Friday, April 30, 2021

Not Going to Matter

Fox News’ Liz Peek quotes the New York Times transcript of the Joe Biden SOTU. Slow Joe uttered a Kinsley gaffe, saying a truth he wasn’t supposed to utter.

The United States accounts, as all of you know, for less than 15 percent of carbon emissions. The rest of the world accounts for 85 percent. That’s why I kept my commitment to rejoin the Paris Accord, because if we do everything perfectly, it’s not going to matter.

Let’s stop talking about carbon emissions. India and China won’t do their big parts so why bother?

SOTU Ratings Suck

Yahoo News carries a Reuters report of the viewership for President Biden’s so-called SOTU speech.

President Joe Biden's first address to Congress on Wednesday night attracted an estimated 26.9 million viewers across 16 U.S. television networks, according to Nielsen ratings data released on Thursday.

Biden's audience slumped nearly 44% below the TV viewership for Republican President Donald Trump's first address to a joint session of Congress in 2017. Trump's remarks pulled in 47.7 million TV viewers on 11 networks.

Even people who voted for Biden don’t like watching him try to speak. It’s a painful reminder we have an empty suit in the Oval Office. 

Doubling Down

Three days ago I noted that Paul Mirengoff of Power Line had committed a Kinsley gaffe. Apparently it was no accident. Today he has waded out into similar waters with the following comment in reaction to some aspects of Biden’s peculiar SOTU speech.

We must consider the possibility that those who are “behind the eight-ball” have left themselves behind — by declining to do the things that other Blacks (and members of other groups that began their time in America in a disadvantaged condition) have done to get ahead. If Biden wants to confer additional benefits on Blacks who are left behind, he should show that their status, somehow, is the result of slavery and Jim Crow, rather than the result of their decisions and their behavior. It’s neither a showing he can make, nor one he’s interested in attempting.

Mirengoff has the courage of his convictions, no question.  

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Biden’s Spending Proposals

I have a minor in Economics, I got it for bureaucratic reasons too convoluted (and boring) to explain here. It doesn’t make me a Warren Buffett or Jamie Dimon, but I taught college-level micro and macro Econ many years ago and understand the basics.

If Joe Biden succeeds in pushing through all of his recently announced multi-trillion dollar spending proposals, at least one of two bad things will happen, maybe both. Either we will all end up paying a lot more federal taxes or we will experience inflation of the sort not seen since Jimmy Carter. If both happen, we can have the infamous “stagflation.”

There are ways to hedge against inflation, holding assets whose value will go up as prices rise rather than holding cash and cash equivalents is a primary one. Hedging against taxes requires more creativity and isn’t always possible. 

An example: I remember ‘shiny’ farms that were described as tax shelters. They built property value for their physician-owners while showing a paper farming loss which was offset against the owners’ earnings as surgeons.

The idea was to eventually sell the farms for a big capital gain which is taxed at a lower rate than regular income. Real farmers trying to make a living off their farms hated the competition.

Later ... According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, food prices rose 3.9 percent in 2020. Inflation is already underway, and have you noted fuel prices soaring?

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Midweek Snark

Posted by Instapundit

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

A Kinsley Gaffe

One of the regulars at Power Line - Paul Mirengoff - committed a Kinsley gaffe in a column posted today. It is named for journalist Michael Kinsley who wrote that it occurs “when a politician tells the truth - some obvious truth he isn't supposed to say." 

I guess you could argue Mirengoff isn’t a politician and, more to the point, since he’s retired he can’t be fired for his views. So what shocking opinion did Mirengoff reveal about the left’s current shibboleth Critical Race Theory (CRT)?

I consider CRT to be superstructure built to cover the fact that Blacks, to a disproportionate degree, have not done what it takes to succeed in a society where barriers to their advancement have largely been removed (and where Blacks sometimes are treated more favorably than Whites due to their skin color).

Quoting Party Whip Francis Urquhart from the British House of Cards TV series, “You might very well think that. I couldn’t possibly comment.”

Biting the Hand

The guys at Power Line link to a Garrison Keillor column at Jewish World Review, which I looked at out of curiosity. Keillor is an unregenerate old liberal and thus not their (or my) cup of tea. 

I was pleasantly surprised to read the following as the “Sage of Lake Woebegone” bites the selfsame PBS hand that, for so many years, fed him.

