22 thoughts on “News/Politics 1-5-23

  1. Ouch.

    “Biden Won’t Represent U.S. At Benedict’s Funeral, Per ‘Wishes Of The Late Pope’”


    “President Joe Biden was not invited to Thursday’s funeral of Pope Benedict XVI, and the U.S. ambassador to Italy will represent America at the pontiff’s burial, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday.

    It was not clear if the lack of an invitation was a direct snub to Biden, a Catholic who nonetheless is an ardent supporter of abortion. But Jean-Pierre said the situation represented the wishes of the late pope himself.

    “The U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Joe Donnelly, will represent the United States at the funeral of the Pope, in line with the wishes of the late Pope and the Vatican,” Jean-Pierre said. “This is what — this is what their requests were. This is what their wishes were.””


  2. Well that didn’t take long. 🙂

    Hey, clowns need work too.


  3. The censorship is coming from inside the House!

    But muh narrative…..

    Well he should, but R’s don’t have the stones for such bold action.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Check your own house first, because this seems like another fed run op.

    And why the 2 year delay?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Of course.

    Dems always speak for and defend the perverts.

    But no mercy for Jan6ers, right Cori?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Cope harder Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Of course.

    And remember kids, dark money is only bad if R’s do it. And this is on top of the 170 million he personally donated to Dems.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Celebrating their foisting 1.7 trillion in debt on the American people.

    But yeah those 20 in the House should just roll over for the establishment shills that voted for it, and useless “leaders” like McConnell.


    It’s a uni-party in DC.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “The Revolt against the Elites”


    “In 2016, when Donald Trump took to the stage to give a speech following his victory in the Nevada primary caucuses, he uttered what would become one of many memorable lines from that race: “I love the poorly educated.” He said this while listing the demographics who had voted for him in the state—demographics that included those with little or no college education—and the media quickly latched onto it as yet another outrageous vulgarity, an insult directed at those who had just lent him their support.

    But it was no insult. It was a clear statement about who he was for and who he was against. When Trump portrayed himself as the leader of a revolt against elites on both sides of the aisle, he was making a direct appeal to a huge segment of the electorate that no one else of his prominence (save perhaps Bernie Sanders) seemed to be much interested in. The self-satisfied elite class who saw a lack of education as a character flaw were the ones insulting Trump’s supporters. Trump wasn’t afraid to court them openly.

    The political philosopher Michael Sandel’s book The Tyranny of Merit offers a compelling interpretation of how such a clear dividing line—between elite and non-elite, between “well-educated” and “poorly educated,” between rich and poor, between “winners” and “losers”—emerged in the US. In this excerpt from our recent conversation, he outlines his argument, which views the principle of meritocracy as one of the culprits behind our present polarization. It’s a powerful account of social division, one that I’m sure will open up plenty of debate here, so please don’t hesitate to weigh in.

     GLENN LOURY: So what is the core concern at the root of your argument in Tyranny?

    MICHAEL SANDEL: It goes back, really, four decades, during which time the divide between winners and losers, Glenn, has been deepening, poisoning our politics, and setting us apart. I think this divide has partly to do with the widening inequalities of recent decades, but it’s not only that. It has also to do with the changing attitudes towards success that have accompanied the rising inequalities. Those who’ve landed on top have come to believe that their success is their own doing, the measure of their merit, and that they therefore deserve the whole bounty the market bestows upon them and by implication that those who struggle have no one to blame but themselves. So it’s these attitudes toward success, I think, that have created a society of winners and losers and that this explains a lot, I think, of why we are so deeply polarized.

    The winners don’t deserve their success. They shouldn’t be crowing about it. They didn’t build this. “You didn’t build this.” Isn’t that what Obama said at one point back in the ancient history of his presidency? You didn’t build this, you got there with the aid of many other influences, and it’s somehow poisoning the political well to have people running around who have done well, thinking about themselves as if … yeah.

