Recognizing A Long-Standing Problem

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about America’s dependence on Chinese manufacturing for inexpensive products.

The article reports:

American companies that produce essential goods in China should plan to shift their operations back to the United States or other Western countries, according to a senior Republican lawmaker.

“We’re staring into a significant, significant crisis of supply chain,” Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner told the Washington Examiner. “Cheap labor or cheap manufacturing be damned if you are reliant on them for your life and livelihood.”

Gardner’s warning was spurred by the shortage of hospital masks in the United States, a dearth driven by Beijing’s refusal to allow American companies that make the products in China to ship them out of the country amid the coronavirus pandemic. And he’s not alone in that sentiment, raising the possibility that anger over China’s self-interested response to the coronavirus outbreak could produce one of the most dramatic alterations of global economics in decades.

“Because of the coronavirus problem, people are recognizing that any supply chain that has single points of failure is incredibly vulnerable,” the Heritage Foundation’s Dean Cheng, a senior research fellow in the organization’s Asian Studies Center, told the Washington Examiner. “China is going to be very concerned about decoupling, offshoring, [or any] redirection of investments out of China.”

Obviously, the coronavirus has caused American companies to rethink outsourcing manufacturing to China, but the threats by the Chinese government have not helped the situation.

The article notes:

That suspicion of China reflects the degree to which the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the tensions between the world’s two largest economies. American officials are angry that Chinese Communist officials censored the early warnings that a new virus had emerged in Wuhan. In response, fuming Chinese diplomats have accused the U.S. Army of starting the pandemic while reminding the West that China controls key parts of the medical supply chain.

“There could be nothing more ham-handed and catastrophic than for the Chinese to talk some more about ‘how the U.S. created coronavirus, and, by the way, maybe we’ll cut off pharmaceuticals,’” Cheng said. “You want to have a situation where there really is that kind of a backlash, where the U.S. actively tries to not only decouple but move specifically away from China? That’s inviting that kind of a backlash.”

America can’t afford to outsource its drug manufacturing to a country that threatens to cut off the supply. It’s time to bring drug manufacturing home and employ American workers.

Solving A Less-Than-Obvious Problem

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today about a recent waiver signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

This is a screenshot of the waiver recently signed by the Governor:

The article reports:

Leadership is often about recognizing the unique landscape and taking ‘outside the box’ action in response to current conditions.  Greg Abbott recognizes there are two distinctly different supply-chains, and this modification can open one distribution valve.

Most consumers are not aware food consumption in the U.S. is now a 50/50 proposition. Approximately 50% of all food was consumed “outside the home” (or food away from home), and 50% of all food consumed was food “inside the home” (grocery shoppers).

Food ‘outside the home’ includes: restaurants, fast-food locales, schools, corporate cafeterias, university lunchrooms, manufacturing cafeterias, hotels, food trucks, park and amusement food sellers and many more.  Many of those venues are not thought about when people evaluate the overall U.S. food delivery system; however, this network was approximately 50 percent of all food consumption on a daily basis.

This will help the shortages that are appearing in the grocery stores. It will also help restaurants with their bottom line while they are closed. I would also like to remind people when possible to do ‘take out’ from the restaurants you normally frequent. This will help those restaurants recover more quickly. I personally had a fantastic quiche for lunch from Carolina Bagel!

Sometimes There Just Aren’t Any Words

Yesterday PJ Media posted an article by Robert Spencer about a recent statement by Khadar Bin Muhammad, the imam of the Masjid Bilal Ibn Rabah in Syracuse, New York.

The article reports:

In a video posted on YouTube last week and reposted by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), the learned imam explains it all for us. Offering us a revelation that the Center for Disease Control and everyone else who is working on the coronavirus crisis have overlooked, the imam explained that “safety comes through tauhid,” that is, Islam’s concept of monotheism. So if you don’t want to contract the coronavirus, turn to Allah. Khadar Bin Muhammad says: “Every destruction and every harm comes through shirk” – that is, having other gods besides Allah – “and through worshipping other than Allah, believing in other than Allah, and thinking that [anything] other than Allah can harm you or have an effect on you. All harm comes through that. That is why you see the kuffar [infidels] are the scaredest people.”

The infidels aren’t just scared when they should be trusting in Allah. They are also the cause of all the trouble in the first place – specifically infidel women. According to Khadar Bin Muhammad, the coronavirus is a manifestation of Allah’s wrath against their outrageous immodesty. “How many women do we see,” he asked, “may Allah guide them and protect them, who walk around and show their ankles? Is this not part of her awra [private parts]?”

According to a statement in the hadith, every part of a woman’s body except her face and hands are private parts.

The article explains:

Khadar Bin Muhammad said that women’s ankles were part of her private parts. As strange as it may seem, this is not an eccentric view in Islam. A hadith depicts Muhammad saying to a woman, “‘O Asma’, when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her that she displays her parts of body except this and this,’ and he pointed to her face and hands” (Sunan Abu Dawud 4092).

This is the important quote from the article:

So that’s the imam’s message for women: take off the mask, put on the niqab, and pick up the Qur’an, and the coronavirus will go away. Won’t it? And seriously, while it is easy to laugh at this, isn’t Khadar Bin Muhammad endangering his hearers by preaching this nonsense?

Somehow I don’t think that women covering their ankles is going to stop the spread of coronavirus. Not all cultures and religions are equal.