What with resistance to immunization, I worry we suddenly we'd find ourselves in a nation of public-radio listeners, old folkies, organic sustainable people who are spiritual but not religious, and all the cranky uncles and crackpot cousins will disappear, and Terry Gross will be elected president. She does a show, "Fresh Air," on which she interviews only people she admires because they agree with her. This is the problem with public radio. They can't bear dissent.

I don't want to live in an entire nation of Vermonters. We need Texas and Mississippi too. Even Oklahoma.

Maybe even Wyoming, per the new census still the least populous state. Our nondensity is so social distanced we probably didn’t even need Covid shots.  

Rest easy, Garrison, we two cranky conservatives from WY got our shots and do not propose to die anytime soon. We gotta stay healthy to help retire RINO Liz Cheney next year.

Doing Intentional Harm

Power Line’s John Hinderaker notes the anti-American rhetoric of Biden’s Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield. If a diplomat’s job is to make the best possible case for his/her nation in the forum of world opinion, Ms. Thomas-Greenfield fails spectacularly ... apparently on purpose. 
In her remarks, Thomas-Greenfield castigated the U.S. as inherently, irredeemably evil. “I have seen for myself how the original sin of slavery weaved white supremacy into our founding documents and principles,” America’s woman at the United Nations said.

While bizarre to the uninformed, it turns out Thomas-Greenfield’s remarks were simply her stump speech. She gave the same one—nearly verbatim—at the UN last month.

When asked whether Biden would fire Thomas-Greenfield in light of her use of Chinese Foreign Ministry talking points to attack America, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki scoffed. “Most people recognize the history of systemic racism in our country,” she said dismissively.

Ms. Psaki strongly implies Biden believes there is no positive case to be made for the U.S. and never has been. Electing Biden president has been the functional equivalent of choosing Bernie Madoff as our investment advisor.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Few Watch Oscars

Variety reports the Nielsen ratings for last night’s Oscar awards broadcast.

Per Nielsen Live+Same Day preliminary national numbers, an average of 9.85 million viewers tuned in on Sunday evening to watch a more intimate and stripped-down version of the Oscars in the midst of a pandemic. That’s a 58.3%, 13.75 million viewer drop-off from last year. The Academy’s third host-less show in a row scored a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49 in the fast national ratings, a 64.2% dip from 2020.

Last year was a record low in terms of viewers, this year is substantially worse. You could blame the Covid-19-shuttered movie houses across the country, that certainly played a part in this year’s non-viewership.

The downward trend could also be related to Hollywood calling the conservative half of Americans terrible people. You saying we’re “terrible” rarely turns us into consumers of your product. 

We’ve more-or-less known Hollywood thinks we’re terrible since Sen. McCarthy. But for decades you kept those views to yourself so we could ignore them. 

Now, as Hollywood openly flies its freak flag, we find it hard to justify buying your product when it feels ‘treasonous.’ That is one downside of having made everything political.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Having It Both Ways

One of the minor contretemps percolating in the body politic is furor over the FBI designating the shooter - James Hodgkinson - who shot up a 2017 Congressional Republican baseball practice in Alexandria, VA, as a case of suicide-by-cop. 

Republicans are quite certain it was politically motivated terrorism. Given the shooter’s online comments, it is clear the gunman wanted to kill elected Republicans

Why do I call this a “minor contretemps”? Because I see no reason why it cannot be both political terrorism and suicide by cop. As the guys at Instapundit are fond of snarking, embrace the healing power of “and.” 

Like suicide bombers, he may have been quite willing to die for his beliefs. Perhaps that can be called suicide-by-cop while taking nothing away from his political motives, which he took pains to make clear.

Friday, April 23, 2021

The Immigration Mess

The Biden administration’s policies have led to a flood of illegal immigrants. Surveys show most Americans aren’t happy about this flood. So we ask, what is wrong with a rich nation having open borders?

For certain, not everybody dislikes the consequences. Businesses get both cheap labor and extra consumers. And the wealthy get cheap servants - maids, nannies, gardeners, and pool boys.

The rest of us? We get lower wages while paying higher taxes to support the influx of poorly socialized third-world individuals. Many of these end up in our emergency rooms or jail cells, in either case we pay their bills.