    Well, we don’t have enough humility, I think, generally in our public life. And Obama was trying to express something like the idea that I discussed in The Tyranny of Merit, though he didn’t put it in quite the way I think he intended. Here’s how I would put the main point of The Tyranny of Merit, Glenn. I would say that these harsh attitudes toward success and failure arise from a seemingly attractive principle, the principle of meritocracy, the ideal that says if chances are equal, the winners deserve their winning.

    There are a couple of problems with this idea, or so it seems to me. The first is we don’t live up to it. Chances are not equal. We all know this. Children who are born poor tend to stay poor as adults. Social mobility, upward mobility across generations is not what we often assume it to be. And higher education is not the engine of upward mobility we sometimes think. In Ivy League colleges and universities, despite generous financial aid policies, Glenn, there are more students from families in the top 1% than there are students from the entire bottom half of the income scale combined. So we don’t live up to the meritocratic principles we profess.

    But it seems to me there’s a deeper problem, which is the ideal itself is flawed. It’s flawed because it encourages the winners, the successful, to inhale too deeply of their own success, to forget the luck and good fortune that helped them on their way. And it leads them to look down on those less fortunate than themselves. This gets back to the point you were suggesting about humility, and so it’s partly to do with the economy and the widening inequality. But it has also to do with these attitudes toward success that the meritocratic ideal encourages and cultivates. Paradoxically, if you think about it, the closer we come to a perfect meritocracy, if we could somehow achieve genuine equality of opportunity, that would not dissolve these attitudes toward success and failure, the hubris of the successful and the humiliation of those left behind.

    This is Michael Young’s point from that old book, right?

    Exactly. And Michael Young coined the term. We forget this, but Michael Young coined the term “meritocracy” back in 1958 with a little book, The Rise of the Meritocracy. That’s what it was called. Meritocracy, we use that as an ideal, as the name of an aspiration. When he coined the term, it was a dystopian story he was telling. It was a good thing that the class system was breaking down and that young people from working class families had a chance to get a good education and to compete for jobs. He was all for that.

    But he glimpsed the harsh attitudes toward success that would result insofar as people imbibed this sense of deservingness. And he was onto something. He predicted, actually, that in the year 2034, there would be a populist revolt against the meritocracy. He was almost right, except that revolt came [18] years early.

    But was that revolt the revolt of populism as reflected in Trump’s emergence in 2016 only or mainly a reflection of the economic disparities of winners and losers? Or was it not also a reflection of a cultural contestation not between economic winners and losers, but between people who control the megaphone of public communication, who live on the coast, and who have certain modernist ideas about social life and those who might clinging to their religion, their guns, and their more conventional morality, you know, moral judgments about sexuality and all of that? Wasn’t that also part of the story? And how does that fit into your argument?

    I think it was both. It was clearly both. And in fact, I think we sometimes distinguish too sharply between economic and cultural interpretations. As you have shown, economics is shot through with cultural assumptions and beliefs. So part of what I try to do in The Tyranny of Merit is to break down this sharp distinction between economic and cultural interpretation.

    I think that the sense of anger and resentment and grievance against elites is at the heart of Trump’s appeal. Now, of course, a good part of his appeal, a lot of people were drawn to the racist, xenophobic, misogynist aspect of his appeal. There is no question about that. But the animus against elites, especially against the professional class—and this connects, Glenn, with what you were saying about the coastal elites—this represented, actually, a change in partisan allegiances. Traditionally, voters without a college education voted for the Democratic Party. And this is true in other countries, too. In Britain, they voted for the Labor Party. In France, they voted for socialist parties.

    But in recent decades, this has flipped. Those who have a a university degree tend to vote for center-left parties—the Democratic Party in the United States—and those without college degrees tend to vote Republican. And Trump was a big part of kind of consolidating. As you remember, after one of those primary election victories, he said, “I love the poorly educated.”

    Yeah. I love that line, actually.

    Well, he was onto something.””

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Of course.