Skewing The News Can Have Consequences

Bias in news reporting comes in a variety of ways. One way is to leave out critical parts of a story in order to give a totally misleading impression. Unfortunately the news media did that recently in a situation where someone died.

Townhall posted an article that illustrates how harmful and misleading media bias can be.

The article reports:

Media outlets and journalists on social media heavily pushed a story about a woman and her husband drinking fish tank cleaner because it contained chloroquine phosphate after President Trump had mentioned the medicinal version of chloroquine could be used to help treat COVID-19.

After drinking the cleaner, the couple began to feel sick and were rushed to the hospital, where her husband later died and she was put in intensive care. She told NBC News they drank it out of fear of contracting the coronavirus and had heard Trump talking about chloroquine to treat patients.

However, some of the reports and social media left out the fact the couple did not ingest the medicinal form of chloroquine that Trump had said could be used to help cure those infected with the Wuhan coronavirus.

Axios’ story about the incident completely left out the part about them ingesting fish tank cleaner. Their tweet for the original story has been deleted and an editor’s note was added to the story hours after it was first published.

…Journalists on Twitter often left out the part explaining the couple did not use the tablet form of chloroquine, racking up thousands of retweets and likes off of the false premise.

NBC News Correspondent Heidi Przybyla’s tweet about the story went viral, but she did not add the key detail until two hours later and at the very bottom of her thread, which has received far less attention.

The most blatant example of journalistic malpractice was found in a tweet by Axios and the response by Jennifer Rubin:

Understand as you read this that the political left would love to see President Trump’s daily coronavirus updates go away. Why? Because when the President talks to the people directly, Americans see a man handling the situation as well as could be expected. The media spin rooms try to spin what was said, but if people see it for themselves, the spin has less impact.

Please follow the link to the article at Townhall. It shows a number of tweets attempting to blame President Trump for the death of the man who drank fish tank cleaner. While the man’s death is a tragedy, no one told him to drink fish tank cleaner. It was a really dumb thing to do. However, the reporting of this tragedy is only one example of how irresponsible our mainstream media has become.

The Effort Continues

Just The News posted an article today about Congress’ continued effort to pass legislation that will help Americans cope with the financial fallout from the coronavirus.

The article reports:

The Senate on Monday afternoon resumes efforts to pass a trillion-dollar spending bill to help the country survive the severe economic impact of the coronavirus, following a failed vote Sunday that has put financial markets on edge.

The measure in the GOP-controlled chamber failed to get 60 votes to begin debate.

The failed vote has resulted in Democrats and Republicans blaming each other, with the virus rapidly spreading and threatening to inflict severe damage on the U.S. economy – from large-scale unemployment to a recession to businesses across the country shuttering.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after the failed vote pointed his finger at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“The House speaker showed up, and we’re back to square one,” the Kentucky Republican said.

…Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he and fellow Democrats didn’t provide McConnell with enough votes to pass the bill in large part because, he argued, the money to help corporations doesn’t have enough restrictions and because of the lack of money for state and local governments.

The spending measure – now projected at more than $1.5 trillion – failed Sunday on a 47-47 vote. Five GOP senators are in coronavirus quarantine, making passage of the bill even more difficult for McConnell.

At this point, Congress does not represent the American people and is not acting in their behalf. It is time to withhold the salaries of Congress and all Congressional employees until a relief bill for ordinary Americans is passed. If the American people are not being helped in this crisis, Congress should not be paid.

When Regulations Interfere With Solutions

Yesterday The Union Leader, a New Hampshire newspaper, posted an article about the possible shortages of medical supplies and hospital beds during the coronavirus epidemic.

The article notes:

ACROSS the country, state leaders have raised the alarm over the lack of enough beds should the COVID-19 pandemic create a surge in serious and critical cases. They are concerned that they simply won’t have enough hospital beds to care for ill patients and are taking drastic steps to “flatten the curve” – spreading out the timeline of the disease so that the health care system can manage the influx of new cases.

This is just as true in New Hampshire as across the country. However, the prime reason we don’t have more hospital beds is not a lack of demand, but government regulation.

According to U.S. Census data, New Hampshire’s population has grown by 48% since the 1980 census. However, the last new hospital to open in the Granite State did so in 1983.

The reason why our state hasn’t built more hospitals since then isn’t lack of demand. With a growing and aging population, our health care needs have gone up, not down.

The answer why we haven’t seen more hospitals and, thus, more hospital beds is because of government regulations that were intentionally designed to limit competition and choice. Sadly, these regulations have been effective in achieving those goals.

For many years, the prime culprit from new hospital development was the state’s Certificate of Need (CON) board. For someone to get a license to build a new hospital, they would have to go before this board and hope to get a government permission slip to have the opportunity to begin. Unsurprisingly, the CON board became a protection racket for the state’s existing hospitals to stop new development.

Thanks to the work of Americans for Prosperity activists and critical policy champions like Senator John Reagan and former Representative Marilinda Garcia, New Hampshire was able to put an end to the CON board in 2016.

The article cites some other regulations that limit the number of hospital beds:

One regulation forces anyone who wants to open a hospital to have a 24 hour per day, seven day per week emergency department. Given that emergency departments are the most expensive and toughest to staff part of any hospital, this is a huge barrier to opening a new facility.

And, like most cronyism, existing hospitals made sure this requirement doesn’t apply to any hospital that had its license before the law was passed.

