Representative Kevin McCarthy of California finally secured the House speakership in a dramatic vote ending around 12:30 a.m. Saturday, but the dysfunction in his party and the deal he struck to win over holdout Republicans also raised the risks of persistent political gridlock that could destabilize the American financial system.
Economists, Wall Street analysts and political observers are warning that the concessions he made to fiscal conservatives could make it very difficult for Mr. McCarthy to muster the votes to raise the debt limit — or even put such a measure to a vote. That could prevent Congress from doing the basic tasks of keeping the government open, paying the country’s bills and avoiding default on America’s trillions of dollars in debt.
The only way to stabilize our economy and currency is to borrow and spend more!
Speaking of the economy, here are a few photos from my old neighborhood in Cambridge, Maskachusetts. The marijuana stores are thriving while the bicycle shop went bankrupt:
The media is full of reports about House Republicans being unable to agree on a Speaker. New Yorkers say that they are smarter and more sophisticated than everyone else in the U.S. Thus, the obvious choice is the Representative whom these hyperintelligent voters selected: George Santos. Would Mr. Santos be the first immigrant to serve as Speaker? That would be very exciting indeed!
Separately, I am also waiting for Sam Bankman-Fried to be nominated by Joe Biden as U.S. Treasury Secretary and confirmed by Senate Democrats.
New Yorkers say that voters in Arkansas are stupid. Tom Cotton is their choice (two Harvard degrees and a former U.S. Army Ranger)
New Yorkers say that voters in Florida are stupid. Ron DeSantis is their choice (Yale and Harvard degrees; former U.S. Navy officer)
Ye (formerly Kanye West) said that Jews controlled the media and, to show how wrong he was, Jews got him removed from all media. He was at least briefly back on Twitter, though, thanks to the non-Jewish Elon Musk. If Congress and Joe Biden get organized with a reparations system for Black Americans (see below), will Jews end up paying Kanye’s $8/month verification fee? And also Louis Farrakhan’s? (“Farrakhan has accused Jews of controlling the media, government, and global economy, along with being behind the Atlantic slave trade, Jim Crow laws, and black oppression in general. He regularly calls Jews “Satanic” and has repeatedly praised Adolf Hitler as a “very great man.””)
Speaking of Farrakhan, the Twitter Righteous apparently never banned him despite his denial of Science (example below implying that ivermectin is effective against SARS-CoV-2). Marjorie Taylor Greene was banned for saying that COVID vaccines did not prevent COVID infection/transmission (ultimately it turned out that Science had always believed and said this). Why didn’t the Misinformation Team promote Online Safety by banning Farrakhan?
It looks like the Anti-Defamation League supports reparations (example 1: example 2). (CEO Jonathan Greenblatt is closing in on $1 million/year according to IRS filings so he can afford to pay Kanye a significant amount.) I would love to see tweets from Kanye West and Louis Farrakhan talking about all of the stuff that they did with the reparations they received from Jews!
Have folks tried to follow and understand the story about Twitter’s pre-election-2020 suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story and other material that politicians asked them to deep-six?
I think there is supposed to be a narrative in here, but it is so chopped up by the presentation as individual tweets that it is tough to follow.
Has Matt Taibbi mostly proved that Twitter needs a substantial re-thinking to be suitable for long-form text? (I think tweets should be allowed at any length up to the standard relational database CLOB (character large object) limit of 2 billion characters, but a reader sees only a short summary (that long-form authors are forced to craft) until he/she/ze/they clicks “more”)
Readers: Have you figured out whether there is anything of interest in this reveal of internal Twitter machinations?
Update: In the official NYT version of history, Twitter’s shaping of what viewpoints people could express (or send to each other in private messages) never happened. The front page of the NYT time has space to talk about “notable diversity” of the U.S. World Cup team, but there is nothing about the Twitter files reveal. (Separately, I dispute that the US team is diverse. There are no gender ID requirements for World Cup players and yet for some reason players of only one gender ID have been selected.)
