppy, but to say they should be taken off the air because their reporting will cause people to die of COVID-19 is the textbook definition of hyperbole. And, by the way “real journalists,” hyperbole is exaggeration, which is also a type of lying.

To make matters worse, “real journalists” are pushing for monetary and legal sanctions against Fox News, which is scarily authoritarian and ultimately damaging to journalism as a whole. As with all ideologies, there will come a time when the oppressed (real or imagined) will be in a position of power. And if you think there won’t be a temptation to use that power to punish their oppressors (real or imagined), I have a Nigerian prince I’d like to introduce you to. It’s human nature. And when it happens, what do you “Fox News should be sued into oblivion” types think will happen to CNN, MSNBC, and just about every other media outlet?

You will have given these folks the tools necessary to turn off those news sources permanently. But, hey, you do you!

I don’t want Fox News or MSNBC or any media outlet to be taken off the air, especially not at the insistence of people who think their opinions matter more than informing the public. If anything, I want as many voices out there as possible so we can get the truth by a matter of logical reduction. If Fox News says one thing and MSNBC says the exact opposite, the truth is somewhere in between, but we won’t get that if one side is silenced.

I know I’ve ranted a lot about how the “real journalists” out there suck, but I do want to point out there are reporters out there who do great work and put the rest of their peers to shame. Catherine Herridge, Sharyl Attkisson, and Lara Logan come to mind as even-handed and serious journalists whose work is often overlooked by those who think Jim Acosta is a hard-hitting “real journalist.” If you haven’t checked out their work (or at the very least their Twitter feeds), please do so, especially if you want to remember what it was like to trust reporters with a story.

There’s a little saying I picked up a few years ago that goes like this: if you have to continuously remind people of who and what you are, you aren’t that person. The same goes double for “real journalists.” Not only are they paid to lie, they would do it even without pay if it meant a pet cause got advanced. So, excuse me for treating your declarations of who is a real journalist with the same consideration as a Bill Clinton marriage vow.

“Think Positively and Stay the Course” – Guest Opinion by Ari Kaufman

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Another weekend brought more unfortunate news on the COVID-19 pandemic.    

I, however, prefer to remain positive while tethered to reality, so I texted and emailed this to some friends Sunday evening: 

“Better weather. More tests. More protective supplies. More ventilators. Discovered effective techniques. Invented medication. Eventual vaccine. This will eventually level off.” 

Yes, the next two weeks will be tough (and nothing will change by Easter despite our best wishes; even President Trump admitted such when tonight he extended social distancing guidelines to April 30), but let’s resist the urge to play tribalist politics. Instead, let’s manage expectations, think logically, and by all means, do not spread misinformation, hysteria, and alarmism. We’ll persevere and likely turn the corner in May. I believe, as do most medical experts, that normal life shall return in early summer. In the meantime, we need to support those hurt most by the economic shutdown, maintain our health care workers, enhance technology, and prepare to thwart future outbreaks.  

As former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a must follow on Twitter, wrote, “We need to remember all the people who are hurt most by the measures we must take: the elderly, lower income Americans, the gig economy, those in services and hospitality sectors, and many others. And most of all, our front line providers who are risking everything to save us.” Can anyone disagree with that? After all, the theme we’ve heard recently is “we’re all in this together.” A bit idealistic considering our media, academia, and politicians, but those who are most worried about health care and/or the economy ought to cooperate and listen to each other.

And it seems they are. When the White House Coronavirus Task Force — established two months ago today — holds a meeting, the economists and health officials don’t bicker or compete; they reportedly acknowledge they are co-dependent and have much at stake. They are thankfully chaired by the steady hand of Vice President Mike Pence, who continues to lead professionally. 

You do learn a lot about people in times of crisis — whether it’s your elected leaders or your friends and family. I know I recently have. So let’s seek facts, peace, and grace, not discouragement, fear, and maudlinism.

And when you have time, read this latest roadmap to recovery: 

A former teacher and historian, Ari Kaufman has worked as a journalist in various roles since 2006. He currently resides with his wife in Minnesota

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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With something as dangerous as COVID-19 running around out there, accurate information is vital. And apparently some sections of the media, including the Mirror Universe version of Fox News known as MSNBC, have decided not to air the daily press conferences President Donald Trump has with his COVID-19 task force because of what these media sources feel are “lies and misinformation.”

It’s easy to pick out how the Left defines a lie (anything factual they can’t spin in their favor), but the term “misinformation” is an interesting one. Or at least it interests me, so I’m going to write about it. And hopefully you’ll want to read further.

misinformation

What the Left thinks it means – dishonest or misleading information presented as fact by the Right

What it really means – information the Left can’t get ahead of and refute

The Left loves to control what is being said and how it’s said because words have power to shape opinions. Just read how “fact checkers” like Snopes and Politifact twist themselves into more knots than a pretzel factory caught in a tornado to make Leftists seem honest when they’re lying. But if you pay close enough attention, you can see when they play semantic games and not get sucked into whatever the Left wants you to think today.