Another regulation forces any new hospital to take reimbursement from all payers, regardless of whether doing so makes sense for that hospital’s business model. Across the country, cash-only facilities are thriving, providing lower cost alternatives to patients. But, under state law, they can’t operate in the Granite State.

Finally, one state regulation provides for a 15-mile radius monopoly zone around smaller hospitals in more rural areas. This guarantees that anyone outside of the southeastern part of New Hampshire will never see another hospital being built in their community, or anywhere near them.

While changing these laws won’t help us fight the COVID-19 virus, it’s high time the state legislature begins to remove these barriers to help us deal with the next pandemic. Our public health infrastructure has been unnecessarily hobbled, not by disease, but by special interests.

North Carolina is one of the states with Certificate of Need (CON) laws. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 35 states and Washington, D.C. operate a CON program with wide variation state-to-state. I suspect that number is high–they may be including laws that are not technically CON laws. At any rate, North Carolina has been trying to repeal its CON law for a number of years. CON laws interfere with the free market and artificially inflate medical costs by creating monopolies. One way to lower medical costs without sacrificing quality of care would be to remove CON laws. However, hospitals like their monopolies.

This Is How Media Spin Works

This is a screenshot from The Gateway Pundit illustrating how The New York Times changed its headline to fit the political narrative:

This is how you spin a crisis. I would like to remind everyone that Congress is not losing their income during this crisis. In fact, a number of Congressmen have profited in the crisis. Other than to be re-elected or because they actually care about the fate of average Americans, they have no incentive to pass a relief package. November is a long way away in terms of remembering, but we need to remember the actions of Congress during this crisis when we vote in November. Anyone who held up the package that would provide relief for American workers needs to lose their election bid. Blocking the bill has nothing to do with worker protections–it has to do with funding Planned Parenthood, a major donor to Democrat campaigns. The Democrats are rewarding their campaign donor rather than helping the American people.

In Case You Were Wondering Where The Holdup Was…

Breitbart posted an article today about Congress’ attempt to deal with the coronavirus epidemic. As usual, Washington is playing politics and not getting things done.

The article reports:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said on Sunday that she has decided to move forward with her own emergency coronavirus relief package.

Pelosi spokes just hours before the Senate was scheduled to take a procedural vote that would lead towards a final vote on a bipartisan economic relief package. The bill would provide economic relief after the coronavirus epidemic ravaged the country’s economy.

“From my standpoint, we’re apart,” she said.

Subsequently, Senate leaders decided to delay a planned vote to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on the Senate floor on Sunday that he intended for the legislation to be bipartisan and aimed at helping the American people.

“What we have is a compromise product which contains ideas, contributions, and priorities on both sides and which could become law as soon as tomorrow,” he said. “In other words, it’s just about time to take yes for an answer.”

…Pelosi said that Republicans and Democrats are still “talking” but that there is no need to meet McConnell’s Monday deadline for a Senate vote on the coronavirus package.
Senate Republicans and the White House have insisted that they will continue to push for the $1.6 trillion economic relief package, which would include $350 billion in support for small businesses and $250 billion for unemployment insurance. The package would also include direct cash payments to individuals around $1,200 per individual, with additional funds going to families with children.
Politico reported Sunday that “it’s not clear how Pelosi’s plan would work — committee chairs have been frenetically compiling ideas for a legislative package, but are not yet ready for legislative text.”
Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-SD) said this weekend, “The Democrats are getting some of the things they’ve asked for. They’re getting what they wanted on unemployment insurance.”
It seems as if Washington is functioning as usual. Congress will continue to work and get paid while many Americans lose their source of income because of the coronavirus. They are playing politics rather than doing what they can to help Americans in a crisis.

A Small Update On Some Of The Fake News You Are Hearing

PJ Media posted a list today of the top ten lies the news media has told about President Trump’s response to the coronavirus. Please follow the link to the article to read the details–I am simply posting the list:

10. Trump downplayed the mortality rate of the coronavirus

 

 9. Trump lied when he said Google was developing a national coronavirus website

 8.  Trump ‘dissolved’ the WH pandemic response office

 7. Trump ignored early intel briefings on possible pandemic

 6. Trump cut funding to the CDC & NIH

 5. Trump ‘muzzled’ Dr. Fauci

 4. Trump didn’t act quickly and isn’t doing enough

 3. Trump told governors they were “on their own”

 2. Trump turned down testing kits from WHO

 1. Trump called the coronavirus “a hoax”

The sources for this misinformation vary. The sources include MSNBC, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Politico, Joe Biden, and Michael Bloomberg. If you are still depending on these sources for accurate reporting, you are being mislead. The article at PJ Media lists the source for each lie, so you can see where the lies came from.

Meanwhile stay safe, and be careful who you listen to.

A Little Help From Our Friends

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported the following:

Israel’s leading drug producer announced Thursday it will donate 6 million doses of anti-malaria drugs to the United States in hopes that it could be helpful treating coronavirus symptoms.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries says the drug could potentially treat people with the coronavirus and will ship the hydroxychloroquine tablets through wholesalers nationwide by the end of the month and will provide 10 million doses in total, according to Breitbart News.

“We are committed to helping to supply as many tablets as possible as demand for this treatment accelerates at no cost,” Teva Executive Vice President Brendan O’Grady said about the move.

