4 Reminders for GOP Members of Congress before the Jan 6th Vote.

John Adams: It would be a pity for a man who’s handed down hundreds of wise decisions from the bench to be remembered only for the one unwise decision he made in Congress.

1776 (Movie) 1972

Assuming the report of Senator Hawley’s determination to challenge the electors on the 6th is correct I’d like to remind GOP members of congress who are going to face intense pressure to go along with the steal of the election of four things they should keep in mind.

  1. Media Love is fleeting media hate is lasting: Never forget that to the MSM you are the enemy. You have always been the enemy and will always be the enemy. While you might get nice press for one or two days at the start of your term for voting with the Democrats on this I guarantee that within a very short time the moment you vote against one of their priorities or suggest that if a person has a penis they’re not a woman or that ripping babies from the womb & murdering them is a bad idea you will once again be considered one level short of Hitler.
  2. Who wants to be primaried? Given that 70% plus of the GOP believe this election has been stolen and evidence that this is the case continues to come out each day you’re not going to endear yourself to the GOP electorate by voting with the left here. The moment you reject a challenge to the vote in PA or GA etc you will find that not only will you have a primary opponent but said opponent will almost certainly have a built in vote block and a giant national donor base who will be delighted to vent their anger against you. Oh and if you’re in the senate and not up till 2024 or 2026 don’t think that you’ll escape this fate, why? Well because Jacksonians have long memories.
  3. Trump the Jacksonian: If you think the pushback from the voters back home and the money pouring into a primary is bad news for you, just wait until what happens when you give a lot of free time to a man with a long memory for slights. At best he will hold huge rallies for your primary opponent denouncing you as a coward who supported stealing an election from the American people. At worst he will use his connections and cash to dig deep into your background. Of course if you’re Mr. Clean you have nothing to worry about but I suspect any person willing to vote to uphold the theft of an election is unlikely to be all that clean.
  4. You’ll take the blame: There is a memorable ahistorical scene in the play 1776 where, thanks to a poll of the Pennsylvania delegation, James Wilson is put on the spot and votes for independence because he doesn’t want to be remembered as the man who stopped American independence. Right now GOP voters rightly blame the Democrats for the steal and are outraged at the cowardice state legislatures and the courts in punting on this issue, but once the votes comes up in the House and Senate the responsibility for stopping the steal or not will be on YOU and if your vote allows the steal to take place it will stick to you like a scarlet letter branding you as the one responsible for the theft of an election by the angriest (and most heavily armed) electorate since 1860 and now that social media is even more segregated by ideology said anger will be amplified for years. In an age of protests in front of people’s homes I’m sure that will be a comforting thought.

As a rule the right thing is usually the smart thing and if you are smart you will keep all of these things in mind when it comes time to vote to allow this steal to take place or not.

Cowardice State & Federal Ignorance, Trump Unrestrained and A Bad Move Under the Fedora

The steal of this election and the unwillingness of state legislatures to stop it at the state level demonstrates without a doubt that courage is the primary virtue which makes all others possible.by which all others.

As C. S. Lewis noted Pontius Pilate was merciful right up until the moment that it became risky for him.

Of course if the state legislators, sitting in safe districts outside of the cities had not tolerated this type of thing in the cities for years we wouldn’t be in this position today.

That same lack of courage is evident in the US Senate concerning the challenging of the electors. While Mitch McConnell is likely right that the president would lose a vote as Murkowski, Romney, Sasse and or Collins would relish the chance to publicly vote to uphold the steal of the Election it’s worth noting that the media is not going to love them any more or treat either them or any GOP voters who votes with them out of fear, any better for helping the steal along. It’s battered wife syndrome squared.

I suspect their real fear is a backlash by the 80% of GOP voters who see this election as stolen during primaries against any senator that votes against the President. It won’t be hard to find a candidate in any state and if the steal is upheld President Trump will have all the time in the world to make appearances for such primary candidates.

