Election Prediction

 

Yogi Berra is alleged to have quipped “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” That warning notwithstanding, I will go out on a limb and make some predictions about the 2018 midterms.

  1. Republicans will more than hold the Senate, they will gain seats.
  2. Republicans will flip the Senate seats in Florida, Montana, Indiana, North Dakota, and Ohio.
  3. Republicans will fail to flip the West Virginia seat, mainly because Republicans are so good at leaving Senate seats on the table that they should walk away with. (I’m looking at you Todd Aiken, Sharon Angle, Roy Moore, etc.)
  4. Republicans will pull out a narrow surprise victory and flip one of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan, or Minnesota.
  5. Democrats will flip Nevada. Sorry, Dean Heller, you are probably toast.
  6. This election will not be a Blue Wave. (For the purposes of this conversation, let’s define “wave election” as not only change in partisan leadership of the House, but decisively so as in 1994, 2006, and 2010.)
  7. Against almost all prognostications, Republicans will hold the House.

Factors driving election results will include #resistance fatigue, #deepstate fatigue, disgust over the Democrats’ juvenile circus antics during the Kavanaugh hearings, and their transparently disingenuous handling of the eleventh-hour vague accusation that Kavanaugh committed an attempted rape 36 years ago. Democrats have overplayed their hand at virtually every turn, and as a result, they will suffer at the ballot box. Whatever their misgivings about President Trump and the Republican Congress, voters will be reticent to hand the levers of power over to the circus masters of the left.

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Quote of the Day: Due Process and Fairness

 

Left-wing zealots have often been prepared to ride roughshod over due process and basic considerations of fairness when they think they can get away with it. For them the ends always seem to justify the means. That is precisely how their predecessors came to create the gulag. – Margaret Thatcher

It appears we are seeing this play out in this week’s news, but it has been a problem for years. Certainly since the Department of Education changed standards on sexual assault accusations on campus.

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To Redact or Unredact, That Is the Question

 

Democrat leaders Pelosi/Schumer/Schiff/Warner have written to Director, National Intelligence (DNI) Coats, DAG Rosenstein, and FBI Director Wray to direct them to ignore President Trump’s order on declassification without first running the information through Congress.

Reportedly, DNI, DOJ, and FBI are “working…to comply with the president’s order.” Unofficial reports are surfacing they may send a package (still redacted) to the White House for review. This would be a violation of the President’s order to declassify three sets of documents in addition to text messages, unredacted.

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On My Soapbox: Don’t Forget Your Flu Shot!

 

Last winter, in the span of a week, I had two things happen: A family friend buried his healthy 50-year-old sister-in-law, who went to Mexico feeling fine, and came home in a coffin a few days later, dead from the flu. They tried to get her home to an ICU bed in Los Angeles, but there were none available, all taken up by other flu patients. The doctors the family were in communication with in L.A. were monitoring her condition and assured the family there was nothing more they could have done for her in the United States.

Later that week, on Christmas Day, our baby slept 19 hours straight until we decided to wake him up. He was disoriented and had a low-grade fever for an hour after we woke him up, and barely wanted to eat. After consulting his pediatrician (who is a bit too trigger happy about going to the ER) and a pediatrician friend (who is far more laid back on such matters), we decided to bring him into the hospital to be evaluated. It was the middle of the flu epidemic, and despite the two of us being vaccinated, I was hyper-vigilant about staying away from people coughing, not letting the baby touch anything, and washing hands with hand sanitizer. While we were waiting to see a doctor, we heard one of the attendings talking to a family in the cubical next to ours. She told the family “This isn’t a severe enough illness to warrant an ER trip. You have all been exposed to the flu while you were sitting here. We had a child die in this hospital from the flu this week.” Not exactly what you want to hear sitting beyond the curtain with your sick baby. Thankfully, the baby was fine, and neither of us came down with the flu.

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Chairman Grassley Slams Door on Further Delay Tactics in Kavanaugh Brawl

 

Chairman Grassley followed up his scorching letter to the Democrats, with a letter to Ranking Member Senator Feinstein, setting 10 AM, September 21, as the deadline for Dr. Ford to agree to be interviewed or testify on Monday. He was very flexible in how and where the appearance would take place. He was completely firm on not letting the process drag on any longer.

