Glenn K. Beaton is a writer and columnist living in Colorado. He has been a contributor to The Wall Street Journal, RealClearPolitics, Powerline, Instapundit, American Thinker and numerous other print, radio and television outlets.
The GOP performance in the midterm elections is very disappointing, but here’s some good news. It would take a miracle for the Democrats to retain the House of Representatives. Let’s do the math.
According to Wall Street Journal and other credible sites, the GOP has won about 211 seats and the Dems have won 192. That means about 32 seats are still undecided. The GOP needs at least 7 of those 32 to reach the bare majority of 218.
It’s fair to assume that the odds on each of those races is about 50/50. If it were otherwise, they’d have been decided. They’re “toss-ups” because the odds are like the odds of getting heads or tails when you toss up a coin.
OK, so let’s run with that. We can calculate the odds of the GOP getting 7 or more of the remaining 32 toss-up seats by calculating the odds of getting 7 or more heads when you toss up a coin 32 times.
A few weeks ago, the Democratic candidate for Colorado’s Third Congressional District was accused of being blackmailed into changing his position on a matter of city policy while he was a city councilman in Aspen. He’s running against conservative firebrand Lauren Boebert, a person the liberal Aspen elite undisguisedly hate and would love to see beaten by Frisch.
The Aspen newspapers – part of that Aspen liberal elite – have mostly dismissed or buried the blackmail story, to the extent they’ve covered it at all. The Aspen Daily News finally published something over a week after the story broke elsewhere:
“The story — which Frisch, his family and his campaign deny — goes something like this: in May 2017, Frisch rode his bike to the storage unit owned by the local taxi company, which was caught on security footage. A staff member of the company subsequently found Frisch engaging in an extramarital activity in one of those units; a year later, when the city council was considering a “mobility lab” that Gardner found threatening to his business, the taxi company owner blackmailed Frisch into changing his vote, swinging the city council away from moving forward with a contract that would have brought rideshare companies such as Lyft more meaningfully to Aspen.”
The blackmail allegation glossed over by the newspaper is that the taxi owner has a video showing everything in the story except the sex in the storage unit; it’s undisputed that he sent that video to Frisch in an email; and the taxi owner himself says “it absolutely was blackmail.” It should be noted, but the newspaper article does not, that the blackmailer is no Boebert supporter — he calls her “clueless.”
Here are some questions that a real newspaper reporter might ask Frisch after his blanket denial:
You say you deny the story, but what part?
Do you deny that it was you in the video?
Do you deny that you waited for the woman in the video and then went into the storage building with her, as the video seems to show?
Do you deny having sex with her in the storage unit, as the taxi assistant says she witnessed?
Do you deny having received the taxi owner’s email attaching the video in the time frame during which city council was considering the mobility lab?
Do you deny that you failed to respond to the video with something like, “Huh? What’s this video?”
Do you deny that you failed to contact authorities to report what appeared to be an attempted blackmailing of you, as the taxi owner himself contends?
Do you deny that the blackmailing was successful – that the video changed your vote, as the taxi owner contends?
A fair reading is that Frisch implicitly admits the entire story, except the last point: He denies that the attempted blackmailing was successful. Rather, he apparently asserts that he was in the process of changing his mind anyway.
What Frisch is obviously eager to change now is the subject. But a real newspaper with real and unbiased reporters would not be so eager to oblige. A real newspaper with real and unbiased reporters would ask Frisch these questions. If he refuses to answer them, then a real newspaper with real and unbiased reporters would report his refusal.
Alas, apparently no such newspaper and no such reporters exist in Aspen.
The Supreme Court on Monday considered the arguments of Harvard and the University of North Carolina justifying their racial discrimination in admissions. The schools will probably lose.
The schools argue their racial discrimination (they refuse to call it that, of course) is just one of many factors they consider in admissions. But the data show it’s by far the most important one. For example, at UNC a white person with a given set of test scores, grade point average and other factors, with 10% chance of getting admitted, would have a 98% chance with the same qualifications if he were black.
At Harvard, the case was brought by an Asian student group. The data show that at Harvard an Asian needs an SAT score about 400 points higher than a black person with comparable other qualifications. That 400-point difference is huge. It’s the difference between an excellent student with a score of 1500 and an average one with a score of 1100, or a good student with a score of 1200 and a poor student with a score of 800.
Extrapolating from Glenn Youngkin’s win in the Virginia governor’s race, I predicted a year ago that the GOP would flip about 46 seats in the House in the midterm elections, and two or three in the Senate.
