Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Flotsam and Jetsam: The Bizarre Story of the Balloon Continues to Evolve

Throckmorton’s Razor, Minuteman’s
Corollary, and the Chinese Balloon
The Balloon story keeps getting weirder. First off though, Da Hill reports Rough seas complicate US efforts to recover suspected China spy balloon. At Da Mail, Navy divers recover debris from shot down 200ft Chinese spy balloon off South Carolina coast: Pentagon investigates whether it was carrying EXPLOSIVES along with photographic material. It sure would have been easier picking up the pieces off a prairie in Montana somewhere. 

Now, the weirdness. Sundance at CTH, Intel Community Says They Discovered Prior Chinese Spy Balloon Operations, Only After President Trump Left Office "This is so stunningly incredulous, and transparently politically orchestrated, it’s laughable."

To reconcile the claim of historic Chinese spy balloon operations, against the denials and absence of briefings for the Trump IC officials, the current Intel Community (and Biden Administration) are now claiming they only discovered the prior balloon flights *AFTER* President Trump left office. Oh, and due to national security issues, the IC cannot explain how they found out after the fact.

'Becca Downs at Town Hall, Narrative on Supposed Previous Chinese Spy Balloons Gets Even More Confusing. Ace, Biden's Deep State Defenders Put Out New Official IC Lie That Chinese Spy Airships Were Always Over the US Under Trump "No one believes this." Dave Strom at Haut Hare, The whole "Trump ignored China spy balloons" story is a transparent lie. At JTN, Top general admits NORAD failed to detect earlier Chinese spy balloons in U.S. air space Althouse, "As NORAD commander, it’s my responsibility to detect threats to North America, I will tell you that we did not detect those threats." "Have all the Trump-did-the-same-thing and only-Biden-shot-it-down tweets been deleted?" Nick Arama at Red State finds New Info on Chinese Spy Balloon From NORAD Commander Is Jaw-Dropping. "The balloon “did not present a physical threat” to the US and Canada, said Gen. Glen VanHerck, Commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM). “I could not take immediate action because it was not demonstrating … hostile intent.” At Victory Girls, NORAD: We Weren’t Sure China Balloon Was Hostile. Mary Chastain at LI, Pentagon Won’t Name Official Who Divulged Misleading Info About Chinese Spy Balloons During Trump Admin. At Twitchy, Tucker Carlson dissects ‘pure absurdity’ of WH & media’s Chinese spy balloon spin.

So, the currentest narrative is that balloons incurred on US airspace at least three time in the past, twice under Trump and once under Biden, but did not fly over the heartland, merely coastal Florida and Texas. The military detected, but did not investigate these objects, and did not report them up the chain of command (I doubt this). Subsequent intelligence revealed them them to be spy balloons, but we can't tell you how. Assuming utter incompetence, this is just barely plausible. No doubt it will change today sometime.

At the Right Scoop, Rep. Waltz suggests Gen Mattis didn’t tell Trump about Chinese balloons because Trump would be too aggressive. Bookworm Room wonders Has our “constitutional” military declared its independence? "If Biden is to be believed, the same military that went rogue under Trump has essentially disregarded Biden’s orders too." If you interprete Biden as saying the military strongly suggested waiting until the balloon was over the ocean to shoot it down, it's tolerable. Expecting careful language from Biden is a waste of time. John Schindler, The Fecklessness is the Point. "America’s Chinese spy balloon drama unmasks the unpleasant reality that our much-feared Deep State is really the Derp State." At Da Wire, Tom Cotton: Biden Was ‘Paralyzed For Entire Week By A Balloon’ Because He’s Afraid Of ‘Chinese Communists’. Payed, not afraid. Stephen Kruiser at PJ Media says That Noise You Hear Is the ChiComs Laughing at Pudding Brain Biden. At Laughing Wolf, The Termites Are In The Woodwork. Nick Arama at Red State laughs as Ted Cruz Sweeps the Leg on Buttigieg's Response to China Getting Intel From BalloonRNC Research@RNCResearch ""The presumption has got to be that the Chinese were able to gather intelligence hovering over the United States for day after day, especially over these sensitive sites?" PETE BUTTIGIEG: "That is well outside of my lane." Ted Cruz@tedcruz "true"

Althouse is depressed "If he wants to run, I think everybody will be 100 percent unified behind him. I mean, maybe 99.9999, but we’re the most unified we’ve been in a very long time."
"Eventually, the party’s going to have to move to younger people being in more control, and that’s natural, but this doesn’t feel like the moment yet." Said Jon Bauman, a California DNC member, quoted in "Biden or bust: Democratic insiders are all in for Biden 2024/Despite lackluster approval ratings and the classified documents scandal, Democratic power brokers are chanting "four more years!" 

Breitbart has a poll, Trump Takes Lead over Biden on Eve of State of the Union Address as does Dave Strom at Haut Hare, ABC/WaPo: Trump beats Biden in a hypothetical matchup. Nick Arama hears a  Report: Did Biden Offer Putin a Secret Deal on Ukraine? 20% to go away.  Rod Thompson at Am Great wonders Do NeverRepublican Conservatives Actually Want National Suicide? "Some of the most influential voices on our side are encouraging followers to neither donate to, nor vote for Republicans. There is a better way." At CJ, Martin Gurri is In Search of a Right Populist Agenda, "Merely opposing the Left’s hegemonic power is not enough."

