What Second Amendment?

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about Joe Biden’s plans for his gun-control policies.

The article reports:

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden reiterated his Second Amendment stance, saying he will ban “assault weapons and high-capacity magazines” if he wins the election.

“It’s long past time we take action to end the scourge of gun violence in America,” Biden tweeted Sunday.

“As president, I’ll ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, implement universal background checks, and enact other common-sense reforms to end our gun violence epidemic,” he added.

…On his campaign website, Biden states his administration would require background checks for all gun sales and would ban the manufacturing and sales of “assault weapons.”

“Joe Biden will enact legislation to once again ban assault weapons. This time, the bans will be designed based on lessons learned from the 1994 bans. For example, the ban on assault weapons will be designed to prevent manufacturers from circumventing the law by making minor changes that don’t limit the weapon’s lethality. While working to pass this legislation, Biden will also use his executive authority to ban the importation of assault weapons,” his site states.

Former Vice-President Biden has stated that he will work with Beto O’Rourke to solve the gun problem.

This is Beto ORourke’s statement on his policy on guns:

“Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” he said during a Democratic presidential primary debate last September when asked, “Are you proposing taking away their guns? And how would this work?”

“I am if it’s a weapon that was designed to kill people on a battlefield. If the high-impact, high-velocity round, when it hits your body, shreds everything inside of your body, because it was designed to do that so that you would bleed to death on a battlefield and not be able to get up and kill one of our soldiers,” he added.

So after the Democrats defund the police, who are charged with protecting the average citizen, they will then move to disarming the average citizen so that he can’t protect himself. Wow.

Just for the record, The Second Amendment states:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

It sounds to me as if there is some serious infringement being planned.

Actions Have Consequences

One of the many contentious battles that President Trump has had to fight was the battle to erect a border wall. A large part of that wall has been built, and there are consequences. Today The Washington Examiner posted an article about some of the impact of that wall.

The article reports:

Border Patrol agents who work in the Pacific Ocean off the southern coast of California saw a dramatic increase in the number of arrests made over the past 12 months, an indication that the addition of new border wall in the region since 2017 is prompting smugglers to find new ways to move people and drugs into the United States.

“Over the past year, within 2020, we’ve had a record number of marine interdictions, including pangas [small, fast boats], jet skis, swimmers, and paddle boaters,” Border Patrol San Diego Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke told the Washington Examiner during a land and sea tour. “The wall structure itself is solidifying the land border, and it’s forcing the smugglers to come out into the maritime environment.”

Agents, using jet skis and boats to patrol the 20-mile stretch from Chula Vista at the border up past downtown San Diego, made 302 interdictions in fiscal 2020, which ran from Oct. 1, 2019, through Sept. 30, compared to 195 the previous year and 88 in 2015. One such incident resulted in the seizure of a small boat that was loaded with more than 3,000 pounds of methamphetamine.

Arrests of illegal immigrants and smugglers jumped 92% from 662 in 2019 to 1,271 in 2020. Comparatively, 219 people were arrested in 2015.

The article concludes:

Border Patrol’s San Diego region has seen 53 miles of border wall added to its 60-mile area of responsibility, including the duplicate fencing. A small portion of the new wall was completed with funding from the final year of the Obama administration, but most was funded in federal budgets passed during the Trump administration. The foundation of the double-layer fencing goes up to 10 feet below the ground, preventing people from digging shallow tunnels into the U.S., as was possible with the Clinton-era metal scraps. It stretches from 18 feet to 30 feet tall and is comprised of steel fence posts filled with concrete and rebar. It starts at the coast and goes up into the mountains in Otay Mesa, California, significantly further than the scrap metal that was taken out. Construction teams are in the process of completing the wall over the mountains, a seemingly impossible task for how steep the terrain is here.

Agents in San Diego said this new wall and the technology that comes with it will be hard to get past for most people and will funnel others to areas where agents are present because they have been freed up to focus on less secure areas as a result of the new wall. Those who do attempt to climb over the wall will be better detected thanks to new cameras, sensors, radar systems, and underground fiber optic systems.

