Monday, December 4, 2023


Reuters reports the following news which will delight the global warming fantasists among you. My immediate thought: better there than here.

Temperatures in parts of Siberia plummeted to minus 56 degrees Celsius (minus 69 degrees Fahrenheit) on Monday while blizzards blanketed Moscow in record snowfall and disrupted flights as winter weather swept across Russia.

Meanwhile, up home in WY the stage is set for a white Christmas (see below), while here on the eastern edge of the Mojave it is still shirtsleeves at midday, and a light jacket in late afternoon. 

Migratory birds aren't all that dumb.

Assimilation Is Essential

Interesting quote, attributed to tech pioneer Marc Andreessen.
The most serious problem in any organization is the one that cannot be discussed.

Reacting to that concept, and writing at Substack, Arnold Kling notes:

The political elites do not want to discuss the issue of how to handle large-scale migration of people from the global South to the global North. Underlying this is an unwillingness to discuss cultural differences between the WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic) and the rest. And an unwillingness to favor the former over the latter. Consequently, these leaders face populist revolts, surprising them with Donald Trump, Brexit, Geert Wilders, and the Irish anti-immigrant riot.

People outside the progressive elites can see with our own eyes that immigrants from the global South into Western Europe are not assimilating. Right-wing intellectuals use expressions like “invasion” or “great replacement.” But their fears are not allowed to be discussed in polite company.

The Democratic left does not want to champion assimilation, because doing so would concede the conservative proposition that our culture is in some respects superior and worth assimilating into.

Kling leaves out of his list of successful anti-immigrant pols Giorgia Meloni and Viktor Orban.

COTTonLINE believes: Not all cultures are created equal. If you move to my country you adopt my culture's major outlines and values, full stop. 

Weird Aging Science

Instapundit links to a very odd study done in Australia, and perhaps Britain. The issue is the extent to which various factors contribute to biological aging, defined thus. Note British spelling of "aging."

Biological ageing refers to cumulative damage to the body’s tissues and cells, irrespective of chronological age.

And the researchers summarize their findings thusly.

Our findings demonstrate that housing circumstances have a significant impact on biological ageing, even more so than other important social determinants, such as unemployment, for example, and therefore health impacts should be an important consideration shaping housing policies.

Reporting on the study, the NY Post adds:

The research found renting had worse effects on biological age than being unemployed (adding 1.4 weeks per year), obesity (adding 1 week per year), or being a former smoker (adding about 1.1 weeks).

University of Adelaide Professor of Housing Research Emma Baker said private renting added “about two-and-a-half weeks of aging” per year to a person’s biological clock, compared to those who own their homes.

In fact, private rental is the really interesting thing here, because social renters, for some reason, don’t seem to have that effect,” Professor Baker told the ABC News Daily podcast.

"Social renters" refers to people living in public housing.

I need to caution readers that correlation ≠ causation. When two factors occur together one of them may cause the other, or perhaps a third, unmentioned factor causes both. Regular readers have seen this caveat before.

It is likely something else is causing both being a renter and the health deficit implied in "biological aging." Very possibly poverty or personal factors like marginal employability, mental problems or a criminal record. We know racial discrimination wasn't involved as all participants were of European stock.  

Bye-Ku for Burgum

It is widely reported that ND Gov. Doug Burgum has suspended (i.e., ended) his effort to attain the GOP presidential nomination for 2024. As is our COTTonLINE custom, we offer a bye-ku - a haiku of farewell - to Gov. Burgum.

Bye-bye Doug Burgum.
Deep pockets were not enough,
Your shtick did not click.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

The Cheney Irrelevancy

 Headline in Politico.

Liz Cheney would rather see Democrats win in 2024.

Of course she would, what's that old chestnut about a woman scorned? On a happier note, it is certain she won't be winning anything in 2024. 

We don't miss her in Wyoming, where she was more visitor than resident. When her name pops up now, the feeling is "There was a time when you were somebody."

Hat tip to Robert Ludlum for the title styling.

UAW Sides with Hamas

Politico reports the United Auto Workers labor union has called for a ceasefire in Gaza. UAW president Shawn Fain posted at X, the former Twitter as follows:

I am proud that the UAW International Union is calling for a ceasefire in Israel and Palestine. From opposing fascism in WWII to mobilizing against apartheid South Africa and the CONTRA war, the @UAW has consistently stood for justice across the globe.

He lumps Israel in with Nazi Germany, apartheid South Africa, and Nicaraguan anti-Communists. It's not an analogy many Americans would make. 

