Kari Lake Team Blowing Through Her Campaign Cash #AZGOV

The Arizona Republican Gubernatorial candidates filed their first fundraising paperwork last week and there’s been a lot of discussion about what they mean to the race.

Table Credit: Dillon Rosenblatt @dillonreedrose

The most shocking numbers were Kari Lake’s and not in a good way. While the Trump endorsed candidate did raise just over $1.4 million she already burned through $1 million of it and not on the things people would expect them to. The campaign team which Kari says she is running herself (see below) but also seems to include Arizona Republican Party official Tyler Bowyer and political new comer Adel Belgaied, who despite registering to vote in 2008 will be voting in a primary for the first time ever this year, spent almost all of their campaign cash on consultants. The other $150,000 was spent on merchandise, mostly shirts and hats, $50,000 on eating out and another $55,000 at Trump’s Mar A Lago resort. Conservatives don’t normally react well to mismanaged finances in campaigns and these facts are going to create some doubt about this team’s ability to sustain a campaign.

Steve Gaynor and Karrin Taylor Robson came in with big sums; Gaynor with $ 5 million and Karrin with $3.7 million and $3 million cash on hand.

Kimberly Yee, a strong candidate normally, recently dropped out of the race to run for reelection as Arizona State Treasurer.

Matt Salmon, who now has more cash on hand than Kari Lake, isn’t inspiring many but has spent the last thirty years as either a lobbyist, a candidate or an elected official and is still a formidable candidate for people to watch out for.

DC Announces New Vaccine Passport

The Washington, D.C. Department of Health announced that “beginning January 15, any person wanting to enter any indoor space—including government buildings, restaurants, bars, theaters, gyms, and hotels—in the Capital must show a photo ID and proof of having been vaccinated for covid. Mayor Muriel Bowser said “the convergence of major public health menaces—the emergence of the Omicron variant of covid and the arrival of two major disease vectors—the Annual March for Life on January 21 and the Defeat the Mandates March  on January 23—are the reason for this new decree.”

“While we can’t legally bar the hundreds of thousands of unvaccinated anti-government subversives from exercising their constitutionally protected right to publicly assemble and air their grievances we can make conditions difficult and possibly intolerable by interdicting their attempts to find food or shelter within the DC area. If we also have the good fortune to see inclement weather the invasion of these undesirables may be considerably diminished in size.”

Republican candidate for governor of Texas Wayne Allyn Root called Bowser’s move “a betrayal of the freedoms my father almost died defending in WWII. It was the Nazis who discriminated against, persecuted, and ultimately murdered its political dissenters and Jews—characterizing them as dirty, filthy, dangerous, diseased, criminal, disloyal, and selfish. It is shameful to see the mayor of the nation’s capital starting down this heinous road.”

In support of the Mayor’s objectives, the Busboys and Poets restaurant cancelled the Democrats for Life of America’s previously scheduled reservation for a meeting room in the restaurant. A spokeswoman for the restaurant explained that “while we generally welcome conversations from individuals expressing different viewpoints and pride ourselves on being a venue for respectful conversations between diverse groups, we are also a safe space. As such, we cannot knowingly accept events designed to interfere with a woman’s right to terminate the life of her unwanted child.”

In related news, Democrats continue to demand the elimination of photo IDs and signatures as requirements for casting ballots in elections. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) contends that “any attempt to force a person to disclose their identity before being given a ballot is a violation of privacy.” She differentiated between “requiring IDs for voting and requiring them for other important reasons like preventing those who haven’t taken the covid vaccine from being allowed to mingle with and infect the loyal Americans who have voluntarily complied with the government’s orders that they get vaccinated. An illegitimate vote is of little threat to the country. An unvaccinated individual is a threat to health and life.”

Rhode Island Defends Crazy Covid Policy

In the wake of staff shortages following the state’s decision to fire all health care workers who refuse to get vaccinated, the Rhode Island Department of Health has opted to allow vaccinated covid-positive individuals to take their place. Department spokesman Joseph Wendelken explained that “the unvaccinated pose a greater overall risk because these social misfits reject the government’s authority to decide what each person must do to benefit public health. In the long run allowing these individuals to flout the government’s directives poisons social cohesion.”

“While being treated by a vaccinated person who is covid-positive does present some immediate risk to patients, this risk is narrowly confined to those who come into direct contact with the infected staff members,” Wendelken argued. “Statistics show that the individual’s risk of being seriously harmed by contact with a vaccinated covid carrier is very low. For people under the age of 70 there is a less than 1% chance of dying even if they become infected. Realistically, covid is not something we should worry about.”

Whether Wendelken’s reasoning regarding the comparative risks of employing vaccine dissenters vs. vaccine compliant covid-positives is being tested by a covid outbreak at Eleanor Slater Hospital, a state-run facility where 28 patients were newly infected as of Thursday, January 6th. Wendelkin rejected the possibility that covid-positive staff could be the source of the new infections “because they all wore masks.”