Personally I want a chance for the evidence of Fraud to be directly and permanently into the congressional record and I want every single Democrat to go on record supporting a crooked election and I want to see which GOP members do to

If there is one argument that makes me laugh outright concerning letting this steal go on without consequence is the one about a backlash. Personally I’d rather risk Antifa rioting without the backing of the federal government under Trump than seeing them used as muscle by the left under the protection of a Biden Administration.

And anyways, given the willingness of voters on the left to accept insane restrictions in the name of COVID that no sane person would have believed Americans would have tolerated I don’t see why you would think for a minute they would fight against congress exercising a perfectly legal and constitutional right to check election fraud by individual cities.

It’s worth noting that the same media, deep state folks who are relishing the idea that Donald Trump out of office are the same people who thought Sarah Palin became irrelevant the moment she resigned as Alaska’s governor. I think a completely unrestrained Donald Trump who doesn’t have to make nice with congress to make a deal to their votes to get things done will be far more destructive to the Deep State than Sarah Palin ever was.

And Trump is a Jacksonian, he never forgets and is unlikely to forgive. I suspect a Trump out of office will be a particularly large thorn in the side of the lot of them.

Finally I think signing the COVID relief bill was a bad move by the president. Authorizing billions in gimmies for special interests is never a good thing and it would have been instructive, particularly in the Senate to see members of congress to afraid to challenge a stolen election bravely fighting to defend pork giveaways for all. But I suspect the need for even the small amount of comparative aid for people overrode that consideration.

Although in fairness if there has been one consistent fault with Donald Trump it’s that he’s never been shy about increasing government spending even if he has spent wisely.

DaTimes admits it published ‘fake news’

By Christopher Harper

The New York Times finally admitted that it published fake news over the past few years.

The admission wasn’t about the coverage of the Trump administration, but the errors stabbed at the very heart of what DaTimes considers its influence: international reporting.

You shouldn’t be surprised that you haven’t heard much about the massive editorial issues because DaTimes dumped the findings on the weekend before Christmas.

Reporter Rukmini Callimachi has been at the center of the publication’s coverage of terrorism, particularly the Islamic State.

In December 2014, Callimachi unearthed what appeared to be an important discovery. Syrian journalist Louai Abo Aljoud, Callimachi reported, said he had seen three American hostages while he was being held at an Islamic State facility in 2013. Upon further inspection, however, key details failed to bear out the “news,” resulting in an editor’s note affixed to the story on Friday.

“After the article was published, The Times learned that Mr. Aljoud had given inconsistent accounts of key elements of the episode to Times journalists and others,” the note reads in part.

After the publication of the editor’s note, Karam Shoumali, a Syrian journalist who worked with Callimachi, tweeted that he told the reporter about errors in the story. But she refused to change the details.

The tweet stands as evidence that as early as late 2014, less than a year after Callimachi jumped from the Associated Press to DaTimes, colleagues expressed concerns about her methods and conclusions.

But there’s a lot more. A key figure in DaTimes’ podcast, “The Caliphate,” which Callimachi created, was a fraud. Last September, Canadian authorities charged Shehroze Chaudhry for carrying out a terrorism hoax. Chaudhry was a key figure in “The Caliphate,” a 12-part series created in 2018. 

On Friday, DaTimes finally came clean. An editor’s note atop “Caliphate” admitted the collapse of key episodes. “In the absence of firmer evidence, ‘Caliphate’ should have been substantially revised to exclude the material related to Mr. Chaudhry. The podcast as a whole should not have been produced with Mr. Chaudhry as a central narrative character,” the note reads in part.

DaTimes failed to listen to various reporters from the news organization itself. This frequent problem has existed at the publication in past misadventures, such as Jason Blair and Judith Miller. 

Last week top editors who worked with Callimachi admitted their errors. But some reporters were not assuaged. C.J. Chivers, a former foreign correspondent and now a staff writer for the New York Times Magazine, was among the first Times reporters to complain to editors. 