(Joe Biden’s granddaughter also does not exist according to the NYT. A search for plaintiff “Lunden” Roberts or granddaughter “Navy Joan” yields no results on nytimes.com.)
It has been a month since Elon Musk closed his acquisition of Twitter. Changes are happening at a fast pace, potentially proving SR-71 pilot Paul Crickmore’s point “You’ve never been lost until you’ve been lost at Mach 3.”
According to President Biden, this is a platform for lies. FoxBusiness:
President Biden mentioned Elon Musk and Twitter during a fundraiser Friday night …
“Elon Musk goes out and buys an outlet that sends — that spews lies all across the world,” Biden remarked. “There are no editors anymore in America. There are no editors.”
The president seemed to suggest there was no longer any moderation on Twitter, a claim echoed by several others on the platform who are also critical of Musk.
“How do we expect kids to be able to understand what is at stake? What is at stake? So there’s a lot going on, a lot going on. But we have an enormous opportunity, enormous opportunity,” Biden added.
Biden’s comments soon after a White House tweet bragging about the Social Security cost-of-living increase was flagged by Twitter for lacking “context.” The White House later deleted the tweet.
If there are lies there must also be truth, right? Here are some lies that ultimately resulted in Marjorie Taylor Greene being “permanently suspended” from Twitter:
The Truth at the time (August 2021) was that vaccines do prevent infection and spread of COVID-19. As of November 5, 2022, the above tweet remained inaccessible via a search for “the fda should not approve the covid vaccines (from:mtgreenee)”. Twitter returned the following screen:
For those who sought to read something critical of the Federal government, in other words, Twitter reminded them to cease their thoughtcrime and read only official Federal government sites.
I guess it was fair to say that there was a Ministry of Truth operating within Twitter in August 2021 and even earlier this month.
But if Joe Biden and the rest of the U.S. government want Twitter to prevent lies from being published, does it makes sense for each social media platform to decide what is a lie and what is the truth? Advertisers are supposedly demanding that Twitter eliminate lies from its platform (yet the cash-seeking Democrat running against Ron DeSantis was allowed to lie with impunity; see Twitter won’t suspend a politician who lies to get money?), but how can they have confidence unless Twitter follows an official source of truth and flags anything that contradicts that source? We don’t want Facebook and Twitter to have different concepts of lie vs. truth, do we?
All Steven knew was what time and where. A part-time pilot from the Chicago area, he was picking up a total stranger in his single-engine plane, a passenger who needed to fly more than a thousand miles, across state lines, from the midwest to the east coast.
The passenger was seeking reproductive health services and needed to travel to a state where they could access them. Steven is just one of hundreds of pilots across the US, who have been volunteering the use of their small planes to fly people seeking abortions and other services from states that have outlawed it to states that haven’t.
The effort to connect volunteer pilots with patients is led by Elevated Access, a non-profit organization based out of Illinois. It was founded in April in response to a growing number of women being forced to embark on expensive and time-consuming journeys in attempts to obtain abortions.
What about pregnant men? They will have to Ride the Dog (Greyhound)? A photo on the organization’s web site shows what appears to be a pregnant man in the passenger seat (front right; the pilot sits front left in most fixed-wing aircraft):
How many owner- and renter-pilots are passionate about these issues?
Indeed, since the supreme court formally stripped away federal abortion protection rights in June, Elevated Access has seen a giant uptick in volunteer pilots, with 870 pilots offering to transport patients across state lines for abortions and gender-affirming care.
How many have a valuable gender ID?
Elevated Access was set up to ease those difficulties, using the 3,000 general aviation airports scattered across the country. It recently marked a milestone by completing its first all-female pilot mission, involving seven states and two solo female pilots flying a 1,400-mile relay to transport a client. Only 6% of pilots in the US are women, it noted.
As a referral-only organization, Elevated Access connects passengers to pilots through referrals by its partner organizations such as Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation.
Here’s an interesting analogy:
“I think as pilots, we’re very proud of the freedom we have and so it seems appropriate for me to use the freedom I have to help out people whose much more fundamental freedoms – [such as] rights to medical care or decisions about how they want to control their own body – are being jeopardized right now.”