Manhattan DA’s Plan to Abolish Crime

By: John Semmens

Manhattan’s newly elected District Attorney Alvin Bragg has an innovative plan to abolish crime in the city. In Bragg’s view “there are just too many things that are illegal. This turns desperate people into criminals. Suppose a guy has an urgent need for money—there are drugs he needs to buy or stuff he wants to have but he can’t earn enough through honest work to get them. This forces him to rob someone to get the money he needs. The conventional opinion is that he ought to go to prison for doing this. I think we should be more lenient. Going forward I will treat armed robbery as a misdemeanor unless the victim is shot or killed.”

“As another example, many of the most violent crimes are committed be psychopaths,” Bragg observed. “These people can’t help the way they are. They shouldn’t be punished for what they do under the influence of their mental derangement. That would be cruel and unusual treatment in our modern more enlightened society. These people need counselling and care, not imprisonment or institutionalization. They will get treatment under my administration. I will replace law and order with sympathy and compassion so these afflicted individuals can live among us as valued members of the community.”

“This new approach will enable me to stop wasting time on petty crimes and focus more of my office’s resources on enforcing the vaccine passport,” Bragg said. “In the grand scheme of things people who refuse to be vaccinated pose a far greater danger to life and limb than the so-called criminals do. The death toll from covid has already surpassed 800,000. That’s twenty times higher than the number of homicides in the same time period. Suppressing vaccine refusers will save more lives than arresting all of the murderers. When the people of New York City realize the consequences I will bring down on them for their behavior they will either toe the line or get out of town. We’ll see how the ‘red states’ like being the destination of hordes of unrepentant anti-vaxxers.”

Biden Spends 27% of His Time Vacationing

By: John Semmens

Since his inauguration President Biden has spent 95 of his 348 days in office on vacation. That’s 27%. A normal working person who gets two weeks of vacation a year spends about 4% of his time on vacation. Critics have cited Biden’s excessive time off work as a factor in major policy failures in Afghanistan and on the Mexican border.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said “it doesn’t matter how much of his time he spends on the job because the American people voted for him to be their president and he is their president 100% of the time no matter what he’s doing. In his own mind he feels overworked. He says we we never give him any free time or any time to think.”

One of the things he is reported to be thinking about is whether he should “green light” a proposed drone strike on Indian drug maker Dr Reddy’s Laboratories because it is poised to manufacture a generic version of Merck’s antiviral COVID-19 pill, molnupiravir, and price it at $0.47 per capsule—making a five-day course of 40 capsules sell for under $20. Biden called this “unfair. Merck invested millions to produce its pill. It needs to charge $700 for its course of treatment. Flooding the world with a cheap generic drug will cost this great American firm billions of dollars. Such economic piracy should not go unpunished.” There is a relevant precedent. President Clinton ordered an aspirin factory in Sudan bombed in 1998 to divert attention from his pending impeachment for lying under oath about his illicit sexual relationship with 22-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Obama Declares “Our Democracy Is at Greater Risk than Ever”

By: John Semmens

In honor of the January 6 incursion into the Capitol, Former President Barack Obama released a statement asserting that “one year ago a violent attack on our Capitol made it clear just how fragile the American experiment in democracy really is. In the November 2020 election more than 81 million votes were cast for Joe Biden. Rather than accepting this ringing endorsement for the person voters wanted to rule them for the next four years, Republicans are still working to torpedo his agenda.”

“As the last year has demonstrated, the average American has supported the President by obeying his request that they get vaccinated for the good of the nation,” Obama pointed out. “They have joined in the effort to shame those who stubbornly resist being unified into the collective whole. They have supported proposals to sanction nonconformists by firing them from their jobs, barring them from public places, and confiscating their property. Despite this evidence of success, President Biden has been frightened into declaring that ‘there is no federal solution to the covid pandemic.’ This is the position former President Trump took during 2020 and a significant reason for his defeat at the polls.”

“Now is not the time to back away from destiny,” Obama advised. “Backing down now will only encourage further resistance from the enemies of progress. President Biden is the Commander-in-Chief of America. He has vast forces awaiting his order to punish those who promote disunity. The fact that there has been no significant protest against holding dozens of January 6th arrestees without bail and denying them the speedy trials promised in the 6th Amendment shows that the vast majority of Americans are on his side. So, I say to my old friend Joe, don’t let the bastards up. Tighten your choke hold on the country until everyone gets in line with your agenda and the world will thank you for saving democracy from its enemies.”

Contrary to Obama’s interpretation, a recent CBS News poll showed that 76% of respondents rejected the “insurrection” narrative explanation for the January 6 Capitol incursion and saw it as “a protest that became a riot.” The fact that not a single person arrested for the January 6 riot has been charged with insurrection seems a pretty clear indication that there are no grounds for such a charge no matter how ardently Democrats may wish for it.

In related news, Gov. Jay Inslee (D-Wash) has proposed legislation that would “make it illegal to challenge an election’s results once the media has declared a winner. Peaceful acceptance of election results is what differentiates democracy from authoritarian regimes. If we don’t put a damper on post-election criticism of the winners democracy can’t survive. I understand some being disappointed in the outcome, but for unity’s sake it is crucial that this disappointment not be made public. Punishing those who can’t bring themselves to congratulate and support the winners is the best way I know for quelling negative thoughts.”

