Category: Blog

Tony Katz has been writing for years, but for quality not for quantity. When he writes, it will be posted here.

Another Coronavirus Overreaction: Indiana County Bans Essential Businesses From Selling Non-Essential Items

In the world of coronavirus, essential businesses are considered those – and this is a very general definition – that allow Americas to survive. The businesses that sell food or medicine or the ability to keep a roof over your head, and the businesses that supply those businesses, those are considered essential. But some of them, from WalMart to Target to Meijer, also sell clothes…and books…and sunglasses…and a myriad of items that aren’t considered essential.

Howard County, Indiana has decided to force those businesses to stop selling those “non-essential” goods. Translation: Social Distancing doesn’t matter when you’re buying eggs or cereal. Social Distancing is the law if you want to buy your kids a coloring book.

In a Facebook post explaining their decision, the county Board of Commissioners claim the issue is Howard County residents who are gathering at these stores. As written in the order, the Board claims store employees are saying people are shopping because they are, “bored at home” and they, “buy only non-essential goods.” From the Board of Commissioners:

This is not fair to businesses that have closed in compliance with the county’s order….Obviously (having people congregate in businesses,) this is not in keeping with the crucial need to practice social distancing and to limit social gatherings.

The order from the county applies to goods including: jewelry, furniture, home and lawn decor, toys/games, carpet/rugs/flooring, non-emergency appliances, music/books/magazines, craft and art supplies, paint, entertainment electronics

The problem here is that the Social Distancing doctrine is applied unequally, and shows again why the nation-wide approach of shutting down business was more overreaction than logic and science.

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Why Would Pete And Amy Voters Go To Biden? Why Not Warren?

Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar are out of the race for the Democratic nomination, and they have publicly endorsed former VP Joe Biden, even campaigning with him in Dallas. The conventional wisdom now is that if Pete and Amy are endorsing Biden, Pete and Amy supporters will vote for Biden.

But why? The conventional wisdom is no match for the messages, styles and policies of the candidates themselves. When those metrics are the barometer, Pete and Amy voters don’t move to Biden. They move to Elizabeth Warren.

At this stage, no one is serious about Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s status as a contender. She has underperformed, well, everywhere. But considering I’ve bet money on a contested convention in Milwaukee, I don’t begrudge her staying in the race.  She thinks the same about the convention, and her campaign has put out a memo outlining this position, referring to it as the, “final play.”

This means, delegates or not, that Warren is an option for voters. Amy and Pete voters might take notice.

Buttigieg supports Medicare for All….who want it. The difference between his plan and Sen. Bernie Sanders’ plan is nil. Buttigieg admitted this himself, saying if insurers could not figure out how to operate in his new scheme, they will fail. He followed up by saying, “And honestly, I don’t care.”

Buttigieg, just like Bernie, spent much of his campaign attacking and insulting police officers, both in South Bend and across the nation. He has spoken often about “systemic racism” and abusive cops. Sanders says the same.

But Buttigieg supporters think Bernie is “too radical.” Clearly, it’s not about substance with these voters, but about style. They want the policies -the substance – but they also want a style that isn’t screaming and yelling and aggressively pointing at them every second. If the mix of substance and style is what Buttigieg supporters are looking for – far-left policies, delivered without screaming – then that’s not Joe Biden. That’s Elizabeth Warren.

Klobuchar got the endorsement from the New York Times. They called her a woman of, “…charisma, grit and stick-to-itiveness .” She holds many far-left ideals, including being a sponsor of the Green New Deal and supporting Cap and Trade. But she shares those views without the over-the-top passion plays of fellow Leftists. She is seen as the pragmatist of the group; someone who is grounded, and who will explain her position in plain English.