“You discouraged people from using the fire alarm, and when some of us did use the fire alarm anyhow, we found the alarm was not connected to anything,” Chivers reportedly told the group. 

But there is a more fundamental question that runs through these problems at DaTimes, mainly since it is far from the first time that such egregious errors have happened. 

I gave up on DaTimes a few years ago. But it would seem its loyal readers should be asking a fundamental question: If someone got away with making stuff up for six years, shouldn’t the news organization take a harder look at all other aspects of the publication?   

Report from Louisiana: Wuhan Diary

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – As an avid and constant reader, I decided to do the Reading Challenge on Goodreads again this year; last year I set the lofty goal of 100 books and missed the mark with 63 out of 100 books.

This year, because of the pandemic, probably, I did better. I set a lower goal of 75 books and so far I’ve read 82. I’ll probably be at 83 by the end of the year.

Currently I am reading Wuhan Diary by Fang Fang, which is the collected dispatches, or posts, from the renown Chinese author during the 76 days of the Wuhan lockdown. While most of us are tired of Covid, tired of reading about Covid, and tired of all things Covid, I am enjoying the book.

To me, it is interesting to see what it was like in Wuhan in the days after the pandemic broke. Fang Fang’s frustration with the situation is evident and she is well aware that the government censors are reading and taking down her posts. Her readers would screenshot the posts and share them via text message to each other, and in many ways she became the voice of the pandemic in Wuhan as people in lockdown were starved for information that was not filtered for them.

Her frustration with the initial position that the virus is not contagious from person to person is clear. She does not mince words, despite the censors. As the lockdown in Wuhan drags on, it has been interesting to read how neighbors worked together to supply each other with fresh food, medicines, and supplies.

The book also shows that we are not all that different; Fang Fang loses many friends and colleagues to the virus; she deals with the same problems we all have: shortages, misinformation, isolation.  She worries a great deal about the mental health issues that result from the lockdown and she worries about the marginalized who cannot get medical treatment, especially in the earlier days before the temporary hospitals were constructed.

She also has very relatable problems, like running out of dog food. (She cooked rice for her dog when this happened.)

Sometimes she even challenges the censors. She wants to be seen as a witness, not necessarily a critic. As a result, her voice is honest, and heartbreakingly real.

I’m not finished with the book yet, but I do recommend it. Somehow it seems fitting to end this year of the pandemic with Wuhan Diary.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

Seeing is not believing

Merry Christmas to all, on this, the third day of Twelvetide. The head of the Church of England put out her annual Christmas message, speaking of hope and recounting tales of heroic nurse Florence Nightingale as inspiration in the battle against the Wuhan virus. But it was her second message that counted as the true harbinger of the coming era.

But Queen Elizabeth did not actually give a second message. British Channel Four created a deepfake Queen, talking about the importance of family (as the camera focuses on photos of Harry and Megan – famously splitting from the Royal Family to reside in North America – and Prince Andrew – who has scandalized the Royals by his friendship to the pedophilic vampire Jeffrey Epstein).

Deepfakes are synthetic digital videos or photographs in which one person in the image is substituted for another and, with the help of artificial intelligence, so creates an incredibly lifelike, but fake, representation.

Channel Four’s deepfake Queen’s real message focused on trust, and suggested the audience should not always trust what it sees on our screens – and then proceeded to show a supposed TikTok video of the Queen dancing to club music on the top of her desk.

The ridiculousness of what the video depicted served to highlight Channel Four’s message about the unreliability of media these days, where the ability to create lifelike images has never been greater. Seeing is no longer believing.

After November’s election, “South Park’s” Trey Parker and Matt Stone created a deepfake President Trump in a gauche Christmas sweater bemoaning fake elections for their web series “Sassy Justice.” Again, like the Queen’s, this deepfake’s utter absurdity made its phoniness transparent. But as this technology grows in popularity and in usage, that of course will not always be the case. In fact, the reader can be sure that nefarious figures will use the tech for nefarious means.