Supreme Court Ponders Constitutionality of Vaccine Mandate

John Semmens

On Friday the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case challenging the constitutionality of President Biden’s order that all businesses with 100 or more employees must compel their workers to be vaccinated or required to submit to weekly covid testing.

Scott Keller, attorney for the National Federation of Independent Business, argued that “the power to make getting vaccinated the law of the land is clearly reserved to Congress in Article I of the US Constitution.” Several of the Justices questioned this argument.

Justice Elena Kagan posited that “the general welfare clause of the Constitution’s preamble seems to trump the delegated powers argument advanced by Mr. Keller. Since getting vaccinated is essential for stopping the spread of covid the specific means for accomplishing this ought to override the President’s lack of delegated powers. Why should there be any limit to what he can do in order to promote the general welfare?”

Justice Stephen Breyer claimed “the 750 million new cases of infection with the Omicron variant reported yesterday demands immediate action. This isn’t the time to be nitpicking arcane 18th century language in a mostly obsolete document looking for authorization. Why isn’t the fact that the President declares his mandate necessary sufficient to carry out his wishes?”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor said “the insistence that the President should be limited to his delegated authority in the face of the dire crisis facing the nation is foolhardy. The President has no delegated authority to push a child out of the way of an onrushing bus, but we should not impede his heroic effort to save a life. As Justice Breyer has pointed out, 750 million people have already tested positive and 100,000 kids are on ventilators. Must the President be forced to wait for Congress to act while the unvaccinated are permitted to continue to infect and decimate our population?”

Justice Clarence Thomas, on the other hand, questioned the wisdom of “ignoring a document that serves as a barrier to tyrannical one-man rule. The President may assert that his policies are necessary and try to persuade Congress to act to legalize the impositions he says are needed, but I see no legitimate authority for him to bypass the representatives that the people have elected to defend their rights and interests. After all, 70% of the adult population is already vaccinated. Yet, even those who have received the vaccines are still coming down with covid and spreading it to others. Rather than abiding another unconstitutional abuse of power doesn’t it make more sense to allow a robust debate of various options in Congress to consider whether a strategy focused solely on vaccination might be too narrow to yield the best results?”

In related news, the Massachusetts state government has issued an ultimatum to Nicole Coughlin, a Department of Developmental Services employee, to get fully vaccinated or be fired. Coughlin already received the front end of the two-dose Moderna vaccine, but had a severe allergic reaction. Her request for a medical exemption was denied. Donna Daniels, the secretariat director of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion explained that “granting your request would increase workplace safety risks and negatively impact operational factors. It is better for you to bear the individual risk of an adverse reaction than for the state to have to put up with an exemption from rules meant to be universal to every member of the collective.”

Kari Lake Already Falling Behind in #AZGOV Race

Candidates running for Governor in Arizona released their campaign finance numbers this week and Trump favorite Kari Lake is already falling behind in not only dollars raised but number of donors.

Why this matters?

There are not a lot of metrics that help voters know which campaigns are weak and which are strong but the numbers of donors and amounts raised are important ones. Unfortunately for Kari Lake, she stumbled to garner a lot of either. Kari Lake is behind Karrin Taylor Robson and Democratic front runner Katie Hobbs in both categories.

Karrin Taylor Robson leads the race with $3.7 million raised and 16,000 donors. Katie Hobbs has raised $2.9 million and 20,000 donors. On the republican side Kimberly Yee, Steve Gaynor and Matt Salmon have yet to release their numbers but no one expects them to be any higher than those already reported. On the democrat side Marco Lopez and Aaron Lieberman both posted $1 million in dollars raised.

To be sure, the campaigns are just getting started but these developments bring in to question whether Kari Lake has what it takes.

Biden Hails Jobs Report

John Semmens

Though the number of new jobs created during December fell 50% short of what his economists had been predicting, President Biden hailed the figures as “evidence of the progress we have been making to transform our economy because fewer people feel compelled to work for a living. Record numbers of Americans are just plain quitting their jobs. This firmly corresponds to the Democratic Party’s goal of eliminating the necessity of work for as many people as possible.”

“Economists recognize that from an individual perspective work is a disutility,” Biden observed. “What this means is that leisure is preferred over work. Critics who are lambasting what they call ‘a failed economic policy’ overlook this key point. Any suffering that might result is the fault of the Republicans and Sen. Manchin for refusing to enact my ‘Build Back Better’ legislation. Sculpting a social structure where the majority can live without having to work is an ideal that has been lusted after for thousands of years. The fact that my Administration is now so close to attaining this cherished goal should be acknowledged as one of the greatest accomplishments of government in the history of the world.”

CNN’s Brian Stelter echoed Biden’s message and pointed out that “unemployment fell from 4.2% in November to 3.9% in December. This reflects a situation indicating that fewer people want or need jobs in the new economy the Democrats are fostering. On a personal level, I have always enjoyed my leisure time more than my time working. The Build Back Better bill is a heroic and magnanimous effort on the part of the progressives who now firmly control the federal government. Shame on those who opposed it.”