October Surprise? Looks like we're gonna need a bigger face mask:
Panic has swept across China's Inner Mongolia province after a second bubonic plague lockdown was enforced, two days after the first, as whole villages are sealed off.
That's usually accompanied, as in Wuhan, with express check-in for flights to international destinations. If you're at Gate 23 at Bayannur International Airport, do let us know how the priority boarding for Milan and New York is going.
~A distinguished "bipartisan" group - ie, Democrats like John Podesta and Jennifer Granholm and anti-Trumpers like former RNC chair Michael Steele - has gamed out various scenarios for November 3rd and the weeks and months of chaos that will inevitably follow. Oddly, the scenario they don't game out is the one that's most likely: A narrow Trump victory (while losing the popular vote, as Republicans have for the last three decades with the exception of 2004).
As I said last Tuesday, the phony-baloney polls are tightening. They've since tightened further - to below six-and-a-half per cent. When they get to four, Trump wins: That's a cautious estimate of closeted Trump support based on last time round. Given four years of industrial-strength denigration of Trump's voters by media, academe, showbiz and all other cultural levers, it would not be un-cautious to estimate the undercount at five per cent - at least until the bubonic plague shows up.
Another two penn'orth from me: The GOP seems more likely to retain the White House and lose the Senate. If Trump goes down, Mitch goes with him and the Dems will have total control.
~But there is not going to be a Biden landslide. The media are doing their best to protect him, as they did with FDR by artfully avoiding showing his wheelchair. The problem is that Joe's wheelchair is his mouth, and that's a little harder to keep round the back of the podium for another three months. Democrats bet on #BLM to serve as the enervated Joe's livelier proxy, enthusing the base in a way that Corn Pop war stories and threats to beat up coeds do not. But CHOP is a flop. There are people who support Seattle/Portland-style anarchy because they like anarchy; there are others who support anarchy if it damages Trump. The latter are bailing. This New York Times story is a not so subtle attempt to turn the narrative:
SEATTLE — Faizel Khan was being told by the news media and his own mayor that the protests in his hometown were peaceful, with "a block party atmosphere."
But that was not what he saw through the windows of his Seattle coffee shop. He saw encampments overtaking the sidewalks. He saw roving bands of masked protesters smashing windows and looting.
Young white men wielding guns would harangue customers as well as Mr. Khan, a gay man of Middle Eastern descent who moved here from Texas so he could more comfortably be out.
You thought it was just geriatric country-club Republicans with white privilege who were hung up on outmoded concepts like private property? No, no, no: it's vibrant Middle Eastern gays, so you guilt-ridden white liberals no longer need feel queasy about not being entirely on board with total societal collapse. The Times wouldn't be rushing reporters out to unearth such typical examples of the put-upon Seattle business community as Mr Khan if it weren't necessary for a favorable November outcome. For upscale progressives, voting is virtue-signaling: Mayor DeBlasio says all the right things about Muslims and transgenders and none of it affects me in the least, so what's not to like? Unfortunately for New Yorkers, he's decided to take all the #BLM codswallop seriously and, just in case the economic, social and cultural wasteland made by the lockdown weren't enough, random Upper West Side ladies are now getting stabbed on the streets:
The broadcast networks were disinclined to show that rather vivid clip:
Steve Sailer says we're back to the Seventies - except we're not, because all the Death Wish vigilantes have moved to the red states: like most large western cities, New York has bifurcated into rich people and the poor immigrants who wait on them. So there's not a lot of Paul Kerseys-in-waiting between you and the stabber. Many urban sophisticates are going to have decide whether they wish to sacrifice themselves on the altar of their own moral preening. On the evidence to date, quite a few seem willing to. But enough to ensure a Biden presidency?
Hence that heartwarming story about gay immigrant Muslim coffee-shop proprietors struggling in the face of Class of Whenever trustiefundie psychotranny mobs: the Times has concluded that "mostly peaceful protests" have outlived their usefulness.
~There should be opportunities for Trump here - and at least a possibility of a clear runaway GOP victory "beyond the margin of lawyer", as I used to say back in the Bush days. In 1984 Reagan added just shy of ten points to his 1980 score because, having lived for four years with the guy the left damned as an extreme right-wing Bedtime for Bonzo nuclear madman, a significant chunk of the American people concluded that he was not his caricature. That's unlikely to happen this time - and not just because Trump seems to enjoy his particular caricature, but because Reagan's America no longer exists and is instead a demographically transformed ruin of mutually hostile tribalisms. At heart, even the hardest of hardcore MAGA optimists knows this will be a close race: As I put it a few weeks back, all we can say for certain about November 3rd is that on November 3rd we will be able to say nothing certain. Round about 8.47pm the networks will fill with a parade of bigshot Dems insisting that we need to "count every vote" and "if they're so convinced they've won, what are Republicans afraid of?"
It is entirely possible (and indeed rather likely) that Trump will win "election day" - that is to say, the in-person votes of those who wander along on a Tuesday to their town halls and school gyms - and that Biden will win the postal votes stretched out between mid-September and whenever the last envelope postmarked November 3rd finally shows up in the mail. Which is unknowable. Which is the point. Which is why the Democrat machine favors such a system.
So, a little after all those calls to "count every vote", the "mostly peaceful protests" will come roaring back, to be followed by court challenges to the same judges who've spent the last four years striking down "Muslim bans" and DACA stays. Three months of chaos - and that's without China's bubonic bonus.
~It was a busy weekend at SteynOnline, starting with a special 50th edition of The Mark Steyn Show. Kathy Shaidle's Saturday movie date considered the "Blow up your school" sub-genre, and our Sunday song selection offered a somewhat irritating novelty song that nevertheless a surprising number of people claim to have written. My second summer special of poems and music celebrated life's rich tapestry from the Reign of Terror to the Franklin expedition to the joys of translation. Our marquee presentation was our current Tale for Our Time - my inversion of Anthony Hope's Ruritanian caper, The Prisoner of Windsor: Click for Rudy Elphberg's showdown with the EU's High Representative; for a sword fight to the death with a homicidal British Home Secretary; and for an in-depth investigation into Ruritanian content farmers. If you were too busy with mostly peaceful protests this weekend, I hope you'll want to check out one or three of the foregoing as a new week begins.