The letter setting the witness response deadline was published with another scathing press release, denouncing Feinstein’s continued concealment of the original, unredacted, letter that made the sexual assault allegations: “Ranking Member Refuses to Disclose Secret Allegations Even After Dr. Ford Goes Public.”

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Miscast? Or Not?

 

A thread from earlier today by member @simontemplar got me thinking about movies and television, and why and how casting decisions are made. Often for money, I suppose. And vanity. And to score political points.

Although ST’s thread about the latest Jack Reacher movie was about its deficiencies of plot, my comment on it was more about its deficiencies in casting, and how inapt I thought it was that Tom Cruise (5’7″) should play Jack Reacher (6’5″). This put me in mind of other spectacularly bad casting decisions, and which one might just be the worst ever? Cruise as Reacher is certainly in the top three, IMHO. But I’d also nominate Kevin Costner’s turn as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (or as pretty much anything else, really). Bad as he is in POT, that movie does have some redeeming qualities (a lovely one at the very end, anyway) and Alan Rickman’s performance as the Sheriff of Nottingham is wondrous.

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From the “Man Bites Dog” Dept.

 

It seems worth mentioning that the current Kavanaugh crisis/kerfuffle has nothing to do with President Trump.

In that sense, it’s almost surprising that it’s getting any coverage at all.

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This Has Nothing to Do With Kavanaugh

 

I’m sorry to contribute the 100th post on Kavanaugh from the past few days, but I think we may be missing the point here. I really don’t think the Democrats expect that their last-minute surprise will keep Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court. They don’t control the Presidency or either house of Congress, so they know they’re sort of stuck here. They’re probably secretly grateful because Trump could have nominated a more conservative firebrand, and there wouldn’t have been much they can do about it. So I don’t think keeping Kavanaugh off the court is the reason they did this. I suspect it is a combination of some of the following reasons:

  1. This is a warning to any conservative who might consider a spot on the Supreme Court, or any other high office, in the future. This has more to do with future nominations than with Mr. Kavanaugh’s nomination.
  2. If the Republicans vote on this and approve him (as they should, and probably will), then every Democrat running for office in the next few elections can remind voters that “Republicans put a known rapist on the Supreme Court!!!” The only way to stop the Republican Party from expressing their hatred for women in the future is to elect more Democrats. This has more to do with future elections than with Mr. Kavanaugh’s nomination.
  3. The rise of the far left in their party has the old establishment Democrats understandably nervous. This is an opportunity for an extremely wealthy 85-year-old white person to polish her progressive bona fides. I refer to Sen. Feinstein, but also to most other Democrat congress-humans. This is more about those in power protecting what they have and getting re-elected than with Mr. Kavanaugh’s nomination.
  4. Pure desperation. Like a shot from half-court as time expires, there’s really no reason not to give it a try. It’s amazing how your options open up when unconstrained by ethics, religion, and other inconvenient truths.
  5. There’s really no downside to this, as far as the Democrats can see. If the other side is pure evil, then what tactic is unacceptable? How can anyone criticize any effort to combat evil? There is no downside to this – no Democrat will ever have to pay for this charade. So if there is any possible upside at all, why not do this?

My point is that this really is not about Mr. Kavanaugh – he’s just collateral damage. It’s a shame somebody had to be destroyed, but as long as he’s conservative, it’s not too much of a shame.

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Wedgie

 

View original artwork here.

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The Map, the Model, and the Territory

 

The Map

Let’s start with a simple question. How long is the coastline of Lake Superior? Here, let me google that for you. “Shore length 1,729 mi (2,783 km) plus 997 mi (1,605 km) for islands”. Thanks, Wikipedia! Right away we can see a problem. Are you counting those islands or not? I’m saying count every last thing. All of it. Okay, include the islands. What other complications are we going to run into?