With the latest allegations of “misinformation,” the Left wants you to believe President Trump and his task force aren’t telling you the truth about COVID-19. To be fair, President Trump has given the Left plenty of ammunition to lay their foundation, even as COVID-19 hits America harder than a male porn star with a Viagra addiction. Some of this can be chalked up to wanting to bring hope to the country, which isn’t a bad thing. Some of it can also be chalked up to not understanding the science well enough to phrase responses better. Then again, the press hasn’t been doing itself any favors by asking loaded questions like, “How many people need to die?” At the risk of using whataboutism, these same hard-nosed stenographers for the Left asked the previous President serious questions like, “Do you recognize how great you are?”

Monica didn’t suck Bill as hard as the press did President Barack Obama.

With the Trump Presidency, the media find themselves in the oddest of positions: advocating for self-censorship to avoid giving the President any attention, positive or otherwise. They claim it’s to avoid misinformation and to give their reporters time to fact check, but it’s not. You see, the Left has no problem with misinformation. They practice it daily (watch CNN and MSNBC for evidence…but only in very small doses). What they object to is not being able to take an event and deliver their own brand of misinformation to shape the narrative. Why else would they decide to “fact check” the COVID-19 press conferences instead of covering them live?

Not that it helps them. Even when they “fact check,” the Left gets information wrong. Remember when they claimed the President lied about Google developing a website to help with COVID-19? In a matter of hours after the Left jumped on this claiming it was misinformation, Google came out and confirmed what the President said. And, surprise surprise, the Left still hasn’t admitted they were wrong and engaged in…what is that word…oh, yeah, misinformation!

It’s not hard to understand why they’re doing it. The Left realizes they don’t have many choices when it comes to candidates who can beat Donald Trump. Between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, the Left’s outlook on winning the White House this year looks darker than George Hamilton after a tanning session. Since they can’t seem to get better candidates, the Left goes to their Plan B: tearing down the President however they can. That’s where the accusations of misinformation come into play. By creating a seed of doubt in potential voters’ minds, the Left makes Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders look better by comparison.

Or so they think.

Recent polling data show respondents don’t appreciate the media’s attempts to be the DNC’s PR department, mostly because they’ve been caught so many times recently fabricating stories out of deliberate misquotes. And as we all know, that’s not the media’s job. That’s Media Matters’ job! (Although I’m pretty sure David Brock doesn’t mind the help. Gives him more time to score some blow.)

While most of the misinformation can be traced back to the Left, the Right isn’t off the hook here. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and others in the conservative media have downplayed the severity of COVID-19 and pushed unfounded opinions as fact. We cannot ignore that, especially when partial or erroneous information can lead to people taking drastic action (or inaction) with damaging consequences. And with the Left looking for any excuse to blame President Trump for COVID-19 deaths, the Right cannot afford to give them any lifelines.

Between the Left’s fatalism and the Right’s optimism, there is the truth. Aside from insane runs on toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and paper towels, I think we’ve handled the COVID-19 outbreak better than expected, but with plenty of room for improvement. But the Left cannot let us see that. They need us to be afraid and looking for the government to protect us. Of course, these are some of the same bozos who can’t even build a decent website to promote Obamacare, so we can take their fearmongering with a grain of salt. And by a grain, I mean the collective salt composition of the Great Salt Lake.

However, we should listen to the Left on one point. Listen to the doctors, especially the ones the Left don’t want you to hear from because it ruins the narrative. And judging from all the posts I’ve seen from conservatives and Republicans on Facebook and Twitter, the doctors tend to agree with President Trump more than the Left. Kinda hard to present yourself as the “Party of Science” when you deny it at the drop of a tinfoil hat.

To avoid being the victim of misinformation, seek out multiple sources and question everything until you’re confident who you can trust. (Spoiler Alert: any media outlet that is more transparent with their biases than Claude Raines walking Harvey the Rabbit isn’t trustworthy.) And don’t limit your sources of information to one or two sources. Look for information from an opposing viewpoint and see what he or she has to say. At worst, you’ll eliminate bad info (i.e. anything published by Vox), and at best you’ll get information you might not normally have gotten.

And the life you save might be your own.

“Coronavirus crisis calls for the opposite of socialism” – Guest Opinion by Ari Kaufman

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Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants the U.S. Senate to take quick action on a trillion-dollar stimulus plan to help Americans with expenses due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The government would send a check after calculating an amount per individual or couple based on a taxpayer‘s adjusted gross income from 2018. Aid would be phased down at income thresholds of $75,000 per person ($150,000 per couple) and those individuals who earned six figures two years ago receive no relief.

This is an unnecessary exercise in jumping through federal government hoops to obtain a questionable result. McConnell is too shrewd a leader to fall for this. Democrats, meanwhile, seem mostly concerned with the name of the virus, bashing “corporations” and using straw man clichés like “workers over shareholders.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House Bill was so rushed that it needed nearly 100 pages (!) of corrections and arguably would accelerate small business lay offs.

The most straightforward objection to the Senate bill is why base everything on 2018 AGI. Two years ago, many people’s lives were different. You may have sold a business, bought a house, or married since. There is no good rationale in going back two years to test incomes.

The people who most need help to financially survive the current panic lack income because their jobs disappeared this month, thus swift action surely is needed. 

