Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Denying the Crime Spike

A new report from Third Way downplays concerns about the rising tide of violence.

Charles Fain Lehman September 27, 2021 @ City Journal

A robust debate has broken out over the underlying causes of the surge in violence across the country that began last summer. Was the pandemic to blame, or the riots after George Floyd’s death? That debate has been healthy, but an indefensible position occasionally crops up: partisans who insist, against all evidence, that rising crime is nothing to worry about. That was the view taken by congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who labeled such concerns “hysteria” this past June. And it’s the view propounded in a new report from the think tank Third Way, whose policy chief, Jim Kessler, similarly suggests that “hysteria” about crime has gripped the nation.

Third Way’s brief has attracted the attention of commentators eager to downplay rising violence. NBC’s writeup on the report has been widely shared. But the report’s claims that the crime wave is made up don’t withstand scrutiny. Even Third Way’s own statistics confirm the surge in violent crime that serious analysts have been warning about.

To reach their conclusions, Third Way analysts Kylie Murdock and Nathan Kasai collected data on the frequency of seven crimes—murder, aggravated assault, rape, robbery, burglary, larceny, and motor-vehicle theft—in 2020 from 22 states and Washington, D.C., and compared them with 2019 rates of the same offenses in the same states. They conclude that crime fell by about 4.9 percent between 2019 and 2020—but this figure is essentially meaningless because it combines all the major categories. In 2019, police reported about 8 million crimes to the FBI, of which the majority (5 million) were larcenies. By comparison, there were about 16,000 homicides. If the overall crime rate is a rough proxy for the larceny rate, then one must examine the numbers by offense type to get a sense of actual trends. Third Way’s analysts do so, finding in the 23 jurisdictions covered that rapes, robberies, burglaries, and larcenies fell—but that aggravated assaults rose 11 percent, automobile theft rose 15 percent, and murder rose a shocking 31 percent.

These results are exactly what anyone following crime statistics since last year would expect: a decline in most property crime (as well as rape, which is infamously difficult to track), and an increase in homicide, assault (a proxy for shootings), and grand theft auto.

Explaining that trend is simple. Most property crimes fell as lockdowns and Covid restrictions sent people home and shuttered businesses, reducing the opportunity for offending. Simultaneously, grand theft auto rose as cars and streets became less attended. Violence, meantime, spiked last summer, a trend likely driven by anti-police protests and ensuing de-policing. Property crime might have risen, too, except that concurrent policy pressures kept opportunities for offending low while funneling trillions of dollars in relief to individuals who might otherwise have turned to theft amid the recession.

Inexplicably, Third Way’s analysts do not consider this explanation. Instead, they reduce any increase in crime to the murder spike, waving away the aggravated-assault increase (and the ample evidence of surging gun violence). Murder may be up 30 percent, they argue, but property crime is down; nothing to see here.

The report makes two other weak arguments. First, it assesses whether Democratic governance had an effect on crime rates, but only by looking at the partisan affiliation of governors. This approach not only results in the amusing classification of Massachusetts as a red state but also ignores the fact that most criminal-justice policy is set at the local level.

Second, having ostensibly dispensed with any role played by last summer’s protests in the violence surge, the authors insist that the problem is likely attributable to some combination of Covid and gun sales. They don’t provide evidence for this thesis; as my colleague Robert VerBruggen has noted, the best available evidence suggests that spiking gun sales were not related to the homicide surge.

Does evidence even matter to Third Way? Rising crime is a political inconvenience to the center-left think tank. Thousands of people were murdered last year. Thousands more were irretrievably wounded, physically and mentally, by the scourge of gun violence. It’s worth debating what caused the problem and how we can address it—but denying that the problem exists, especially under the cover of weak statistics and analysis, isn’t helpful.

 

The Linguistic Equivalent of War

Today’s progressives are heirs to a long tradition of abusing words to advance their policy goals. 

Tim Rice September 27, 2021 @ City Journal 

A day before an ISIS attack killed 13 Marines in Kabul, President Joe Biden declared cybersecurity “the core national security challenge we are facing.” Cybersecurity is critical. But with the Taliban retaking Afghanistan after being routed by the U.S. military two decades ago, calling it the “core” national security challenge of our time was bizarre. Still, Biden’s August comments were an improvement from June, when the president declared climate change the greatest threat to American security.

You would think that the commander in chief responsible for one of the biggest foreign policy blunders in decades would choose his words more carefully. But that’s not how his party tends to operate these days. George Orwell warned of the dangers of imprecise political speech in his seminal essay “Politics and the English Language.” The problem, in Orwell’s telling, is that “political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible.” Political speakers reach for muddled, vague language to sell the public on their indefensible policies. This is bad enough, but it presents a broader issue because “if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”

Orwell’s diagnosis is as true in America today as it was when he wrote those words 75 years ago. And while both political parties are guilty of indulging in bad rhetoric that corrupts policy, Democrats are the more frequent and more serious offenders, largely because linguistic manipulation is central to so many progressive political ideas.

Twentieth-century progressives, for example, were enamored with philosopher William James’s idea of “the moral equivalent of war.” In his 1964 State of the Union address, President Lyndon Johnson declared “an unconditional war on poverty,” inaugurating an era of U.S. leaders declaring war on concepts. More than a decade later, President Jimmy Carter directly quoted James in a speech calling the energy crisis the “moral equivalent of war.” By now, we’ve seen the fallout of the twentieth century social policy’s moral crusades. As Charles Murray shows in Losing Ground, poverty rates began climbing in the 1970s, despite the expansion of government power and spending inaugurated by Great Society antipoverty programs. Medicare, another campaign in the War on Poverty, is projected to run out of money by 2026.

Democrats today don’t speak in such martial terms as their mid-century predecessors, but the broadness of their vision and goals—and the language they use to describe them—is a contributing factor in spreading already-ineffective federal agencies even thinner. In addition to a resurgent Taliban and the global challenge presented by an increasingly aggressive China, the Department of Defense must tackle climate change. With inflation rising, members of the congressional Squad want the Chairman of the Federal Reserve to focus “on eliminating climate risk and advancing racial and economic justice.” And the Centers for Disease Control, whose botched coronavirus response shows that it can barely handle its core mandate, was temporarily given power over rent and evictions nationwide.