President Trump has expressed support and optimism for potential treatments, including malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported on the testing of the drugs:

Dr. Oz harped on the wonderful news on the chloroquine treatment for coronavirus.

Dr. Oz: There was actually pretty big news today. There was a paper that came out yesterday that was being discussed but didn’t get the attention that I thought it would that a paper from France that the use of an old drug, the malaria drug together with the Z-Pac seemed to dramatically impact on this virus. And that could be the biggest game changer of all that can alter if we can ever become Italy… But I’ll give you the biggest fact of all. In this study they shortened the amount of time the patients excreted the virus down to six days. The norm is approaching 20 days. That completely changes the behavior of the virus. Which means it may be actually more like a flu virus in its impact on us. It’s still dangerous but now as contagious… If drug that has already been on the market for 65 years could be effective in treating a new virus, yes there are potential side effects, there are eye problems that potentially arise, we know that we use these drugs commonly. But I think it’s worth the chance. And we should be doing the study starting today! And we’ll know in six days. In the meantime the task force is going to liberalize use of these medications.

Stay tuned. If this treatment is successful and we manage to keep everyone home for a week or two, we may come through this in relatively good shape.

The Fight For Honest Elections

The goal of elections in America is to have every citizen vote and every citizen’s vote counted. When a non-citizen votes, it cancels out the vote of a citizen. That is one of the arguments for voter id requirements.

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about a recent Texas lawsuit that had to do with voting.

The article reports:

The largest county in Texas settled a lawsuit with a watchdog group after refusing to release records dealing with noncitizens on its voter rolls.

A federal district court in Houston entered a settlement agreement this week between the Harris County voter registrar and the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF). The settlement calls for the county to turn over records on its cancellations of ineligible voters, copies of registration applications that have blank or negative responses to citizenship questions, and all registrar communications with law enforcement regarding ineligible registrants, among other records. Officials from Harris County, the most populous county in Texas, previously testified that “thousands” of noncitizens were discovered on its voter rolls every year.

The settlement comes as the election watchdog group seeks to clean voter rolls in major cities ahead of the November elections. Democrats have pushed back against attempts to clean voter rolls, often calling them “purges.” Individuals removed for ineligibility tend to belong to demographic groups that lean Democrat. Texas has in recent years become a target of national Democrats, who have poured millions into the Lone Star State in attempts to gain power.

The article concludes:

PILF has filed a number of lawsuits in cities across the country in recent months. The group filed a suit against Detroit officials after discovering 2,500 dead registrants on the city’s voter rolls. Nearly 5,000 voters appeared more than once on the rolls, and there were more registered voters than there were eligible voters in the city.

PILF also filed suit against Pittsburgh officials after finding dead voters, duplicate registrants, and 1,500 registrants aged 100 or above (49 marked as being born in the 1800s) on county voter rolls.

It is really sad that Americans do not turn out to vote in high numbers, yet those who come here illegally vote. There is something wrong with that picture.

Just Because It May Be Legal Doesn’t Mean It’s Moral

Fox News posted an article today about four Congressmen who are taking advantage of the coronavirus epidemic for personal gain. What they are doing gives us insight into how Congressmen can enter Congress as middle-class Americans and be millionaires four years later.

The article reports:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and three of her Senate colleagues reported selling off stocks worth millions of dollars in the days before the coronavirus outbreak crashed the market, according to reports.

The data is listed on a U.S. Senate website containing financial disclosures from Senate members.

Feinstein, who serves as ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and her husband sold between $1.5 million and $6 million in stock in California biotech company Allogene Therapeutics, between Jan. 31 and Feb. 18, The New York Times reported.

Feinstein defended herself in a series of tweets on Friday, saying she has “no control” over her assets and the stocks in question were her husband’s transactions.

“During my Senate career I’ve held all assets in a blind trust of which I have no control. Reports that I sold any assets are incorrect, as are reports that I was at a January 24 briefing on coronavirus, which I was unable to attend,” she tweeted.

“Under Senate rules I report my husband’s financial transactions. I have no input into his decisions. My husband in January and February sold shares of a cancer therapy company. This company is unrelated to any work on the coronavirus and the sale was unrelated to the situation.”

When questioned by the newspaper, a spokesman for the Democrat from San Francisco also said Feinstein wasn’t directly involved in the sale.

“All of Senator Feinstein’s assets are in a blind trust,” the spokesman, Tom Mentzer, told the Times. “She has no involvement in her husband’s financial decisions.”

The article names the other Congressmen who took similar actions:

Reports identified the three other senators as Richard Burr of North Carolina, Kelly Loeffler of Georgia and James Inhofe of Oklahoma, all Republicans.

Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, used more than 30 transactions to dump between $628,000 and $1.72 million on Feb. 13, according to ProPublica.

The report said the transactions involved a significant percentage of the senator’s holdings and took place about a week before the impact of the virus outbreak sent stock prices plunging to the point where gains made during President Trump’s term in office were largely erased.

All of the Congressmen have the same story–I was not directly involved in the transactions, yet these transactions are suspiciously timed. I wonder if Congressmen should be banned from altering their stock portfolios in any way while they are serving in Congress. They might not like doing that, but it would be one way to end this sort of suspicious activity. Foregoing trading stocks while in office would be a small price to pay to insure the honesty of those who serve in Congress.

Some Thoughts On One Long-Term Effect Of The Coronavirus

On March 1, Forbes Magazine posted an article about the long-term impact of the coronavirus. Obviously the article was written before America went on lockdown and the stock market felt the full impact of the epidemic.