Injecting liquidity is key to stabilizing the economy. Hospitals need help. Folks require money for groceries, rent, and maybe some proprietors can pay their remaining employees instead of shutting down.  A public school teacher, “non essential” government worker, or an accountant still being paid their same salary every fortnight does not need money urgently. They’re doing just fine.

Think instead about the entrepreneur who invested his life savings in a business only to see his customers vanish. Or ponder the recent college graduate with $50,000 in student-loan debt — not ironically taken on with the encouragement of Elizabeth Warren types — now laid off from her first job.

And if someone who receives a check is not desperate, have faith that he or she can figure out where to donate the money without government edicts.  

Two of the most impressive senators in recent days, as often is the case, are Marco Rubio and Ben Sasse. Both men offer realistic, responsible solutions. 

Rubio told CNBC last week he wants to use a network of lenders for an existing program to help small businesses and employees. He hopes to “figure out the most effective way to get cash into the hands of small businesses so that they can maintain payroll for at least a six-week period.”

The Florida Republican is sponsoring legislation to match President Trump’s call for $50 billion in loans from the Small Business Administration.  

Sasse, the only senator who lives his life completely outside the Washington bubble and has authored two recent books on related topics, gave a stellar St. Patrick’s Day Speech on the Senate floor. Everyone should watch it on YouTube.

The Nebraska Republican prefers letting governors direct spending instead of Washington-driven bailouts akin to “shoveling money out of a helicopter.” He instead called for most economic relief spending to be administered by state governors. He claims governors know how to target money more efficiently than U.S. Senators.

Sasse says we can’t mindlessly go down same path with spending people’s money. A dozen years ago, for example, President Obama irresponsibly tossed trillions into supposedly shovel-ready projects; most still can’t be found today. 

“This is not an opportunity for Washington’s connected insiders to exploit personal relationships, to put their pet projects first on things that they wouldn’t have been able to get passed if it weren’t a time of crisis. We don’t have to go down that path. Instead, we can more efficiently and more wisely spend the people’s resources,” Sasse said. “We can give our states and our governors the lead in making sure the majority of the money and the majority of the resources get where they’re most needed. We can help families and businesses keep afloat during this storm by admitting that 50 laboratories of democracy are going to be more effective than a rifle shot approach from Washington.”

The Senator is non-partisan, sentient, and correct.

Governors know their people, what their workforce needs, how to target money, and how to build public-private partnerships. Minnesota is not California, and Nebraska is not New York. Every state has unique needs that others may not. 

Polls show the least popular governors in America are still more popular than almost any DC-based Senator. There’s probably a reason. 

While state and local governments aren’t miracle workers, they have the capacity to restore companies and livelihoods to their prior economic standing better and more quickly than Washington.

No industry, company or person has an innate right to public money, no matter how severe the crisis. The principled Nikki Haley, likely already the 2024 GOP presidential frontrunner, was correct to resign her board seat late last week over Boeing’s pursuit of a government bailout. 

As an important Wall Street Journal staff editorial examined late last week:

“The politicians in Washington are telling Americans, as they always do, that they are riding to the rescue by writing checks to individuals and offering loans to business. But there is no amount of money that can make up for losses of the magnitude we are facing if this extends for several more weeks. After the first $1 trillion this month, will we have to spend another $1 trillion in April, and another in June?”

These are good questions. Bernie Sanders, who wants more and more spending and to “revolutionize” America and perhaps nationalize much of the economy, has no answers. 

Instead we receive the standard vacuous “these policies seem like socialism to me” claims from retired schoolteachers and assorted lazy lefties. 

They ignore that it’s PRIVATE companies developing a mass testing system, treatments and vaccines for coronavirus. Several private companies now have in place reliable testing systems already being mass-produced and distributed. 

A government-run “single-payer“ Bernie Sanders healthcare system is clearly not the answer in times of crisis (or normal times).

That would sap innovation, research and incentive. No cures would be found. We’d probably have millions dead already. As usual, the private sector works best for perilous moments. 

But let’s give state and local governments a shot at this before another capricious, bloated federal plan. 

A former teacher and historian, Ari Kaufman has worked as a journalist in various roles since 2006. He currently resides with his wife in Minnesota

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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The big news of the past couple of weeks has been the corona virus, mostly because the Left and the media (but I repeat myself) keep talking about it. While a lot of heat surrounds President Donald Trump because of the way the Left has framed his actions and his use of the term “Chinese flu” to describe the corona virus, there is another player who needs to feel the heat a lot more than the President.

I’m speaking of China, the little country that could…be responsible for the corona virus. Of course, the Left doesn’t want you to remember that because…Orange Man Bad, I guess. But we shouldn’t take our eyes off China because they hold a lot of cards.

China

What the Left thinks it means – a country that is being unfairly maligned for the corona virus and is being used by President Trump to stoke racism and xenophobia

What it really means – a country that has a long history of shadiness

It wasn’t that long ago the media were using “Chinese flu” or “Wuhan flu” to describe the corona virus. I’m talking, say, two or three weeks ago. Now, they’re saying using “Chinese flu” is racist. (Of course, they’re not because they’re the good guys! Just ask them!) Oddly enough, it was also around this time, say two or three weeks ago, that China started saying how racist the term was.

And just like that, the Left became the official American mouthpieces of the Chinese government. Given their proclivity to hate America and especially Trump’s America, I’m guessing it didn’t take thirty pieces of silver to get them to jump.

