URLs du Jour

2022-02-13

  • No kraken this year either. Jacob Sullum has made a point of keeping track of erstwhile Trump election lawyer Sidney Powell. His latest: Sidney Powell Disowns Her Kraken, Saying She Is Not Responsible for Her Phony Story of a Stolen Election

    Former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell, who is fighting sanctions against her in Michigan, complains in her appeal that the federal judge who approved them "does everything possible" to make her and her colleagues seem like "overwrought, dangerous lunatics." If you watched the bizarre news conference that Powell and other members of the campaign's "elite strike force team" held a couple of weeks after the 2020 presidential election, or any of her numerous TV interviews regarding the imaginary criminal conspiracy that she said had denied Donald Trump his rightful victory, you know that she does not need any help to look crazy.

    Powell came off as a lunatic because she always seemed to sincerely believe the nonsense she was spouting: that Democrats across the country had used fraud-facilitating election software and phony ballots to steal the election for Joe Biden in an elaborate scheme that somehow involved deceased Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez, George Soros, the Clinton Foundation, Dominion Voting Systems, and "the massive influence of communist money through Venezuela, Cuba, and likely China." So it is a bit startling to read these words in the brief that Powell and fellow lawyer Howard Kleinhendler filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit this week (emphasis added): "Millions of Americans believe the central contentions of the complaint to be true, and perhaps they are."

    Sullum relates the sad history of Sidney's back-and-forth on the veracity of her wacky conspiracy theories.

    It was pretty sad to see my friends at Granite Grok get sucked into Powell's conspiricism. They even had a tag for Kraken-relevant posts. The last one begins "Sidney Powell’s single-minded devotion to bringing truth to the 2020 election fraud…"

    That was from December 2020, and … well, the Groksters are still pushing various evidence-free conspiracy theories, but apparently they've thrown Sidney under the bus.

    Meanwhile, the actual released Kraken seems to be the many lawsuits filed by Dominion Voting Systems against Sidney and a host of other theorists.


  • Because it seeks to divide us by race. Asra Q. Nomani writes at UnHerd on Why anti-racism should be resisted.

    “Young boys and girls must grow up with world perspectives”. On 22nd April 1965, Martin Luther King Jr, speaking at a meeting of the Massachusetts legislature, lamented the “tragedy” of school segregation. With the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the US had finally dismantled the Jim Crow laws — which King had joked about burying a decade earlier. The nation had come to King’s conclusion: “Segregation debilitates the segregator as well as the segregated”.

    Almost six decades later, from Massachusetts to Colorado, Jim Crow is being resurrected in public schools — this time through euphemisms such as “affinity circles”, “affinity dialogue groups” and “community building groups”. Centennial Elementary School in Denver, for instance, advertised a “Families of Color Playground Night” earlier this winter, on a marquee board outside the school. Last week, the Wheeler School in Providence, Rhode Island, hosted a “meet and talk” with actress Karyn Parsons from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” — exclusively for its “Students of Color affinity group”. “If you are a student of color or multiracial, please join us!” the invitation from a seventh grade teacher read.

    Ms. Nomani goes into detail on the example of Wellesley Public Schools. Their "diversity, equity and inclusion" director, Charmie Curry, hastened to set up a “Healing Space for Asian and Asian American students (grade 6-12), faculty/staff, and others in the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community who wish to process recent events”. (The relevant recent event was the Atlanta spa shootings.) When asked if white kids could participate, the response was handed down:

    This is a safe space for our Asian/Asian-American and Students of Color, *not* for students who identify only as White. If you identify as White, and need help to process recent events, please know I’m here for you as well as your guidance counselors. If you need to know more about why this is not for White students, please ask me!

    They might as well have added: "We don't want to try to justify this racial segregation in writing, because it might get out."