If not impeded, perhaps half of the 600 million residents of Latin America might end up coming here. In their shoes, I believe I would. 

That influx would effectively double the U.S population. The result would be much greater population density here, which equals worse living conditions for Americans.

Should our government permit this? Very simply, it should not. President Trump understood this. What, if anything, President Biden understands remains unclear, as his befuddled public statements demonstrate.

Thursday, April 22, 2021


Instapundit considers former President George W. Bush, who has expressed his disdain for modern Republicans, and responds thusly:

In retrospect, it seems that Bush didn’t mind the contempt with which lefties treated him, because he knew the contempt was really aimed at his voters, for whom he apparently had contempt too.

As President, W was a serious disappointment to most Republicans. He could be counted on not to do many bad things, but in 8 years he didn’t do many good ones either. Which made him an inconsequential president, a placeholder.

The Politically “Left Behind”

The prior post brings thoughts about similar dilemmas should the United Kingdom disaggregate with Scotland and Northern Ireland going their own ways. Or if the U.S. should split into red and blue nations. 

In any of these situations there will be people “left behind” on what they perceive to be the “wrong side” of formerly insignificant borders. I wonder what the history of such “left behind” populations has been in times past? 

Unlike the apocalyptic novels about a post-Rapture future, the politically left behind are a historic reality. One that has occurred many times, and bids fair to happen again in the foreseeable future.

Romans left behind in Britain or Gaul, Spaniards in Latin America, Royalists in post-colonial America, Arabs in Israel. From what I know of history, it is hard to generalize about their outcomes. Some flee, some hunker down, some assimilate, some dominate, some isolate, and some just wither away.

Threat Reduction

According to, Bloomberg claims the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Shoygu has announced its troops will begin pulling back from the Ukraine border, the movement should be completed by May 1.

In a public address on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy invited his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for talks to resolve the situation.

Western leaders have spoken out about the rising friction between Moscow and Kyiv. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the situation “worryingly tense” in a speech to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg this week.

During his announcement of the troop withdrawal, the Russian defense minister said that the goals of the military operation had been fulfilled.

Whether this was merely a mobilization exercise or mostly a warning to Kiev about what is possible remains unclear. I am tempted to speculate the buildup was intended to start (and influence the outcome of) talks between Ukraine and Russia.

The topic? The status of residents of eastern Ukraine who consider themselves to be Russians. Like Russian speaking minorities in the Baltic Republics, people caught by the breakup of the USSR on the “wrong side” of a border that before 1991 meant little more than the border between Oregon and Idaho.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Further Backing Away

Six days ago we wrote about companies learning the hard way that social activism is not welcomed by their customers, who do have alternatives. And we noted the CEOs of Coca Cola and Delta were backing away from such stances.

Today comes news about the very woke chief legal counsel at Coca Cola - Bradley Gayton - who wanted to route much of the corporation’s legal work to firms with lots of minority attorneys. He’s been let go in a reorganization, Reuters has the story.

Companies which wish to be on “the right side” of the racism issue can make extra efforts to recruit, coach, retain, and promote qualified minorities without going all holier-than-thou preachy in public pronouncements. Why leave the (probably false) impression the firm will hire no more whites when 2/3 of your customers are white?

Cause and Effect

In two essays written in the 1940s, George Orwell, author of 1984 and Animal Farm, first wrote:

[Kipling] sees clearly that men can only be highly civilized while other men, inevitably less civilized, are there to guard and feed them. 

Three years later he wrote:

Those who ‘abjure’ violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf. 

These led columnist Richard Grenier to pen the words that today are attributed to Orwell, and which certainly capture what Orwell believed. Grenier wrote: 

As George Orwell pointed out, people sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

Regardless of guilt or innocence, the Chauvin verdict will cause the “rough men” (and women) of American law enforcement to rethink their willingness to “do violence” on our behalf. If your sleep isn’t less peaceful tonight, you misunderstand the negative effect leashing the sheepdogs has on the safety of the flock (i.e., you and me).

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The Chauvin Verdict

It is widely reported Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been found guilty on all three charges in the death in custody of George Floyd. I haven’t heard the evidence and have no opinion on the verdict.