Border Patrol officials had expected smugglers to try new approaches, including taking to the water. Heitke said smugglers who do choose to go the boat route are being tracked, oftentimes by the cellphone they leave behind in a boat or when it is seized after they are arrested.

“The smuggler has a phone with them,” said Heitke. “We can dump the information on the phone and find the routes saying where they’re going, and we’re able to see an enormous range of travel, whether they go out 50 miles or 100 miles out, whether [they] go up 50 or 100 miles to land.”

How many drug overdoses have been prevented because President Trump fought Congress to build a wall?

Pay Attention To The Details

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article detailing how the tax proposals of presidential candidate Joe Biden might impact 401k plans. Many Americans put money into 401k plans to help with their tax liability and also because they don’t feel Social Security will be there when they retire. It is quite possible that in the future Social Security will only be available to people below a certain income level, so their fears may well be justified.

The article reports:

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential platform includes a tax proposal that could force some employers to abandon offering retirement options to workers, the industry is warning.

The plan would dramatically change the incentive to save for retirement by replacing the current deferral system with a tax credit.

Most retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans and IRAs, allow taxpayers to delay paying taxes on contributions to accounts until they are retired. By suspending this tax until retirement, workers have been able to grow their nest eggs beyond what they would have been if taxes were paid in the year that the money was received.

The article explains the risk in this proposal:

Biden’s plan would be advantageous for lower-income workers. For example, a taxpayer in the 12% tax bracket investing $100 in a retirement account would receive $114 after paying taxes and receiving the credit.

Some retirement industry experts think Biden’s proposal could force some companies to abandon their retirement plans.

Brian Graff, chief executive officer at the American Retirement Association, cautioned that employers, who normally pay taxes in the upper brackets, could oppose Biden’s plan because they lose much of their tax benefit.

“What we’re worried about is if you are essentially reducing the tax benefit, it’s not going to be worth it for them to keep the plan going,” he said.

Employers who make contributions to a 401(k) must offer that same benefit to their employees. However, some of those bosses might not want to continue offering a 401(k) if their tax benefit is greatly reduced.

“If it’s not worth it to the owner, [why] bother with it anymore?” Graff said.

Richard Rausser, senior vice president of client services at Pentegra, said that such a fundamental change to retirement accounts could be a deterrent to offering a plan.

“To the extent that there’s a change in taxation of salary deferrals … that’s going to be a disincentive for plan sponsors to adopt a plan, or for some of them, quite honestly, to continue to maintain a plan. They may rethink it,” he said.

Redistribution of wealth (which is what this plan is) is not an idea that has a place in a free market system. If you look at the history of the Pilgrims in Massachusetts, you find that they originally adopted a communal system of farming. After the system failed because there was no incentive to work hard and people were starving, they instituted a free market system and prospered. The Joe Biden plan for taxes regarding 401k plans is simply wealth redistribution. It is socialism and should be rejected by the American people.

Destroying A City By Withholding Information

Nashville, Tennessee, is an amazing city. Musicians and music are everywhere. The nightlife is amazing. There is a large concentration of talent in one place, which makes for an amazing tourist attraction. However, Nashville is suffering because bars and restaurants have been shut down. Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article that brings into question the motives behind that shutdown.

The article reports:

Leaked emails show Nashville’s Metro Health Department and the mayor’s office attempted to withhold information from the public that strongly suggested COVID-19 wasn’t spreading through the city’s bars and restaurants.

“They are fabricating information,” said city councilmember Steve Glover. “They’ve blown their entire credibility.”

“I don’t trust a thing they say going forward … nothing,” he added.

The emails between the mayor’s office and the health department discuss the low number of COVID-19 cases coming out of the city’s bars and restaurants and how to keep that information from going public.

The article continues:

Contract tracing in late June showed that construction sites and nursing homes were seeing the worst virus spread in the city, with more than 1,000 cases linked to each industry. Bars and restaurants, however, accounted for just 22 cases.

A month later, reporter Nate Rau asked the health department about rumors that only 80 virus cases originated from Nashville’s bars and restaurants.

“The figure you gave of ‘more than 80’ does lead to a natural question: If there have been over 20,000 positive cases of COVID-19 in Davidson and only 80 or so are traced to restaurants and bars, doesn’t that mean restaurants and bars aren’t a very big problem?” Rau asked.