What if the better analogy is the pregnant person is the pilot and the baby is the passenger? Let’s consider EgyptAir 990.
The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) recorded the captain excusing himself to go to the lavatory, followed 30 seconds later by the first officer saying in Egyptian Arabic “Tawkalt ala Allah,” which can be translated as “I put my trust in God.” A minute later, the autopilot was disengaged, immediately followed by the first officer again repeating the same Arabic phrase which can be also translated as, “I rely on God.” Three seconds later, the throttles for both engines were reduced to idle, and both elevators were moved 3° nose down. The first officer repeated “I rely on God” seven more times…
(The very first time I flew a turbojet, the Cessna CJ3 demo pilot deadpanned “You’ve disconnected the autopilot. Do you want to declare an emergency?”)
Gameel Al-Batouti was certainly controlling his own body, as the quoted pilot above says is the correct situation, and he got what he wanted. But the passengers did not get what they wanted, i.e., to emerge alive at the end of the journey.
(The article contains some misinformation, implying that pilots must file flight plans in order to travel by air. In fact, unless one wishes to fly via reference to instruments (in the clouds), no flight plan is typically required.)
Ph.D. and Ivy League grad Deplorables in a chat group reacted to this:
Does this mean that I can fly for free as a pregnant man ?
Can I get preggers every month? Oh, I might fly for abortion and change my mind and fly back and fly there again and…
aborting takeoff is not an option
They think they are Underground Railroad heroes.
Are planes that belong to Abortion Air are stored in coat hangars?
Also after each baby killed one can paint a little baby skull 💀 on the side of the plane
The organization’s mission:
Elevated Access recognizes that not all people have access to the healthcare they need due to stigma in their community. Because we believe everyone deserves access to healthcare such as abortion and gender-affirming care, our volunteer pilots provide free transportation to get people where they can get the care they need to live their best life.
What about a healthy baby subjected to abortion care at 24 weeks, as is legal “on-demand” in Maskachusetts (abortion care after 24 weeks is legal if one doctor thinks it is a good idea)? Is he/she/ze/they living his/her/zir/their best life?
Due to the death of democracy and the success of fascism, the Tyrant of Tallahassee continues to govern Florida. What if Ron DeSantis wants to be El Presidente? I’m not sure that he can do it unless he changes some of his harsh ways. The majority of Americans are indifferent to whether a politician is senile and incompetent so long as he/she/ze/they appears to possess “empathy.” The peasantry thinks that a politician who feigns concern for the peasants will implement policies that help the peasants (central planning always favored over the market, therefore, because only central plans carry explicit intentions).
We go through this with every storm. Nobody wants your waterlogged electronics and soggy couch.
“We want to make sure we maintain law and order,” said DeSantis, before floating the idea that thieves are taking boats into damaged areas to steal from flooded homes. “You can have people bringing boats into some of these islands… I would not want to chance that if I were you, given we’re a Second Amendment state.”
Wouldn’t it have been sufficient for him to say, only if asked, “Florida has a lot of great police departments and a tradition of public order. Also, there are plenty of armed citizens.”? As the article cited above notes, there aren’t a lot of great looting opportunities in flooded neighborhoods.
We also have the debacle of a government that can’t figure out who is eligible to vote and therefore must rely on what potentially confused residents say. Ron DeSantis could express empathy for those who couldn’t figure out whether they were entitled to vote instead of prosecuting them. See “Florida voter has election fraud charges touted by DeSantis dismissed” (ABC):
A Florida man had his election fraud charges dismissed on Friday, making him the first of 20 people who Gov. Ron DeSantis announced had been charged with voter fraud in August, to beat his case.
Robert Lee Wood, who faced one count of making a false affirmation on a voter application, and one count of voting as an unqualified elector, had his charges dismissed on the grounds that the prosecutor lacked appropriate jurisdiction.
Wood was facing up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines and fees, for allegedly illegally voting in the 2020 election.
When the charges were announced on Aug. 18, DeSantis said at a press conference that local prosecutors had been “loath” to take up election fraud cases.