Orwell was right to point out that language can corrupt thought. Since thinking and speaking are the central tasks of politics, language can also corrupt governance. When all hot-button issues become the purview of every facet of government, pesky considerations like specialization or separation of powers fall by the wayside.

Intentionally or not, Democrats’ political rhetoric is moving us closer to rule by total bureaucracy. Congress will soon vote on a $3.5 trillion “human infrastructure” bill, Biden’s plan to launch Great Society 2.0. Lumping together everything from free college to electric-vehicle subsidies and tax hikes under the “infrastructure” label, the package exemplifies the blurring of crucial distinctions.

We needn’t proceed down this path. Rather than blend all our priorities together into an expensive, unaccountable policy monolith, politicians should get specific. Let the Defense Department work on national security and leave climate change to the EPA. Let the CDC focus on infectious diseases and leave rental-assistance matters to the Department of Housing and Urban Development—or, better yet, to state governments. Our leaders won’t solve all the country’s problems by speaking more clearly about policy issues. But they won’t make much headway until they do.

 

 

A War on Excellence

Asra Q. Nomani Daniel Kennelly September 27, 2021 @ City Journal

A former Wall Street Journal correspondent, Asra Q. Nomani is an author, codirector of the Pearl Project, cofounder of the Muslim Reform Movement, and vice president of strategy and investigations at Parents Defending Education. She spoke with City Journal associate editor Daniel Kennelly.

Could you tell us about Thomas Jefferson High School, Fairfax County Public Schools’ changes to the admissions process, and what the Coalition for TJ is trying to accomplish?

The battle over admissions to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, ranked the number one school in the United States, is a battle for the American Dream. It’s a struggle to protect the ideas of merit, hard work, and educational excellence. A year ago, in summer 2020, a brave group of mostly immigrant parents, with names like Yuyan Zhou, Suparna Dutta, and Himanshu Verma, formed Coalition for TJ to defend not only our children’s school but also America against ideologues and activists intent on destroying the core of education and excellence in this nation.

Like the parents of many other students and alumni of TJ, I came to the United States as an immigrant. My family arrived from India in the 1960s, with dollars to our name. About seven of ten TJ students are of Asian descent, about two of ten are white, and about one of ten is black, Hispanic, or multiracial. We all agree that that last number is too low, but we disagree about how to increase it. At Coalition for TJ, we believe that the school system must address its decades of failure and fix the pipeline to TJ, one that our families also struggled to traverse.

Unfortunately, in the name of “social justice,” bureaucrats and activists decided, in December 2020, to replace TJ’s merit-based, race-blind admissions with a “holistic” process that is essentially a subjective popularity contest and a zip-code quota system.

What effect has the elimination of the merit-based admissions test had on the makeup of this year’s class? Who are its beneficiaries?

School district officials announced that, as a result of their new admissions system, they had slashed the percentage of Asian students admitted to TJ to 54 percent this year, from 73 percent last year. The percentage of blacks and Hispanics increased—as it also did for white students.

This is a purge against Asian-American students by Fairfax County Public Schools. The school district illegally made race a factor in the decisions.

This spring, the Pacific Legal Foundation filed a federal lawsuit against the Fairfax County School Board, arguing that the new admission standards violate our children’s constitutional right to equal protection. We go to court on Friday, September 17, for initial proceedings. This past May, U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton rejected the school district’s request to dismiss the case. “Everybody knows the policy is not race-neutral,” he declared, “and that it’s designed to affect the racial composition of the school.”

Our battle in northern Virginia is happening elsewhere, too—in San Francisco, New York City, and Boston. Under the cover of fighting against discrimination and injustice, activists are launching a new era of discrimination and injustice. It’s up to parents to stand up against this abuse of power.

You’re involved with another group, Parents Defending Education, aimed at combating political indoctrination in the classroom. Could you tell us about that work?

The fight at my son’s school made an accidental educational activist out of me. It connected me with amazing parents around the country. Earlier this year, I joined forces with Nicole Neilly, Erika Sanzi, Marissa Fallon, and other mothers and fathers to launch Parents Defending Education to help empower other parents, expose the indoctrination that is happening in schools, and engage with leaders to restore education. This puts us in the crosshairs of a well-funded, well-organized network of activists, ideologues, and academics who are hell-bent on “disrupting” education by infusing schools with their political and ideological agendas. These activists are pitting students against each other by dividing them into categories of “oppressed” and “oppressor,” separating students based on race, and creating a new hierarchy of human value that is bigoted, cruel, and racist.

What’s at stake in this battle?

We are in an existential struggle for the future of our country’s children—and the future of America. On the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, let me give you an example of how this threat plays out.

On August 27, the Virginia Department of Education posted a webinar on its official YouTube channel, in which a local educator, Amaarah DeCuir, a lecturer at American University, instructed teachers not to call the 9/11 hijackers “terrorists” but instead to call them “extremists,” without any discussion of Islamic extremism. She also advised them to avoid any discussion of “American exceptionalism,” instructing them instead to focus on “anti-Muslim racism.” As a Muslim reformer, I call this woke-washing.

She said, “We’re also not going to reproduce what’s understood as American exceptionalism—this understanding that America is a land at the top of a beautiful mountain and that all other countries, nations, and people are less than America.”

Parents in Virginia shared the video with us at Parents Defending Education, expressing deep concern about the historical revisionism in the lesson guidelines and the insensitivity of the speaker and the state agency to the history of the 9/11 attacks. After we pushed back, the Virginia Department of Education removed the webinar from its official YouTube channel. But the agency is still sharing DeCuir’s PowerPoint presentation as part of its “EdEquity VA” webinar series. And at a recent Fairfax County school board meeting, board member Abrar Omeish recommended that the school district’s chief diversity officer use DeCuir’s recommendations to guide lessons about 9/11. Omeish then voted against a resolution honoring the victims of 9/11. Her father is a leader at the local mosque, called the “9/11 mosque,” where the hijackers prayed. Parents, including me, watched these remarks, horrified.

In the hall, a mother stood up and yelled, away from the microphone, “It’s a sham!”

On this issue, too, we sounded the alarm, sharing the video of the board member’s disturbing arguments. And we shared the voice of the parent. We must give parents not just the microphone but a bullhorn. This is a fight for America itself. We all need to stand up and raise our voices.

 

Biden’s Economic Alchemy: $3.5 Trillion = Zero

September 28, 2021 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty 

Last week, I wrote about a new study which estimates that Biden’s fiscal agenda of bigger government and higher taxes would reduce economic output by about $3 trillion over the next decade.

