There’s a grab bag this morning. I am ready to move beyond writing the virus, even though it still must be covered, but there are a few things that need more coverage. So here we go.
Tara Reade and Joe Biden
The story of Tara Reade and Joe Biden is not a story of a woman sexually assaulted by Joe Biden thirty years ago. On the surface, that may seem to be what it is. But it was thirty years ago. The story is of a media that only two years ago used a nearly forty-year-old story with no witnesses to try to destroy a Supreme Court nominee and, after demanding the public “believe all women,” is changing its standards for a Democrat.
The reaction to Christine Blasey Ford is “believe all women.” Ms. Ford had no witnesses, no corroboration at the time of the incident, a fuzzy memory of the incident, and all the people she claimed might be witnesses turned out not to be. She also coordinated with a partisan Democrat attorney who in turn said Ford came forward out of concerns over Roe v. Wade.
Nonetheless, members of the media treated Ford unskeptically. We were to believe all women. We were to treat the accusation as importantly as the truth. After all, talking heads from the New York Times to CNN assured us that this was about a powerless woman standing up to a powerful man and we needed to have her back to encourage more of that.
The problem, of course, is there was no there there. An investigation could prove nothing. The witnesses Ford claimed could shed light on the matter had no memory of it. Ford had nothing.
In this case, Tara Reade told people at the time that Joe Biden assaulted her. Several people have come forward to verify she told them and identified Joe Biden. The time line matches in that, for example, after Reade complained in the Senate she says she was yanked off a job overseeing interns in Biden’s office. Several of those interns recall Reade stopped overseeing them with no explanation given.
Reade says her mother called into Larry King Live and we now have that video and audio. A neighbor remembers Reade identifying Biden and that neighbor is a Biden supporter.
Nonetheless, the media and Democrats are refusing to aggressively engage in the story. This is a trick the media pulls to dance around bias allegations. They have certainly hit on the story, but couching it as “Republicans say” and “Biden’s opponents demand,” as opposed to shoving microphones in people’s faces and demanding why they had one standard for Ford and another for Biden.
The other trick the media uses is to ask the question and move on quickly. For example, Stacey Abrams insisted Ford had to be believed. She said it was important to stand with powerless women against powerful men. Now she says the New York Times looked into Reade’s story and it is no big deal. Kristen Gillibrand said we had to believe all women and Al Franken needed to go. Now she believes Joe Biden because he denies it. Why didn’t she believe Brett Kavanaugh, who also denied it?
If it were a Republican case, the media would push back. They would not just ask the question and move on. Take this clip from Don Lemon at CNN with Stacey Abrams. First, kudos to Don Lemon for not just taking a “one and done” approach, but actually asking Abrams a series of question. But note how Lemon does not do as he does with Republicans. He never interrupted Abrams. He never challenged her. Compare that clip of Don Lemon interviewing a Democrat with this interview of a Republican.
Lemon is a smart guy. So consider this:
Why didn’t Lemon point out that the FBI did interview witnesses after Jeff Flake demanded a pause in the Senate deliberations on Kavanaugh?
Why is the New York Times good enough for Abrams on Reade and why shouldn’t there be a formal investigation?
How is it that Abrams is so willing to dismiss Reade’s neighbor?
What about all the other witnesses and the Larry King Live interview that Lemon and Abrams both ignore?
What about Abrams’ other tweet on Christine Blasey Ford that Lemon chose not to bring up? See below:
It is just objectively true that Lemon would have been way more aggressive with a Republican if the roles were reversed and would not have let Abrams go unchallenged. It’s great he asked more than one question, but given Abrams’ own standards for Kavanaugh and Lemon’s standards on Kavanaugh, the handling of this is beneath what we should all expect.
The story here is not that Biden assaulted Reade in the early nineties. Frankly, Reade could have come forward when Biden was being vetted for Vice President. She did not. The story here is how the media had a standard for one victim who the Democrats liked and another standard for a victim the Democrats do not like.
Biden, Trump, Amash, and 202(4)
I did not vote for Trump in 2016. I voted third party. When I announced I could never vote for Trump that year, I had people show up at my house and threaten my family and me. My children were harassed. People called my radio station to try to have me fired. My wife had a woman at church confront her. I had people at church confront me. It was a terribly unpleasant experience, but I held my ground.
The chief objection is that a vote for anyone other than Trump would get Hillary Clinton elected.
That did not turn out to be so.
So I will spare any of you analysis on whether voting for Justin Amash will help or hurt Trump or Biden. My sense is that Amash will take votes away from Trump and Biden. There is a class of reluctant Trump voter, of which I am a part, who decided they would support Trump because the Democrats have lost their damn minds and the policies from the Trump Administration have been far better than any of us expected.
But in the ranks of reluctant Trump voters, I am noticing increasing hesitation among some similarly situated friends. They decided to vote for Trump, mostly after seeing Trump stand up for Brett Kavanaugh as the act that sealed their support and are now wavering over his handling of COVID-19. They recognize that most of the good conservatives have gotten from the administration came in spite of Trump, not because of him. They got used to the idea of a sidelined President letting conservatives in his administration work.