Of course, this overlooks a tiny little detail: the first cases of the corona virus came from Wuhan, China. Whether it came from a lab or from bats is still being hotly debated, but we won’t delve into that because 1) it distracts from the main subject of this edition of the Lexicon, 2) I don’t know what to believe, so I’m staying silent, and 3) it reminds me too much of Champ Kind’s restaurant from “Anchorman 2.” Chicken of the cave, indeed!

In recent years, China built a reputation as a global economic superpower, due in no small part to having Hong Kong as well as a place for cheap products and even cheaper labor. Also, they were starting to ramp up their industrialization and using more coal and oil than they had in previous years. Now, who could be helping them with that? Could it be…Russia?

Yep.

Over the past century or so, China and Russia have been mortal enemies and convenient allies, but lately they’ve been the latter more than the former. And they both have a burning desire to see America go the way of Betamax. Having Russia and China being chummy is a bad sign, as anyone who remembers the former Soviet Union and communist China can tell you.

What is also troubling about China is the fact they own a significant portion of our national debt. All it takes for them to send us into an economic F5 that would make the 2008 mortgage crisis look like forgetting a can with a nickel deposit when you go to the recycling center. To put it more crudely, they have America by the short hairs.

Then, the corona virus happened. Not only has it caused medical and economic distress, it has exposed China as a bad faith player in global affairs. They hid the outbreak, told the world everything was under control, and downplayed the severity. Of course, they have a vested interest in lying to us because they don’t like us very much and feel no responsibility to look out for anyone but themselves.

And now, they’re blaming America for their screw-ups and the “racist” language of using “Chinese flu” or “Wuhan flu” to describe the corona virus. Nothing like a little scapegoating and virtue signalling between enemies, right? But the more information that comes out about the corona virus, the more it seems China is neck deep in the quicksand.

As I’ve said with Russia, I’ll say with China: they cannot be trusted and should treated with the Ronald Reagan “Trust but verify” approach. Given how China has bungled or mislead its way through the corona virus situation, we cannot afford to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Of course, the Left will point to Donald Trump and say we can’t trust him because he’s lied about the corona virus. This is a diversion from the actual issue and provides cover for China while at the same time advancing an ideological end. And, for now, it seems to be striking a cord with Americans. Depending on what poll you read and/or believe, up to 60% of Americans don’t think the President has done a good job handling the corona virus. The Left hopes this will make the President easier to beat in November.

The problem is, like the corona virus, this too will pass and we will have to deal with the reality of the situation. China is still a major player in this situation, and no amount of blaming Donald Trump will change that. The sooner we can find a way to get out from under China’s thumb, the better.

Considering they’re the ones making our vaccines, that will be easier said than done. Neither the Left nor the Right have a good enough handle on China to take the steps to that end. As we’ve seen, the Left wants to be propaganda partners, while the Right wants to be business partners. In order for us to make any progress, we need leadership who understands China is as trustworthy as a Bill Clinton wedding vow. I’m not convinced President Trump quite gets it yet, but I get the feeling he’s starting to get it.

In the meantime, we should keep an eye on China and how often they lie to us in the name of national self-preservation, but we should also temper our reaction to them lying. The corona virus is no excuse for attacking people who appear to be Chinese. It’s also not an excuse to stock up on toilet paper, but here we are. And we need to focus our criticism on the Chinese government, not the people themselves. The citizens are just as much victims in this situation as we are.

But we should still mock the media and the Left for swallowing China’s lies so easily. These are the same people who call Trump supporters dumb, so any backlash they get for being taken in by China is something they’ve earned. And far be it from me to deny them the ridicule they’ve so richly deserved!

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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It’s time to address the elephant, or in this case donkey, in the room. Before Super Tuesday, few people expected Joe Biden’s Presidential campaign to last until Not-Quite-As-Super Wednesday. Now, after Super Tuesday II: Electoral Boogaloo, the former Vice President has become the Democrats’ front runner for the nomination, which has shocked a lot of people, not the least of which being Bernie Sanders supporters.

What changed? Certainly not Joe, and certainly not in a positive way. In the past couple of decades, we could expect him to slip up verbally once in a while or come up with an absurd idea or two, but this election cycle has been a bull market on bull and malarky. And a boon for bloggers looking to take another look at Joe Biden.

Joe Biden

What the Left thinks it means – a brilliant and compassionate man who would be a better leader than Donald Trump

What it really means – a man whose status is far above his abilities and his accomplishments

If you’re not aware, this is the third time Joe Biden ran for President. The first time was 1988, when he was defeated (along with several others) by eventual loser Michael Dukakis. Think about that for a moment. Joe Biden lost to a man who thought riding around in a tank with an oversized helmet would make him look like a hawk on defense. If ever there was a sign you may not be cut out to be President, it was that.

But Biden ran again in 2008, where he lost to eventual winner Barack Obama and became his Vice President. This was after spending 36 years in the Senate. Thirty. Six. Years. He would probably still be there if he hadn’t been picked by President Obama to be his fall guy…I mean Vice President.