The President, the Governor, the Mayor and Congresswoman Waters spoke publicly in in favor of a guilty verdict. Combined with near-universal fear of rioting and bloodshed in the event of an innocent verdict, it seems the chance of the accused getting a fair trial in Minneapolis or elsewhere in MN was near-zero. 

Plus the prosecution had a platoon of skilled lawyers, including the MN Attorney General, while the accused had one, lone defense attorney. And the accused’s own bosses threw him under the bus. 

I’d guess those outraged at Floyd’s death are happy with the verdict. Those concerned with law and order in this country, and with effective policing, probably view the process by which the verdict was achieved as seriously flawed and deleterious to good order.

English in Brussels

A very interesting story in The Independent (U.K.) concerning the prevalence of English language in everyday life in Brussels. This in spite of the U.K. having left the EU. 

While the official languages of Belgium are French and Dutch, as a headquarters city for both the EU and NATO, it is likely that many people who come to Brussels for work speak, in addition to their native tongue, English. The story indicates something like one third of the residents of Brussels speak English, and suggests it should become the city’s third official language.

Fortunately for its native speakers, English has become the international language of the current era. Whether it will eventually be eclipsed by Mandarin is unclear, certainly not in the lifetime of most COTTonLINE readers.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Walter Mondale, R.I.P.

Former Senator and Vice President under Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale has died, at age 93. He was heard to say, on multiple occasions, that as a politician Carter was clueless. That seems fair.

I met then-Senator Walter “Fritz” Mondale (D-MN) some 45 years ago, in Washington, DC, as part of a seminar organized by the Brookings Institution. He made a presentation to our small group and answered questions. 

In person, Mondale had good people skills and seemed decent. Sadly, only his decency came across when he was campaigning. Much the same was said of George W. Bush, whom I never met. 

Later ... For a view of Fritz Mondale by someone who knew and worked for him, see the column by Power Line’s Scott Johnson. Johnson expresses a view of Mondale very like mine.

A Final Convulsion

Instapundit Glenn Reynolds waxes anthropological about the “woke” movement in academia.

“Woke” politics is the bear shirt cult, the ghost dance movement, of academia. It’s what anthropologists call a “revitalization movement,” the last convulsions of a dying culture. The chief characteristic of revitalization movements is that they always fail. Which doesn’t mean that they aren’t dangerous on the way down.

Imagine how happy the DrsC are to have retired before academia got so freaking sick. Law prof Reynolds is still stuck inside the system.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Enjoying Retirement

Yesterday we took a drive to Zion National Park before the crowds of late spring, summer, and early autumn get too ridiculous. Zion has some of the most overwhelming scenery on the planet, and yesterday was no disappointment.

After Zion we drove the loop that goes east to Mt. Carmel junction, north through Glendale, and back west on Utah 14 to Cedar City. Highway 14 climbs up to 9900 feet where it is still very wintry and frozen. Then home by heading south on I-15.

Utah has some spectacular scenery, no question. It was a very pleasant day trip punctuated by a picnic lunch in Zion and a restaurant supper in St. George. See trip photos at the other DrC’s blog.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Poll: Corporate Social Messages Offensive

 Breitbart reports the findings of an NPR/PBS News Hour/Marist poll.

The poll asked registered voters if they support or oppose American companies using their public role, position, or events to influence political, cultural, or social change. The findings show that over half (58 percent) oppose any type of corporation using its power to influence any type of political, cultural, or social change across the country. They also show that 35 percent did support the efforts by woke corporations.

CEOs need to know only about a third of us like them siding with BLM and Antifa, pretty close to 2/3 of us think they’re dumb to do it. Some serious fraction of that latter group will try to patronize alternate vendors. Very recent reports suggest the CEOs of Coca Cola and Delta have gotten the message they’ve been naughty and are backpedaling.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Midweek Snark

Stephen Kruiser, who does a column for PJ Media, here dumps on the perfidy of CNN.

CNN’s lying about Trump being mentally and physically unfit to be in office led to the United States now having a president who is mentally and physically unfit to be in office.

Project Veritas has shown it was CNN’s conscious intent to do exactly this. Perfidy, indeed.

Snowflakes Gotta Flake

Instapundit links to an article at Evie Magazine which reports findings of a Pew Research study. It feels almost sinful when research produces findings that substantiate our gut feelings, as these do.

Pew American Trends Panel: Wave 64, was dated March 2020 — over a year ago.