Perhaps more relevant, that foregone economic growth would translate into more than $10,000 of lost compensation per job. And a lifetime drop in living standards of more than 4 percent for younger people.  And these numbers are based on research by the Congressional Budget Office, which is hardly a bastion of libertarian analysis.  The Biden White House has a different perspective.

How different? Well, the President actually claims that expanding the burden of government won’t cost anything.  I’m not joking. Here are some excerpts from an article in the Washington Post by Seung Min Kim and Tony Romm.


President Biden promised Friday that his sweeping domestic agenda package will cost “nothing” because Democrats will pay for it through tax hikes on the wealthy and corporations… The remarks were an attempt by Biden to assuage some of the cost concerns pointedly expressed by the moderate Democrats about the size of the legislation… The total spending outlined in the plan is $3.5 trillion… “It is zero price tag on the debt we’re paying. We’re going to pay for everything we spend,” Biden said in remarks from the State Dining Room at the White House.

Biden’s strange analysis has generated some amusing responses.  For instance, Gerard Baker opined in the Wall Street Journal about Biden’s magical approach.


…this is a novel way of estimating the cost of something. That eye-wateringly expensive dinner you had last week didn’t really cost you anything because you paid for it. …You could have used the money to invest in your children’s college fund. You could have paid off some of your credit card bill, the debt on which has quadrupled in the last year. But you chose instead to blow it on a few morsels of raw fish and a couple of bottles of 1982 Ch√Ęteau Lafite Rothschild. Don’t worry, It didn’t cost you anything.

Biden and his team definitely deserve to be mocked for their silly argument.

For all intents and purposes, they want us to believe that there’s no downside if you combine anti-growth spending increases with anti-growth tax increases – so long as there’s no increase in red ink.

But there’s actually a fiscal theory that sort of supports what the White House is saying.

  • Capital (saving and investment) is a key driver of productivity and long-run growth.
  • Budget deficits divert capital from the economy’s productive sector to government.
  • Budget deficits raise interest rates, reducing incentives for investment.
  • Therefore, budget deficits are bad for prosperity.

For what it’s worth, all four of those statements are correct.

But the theory is nonetheless wrong because it elevates one variable – fiscal balance – while ignoring other variables that have a much bigger impact on economic performance.

For instance, the Congressional Budget Office at one point embraced this approach – even though it led to absurd implications such as growth being maximized with tax rates of 100 percent.

https://danieljmitchell.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/fiscal-policy-camps.jpg?w=768&h=439

For further background, here’s a table I prepared back in 2012.

The White House today is basically embracing the IMF’s “austerity” argument that deficits/surpluses are the variable that has the biggest impact on growth.

P.S. Folks on the left must get whiplash because some days they embrace the Keynesian argument that deficits are good for growth and other days they argue that a big expansion of government will have zero cost because there is no increase in the deficit.

P.P.S. The folks on the right who focus solely on tax cuts also are guilty of elevating one variable while ignoring others (humorously depicted in this cartoon strip).


Biden’s Tax Plan Is a Middle-Class Death Tax Dressed as a Capital Gains Tax on the Rich

James R. HarriganJames R. Harrigan  Antony Davies Antony Davies  – September 27, 2021 @ American Institute for Economic Research


 

The federal government’s insatiable appetite for spending has left politicians casting about for untapped revenue sources. Enter President Biden’s tax plan, which contains a death tax on the middle class dressed up as a capital gains tax on the rich. Having squeezed from the rich about as much as they are likely to get, politicians are now gunning for the rest of us.

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren get good headlines when they call for taxing billionaires’ wealth. But, even if a wealth tax were constitutional (it isn’t), and even if politicians taxed 100% of US billionaires’ wealth (they won’t), and even if the billionaires could sell trillions of dollars in assets for full market value (they can’t), politicians still wouldn’t collect enough to fund their profligate spending. US billionaires’ combined $4.2 trillion wealth would fund the federal government’s 2021 budget for less than eight months. And at the end of that eight months, there’d be no more US billionaires.

What politicians know, but won’t say, is that the middle classes are the great untapped revenue source. What the middle classes lack in income, they more than make up for in numbers. Before taxes and transfers, the average household in the middle income quintile earned $77,000 and the average household in the upper middle quintile earned $117,000. Combined, those households earned $4.8 trillion in 2018. That’s twice what the top 1% earned. Meanwhile, the top 1% paid an average effective federal tax rate of 30.2 percent, versus 12.8 percent for middle income and 16.7 percent for upper middle income households.

The President emphasizes that his plan closes an arcane loophole, “stepped-up basis,” that has allowed billionaires to get away with paying less taxes. He and his supporters keep saying “capital gains,” and “billionaires,” but the fact is that the proposal for closing that loophole will hit middle class homes, farms, and businesses.

Under long-established law, an heir owes capital gains taxes when the heir sells, not inherits, assets. So, a family home, farm, or business, passed down from generation to generation, only creates a tax liability when the heir at the end of the line finally sells it. Even then, the heir pays tax on the increase in value from when the heir inherited the asset to when it was sold. This is “stepped-up basis,” and it partially compensates for the fact that capital gains taxes don’t adjust for inflation. For example, under current law, a home purchased for $50,000 in 1980 and sold for $150,000 in 2021 could be subject to more than $20,000 in capital gains taxes even though, adjusted for inflation, the home was sold at a loss. Stepped-up basis attempts to eliminate this inflation bias by resetting the clock on the asset’s value at inheritance.

Biden’s plan would remove the stepped-up basis, meaning that heirs would pay tax on the increase in value from when the ancestor purchased the asset to when the heir sold the asset. For businesses passed down through multiple generations, this can significantly magnify the tax bill. And in a one-two punch, Biden’s plan also requires that heirs pay the tax when they inherit assets, not when they sell them. So rather than the family home, farm, or business being taxed when the last heir finally sells it, it would be taxed each time it moved from one generation to the next.

The President insists on calling this a “capital gains tax,” but the combination of these two pieces – removal of stepped-up basis and pay-at-inheritance – causes the tax to behave exactly like a death tax. It is a death tax aimed squarely at the middle classes.