Actually, I’m being unfair to Mr. Biden. President Obama picked him because of his experience in foreign policy. And what was that experience exactly? He spent a long time on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. During that time, he opposed the Gulf War, supported military action in Bosnia and Kosovo, and supported the Iraq War…or did he oppose it?

That’s one of my major problems with Mr. Biden. He loves to retell his story his way depending on who is listening, and facts be damned. Granted, this applies to most politicians, but with Biden, what bothers me is the ease at which he slips from one version of reality to another. What you can find him saying on record one day will be contradicted by him on another day, often combined with indignation you would attribute the words he said before to him now.

Normally, this could be chalked up to politics, but this time around there’s another explanation to explore: Joe Biden may not be on top of his game anymore. And when you consider he wasn’t that great at his game in the first place, that’s saying something. For all of his foreign policy experience, his major accomplishments could be matched by a Model UN student. Let’s not forget it was Joe Biden who came up with the “three state solution” in Iraq, which would have split up the country into three religious sections, which military leaders at the time dismissed as being counterproductive at best. (In layman’s terms, that means they thought it was damn stupid.)

Now, consider Biden today. He lashes out at critics, sometimes threatening violence against them. He forgets where and when he is. He looks lost, confused, even befuddled. He has trouble finishing sentences. He loses track of facts necessary to discuss the topic he’s on.

In other words, he’s what the Left thinks President Donald Trump is. And if current trends continue, he’s going to finally get the nomination he’s been trying to get for over 32 years! He’s due! Maybe third time really is the charm!

Ah, well, that’s where things get a little hazy. Bernie Sanders still has a significant chunk of the available delegates necessary to secure the nomination. Yet, in an effort to grease the wheels (and to prevent Mr. Biden from making more gaffes as suggested by Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina), members of the party are suggesting the primaries should be over and Biden named the candidate. Although I’m no fan of either of the anointed Democrat candidates, I have to take Sanders’ side on this one. Not only have the majority of states not held their caucuses and primaries yet, Biden and Sanders are still relatively close in the delegate count. If the Democrats and the Left decide to curtail the remaining contests, regardless of reason, it will spell the end of the Democrats as we know them, or at least make the final blow-up at the Democratic National Convention this summer more dangerous than I’ve anticipated. (The short version: Chicago 1968 will be an Amish barn-raising compared to what I think is coming.)

All to protect someone who isn’t ready for prime time and may never be.

For all the times the Left has called President Trump mentally unstable, incompetent to hold the office of the President, and unintelligent, to put up Joe Biden is the height of self-unawareness and tone-deafness. But when you consider the alternative is a slightly older socialist who hasn’t gotten the memo about Venezuela yet, the Democrats really don’t have much of a choice. They have to go with Joe Biden, if only to maintain the illusion they aren’t okay with socialism. (Spoiler Alert: they’re Berniecrats with the bank balances to ensure they don’t have to live under socialism.)

And where does that leave Joe? A figurehead with no real power to do anything but what the power behind the throne, as it were, tells him to do.

In closing, let me address one thing I keep being brought up about Joe Biden: his frequent verbal miscues are not the result of stuttering; they’re the result of a misfiring brain, and those miscues are getting worse. When you consider Bernie Sanders is a year older and is more lucid (vocally, not economically) than the man you think can take on Donald Trump, you can’t pin it on stuttering, and no amount of “can too!” will change that.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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As the dust from Super Tuesday settles, there are still matters to be resolved, as in picking which of the remaining members of the Democrat Clown Car gets to run against President Donald Trump in November. However, there is a common thread within the Left that has been making the rounds as we get closer to Election Day: Trump has to go.

As with all great (and not-so-great) things in modern America, it started with a hashtag, #votebluenomatterwho. The idea, much like the people who seem to be putting the hashtag on anything they Tweet from political observations to tuna noodle casserole recipes, is simple. No matter who the Democrat candidate is, the Left has to unite behind that candidate if he or she (but most likely he) is to beat President Trump. As a rallying cry, it’s effective. It’s short, has a nice cadence to it, and you can dance to it.

So, put on your dancing shoes and read along (unless you get motion sickness, then you don’t have to do both simultaneously) as we delve into the Twitterverse again.

#votebluenomatterwho

What the Left thinks it means – a slogan to unite Leftist voters behind any and all Democrat/Leftist candidates in November 2020

What it really means – a slogan that encourages lazy knee-jerk thinking to benefit the Left

Back in the good old days when men were men and women were men and everybody was really confused, we didn’t have political parties. We just has people considering the facts of an issue, weighing their beliefs against the beliefs of public officials, and voting for the best candidate. Then, somebody came up with the idea people couldn’t be trusted to do all of that, so political parties were born, or spawned from the depths of Hell if you prefer. Nowadays, all you need to know about a candidate is if he or she had a D or an R behind his/her name to determine whether the candidate gets your vote. It’s made things simpler, for sure, but it’s also made us simpler in the process.

Somewhere along the line, we were told if we belonged to Party A, Party B was less trustworthy than CNN’s reporting, and those were your only two choices. That’s like saying the only two ice cream choices are chocolate or vanilla. And if you decided to vote for, say, Rocky Road, you were throwing your vote away or, even worse, your vote other than for chocolate or vanilla was actually a vote for chocolate or vanilla. (Yes, folks, that’s just as stupid as it sounds.)