The study, which examined white liberals, moderates, and conservatives, both male and female, found that conservatives were far less likely to be diagnosed with mental health issues than those who identified as either liberal or even “very liberal.” What’s more, white women suffered the worst of all. White women, ages 18-29, who identified as liberal were given a mental health diagnosis from medical professionals at a rate of 56.3%, as compared to 28.4% in moderates and 27.3% in conservatives.

We find yet another example of the underlying mechanism of Miles Law in action. Rufus Miles famously said that “where you stand depends on where you sit.” 

If a major part of “where you sit” is a mental health diagnosis, often of anxiety or depression, then we shouldn’t be surprised if where you stand politically is with the downtrodden, with whom you identify. And vice versa, if you don’t feel depressed or anguished, you are less likely to make common cause with those whose situation is bleak.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Where the “Good Life” Flourishes

Writing at Breitbart, John Nolte distills something I’ve experienced. Here’s his basic thesis:

Life in Rural America (which is where Republican Trump voters live and govern), is clean, safe and racially tolerant. Most places in America where life is dirty, polluted, dangerous, violent, and plagued with racial hate and race riots, are cities that are almost exclusively populated by and governed by Democrats.

He notes there is little anti-Asian bias in rural areas; that has certainly been my experience. In the tiny WY town where I buy my warm weather groceries there are a couple of Filipino families who are accepted and happily at home, marrying locals and thriving. 

Urban density creates problems, more density = more problems, problems generate hate. Hate demands solutions, and solutions to density’s problems are what Democrats sell. 

Rural Republicans fold in more than a little libertarianism into their policy mix. Low density means you doing your thing doesn’t get in my face as it would if we lived within a few feet of each other. “Live and let live” works in low density places, creates friction in high density places.


Understanding this calculus, Lee Kwan Yew who “designed” Singapore created a highly dense, highly regimented place that works very well. The government is, however, unapologetically intrusive into people’s lives, banning things like chewing gum, executing drug dealers, and kicking messy people out of public housing. It makes wrong-doers miserable without worrying overmuch about their human rights.

Lee built a high density first world city-state in a third world region by being anti-libertarian and somewhat authoritarian. I wouldn’t choose to make my home there, but visits are fine. It is a beautiful city.

Think of Democrats as ineffective authoritarians who’d like to be as tough as Singapore’s government. They can’t do it because of our nation’s low-density history and quasi-libertarian Constitution.

Monday, April 12, 2021

About Hate

Opinion written for USA Today by David Mastio cites FBI hate crime statistics.

Diversity is at the core of our national hate-crime statistics as tracked by the FBI. In 2019, the latest year for which the FBI has released statistics, 10% of hate crimes were committed by Hispanics, 24% were by Blacks and about 7% by groups with multiple ethnicities.

The FBI statistics are no aberration. "In New York City, where anti-Asian hate crime soared nearly nine-fold in 2020 over the year before, only two of the 20 people arrested last year in connection with these attacks were white, according to New York Police Department data analyzed by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. Eleven were African Americans, six were white Hispanics and one was a Black Hispanic," reported Masood Farivar for Voice of America.

About which, Instapundit Reynolds writes

According to the FBI, black people, who are roughly 12% of the population, commit 24% of the hate crimes.

Hate isn’t especially a white people’s problem, it is a human problem. Peoples of all races and nationalities enjoy hating entirely too much. It’s very universality makes it a particularly intractable problem with which to deal.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

The Asperger’s Fascists

Ed Driscoll, a regular at Instapundit, posts a Roger Simon column which excoriates the Tech Lords of Silicon Valley as “Asperger’s Fascists.” Simon writes:

They’re extremely bright (largely) guys who have reinvented the way we communicate and even live and made giant fortunes in the process. They used to be nerds, but now they’re big shots, inhabiting expensive homes in the most expensive place in America, Silicon Valley.

Given their history and the monomaniacal, focused manner in which they got there, I would wager many of them suffer from Asperger’s—“a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests.”

They get technology, they get business, but they don’t really get people. They don’t read widely, only within their world. Their machines have revealed the truth and they want to make sure the world follows their orders, which are, after all, politically correct.

When they censor they are doing what they are convinced is the right thing. They are what we may call Asperger’s Fascists.