Her policies line up with Biden on healthcare, where both support a “public option” and a return to Obamacare. And she aligns with Biden and Bernie on the Green New Deal. (Bernie supports the Green New Deal, but not Cap and Trade.) But who would call Bernie a pragmatist? Who would call Biden grounded? Support for Klobuchar meant, again, that supporters were searching for a mix of style and substance. That they agree with Bernie on policy does not mean that they find him agreeable.

Enter Elizabeth Warren. She also received the endorsement of the New York Times. (Sure, there was a serious element of “woke” in the endorsement, but what isn’t woke these days from the New York Times?) Warren supports the Green New Deal and Cap and Trade. Warren does favor Medicare for All, but she also focuses on being a woman candidate. Doesn’t “diversity” count for anything anymore in the Democratic party?

After her poor showing in the New Hampshire primary, Warren spoke highly of Sen. Klobuchar, saying, ” I also want to congratulate my friend and colleague Amy Klobuchar for showing just how wrong the pundits can be when they count a woman out.”

Klobuchar supporters have already showed they are comfortable with a woman on top of the ticket. So why, after the similarities and the kindnesses, would one assume that Klobuchar supporters would move to Joe Biden?

Klobuchar supporters have shown they want someone who can clearly communicate with them, who can explain ideas and policies instead of yelling at them or America. Biden is a man, who yells, who does get the facts wrong, who can’t remember what’s in the Declaration of Independence, who brings gaffe after gaffe after embarrassing, incoherent, what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-this-guy-oh-my-gosh-is-he-smelling-me gaffe!

Biden may be part of the two man race, but Warren is the woman who most encapsulates the wants and desires of Pete and Amy voters: calm, focused, has a plan, politically far left, “diverse” and not afraid to take on President Donald Trump.

Conventional wisdom says Biden picks up the Pete and Amy support, but this wisdom is based on everyone falling in line with the Democratic establishment’s desire to stop Sen. Sanders cold. Some might want just that. But many Pete and Amy supporters like Bernie’s policies, and they like his fighting spirit; what they don’t like is his style. The candidate that most resembles Bernie’s policies but Pete and Amy’s style is not Joe Biden, it’s Elizabeth Warren.

Biden Campaign Goes For Kill Shot Against Bernie

There is blood in the water. Joe Biden is going right for the throat of Bernie Sanders. Just days away from the South Carolina Primary, the Biden campaign released a new ad that criticized Bernie Sanders for not supporting Barack Obama in his 2012 re-election campaign.

The ad also attacked Sanders for “not supporting the first African American President”. Tony Katz takes a look at the ad, and the battle between Biden and Sanders in South Carolina.

I don’t think the key is to go after Bernie Sanders on the race card… You can go after him for supporting Fidel Castro. You can go after him for his despicable polices. You can go after him for not being vetted… It’s easy to start taking apart Bernie Sanders.”

Biden and Sanders are considered the two front runners in the South Carolina Primary. Many pundits believe that the Biden campaign is essentially finished unless they win South Carolina.

Chris Matthews Didn’t Compare Bernie To A Nazi, But Indecent Leftists Do It All The Time

It gets done all the time: Comparisons to Hitler and Nazis from people who can’t figure out how to express their disagreement with others, so they resort to the lowest common denominator, gaining themselves a moment of moral superiority while denigrating and diminishing the attempted extermination of an entire people.

Presidential candidate Tom Steyer did it to President Donald Trump. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has done it, when talking about the border:

I’ve addressed this on air and in print. And on social media:

So when I read that Chris Matthews of MSNBC compared Sen. Bernie Sanders‘ win in the Nevada caucuses to France falling to the Nazis, it wasn’t new or shocking to me:

Comparisons to Nazis are the standard trope from anti-intellectual talking heads who want to engage the bastardization of history to shore up their woke position. Better said – this is what low-brow people do when they want to seem important. It’s what Tom Steyer did. It’s what Rep. Ocasio-Cortez did. It’s what luddites like Ana Navarro have done. The Nazi comparison has become the de-facto crutch for slow-witted individuals who only ever read the Cliff Notes summary of WWII, or, really, any history at all.

