Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

The Republican Wing Of The Democratic Party

The Democrats' most interesting conflict isn't moderates versus the left. It's the never-Trump Republicans versus the left.

The never-Trumpers, best embodied by The Lincoln Project, romped through the last campaign with verve and wit. They lasered in on crushing Donald Trump.

Read Now Show less

It’s Time To Deny Trump What He Wants Most: Your Attention

It came as no surprise that Donald Trump's supporters would hold a protest in Washington, D.C., claiming their hero won an election that he lost badly. More curious were the foes of the president who bothered with a counter-protest after Joe Biden triumphed in, by some counting, a historic margin. Did they think there were two sides to the story?

For sure, the foes were angry about the democratic norms the Trump camp stomped on for four long years. Its refusal to concede Biden's clear victory was only the latest. But cursing at the Trump supporters and overturning tables of Trump gear — the Proud Boys are sensitive creatures, you know — was counterproductive.

Read Now Show less

Why Do We Let People Brandish Guns In Public?

Some of the sickest images to come out of our recent turmoil have featured Americans waving guns at other Americans — not in self-defense but to provoke fear. The worst showed armed thugs threatening Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on the state capitol steps over her anti-COVID regulations. (This was separate from an alleged plot by a different set of creeps to kidnap her.)

There were other low points. Phoenix saw a group of armed exhibitionists modeling their weapons at a demonstration for vote counting, and no one was arguing with them. Arizona is a state where just about anyone over 21 can carry a gun on the streets, permit not required.

Read Now Show less

The Deflation Of Trumpism Begins With Election Defeat

When Pennsylvania was called, the world heard a quick boom, followed by the pffffffffft of a deflating presidency. Suddenly, the angry, paranoiac tweets that used to scare so many because, after all, Donald Trump was president, lost their menace.

The air was escaping even before Joe Biden was declared winner. Come Thursday evening, ABC, CBS and NBC felt free to cut away from Trump's rant about voter fraud "stealing" his reelection. The Trumpian power to dominate coverage was clearly fading.

Read Now Show less

It Should’ve Been Easy To Knock Off Trump

As I write this, we don't know the winner of the 2020 presidential race. By the time you read it, we still may not know. There are votes to be counted.

What seems very apparent, though, is that Democrats did not enjoy the romp that they and some political prognosticators had expected. They were running against the much-disliked President Donald Trump during a public health crisis and spreading economic despair.

Read Now Show less

Trump’s Insistence On ‘Herd Immunity' Means Mass Murder

Let us examine the Great Barrington Declaration with the respect it deserves, which is very little. The advocates, who include Dr. Scott Atlas, President Donald Trump's preferred pandemic expert, argue that all these shutdowns are causing economic and psychological havoc that's worse than the disease. Better to let the coronavirus infect the young and healthy, thus building immunity in numbers large enough to nearly stop the virus' spread. The elderly and other vulnerable Americans can lock themselves away.

Read Now Show less

Should We Trust The Lincoln Project? Ask Me After Nov. 3

The New Yorker magazine asked a typical New Yorker magazine question: "Should progressives trust" The Lincoln Project?

Founded by Republican operatives who detest Donald Trump, the Project is running a swashbuckling campaign to see the president defeated — and humiliated. Brilliant, funny, and viciously effective, they see their mission as moving people who voted for Trump in 2016, or didn't vote, to Joe Biden's column.

Read Now Show less

The Dismal Losers Behind That Whitmer Kidnap Plot

After his girlfriend booted him out of her place, Adam Fox found refuge in a storage space under a vacuum shop. There, he reportedly lived with an emotional support dog and smoked pot.

Fox and six other men belonging to a militia group they call the Wolverine Watchmen were arrested for their alleged role in a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and try her for treason. Set aside for the moment the group's ludicrous though dangerous plan. Note instead the social and economic dysfunction that membership in extremist groups seeks to cover. Look at these loners who can't hold a job, sustain an intimate relationship, or get along with the neighbors.

Read Now Show less

The Markets Want A Clear Biden Victory

Guess what. The stock market seems to like Joe Biden. More precisely, investors seem to like that his lead in the polls is solid enough to lessen the prospect of President Donald Trump setting off an explosion of doubt, anxiety, and possible violence if Biden wins narrowly.