  • For the next edition of Profiles in Desperate Electoral Pandering … A Wall Street Journal editorial notes a local pol: Suspend the Gas Tax, They Cried

    The contradictions of climate politics keep piling up, and the latest is a call from Democratic Senators running for re-election this year to suspend the federal gas tax. Hello? Isn’t the point of Democratic climate plans to raise the price of fossil fuels so we use less? Or at least it is until rising gasoline prices begin to have political consequences.

    Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly and New Hampshire’s Maggie Hassan on Wednesday introduced legislation to waive the 18.4 cent per gallon federal gas tax through 2022—long enough to get them past tough re-elections in November. Co-sponsors include Georgia’s Raphael Warnock and Nevada’s Catherine Cortez Masto —also up in November—as well as Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow and Nevada’s Jacky Rosen.

    Irony is a slippery concept for me, I'm always getting it wrong, so I'm appreciative when an authoritative source points it out:

    Another rich irony: Senate Democrats who want to suspend the gas tax support President Biden’s Build Back Better Act that would impose myriad new taxes on U.S. oil and gas. But shhhh, keep that one quiet from voters.


  • But I'm pretty sure this is irony…

    Yes, to avoid getting canceled by craven Dartmouth administrators, the Dartmouth College Republicans decamped from the Live Free or Die state, moving this event down the road and across the Connecticut River to White River Junction, Peoples Republic of Vermont.

  • Good question. And it's asked by Robert H. Bork, Jr.: Why Does Ted Cruz Buy Into Klobuchar’s Socialist Bill?

    Ted Cruz doesn’t shrink from invoking the “s” word, inveighing against socialism at every chance he gets. The Texas senator often dissects progressive bills to reveal heavy-handed government policies hidden behind deceptively innocuous names. He passionately decries the humanitarian and economic ruin of his father’s homeland, Cuba, imposed by the most extreme (and perhaps inevitable) form of socialism.

    Ted Cruz is also hopping mad at the left-leaning censorship from Big Tech companies, seeing in their “woke” content decisions against conservatives a genteel form of socialist authoritarianism.

    “Big Tech today represents the greatest accumulation of power — market power and monopoly power — over information that the world has ever seen,” Cruz said in a Senate hearing last year. “They behave as if they are completely unaccountable. And at times they behave more like nation states than private companies. . . . When it comes to content moderation, they are absolutely a ‘black box.’ They refuse to answer questions.”

    All of which makes one wonder: How could it escape this inarguably bright man that he voted to bring a bill to the Senate floor that would subject American business to socialism and make Big Tech social-media companies more woke and dedicated to the censorship of conservatives than ever before?

    It's an awful bill, and Cruz should know better.


Last Modified 2022-02-22 4:21 PM EDT

The Woman in the Window

[3.5 stars] [IMDB Link] [The Woman in the Window]

The IMDB rating is pretty dismal. And it garnered no fewer than five Razzie nominations: Worst Picture, Worst Actress (Amy Adams), Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel, Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay.

And yet, I kind of enjoyed it. I didn't fall asleep, it kept me guessing. The pandemic may have lowered my standards. And a small confession: I only watched it because a WSJ review of the recent The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window miniseries suggested I should watch this first.

Amy Adams plays Anna, and she's pretty messy. She lives in a large Manhattan townhouse, with only a grubby tenant occupying an equally grubby apartment in the basement. A nasty case of agoraphobia makes it impossible for Anna to go out. (Her shrink has to make house calls.) She's on a bunch of prescription drugs, which she freely mixes with goldfish-bowl-sized glasses of wine. She tells people she's separated from her husband and daughter. And she spends her free time surveilling whatever neighbors she can see from her windows.

Which means (of course) that she witnesses a murder in the apartment newly occupied by the Russell family. But is it real, or is it a hallucination enabled by the drugs, wine, and her general looniness?

You'll notice a lot of big names on the poster. Among them, only Amy Adams is onscreen for very long.


Last Modified 2022-02-13 10:03 AM EDT