And it’s not that Nazism nor Nazis nor even Hitler are off limits. Certainly, the Nazis were socialists – The National Socialist German Workers Party, to be exact. And that Sen. Sanders is a “democratic socialist” could lead to many questions.

But making a comparison to Nazis is not actually what Chris Matthews did. Matthews point seems to be that the Democratic Party doesn’t understand that they’ve lost to Bernie; that he has a clear path to the nomination. That, I believe, was his commentary, based on the video I’ve seen.

Was it clumsy? Perhaps. Was it totally unnecessary? Probably, if not completely. Was it seized (pounced?) upon by the same anti-intellectual mob that proudly uses the attack to go after President Trump whenever they can? Yes.

Now, people want Chris Matthews fired. Of course they do. How else do you expect woke zealots to act?

But since there was no call for Steyer to not run, Rep. Ocasio Cortez to resign nor Ana Navarro to be fired, forgive me if I don’t join the mob of dunces who can’t tell the difference between pure insult and potentially questionable commentary. I’m no fan of Chris Matthews in the main, but I’m far less a fan of actual fanatics who want blood because they aren’t perspicacious enough to draw distinctions.

WATCH: So God Made A Farmer: The Mike Bloomberg Edition

Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg thinks farming is easy. Just put a seed in the ground and water it, he says.

Anyone who knows a farmer or has met a farmer or has been on a farm of has seen a farm knows that it’s far from easy.

The late Paul Harvey brilliantly described the work of the farmer in his piece, “So God Made A Farmer.” Respecting his take on farmers, but adding our own twist, this parody explains the difference between America’s hard working farmers and Mike Bloomberg’s elitist attitude. He could never do for an hour what farmers do everyday.

He should have far more respect, and far less insults.

New York Times Has An Issue With Trump’s Daytona 500 Appearance

Air Force One flew low, just 800 ft above the massive crowd gearing up to watch the 62nd running of the Daytona 500. President Donald Trump, with the First Lady, Melania Trump, took to the microphone and addressed the crowd: talking about the love of NASCAR, and the more important love of country. The tens of thousands in attendance cheered. He joked with FOX Sports about jumping in a car and racing a few laps. And after uttering the classic words of racing, he got into the presidential limo – affectionately known as “The Beast” – and led the drivers around the track.

There is not a single Democratic nominee who could come close to matching this level of showmanship, and not a one who could so connect culturally with America without Hollywood’s help. No matter how many billions Bloomberg spends nor how Pete positions himself nor how Warren, well, lies, none of them could even dream of a moment that will so resonate with so many Americans across the country. 

Even Bernie, who does connect with young voters with his message of Free! Free! Free!, can’t capture what President Trump pulled off on a Sunday afternoon in Florida. So how does the Democratic apparatchik respond? Like this

Right. Sure. A political event. OK, boomer.

Everything the president does can be seen as political, regardless of party. There is no doubt that it can in this case as well. But snide, nonsense comments won’t change the facts: It was politically adept. It was culturally connected. It was, even for the casual observer, what the Republican party has been unable to do for election after election after the election: Look normal. Look like they were having fun. And, yes, look cool.

Sometimes, it’s best to say nothing. Know when you’re beaten, and gear up for your next fight. But not Maggie Haberman, seemingly the embodiment of the Old Gray Lady. She not only has to comment, but she has to present it as if Trump is doing something wrong…immoral…unacceptable. Rolling Stone gave her cover by adding the racial element:

Trump is not the first Republican president to visit the Daytona speedway for NASCAR’s biggest event of the year. Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush all made appearances at the race, which makes sense considering NASCAR’s viewing audience tends to be mostly Republican and overwhelmingly (91 percent) white.

