Patterico's Pontifications


Looks Like It Was Biden’s Education Secretary Who Proposed the “Parents as Terrorists” Idea to the NSBA

Filed under: General — JVW @ 6:05 pm

[guest post by JVW]

In one of Dana’s Weekend Open Threads from this past fall we discussed the ongoing kerfuffle and fallout about the Biden Justice Department acting upon a letter from the National School Boards Association which compared parents who spoke out, sometimes heatedly, at local school board meetings to domestic terrorists. The Justice Department ended up directing the FBI to investigate alleged “violent threats” against school board members, most of which were overblown or possibly contrived. Once word of this power play got out, the backlash was quick and severe with the NSBA apologizing and taking a definite hit in membership levels. For his part, Attorney General Merrick Garland refused to apologize or rescind his directive, so theoretically it is still in effect to this day.

Dana’s weekend item made clear that the Biden White House was involved in coordinating the drafting of the letter with the NSBA, with employees at both the Education Department and Justice Department participating in the cobbling together of this memo before it was eventually sent to President Biden on September 29. Five days later, the notorious Garland directive was issued. But today we have learned that Secretary of Education Miguel Cordona himself helped set the process in motion:

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona solicited the National School Boards Association (NSBA) letter to the Biden administration that compared parents of students to domestic terrorists, according to emails obtained by Parents Defending Education.

NSBA secretary-treasurer Kristi Swett wrote in an email on October 5th that NSBA interim CEO Chip Slaven “told the officers he was writing a letter to provide information to the White House, from a request by Secretary Cardona.”

“Should this allegation be true, it would reveal that this administration’s pretextual war on parents came from the highest levels,” Nicole Neily, president of Parents Defending Education, told Fox News, which first reported the emails. “If Secretary Cardona was truly involved in this ugly episode, it is a significant breach of public trust, and he should be held accountable.”

To recap, what seems to have transpired is the following: A left-wing activist Secretary of Education contacted executives at NSBA to suggest they draft the notorious letter as a pretext for the Justice Department to get involved. The draft was circulated among staff at NSBA, but also shared with select members of the Education and Justice Departments for their input. The final version was sent to President Biden — without the authorization of the NSBA Board of Directors, it should be noted — who then ordered the Attorney General of the United States to address the group’s concerns. Oh, and by the way, the President of the NSBA, Viola Garcia, then found herself nominated to a federal board which sets policy for student performance. How about that?

Clearly there needs to be some housecleaning at NSBA, as this fiasco is likely to seriously disrupt the operations of this agency. But it also seems obvious that the Biden Administration, especially the Education and Justice Departments, are due for some investigatory reckoning very soon, though that probably won’t come for another year. If it is true that Secretary Cardona himself proposed that the Patriot Act be used to silence dissenters from Critical Race Theory or gender identification obsessions, then he needs to go. If people close to Attorney General Garland participated in this brazen abuse of government power, they too should be directed to the unemployment office. And Mr. Garland himself should strongly consider whether he truly has the wisdom or courage to serve as our nation’s top lawman during these highly divisive times.


Constitutional Vanguard: The Argument for New York’s Racist and Illegal Distribution of COVID Treatments Could Backfire

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:15 pm

This one’s a hybrid: the beginning is free but the full analysis is for paid subscribers. The post is titled The Argument for New York’s Racist and Illegal Distribution of COVID Treatments Could Backfire and addresses New York’s immoral and illegal policy of distributing COVID treatments in part on the basis of race, and how the logic underpinning that argument could be used to argue that vaccine mandates are racist. Both sides have an interest in racial pandering based on stereotypes and ignoring personal choices, and both sides do it. (Yes, the left engages in this particular bad act far more.)

Teaser from the paid portion:

If a person or populace suffers from “systemic health and social inequities” then the government should develop race-neutral criteria to address those issues. Consideration of factors such as poverty might pass muster. Considering skin color likely would not and should not.

However, note that the entire basis of the policy fits neatly into the logic that the Fake Antiracism crowd has been pushing for years, with a particularly furious intensity beginning with the murder of George Floyd. Namely, if any negative trait or factor is true of a racial group as a whole, we must assume that this is the result of racism, rather than the result of a more complicated set of causal factors that can include personal choices made by members of that group.

I still plan to do fully free missives, but occasionally I think I will structure things this way: a free opening section, with the full analysis reserved for the paying subscribers — who are, after all, the people motivating me to write more. I’m hoping to get back to a regular schedule soon; I think a regular and predictable schedule is something I appreciate in others’ Substacks and I am going to try to get back to that myself.

Entire Conservative Media Ecosystem Pushes Dangerous COVID Lie

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am

Yesterday the CDC director reported the results of a study that showed the amazing efficacy of vaccines in preventing severe outcomes and deaths from COVID. Citing a recent study of people who had been vaccinated, she noted that 75% of the deaths of that population had been of people with at least four co-morbidities. You could hardly imagine a more stirring recommendation of the vaccine.

Within hours, due to poor editing by Good Morning America and the viral spread of misleading tweets by prominent “conservatives,” this pro-vaccine message had been transmogrified into a claim that 75% of all deaths from COVID were of people with at least four comorbidities. Conclusion: this has always been a disease that attacks only the very sick, and government has been exaggerating the danger, including with vaccine mandates! Like the Scientologists, they took a message and flipped it on its head to make it seem the opposite of what it actually meant.

Compare the video in Clay Travis’s virally misleading tweet spreading the disinformation:

to the unedited video:

Seemingly everyone on the right spread the edited disinformation. Trump Jr. did it. Ted Cruz did it. Tucker Carlson did it. Countless Fox News personalities did it. Ted Cruz has deleted his angry retweet of Travis’s tweet, but the Web Archive still has it.

Screen Shot 2022-01-11 at 8.30.04 AM

Allahpundit at Hot Air — still my favorite blogger — deserves a lot of credit for identifying the issue and spreading the truth, and he gets some credit from Philip Bump at the Washington Post:

Except, as HotAir’s pseudonymous writer Allahpundit pointed out Monday afternoon, this isn’t what Walensky was saying. She was referring to a study that evaluated the deaths of 1.2 million adults who had been vaccinated, only 36 of whom died of covid-19. It was among those 36 vaccinated individuals that three-quarters (28 in total) had four or more comorbidities.

Follow the link to Allahpundit’s post for more; I have just given a summary here. Then subscribe to Hot Air.

P.S. I have my own Substack out this morning but I thought this was important. More on the Substack later today.

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