Five Quick Things: Playing Chicken With a Psychopath - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Five Quick Things: Playing Chicken With a Psychopath
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer speaking in New York City, Apr. 23, 2023 (DW Labs Incorporated/Shutterstock)

On Thursday, I was driving around and had the radio on, and a song I hadn’t thought about in a long time touched my eardrums. The lyrics from Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising” were written by John Fogerty all the way back in 1969, but they might as well have been written this week:

I see the bad moon a-rising
I see trouble on the way
I see earthquakes and lightnin’
I see bad times today

Don’t go around tonight
Well, it’s bound to take your life
There’s a bad moon on the rise

I hear hurricanes a-blowing
I know the end is coming soon
I fear rivers over flowing
I hear the voice of rage and ruin

And a little later:

Hope you got your things together
Hope you are quite prepared to die
Looks like we’re in for nasty weather
One eye is taken for an eye

You could certainly be forgiven for thinking this song ought to be topping the charts right now, rather than 54 years ago. Everywhere you look, there are bad moons rising.

1. There Are No Fair Trials in New York, and Daniel Penny Can’t Expect One

Fogerty’s line about hearing the voice of rage and ruin applies awfully well to Jordan Neely, the homeless nuisance stalking the New York City subways for the past several years when he wasn’t sitting in jail after one of the 42 different times he was arrested. Neely formerly plied his trade as a Michael Jackson impersonator in the Big Apple’s public places; that wasn’t successful enough to earn him a place to live, and he obviously alienated his family enough that they weren’t interested in supplying him one.

Rather than change his life when it obviously needed to happen, Neely became more and more aggressive and violent toward strangers he happened upon (including the two senior citizens he’s battered over the years), and finally he was on a subway car demanding money and swearing he was willing to go to jail while threatening anyone who didn’t comply with his wishes.

In that context, 24-year-old Marine Daniel Penny, who was one of Neely’s prospective donors/victims, did the people of New York a service. Penny tackled Neely and immobilized him in a headlock with the assistance of two other riders. Nelly died, either due to asphyxiation or as a complication of whatever pharmaceuticals might have been in his system.

And on Thursday the word came down that Penny was going to be charged with manslaughter for attempting to protect his fellow subway riders.

Penny said in a statement released by his attorneys that he didn’t intend to cause Neely permanent harm. Neely’s family, who couldn’t be bothered to help him in life, rejected the statement and demanded “justice” for him. And naturally the Black Lives Matter crowd has been doing everything it can to turn this into a redux of the George Floyd disaster from 2020.

This case will play out predictably. Penny is likely to draw a highly unfriendly jury and the Usual Suspects are going to politicize and Floydize the case as much as they can. And if things play out the way they did in the E. Jean Carroll travesty that just concluded this week, in which actual evidence was irrelevant, the result will not be satisfactory for ordinary folks hoping not to be accosted in public spaces.

Why anyone who isn’t a leftist or welfare leech still wants to live in a major city proper is beyond me. The days of that being safe are gone, and in fact we’re coming close to the point where regular Americans are subject to open persecution — especially if they attempt to protect themselves or others from the criminal class that controls those cities.

Which begs the question: how much longer should we be forced to pay for any of this?

2. Playing Chicken With a Psychopath, and America’s Economy Is in the Middle

We’ve got a little over two weeks left until we’re told that the federal government will hit its current debt ceiling, and without an agreement to borrow more money, economic hell will break loose.

RealClearMarkets’ John Tamny isn’t impressed with that argument, and Tamny says any default that happens, which he’s not convinced will happen, will be of short duration.

Historically speaking, Tamny could well be correct. Historically speaking, you’d look at the Republican majority in the House and you’d conclude that any sort of public policy or political belly rub they might be given will get them to roll over and pass a debt limit increase that carries the federal government past the 2024 elections. And historically speaking, you’d look at the Biden administration and conclude that as badly as they want to win reelection, they can’t risk the “catastrophe” their treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, is screeching about.

Except right now the federal government is running a $1.8 trillion budget deficit. Kevin McCarthy knows that he can’t stay speaker of the House very long if those numbers persist. He has to achieve spending cuts if Republican and independent voters are going to save and/or expand his majority, and the debt limit is the only real leverage he has to get those.

And as I’ve written, normal political logic simply does not apply to Team Biden. Either they really can’t understand the implications of playing chicken with the debt limit, or — and what’s scarier — they’re actively looking to destroy the underpinnings of our economy so they can collapse us into some sort of globalist digital currency world where they aren’t responsible for the state of our currency or the well-being of our people.

Or something.

At the end of the day, I don’t agree with Tamny. I think we’re going to get to June and things are going to take a rough turn. I think we’re going to have a government shutdown that Joe Biden will use to squeeze the American people as hard as he can while blaming McCarthy. I think the Left will mobilize the street thugs to burn cities and the media will try to blame all of this on House Republicans not borrowing against our national future more in order to subsidize swag for Democrat communities.