To mollify farmers, the President has said that heirs can delay paying the tax provided they continue to work the farm. This is scant help as the heirs will still be subject to the increased tax. The plan merely allows them to pay later. To throw a bone to family businesses and people who have lived frugally to save for their children, Biden’s plan offers a $1 million exemption.

But passing this new tax plan will be much harder than ratcheting that $1 million exemption down after the law is passed. Once the new plan is in place, expect that $1 million exemption to start shrinking until the new tax hits everyone. For evidence, look at the history of the federal income tax, which politicians at the time promised would apply only to “the rich.” Once instituted, it took less than a decade for politicians to extend the federal income tax all the way down to the poor.

The President’s tax plan is a death tax on the working class dressed up as a capital gains tax on the rich. Say what they will about using the tax code to reduce income inequality, the fact is that multi-trillion dollar deficits have made politicians desperate for new sources of tax revenue. And, having eaten the rich, they’re now turning their eyes to the middle class.

James R. Harrigan

James R. Harrigan

James R. Harrigan is Senior Editor at AIER. He is also co-host of the Words & Numbers podcast.

Dr. Harrigan was previously Dean of the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani, and later served as Director of Academic Programs at the Institute for Humane Studies and Strata, where he was also a Senior Research Fellow.

He has written extensively for the popular press, with articles appearing in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, U.S. News and World Report, and a host of other outlets. He is also co-author of Cooperation & Coercion. His current work focuses on the intersections between political economy, public policy, and political philosophy.

Get notified of new articles from James R. Harrigan and AIER.

Antony Davies

Antony Davies

Antony Davies is the Milton Friedman Distinguished Fellow at the Foundation for Economic Education, and associate professor of economics at Duquesne University.

He has authored Principles of Microeconomics (Cognella), Understanding Statistics (Cato Institute), and Cooperation and Coercion (ISI Books). He has written hundreds of op-eds appearing in, among others, the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, New York Post, Washington Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, US News, and the Houston Chronicle.

He also co-hosts the weekly podcast Words & Numbers. Davies was Chief Financial Officer at Parabon Computation, and founded several technology companies.

Get notified of new articles from Antony Davies and AIER.
 

Monday, September 27, 2021

Judge rejects leftist Fairfax prosecutor’s deal of three years for child rape

September 25, 2021 by Paul Mirengoff in Crime, Lenient sentencing

Earlier this week, I wrote about a plea deal reached by far-left, Soros-backed Fairfax County prosecutor Steve Descano under which a serial child molester whose offenses carry a life sentence would instead receive only 17 years. A Fairfax County judge reluctantly accepted the deal but called it “woefully inadequate” and said the prosecutors had “victimized” the child in question.

Now a second Fairfax judge has done what the first was unwilling to do. Judge Randy Bellows has rejected a Descano plea deal. In this one, a man indicted for raping a girl four times during a period in which she was in fifth-through-seventh grade would have received only a three-year prison sentence.

Three years for four instances of raping a minor. That’s justice, George Soros style.............To Read More...  

Meet Steve Descano, the Rogue Prosecutor Whose Policies Are Wreaking Havoc in Fairfax County, Virginia

This commentary is part of a series on the rogue prosecutors around the country who have been backed by liberal billionaires such as George Soros and Cari Tuna and the threat those prosecutors pose to victims and others alike. Previous entries in the series have focused on prosecutors in BaltimorePhiladelphiaChicago, and Boston

One of the most disturbing features of rogue prosecutors is their utter disregard for real victims of crime and for victims’ rights under state law. 

It’s one of the cancerous features of this radical new breed of prosecutors.

As we discussed in our major paper on the subject hereGeorge Soros-backed rogue prosecutors also: (1) usurp the constitutional power of the legislative branch by refusing to prosecute entire categories of crimes; (2) abuse their offices; (3) enable crime to explode under their watch; and (4) harm the very people they pretend to care about the most, including low-income and minority individuals............To Read More...

Commentary: Abbott and Costello Meet ‘the COVID Vaccine’

Editor's Note:  This is a take on Abbot and Costello's Who's on First comedy routine.  Make sure to read the whole thing! RK

By Mark Hyman

Bud: I got my vaccination. I am now protected from the virus.

Lou: Not me. No one’s gonna jab a needle in my arm.

Bud: You must.

Lou: Why?

Bud: To protect me.

Lou: From the virus?

Bud: Yes.

Lou: But I thought you said you were vaccinated.

Bud: I am.

Lou: You’re protected?

Bud: Correct.

Lou: From the virus?

Bud: Yes.

Lou: So, I don’t need a vaccination.

Bud: But you do.

Lou: Why?

Bud: To protect me.

Lou: I thought you were vaccinated.

Bud: I am.

Lou: And the vaccination protects you?

Bud: It does.

Lou: So, I don’t need to get vaccinated to protect you because you’re already protected from the virus by the vaccination you already got.

Bud: No, you must get the vaccination to protect me from the virus.

Lou: You mean the vaccination doesn’t work?

Bud: It does work.

Lou: If the vaccination works and you’re protected from the virus because you already got the vaccination then it doesn’t matter if I don’t get vaccinated.

Bud: But it does matter. Because if you don’t vaccinated you can give me the virus.

Lou: Let me see if I have this straight.

Bud: Okay.

Lou: You got the vaccination?

Bud: Yes.

Lou: The vaccination protects you from the virus?

Bud: Correct.

Lou: So, it doesn’t matter if I don’t get the vaccination because you’re already protected from the virus?

Bud: No.

Lou: Are you telling me the vaccination doesn’t work?

Bud: No, I’m telling you the vaccination does work.

Lou: Then why must I get the vaccination?

Bud: To protect me from the virus.............To Read More....


Swamponomics: The Evergrande Thread Keeps Unraveling

The Evergrande crisis worsens, the Federal Reserve plans to taper, and outflows.

Evergrande Group, China’s second-largest property developer, has captured international headlines for the last two weeks. Aside from the Federal Reserve, Evergrande is perhaps the biggest and most consequential story in the global financial markets today as its pending demise could lead to a tsunami stretching from Beijing to London to New York City. The crisis unfolding at Evergrande is unfolding by the hour, with more revelations coming out, which has not boded well for the company’s stock after cratering 49% so far this month. So, let’s try to break down some of the key developments.

Evergrande is Grand No More?

