Saturday, November 28, 2020

Psalm Reader

Dear Thankful Jolter,

We're putting this baby to bed a tad early because Your Humble Correspondent is losing the war against those powerful, somniating turkey vapors. Before the eyelids shut tight, we take note that on Thanksgiving Eve Donald Trump pardoned General Michael Flynn, Joe Biden revealed he was an Old Testament aficionado ...

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WITH JACK FOWLER November 28 2020
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WITH JACK FOWLER November 28 2020
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Psalm Reader

Dear Thankful Jolter,

We're putting this baby to bed a tad early because Your Humble Correspondent is losing the war against those powerful, somniating turkey vapors. Before the eyelids shut tight, we take note that on Thanksgiving Eve Donald Trump pardoned General Michael Flynn, Joe Biden revealed he was an Old Testament aficionado, Sidney Powell went to court to release Georgia kraken, and Michigan kraken too, and the Twitter Censors moved immediately to block link-sharing of such.

The questions remains: Will Donald Trump snatch the election that seemed to be secure in the psalm of Joe's hand?

Down to business: Short links as appetizers, then onto the same, but all attended by an excerpt heapin' helpin'. If your taste runs conservative, then what lies ahead is gut-busting de gustibust. Enjoy!

Short and Neat

Ryan Mills and Tobias Hoonhout argue Lin Wood might make Chuck Schumer the boss: The Lawyer Who Would Hand Joe Biden Control of the Senate.

Kevin Hassett is prepared: Here Comes the Biden Blame Game.

Fred Fleitz is concerns about Joe and Tehran: Stubborn Facts Facing Biden on Iran.

Rich Lowry unmasks the reality: The Coming Anti-COVID Restriction Backlash.

Victor Davis Hanson explains the city-mouse dependence on its country cousin: The Rural Way.

John Yoo assesses: Implications of the Flynn Pardon.

Jimmy Quinn has good news from the Secretary of State: Pompeo Predicts 'Many' More Mideast Peace Deals: 'We Broke Glass"

Helen Raleigh demands a stop to Bejing know-towing: An Urgent Appeal to WHO: Let Taiwan Speak.

Tobias Hoonhout reports on the Golden State GOP's success: Why California Republicans Stopped Complaining about Ballot-Harvesting and Embraced the Process.

Zachary Evans profiles scholarly fellow-traveling: America's Elite Universities Hide Contributions from World's Worst Human-Rights Abusers.

Joseph Sullivan tracks the upswing: U.S. Middle Class's Exceptionally Long Decline – and Recent Recovery.

Zac Morgan explains why the First Amendment is at risk: Stunning Findings on Campaign-Finance Law.

Daniel Buck says the class is in session: A Teacher's Defense of Betsy DeVos.

Itxu Díaz knows loco bureaucrats when he sees them: Spain's Government Declares War on the Spanish Language.

Davis Harsanyi registers a no: Mandatory Voting Is Authoritarian.

Nicholas Pompella reflects on a lefty patriot: Harold Bloom: The Essential American Literary Critic.

Fred Bauer is mighty impressed by the Plymouth folk: The Pilgrims at 400: Granite Principles, Marble Men.

So is Cameron Hilditch: The 1620 Project.

And so is Rich Lowry: Our National Festival.

Kyle Smith sees plenty of clichés: Hillbilly Elegy: Ron Howard's Inverted Mayberry.

More, Kyle, who also sees something ingenious: The Crazy Comedy of John Brown.

Brian Allen looks through the window: Tiffany Fireworks in Manhattan Stained Glass.

Here They Are, Hot and Tasty, with All the Trimmings

1. Ryan Mills and Tobias Hoonhout argue lawyer Lin Wood's antics in Georgia might lose the GOP the special elections: From the piece.

The threats of boycott are putting the state's top Republican leaders in a bit of a pickle, as they face a turnout-oriented race that will require the support of Trump's populist and sometimes conspiratorial base, as well as traditional, moderate Republicans who are skeptical of the more outlandish claims by the president and some of his supporters.

They're also wary of getting dragged into intra-party mudwrestling matches with folks like Wood, who have large followings among Trump's most fervent backers.

Attempts to reach Wood on the phone, and via email and Twitter were not successful.

"I understand the concerns of the president's most passionate supporters and we share them," David Shafer, the chair of the Georgia GOP, wrote in a text message. "We are fighting to make sure that every lawful vote is counted and every unlawful vote rejected. In the end, the stakes are too high for us not to come together."