"A Clear-Cut Biden Win Is Emerging as a Bull Case for Stocks," reads a headline on Bloomberg News. Biden's widening lead in polls "signals there may be less room for dispute over the results of the November elections, which would be welcomed by markets," says The Wall Street Journal.

Read Now Show less

Crime, Policing, And The Reality Of America's Cities

Here's a policing story with a happy ending: Deputies in Deltona, Florida, recently stopped a black jogger who fit the description of a burglary suspect. The jogger, Joseph Griffin, is a former military police officer and currently a registered nurse. Griffin knew to be calm and cooperative.

The deputy asked Griffin to bear with him. He said he had to detain him but added, "Buddy, you're not in trouble or anything."

Griffin responded saying that with "everything going on, it's just a little bit scary."

Read Now Show less

Disdain For Science — Trump’s And Ours — Is Literally Drowning Us

Hurricane Sally has just pummeled the Florida Panhandle and the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama. Though it landed as "only" a Category 2, what made it disastrous was its slow crawl, drowning Gulf of Mexico communities in Book of Genesis-type flooding. Hurricanes these days have slowed down, science says, as temperatures warm.

Science also says that climate change helps feed the fiery apocalypse now tormenting California, Oregon and Washington. Asked about this when visiting the region, President Donald Trump responded, "I don't think science knows."

Read Now Show less

Stop Spinning Doomsday Scenarios For Election Night

All this agonizing over what may happen if President Donald Trump tries to steal the election is highly annoying. It normalizes the idea that pure aggression can so easily steamroll the democratic process.

Here are healthier assumptions for those who value a fair election:

If Trump loses, he leaves the White House on Jan. 20, 2021. If, heaven forfend, he wins, then he stays.

Read Now Show less

New Trump Adviser Likes Sweden’s Deadly Virus Plan

Many of us lit candles and prayed that Sweden's approach to the coronavirus would succeed. As the rest of Europe locked down, Sweden stayed mostly open. Its plan was to keep vulnerable people separate while letting the virus infect the others, thus creating herd immunity — a large proportion of people no longer able to spread the disease. Meanwhile, everyone would go about their business, and the economy wouldn't suffer.

The Swedish example could have offered deliverance from mask wearing, closed gyms, and fights over when to open schools. But it didn't work.

Read Now Show less

The Real America Isn’t On Fire — It’s Sick (With Coronavirus)

The Kenosha, Wisconsin, police department immediately took the officer who shot Jacob Blake seven times off the streets, as city, state and federal officials investigate what happened. They also made a speedy arrest of the 17-year-old who is charged with shooting two demonstrators dead.

Wedged between an incident of possible brutality against a black man and the need to curb right-wing violence, the police did their best. The last thing they needed was President Donald Trump fanning the anger of both unruly protesters and white supremacists clashing with them.

Read Now Show less

For Once, The Identity Politics Orgy Ended Well

With Americans pained by both civic violence and cases of police brutality, the times call for leaders who support law and order and justice. Joe Biden has found such a person in choosing Kamala Harris as his running mate.

But getting there was not half the fun. It was not fun at all. As often happens in Democratic campaigning, the process deteriorated into a self-harming orgy of identity politics.

For starters, Biden should not have vowed early on to pick a woman. Then black activists — backstopped by the woke white left — demanded that the woman be "of color." Both groups framed such a decision as a "reward" for black women who, they say, are the "backbone" of the Democratic Party.

Read Now Show less

No Payroll Tax, No Social Security -- And That's The GOP Scheme

By the time you read this, President Donald Trump's latest economic stimulus plan may be largely forgotten. But it has revived an unpleasant idea that the right fringe has been peddling for years: killing Social Security and Medicare.

We speak of an executive order that would cut payroll taxes. Payroll taxes fund virtually all of Social Security and much of Medicare. Without this money, Americans would have neither.

Read Now Show less

Why America’s Pandemic Performance Is So Inferior

Europe took dramatic steps to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Its shutdowns were so tight that the eurozone economy has fallen into a recession even deeper than ours.

But guess what. Despite occasional spikes, Europe has beaten the virus down to size. With a public reassured that it could return to the beaches, bars and restaurants in relative safety, it reopened. That's why Europe "is having a much bigger snapback" than the U.S., Berenberg Bank economist Holger Schmieding told The Wall Street Journal, "and there are some indicators that it may be getting ahead."

Read Now Show less