The Daytona 500 is not a “political event.” It’s a cool race and a great excuse to enjoy some Florida sun and drink beer (even when the race gets postponed due to rain, as it did on Sunday.) And, in case Haberman was unaware, presidents often show up to sporting events:

And sometimes, they use “The Beast” to pick up their friends…who are famous comedians…to do a talk show:
 

HuffPost@HuffPost

President Obama joined Jerry Seinfeld for a chat in “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee”http://huff.to/1P6KZmr 

View image on Twitter

47611:02 PM – Jan 1, 2016Twitter Ads info and privacy261 people are talking about this

Trump was cool on Sunday. Trump won the day on Sunday. And the New York Times can’t handle it.

There Is No Roger Stone Firestorm. There’s Just Angry Democrats.

The Story: The Department of Justice suggested, via a sentencing memo, that colorful character and former President Donald Trump political adviser Roger Stone receive seven to nine years in jail for lying to Congress. President Trump spoke out against the recommendation. The DOJ is now reviewing the sentencing, saying the length of time suggested is excessive. The four lawyers who made the recommendation have resigned. Now, Democrats and the media are claiming that Attorney General William Barr and the DOJ have been compromised, and that President Trump is abusing his power.

The Reality: The DOJ wanted seven to nine years for Stone for lying to Congress. Rational people know that sentence is insane. Trump said so. The DOJ rejected the memo and reduced the sentence. 

Also reality: Democrats are screaming about this because they lost the impeachment battle, and need another way to attack Trump in an election year. Also, also reality: Media is more than happy to amplify the anti-Trump narrative, even if it’s not true.

I’ll leave to the plethora of breathless media reports the details of the original sentencing memo. The seven to nine years, as has been learned, was on the highest possible end for the crime. Trump’s reaction to it:

This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice! https://t.co/rHPfYX6Vbv— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2020

The new potential guidelines will most likely lower the possible jail time for Stone to three to four years. From Andrew McCarthy:

Late Tuesday, the DOJ filed a revised sentencing memo, which does not recommend a specific sentence but strongly suggests that a term calculated without the eight-point enhancement — i.e., between 37 and 46 months’ imprisonment — would be just. The new memo concedes that the prosecutors’ calculation in the original memo was “arguably” correct, but contends that it would be unreasonable under the circumstances.

But the story here is the faux outrage from the Democratic party. Current failing presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren reminded America that AG Barr can be impeached. Failed presidential candidate Eric Swalwell reminded Americans that Trump could be impeached. Democratic Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer called for an emergency oversight hearing. Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy said Trump’s comments on Stone are worse than what got him impeached to begin with:

Convince me that what Trump has done since the impeachment vote isn’t worse than what he did to warrant impeachment.

Like we warned, acquittal has turned out to be a green light for him to take a wrecking ball to democracy.— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) February 12, 2020

Media has piled on (or is it pounced?) They are outraged that President Trump would speak openly on the subject, screaming that he has violated all the “norms.” On CNN, political analyst David Gergen called Trump’s comments on Stone’s original sentencing worse that the Nixon Administration.

Yes, it’s faux outrage. The only reason Stone’s sentencing is a front page, top of the hour story is the total failure of impeachment. During the trial, and in the three years of ramp up to it, media moved multiple narratives that Trump was dangerous, that he was acting like a dictator, that he was shredding the Constitution.

But those arguments fell flat with the American people. The House Managers, utilizing those arguments, could not convince Republicans to call the witnesses that House Democrats failed to question when they had the chance. The Roger Stone sentencing helps the Left further the narrative that just failed them for the last three years: Trump violates the law. Trump is a dictator. Trump is dangerous.

Attorney General Barr has publicly stated that Trump should stop tweeting about him, and about cases the DOJ has before the courts. He said, clearly, that those tweets make it, “…impossible for me to do my job. And to assure that the courts and the prosecutors in the department, that we’re doing our job with integrity.”