So here we are a year later, on the verge of those midterms. How’s my prediction holding up?
Quite well, thank you. The Real Clear Politics aggregation of pundit predictions says the GOP will pick up between 12 and 47 seats. The first – the 12 seat prediction – is clearly from a transexual-grooming Democrat pot legalization pundit with purple hair who just got canceled a tenth of the $100,000 student loan that THEY took out for THEIR gender studies degree, while the last – the 47 seat prediction – is obviously from someone who thinks clearly but about 2% too optimistically. Probably a Republican.
As reported in numerous outlets including this site, a man came forward last week alleging that he blackmailed the Democrat candidate challenging conservative firebrand Lauren Boebert for Colorado’s Third Congressional District, while the candidate was a city councilman in Aspen. The two daily newspapers – both overtly liberal – refused to run the story even while numerous citizens brought it to their attention.
The Dem candidate is Adam Frisch, and the Congresswoman he is campaigning to unseat is Lauren Boebert. Frisch presents himself as a high-minded moderate intellectual, but his initial broadcast email drumming up support name-called Boebert, in junior high fashion, “Boebert the Betrayer.” His campaign has gone downhill from there.
Boebert’s district went for Trump by over 9 points in the 2020 election, so Frisch has an uphill battle, which just got steeper.
The story in Glitter Gulch this week is one of blackmail, video cameras, small-time and big-time politics, sex, corruption and, of course, money. But the local newspapers refuse to report the story, apparently because they want a loser to win.
Here’s the story, as reported initially in Breitbart and now picked up by half a dozen outlets.
Democrat Adam Frisch is running to unseat conservative firebrand Lauren Boebert in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. Frisch was an Aspen city councilman for eight years, stepping down in 2019. According to an article in the Aspen Times at the time he stepped down, “some constituents thought he oscillated, or that he voted whatever way the political winds were blowing.”
Frisch’s response was “I was being pragmatic and people appreciated that . . . But people saw me making the sausage in my head and thought I was being wishy-washy. … I would’ve been more effective if I talked less.”
One of those constituents has offered an alternative reason for Frisch’s wishy-washy, pragmatic, sausage making. He says he blackmailed Frisch for his, um, oscillating.
The Supreme Court’s abortion decision was leaked before being issued, apparently in an effort by the liberal wing of the Court or their clerks to pressure the majority to reverse themselves. The Chief Justice in a rare press release condemned the leak, as did other conservative justices (no liberal justice did) and promised an investigation by law enforcement.
That was five months ago. If the investigation concluded that it’s impossible to identify the leaker, we’re entitled to see the report. If the investigation did successfully identify the leaker, we’re entitled to know who it was.
But we’ve heard crickets. The Chief apparently decided it was more important to just move on than to bring the matter to light. The leak damaged the Court badly enough, he may have concluded, and he doesn’t want to damage it even more by identifying the leaker – something that would cry out for an impeachment of a Supreme Court Justice.
If my theory is correct that the Chief is protecting a liberal Justice of the Court (I doubt he would go to such lengths to protect a mere clerk of a liberal Justice) then a storied institution charged with administering justice at the highest level in the land is consciously shirking its duty to administer justice in its own institution – in the interest, ironically, of preserving its status as an institution of justice.
With this on my mind, a headline in the Washington Post last week caught my eye. In their news pages – not their opinion pages – a story appeared under the headline “Supreme Court term begins amid questions about its legitimacy.”
Ah, I thought, WaPo is exploring this same story that is on my mind – that the Court is covering up the identity of the leaker to avoid a bloody judicial impeachment and Constitutional crisis.
I was wrong. The “legitimacy” issue in the WaPo story was that the Supreme Court had ruffled liberal feathers lately with decisions they don’t like. For example, the Court stated that abortion is not in the Constitution and therefore is not a matter for judges to decide, and that the power of administrative agencies is limited to what Congress delegated to the agency.
Democrats don’t like these decisions, both because they don’t like the particular results and because, more broadly, they don’t like shifting power back to the people. Democrats favor policies that are to the left of the people. They can’t enact such policies democratically because they would get voted out of office, and so they let unelected judges and administrative agency bureaucrats do their dirty work.
Leave it to the Democrats to charge that judges risk their legitimacy not by seizing judicial power, but by relinquishing it to the people and the people’s elected representatives.
Put this in historical perspective. For two generations, up until a few years ago, the Court was issuing decisions that I didn’t like. For that, however, I never questioned whether the Court was legitimate. I simply questioned whether its decisions were correct.