There is a lot of activity occurring between major investment funds and Evergrande. While Credit Suisse dumped its exposure last year because of risk, and Chinese Estates may follow suit, others are pouring into the company. Fund managers, including UBS, BlackRock, and HSBC, have increased their Evergrande dollar bond holdings, signaling that the most indebted developer on the globe, with $300 billion in liabilities, is a buy.

According to The Wall Street Journal, an auditor gave the company a clean bill of health despite the swelling levels of debt. In its annual report, the auditor gave the organization a thumbs up as it was offering investors and consumers discounts to ensure sales were rising throughout the coronavirus pandemic. As it tried to sustain itself, Evergrande borrowed too much, but the auditor did not see anything wrong with the balance sheet. It looks like Evergrande might have missed its $83.5 million coupon payment. From CNBC to Bloomberg News, reports suggest that holders of U.S. dollar-denominated debt, worth $2.03 billion at face value, “gave no signs” that they were paid the interest owing.

In the end, will Beijing bailout Evergrande? The consensus in the international markets is that China will not come to Evergrande’s rescue. However, the government could implement measures to prevent a contagion event, including the recent $16 billion injection into the financial system and ensuring the company used its funds to put toward building properties instead of paying creditors.

The Tapering, Coming Soon

The Federal Reserve completed its two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy meeting on Sept. 22. The powwow’s conclusion left everyone in suspense and wanting more, much like a theatrical trailer for the next Bulldog Drummond feature. The central bank’s statement confirmed that interest rates would remain near zero and that the institution was monitoring events unfolding in the U.S. economy. However, what everybody wanted to hear about was the t-word: tapering.

Speaking to reporters after the event, Fed Chair Jerome Powell verified that an official announcement of tapering of its $120-billion-a-month quantitative easing (QE) would be coming “soon” – perhaps as early as the November FOMC get-together. It is estimated that the pandemic-era stimulus and relief efforts could be decreased to as low as $15 billion per month by spring 2022.

“While no decisions were made, participants generally viewed that so long as the recovery remains on track, a gradual tapering process that concludes around the middle of next year is likely to be appropriate,” said Powell, whose term is winding down, in his post-meeting news conference.

One significant component of the monthly session was the revision downward for key economic measurements in 2021. For example, in June, the Fed forecast 7% growth for the gross domestic product (GDP). This time, it was adjusted to 5.9%. The unemployment rate was also changed upward, going from 4.5% in the June projection to 4.8% in the September meeting. The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index was increased from 3.4% to 4.2%. Whatever the case may be, if the Fed is removing the spiked punch bowl from the table, investors are not happy, possibly explaining the rush out the door.

Goodbye, Bulls?

Have the monumental gains in the stock market from the last 18 months been exhausted? Investors seem to think so as they take the money and run to their local banks and deposit cash in their accounts.

For the first time in 2021, there was net selling of equities in the week ending Sept. 22, according to new data from the Bank of America Global Investment Strategy. The figures show that net flows into international equity funds slipped into negative territory, transitioning from $45 billion to -$28.6 billion. This represented the largest outflow from U.S. stocks since February 2018. Investors were hitting the sell button across the board: energy (-$200 million), technology (-$1.2 billion), U.S. large-cap (-$14.2 billion), and retail (-$1 billion). So, where is the money going? Here is a breakdown of the allocations during this period:

  • Cash: $39.6 billion
  • Bonds: $10 billion
  • Emerging Markets: $2.6 billion
  • Japan: $500 million
  • Gold: $84 million

Despite the rough week of trading, the Sept. 21 meltdown in the financial markets may not be an isolated incident. Indeed, there might be more volatility on the way, particularly if the Federal Reserve slows down the printing press and blood fills the asphalt jungle on The Street. So, is it time to take the 105% gains in meme stocks and transfer the profit into a low-rate savings account?

~ Read more from Andrew Moran.

There is No Salvation in Woke Theology

Wokeism has one characteristic that separates it from other religions.

  @ Liberty Nation News

Many have observed the reality that hard-left social justice warrior types approach their politics much in the same way a religious person views his or her faith. Comparisons between woke ideology and religion have been abundant among critics of the left’s critics.

This assessment seems valid given that many on the left have displayed a religious fervor in the way they practice – and enforce – their most cherished beliefs about culture and politics. However, while proponents of woke theology might resemble followers of many of the world’s major religions, their faith system differs in one critical area: Redemption.

Paths to Redemption

Almost every major religious tradition includes the notion of redemption, a way to have one’s sins absolved. It is part of the person’s spiritual journey to reach God and avoid being separated from Him. It is often the subject of fiery debate among various faiths – and has been for millennia.

Christianity posits that redemption occurs when one realizes one’s fallen state, unable to atone for their sins. One becomes a Christian by recognizing the divinity of Jesus Christ and acknowledging that he sacrificed his life on behalf of descendants of Adam and Eve who doomed mankind to a fallen existence when they sinned against God in the Garden of Eden. One is redeemed through Christ’s blood; spilled for their sake.

Islam argues that redemption comes from “tawba,” which is translated as “repentance” and living life as a good Muslim. The Qu’ran states that “Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.” Muslims take seriously the words of Allah, who says, “But indeed, I am the perpetual forgiver of whoever repents and believes and does righteousness and then continues in guidance.”

The Jewish tradition is similar in that redemption is also predicated on the notion that one’s actions are what lead to being redeemed. According to Cambridge Core:

“In rabbinic Judaism, redemption is conceived of as an “earned response” – human beings merit redemption through their good deeds and through their “repentance.” The dialectic of the covenantal bond, of God as a member of the community in relation, is nowhere more evident than in the repentance – redemption sequence.”

No Redemption In Wokeism

The idea of redemption seems to have no place in the woke faith. Indeed, it seems to be frowned upon by those purporting to stand up for the rights of the oppressed. This tendency can be easily seen in the hard left’s embrace of cancel culture. People have seen it in action over and over again – especially during the past five years.

You know how it goes: A person – especially a high-profile individual – comes under fire over offensive social media posts or for something said years ago. Perhaps it was an off-color remark regarding sexuality. It could be an ignorant comment about a minority group. It could be any utterance that violates the precepts of wokeism. Once these statements are unearthed, the Cancel Culture Community swiftly metes out punishment. The social media mobs aggressively attempt to destroy the person’s career and besmirch their reputation.

