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Voters Say: Election Fraud Is a Problem

America’s CEOs may believe that election integrity is unimportant, but voters across the political spectrum disagree. Rasmussen finds that 51% of voters believe that voter fraud impacted the 2020 presidential election:

A majority (51%) of voters believe it is likely that cheating affected the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, including 35% who say it’s Very Likely cheating affected the election.

Seventy-four percent (74%) of Republicans believe it is likely last year’s presidential election was affected by cheating, a view shared by 30% of Democrats and 51% of voters not affiliated with either major party.

The question asked was: “How likely is it that cheating affected the outcome of the 2020 presidential election?”

Voters want election integrity and don’t buy the Democrats’ claim that it is somehow too hard to vote:

Asked which is more important, making it easier for everybody to vote, or making sure there is no cheating in elections, 60% of Likely Voters say it’s more important to prevent cheating, while 37% said it’s more important to make it easier to vote.

Only 22% of voters say it is currently too hard to vote, while 34% said it’s too easy to vote, and 41% say the level of difficulty in voting is about right.

Majorities of all racial groups – 59% of whites, 56% of Blacks and 63% of other minority voters – say it is more important to make sure there is no cheating in elections than to make it easier to vote.

Likewise, majorities of all racial groups – 64% of whites, 59% of Blacks and 58% of other minority voters – reject the claim that voter ID laws discriminate against some voters.

Here in Minnesota, my organization found that 69% of registered voters want voter ID laws. America’s left-wing CEOs are badly out of step with mainstream Americans.

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Kristen Clarke lies under oath about her racist writing at Harvard

During yesterday’s hearing on the nomination of Kristen Clarke to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, the nominee was asked about an article she wrote while a student at Harvard. In that article, Clarke argued that Blacks are superior to Whites in numerous respects. We discussed Clarke’s racist claim here.

Clarke told Senators that the article was satire. But, as David Harsanyi points out, there is no evidence to support this claim.

In fact, all contemporary evidence is to the contrary. Around the same time she published her racist article, Clarke invited a rabid anti-Semite, Tony Martin, to speak at Harvard.

The anti-Semite used the platform Clarke provided to excoriate Jews. Clarke praised him for his intelligence and the veracity of his work. Was her praise satirical?

Harsanyi points out that the anti-Semite in question held some of the pseudo-scientific anti-White views Clarke peddled in her article — views that had currency among Black campus radicals at the time. If Clarke had presented these views as satire — to hold them up to ridicule — she would not have invited a blatant racist who promoted them to speak at Harvard and then praised him.

Furthermore, Clarke declined opportunities to say that her article was satire. Staffers at the Harvard Crimson, in which Clarke published her piece, denounced it and demanded a retraction. They noted, correctly, that there isn’t a hint of irony in her article.

Clarke never responded that the article was an attempt at humor. Clearly, it wasn’t.

At least Clarke was being honest back then. Yesterday, she was dishonest — and not just about her racist article.

Her unwillingness to tell the Senators the truth under oath is reason enough not to confirm her.

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Antifa Comes to Town | Power Line

During the George Floyd riots in Minnesota last Summer, the first night or two of violence was carried out predominantly by locals. But then the professional rioters and career criminals arrived, in the person of Antifa. That seems to be happening again, as Fox News reports, with reporter Mike Tobin on the scene:

Members of the violent far-left activist group Antifa identified themselves to a Fox News reporter who was on scene in Brooklyn Center, Minn., ahead of another night of unrest following the police-involved shooting of a motorist on Sunday.
***
Tobin…spoke to [Laura] Ingraham from inside a vehicle.

“I can tell you this. The makeup of the population out here certainly changed tonight. I think Sunday night it was all about the locals that were here: They were genuine and angry,” he said.

“As it goes on, you get more people coming in from out of town. I had several people that I spoke with who identified themselves as Antifa — and angrily so. So you had that crowd out here.”

“We saw an increased number of kids ‘wearing the uniform’ if you will, the black hoodies, the backpacks. I saw leaf-blowers out there, different kinds of … makeshift shields and things. It was changing dramatically in terms of the makeup, and certainly the numbers of the crowd.”

Leaf blowers? I am told that Antifa uses leaf blowers to blow tear gas back toward law enforcement.

Antifa rioters and arsonists who travel from city to city to commit crimes obviously should be prosecuted and incarcerated, but that isn’t happening. They rarely are arrested, and if prosecuted–rarer still–are always, as far as I have observed, let off with a slap on the wrist. That needs to change, but it certainly won’t change during the Biden administration, at least not at the federal level. The Democrats smile upon Antifa as that party’s shock troops, much the same function that the Ku Klux Klan played in the South long ago.

