Weekend Quick Takes

The week in review, from the start of the Beijing Olympics to US politics, a summary of news items that are of significance but that you may not have noticed.

Beijing, China Olympics Begin With a Bad Start

Dutch journalist Sjoerd den Daas was broadcasting live last week during the Olympics Opening Ceremony. His broadcast was interrupted when a Chinese security officer dragged him off, while still live on the air.

den Daas’ news agency could not figure out why he was taken during a live broadcast, as he did not say anything that appeared to be controversial. However, China, always worried about its public image and how it is portrayed to the world, did not like the location from where den Daas broadcasting as it was an unglamorous and poorly lit street, not part of the official venue inside the glamorous Bird’s Nest stadium.

On day one of the Olympic Games, China demonstrated its willingness to harass foreign correspondents. Imagine what would happen if someone violated a more serious rule or made a more serious comment, like something about the estimated million people in forced labor camps…

More Mask Hypocrisy

Unlike many in today’s environment, Thinking Man can understand different perspectives on how best to battle the pandemic. Regardless of Thinking Man’s personal views, reasonable people can come to different conclusions on balancing the many priorities of public health, impacts of strict measures on mental health, impacts to the economy and other issues. The one thing hard to understand is hypocrisy and people who say one thing but do another.

The most recent case of that is liberal darling and candidate for Georgia Governor, Stacy Abrams. Abrams has been in favor of strict mask mandates and has repeatedly called out her opponent, current Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, for refusing to implement a mask mandate, saying it showed “incompetency” and “immorality.” 

Those are pretty strong words. Apparently, words that Abrams thinks are best for others but not for her. In a campaign visit to an elementary school, Abrams herself posted a picture of her sitting among the students and teachers in a classroom. All of the students and teachers are masked but Abrams is not.

Does that mean that we should apply Abrams own words to her, and agree that she is immoral and incompetent?

SF Police Accuse District Attorney’s Office of Hiding Evidence

San Francisco police have pulled out of an agreement that makes the District Attorney’s office the lead investigator of all police shootings and use-of-force incidents.

The move comes as an officer is set to stand trial for using a baton to hit a man while responding to a domestic violence call in 2019.

Last month, a DA investigator involved with the case testified that she allegedly felt pressure to withhold evidence.

Republicans Fighting Republicans (Trump’s War on the Republican Party, cont.)

This weekend, the Republican National Committee voted to censure two sitting GOP members of Congress. The reason? The two voted to impeach former President Trump for his role in rallying the crowd on Jan. 6, right before they stormed the Capitol to stop Congress from meeting in an attempt to, in Trump’s own words from just last week “overturn the election”.

It is a very sad commentary that one of the two major parties is now a Party that is loyal to a person, and not to ideas or principles. In and of itself, that is dangerous. In any situation, a blind loyalty to any person is the antithesis of what a democracy is about.

However, even setting that aside, the move was amazingly politically stupid as the RNC just continued to alienate a segment of Republicans that have been a solid bloc of Republicans voters over the years. Several prominent conservatives have left the Party, and several GOP office holders have had to come out against the absurdity, the most recent being former NJ Gov. Chris Christie over the weekend. And, of course, one of the sitting members of Congress who was censured was Liz Cheney, daughter of former GOP Congressman, presidential candidate, cabinet member for four GOP Presidents and Vice President, Dick Cheney. It is hard to understand how anyone would think Rep. Cheney, who also has a lifetime rating over 90% from the American Conservative Union, would be the target of Republican attacks.

Some crazy times we live in.

GOP Candidates Who Voted To Impeach Trump Outraised Opponents

Yet, in contrast to the action of the RNC over the weekend, according to official filings with the Federal Election Commission, eight Republicans who are facing voters this fall and either voted to impeach or convict former President Donald Trump after the riots of Jan. 6 are outraising their GOP primary challengers, and most by huge amounts.

The leading fundraiser, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., hauled in more than $1.97 million during the last quarter of 2021, bringing her total for 2021 to nearly $6.5 million. Harriet Hageman, Cheney’s Trump-backed challenger, who formally announced her bid in September, reported raising about $443,000 in contributions last quarter, bringing her total for the year to just north of $745,000.

The disparity was mirrored in other races, with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) raising more than double that of her Trump-backed opponent, for example.

Three Congressman who voted to impeach Trump are not to running for re-election.

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