This fits some hyper-techies I’ve known. It tends to be somewhat hereditary, I know of a tech family in which three generations are at various points on the autism spectrum.

Crazy, Stupid, and Vicious

Woke media refuse to report most anti-Asian violence is committed by other non-whites. Reacting to their refusal, Instapundit Glenn Reynolds weighs in with this indictment of “wokeness.”

When you remember that “woke” is a synonym for “crazy, stupid, and vicious” it all makes sense.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Prince Philip Has Died

Prince Philip, husband of Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom, has died at age 99. In his public role as spouse of the monarch, Philip was very nearly textbook perfect.

In his other role as father, grandfather, and great grandfather, Philip’s performance was more uneven. Son Charles has been a disappointment. Grandsons William and Harry end up being a winner and a loser, respectively. 

Historians may conclude that, like most of us, Philip did very well those things over which he had control, less well on things where he had, at best, some influence. Prince Philip, requiescat in pace.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

High Density a Killer

Joel Kotkin describes the underlying reason high density states like New York and New Jersey are having such a tough time with Covid-19. Newgeography has the story, hat tip to Instapundit for the link.

What emerge from these trends are some clear issues with transmission that transcend lockdowns, mask mandates and other punitive measures. However justified, such actions have not addressed the fundamental reasons why some geographies and populations have suffered so much more than others. That’s to say that while the blue state governors aren’t necessarily to blame for the surges their states are experiencing, it’s clear that the economically and personally disruptive measures did not have the expected impact.

What did make a big difference, it turns out, is not so much the severity of lockdowns but pre-existing conditions. The likely cause here can be best identified as “exposure density” brought on by crowded housing, transit, and office environments.

High density kills. Carve that truth in stone, tell it on the mountain.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Rethinking China

One of our favorite writers on foreign affairs, George Friedman, has an interesting column on wealth inequality in China. Find it at his Geopolitical Futures website. 

Friedman’s basic point: while China has an economy very nearly the size of ours, on a per capita basis it is seriously unimpressive. Because China has a population roughly four times ours, on a per capita basis it ranks with places like Guyana and Costa Rica. 

In other words, not at all impressive, though much better than under Mao. Friedman suggests that, in many ways, China is a third-world country, albeit one organized and regimented to produce the military and foreign policy trappings of a major player. 

Monday, April 5, 2021

About Crime

Writing at The Hill Rafael A. Mangual looks at the recent surge in violent crime and murder, and makes this cogent comment thereupon.

Is it really so crazy to think that a successful national movement to raise the transaction costs of enforcing the law while lowering those of breaking the law might have contributed to an increase in the number of emboldened offenders on the street who then went on to do as offenders do? 

I predict it will be difficult to recruit and retain police officers in the next few years. Urban crime will contribute to the deurbanization of the American middle class and the decay of our cities.

Action and Reaction

It would appear the guiding tenet of the Biden administration is to do the opposite of whatever the Trump administration did. Trump cut taxes, Biden hopes to raise them. Trump fostered Middle East peace, Biden is siding with those who prefer war there. Trump controlled immigration, Biden has left the door open. 

If you liked the Trump program, you won’t like the Biden program. We liked the Trump program; the Biden program is a hot mess run by repulsive people, for repulsive people.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Happy Easter

COTTonLINE wishes our readers a Happy Easter. Spring is an optimistic time of year and Easter is an optimistic celebration. 

To the extent to which you can manage it under present less-than-optimal conditions, reach for some optimism. Optimism that eventually we can make it all come out right. 

Optimism that health will win out over Covid. That good will triumph over evil as the days get longer and warmer. And that this great nation can once again shake off the effects of the foolish policies and electoral bad choices into which we too frequently stumble. 

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Hypocracy Watch

A current favorite thing is to catalog normal, everyday places where one has to show a photo ID to do some normal task or access some information. Examples I’ve seen this evening include taking the White House tour, picking up Will Call tickets at the MLB ballpark, attending Coca Cola’s annual meeting, and you gotta believe Delta requires one to board a plane. 

Yet all of these institutions have criticized Georgia for requiring a photo ID to vote. The hypocracy of these complainers essentially knows no bounds. 

You can play this game too. Think of the various times you’ve had to show your ID to do something and ask yourself if those requiring it are angry with GA for this reasonable requirement. Isn’t it a rule your state should also adopt?