It is fine for AG Barr to tell President Trump that his public pronouncements make it more difficult for him to do his job. He could have said it privately (and maybe he did,) but it’s not the end of the world that he said it publicly. Just like it’s not the end of the world that President Trump voiced publicly that the original Roger Stone sentencing guidelines were egregious in their length. The media reaction/Democratic reaction is about continuing a narrative to sell to America, even if that narrative is a proven failure. 

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg Pander-Shifts From Black Americans To Latino Americans

Does Pete Buttigieg see a problem in his presidential future? Maybe.

Maybe it’s that he peaked too early in Iowa. The touted Iowa State University poll had him in a solid first place with 26%. The latest poll, from Emerson, has him at 18% in the state. Nationally, he has been flirting with the top three. In the latest FOX News poll, he’s at 7%, and the Real Clear Politics average has him back in single digits, at 9.5%.

Maybe it’s his inability to connect with black voters. Yes, he has serious problems in South Carolina, but his issues with black voters track back his time as mayor of South Bend, IN. His demotion of a black police chief (which he still has not fully explained to any level of acceptableness,) how he handled a police-involved shooting where he was unresponsive to citizens and threw the South Bend policeunder the bus.

Even the campaign’s ham-fisted attempt to show black support was interrupted by a protest from Black Lives Matter. To be clear, the BLM protesters were wrong, and disrupting events the way they do is indecent if not totally predictable and boring. Back to the event, Buttigieg is trying desperately to build up his base of black voters; without them, you can’t win the Democratic nomination. He even put out his Douglass Plan to revitalize black America, and he claimed there were 400 endorsers of his plan in South Carolina.

He sent it to 400 South Carolinians, and then claimed them all as endorsers. But they weren’t endorsers. And 42% of the list wasn’t even black. True story.

Now, Buttigieg is taking his plan to Latinos

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Should Pete Buttigieg Breaks His NDA With McKinsey To Win The Nomination?

When you’re the presidential front runner, you’re gonna take hits.

South Bend, Indiana Democratic Mayor Pete Buttigieg is the front runner in Iowa. And in a race where you could have four different winners before Super Tuesday on March 3rd – with no consensus candidate in sight! – Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina take on even more significance.

Buttigieg is getting dinged for his work at consulting firm McKinsey. McKinsey is one of those firms that signifies and symbolizes the ‘elite’ and the ‘DC Swamp.’ And even if one were to argue both of those examples, it certainly represents the idea of the insider. This goes against the image Buttigieg has been desperate to push out: Industrial Midwest Mayor who speaks for the forgotten and ignored with Millennial cool while sporting a boyish grin and a first-day-on-the-job-Supercuts hairdo.

But it all falls apart when you realize that he’s an insider at his core.

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How Do Midwest Swing States View Impeachment? Not Well At All.

The Midwest decided the election in 2016. It was the Indiana primary that clearly stated that outside voices were worth hearing, and Hoosiers voted for Donald Trump over then-candidate Sen. Ted Cruz. In the presidential election, it was Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan that let their voices be heard: Trump over Hillary.

Now that impeachment is upon America heading into the 2020 election, what does the Midwest have to say? This must be a consideration for Democrats and Republicans alike: Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio may very well determine the presidency. And Indiana, with it’s May 5th primary, may become a major battleground if no candidate can gain a consensus coming out of Super Tuesday (and it’s looking this way more and more.)

Here’s what the Midwest is saying: Stop talking impeachment and start listening to us! The polling may show America and these swing states are split on impeachment, but the people speaking out are saying they want their lives made better, and they don’t care about partisan narratives.

Wisconsin:

A Marquette University poll shows 51% of respondents do not want impeachment. While national polls are showing more of a 50/50 split on impeachment, Wisconsin is more opposed. And Wisconsin determined 2016 results, a fact that Democrats are more than aware of. 41% say the economy has gotten better. 63% want government doing more for small farmers, which puts more pressure on Democrats to pass USMCA. Speaker Nancy Pelosi refuses to bring the trade deal to the floor for a vote, fearing (rightfully) that it will help President Trump.