They’re going to make it hurt, because escalation is what they do. And we will see what stuff the Republicans on the Hill are made of.

3. The Invasion Has Begun

Well, Title 42 is gone, and in its wake we’ve now got about a million migrants banging on our southern border and demanding to be let in.

Nearly every one of these people is making a bogus asylum claim ginned up in many cases by American nongovernmental agencies who’ve recruited them to make the run here.

They’re coming because they know that Joe Biden and the Democrat Party will let them in. This has been true since 2021. Biden could have stopped it at any point, but he refuses to. Instead, he sends out flying monkeys like Alejandro Mayorkas, the secretary of the wholly worthless Department of Homeland Security, which desperately needs to be broken up and put out of existence, to claim that the border is “secure.”

The House Republicans this week passed a quite good piece of border security legislation that in a sane America would get a quick passage in the Senate and a presidential signing with much fanfare. But the border package has breathed its last after passage in the House and everybody knows it. It won’t be taken up in the Senate, and Biden wouldn’t sign it in any event.

The thing to understand is that this is about importing millions from Latin America for the purpose of dragooning them to the polls to vote Democrat or finding cheap labor that depresses the wages of, say, black Americans.

The coming racial strife isn’t going to be a black-white thing. It’s going to be a black-Hispanic thing, in large measure with Democrat politicians running wrecked “racial jungle” (to borrow Joe Biden’s famous term) cities in the lurch.

Republicans might actually benefit from the carnage if they’re smart enough to appeal to working people on both sides of it and ask if they’ve had enough of the racial demagoguery and destructive policy.

Because Weaponized Governmental Failure, of which the illegal migrant invasion is a national-politics example, can only work for so long.

4. Can He Really Pretend We Don’t Know About the Bribes? Or the Laptop?

The most amazing of all the horrors descending on us this week has been the conscious decision on the part of Team Biden to simply wish away the collapse of their denials that the current president is a solicitor of bribes.

We don’t have room here to trace the full story told by Rep. James Comer, head of the House Oversight Committee, and others who have laid out through bank records and other documents the multiple large payments made to members of the Biden family by shady overseas individuals from places like China, Romania, Ukraine, and Russia, among others. Comer’s team tells a hard-to-refute story of more than $10 million moving to the Bidens through a Rube Goldberg contraption of LLCs and straw payees; the missing element seems to be what the payers got in exchange for their swag.

In a sane moment, this would be (1) far bigger than Watergate, though that’s difficult even to credit, because there are half a dozen current Biden scandals that dwarf Watergate in everything but the reportage of the legacy corporate media, and (2) something Team Biden would have to try to explain away.

But nope. Here was presidential spokesweenie Ian Sams addressing the bribery scandal:

Apparently, Team Biden’s position is that there is nothing unusual about Joe’s grandkids catching giant checks from shady offshore interests through intermediaries, and that in any event these monies are like manna from heaven that doesn’t require any goods or services in return — and you’re a conspiracy theorist or an insurrectionists if you ask rude questions.

Obviously, they think they can get away with that. This would make Joe Biden special in American history if they’re right.

5. The Spectacle Is Moving to Twitter

This week’s episode of The Spectacle, which features a fascinating discussion with American Spectator editor Paul Kengor on the evil that seems to pervade our streets, subways, culture, and politics, might be our best yet.

But you won’t find it on YouTube.

For the past three weeks, we’ve been banned from posting Spectacle episodes because either Melissa Mackenzie or myself said something that the censors on that platform have made verboten. Perhaps we talked about vaccines, maybe it was Jan. 6, perhaps it was the abuses of Big Tech. Whatever it was, we disturbed the gestapo, and so the episodes since have been primarily housed on Rumble.

Which we like, because we don’t run into censorship issues on Rumble.

But while we’ll keep posting The Spectacle on Rumble, Melissa and I decided that, following Tucker Carlson’s lead, we’re going to be shortly moving The Spectacle primarily to Twitter. That will necessarily entail some changes to the format, as we’ll have to keep the show under an hour (or break it up into multiple podcasts per recording, which we might do).

And we might also explore making it a subscription-access piece of some kind. As you know, The American Spectator does require money to operate, and that includes The Spectacle. We’re not above asking for your support.

But that last piece will likely wait a bit until more of you discover what an awesome, glorious, spot-on, incisive, and entertaining show The Spectacle truly is. So, in the meantime, click here to brush up on recent episodes and make sure to look out for another installment next week.

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is a contributing editor at The American Spectator  and publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics, and, a national political news aggregation and opinion site. Additionally, he's the author of the new book The Revivalist Manifesto: How Patriots Can Win The Next American Era, available at He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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