Later ... a recent Associated Press/NORC poll finds that 72% of Americans favor requiring a photo ID of all voters. That includes 54% of Democrats as well as 91% of Republicans and 72% of Independents. 

Friday, April 2, 2021

NR: California’s Slow Collapse

The new issue of National Review has a cover story on the exodus of Californians, with a cover painting of a caravan of vehicles towing thinly-disguised U-Haul trailers pictured on fabled coastal Highway 1. As a native who finally shed my last CA foothold and joined the exodus, I find it particularly relevant.

California is a mess economically, fiscally, socially, educationally, and culturally, but in each category there exist sufficient can-kicking options, or at least prima facie “spin” opportunities, to soften the realities of what is taking place in the Golden State. But there is one basic, objective reality that is impossible to spin away — people are leaving in droves.

What caused and continues to cause the exodus out of California is not tax burden, or regulation, or cost of living, or housing prices. Rather, it is the burden, and regulation, and cost of living, and housing prices, and more.

The “more” includes failing public schools, homeless tent cities, and D.A.s who won’t prosecute theft or public defecation. 


California - the physical place - is about as close to perfection as exists anywhere. California - the one-party leftist state - is a mess that just keeps getting messier.

Eventually what bad people have done to CA overwhelms how great it was before they destroyed it, the tipping point being different for different people. As more people who have good values leave, the situation in CA grows progressively worse. It is all very sad, and not obviously reversible.

Politics as Replacement

Andrew Sullivan writes for The Spectator U.S. mostly in celebration of what he finds comforting about his ancestral Roman Catholicism. However, I particularly like the aside in which he characterizes “wokeness” as a new evangelical faith, here it is.

In wokeness, the younger generation are quite obviously replicating previous religious movements in America. Look at the zeal in their eyes, the relentless search for heresy, the ostracization of sinners, the mass confessions of iniquity, and the need to ‘do the work’ every day to bring about the Kingdom of Anti-Racism.

His point is that, in the absence of religion-as-we-knew-it, needy people have invested those same characteristics into a new belief structure. I’m inclined to agree with his characterization of the “woke” while deploring their determined irrationality.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Policy Restatement

I’ve noted it before, but new readers should be advised. We do not post April Fool spoofs at COTTonLINE. I’ll leave that to the Babylon Bee and the Onion.


On Tuesday I wrote that much more often than chance would predict, the victimizers in anti-Asian violence are Black. Today John Hinderaker of Power Line makes the same observation, with video of examples. He quotes Bari Weiss on the subject as follows:

Asian-Americans are being attacked and the media and the political class are contorting themselves to find a way to blame white supremacy or the legacy of Trumpism. Why? Because when the perpetrator is a neo-Nazi it is a moral gimme. When the person carrying out the hate crime comes from a group that’s also a target of hate crimes condemnation becomes much more difficult.

More difficult? That is some serious understatement. When the race of the attacker isn’t suppressed entirely (for it often is), you have to watch the attached video to learn it.

A Reminder

City Journal has a good article about the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill, focusing on the sad souls living between the streets, jail, and emergency room of Olympia, Washington. A key quote:

Individuals suffering from the “perilous trifecta” of mental illness, addiction, and homelessness.

Instead of caring for the broken, we’ve apparently decided to ignore them whenever possible and imprison them when they refuse to be ignored. In the process we’ve degraded our public spaces. We should be ashamed of our inaction.

VDH: Rules for Radicals

Many’s the time I’ve referred you to an article by Victor Davis Hanson, today I write to do so again. He has written for Real Clear Politics an article describing “The 10 Radical New Rules That Are Changing America.” Here are his “rules” minus the explanations, which you need to read too.

Money is a construct.
Laws are not necessarily binding anymore.
Racialism is now acceptable.
The immigrant is mostly preferable to the citizen.
Most Americans should be treated as we treat little children.
Hypocrisy is passé.
Ignoring or perpetuating homelessness is preferable to ending it.
McCarthyism is good.
Ignorance is preferable to knowledge.
Wokeness is the new religion, growing faster and larger than     Christianity.

If you conclude that Hanson is deeply pessimistic about our future, you’d be correct. Does he overstate some of his concerns? Certainly, he is trying to get your attention and likely will succeed in doing so.