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Absent More Information, Kavanaugh Must Be Confirmed

 

This isn’t a matter of “credibility,” though that’s how the left is going to try to play it. It isn’t about “always believing the woman” (an idiotic concept). It’s about provable or disprovable evidence. Absent that, the Senate must do what it would have done had the accusation not been made.

Here’s why. The Senate has a Constitutional obligation to confirm or reject this[*] appointment. While every Senator is free to use whatever criteria he or she chooses in determining how to vote, the Senate as a whole has a duty to uphold the Constitution — and that means that the Senate can’t act in such a way as to make fulfilling that Constitutional duty impossible for all future Senates and all future confirmations.

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What I Took Away From the PA Grand Jury Report

 

When I heard about the Pennsylvania grand jury report on child sexual abuse by priests, my reaction was “How can this still be going on?” I suspect that is what most people thought. I have now reviewed the report which I call the “Shapiro Report” after the state Attorney General (the report’s actual name is oddly non-descriptive) and wanted to discuss at least one takeaway. The report has caused a sensation on the news and Twitter with even conservative, Catholic commentators calling for heads-on-plates and withholding of gifts and tithes until the bishops come up with satisfactory answers. The report is largely prosecutorial in its tone and that makes sense since it comes out of the AG’s office. I would agree that it is a bombshell, but I suspect that is what the AG’s office was going for.

Before I reviewed this report, and I waited a while to do so, I decided to re-read the John Jay College of Criminal Justice report on clerical sexual abuse. That report was commissioned by the church in 2002 was in response to the Boston Globe “Spotlight” reports which also occurred that year. It was released two years later but starting in 2002 the Catholic Church adopted new policies concerning suspected child abuse for priests, lay people working with children, volunteers, and children themselves. The reason I am familiar with the report is that by 2007 or so I was volunteering in our parish as many folks do. I had to go through what is called VIRTUS training on how to spot and prevent child sexual abuse and I still have to update that training from time to time. This led me to seek out the John Jay report to help understand what had brought this all on. I can remember feeling a bit put upon at the time. After all, what did I do?

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Chairman’s Letter Breathes Fire Against Democrats’ Delaying Tactics on Kavanaugh

 

Sen. Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, wrote a scorching letter Wednesday to committee Democrats concerning their handling of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual misconduct allegations against Brett Kavanaugh.

Since many of the impartial firefighters in the DC press corps are only providing a few quotes in their effort to oppose Kavanaugh, I have reprinted the entire text below. In addition, I bolded several stand-out passages in which Grassley clarifies the misperceptions on the issue.

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Should All High Schoolers Be Believed?

 

I used to be a youth pastor. I was serving at a church in Minneapolis back in 1988; it was small, dying actually. It was a downtown church that started a hundred years earlier when the congregants lived downtown. Now the congregants lived in a variety of suburbs and only attended the church because their parents did. The students went to many different schools, and there was a challenge to establish community. I felt I needed to reach out to every student and build a relationship with each and every one.

One day I heard one of the students was home sick. Cindy (not her real name) was a high school senior, an attractive young woman who attended church regularly with her parents and youth activities sporadically. I thought it would be a nice thing to drop off a care package for her. I got a basket, filled it with oranges, cold medicine, and a fashion magazine. I drove it to her house. She came to the door, we chatted briefly and I left.

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Quite Possibly the Dumbest Thing I’ve Ever Heard a Woman Say

 

And that’s saying a lot. Something called “Ana Marie Cox,” who was formerly the Executive Editor at something called suck.com (I stopped reading the Wikipedia entry at that point), has weighed in on the Kavanaugh controversy as follows (emphasis added):

We need to judge Brett Kavanaugh, not just by what he may or may not have done, but how he treats a woman’s pain. And that is something I’m going to be paying attention to on Monday. How does he respond to what’s happening. Whether or not he agrees that this happened with her, does he take her pain seriously? Do the people interrogating her pain take her pain seriously? Now, I’ll give you a spoiler alert, I don’t think Brett Kavanaugh takes women’s pain very seriously, and I know that because of the decisions he’s made as a judge.