Well, the #votebluenomatterwho comes from the minds of those who came up with the idea that not voting for one of the two major parties means you voted for one of them. It’s a nice little shortcut that takes the pressure of getting informed before voting for a candidate off your shoulders, so now all you have to do is go to the voting booth and pull the lever, mark the box, or touch the screen so only Democrats get your vote. Or you can make it easier and just assume room temperature. Then, you don’t even have to come back from the dead to vote because the Left will do that for you!

Meanwhile, we the living (an interesting and depressing book by Ayn Rand that’s worth at least one read-through, by the way) are left to figure out why we should follow the hashtag’s instructions in the first place. Are Democrats/Leftists better capable of addressing matters of state? Not really, as evidenced by the Iowa and Nevada Democrat caucuses this year. The fact they made a simple process of counting votes into a living modern art piece that not even the participants fully understand should disqualify any Democrat/Leftist from ever holding office higher than city librarian, and that’s with the added stipulation that they are closely supervised so they don’t eat and/or sniff the glue. And if that isn’t enough justification for you, let me point out that of the handful of candidates remaining, only two of them can remotely be considered mentally stable enough to assume the Presidency, and one of those is Joe Biden. In a race where your safe candidate is a guy who at any moment could start a nuclear strike because he thought the red launch button was an Easy Button from Staples, you know you’re screwed.

That underscores one of the major flaws in the idea behind the hashtag: it assumes the eventual candidate can’t do any worse than Donald Trump. Given the folks still vying for the Democrat nomination, that’s a pretty big assumption.

Another major flaw in the #votebluenomatterwho is it buys into the two-party idea. I haven’t always voted for Republicans or Democrats, but when I have it’s because I believe the candidate was the better person for the job. As I’ve gotten older and much more cynical about the two-party system, I’ve decided to keep the voting-for-the-best-person part of my strategy and dumped the party model altogether. And I’m proud to say I’ve written in candidates when I wasn’t convinced anyone else on the ballot was up to the task. If you want to vote for a Democrat/Leftist for President, go for it, but do it because you think he or she is worthy of your vote. If you still have qualms, don’t just relent in the hopes the next talking head with delusions of adequacy can do the job. In the end, the only way anyone is going to know who you voted for is if you tell him or her. That’s the beauty of a private ballot: you’re not required to report on your vote and justify it. This isn’t the former Soviet Union where your choices were a Communist who already had the job and a different Communist who wanted the job and the Party made sure you voted for one or the other. You can vote for who you want. If you hate Trump and hate the eventual Democrat candidate, seek out the other parties’ candidates and see if you like them or even just hate them less. Then, the only one you have to be accountable to is yourself.

This last major flaw, and this is a big one, is it strips away voters’ freedom to choose. For an ideology that claims to love choice, the Left gets mighty prickly if your choice isn’t what they want. Now, consider how many women vote for Leftists because of abortion on the basis of “my body, my choice.” Well, if it’s a woman’s body and a woman’s choice, why should she be forced to vote for a Democrat? If you think she’s perfectly capable of terminating the life of a child inside her womb, you can’t turn around and say she’s not capable of deciding on who to vote for, and of the two scenarios, only one guarantees the death of one of the participants. Take a break from your Handmaid’s Tale cosplay and try to reason this out. Or, if you don’t mind spoilers, you can’t, not because you’re not capable of doing it, but because it makes zero logical sense. It’s infantilizing women to think they can’t make up their own minds about whether to vote for a candidate. Why vote blue if you lean more Green, as it were? And why should anyone, let alone women, be subjected to the No True Scotsman of ideological litmus tests?

While the Left tweets #votebluenomatterwho as a means to rally the troops, it’s something far harder to justify and remain consistent. Then again, if the Left worried about being consistent, they would have dumped the lot of the candidates they had running in the first place. 

The Real Losers of Super Tuesday

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With Super Tuesday rapidly becoming a thankfully fleeting memory, political pundits (and cranky curmudgeons like yours truly) are naming winners and losers. One of the more prominent losers, however, isn’t being discussed, mainly because I don’t think the people who get paid the big bucks to come up with tepid takes with good PR have even considered it.

I’m talking about progressivism.

Whether it was in the Presidential race or local races, progressives took a beating up and down the ticket, even in California where you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a progressive, self-professed or otherwise. Or if you’re a member of PETA…you’d be providing the dead cats.

One race that really stood out for me because of who was involved was the race to replace former Representative and nude hairdressing aficionado Katie Hill. Among the candidates was founder of The Young Turks and progressive internet celebrity, Cenk Uygur. If you listen to him (and to be fair, why would you), he was the progressive candidate in the race. He talked the talk, walked, the walk, and promptly wound up getting stomped by his Democrat opponent…and two Republican candidates. Mr. Super Progressive pulled down 5% of the vote. Put another way, I didn’t even run and I came within the margin of error of tying and/or beating him.

And again, this is in California.

If that doesn’t signal how disliked progressivism has become, we can look at the Super Tuesday results. Of the active Democrat candidates at the time, two of them (Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren) were the clear progressive choices. And how many states did they win?

Zero. Zilch. Nada. Goose egg. The big donut/bagel. One fewer than Michael Bloomberg.