That’s an important distinction. An incorrect decision still needs to be followed. An illegitimate decision, by implication, need not be. Roe v. Wade was an incorrect decision as a matter of Constitutional law, but conservatives never argued that it cast doubt on the legitimacy of the Supreme Court. They simply argued that it was incorrect, and so should be overturned. In the meantime, it was the criticized but undisputed law of the land.
The left plays by a different set of rules. People who disagree with them are not merely incorrect; they’re deemed illegitimate. If such people are students, they get booted out of school; if they’re parents at school board meetings, they get arrested and investigated by the FBI; if they’re professors, they get fired even if they’re tenured; if they’re opinion columnists like me, they get censored; if they’re speakers, they get shouted down; if they’re politicians, they get name-called “racists,” “deplorables,” and “semi-fascists.”
Nutjobs in the radical left hear these things and conclude, apparently as they are supposed to, that conservatives should be hunted down and eliminated – physically if necessary. Political violence is escalating. Most of it is against conservatives, and it’s rare to hear the left – or even mainstream Democrats – condemn it.
If the persons with whom the left disagrees happen to be Supreme Court Justices, their legitimacy, too, gets questioned – after their homes get marched upon and one of them is the target of an assassination attempt.
As bad as physical violence and threats are, the deliberate undermining of the authority of the Supreme Court is worse. We are careening over the guardrails and into the day when the left simply announces – in the guise of news stories in prestige newspapers and not just opinion pieces – something like “People question whether Supreme Court rulings should be followed.”
The editors and reporters at WaPo have crossed a line. The line they’ve crossed is not expressing an opinion with which I disagree. They have a right to their opinions, and I’ll fight to preserve their right to express them – even though they conspicuously don’t fight to preserve my right to express mine and in fact do whatever they can to censor mine.
Where WaPo starts to cross the line is where they express their opinion not in their opinion pages where opinions belong, but in their news pages.
And then WaPo gets way over the line with the substance of their opinion-in-the-guise-of-news. The substance of their opinion, expressed as news, is that the Supreme Court is illegitimate simply because the Court is issuing decisions that WaPo doesn’t like.
So, remind me: Who’s the threat to democracy?
Glenn K. Beaton practiced law in the federal courts, including the Supreme Court.
Denver has its share of vagrants. The rule is evidently that you can illegally camp on the sidewalk and poop in the gutter until a lot of people complain. Once dozens or hundreds of people complain – they don’t publish what the requisite number is – the city will tell the vagrants they have two weeks to shuffle down the road to trash some other site.
What the vagrants then do, naturally, is leave for a few days and then come back to the same place again, where they stay again until enough people complain again and they get the two weeks’ notice again and then they leave for a few days again. I’d say it’s a case of rinse and repeat, except these feral humans have not seen a rinse in months.
The vagrants are offered shelter in several vagrant shelters, but typically refuse to go there unless it gets very cold, which in Denver it fortunately sometimes does.
The city council sees this as a problem, but not in the way you would assume. The problem they see is not that there are too many vagrants panhandling and pooping up the downtown. It’s that there are too few.
About ten years ago, in a piece written for Breitbart, Thaddeus McCotter recounted the tale of a man trying to sell his ’67 Plymouth Barracuda. Having no luck, he finally left it on the street with the key in the ignition and a big sign announcing “Free!” The next morning the ‘Cuda was still there, with a message scratched into it with the key, “Don’t nobody want this shit.”
McCotter followed with the point that politics divorced from popular culture sells about as well as this hapless vehicle; further, that Republican politics is Exhibit A. Make that “Model A.”
Of course, what neither Andrew Breitbart nor McCotter — with their mantra that politics is downstream from culture — could have fully foreseen is the degree to which popular culture would become tainted by unpopular culture which few people wish to be “downstream” from, any more than from raw sewage.
I’m not convinced that wealth disparity is a problem. I do firmly believe, mind you, that the world is rich enough now that no one should starve or freeze to death, at least not involuntarily, and that the injured or diseased should be given medical treatment.
In America, we’ve achieved that, and more. Poor people in America not only have plenty to eat (as is evident from their physiques) but also have automobiles, air conditioning, color cable television, smart phones, and free tuition.
The wealth disparity complaint is not about starvation or freezing. It’s the complaint that some people have far more luxuries than others. Some have fancier cars or more of them. Some have more frequent European vacations. Some have televisions in the bathroom. Some fly First Class on their own dime. Some drink not just wine – everyone drinks wine now – but the expensive kind.
Some of these people indisputably have more luxuries than they need. But so do the poor people, just not as many.