    “FDA Allowing Pharmacies to Dispense Abortion Pill”


    “The FDA will allow retail pharmacies to sell abortion pills over the counter if they agree to certain rules.

    From The New York Times:

    Until now, mifepristone — the first pill used in the two-drug medication abortion regimen — could be dispensed only by a few mail-order pharmacies or by specially certified doctors or clinics. Under the new F.D.A. rules, patients will still need a prescription from a certified health care provider, but any pharmacy that agrees to accept those prescriptions and abide by certain other criteria can dispense the pills in its stores and by mail order.

    The change comes as abortion pills, already used in more than half of pregnancy terminations in the U.S., are becoming even more sought after in the aftermath of last year’s Supreme Court decision overturning the federal right to abortion. With conservative states banning or sharply restricting abortion, the pills have increasingly become the focus of political and legal battles, which may influence a pharmacy’s decision about whether or not to dispense the medication.

    The FDA listed the rules:

    Mifepristone must be prescribed by a health care provider that meets certain qualifications and is certified under the Mifepristone REMS Program.

    In order to become certified to prescribe mifepristone, health care providers must complete a Prescriber Agreement Form.

    The Patient Agreement Form must be reviewed with and signed by the patient and the health care provider, and the risks of the mifepristone treatment regimen must be fully explained to the patient before mifepristone is prescribed.

    The patient must be provided with a copy of the Patient Agreement Form and mifepristone Medication Guide (FDA-approved information for patients).

    Mifepristone may only be dispensed by or under the supervision of a certified prescriber, or by a certified pharmacy on a prescription issued by a certified prescriber.
    To become certified to dispense mifepristone, pharmacies must complete a Pharmacy Agreement Form.
    Certified pharmacies must be able to ship mifepristone using a shipping service that provides tracking information.
    Certified pharmacies must ensure mifepristone is dispensed to the patient in a timely manner.

    The FDA authorizes people to take mifepristone during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. Some people give it to females up to 12 or 13 weeks.”


  11. “MAGA unleashed” Dj?

    “House NeverKevins Defy Trump”


    “Has President Donald Trump lost his voice? He urged Republicans to back Kevin McCarthy.

    It did not work. In fact, McCarthy lost a vote in the fourth round and is about to lose the fifth round.”

    Trump has nothing to do with the revolt, but I guess you guys just can’t give up your boogieman.


  12. Victor Davis Hanson nails it again.

    Sooo many questions….

    “The Coup We Never Knew”


    “Did someone or something seize control of the United States?

    What happened to the U.S. border? Where did it go? Who erased it? Why and how did 5 million people enter our country illegally? Did Congress secretly repeal our immigration laws? Did President Joe Biden issue an executive order allowing foreign nationals to walk across the border and reside in the United States as they pleased?

    Since when did money not have to be paid back? Who insisted that the more dollars the federal government printed, the more prosperity would follow? When did America embrace zero interest? Why do we believe $30 trillion in debt is no big deal?

    When did clean-burning, cheap, and abundant natural gas become the equivalent of dirty coal? How did prized natural gas that had granted America’s wishes of energy self-sufficiency, reduced pollution, and inexpensive electricity become almost overnight a pariah fuel whose extraction was a war against nature? Which lawmakers, which laws, and which votes of the people declared natural gas development and pipelines near criminal?

    Was it not against federal law to swarm the homes of Supreme Court justices, to picket and to intimidate their households in efforts to affect their rulings? How then with impunity did bullies surround the homes of Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, John Roberts, and Clarence Thomas – furious over a court decision on abortion? How could these mobs so easily throng our justices’ homes, with placards declaring “Off with their d–s”?

    Since when did Americans create a government Ministry of Truth? And on whose orders did the FBI contract private news organizations to censor stories it did not like and writers whom it feared?

    How did we wake up one morning to new customs of impeaching a president over a phone call? Of the speaker of the House tearing up the State of the Union address on national television? Of barring congressional members from serving on their assigned congressional committees?