“Now we have the ability with the attorney general and statewide prosecutor to bring those [cases] on behalf of the state of Florida,” he said.
But a judge found on Friday that the statewide prosecutor did not have jurisdiction over one case in Miami. Statewide prosecutors, which are an extension of the Attorney General’s office, are prosecuting all of the election fraud cases that were brought in August.
That includes Wood, who was charged with second-degree murder in 1991. Wood registered to vote in 2020 after being approached by a voter rights advocate at a grocery store. Wood claimed he did not fill out the form, rather he just signed it, according to the affidavit of arrest filled out by an FDLE agent.
The form includes a section which asks the applicant to either verify that they are not a felon, or if so, to declare that their right to vote had been restored.
Voter rights advocates say that provision is especially confusing because of the passage of Amendment 4 to the Florida Constitution in 2018, which restored all felons their rights to vote except for those convicted of sex felonies or murder charges.
Later, another condition was added requiring voters with felonies to pay off their fines and fees before having their rights restored.
In a state of 22 million people, prosecuting 20 people for improperly voting is unlikely to change any election outcome, even if hundreds more are motivated to read the fine print. So, in my view, all that the prosecutions do is make DeSantis appear to lack empathy. Convicted murderers might not be “the best people” as Donald Trump would put it and maybe we don’t want them voting (though I would rather exclude those who’ve had their student loans forgiven and haven’t yet worked for at least 8 years and let convicted felons vote! Convicted felons at least know a lot about prison and criminal justice system) but we can still express empathy towards them.
I don’t think that DeSantis can become president if he continues on this track. The migrant flights to sanctuary states and cities can work because they show true empathy for the migrants (wanting to see them loved and cared for by “In this house we believe…” signers in Maskachusetts, for example). But some of the stuff that DeSantis says and does seems gratuitously mean and/or could be improved hugely by a change in tone.
Americans generally affirmed the idea that the country will be better with bigger government and higher taxes. Whether this is true or false, Florida’s prosperity primarily depends on the differential between Florida and other states, not the absolute quality of life in Florida. It is a bit like the ancient story of two non-binary campers:
Kendall and Arden are camping when a thin-looking brown bear approaches they/them and them/they, growling.
Kendall starts putting on their running shoes.
Arden says, “What are you doing? We don’t need to bring in Ketanji’s panel of biologists to know that, regardless of your pronouns, you can’t outrun a bear!”
Kendall says, “I don’t have to outrun the bear—I just have to outrun you!”
State governments became vastly more powerful in 2020, e.g., deciding whether residents of a state would be able to leave their homes, send children to school, work for a living, avoid the injection of their children with an experimental medicine designed to help 80-year-olds. An interstate move to switch overlords is therefore much more likely than when the state-to-state difference was a few dollars in tax.
Democrats kept control of New York State. Kathy Hochul would need to order a lockdown or two in order match what Florida Realtor of the Year 2020 Andrew Cuomo achieved, but her victory is an important precondition in keeping people who value liberty pointed south on Interstate 95 to their new homes in the Florida Free State (TM). I also appreciate her teaching young Puerto Ricans that rules established by elites may not apply to elites…
Colorado moved away from its flat tax by limiting deductions for those earning more than $300,000 per year. That’s not a huge nudge toward Florida, but it is a nudge. San Francisco added a tax on condos owned by rich people who leave them vacant for 183 days per year or more (53/47 vote; a mystery that it could have been that close given that hardly any voters own a condo that would be subject to this tax).
The governor’s race in Texas was the biggest disappointment for realtors in Florida. A Beto victory carried with it the prospect of rich Californians choosing Florida rather than Texas as their escape-from-Newsom destination. The silver living is that Greg Abbott’s victory was only 55/44 (compare to 56/42 in 2018 and 59/39 in 2014). Given the propensity of today’s young people to support progressive politics and the overall national trend towards bigger government, it seems likely that Texas will eventually be governed by Democrats, a huge boost to Florida’s chances of capturing fleeing successful Californians. Maybe Texas is safe from California-style government today, but people who go to the effort of moving are also interested in what a state will be like in 10-20 years.