Certainly not one President Biden shares. Biden openly sided with the UAW recently during their strike, this is a rude way to repay his support.

On the other hand, The Hill adds this to their reporting on the story.

Detroit, the UAW’s strongest base, is home to one of the largest populations of Muslim and Arab Americans in the country, headlined by Dearborn, Mich., home to Ford.

My cynical take: there aren't a lot of Jews assembling cars. 

Our Pinochet?

Writing for the Washington Post, and weirdly out from behind their paywall, Robert Kagan writes a long opinion piece on why the probabilities are great that Donald J. Trump will be America’s Augusto Pinochet (see above). Kagan imagines that all the tipping points go Trump’s way, which is possible but hasn’t been the case so far. 

What Kagan leaves out is that, at 78, Trump is unlikely to live long enough to enjoy it. Plus I don’t see Trump having the steely self-discipline necessary to pull it off, he is more self-indulgent.

Truly, if you want to read the plot for a novel of how the U.S. gets, and somewhat enjoys, Trump as dictator, Kagan has laid one out. Will it play out as he imagines? Probably not. We’ll see what unfolds. 

Saturday, December 2, 2023


What are the odds two cartoonists would imagine Gavin Newsom as The Joker, Batman's nemesis? I posted one in Saturday Snark. This one is from today's

Being Real About Aging

I am three years older than Joe Biden. I am still reasonably alert mentally, as I believe this blog demonstrates. But I promise you three years ago you wouldn't have wanted me as your President, and I wouldn't have taken the job, had it been offered. 

He tries to fake stamina, so do I sometimes, without a zillion TV cameras pointed at me. He doesn't succeed and I suspect I don't either. We've put a lot of miles on these old bodies and they aren't as able as they were.

I forget a name or a fact I've known nearly all my life now and then. Out of the public eye, it doesn't much embarrass me. I feel for him doing it with millions of people watching and recording his lapses and frailty, and commenting on it. 

Being president is a tough job done in the glare of public scrutiny. The stress and unrelenting schedule visibly ages those who do the job fully. Look at photos of eight year presidents before and after, the job takes a serious toll. It's a toll a guy or gal in their 50s or 60s can handle, the game is definitely worth the candle at those ages. 

Don't give the job to an obviously failing octogenarian. Be skeptical about doing so with a still together late septuagenarian. 

Saturday Snark

Dead ringer.

Yummy bugs.

Some former colleagues.

Images courtesy of Power Line's The Week in Pictures
and its Comments section.

Immigration Attitudes

What do Americans think about levels of immigration into the U.S.? Steven Hayward of Power Line has the Gallup polling data going back 23 years. 

The chart below shows that for the last 23 years more Americans were dissatisfied and wanted immigration decreased (the top line) than those who wanted it to stay the same or increase. During the Trump administration the number seeking decrease lessens significantly, and is now back up near its high.

Liberal Parents a Problem

Breitbart reports a Gallup study, done with the Institute for Family Studies which finds this.

"Being raised by liberal parents is a much larger risk factor for mental health problems in adolescence than being raised in a low-income household with parents who did not attend college,” wrote the brief’s author, Jonathan Rothwell, the principal economist at Gallup and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. 

“Children of conservative parents score significantly better on mental health using either a comprehensive measure of mental health based on several items, or just asking either parent or adolescents to summarize their mental health on a 1-5 scale. The gap is large,” Rothwell continued.

I suppose you're thinking liberal parents do a worse job of raising kids, and in truth they may. However, it is likely a much more significant factor is genetics. 

Liberals have been shown to be more likely to have mental problems. The children of those with mental problems are more likely to also have such problems. Environment may be a factor, genetics is a bigger factor. Hat tip to for the link.

Friday Snark

People enjoy it too much.

Images courtesy of Politico's Nation's Cartoonists on the Week in Politics.

Friday, December 1, 2023

The Musk Mess

The following is from an editorial in the Washington Free Beacon. It is part of their defense of Elon Musk against a charge of anti-semitism.

Jewish organizations spent millions of dollars supporting Black Lives Matter, the Women’s March, and many other faddish hotbeds of bigotry. They did so because they believed that by standing with anyone who claimed to be oppressed, they could prove themselves to be allies and progressives in good standing. 

The strategy has failed miserably, with many of those same progressive organizations now openly supporting Hamas.

Cuddling up to those who turn out to be enemies, and snubbing those who are in fact friends has mostly typified progressive Jewry. Friends of Israel have watched this process, clicked our tongues, and wished it were otherwise. 

