The press continues to avoid asking the important questions.
March 18, 2021
ITEM #1: The verdict is in on the government-imposed COVID lockdowns, and those who have advocated for and implemented them have been found …
And guilty not just of making foolish policy decisions … but also of failing to even ATTEMPT to offer a concrete justification for their actions.
That’s according to Philippe Lemoine, a fellow at the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology, who makes his compelling case in the Wall Street Journal.
“A year ago I publicly advocated lockdowns because they seemed prudent given how little was known at the time about the virus and its effects,” Lemoine admits. “But locking society down has become the default option of governments all over the world, regardless of cost.”
He then explains the folly of this sustained, heavy-handed approach:
“[P]olicy may not matter as much as people assumed it did. Lockdowns can destroy the economy, but it’s starting to look as if they have minimal effect on the spread of Covid-19.
“After a year of observation and data collection, the case for lockdowns has grown much weaker. Nobody denies overwhelmed hospitals are bad, but so is depriving people of a normal life, including kids who can’t attend school or socialize during precious years of their lives. Since everyone hasn’t been vaccinated, many wouldn’t yet be living normally even without restrictions. But government mandates can make things worse by taking away people’s ability to socialize and make a living.”
And he then raises an excellent, and truly damning, point (emphasis added below):
“The coronavirus lockdowns constitute the most extensive attacks on individual freedom in the West since World War II. Yet not a single government has published a cost-benefit analysis to justify lockdown policies — something policy makers are often required to do while making far less consequential decisions. If my arguments are wrong and lockdown policies are cost-effective, a government document should be able to demonstrate that. No government has produced such a document, perhaps because officials know what it would show.”
It really is outrageous that no one in government has yet offered up the kind of analytical justification for lockdowns that Lemoine suggests. And it’s just as outrageous that no one in our national “news” media seems interested in even asking for a such an analysis, or insisting on any other measure of accountability from our government officials.
ITEM #2: Then again, maybe it’s hard for reporters to ask those tough questions when they’re so busy fawning over the eloquence of President Joe Biden.
The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway has the details of an especially embarrassing recent episode:
“Thursday night, President Joe Biden gave a speech to mark the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization’s delayed acknowledgment of the COVID-19 pandemic that China unleashed upon the world. …
“The speech was delivered off a Teleprompter by a man who wasn’t inspiring even when he had better command of his faculties decades ago. It was ungracious, going out of its way to refuse to acknowledge his predecessor’s Operation Warp Speed, the only pandemic response that has worked. ...
“The dark and depressing speech was reminiscent of Jimmy Carter’s 'malaise' talks. He painted a horrible future with threatened future lockdowns if the people didn’t keep following his rules."
Even the parody website The Onion, which directs its satire at conservatives far more frequently than at progressives, recognized the opportunity for mockery, tweeting: “Biden Announces Americans Will Be Able To Do What They Did At Christmas By July 4.”
Yet none of that stopped America’s supposedly non-partisan press corps from falling all over themselves to see who could applaud the Prez the loudest. More from Hemingway:
“[T]he White House had asked reporters earlier in the day to spread their preferred messaging that the speech was uplifting, unifying, and hopeful. So they did. Before he gave it, the media dutifully claimed that was what the speech would do. After the speech was over, they reiterated this propaganda talking point, even though the speech was not at all what was promised. ...
"The Washington Post’s Dan Diamond wrote, 'Another reminder tonight of how Trump failed at a traditional responsibility of being president: soothing the fears of a rattled nation.'”
Then there’s Politico, which tweeted: “It is hard to imagine any other contemporary politician making the speech JOE BIDEN did Thursday night — both channeling our collective sorrow and reminding us that there is life after grief.”
The piece offers several other gag-inducing examples, which, if you’ve got the stomach for it, you can read here.
ITEM #3: Morning in Nevada PAC President Adam Laxalt has a new op-ed out at RealClearPolitics, a leading national website that publishes high-profile news stories and opinion pieces from around the country, in which he examines the implications of the socialist takeover of Nevada’s Democrat Party.
As Laxalt explains: “On Saturday, March 6, the Nevada Democrat Party officially elected a self-described socialist, Judith Whitmer — and her entire socialist slate — to lead their party.” He adds that, “This isn’t just a local story,” then analyzes the development in the context of what’s happening nationally:
“There is no hiding from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the socialist base of the party. They are brazenly taking control of public policy in America and of Democratic Party apparatuses in early swing states like Nevada. Americans and Nevadans are witnessing this watershed moment where the long, methodical project of radically transforming America is occurring in double time. The frog is not being slow-boiled; it is being flame-roasted.
“All of the powerful institutions in American life are converging with the political elite to force America to be ‘progressive.’ Of course, progressivism is really just a rebrand of what the ideological roots were always about — socialism and an all-encompassing federal administrative state.
“The Democratic Party and the political elite want one thing: to rule and control every nook and cranny of American life. One critique of the early Marxist socialist party apparatus was that it operated like an authoritarian schoolteacher, ‘bringing up the masses’ within narrow confines of thought.