This is the segment of the Laura Ingraham show on which Tobin appeared:

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Kristen Clarke lies under oath about defunding the police

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from Kristen Clarke, Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Clarke appeared along with Todd Kim, the nominee to head the Environment and Natural Resources Division. This meant a pretty easy time for Kim.

Clarke, by contrast, came under heavy fire. She tried to deflect it through a combination of lies and nonsense.

Consider her exchange with Sen. Ted Cruz. In June 2020, Clarke wrote an article for Newsweek called “I Prosecuted Police Killings. Defund the Police — But Be Strategic.” So Cruz asked Clarke whether she still favors defunding the police.

Clarke responded that she doesn’t support defunding the police, and that she wrote the Newsweek article to make it clear that she does not support defunding the police (she later made clear that she equates “defunding” the police with investing fewer resources in the police). Clarke blamed the title of the article, which called expressly for defunding the police, on Newsweek.

Cruz showed, however, that in the body of her article Clarke repeatedly advocated taking resources away from the police. Three paragraphs in a row began with the words “we must invest less in police.” (Emphasis added)

Unable to sustain her false statement, under oath, that her article didn’t call for defunding the police, Clarke resorted to a fallback position. She defended her article by saying that, at the time she wrote it, she lacked “the power of the purse.” In other words, she lacked the power to defund the police.

That’s an interesting defense. Is it one of general applicability?

If a nominee for a civil rights job had called for defunding the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, should the Senate overlook that advocacy because at the time of publication, the author lacked the power of the purse? If I advocate life sentences for pickpockets, is it unfair to hold me accountable for that position because I’m not a prosecutor, a judge, or a legislator?

Clarke noted that Joe Biden supports increased funding for the police (through the federal COPS program), and that she concurs. I suspect that the devil is in the details when it comes to Biden’s position on more funding.

But let’s put that aside. If Biden really wants more money for the police, then jobs in his administration that intersect with policing should be filled by presidential appointees who didn’t disagree with Biden’s view nine months ago.

In any case, they shouldn’t be filled by nominees who, like Kristen Clarke, lie under oath as to what their position was.

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Climate Change Checkup | Power Line

If you have the misfortune to follow the dreary climate change business, you’ll know that one of the fine points is which long-term emissions forecast to plug into your model. Never mind the accuracy of the models for now—even a good model is vulnerable to the age-old GIGO problem—”garbage in, garbage out.” In climate model forecasting, if you have an absurd emissions forecast, you’ll get absurd (but headline-grabbing) results.

People who follow this subject have long known that the emissions forecast that generates most of the scary headlines of the last few years is known as RCP 8.5 (short for “Representative Concentration Pathways”—never use plain language when you can use forbidding jargon), and most experts agree that its very high emissions forecast is bunk.

Holman Jenkins wrote cogently about it today in the Wall Street Journal. If you don’t have a subscription, here’s some of the relevant part:

The RCP 8.5 scenario was born to give modelers a high-emissions scenario to play with, and how it came to be embraced despite being at odds with every real-world indicator concerning the expected course of future emissions.

In a simple model of the world, authority figures say absurd and false things, and the media calls them out. The reverse happened this time, with the climate crowd reacting to the media’s botched coverage of the Fourth National Climate Assessment in 2018, itself a strained compilation of extreme worst-case scenarios that still couldn’t deliver the desired global meltdown. . .

To this day, the print edition of the New York Times has never mentioned RCP 8.5, the unsupported emissions scenario on which so many of its climate jeremiads rest.

The Washington Post has used it twice, once to say it portended a climate disaster and more recently to suggest its falling out of favor didn’t mean the climate wasn’t headed for disaster.

If you’re into the technical literature, here’s one of the recent articles in Environmental Research Letters that spells out what’s wrong with the alarmist emissions forecasts:

IPCC baseline scenarios have over-projected CO2 emissions and economic growth

Recent (post-2005) trends and energy outlook projections (to 2040) of global CO2 emissions are substantially lower than projected by baseline scenarios used in the IPCC’s Fifth (AR5) and Sixth (AR6) Assessment Reports, and are well off-track from widely-cited high-emission marker scenarios such as RCP8.5. We show that this divergence owes largely to per-capita GDP and carbon intensity growth slower than projected in baseline scenarios. The gap between observed and projected carbon intensity is very likely to continue to increase throughout the 21st century due to the implausible assumptions high-emission scenarios make about future fossil-fuel expansion.