The article reports:

The new coronavirus Covid-19 will end up being the final curtain on China’s nearly 30 year role as the world’s leading manufacturer.

“Using China as a hub…that model died this week, I think,” says Vladimir Signorelli, head of Bretton Woods Research, a macro investment research firm.

China’s economy is getting hit much harder by the coronavirus outbreak than markets currently recognize. Wall Street appeared to be the last to realize this last week. The S&P 500 fell over 8%, the worst performing market of all the big coronavirus infected nations. Even Italy, which has over a thousand cases now, did better last week than the U.S.

So who wins as China loses its place as the world’s leading manufacturer?

The article notes:

Yes. It is Mexico’s turn.

Mexico and the U.S. get a long. They are neighbors. Their president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wants to oversee a blue collar boom in his country. Trump would like to see that too, especially if it means less Central Americans coming into the U.S. and depressing wages for American blue collar workers.

According to 160 executives who participated in Foley & Lardner LLP’s 2020 International Trade and Trends in Mexico survey, released on February 25, respondents from the manufacturing, automotive and technology sectors said they intended to move business to Mexico from other countries – and they plan on doing so within the next one to five years.

“Our survey shows that a large majority of executives are moving or have moved portions of their operations from another country to Mexico,” says Christopher Swift, Foley partner and litigator in the firm’s Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations Practice.

Swift says the move is due to the trade war and the passing of the USMCA.

The article points out one of the major problems with manufacturing in Mexico:

Safety remains a top issue for foreign businesses in Mexico who have to worry about kidnappings, drug cartels, and personal protection rackets. If Mexico was half as safe as China, it would be a boon for the economy. If it was as safe, Mexico would be the best country in Latin America.

“The repercussions of the trade war are already being felt in Mexico,” says Miralles.

Mexico replaced China as the U.S. leading trading partner. China overtook Mexico only for a short while.

A strong Mexican economy would solve a lot of problems for America if the drug cartels and other illegal activities could be stopped. A strong Mexican economy would provide incentive for migrants from poorer South American countries to remain there and work. It might ebb the flow of illegals into America that burden the American welfare system and negatively impact the wages of Americans on the lower end of the wage scale.

There will always be drawbacks to outsourcing manufacturing to a country that is controlled by a group of tyrants. American companies who scream about civil rights in America have been willing to overlook sweatshops in China. It is time to add the concept of conscience to the corporate decision-making process.

Changes Needed

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about legislation sponsored by Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R., Wis.). The legislation would bring back pharmaceutical manufacturing from China to America, aiming to reduce a dependency that could seriously limit the U.S. coronavirus response.

The article reports:

Cotton’s is just the latest proposal to onshore pharmaceutical supply chains, including a similar one from Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and rumblings from the White House about a “buy American” executive order. Prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, many are beginning to see the cost-savings from Chinese-made pharmaceuticals as not worth the risk of undersupply during another pandemic, or during a potential conflict with America’s main geostrategic rival.

“China unleashed this plague on the world, and China has to be held accountable,” said Cotton during a Fox News interview Wednesday evening. “It’s too grave a threat to let our health rest on Chinese drugs.”

The Cotton bill would directly target Chinese API producers, requiring the FDA to track the point of origin for APIs and drugs made outside of the United States, as well as requiring drug companies to list the country of origin for APIs on their products. It would also prohibit all federal entities—including the Departments of Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs, and Defense—from purchasing drugs that use APIs made in China.

The bill also aims to bolster domestic pharmaceutical production capacity. It would allow domestic manufacturers to immediately expense the costs of expanding production capacity, giving such businesses a major write-off on their taxes. If successful, that provision could help U.S.-based manufacturers compete with lower-cost Chinese ones, keeping drug prices low even as production moves back to the United States.

The really positive aspect of this is the tax break–unless drugs manufactured in America have a lower price than those manufactured in China, Americans won’t buy them. Any bill that aims to bring manufacturing back to America needs to consider the cost of making whatever is manufactured. We have cheap energy right now, and our corporate tax policies generally make America a good place to do business. Both of these factors are the result of having a businessman in the White House.

The article concludes:

Perhaps, in part, because of these profits, discussion of repatriating pharmaceutical production appears to have spooked Chinese authorities. In a Tuesday tweet, the country’s ministry of foreign affairs claimed that “trying to move medical supply chains back to the U.S. from China is unrealistic and unhelpful,” adding that it would be “a wrong remedy for #COVID19 pandemic.”

What We Should Call The Coronavirus

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an editorial giving their opinion on what to name the coronavirus. Their suggestion is a common-sense approach to placing responsibility where it belongs.

The editorial states:

The Epoch Times suggests a more accurate name is the “CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus,” and calls upon others to join us in adopting this name.

The name holds the CCP accountable for its wanton disregard of human life and consequent spawning of a pandemic that has put untold numbers in countries around the world at risk, while creating widespread fear and devastating the economies of nations trying to cope with this disease.

After all, CCP officials knew in early December that the virus had appeared in Wuhan, but they sat on the information for six weeks. They arrested those who tried to warn of the danger, accusing them of spreading “rumors,” and employed the regime’s rigorous censorship to prevent media coverage and to delete any mentions of it from social media.