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Senator Collins: A True Stateswoman in the Kavanaugh Brawl

 

Senator Susan Collins is my hero for the day. I am always wary of Senators Murkowski (R-AK) and Collins (R-ME) when any check on abortion-on-demand is at issue. However, Senator Collins has been a true stateswoman in the Kavanaugh hearings. She has sent a letter to Chairman Grassley, published on her Senate webpage, which will make the absolute best out of the mess intentionally created by Senator Feinstein.

Senator Collins proposed the Judiciary Committee hearing open with the attorneys for the accuser and the accused questioning the two of them. This would let the strongest questions be asked before Senators start grandstanding or pulling punches. Senator Grassley knows he has a problem: he has no female Senator on his side of the room, so the optics will be bad if they don’t roll over. The two attorneys are both women.

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Quote of the Day: Restore My Soul

 

Lord Peter Wimsey to the Vicar, Mr Tredgold in Dorothy Sayers’ Unnatural Death.

“S’posin’ one knows somebody who’s very, very ill and can’t last long anyhow. And they’re in awful pain and all that, and kept under morphia — practically dead to the world, you know…Well supposin’ somebody…was just to give ’em a little push off so to speak — hurry matters on…it doesn’t do the person any harm does it?”

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Christine Blasey Ford … It Makes Perfect Sense

 

Pretend you are a Democrat strategist. In 2018 that means that by definition you are a leftist. Your overarching mission is to shepherd the American evolution to a utopian collectivist state. As a prerequisite, the appeal of liberal democracy must first be weakened. Your job is to devise a strategy to undermine popular support for the United States Constitution.

Today, in the wake of the botched transformation of America (promised a decade ago), the enlightened social progress of the past century is suddenly imperiled. The health of the Living Constitution is under threat by a Supreme Court nominee — the second in two years — who respects that old, faded parchment written by white slaveholders over a hundred years ago.

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Then I Joined the Case … Now I’m An Abuser!

 

I’m going to begin with a confession. I’m an abuser of women.

In the Spring of 1979, my law enforcement fraternity went to a national conference in Sacramento. At the pool party after, one of my fraternity Brothers picked up one of my fraternity Sisters and threw her in the pool. (Yes, there were women in my chapter. It was an academic fraternity.) While he was carrying her, I tickled her feet, even though, or maybe because, I knew she didn’t like to have her feet touched.

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Why the Kavanaugh Accusations Enrage Me

 

There is a certain class of topics which excite my passions. I get particularly vexed and exercised when encountering stories of injustice — particularly injustice done in the name of or under the aegis of supposed righteousness.

That’s why stories like Cardinal Wuerl’s complicity in hiding and abetting a vast number of cases of priestly abuse anger me so deeply. Here you have an organization which is supposed to be the representative of the Heavenly Father on Earth, acting no better than a New York City teacher’s union, which puts intractably bad teachers into “rubber rooms.” It’s arguable that the Church acted worse, by putting those priests back into circulation to abuse again and again … all while obfuscating and frustrating attempts to investigate that very criminality.

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Me Too…

 

View original artwork here.

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No Excuses: Guns and Faith

 

We’ve arrived! My husband and I have taken a road trip, and the first part of our agenda is attending the Couples for Liberty five-day workshop at Hillsdale College—lessons on shooting guns and on understanding the Constitution. We originally signed up for the workshop in May, but we had court dates assigned for the same time and we had to be there. But we found out there were two slots open for Hillsdale’s September workshop. They let us make the switch, and we were delighted–

–until a few weeks ago I realized that Yom Kippur fell during the same week. (I thought I also had a conflict with Rosh Hashanah, but there wasn’t a scheduling problem.)

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If the Old US-China Game Is Over, What Comes Next?

 

Phrase it whatever way you prefer. As my CNBC colleague said today on “Squawk on the Street,” “I think the president is saying, ‘Hey, listen guys, you are not going to make as much money in China as you used to. That game is over.’”

Or as my AEI colleague Derek Scissors writes in a new blog post, “…the Sino-American economic relationship is going to shrink, sooner or later.”

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