For celebrities, these attacks might not be as devastating. But when it happens to an ordinary person, it could potentially destroy their livelihood. This can be seen in the case of Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who became subjects of the left’s ire after they brandished firearms as Black Lives Matter protesters broke into their gated community and marched in front of their home. Leftists took to Yelp! to give one-star ratings for their law practice and left reviews claiming the couple was racist.

In wokeism, there is no element of forgiveness if one publicly apologizes. Indeed, those belonging to the woke Sanhedrin vociferously call for an apology that they know they will discard, even if their target expresses genuine remorse. There is no path to redemption for those who have transgressed against the Temple of wokeism – and this is by design. This particular religion mandates that its adherents completely destroy those who step out of line. It is a belief system that favors threats of destruction over persuasion and peaceful conversion.

For those on the hard-left who eschew the idea of civil conversation and rational debate, this precept works perfectly. By cowing people into subservience, they hope to maintain supremacy over the national political discourse. They believe forcing people to censor themselves will make it easier for them to push the nation further towards their idea of a Marxist utopia. Interestingly enough, they are right. Leftist and right-wing authoritarians have protected their power by not allowing the people to voice dissenting views. If those who don’t want to live in the world the hard left seeks to bring about, they must be willing to fight for the world they want.

~ Read more from Jeff Charles.

 

Black Lives Matter Leader: De Blasio’s ‘Vaccine Mandate Is Racist and Specifically Targets Black New Yorkers’

Nick Gilbertson

One of the leaders of Black Lives Matter’s Greater New York chapter slammed Mayor Bill de Blasio for the city’s vaccine mandate, explaining the “mandate is racist and specifically targets black New Yorkers,” in a statement to Fox News.

Chivona Newsome cofounded the Greater New York Chapter of Black Lives Matter and ran as a congressional candidate for New York’s 15th district in the 2020 election. The former Congressional candidate blasted de Blasio’s vaccine mandate in a statement to Fox News.

“Although Mayor Bill De Blasio ran on progressives values, nothing in his tenure will attest to his campaign promises,” Newsome explained to Fox. “The September 13th vaccine mandate is racist and specifically targets Black New Yorkers. The vaccination passports are modern-day Freedom Papers, which limit the free will of Black people.”

The vaccination mandates infringe upon the civil liberties of the Black community,” she told Fox. “It’s more than where we can dine or enjoy entertainment, it will result in loss of income. As of Monday, September 27, Black health care workers and educators will lose their jobs.”............To Read More.....

The Symptoms of Our Insanity

What explains these insanities that are insults to the American people’s intelligence?

 

Think for a minute.  

When did we become a nation of socialist AOCs wearing “Tax the Rich” dresses to $35,000-a-ticket celebrity galas, without mandatory masks, while being served by masked servants—a now tired script from the Obama birthday bash crowd to the grandees at the Emmys?  

When did we discover that we must listen to oppressed billionaire Oprah from her $90 million Montecito estate commiserating with a billionaire Lebron or royal Meghan Markle about the racist white establishment? Is there anyone in the recent Washington intelligence and investigatory hierarchy who has not lied or feigned loss of memory under oath—a low bar that nevertheless excludes, among others, John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Robert Mueller, or Peter Strzok? 

Did anyone just five years ago believe the following could possibly happen in America—and invoke almost no popular outrage from a somnolent public? 

Item: The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, does not deny that: 1) he deliberately aborted the legal chain of operational command—that is, violated the law—by recalibrating established protocols for using nuclear weapons in times of crisis. And he says his interventions were based on his own diagnoses (after prompting from opposition leader, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi) that the commander-in-chief was crazy, and thus could be circumvented.  

And 2), in freelancing style, Milley, on more than one occasion, called the top figure of the Chinese Communist People’s Liberation Army, General Li Zuocheng. He reportedly announced that his own country was currently in crisis (experiencing “messy” democracy), reassuring the Chinese that if he, Milley, the newfound autokrator, sensed there was any chance of hostile and aggressive action on the part of his own country, then on his own initiative he would tip off the Chinese in advance. And far from resigning or being fired for his Strangelovian efforts, Milley would then be hailed as a hero by the popular media and progressive civil libertarians. In other words, for the Left, it is as if Burt Lancaster’s movie character, Air Force General James Mattoon Scott, was the real hero of Seven Days in May. 

Milley has also become the Zelig or Forrest Gump of our times. He turns up at almost all our recent military melodramas and disasters. Milley appears variously in the photo-op/federal troops/tear-gas spoof, the virtue-signaled rumored resignation, the talking referent in anonymously sourced books, puff-piece op-eds, and backgrounder quotes, the Inspector Javert of “white rage,” the student of How To Be An Antiracist, the Afghanistan progress reassurer, the “righteous” drone striker, the adjudicator between January 6 “coups” and 120 days of “penny packet protests” costing $2 billion-dollars in riot and arson destruction and 28 deaths, the Article 88 violator, the reductio ad Hitlerum promulgator, and the underappreciated but rumored polymath bibliophile.  

To understand Milley’s gambit, imagine Admiral Ernest King, some time in November 1941 secretly contacting his Japanese imperial counterpart, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, to warn him and the Japanese high command that Admiral King felt President Roosevelt was both too trigger happy for a Pacific war, and was also increasingly infirm and unsteady.  

And thus, King would step forward to promise Admiral Yamamoto and the Japanese military grandees that if he felt there was any possible aggressive or peremptory presidential order against Japan, King would tip him off first.  

Note that critical contemporaries had complained both that Roosevelt was pining for a pretext for war with Japan and that his closed circle had hidden many of his serious health challenges from the public—and note also that the chances that a President Roosevelt or Trump would have ever staged a preemptive attack on a belligerent neutral were—absolutely zero. 

Item: The United States military in the middle of the night abandoned the largest air base in Central Asia, after investing hundreds of millions of dollars in retrofitting the vast complex, as part of a hasty end to a 20-year presence in Afghanistan.  

In the last few remaining hours of our withdrawal, Americans would skedaddle to the airport, lose 13 soldiers to a suicide bomber, while guarding our final escape route, retaliate for the killing by accidentally blowing up a civilian relief worker and killing 10 of his family and friends including 7 children, wait almost 2 weeks to disclose said disaster, abandon a $1 billion embassy, dismiss 8,000 NATO allied troops in Afghanistan to fend for themselves, leave behind for Taliban terrorists some $80 billion worth of weaponry and training investment in their usage, fly into the United States some 100,000 unvetted, unvaccinated Afghan refugees in the midst of a pandemic, while leaving behind among the Taliban thousands of Afghans loyal to the U.S. mission—and likely 100-200 Americans.  