What might have been contained was allowed silently to spread, showing up in all of China. Individuals who might have protected themselves became victims, in numbers far greater than the CCP has admitted. By late January, there were reports that all of the crematoria in Wuhan were operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week to deal with the crush of dead bodies.

The editorial notes the price of getting too cozy with dictatorships:

In any case, as questions about the origin of the virus have gone unanswered, the CCP has begun throwing out wild charges that the United States is responsible. This will be met around the world with perplexity, if not ridicule. President Donald Trump has pushed back by referring to the “Chinese virus.”

But the CCP likely intends these charges of U.S. responsibility for its domestic audience. The CCP has victimized the Chinese people in its first denial of the virus and now seeks to victimize them again by shifting responsibility for its actions to others.

And this points out why the name “CCP virus” is needed, to distinguish the victims from the victimizer. The people of Wuhan and of China are the victims of the CCP’s arrogance and incompetence, expressed in this viral pandemic.

The name CCP virus also sounds a warning: Those nations and individuals close to the CCP are the ones suffering the worst effects from this virus, as is seen in the raging infections in the CCP’s close ally Iran and in Italy, the only G-7 nation to sign onto the Belt and Road Initiative. Taiwan and Hong Kong, which are highly skeptical of the CCP, have had relatively few infections.

The editorial concludes:

Finally, the CCP virus reminds the people of the world that the source of the virus is itself evil. This is a communist virus, and with the name CCP virus, The Epoch Times reminds the world of the cure: ending the CCP.

This Is Not Helpful To Anyone

Breitbart reported the following yesterday:

A Democrat-aligned Super PAC announced on Tuesday that it will spend $5 million on negative ads targeting President Trump’s response to the coronavirus.

Why not spend $5 million on encouraging people to take precautions to avoid getting the virus or to help those most impacted by the financial distress caused by the virus?

The article continues:

Acronym owns the technology firm Shadow, Inc., which was responsible for developing the infamous app used in the chaotic Iowa caucuses. Notably, the firm’s founder and CEO, Tara McGowan, “worked for Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign and previously served as the digital director for NextGen America, a progressive organization founded by presidential candidate Tom Steyer,” as RealClearPolitics noted.

Acronym is funded by the “liberal dark money group” New Venture Fund, which is “part of a larger group called Arabella Advisors, which provides philanthropic guidance and manages four nonprofits,” according to the nonpartisan ethics watchdog group Americans for Public Trust. Those also include the Sixteen Thirty Fund, Windward Fund, and Hopewell Fund.

The financial web, however, goes far beyond those connections. The political group American Bridge, which was founded by David Brock — a close ally of the Clintons and founder of Media Matters for America — is also involved in the overarching efforts to spread misinformation on President Trump’s response to the coronavirus and further politicize the crisis.

“American Bridge’s network of nonprofits received funding in 2018 from New Venture Fund, as well as another Arabella group called Sixteen Thirty Fund,” Americans for Public Trust reports.

The Post notes that American Bridge has been running political advertisements on Trump’s response to the crisis in key swing states — Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. According to the Post, the group signaled that more was coming, including an ad focusing on “‘Trump’s incompetence,’ including ‘clips of Trump himself downplaying the crisis.’”

“Our job is to hold Donald Trump accountable, and we have no plans to let up, particularly with a focus on economic issues as we’ve done to date,” American Bridge President Bradley Beychok said, according to the outlet.

He added that the group is “not going to give him [Trump] a pass for bungling the government’s response to this pandemic.”

This PAC is not helping anyone. At a time when reliable information is critical, this group, along with their allies in the mainstream media, are spreading fake news. I posted three stories (here, here, and here) in the past week that cited misreporting by the media regarding the coronavirus. All three stories were inaccurate and framed in a way to make either the President or the Republicans look bad. At a time when Americans need to work together to get through a crisis, spending $5 million on a political hit-job is not constructive.

 

When Personal Interests Overrule Good Legislation

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported that two House of Representatives Democrats have proposed lifting tariffs on imported Chinese goods. The two Democrats are Florida Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy and Democrat Joe Cunningham of South Carolina. Oddly enough, Representative Murphy’s husband manufactures sportswear in Chinese factories. She also owns a patent on one of the products manufactured by her husband. What an amazing coincidence.

The article reports:

Murphy and Cunningham’s plan does not provide any insight or plans on how they would make sure said imports, which include everything from food to construction supplies, would be properly tested to make sure they are not carrying the Wuhan Virus. Furthermore, the individuals involved in loading, shipping, and unloading said imports have no requirements to be tested by American officials to determine if they are also carrying the Wuhan Virus. To say that this is reckless would be an understatement.

…Jamison Johnson, who is a graduate of the The Citadel in South Carolina, also served three tours of duty as a marine in the Middle East. He is running for the GOP nomination in South Carolina’s 1st District to take on incumbent Congressman Joe Cunningham, the co-sponsor of Murphy’s pro-China legislation.

“The Wuhan Virus came from China. If they would’ve been open and honest with us from the beginning, far less people would’ve gotten sick and far less people would have died. As a marine with three combat tours, I understand all too well how to deal with bullies like China. You have to show resolve and not back down,  just like how President Trump is remaining firm and steadfast in handling them. At the end of the day, it is quite clear that “Smoking Joe Cunningham” simply lacks the moral compass or courage to unite and lead us in any capacity,” Johnson told TGP in an exclusive statement Wednesday afternoon.