Then COVID-19 hit and it reminded them there really needs to be a leader. They’d prefer Pence. They were reassured when Pence was put in charge of the handling. But then the President seemed to sideline Pence for the limelight and screwed it all up. A number of them will vote for Amash.
Other friends of mine loathe Trump and would vote for Biden, but they’d hate the very act of casting their vote. They’ll never vote for Trump. They might stay home. They think they’ll vote for Biden and hope for a political reset. Now they might vote for Amash.
It is too soon to tell how Amash will do and who he will take votes from.
Now, I’m going to frustrate some of you by not naming names, but I think the biggest warning sign on the horizon for Donald Trump in 2020 is not the polling. The national polling has a real bias for Democrats as we found in 2016. The battleground polling, however, is also bad for the President right now. He won with 70,000 votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin and may have lost more than that between his handling of the virus and the economic downturn. We will see.
But the biggest warning sign is the Republicans, both potential candidates and donors, who are already laying the groundwork for 2024. That suggests internally a number of Republicans think the President is toast already. Normally, one waits until the day after the election to being laying 2024 groundwork. But there are already a handful of senators, governors, and others who are beginning the donor reach out, the outside group building, and hiring people.
If I were the President or his team, that would worry me. It is betting against your own team. That so many experienced Republican politicos are doing so in April of 2020 is not a good sign.
Again, sorry, I’m not going to name names, but all you need to do is look around.
YouTube and Censorship
YouTube is owned by Google is owned by Alphabet or heck maybe they are separate entities within Alphabet. Full disclosure: Google has sponsored by the annual Resurgent Gathering.
I am increasingly disturbed by what I see is an open bias within Google. It is a private company. It can do what it wants. If YouTube wants to take down a video, they have that right. But I think they are overplaying their hand.
Frankly, a company that has openly campaigned to be China’s tech whore in place of Apple probably shouldn’t be so aggressively censoring videos that the prevailing left-leaning conventional wisdom disputes.
After all, Google employees say that the people shaping Google’s algorithm need to be diverse because the algorithm needs to do a better job of finding LGBTQABCDEFG content, minority content, etc. If that is true and diverse people can influence the algorithm in that way, then it does, in fact, mean the ongoing hostility to conservatives within Google will shape the algorithm against conservatives.
So here come two doctors, one an Erickson I am not related to, who give an hour-long presentation on YouTube about what they are seeing. Elon Musk tweets it out and it goes viral. It is picked up by conservatives, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and more. The video is deeply flawed in the data presented but tickles the ears of those who want to believe the lockdowns have all been a waste of time.
Instead of pairing that video with credible academics debunking the bad statistics and data, YouTube deleted the video.
All that did is give more exposure to the doctors’ claims. All that did is reinforce that there is knowledge out there Google does not want you to encounter. Frankly, the easiest way to create a racist in the twenty-first century is to openly put the spotlight on content yanked off the mainstream internet. People are going to get curious, go find it, and see nothing to counter it, only more of the same. The same goes for anti-vaccine stuff, COVID-19 trutherism, and the like. There will always be those who are convinced mainstream sites are censoring the truth. In search of that gnostic knowledge, they’ll go seek it out and find places where there is nothing to counter the lie.
YouTube is increasingly operating the same way and increasingly valuing left-leaning thought as truth as opposed to just left-leaning opinion. YouTube is creating racists and truthers by trying to hide stuff. The left does not understand this because YouTube is looking more and more like the left.
Instead of deleting these videos, YouTube should pair them with other videos that debunk them. But instead, YouTube’s algorithm often generates more of the same, which is a bug in the system now amplified by YouTube behaving like the Chinese Communist censors Google wants to become.
Maybe China will let the Alphabet company in after seeing their willingness to censor.
As an aside, on that video, it is remarkable how many people have told me all the doctors are wrong and there are “lies, damn lies, and statistics,” but the moment they hear two doctors telling them what they believed all along, suddenly those doctors’ stats are legit. It’s the entire global health community who is wrong, but these two dudes at an ambulatory clinic who actually aren’t seeing the worst of COVID-19 are totally legit.
Why? Because people on both sides of this crisis are exiting it without ever having to rethink their previously held views.
Bad Act by CNN
This is a really crummy piece by CNN and I want to explain why. CNN is claiming modeling shows Georgia is going “to see its number of daily Covid-19 deaths nearly double by early August, according to a model shared by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
Why is it crummy? Because the model CNN is using is one prepared by “independent researcher Youyang Gu.”
Everyone has been using the IHME model. It has become the standard to talk about. But CNN now wants to scare the crap out of the people of Georgia so it is now using a model literally no one has paid attention to or cited. Why are they using it.
Gu said Tuesday that his model is based on an epidemiological methodology called SEIS, which stands for susceptible, exposed, infectious, susceptible modeling.
"We use a very classic epidemiologic model," Gu said, adding that his model is updated daily and he is concerned other models are under-projecting deaths.
CNN itself has totally ignored this model. Now they are citing it because it shows a high death toll.
It is crummy because CNN itself has not cited Youyang Gu’s model until today. CNN has not given this model credibility and is only doing it to hype the potential for death in Georgia. That is irresponsible journalism.