Chaser, from Roger Pielke, Jr—remember how we always hear about how hurricanes are increasing in frequency and strength? Well:

A Remarkable Decline in Landfalling Hurricanes

Since 1945, the number of hurricanes that make landfall has declined by about a third. . .

Last week a paper published in Science concluded that worldwide, “To date, there has been no firm evidence of global trends of the frequency of tropical cyclones with maximum wind speed above the hurricane-force wind (64 knots) at landfall.” That finding, which confirms our work, was based on data since 1982. But what happens when we take a look further back in time? What we find might surprise you. . .

In fact, the overall number of landfalling hurricanes has decreased dramatically since the 1940s, while the number of major hurricane landfalls has shown no trend.

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United Airlines doubles down on wokeness

Fresh off of its announcement of a plan to make women and “people of color” 50 percent of its new pilot hires, United Airlines has taken its wokeism one giant step further. It has “committed to being 100% green by reducing our carbon emissions 100% by 2050.” The airline says it “has invested in ground-breaking technology to make our goal a reality” but acknowledges that “there’s still a long way to go.”

I imagine so.

In its quest to be “100% green,” United is “invest[ing] in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF),” which it calls “the fastest and most effective way to reduce emissions across our fleet.” The company’s chairman, Scott Kirby, invites members of the public to “make a personal contribution for our purchase of SAF.”

In other words, Kirby wants the public to help pay for United’s fuel. For the sake of the planet, of course.

United’s pilot hiring plan is seemingly illegal. Its “100% green” aspiration is seemingly impossible.

A friend shares my skepticism about United’s ability to meet its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 100 percent. He writes:

I am not sure how an airline can do that without going out of business, even allowing for all the benefits of a diverse pilot force.

Possibly we will have planes with solar panels for wings, each the size of a football field, or maybe the size of Rhode Island (I’m no expert). Out of business is clearly the easiest option.

As unhinged as it has become, United should consider getting a head start by going out of business now.

Here is Chairman Kirby’s full message:

This Earth Month, we have a lot to celebrate at United. We’ve committed to being 100% green by reducing our carbon emissions 100% by 2050 and have invested in ground-breaking technology to make our goal a reality. But there’s still a long way to go. And today, we’re launching an industry-first effort that has the potential to play a significant role in the global fight against climate change.

The Eco-Skies Alliance program is a new way for companies to join United in our investment in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), the fastest and most effective way to reduce emissions across our fleet.

We’re already the largest airline purchaser of SAF in the world, and today, big brands like Deloitte, DHL Global Forwarding, HP Inc. and Siemens will join us to purchase the emissions reductions from approximately 3.4 million gallons of SAF this year. That’s enough to fly travelers over 220 million miles. By joining forces, we’re demonstrating what companies can achieve when they come together for the greater good.

At the same time, we know our customers are looking for ways to do their part, so we’re giving you an easy way to participate and take action. Right now, you can make a personal contribution for our purchase of SAF. Since strong federal and state policy leadership are essential to making change happen, you can also get involved by connecting with your elected officials to advocate for policies that could make air travel more sustainable.

This is just the beginning. We expect to add more corporate partners to our Eco-Skies Alliance program this year, and we’re planning to give you even more visibility into the carbon impact of air travel — including easy ways for you to help contribute to real, scalable solutions.

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Minnesota Officer Charged With Manslaughter

Former Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly Potter was charged with second-degree manslaughter this afternoon. As you no doubt know, she tried to tase Daunte Wright as Wright was fighting with two other officers, and inadvertently pulled her Glock instead of her taser.

This is the relevant statute:

609.205 MANSLAUGHTER IN THE SECOND DEGREE.
A person who causes the death of another by any of the following means is guilty of manslaughter in the second degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than ten years or to payment of a fine of not more than $20,000, or both:
(1) by the person’s culpable negligence whereby the person creates an unreasonable risk, and consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another; or
(2) by shooting another with a firearm or other dangerous weapon as a result of negligently believing the other to be a deer or other animal; or
(3) by setting a spring gun, pit fall, deadfall, snare, or other like dangerous weapon or device; or
(4) by negligently or intentionally permitting any animal, known by the person to have vicious propensities or to have caused great or substantial bodily harm in the past, to run uncontrolled off the owner’s premises, or negligently failing to keep it properly confined; or
(5) by committing or attempting to commit a violation of section 609.378 (neglect or endangerment of a child), and murder in the first, second, or third degree is not committed thereby.
If proven by a preponderance of the evidence, it shall be an affirmative defense to criminal liability under clause (4) that the victim provoked the animal to cause the victim’s death.