“In Nevada, with the democratic-socialists in charge, they are one step closer today.”
You can read the full op-ed here.
ITEM #4: The editors of the Las Vegas Review-Journal recently weighed in on an ongoing, crucial constitutional battle that risks falling below the radar in the midst of a number of other current, higher-profile stories.
The issue is a bit complex, so we’re going to quote from their editorial at length:
“The future of school choice in Nevada may depend on the state Supreme Court’s willingness to uphold the Gibbons Tax Restraint Initiative.
“This month, the Nevada Supreme Court heard arguments in a case involving the Opportunity Scholarship program. School choice isn’t the only thing at stake. So is the constitutional requirement — overwhelmingly passed twice by voters — that bills increasing revenue require a two-thirds vote in both houses.”
Here's the background:
“Lawmakers created Opportunity Scholarships in 2015. It’s currently Nevada’s only active school choice option. Under the program, businesses donate to a scholarship-granting organization and receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit. The scholarship organization uses the money to provide support for low-income students to attend private schools. …
“The Legislature allocated $5 million in tax credits during the first year of the program. In subsequent years, that amount was to increase by 10 percent annually. The annual growth was on automatic pilot and did not require subsequent legislative approval. Thus, if lawmakers reduce the amount of available tax credits, the result is an increase in state revenue.
“But any bill that increases revenue requires two-thirds approval in both houses. Nevada voters added that requirement to the state constitution in the mid-1990s. The language is intentionally broad. The mandate applies to any bill ‘which creates, generates or increases revenue in any form.’
“In 2019, Democrats removed the 10 percent growth component in the original Opportunity Scholarship legislation without a single Republican vote. Most Democrats have long opposed school choice in lockstep with teachers unions, which fear the competition.
“Notably, the Department of Taxation tagged the proposal with a fiscal note, finding that the change ‘would increase general fund revenue by $665,500 in fiscal year 2019-20’ and by even more in later years. No surprise. That was the whole point of the bill.”
And here’s the crux of the legal issue:
“That should have triggered the two-thirds requirement. But the Legislative Counsel Bureau — which has lately become an arm of majority leadership — declared the proposal needed only a simple majority in each house. The bill subsequently failed to receive a two-thirds majority in the Senate. The Institute for Justice, representing those affected by the change, sued.”
We’ll keep you posted as this continues to unfold, but in the meantime, we’ll simply leave you with the editors’ spot-on conclusion:
“If legislative Democrats find the Gibbons Tax Restraint provision to be inconvenient, they are free to persuade voters to change it. But let’s not pretend it doesn’t mean what it explicitly says. There’s no wiggle room there even if Democrats hope the Nevada Supreme Court allows them to invent some. Instead, the justices should rule accordingly and find that ‘any’ increase in revenue means any increase.”
ITEM #5: Last week’s MORNING SOURCE opened with coverage of H.R. 1, the dreadful measure, passed recently by Democrats in the U.S. House, that would usurp control over elections from the states and force some of the most reckless voting practices on the entire country.
The Heritage Foundation’s Hans A. von Spakovsky offers his own take on H.R. 1 at Fox News, and he’s no more enamored with it than we are.
He calls it “without doubt the most dangerous and irresponsible election bill I have ever seen,” which are strong words from someone for whom election policy is an area of long-running interest and expertise.
He recaps a few of the measure's most egregious elements, including the facts that:
“1. It would eviscerate state voter ID laws that require a voter to authenticate his identity.
“2. It would make absentee ballots even more insecure than they already are.
“3. It would worsen the problem of inaccurate registration rolls, which are full of people who have died, moved away, are ineligible felons or noncitizens, or are registered more than once.”
The list goes all the way to eight, and you get can the details on each and every one of them here.
ITEM #6: We’ll admit we had to smile at this one.
Writing for National Review, Dan McLaughlin passes along one of the more delicious cases of irony we’ve seen in some time.
“NBC 4 in Washington, D.C., reports that the District is concerned that too many people getting the vaccine in DC are not residents, so it’s going to do something about that,” McLaughlin explains.
He then quotes from NBC’s story:
"As the District launched its new system to register for a COVID-19 vaccine this week, it also announced major changes to help ensure more doses go to people who actually live there. 'The essential worker burden for vaccinations in the District is disproportionately high [compared] to any other jurisdiction,' said Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, head of DC Health. Going forward, the District will prioritize 90% of its appointments for eligible residents only. In its new registration portal, D.C. said essential workers should bring verification like a work ID badge, letter from employer or paystub. 'One of the ways that we have to ensure that we are not vaccinating residents from other jurisdictions who don’t actually have an essential job in the District of Columbia is to ask for some type of proof for that,' Nesbitt said."
Yes, we’re thinking what you’re thinking. And so is McLaughlin:
“Identification to prove that people are in the right jurisdiction? Funny how this works, when a liberal government is trying to control something it actually cares about.”
Which emphatically does NOT include election security and integrity, of course.