Capt. Ed at Haut Hare, reads the NYT: Even Democrat allies have given up on Kamala as does Althouse, "Most Democrats interviewed, who insisted on anonymity to avoid alienating the White House, said flatly that they did not think Ms. Harris could win the presidency in 2024." ""Some said the party’s biggest challenge would be finding a way to sideline her without inflaming key Democratic constituencies that would take offense. Now with Mr. Biden appearing all but certain to run again, the concern over Ms. Harris has shifted to whether she will be a political liability for the ticket...."" Ace, The Democrat Long Knives Come Out for Kamala Harris; Democrats Tell Their Newsletter The New York Times That They Have to Ditch Harris To Have Any Chance of Winning in 2024. At Da Wire, DNC Ditches Iowa, Chooses South Carolina As First Presidential Primary State To Prioritize Black Voters, because Kamala ain't cutting it.

Stacey Matthews at LI watches Democrats Reveal Their *Real* Fears About Ron DeSantis Headed Into 2024. “Biden allies privately worry that DeSantis’s record could appeal to the same set of independent, female or suburban voters who Biden needs to court to win”  Chris Queen at PJ Media reports DeSantis Goes After Foundation for Lewd Drag Show Event With Children Present. KT at Haut Hare, Miami black leaders apologize to DeSantis for calling the governor a racist. Declan Leary at Am Con calls Nikki Haley The Born Loser, "Nikki Haley is going to lose. She knows she’s going to lose. That doesn’t mean it won’t be fun to watch." At HE, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin Enjoying 56 Percent Approval Ratings, Strong Support For Agenda. I suspect he's aiming at DeSantis VP spot.

Also a HE, liberal heads explode as Kari Lake Teases Run for Arizona Senate. Corey Walker at Da Caller worries Democrats See Chance To Flip Mississippi Governorship Blue

Cato has doubts About those 517,000 new jobs ... (cited at Haut Hare). Capt. Ed adds, "I am very skeptical of that 517K claim from the BLS too, for different reasons but leading back to the same conclusion. Adding that many jobs should have significantly impacted the labor participation ratios, but they didn’t budge at all. The annual adjustments also added 1.2 million people to the overall labor supply at the same time as less than half of those added as employed. It’s entirely an artifact of the annual BLS adjustments, and I’m very sure Jerome Powell will see right through it. Look to ADP’s report of 106,000 new jobs added in January as a more accurate reflection of the current employment situation." Sundance sees Farm Input Costs Continue Driving Massive Food Inflation. Dan Greenfield at Front Page says ‘It’s Okay to Be Angry About Socialism’. "Bernie Sanders loves the idea of greedy, corrupt institutions. He just wants to run them." At Da Caller, Will The Left Ever Allow Copper Mines In America? Probably not, they want us beholden to China. "In the greening of American energy, where in the world will we get the minerals needed to actually live the low-carbon dream?"

Sundance reports FTX Asks for Political Donations to Be Returned – First Full List of Recipients Released "Axios is positioning this announcement as FTX asking for political donations to be returned. However, the request is realistically from the FTX debtors. . . . Bankman-Fried primarily backed Democrats and was the party’s second-largest donor last cycle with around $37 million in contributions. Salame’s $19 million to Republicans made him the party’s 10th largest donor."

Joe Klein at Front Page explores Ilhan’s Expulsion "And the leftist meltdown." Shmuel Katzkin at Am Spec calls it Just Deserts for Ilhan Omar. "Kevin McCarthy treated her hatred for what it is. He did the right thing." Da Caller reports Rep. Judy Chu Was Named ‘Honorary Chairwoman’ Of Alleged Chinese Intel Front Group. Boot her too.

At OMNY, Ed Morrissey: Media Doubles Down on Corrupt. Michael Goodwin at NYPo, The media’s road to ruin its own credibility in war on Trump. KT reports the Biden administration finally offers to brief Congress on classified Trump, Biden documents. "The administration would like to distract from its mishandling of the Chinese spy balloon by now allowing a briefing with top leaders in Congress on Trump’s papers. Squirrel! Now, however, it can’t just be Trump’s documents, it has to include Biden’s, too." Miranda Devine at NYPo, John Paul Mac Isaac says Hunter Biden broke the law with false ‘stolen’ claims.

At Da Wire, ‘Accountability Is Coming’: Ousted Twitter Executives Set To Testify Before Republican-Led House Committee. Sundance excited that Giddy Up, Elon Musk Identifies the State Dept Origin Behind Twitter Content Control Mechanisms, "… He still hasn’t identified the source code, the proverbial ghost in the machine, buried deep in the algorithmic code; however, Twitter owner Elon Musk has finally identified the agency within the U.S. government who spearheaded the creation. The “Global Engagement Center” (GEC) of the State Dept."

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