Lesson learned: The oppressed are often quite open to oppressing others.  

Newsom's In-law Problem

An interesting procedural note has emerged from last night's DeSantis/Newsom debate. The two governors had agreed, during a commercial break, to an extension of the "festivities" beyond the scheduled 90 minutes. And then, according to NBC News ...

Newsom's wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, came into the debate room on at least two occasions to raise some objections.

She also made her way to the stage during the break after the candidates agreed to extend the debate and put an end to it.

A fifth source on the ground, unaffiliated with either campaign, confirmed that Siebel Newsom ended the debate on her husband's behalf, saying, "We're done."

One of Siebel Newsom's complaints centered around DeSantis' mention of her father. DeSantis claimed that he told him he moved from California to Florida because it was better governed.

Fact check: Fox News reports

Kenneth F. Siebel Jr. and Judith A. Siebel, parents of Newsom's wife Jennifer Siebel and longtime California residents, became Florida residents in 2020 after purchasing a $3.3 million Naples home in March of that year, records show. 

Newsom's in-laws ... officially became registered voters in the Sunshine State as of June 2020. Kenneth Siebel is a registered Republican while Judith Siebel has no party affiliation.

I presume DeSantis described Mr. Siebel's feelings accurately. Party affiliation is a matter of public record in most states. 

Hey, Over Here, Look at Me

Chris Cuomo was with ABC in the 2000s and a big deal talking head on CNN for 8 years, during some of which his brother Andrew was Governor of New York. Both Cuomo brothers were sons of former NY Governor Mario Cuomo and, like him, Democrats. Chris pushed Democratic themes and story lines at CNN. 

Then both Cuomo brothers became anathema and lost their jobs, Andrew for sexually harassing women and shoving Covid cases into nursing homes, likely causing many deaths among a population most of whom were, in any case, “waiting for God.” 

Chris lost his bully pulpit at CNN because he aided his brother in ways deemed journalistically inappropriate. And just maybe, when Andrew was no longer the Gov., Chris wasn’t as useful.

Since that happened in 2021 Chris has been comparatively out of the public eye, a former somebody. That is a tough transition to make. 

Now comes word that Chris said he is “open” to supporting Trump, has voted for Republicans before, and is unhappy with Biden’s administration. Here at Red State you see he thinks we’re worse off than under Trump - as who doesn’t - and for all his personal foibles, Trump did it better.

A cynic would respond, “Isn’t it amazing what a onetime celebrity will do or say to regain the limelight? The attention is addictive.”

The Father-in-Law

 A quick story from the Newsom/DeSantis debate tonight. Here it is from Red State via a DeSantis X.

I was talking to a fella who had made the move from California to Florida. He was telling me that Florida’s much better governed, safer, better budget, lower taxes. Then he paused and said ‘by the way, I’m Gavin Newsom’s father-in-law.’

Red State's Bonchie who posted the X adds this epitaph.

I'm pretty sure Christmas dinner is going to be awkward this year.


On another note, Newsom told DeSantis one thing they had in common was neither would the nominee in 2024, according to Fox. That is a guess, not a fact. 

What Newsom and DeSantis truly have in common is that neither will be the nominee unless, one way or another, fate takes the president, the former president, or both out of the running. At their ages and with their legal complications, such is a distinct possibility. And that possibility is why tonight's debate was interesting.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

A Positive Indicator

We have to take our good news where we find it, this tiny ray of sunshine is in a report that MSNBC is cancelling a weekend show I've never seen by someone named Mehdi Hasan. Apparently he'd been expressing anti-Israel views, not surprising for a Shia Muslim

The report adds he still works for the cable news outlet, but no longer has his own show. Someone leaked the info to the New York Post. Hat tip to for the link.

Thursday Snark

For conservatives, these four are the most interesting politicians on the planet. Hair hasn't much to do with it. 
Odd how women can wear their hair in wildly different ways w/o comment, guys can't. Image courtesy of Politico.


Headline at the TaxProf website:

Jeff Bezos will save billions in taxes by moving to Miami.

Reaction of Instapundit Glenn Reynolds:

His newspaper likes Biden but his wallet prefers DeSantis.
Loving the hypocrisy. Florida is one of several states imposing no state income tax, the others presently include AK, NV, SD, TN, TX, and WY. NH will join that group in 2027, and WA only taxes a small number of high earners, which would obviously include earners like Bezos. 

Full disclosure: Our summer residence is in WY and winter residence is in NV, two states with no state income tax. This is no accident.