Up and down the ticket, progressives saw defeat after defeat. Even candidates backed by the Socialist Socialite couldn’t propel them to victory. And now other progressives like the aforementioned Uygur and Representative Ilhan Omar (who just happens to be a vocal and visual Sanders supporter) are offering up excuses. It was the media! It was the lack of a unified progressive movement! It was comments taken out of context! It was everything and anything except for the real reason progressives lost.

Progressivism isn’t that popular.

When I think of progressives these days, there are two ideas that come to mind. One is they tend to be more grassroots and people-driven than the Democrats. And two is they’re bat-crap insane. Where they excel in the former is on social media. Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook (to some degree) are filled with progressives expressing themselves to the masses and getting noticed. You can’t log on without seeing someone you know retweeting a hashtag or putting it in a post or message to show you and the world how they feel about an issue.

The problem is social media isn’t the real world. The best way I can describe it is social media is like the elementary school playground where you can find any number of ways to get attention. Hanging upside down on the monkey bars, eating worms, or getting into fights will get you noticed and may keep you popular for a time, but eventually the novelty wears off. Pretty soon nobody cares how many worms you eat because there’s another kid on the other side of the playground who eats bugs. And eventually no one cares about what you eat because they’ve all grown up and figured out new ways to get and maintain popular status, like having a cool car or being good in sports or having a lot of money.

Right now, progressives are still on the playground hanging out with themselves because everyone else “sold out”, i.e. grew up. And instead of taking the hint and figuring out what type of car gets the most attention, they’re clinging to those bug/worm eating days as though they were the best years of their lives. (If Greta Thunberg gets her way, though, you folks will be totally cool again!) Meanwhile, those who gave up that kind of life to enter into a more adult environment are doing well, or at least not sucking as much as progressives have. And that makes progressives mad, mad enough to want to tear down what Democrats have built just so everyone will be equally miserable.

And that makes for great content for me, so…I guess it’s a win-win.

In the meantime, progressives will be on edge after Super Tuesday put a major kink in their plans to take over the Democrats and may lack the introspection to realize why they failed. Oh, they’ll have reasons, but none will be the right one because they don’t want to admit their ideas, and subsequently they, aren’t as popular as their echo chamber says they are. Until they realize where they went wrong, we will be in for a lot more progressive tantrums.

But, like I said, more content!

I Got a Fevah…

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After weeks of speculation (and days of hyping it more than a new Lady Gaga CD), I’m finally breaking down and writing about the coronavirus. For those of you who have been living under a rock lately and aren’t familiar with the story (and for that I am eternally jealous), the coronavirus is a viral strain that appears to have started in China and has the potential to wipe out all life on Earth for centuries to come…or maybe it’s just like the flu. There are certain symptoms related to it, such as coughing, fever, shortness of breath, being overly pessimistic about the way the government is handling the situation, and being enough of a jerk to wish people of different political ideologies would contract it.

The first three are symptoms of people who have coronavirus. The latter two are symptoms of people who watch waaaaaaaay too much cable TV and Internet.

Seriously, the coronavirus has turned seemingly normal people into frothing-at-the-mouth lunatics whose humanity is more in question than Shawn King’s lineage. (As an aside, Shawn, I’m a Midwestern guy, and have more legit street cred than you do. Take your cul de sac cred and admit you’re Edgar Winter with some blush applied.) I have seen people on the Left wishing this on President Donald Trump and people on the Right wishing it on Nancy Pelosi, and few people outside the ideological Thunderdome are calling it out because then they would get targeted by these groups.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the media are hyping the story at every turn, even managing to put a little top-spin on their reporting to make the coronavirus outbreak look like it’s President Trump’s fault. Granted, some of the actions he’s taken on it have been slow and seemingly ignorant, but for someone who is thought of as being a fighter, the President hasn’t really been fighting back. He’s let the media paint a narrative that makes him look like, well, Donald Trump, or at least their version of him.

And when the media aren’t trying to Simon Bar Sinister up the President, they’re rushing out stories that would make H. P. Lovecraft cower in a corner asking for a plush C’thulu to hold. In turn, this worries people who still trust the media and sends them into a panic, buying up surgical masks at prices that could only gouge you more if they were literally screwed onto your face. And when there are shortages, the media report the shortage, which drives even more hysteria and worry. It’s gotten so bad, people are on record (seriously, I fear) as saying the coronavirus is caused by Corona Beer. If this is what the media are doing now, I can only imagine what will happen during Sweeps Week!

In trying to wrap my head around the various moving parts of this story, I came to one conclusion: this is not normal, kids. This is as far away from normal as I am from winning Mr. Universe, unless they start judging dad bodies instead of musculature. Then, I might have a shot. And after reading what people post online, I need a shot of booze to steady my nerves. And remember, a good number of these people can legally vote in the upcoming Presidential election. The tension is mounting to real-estate-brokers-trying-to-sell-property-along-the-Gaza-Strip-for-nothing-but-commission levels.

In fact, I’ve coined a term for what’s going on right now on the Left and Right where they treat each other worse than Ike treated Tina. I call it Coronavirus Fever. Put simply, it’s hypochondria with multiple social media platforms on blast. To determine if you have Coronavirus Fever, answer these simple questions:

–  Do you find yourself Tweeting every single news item you hear about the coronavirus to people who are friends of friends of friends so they can be up on the latest hot takes?