It is unclear how much support this effort has, but Murphy and Cunningham are pushing to have this placed in the Coronavirus aid package being considered and developed by President Trump. This is a breaking news story and we will update you as more happens.

I suspect that the obvious conflict of interest Congresswomen Murphy has between the interests of her husband’s business and the well being of America is only one example of something that is rampant in Washington. It is time to look at the business interests of both our Congressmen and their spouses. Some of their business interests may be in conflict with the interests of America. When that is the case, they need to be removed from office.

A Subtle Way To Infringe On A Constitutional Right

“America’s 1st Freedom” is a magazine distributed by the National Rifle Association. I am not including a link to the article I am posting about because I can’t find the article electronically although it is in the April 2020 issue of the magazine.

The title of the article is “The New Gun-Control Activism.” It deals with the strategy those who oppose the right of Americans to own guns are using to limit the availability of guns to Americans.

The article notes:

Last year, for example, Connecticut State Treasurer Shawn Wooden, who commands $37 billion in public pension funds, announced plans to pull $30 million worth of shares from civilian firearm manufacturer securities. Wooden also intends to prohibit similar investments in the future and to establish incentives for banks and financial institutions to adopt anti-gun protocols. The proposition was immediately praised by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and other Connecticut politicians who view the divestment from five companies–Clarus Corp., Daicel Corp., Vista Outdoor Inc., Olin Corp., and ammunition maker Northrop Grumman–as a step toward reducing gun violence.

…Wooden also requested that financial bodies disclose their gun-related portfolios when endeavoring to wok with the treasurer’s office. Wooden subsequently selected tow firms, Citibank and Rick Financial Product (both had expressed the desire to be part of the “solution on gun violence”), to take on the roll of senior bankers in Connecticut’s then-forthcoming $890 million general obligation bond sale.

Technically I guess this is legal. It is a very subtle infringement on the Second Amendment and would be very difficult to prove in court. It is also not a new approach. During the Obama administration, the administration put in place guidelines that prevented gun dealers from getting business loans from banks.

On May 19, 2014, The New American reported:

Following the Obama administration’s “Operation Broken Trust,” an operation that began just months into his first term, the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force was created initially to “root out and expose” investment scams. After bringing 343 criminal and 189 civil cases, the task force began looking for other targets.

The task force is a gigantic interagency behemoth, involving not only the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI, but also the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the U.S. Postal Service, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the U.S. Secret Service.

The next target for the task force was credit card payment processors, such as PayPal, along with porn shops and drug paraphernalia stores. In 2011, it expanded its list of “high risk” businesses to include gun shops. Peter Weinstock, an attorney with Hunton & Williams, explained:

This administration has very clearly told the banking industry which customers they feel represent “reputational risk” to do business with….

Any companies that engage in any margin of risk as defined by this administration are being dropped.

In 2012, Bank of America terminated its 12-year relationship with McMillan Group International, a gun manufacturer in Phoenix, and American Spirit Arms in Scottsdale. Said Joe Sirochman, owner of American Spirit Arms:

At first, it was the bigger guys — gun parts manufacturers or high-profile retailers. Now the smaller mom-and-pop shops are being choked out….

They need their cash [and credit lines] to buy inventory. Freezing their assets will put them out of business.

That’s the whole point, according to Kelly McMillan:

This is an attempt by the federal government to keep people from buying guns and a way for them to combat the Second Amendment rights we have. It’s a covert way for them to control our right to manufacture guns and individuals to buy guns.

With the Obama administration unable to foist its gun control agenda onto American citizens frontally, this is a backdoor approach that threatens the very oxygen these businesses need to breathe. Richard Riese, a senior VP at the American Bankers Association, expanded on the attack through the banks’ back doors:

We’re being threatened with a regulatory regime that attempts to foist on us the obligation to monitor all types of transactions.

All of this is predicated on the notion that the banks are a choke point for all businesses.

How you vote matters.

Are We Willing To Learn The Lessons Of History

Today The Washington Examiner posted an opinion piece about what can happen when the media refuses to report the obvious. The piece deals with President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his health as he was running for his fourth term as President.

The opinion piece notes:

On August 18, 1944, Senator Harry S. Truman met President Franklin D. Roosevelt for lunch at the White House. Truman had just been nominated to be Roosevelt’s running mate that year, and the two men dined on the White House lawn and chatted about the upcoming campaign.

Truman had not seen the president for over a year and was shocked at Roosevelt’s haggard appearance. He noticed that FDR was so ill that he couldn’t even pour cream into his coffee. Despite seeing direct evidence of Roosevelt’s poor health, Truman told reporters afterwards that Roosevelt “Looked fine…He’s as keen as a briar.”

Truman was lying. Roosevelt was a dying man, which was evident to everyone who saw him. But during the 1944 campaign, a conspiracy of silence reigned about his health. Roosevelt had a physical in the summer that showed he had high blood pressure and was suffering from congestive heart failure, but the results were kept from the public.

With the assistance of a compliant media that was overwhelmingly sympathetic to FDR, the issue of Roosevelt’s ability to serve four more years never materialized as a serious campaign issue.

We know what happened as a result of Roosevelt serving as President while his health was failing and he was not at his best.

The piece notes:

In February 1945, a dangerously ill Roosevelt traveled to Yalta to meet with Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin to discuss the future of post-war Europe. At Yalta, FDR effectively surrendered Poland and most of Eastern Europe to the Soviets. During the conference, Roosevelt lacked the stamina to keep up Stalin, and the agreements they reached reflected the poor state of FDR’s health.