As Real Clear Politics noted in their headline on November 28th, Impeachment Fight Leaves Voters Cold in Contested Wisconsin.

Pennsylvania:

(Pennsylvania may not technically be the Midwest, but they went for Trump in 2016 and their 20 Electoral Votes matter greatly. So, I’m including them.)

The Morning Call shows the same results in their poll. 51% of respondents supported the impeachment inquiry. However, when asked about removing President Trump from office, 49% were in favor, 48% were opposed. The bigger number to take from the poll (which, admittedly, has a MOE of +/- 6%) is that only 2% would consider changing their opinion. 

This should not be taken as Pennsylvanians like President Trump. But, as NY Post columnist Salena Zito pointed out on NPR“(It’s) Not that they like Trump any more – they still don’t like him. But they’re frustrated that the vote that they did give to the Democrats has turned out to be sort of opening up the road towards impeachment, and they don’t like that.”

Again, information that Democrats will have to consider now that they’ve decided that impeachment is their proudly displayed scarlet letter.

Ohio:

President Trump won Ohio with more votes than any Republican since 1988, winning 80 of 88 counties. Without Ohio, the road for any candidate to the White House is difficult. As CNN writes in their headline, Ohio voters voice dismay over Trump’s actions but aren’t convinced on impeachment.

The article is replete with phrases that get echoed across the Midwest:

  • “From the jump, it seems like people have been on him — it’s like they’re on a witch hunt”
  • “But it seems like kind of a witch hunt. They look for everything he does wrong, and it’s been like that from the beginning…. I don’t really like him that much, but I don’t really like any of the other ones, either.”
  • “I don’t know how to feel about it….because I’m not exactly sure what Ukraine knows. But Ukraine is an independent country. It’s no longer with Russia,” “So what’s all the hullabaloo about? … Let’s get some policy work done.”

A poll from CantonRep.com on October 31 showed 47% of voters support impeachment, and 43% percent oppose. Just two weeks earlier, Axios reported that voters they spoke to were “outraged” over impeachment. Among the quotes in there reporting was this, “9 of the 11 participants raised their hands to say impeachment is a distraction from the issues they care most about — things like wages and unemployment, border security, bringing troops home, and health care costs and access.”

The unemployment rate is 3.5%. The wall is still being fought by Democrats. President Trump wants to bring troops home from Syria and, seriously under reported, Trump unveiled transparency rules for healthcare providers; forcing them to provide pricing information to patients before they enter a hospital.

Polling may paint one picture in Ohio, but when the voters are spoken to, they provide a much different view.

Michigan:

President Trump won Michigan in 2016 by just over 10,000 votes, which means the state’s 16 Electoral Votes are available for both major parties. Across the state, according to polls and reporting, the sentiment towards Congress remains the same: Stop focusing on impeachment and focus on issues.

Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee has stated that his constituents are interested more in issues that effect their daily lives:

Mostly, I hear that they want us to work on issues like the prescription drug prices, trade, and the economy,” Kildee told Fox News on Dec. 5. “They do offer their thoughts on this and I think that’s positive, but mostly the American people want us to work on the issues that affect them at the kitchen table everyday.

Another Democratic Representative, Elissa Slotkin, who told a recent townhall that she favored the impeachment inquiry, was booed and heckled.

Axios took a look at head to head matchups between President Trump and leading Democratic presidential candidates in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. In the head to head between Trump and former Vice-President Joe Biden, Trump lost again and again, until recently. In all three states over the last month, Trump beats Biden. From Alex Conant of Firehouse Strategies, “Democrats racing towards impeachment are at serious risk of leaving behind the voters they need to retake the White House next year.”

Impeachment doesn’t fare well in the polling. When you speak to the voters in must-win states, it does even worse.

(This article originally posted at wibc.com)