– Are you boycotting Panda Express, not because their food sucks, but because you’re afraid they’re in league with the Chinese government to spread the coronavirus here?

– Are you checking WebMD every 15 minutes to determine if you have the coronavirus and being relieved when you think it only says you have cancer?

– Have you started drinking hand sanitizer to fight off the coronavirus?

– Has the CDC blocked you on social media for “asking too many questions”?

If you’ve said yes to any or all of these, you have Coronavirus Fever. Oh, and you’re an idiot. Do you know the most effective way of fighting coronavirus or a good chunk of illnesses for that matter?

Wash your hands.

I’m not saying to take it to Howard Hughes levels, but use a little common sense, soap and water, and hand sanitizer (on your hands, not your innards). And if you feel sick, even a little, stay home and rest. Whatever it is you think you have to do today will still be there tomorrow. And for the love of Pete, think before you post! Not every nugget of what passes for news these days is important, and not everybody in what passes for news is trustworthy. Read up a bit, take a breath, figure out if what you’re intending on posting will help or hurt the situation, and act accordingly. (No, this does not mean post anyway.)

If you do these things, we will find a cure for the Coronavirus Fever in our lifetimes. Just in time for something else to kill us all. Cheers!

“A yearn to quell the Bern” – Guest Opinion by Ari Kaufman

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After his 30-point primary loss Saturday in South Carolina, and considering relatively low turnout in earlier states, people are not “coming out in large numbers” for Bernie Sanders. He is apparently not “bringing in new voters,” as he often shouts. 

Perhaps the do-nothing senator has too many toxic radicals — the infamously misogynistic Bernie Bros; Jew haters like Marc Lamont Hill, Ilhan Omar, Al Sharpton, Rashida Tlaib, Cornel West and more  — supporting his campaign, harassing political opponents and throwing tantrums when their idol is criticized.

When Sanders constantly bemoans bigotry, he should look at the fringe company he keeps and the tyrants he’s praised around the globe. 

Of course he recently denied all these troubling issues, since Sanders often avoids facts like he ignores the limitless cost of his programs. He says “Russian bots” are the ones spewing hatred. But as James Kirchick recently explained in Tablet magazine:

“Such unpleasant behavior is an inherent function of his brand of holier-than-thou utopianism. If you’re running on a platform decrying our country’s entire political, economic, and social system as rotten to the core, if you believe that America’s world role has almost exclusively been for the bad, and that wildly better alternatives are easily available, then anyone who opposes your promised penny-ante nirvana becomes complicit in terrible evil.” 

It should be reiterated that Sanders has the same preposterous views as when he lived on a secular Israeli kibbutz more than a half-century ago. 

He once claimed, “We could wipe out economic hardship almost overnight. The problem is that the great wealth and potential of this country rests with a handful of people.”

Familiar rhetoric? Most of us know banal hard-left apologists akin to Sanders who excuse despots and value victimization over achievement; his rallies are full of ne’er-do-wells who believe America is a terrible place, but none of his ilk has been this close to the Oval Office.

He also repeatedly deems America a “racist society.” This is mendacious and offensive.

As Bill O’Reilly, who rarely makes overtly partisan statements on candidates, wrote last week:

“To buy into Sanders’ irresponsible statement, you must also believe that the United States’ social system, by design and execution, denies the equal pursuit of happiness to millions of its citizens based on skin color. There is absolutely no factual basis to support that heinous point of view. Yes, individual bias exists, but to allege it is national policy is a lie. And Bernie Sanders embraces that lie.”

O’Reilly claims Sanders, nearing age 80, and with a recent heart attack to boot, is the most dangerous person to run for President in his lifetime. Those supporting him, per the former Fox News host, “are enabling a dangerous point of view that would directly harm me and my family.”

He’s right. More conservatives, moderates, and every day Americans should speak out. I said this five years ago. And the Vermont Senator must be stopped now. 

Democrat candidates instead dithered and balked on exposing their new thought leader for over a year, set up an absurd primary calendar, and allowed way too much early voting. It’s been pitiful to witness. 

Contradicting ongoing theories, the DNC also did everything to accommodate the aggrieved socialist this election cycle. They changed the rules for 2020 — even though he agreed to the 2016 version — so Sanders got exactly what he wanted with chaotic direct democracy and more. Now this career politician complains? He is a pathetic hypocrite and playing the victim.

The next 36-48 hours are crucial. With Pete Buttigieg dropping out Sunday night, Joe Biden and Mike Bloomberg — a combined 155 years old — are the last chance for Democrats, a party of octogenarian white men.

Otherwise, Donald Trump, a President with mediocre debating skills, a short attention span, a deficit of small government principles, and a propensity to speak admiringly of Sanders’ populism, may be our last chance to do so; Democrats, meanwhile, either agree with Sanders or are too feckless to make cogent arguments any sensible 7th grader could to expose the vacuous authoritarian.

A former teacher and historian, Ari Kaufman has worked as a journalist in various roles since 2006. He currently resides with his wife in Minnesota.