Georgia Republicans who spoke to National Review said there is little room for error in the two races, which are both expected to be close. If even a small percentage of Trump's followers boycott the races, they could swing blue, handing a one-seat Senate majority to Democrat Chuck Schumer.

2. Joe Biden will blame a double-dip recession on Donald Trump, but Kevin Hassett is here to say that he'd be quite wrong. From the article:

Before they storm the castle, perhaps the Biden team should make a list of their assets. The first asset is a strong economy. The COVID-19 pandemic recession likely ended in the third quarter of this year, when real GDP advanced a whopping 33.1 percent. The Atlanta Fed's GDPNow estimate for the fourth quarter suggests it will post growth around six percentage points. Combining the two, that means that the economy will about return to the level of GDP it posted right before the pandemic began, back when we had the strongest economy in generations. So the "back" part of the Biden slogan is superfluous, as the economy will likely be back before he takes office. As has been discussed at length in this space, that agenda doesn't build at all, but rather subtracts from economic activity. So it doesn't build, we are already back, and it's worse than the status quo.

The second asset is a vaccine. We are very close to the widespread availability of two enormously successful vaccines. More could well be on the way. Most Americans should be able to receive them by the spring. This means that the acceleration in the economy that is currently underway should, if we leave it alone, pick up steam as things head back to a post-pandemic normal.

The third asset is a likely Republican-controlled Senate that has already shown that it is able to pass significant stimulus legislation. But it is not going to hand out cash to blue states willy nilly as the House Democrats have proposed.

Which completes the setting. The economy is carrying enormous positive momentum into next year. Since the case load is spiking now, there is some chance that lockdowns will get worse before they get better. Firms around the country need to tread water for a few more months, after which they can return to normal. The risk is that there is a wave of bankruptcies between now and the late spring, that is set off by a return to widespread shutdowns. To face this risk, the administration needs to show it is serious about finding a compromise stimulus package, and cognizant that a promise of massive tax hikes next year is a negative for business sentiment. Businesses that are just hanging on with hope of a brighter future could well give up if that future includes a government that taxes away all their profits.

3. If there is to be a President Biden, when it comes to Iran, he'll have to deal with critical and stubborn facts, contends Fred Fleitz. From the piece:

So make no mistake: For many Democrats, quickly rejoining the JCPOA will be payback.

The problem is, over the past two years, the nuclear deal's enormous flaws have become indisputable. There also are new concerns about how the United States' rejoining the JCPOA would destabilize the Middle East.

The Obama administration acknowledged when the JCPOA was announced in 2015 that it was imperfect and excluded safeguards against many threats posed by Iran, such as its missile program and sponsorship of terrorism. Obama officials claimed the deal had a narrow purpose: to keep Iran one year away from a nuclear bomb for ten to 15 years. They said this was the best agreement that could be reached with Iran, touted broad international support for it, and claimed the deal prevented a war with Iran.

For years, JCPOA defenders successfully refuted or discredited evidence of Iranian cheating on the nuclear deal. This became impossible, however, in 2018 after Israeli intelligence stole a huge cache of documents on Iran's secret nuclear-weapons program. Indeed, the newly discovered Iran Nuclear Archive provided clarity on Iran's nuclear program and its pursuit of nuclear weapons. The archive documents indicated that Iran's nuclear-weapons program was far more advanced than it had admitted to the IAEA, that Iran had misled and lied to the IAEA and the international community about its nuclear program in disclosures required by the JCPOA, and that the Iranian government had taken steps to deceive IAEA inspectors after the JCPOA was implemented. The documents also suggested that some covert Iranian nuclear-weapons activities were still underway and revealed covert nuclear sites that Iran quickly moved to destroy before they could be inspected by the IAEA.

4. There's going to be a doozie of a backlash by fed-up Americans to more COVID-restrictions, says Rich Lowry. From the piece:

The Right's populism and limited-government impulse, which separated in the Trump years, will presumably be reunited in the push against lockdowns in a way that they haven't been since the Tea Party.

"Lockdowns. Mask police. Curfews. What about freedom?" asked conservative Representative Jim Jordan in a recent tweet, forecasting things to come.

It'd be much better if we could find a prudent middle path through the next several months, as the pandemic enters its worst phase and as new vaccines arrive that will soon start changing everything. But a significant segment of the American public has lost its patience with a new normal that has, at times, been arbitrary and poorly thought ...   READ MORE

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