Case in point: the Chinese Communist regime recently promoted a fake image of an Australian soldier holding a bloody knife at an Afghan baby‘s throat through Twitter, and using a network of fake Twitter accounts to spread and promote the image. Tensions between China and Australia have deteriorated in the wake of the Wuhan pandemic, Australia forbidding Chinese tech giant Huawei from installing 5G wireless technology, and Australian criticism of China’s violations of its 1997 Hong Kong accord with the United Kingdom. The fake image was tweeted out by Chinese senior foreign ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao.

With the credibility of government officials crumbling to ever greater ruins with each passing day, deepfakes give the mindful observer just one more reason to disbelieve everything he hears and sees. It may not be the message of hope the Queen wishes to impart, but then, who’s to say the Queen’s first Christmas message was any truer than the second? Can’t trust anything these days.

[Note: updated to include title and correct a typo on 12/27/2020.]

The latest Coronavirus stimulus is an enormous lump of coal in the stockings of every American

After nearly six month of petty partisan bickering the Republicans and Democrats finally agreed on a stimulus package to help the American people who are suffering due to the Coronavirus lockdowns.  The package they came up with is a major slap in the face to every single American, a slap that is all the more brutal because it comes just days before Christmas. 

Shame on the Democrats for being the party that blocked the second round of stimulus for months while Americans suffered just so they could score political points.  Shame on the Democrats for stuffing the stimulus package with so much garbage that help foreign countries and Democrat special interests far more than the American people.  Shame on the Republicans for going along with this travesty.

It would be far better for the American people if these small minded, cowardly politicians did not lockdown large segments of the American economy.  These lockdowns do, at best, hardly anything to stop the spread of Coronavirus.  These lockdowns do far more harm to the American people than any possible good they could do. If it wasn’t for these lockdowns the American economy would be roaring and no stimulus would be needed.

This Breibart Article describes the monstrous pork filled betrayel of the American poeple passed by both parties.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a massive $900 billion coronavirus relief and stimulus bill on Monday evening, mere hours after the nearly 6,000-page legislation was released.  It was unlikely any members read the entire legislation.

The bill, which included $1.4 trillion in stopgap spending to prevent a government shutdown, was ostensibly the result of bipartisan negotiations that reached an agreement less than 24 hours before. It includes $600 stimulus checks for American households and a temporary expansion of federal unemployment benefits by $300, half the amounts paid earlier this year.

But the legislation also includes many hidden provisions completely unrelated to coronavirus, many of which appear to be the work of individual legislators, acting at the behest of specific lobbyists and interest groups who seized the opportunity.

Here is only a small sample of goodies foreign governments will receive from the stimulus bill. The list is from this Breitbart article.

  • For some countries, Christmas came early:
  • $169,739,000 to Vietnam, including $19 million to remediate dioxins (page 1476).
  • Unspecified funds to “continue support for not-for-profit institutions of higher education in Kabul, Afghanistan that are accessible to both women and men in a coeducational environment” (page 1477).
  • $198,323,000 to Bangladesh, including $23.5 million to support Burmese refugees and $23.3 million for “democracy programs” (page 1485).
  • $130,265,000 to Nepal for “development and democracy programs” (page 1485).
  • Pakistan: $15 million for “democracy programs” and $10 million for “gender programs” (page 1486).
  • Sri Lanka: Up to $15 million “for the refurbishing of a high endurance cutter,” which is a type of patrol boat (page 1489).
  • $505,925,000 to Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama to “address key factors that contribute to the migration of unaccompanied, undocumented minors to the United States” (pages 1490-1491).
  • $461,375,000 to Colombia for programs related to counternarcotics and human rights (pages 1494-1496).

This Breitbart article documents a rather egregious betrayal of the American people.