No one knows how different the course of history would have been if America had elected a President who was in good health during these negotiations.

We now face a similar problem as former Vice-President Joe Biden is set to become the Democrat presidential nominee for 2020. The former Vice-President has always been known for questionable remarks, but we are watching him forget where he is and show unusual aggression toward voters who have come to hear him speak. Either one of these things could be an early sign of dementia. It is ironic that Bernie Sanders, after heart surgery, looks more energized than the former Vice-President.

We live in a complex world with complex problems. Many Americans rely on the mainstream media as a news source (I think that’s a mistake, but that is simply my opinion). If America is to continue as a republic, we need well-informed voters–we can’t afford to be lead by propaganda. Electing a President who is not physically or mentally capable of doing the job because the media refused to tell voters the truth would have major consequences. History tells us that. We can’t afford to repeat history.

This Is Not Helpful To Anyone

The Washington Examiner posted an editorial Monday about some recent reporting by the New York Times. The New York Times posted an editorial about the President’s comments and handling of the Wuhan flu that was totally misleading. This is not helpful at a time when the country needs facts that help us work together, not lies that separate us.

The editorial notes:

A New York Times editorial board member has graduated from not understanding basic arithmetic to telling lies on social media about the White House’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The New York Times’s Mara Gay tweeted Monday afternoon, “Trump told governors this morning they are on their own: ‘Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment — try getting it yourselves,’ Mr. Trump told the governors during the conference call, a recording of which was shared with The New York Times.”

The editorial at The Washington Examiner notes what was actually said:

President Trump did not tell the governors they are on their own. He told them they can streamline their respective responses by taking specific actions at the state level. He also made sure to tell them they have the support of the White House.

Obviously the message in what was reported is very different than what was actually said.

The editorial at The Washington Examiner concludes:

The note that Gay shared with her more than 72,000 followers includes a link to the New York Times’s collection of live updates on the COVID-19 virus. That collection includes the relevant portion of Trump’s remarks to governors.

It reads: “Mr. Trump told a group of governors that they should not wait for the federal government to fill the growing demand for respirators needed to help people diagnosed with coronavirus.”

Trump told them specifically, “Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment — try getting it yourselves.”

“We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves,” he said, according to the New York Times. “Point of sales, much better, much more direct if you can get it yourself.”

This is nowhere near what Gay’s tweet suggested the president had said to the governors. There is no other way to characterize her tweet than to call it “fake news.” It is intentionally false information, disseminated broadly on social media with the explicit intent of misleading people. The only real difference between Gay’s tweet and the sort of stuff the Russians pumped onto social media during the 2016 presidential election is that Gay is an American citizen.

Fake news in a time of crisis is not only misleading–it is dangerous.

Waiting For The Next Step

For thirty-five years, I lived about ten miles from Kraft Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. New England sports fans are dedicated–even when their team is losing. I learned to appreciate the New England Patriots (actually I am a Jets fan, but I learned to appreciate the talent of the Patriots). I wasn’t really surprised to hear today that Tom Brady will be leaving the New England team. It has been an amazing 20 years for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today about Tom Brady’s announcement that he is leaving the New England Patriots.

The article includes an Instagram post by Tom Brady:

The article concludes:

That era has finally closed out, and what an era it was. It was the kind of dominance that free-agency and the draft were designed to prevent by providing parity to the NFL. It seems unlikely that we’ll ever see it again, but that’s part of the fun of playing the games. At the very least, Brady earned that Greatest of All Time title, and we had fun watching him do it — even if many of us were wailing and gnashing our teeth while he did. No matter where he lands, it’s a long shot that Brady can generate that kind of dominance in the time he has left, but he might have enough to take a more complete team to the Super Bowl. Never count him out.

I will miss watching Tom Brady play. He made the game look easy.

 

 

Don’t Pass It Until People Are Held Accountable

One America News posted an article today about Congressional attempts to extend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Frankly, I don’t think it should be extended until those who abused it in the past are held accountable for their actions. FISA was used (just as the Watergate break-in was attempted to be used) to spy on an opposing political campaign. If the act is extended and no one is held accountable, it is a pretty safe bet that political parties that are in power could do the same thing that the Obama administration did–use the law to spy on the political campaign of their opposition. That is not acceptable. That sort of action puts us on the road to having a two-tiered justice system with the government having almost unlimited authority to spy on Americans.

The article reports:

The Senate voted on a temporary extension of recently lapsed intelligence programs to provide time for discussion on major provisions in the renewal process. The extension was passed Monday, just minutes before a scheduled procedural vote on the matter.

The move came as a way to give lawmakers more time to consider the bill, which would reauthorize the controversial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). However, the extension for the Senate was unanimously agreed to in order to give members more time to debate on the House’s revisions.

Specifically, there is bipartisan push-back to FISA, which senators on both sides of the aisle fear violates people’s privacy rights. Two of the most vocal opponents to the act are Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah).

“The secret FISA court should be forbidden from allowing spying on political campaigns ever again, period,” said Sen. Paul. “…History has proven just how dangerous it can be when we sacrifice our rights to create a temporary and ultimately false sense of security.”

Until I see indictments of people who knowingly lied to the FISA court, I don’t want to see FISA renewed.