I have a hard time seeing how this statute applies to Officer Potter’s case. The only potentially applicable subpart is (1), but that provision requires that the defendant “consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another.” I don’t doubt that Potter’s shooting Wright with the wrong tool was negligent, but there is no reason to think that she consciously took a chance of causing death or great injury to Wright. The taser would not have done so. Maybe this is why the Wright family and its representatives have denied that Potter’s shooting of Wright was inadvertent, even though the body cam video clearly shows that it was.

Meanwhile, lawlessness rages in Minnesota. There is every reason to believe that rioters would burn down Potter’s house if given the opportunity. Thus, Potter’s home has been placed under guard, even though her family reportedly has moved away:

Law enforcement on Tuesday erected concrete barricades and tall metal fencing around the perimeter of Potter’s multilevel home in Champlin. Two police cars guarded the driveway behind fortified fences marked with signs reading “Caution: Lasers in Use.” Her street was lined with paper “No Parking” signs and blocked to nonresidential traffic. Motorists entering the area were greeted by a buzzing cellphone alert from local police to “expect protest activity in your neighborhood over the next few days.”

Some have analogized officer Potter’s inadvertent shooting of Daunte Wright to Mohammed Noor’s shooting of Justine Damond, for which Noor is now serving a prison term. But the cases are very different. Noor’s shooting of Damond was intentional, if inexplicable. Moreover, Damond was entirely innocent, while Potter accidentally shot Wright in the context of a chaotic situation that Wright created by resisting arrest and attempting to flee the scene. Nevertheless, a criminal prosecution of Kimberley Potter will proceed, and if she is not jailed, riots and arson no doubt will ensue.

I am not sure how police departments in places like Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center intend to find new police officers, as well as replacements for those who are quitting and retiring in droves. But I guess if you are in favor of defunding the police that isn’t a problem. It is the rest of us who will suffer.

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An Epidemic of Police Violence?

If you didn’t know better, you would think that we are experiencing an epidemic of police violence against black men. And, strangely, Minnesota seems to be epicenter of the phenomenon.

The Star Tribune keeps a running toll of deaths resulting from police encounters in Minnesota. For the period 2000 to 2021, the total is 207, of whom 54% were white and 27% were black. Of course, suspect behavior has a lot to do with the likelihood of a fatal encounter with law enforcement. This is evident from the fact that only 3% of those killed by police have been women.

This total of 207 includes many cases–I assume a substantial majority–where the killing was in obvious self-defense, or for other reasons there was no real question about its propriety. Still, even if we take the raw total of 207 deaths, it represents by my calculation around 0.0002 of all deaths in Minnesota during that time period. It seems remarkable that such a tiny number of occurrences have come to play such a major role in our public life.

If there is an epidemic going on, it is perhaps an epidemic of resisting arrest. Daunte Wright, like George Floyd and many others, chose to wrestle with police officers rather than be peacefully arrested. Moreover, as in most cases, including Floyd’s, Wright’s contentious police encounter was consistent with a history of violence.

We learn from the Daily Mail–not the local press–that in addition to the previously-reported weapons violation and fleeing from police officers, Wright was also wanted for attempted armed robbery. He held a gun (probably the same one he brandished on Facebook) to a woman who had been kind enough to give him and a friend a place to stay for the night, and tried to steal her rent money. That outstanding warrant, which could have led to a substantial penitentiary term, likely explains why Wright chose to fight with police officers rather than be taken into custody.

While most people who are killed by police officers are white, it is true that blacks are involved in such encounters at a rate that exceeds their percentage of the population. (Asians, conversely, are statistically unlikely to die in police encounters.) Heather Mac Donald reviews the data and explains why this is true. Along the way, she definitively debunks the myths that are currently driving so much of our political discourse:

https://www.americanexperiment.org/multimedia/videos/the-truth-about-crime-race-and-policing-in-america

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Biden commemorates 9/11 anniversary with surrender to Taliban

There are various ways the U.S. could commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on our homeland. Joe Biden has decided to commemorate them by effectively surrendering to the terrorist outfit that made the attacks possible.