An exchange on Facebook with one of those successful Californias who praised a college that doesn’t discriminate on the basis of skin color:
I wish my own kids were brave, and principled, and original thinking enough to consider applying instead of conforming to conventional wisdom and stupid rankings. I’ll keep trying to teach them.
But your kids have watched you conform. California politicians took away your liberties one by one starting in March 2020 and you simply stayed in California, right? And, in fact, your kids watch you pay taxes to fund all of it.
I have 2 kids I can’t move away from [California family law gave his wife millions of reason to sue him…]. But in 2 years when #2 goes to college I’ll have a lot more altitude to go elsewhere. FL is too far away and TX is too close to purple. UT is the current front runner.
The guy believes that Texas is just a few young voters away from Following the Science into lockdowns, mask orders, vaccine papers checks, etc., and maybe a new personal income tax to pay for it all! (Beto promised to use Science to protect Texans from viral threats. In fairness, so did Abbott, but he interpreted Science’s whispers differently.)
There was great news in Michigan. Lockdown Democrat Gretchen Whitmer was reelected 54/44, a clear indication that nothing is going to change in Michigan. People who don’t love the government there should move away. Wisconsin (a paradise for child support profiteers) similar reelected a Democrat governor. Pennsylvania is a great source of new residents with money for Florida. A Democrat won there by a large margin (56/42). Again, people who don’t want to be ruled by Democrats have only one realistic option: move. And once the decision to move is made, Florida is there and ready with jobs, low taxes, all-year outdoor recreation, etc.
Maine and Kansas also reelected Democrats as governors.
A Democrat victory at the Federal level should drive additional moves to Florida. A person who wants his/her/zir/their state to resist new takeovers of power by Washington, D.C. will find that in Florida, the state in which Joe Biden’s order that travelers wear masks on airplanes was found unconstitutional. A person who wants to maintain his/her/zir/their spending power in the face of Federal income tax rate increases can probably do so by moving from a medium-to-high-tax state to a state with no personal income tax and some reasonable assurance that the electorate won’t amend the constitution to impose one. That’s Florida, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Tennessee? New Hampshire actually does have an income tax (not on wages, but on dividends and interest). Texas is at risk over time of having everything that California has (see above).
What about politics here in Florida? First, the election results were available on the timeline that taxpayers expected:
(Hurricane Nicole arrived on the SE coast roughly 24 hours after the polls closed.)
Some non-profit and government workers will get paid. Some favored developers will get rich off the spread between the market rate for interest and this slush fund.
If the typical unit holds 2 people, that’s 2,200 people who are being housed after 16 years of government and non-profit employees being paid. That’s roughly 0.15% of the people who live in Palm Beach County (1 out of every 700).
Which of the 1 in 700 people in Palm Beach County gets to live a subsidized life?
In other words, anyone whom the non-profit folks think is deserving!
Even in majority-Democrat Palm Beach County, the all-abortion-care-all-the-time Democrat running against the Tyrant of Tallahassee could not prevail. Ron DeSantis won by 51/48 here in the county (compare to 60/40 statewide).
A leader introduces bold Bigger Government policies. The economy deteriorates. Violent crime rates rise. Inflation rages. Even for those with money, there are shortages. Voters express their undiminished love for the leader under whom they’ve become poorer affirmed his leadership at the polls.
If Hugo Chavez is the master, let’s check in regarding the apprentice. From the NYT:
“the best midterms of any president in 20 years” in what certainly is not the best economic environment or crime rate trend environment of the past 20 years. The article is also interesting because the purportedly neutral journalists characterize Biden’s borrow-and-spend schemes as “accomplishments”:
“I’m not going to change,” he said. While open to cooperation with Republicans, he defiantly said he would block any efforts by the opposition to unravel the accomplishments of his first two years. “I have a pen that can veto,” he said, making a signing motion with his hand.
Not “What he claims as his accomplishments” but verified-by-the-NYT accomplishments.