Is malleable General Milley in the chain of command when he wishes to interrupt operational protocols about nuclear weapons, or to call to warn the Chinese military, but then he is not when he mysteriously becomes only a Joint Chiefs “advisor” without any operation control of or responsibility for the greatest military defeat and humiliation of the last half century?  

Item: In the fiscal year 2021-22, how could an anticipated two million illegal aliens simply swarm the border, illegally cross it, continue to reside in the United States illegally, and do so in a time of a pandemic without either a COVID-19 test or vaccination? Who has unilaterally decided that U.S. executive officials could forsake their oaths to enforce existing laws, and simply decide to nullify American immigration law? 

Are we a neo-Confederacy in which the nullification of federal law is now normal, whether at the border or in some 550 sanctuary jurisdictions? Most of the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens have headed northward in response to the wink-and-nod open borders advocacy of Joe Biden and his brag that he had stopped all construction of the supposedly impractical replacement and new sections of the border wall—whose current cessation point doubled as the start-off point of the current mass influx. 

Item: The nominal head of the COVID-19 administration task force has been forced to admit under oath that he directed the U.S. government to route, through a close associate and third-party medical group, hundreds of thousands of dollars of American research funding to the Chinese Communist-controlled Wuhan virology lab, the likely ground zero of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Yet Dr. Anthony Fauci would strenuously deny under oath that such funding enhanced gain-of-function virology research, despite clear evidence and agreement in the scientific community that it did. Fauci, in addition, would concede that for over a year he has denied any connection between the pandemic and ongoing efforts at the Wuhan lab where the Chinese military played a prominent role in overseeing viral research.  

At various times during the pandemic, Fauci would praise the role of the Chinese government in dealing with the plague, dismiss initially the need for a travel ban to prevent spread of the virus, urge Americans not to wear masks, to wear masks, and at times even to wear two masks. And at 80 years of age, he would become the revered COVID-19 icon who sought to protect us from the virus that likely originated in a top-security Wuhan virology lab, possibly the product of a human-engineered, gain-of-function experiment which was partly funded through likely advocacy of—Dr. Fauci himself.  

Item: The U.S. government will mandate that all federal employees and soldiers must be vaccinated to retain their tenures even though such a requirement of U.S. citizens does not apply to the hundreds of thousands of aliens entering the country illegally. Moreover, after the “science” has finally established that naturally acquired immunity from prior COVID-19 infections is superior to protection offered by vaccination, it nonetheless still requires those with superior levels of immunity to be vaccinated.  

The administration promised to release from the military and fire from the government any soldier or worker with natural immunity who refused to become vaccinated. If the government’s position is that naturally acquired immunity is superior to vaccinated immunity, but nonetheless it still requires additional vaccinated immunity, will such a mandatory, double-indemnity policy also require vaccinated Americans to get needed additional superior immunity through exposure to COVID-infection? Who is better protected from the virus—those who recovered from COVID-19 (according to the CDC, 1 in 3, or over 100 million Americans were infected) but are not vaccinated, or those vaccinated but who have never had COVID? 

Item: As the U.S. national debt edged toward $30 billion, as annual budgets continued to run over $1 trillion in the red annually, as annual inflation is headed toward a per annum increase of 6-8 percent, and as the U.S. economy faces historic shortages of workers, in part because of generous unemployment stipends, the Biden Administration unveiled the most dramatic growth in U.S. spending and expansions of social services in the last half-century.  

Is the idea that raising taxes even higher to pay for some of the even more gargantuan spending means that it is not really spending because the government is nearing the limits of realistic borrowing, and now proposes to hike taxes to pay for a bit of the huge deficit agendas?  

Item: The president of the United States now most often lectures the country on two themes: one, for the rich to “pay their fair share,” when he proposes huge new increases in taxes and spending; and two, “systemic racism” and the need to address white privilege by reparatory action.  

How then can it be that he reportedly has used loopholes and then legal tax manipulation to have welched out on some $500,000 of prior income taxes to shield his past, vast multimillion-dollar income, no doubt some of it gained when, as the “big guy” of Hunter Biden’s emails, he purportedly received “10 percent” of his son’s multimillion-dollar chronic grifting? 

And how can the president berate the affluent for using their privilege to warp the system when his own son is currently hocking bad, paint-by-numbers art to wannabe and mostly foreign lobbyists seeking favors from the well-known Biden, Inc. quid pro quo apparat? 

If the president is convinced of the pathologies of white racism, might he first promise to cease and desist from his serially racialist language in which he calls one of his African-American subordinates “boy,” demeans black journalists with put-downs such as “you ain’t black” and “junkie,” has called the former president of the United States the first “clean” and “articulate” black presidential candidate in history, revved up audiences with his racist “Corn Pop” sagas in which mighty young Joe Biden took on inner-city thugs with his custom-made chain, and warned a group of black professionals that Mitt Romney would “put y’all back in chains”?  

Was it from this font of such serial racism, that young Hunter Biden, familiar with the use of the N-word obscenity, agreed with his similarly racist procuress cousin (who warned the libidinous Hunter “I can’t give you f***ing Asian sorry. I’m not doing it”) that a “domesticated foreigner is fine. No yellow”?  

Is the president simply warning others who are not racists and tax avoiders about the dangers of bias and not paying their fair share, since he knows from his and his family’s own first-hand trafficking in racism and tax avoidance that neither is good for the country? 

What explains these insanities that are insults to the American people’s intelligence? Did Americans go mad because of the perfect storm of COVID-19, the quarantine, recession, riots, looting and arson of 2020, the wild November election, the post-election hysterias and riot, and the Biden-socialist Faustian bargain?  

Or do these symptoms of long-standing illnesses arise from the media and university, where the twins of incompetence and ideology ruined the critical consciousness of an entire generation of young minds?  

Or is the culprit the affluent, bicoastal woke professionals, who, as both narcissists and projectionists, feel the consequences of their own ideology should never apply to themselves, while fobbing off their own sins onto others as a way of squaring the circle of their own illiberality? 