A year-end spending package meant to provide Americans with economic relief during the Chinese coronavirus crisis includes using United States taxpayer money to fund border security in foreign countries.

As part of the more than 5,590-page spending bill, the deal provides the country of Jordan with “up to $500,000,000” in taxpayer money “to provide assistance to the Government of Jordan to support the armed forces of Jordan and to enhance security along its borders.”

The title of the American Thinker article Republicans and Democrats come together to rob American taxpayers says it all.

Late Monday night, in a huge, secretive rush, Congress passed a combined virus relief and omnibus spending bill that’s almost 6,000 pages long and, in less than a year, will spend $2.3 trillion that does not exist.

The bill’s length alone is enough to justify a second American Revolution. It should have been a simple bill: Checks for Americans in need (with provisions to prevent the French Laundry and its ilk from ever receiving another penny of taxpayer money) and basic funding for basic government. I’m thinking maybe 100 pages, max.

Here is more from the American Thinlker article

What’s in this super-secret bill that Monoparty doesn’t want us to see? People are frantically trying to acquaint themselves with its contents but a few hours is not enough time to familiarize oneself with the details of a document more than 5,600 pages long. The broad outline is that $900 billion, or 39% of the $2.3 trillion, will go to Covid relief, with the remaining $1.4 trillion slated for funding the government through September 2021.

For Americans hurt by the Democrats’ (and some Republicans’) sustained attacks on the American economy, there will be a $600 stimulus check for people earning less than $75,000 per year or married couples earning less than $150,000. I may be speaking out of turn here, but I don’t think $600 will make a big difference to people in the upper brackets, while a larger check would make a huge difference to people in the lower brackets.

Thank you for the Christmas slap in the face Democrats and Republicans.

“Christmas Eve Dick, Christmas Ebenezer”

There are plenty of other days to commiserate over what is going on but let’s instead follow the example of Mr. Fezziwig and remember what day it is today and what day it is tomorrow with some help:

From the Muppets

And Albert Finney

and George C Scott

And Alastair Sim colorized

and Animated

and more animation

And Reginald Owen

and if you want the original Dickens unfiltered

I can be angry about the left this weekend. Today let’s celebrate.

Report from Louisiana: NOLA Mayor attacks Christian Singer Lauren Daigle

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – As Louisiana politicians go, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell is on her way to being as infamous as any of them.

Cantrell has come under criticism for her harsh economic restrictions in response to Covid-19 in New Orleans compared to the rest of the state.  She has placed stringent restrictions on high school athletic events which likely contributed to the Louisiana High School Football Playoffs relocating their games from the Superdome in New Orleans to Natchitoches, Louisiana at Northwestern State University.  Her tough occupancy restrictions for the Superdome would not enable many fans in the stadium; conditions are more favorable in Natchitoches; this move will cost New Orleans a chunk of tourism dollars from the multiday event.

In her latest move, Cantrell has verbally attached Christian singer and Louisiana native Lauren Daigle for spontaneously singing at a French Quarter protest last month.

The rally was a pop-up Let Us Worship rally staged by Californian Sean Feucht who has been doing this all across the country to protest Covid restrictions on churches and worship services. Daigle, who lives near the French Quarter, was reportedly riding her bike in the area, stopped, and when she was recognized and asked to sing, she complied. Naturally, it hit social media as a clip was posted by Feucht, and the firestorm began.

The protest “flouted coronavirus restrictions.”  Participants were “not wearing masks.” There “were thousands of people there.” There were “hundreds of people there.” Daigle “endangered first responders.” Criticism rained down.

Mayor Cantrell lashed out at Daigle in a December 9 letter which she wrote to Dick Clark Productions – the organization organizing the New Year’s Rockin’ Eve event which was to spotlight New Orleans in an eight-minute segment of the broadcast.