Biden says the U.S. will withdraw from Afghanistan by September 11 of this year. There are arguments in favor of pulling out of that country, although I believe the stronger case is for maintaining our current presence (a subject for a future post). Donald Trump talked about withdrawing for four years and eventually set a May 2022 [correction: May 2021] date for giving up.

Biden also wants to pull out. Fine. But doesn’t it seem odd to pick September 11 as the date by which we effectively surrender Afghanistan to the Taliban? It was the Taliban, after all, that allied itself with Osama bin Laden and provided him the base from which to attack America.

Biden’s choice of date is symbolic. I suppose his message is that 20 years of fighting in Afghanistan is enough. That message plays well with the Democratic base and, quite possibly, with the country as a whole.

But the message many will receive, especially terrorists and other adversaries, is that the U.S. has so little self respect that it symbolically chooses 9/11 as the date for accepting defeat in Afghanistan at the hands of an enemy that helped pull off the devastating 9/11 attack on America.

Shortly after the attack, President Bush visited Ground Zero. He promised that those responsible for the attack would be “hearing from us.”

They did. Now, for the twentieth anniversary of the attack, one of the groups responsible is again hearing from us. They’re hearing Joe Biden say, Afghanistan is all yours.

Great nations don’t behave this way. I would have thought that no nation does.

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Cannabis equity, the next frontier in wokeness

A friend from California sent me a document from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. It’s called “Cannabis Equity Grants Programs For Local Jurisdictions.”

As I read the document, California’s program will provide $2 million to help localities establish a “cannabis equity” program. An additional $13 million will be used to help “equity applicants” set up and operate cannabis businesses. “Equity applicants” include (and seem to be limited to) people who have been convicted of using and/or selling cannabis.

Far out!

Here’s the justification:

Cannabis prohibition and criminalization had a devastating impact on populations and communities across California. Individuals convicted of a cannabis offense and their families suffer the long-term consequences of prohibition and criminalization. These individuals have a more difficult time entering the newly created adult-use cannabis industry due, in part, to a lack of access to capital, business space, technical support, and regulatory compliance assistance.

Thus, granting preferential treatment to drug criminals, including dealers, is a kind of reparation.

Naturally, race and ethnicity figure in the analysis:

During the era of cannabis prohibition in California, the burdens of arrest, convictions, and longterm collateral consequences arising from a conviction fell disproportionately on African American/Black and Latinx/Hispanic people, even though people of all races used and sold cannabis at nearly identical rates.

The California Department of Justice data shows that from 2006 – 2015, inclusive, African American/Black Californians were two times more likely to be arrested for cannabis misdemeanors and five times more likely to be arrested for cannabis felonies than Caucasian/White Californians. During the same period, Latinx/Hispanic Californians were 35 percent more likely to be arrested for cannabis crimes than Caucasian/White Californians. The collateral consequences associated with cannabis law violations, coupled with generational poverty and lack of access to resources, make it extraordinarily difficult for persons with convictions to enter the newly regulated industry.

(Emphasis added)

Accordingly:

The purpose of the Cannabis Equity Grants Program for Local Jurisdictions is to advance economic justice for populations and communities harmed by cannabis prohibition and the War on Drugs (WoD) by providing support to local jurisdictions as they promote equity and eliminate barriers to enter the newly regulated cannabis industry for equity program applicants and licensees. By issuing these grants to local jurisdictions, GO-Biz aims to advance the wellbeing of populations and communities that have been negatively or disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition and the WoD.

The document’s wording makes me wonder what alleged barrier to entry into the cannabis business is actually driving the “cannabis equity” program. California cites “collateral consequences associated with cannabis law violations” and “generational poverty.” But which is the main barrier?

In other words, is California really trying to offset the effects of criminal convictions or is this just another, albeit particularly bizarre, racial preference dressed up as justice for war on drug “victims”?

Racial preferences are bad enough. But giving preferential treatment to criminals — rewarding drug dealers, including those who sold to kids, for their past crimes — seems crazy.

Crazy, but not unprecedented. The left wants to reward millions of people who violated our immigration laws by granting them legal status and, indeed, citizenship. Those who took our laws seriously and followed the correct procedures for entry and citizenship take a back seat. Same, now, with those who didn’t turn kids on to drugs for profit.

The left has an understandable motive for rewarding violators of our immigration law. Doing so will create millions of new voters to support its agenda.

What’s the motive for “cannabis equity”? Maybe it’s not entirely dissimilar — funneling money to two favored Democratic constituencies, Blacks and criminals.

In the name of equity, of course.