There is only one bright spot for the moment: perhaps the Chinese, Russians, North Koreas, and Iranians see us as so crazy, weird, and self-loathing that they have no idea what our best and brightest nihilists might do. And for now, they all are trying to determine the relative deterrence of a nuclear-armed, wacky social-justice nation led by a president who, by any past measure of what is required daily of the commander-in-chief, is not really president at all.

About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness and the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is an American military historian, columnist, a former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush. Hanson is also a farmer (growing raisin grapes on a family farm in Selma, California) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. He is the author most recently of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won and The Case for Trump.

 

Fox guarding the henhouse? Yes, indeed!

The compulsion to find out whether the Wu Flu started in the Wuhan lab, and at whose behest the research was done, has been almost as strong as the desperate drive to stop anyone from finding the answer. On Sunday Morning Futures, Maria Bartiromo discussed this with Devin Nunes, wishing for the answer. Concurrently with watching the show, I opened my email and found a link from Alex Berenson to the March 24, 2018 document outlining the gain of function research.

The document is a detailed description of the proposed research, complete with a chart of expected milestones (page 31). Page 10 has an easy, colorful chart (unlike the density of the verbiage) showing us laypeople what they intend. Page 22 shows a management plan, divided into Host-pathogen prediction and Intervention development stages. This one document is the “Holy S**t!” origin proof.

Notice that Peter Daszak wrote it. Besides being the head of EcoHealth Alliance, which proposed and arranged for the research in Wuhan, he was the only U.S. representative in the WHO’s investigation of...COVID’s origins—the same man oft-quoted as saying there is “NO evidence” that the lab leak theory is true.

Daszak has ties to Fauci. Before this research started, Fauci provided $600,000 to the Wuhan lab supporting it. That information was obfuscated, and emails between the two were redacted, but finally released in July...........We now know beyond a doubt that the whole pandemic has been mishandled. and is continuing to be mishandled. in the US and elsewhere. We also can see alternative approaches: Norway, for instance, just decreed normal life should resume, downgrading the pandemic to an endemic problem, meaning something that will always be with us, like the flu................To Read More....

 

The United States and the West are in the Grip of Delusional Madness

The politically motivated and unprecedented overreaction to a virus with a 99.5% survival rate was launched in March of 2020, thus unleashing what can best be described as a once-in-a-century fiasco. Nineteen months later it is impossible to look at the United States and the world and not conclude that this country and much of the West is in the grip, not of a virus, but of delusional madness and malevolence.

The governing elites have been so successful in propagandizing and fear-mongering the populace in many western nations, including the United States, that the virus has made far too many people blind to the madness as they wallow in anxiety, depression, and hopelessness -- deliberately and with forethought brought about by these malevolent cabals.............To Read More....

 

Nancy Pelosi has a Lot of Class: All Low!

 By Rich Kozlovich

On September 21, 2021 Pelosi Gets Nasty Greeting in England: Protesters Shout 'Trump Won,' 'Get Back to Epstein's Island' saying:

It wasn’t exactly the welcome wagon for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in jolly old England, with protesters shouting, “Trump won” and “Go back to Epstein Island” during the California Democrat’s visit to the northern part of the country on Saturday. One man proclaimed, “The whole world knows that Donald Trump won the 2020 election, Nancy!” “Shame on you!” another person shouted.

Other cries included, “You’re not welcome here! Go home!”...........Pelosi, who was in the United Kingdom for a conference of Group of Seven nations’ heads of parliament, used her visit to bash former President Donald Trump and Republicans while making several tone-deaf statements at odds with reality.  Because nothing says class like disparaging your political opposition from foreign shores.

Nancy has a lot of class alright, only it's all low.  However, she does have a compassionate feeling for the Republican party.  Of course your first thought is: Really, you're kidding me, right?  No, and here's why?  She wants to save the Republicans from being cult like followers of Donald Trump.  She pleads with Republicans to "take your party back", so, I have to assume she's really worried the Republican party will cease to exist otherwise.  Right?  

Then again........and this is just a passing thought mind you....  maybe what she really means she would really like to see them become Bushlike invertebrates once again and just talk the talk while blindly walking with the Democrats into the Church of Wokeness to destroy the Constitution, and America.  Wow!  Is that possible?  Did I miss something? 

Another demonstration of her deep sense of compassion is understanding the genocide being practiced by China against their Uighur Muslim population.  It may however be unfortunate, but it's not nearly as important as climate change, since China is the overriding CO2 emitter of the world.  Therefore, it's best to not upset the Communists in China over some silly human rights issue involving genocide. 
 
So, let's see if I understand this correctly.  That which is criminal, provable and observable is less important to that which is mythical, unprovable and unobservable and constantly being shown up historically, and factually, as fraudulent junk science, is more important than the lives of all those human beings.  Did I get that right?  I didn't miss anything did I?
 
Since China doesn't really care about her, or the world's views, on either of those issues it's good she said it in England, where according to this article, they don't care what she thinks either. 

However, we now know Nancy Pelosi doesn't know how to read!  How do we know that? In spite of the fact the world, especially our western "allies" think Biden is an intellectual buffoon, and not only over the Afghanistan disaster, she thinks he's perfect and knows his foreign policy.  She didn't mention the Americans he left behind and are still trapped there.  
 
Now all that's been in the news for many days, and apparently she's unaware of all that, so she must be illiterate?  Right?  Of course she could get her news from MSNBC, CNN, and other media collaborators who merely parrot her views so that would be an excuse for her ignorance.  Otherwise, either she's illiterate or she's intellectually and morally corrupt.  Is that possible?  Did I define that properly? Answer: Yes, I defined that properly, because based on her abortion stands and her twisted logic, I think is intellectually and morally corrupt to her core, and after defining this piece in this way I fail to see how anyone can disagree with the author when he says:
 
More hot air was emitted from Pelosi during her appearance at Cambridge.....It appears the 81-year-old Democrat’s relationship with the truth is tenuous at best........

Nancy Pelosi is a disgrace, but her days in power is almost over.  The House will turn over after 2022 and if she runs she's going to be a nobody for two reasons.  She will not be speaker and I don't think the House Democrats will allow her to be minority leader or have any other position of authority in their caucus.  However, in spite of her prostestations the Democrats will hold the House in the 2022 election, I don't think she really believes that and I don't think she's going to run again anyway.  
 
Either way, at 81 she will soon have the opportunity to explain her views on abortion, where hissy fits, logical fallacies, and refusing to answer honestly won't work.