Cantrell asked that Daigle not be involved with the broadcast because of her participating in the protest at the French Quarter. Cantrell wrote,

“Miss Daigle cannot and should not be rewarded with national media exposure and a public spotlight. She harmed our people, she risked the lives of our residents, and she strained our first responders in a way that was unconscionable – in the midst of a public health crisis. That is not who we are, and she cannot be allowed to represent New Orleans or the people she willfully endangered.”

Daigle responded to the kerfuffle last week with a statement which said, in part:

“I’m disappointed that my spontaneous participation has become part of the political discourse and I’m saddened by the divisive agendas of these times. I would have been, and still would be, honored to represent our city on New Year’s Eve and although I was aware of discussions regarding my involvement, an offer was never made. I have wept, pleading for this chaos to dissipate and for harmony to return. We need unity when people are desperate, suffering, starving or out of work.”

Mayor Cantrell’s attack on Daigle has been criticized by Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser who oversees tourism for the state. His office has pulled their financial subsidy for the city’s participation in the NYE event. In response, the city of New Orleans will pony up the $500,000 from their own “cultural fund.” This move has drawn criticism from some city council members who would rather spend the money locally in support of local artists, but the mayor contends that the national exposure is more important.

It’s all a huge mess, and really quite unnecessary.

Cantrell’s rush to criticize Daigle seems misplaced. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry sent a letter of support to Daigle should she and Dick Clark Productions choose to “relocate the event” to “more hospitable areas of the state.” He reminded her that Cantrell has previously allowed protests in the city, including a Black Lives Matter protest this summer. And the Naught Nawlins swinger convention was allowed to go ahead, which incidentally resulted in a Covid outbreak.

In light of that, Cantrell’s criticism seems rather harsh, and it does seem that she could be costing her city some tourism dollars in times when they are most needed.

I’ve never listened to Lauren Daigle’s music very much, but I think I’m going to give her a listen. And I will not be watching New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

Three Losses Margaret Mary, Ed and Mike

There has been a sudden spate of deaths of people I know (in fact in the hour before I started this post two friends both told me of deaths in their families one yesterday and one earlier one that I hadn’t heard of) in the month of December. Most people would not have heard of these folks but I think they deserve a mention.

The 1st was Mary Margaret Rogers. Of the three she was likely the most prominent. While a British citizen she had lived in the US for decades and was active in political circles in NH. I first met her covering a Herman Cain event. I interviewed Ted Cruz at her home, spoke to Ben Carson there. Her husband writes for Granite Grok and it was through that association that I became an honorary Grokster.

But it was her kindness to people in general and my family in particular that stuck me. She had a high opinion of my wife and sons and treated us with the type of love and affection that people are used to associating with family. This however is not odd as all who knew her would have said the same. As her mass card quotes her:

“People will forget what you say, people will forget what you do but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.

She made me and mine feel special. She was the best of the British Isles.

The 2nd was Ed Thomas. He was a professor of history at Fitchburg State College when I was there and later Fitchburg State University. He had an active mind and a love of history and facts. His notes were copious (I once asked about buying them but he declined) and he delighted in original sources. He was not shy about his opinions (that often differed from mine) but he always made clear the difference between opinion and fact. In later years after he retired I would occasionally see him coming early to the 4:15 mass when confessions were running late and he would chat.

He was the best teacher I had during my college years bar none and only Theresa Mahoney from grade school had a bigger influence on me.

Generations of students benefited from his instruction and will mourn his leaving us.

The third if a fellow by the name of Mike Karamanos. Most people never knew his last name. To them he was Mike of Mike’s Pizza. He was a hard working man who for decades ran his small pizzeria making pizza, subs and salads for the people in town. He was honest with his customers, generous of his charity and grateful for the chance to make his business in America but his heart was always in Greece where he will be burried.

He was an American success story and it is my great regret that I never interviewed him for my series of that name but it was my great privilege to know him.

None of these people will rate an obit in the Times or Post but all three were fine people who touched those who know them. That is what life is all about.