    When did we assume the FBI had the right to subvert the campaign of a candidate it disliked? Was it legal suddenly for one presidential candidate to hire a foreign ex-spy to subvert the campaign of her rival?

    Was some state or federal law passed that allowed biological males to compete in female sports? Did Congress enact such a law? Did the Supreme Court guarantee that biological male students could shower in gym locker rooms with biological women? Were women ever asked to redefine the very sports they had championed?

    When did the government pass a law depriving Americans of their freedom during a pandemic? In America can health officials simply cancel rental contracts or declare loan payments in suspension? How could it become illegal for mom-and-pop stores to sell flowers or shoes during quarantine but not so for Walmart or Target?

    Since when did the people decide that 70 percent of voters would not cast their ballots on Election Day? Was this revolutionary change the subject of a national debate, a heated congressional session, or the votes of dozens of state legislatures?

    What happened to Election Night returns? Did the fact that Americans created more electronic ballots and computerized tallies make it take so much longer to tabulate the votes?

    When did the nation abruptly decide that theft is not a crime, and assault is not a felony? How can thieves walk out with bags of stolen goods, without the wrath of angry shoppers, much less fear of the law?

    Was there ever a national debate about the terrifying flight from Afghanistan? Who planned it and why?

    What happened to the once-trusted FBI? Why almost overnight did its directors decide to mislead Congress, to deceive judges with concocted tales from fake dossiers and with doctored writs? Did Congress pass a law that our federal leaders in the FBI or CIA could lie with impunity under oath?

    Who redefined our military and with whose consent? Who proclaimed that our chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff could call his Chinese Communist counterpart to warn him that America’s president was supposedly unstable? Was it always true that retired generals routinely labeled their commander-in-chief as a near Nazi, a Mussolini, an adherent of the tools of Auschwitz?

    Were Americans ever asked whether their universities could discriminate against their sons and daughters based on their race? How did it become physically dangerous to speak the truth on campus? Whose idea was it to reboot racial segregation and bias as “theme houses,” “safe spaces,” and “diversity”? How did that happen in America?”

    Liked by 1 person

  13. “Retired FBI boss says agency has lost independence, been co-opted by liberal DOJ ideologues

    Former Assistant Director Chris Swecker says bureau has been pressured into improper domestic spying, censorship.”


    “In a stunning rebuke, the FBI’s retired chief of criminal investigations says his old agency has yielded the independence Congress gave it under the law and is now subservient to a group of liberal ideologues inside the Justice Department who have pressured agents to stray into unwarranted domestic spying and censorship.

    Ex-FBI Assistant Director Chris Swecker on Tuesday became the latest law enforcement or political figure to support creating an independent commission modeled after the U.S. Senate’s 1970s Church Committee to investigate the FBI’s practices and impose reforms on the storied law enforcement agency.

    He told Just the News that the bureau’s problems start with the politicization of its ranks by DOJ.

    “What I see is that it’s basically a wholesale takeover by the Department of Justice, which is filled with political appointees in every top position, and then by extension, right into the administration,” Swecker said in a wide-ranging interview on the John Solomon Reports podcast.

    “You see DOJ people — and many of the top executive positions inside the FBI now — you see people that have made a career out of bouncing in and out of silk-stocking law firms between the Department of Justice and then these law firms. And I have to say they are incredibly liberal in their politics. And that has now sort of taken over the FBI, and they are inserting that ideology into their high-profile investigations.”

    Swecker, a lawyer himself, said one of the many tell-tale signs that the FBI has lost its independence is the bureau’s relationship with Big Tech firms, as exposed by recent internal file releases by Twitter and a lawsuit filed by the attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri.

    The original partnerships, he said, were designed to legitimately counter foreign influence operations on U.S. social media but have since evolved into spying and censorship operations impacting Americans.

    “The FBI has an industry outreach program to help exchange information with industry, helping in the counterintelligence efforts of the FBI. This has gone well beyond that,” he said. “This is nothing but domestic spying, and this is nothing but suppression of First Amendment rights and ideas.”

    He said the bureau’s role in pressuring Twitter and other social media and search sites to censor Americans “needs to be the first line of inquiry” in a new Congress.

    A growing number of prominent figures — including House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, incoming House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan and retired FBI intelligence chief Kevin Brock — have embraced the idea that Congress should create a blue-ribbon panel modeled after the 1970s Church Committee to probe where the FBI has gone astray and to craft meaningful reforms.

    Swecker said he believes that is a good approach, noting that while he remains friends with Christopher Wray, the current FBI director has allowed his agency to lose significant public trust.

    “The Church Committee was a full inquiry into what were perceived to be some very serious abuses by the FBI in the domestic surveillance area, in terms of watching U.S. citizens doing things involving U.S. citizens that were considered to be abuses of their power,” he said. “And I think we’ve come full circle here.”

    Swecker said the FBI’s involvement in labeling school parents “domestic terrorists,” and its “bare-knuckles” pursuit of Donald Trump contrasted with its “kid gloves cases” against Hillary Clinton, Andrew McCabe and Hunter Biden have not only shaken public trust but also the internal confidence of the FBI.

    “I’m telling you the retired agent community and many agents inside the FBI on active duty are saying this needs to be looked at,” he said. “I’m not big fan of congressional inquiries, but they need to shine some light on this.””

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Not sure if Biden should feel insulted – a man who protected pedophiles doesn’t want him at his funeral. To add to it, its rather ironic this is over his position on abortion when Benedict didn’t protect children who were already born. I think this is where we go with sawdust vs branch in your eye.

    The abortion pill decision is to be expected and not much of a game changer. One can order the pill over the internet and deliver it to your home. If that’s illegal in your state, a quick trip to a nearby state or even using a proxy to pick it up and you have it. The moral argument the pro-life offered for the last 50 years is far more effective then the heavy arm of the state.

    Any reading of the Twitterfiles indicates Schiff isn’t the only politician to object to Twitter content or accounts. It’s pretty much standard for politicians to have a social media person whose only job is to monitor social media and make objections as soon as possible.

    Reading Bush’s tweet, I don’t think she is defending the “pervert” just objecting to the use of capital punishment. I’ll leave defending the pervert to the Catholic church. I’m against capital punishment doesn’t mean I’m defending a murderer. I’d also like to think we have moved past the “punish the pervert” phase of society. And as I stated before, I find it ironic the same people who say trans is a mental illness favor this execution – when did we start to execute the mentally ill.


  15. The 8:28 am post is interesting. In some respects its correct; the last 40 years have reinforced the rule of the elite – I’d like to point out 40 years ago was the start of the Reagan/Thatcher era. And the Reagan era was the start of the decline of meritocracy. It was the end of the post WWII where meritocracy was rewarded. There’s no tyranny of meritocracy and the writer’s own facts point this out. It’s incredibly difficult for an American to do better than their parents. In fact, the US rates one of the lowest in social-economic mobility among developed countries. If you want to do better than your parents, grow up in Scandanavia. The solution then is not to listen to Trump but to Sanders.

    Reading Victor Davis Hanson; I have to ask where he has been for the last century?

    I’m amused at the naviete of some people. Do they really think a political committee will depoliticize the FBI. The police have always been a political force. They enforce the status quo.


  16. Kevin – Many transgender folks do indeed have mental/emotional issues. A while back, I read an article about a person who worked in a clinic for transgender people (in England, I think). Although still believing herself to be transgender, she left that job because she saw that too many of the patients had various mental problems that were being ignored in favor of cross-sex hormones and various surgeries.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Kizzie – its unfortunate that in the modern era we tend to go with newest trend. In the 80s there were satanists in every heavy metal band, then by the 90s day cares were full of pedophiles and now we have trans genders everywhere. We take a grain of truth not formerly acknowledged and apply it universally. Hopefully we settle before too many people make life changing decisions.

    Liked by 1 person

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