The article concludes:

Glover had a staff attorney reach out to the mayor’s office and the health department to verify the authenticity of the emails.

“I was able to get verification from the Mayor’s Office and the Department of Health that these emails are real,” the attorney said.

Glover said he has been contacted by many restaurant owners, bartenders, and staff asking why the city was trying to keep a lid on the numbers.

“We raised taxes 34% and put hundreds literally thousands of people out of work that are now worried about losing their homes, their apartments … and we did it on bogus data. That should be illegal,” Glover said.

The mayor’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Washington Examiner.

This is a true ‘what were they thinking?’ moment. The coronavirus is real, and people need to take precautions to avoid getting it or spreading it. However, we now know that the people most in danger from the virus are the elderly and those with certain preexisting medical conditions. It is highly unlikely that a healthy person sitting in a restaurant is at risk. Why in the world did the Mayor choose to destroy the economy of the city while raising taxes by 34%? That is the question that needs to be asked and answered not only for Nashville, but also for a number of states.

 

Beyond The Spin

I suspect that I am not the only one confused by all the current discussions relating to the Post Office. I understand that it is the political silly season, but it does seem as if things are getting even more ridiculous than usual. Yesterday Byron York posted an article at The Washington Examiner that sheds some light on what is actually going on. Please follow the link to read the entire article. I will try to summarize the highlights here.

The article reports:

The news is filled with reports of President Trump’s “assault” on the U.S. Postal Service. The president, Democrats and some in the media say, is deliberately slowing mail delivery and crippling the Postal Service so that it cannot handle an anticipated flood of voting by mail in the presidential election. Former President Barack Obama said Trump is trying to “actively kneecap” the Postal Service to suppress the vote. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called the House back into session this week and has set an “urgent hearing” for Aug. 24, demanding Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the head of the Postal Service Board of Governors testify “to address the sabotage of the Postal Service.”

Some of the accusations have grown so frantic that they resemble the frenzy of a couple of years ago over the allegation, from many of the same people, that Trump had conspired with Russia to fix the 2016 election. Now, it’s the Postal Service. But what, actually, is going on? Here is a brief look at some of the issues involved.

…The idea that the Postal Service will not be able to handle the volume of mail in the election, or not be able to handle it within normal Postal Service time guidelines, does not make much sense. According to its most recent annual report, last year, in fiscal year 2019, the Postal Service handled 142.5 billion pieces of mail. “On a typical day, our 633,000 employees physically process and deliver 471 million mailpieces to nearly 160 million delivery points,” the report says. This year, that number is higher, given the Postal Service’s delivery of census forms and stimulus checks. Those alone added about 450 million additional pieces of mail.

The article notes that the post office has a history of losing money:

The Postal Service has lost money for a very long time. In fiscal year 2019, it had operating revenues of $71.1 billion and operating expenses of $79.9 billion, leaving it with a deficit of $8.8 billion. At the moment, Postal Service officials have told Congress, it has about $14 billion in cash on hand, putting it on the road to fiscal insolvency (without further aid) in late 2021.

The article reports:

The House HEROES Act would give $25 billion to the Postal Service in what is essentially a bailout. The bill mentions nothing about helping the Postal Service handle the upcoming election or any other election. Indeed, the only stipulation at all placed on the $25 billion is that the Postal Service, “during the coronavirus emergency, shall prioritize the purchase of, and make available to all Postal Service employees and facilities, personal protective equipment, including gloves, masks, and sanitizers, and shall conduct additional cleaning and sanitizing of Postal Service facilities and delivery vehicles.” If the House Democrats who wrote and passed the bill intended the money to be spent specifically for elections, they did not say so in the text of the legislation.

Separate from the Postal Service provisions, the bill would give $3.6 billion to the Election Assistance Commission for distribution to states “for contingency planning, preparation, and resilience of elections for federal office.” There has been some confusion about that; some discussion of the current controversy has left the impression that Democrats want $3.6 billion for the Postal Service for the election. In fact, the $3.6 billion would be for the states’ election use. In neither the CARES Act, which is now law, nor the HEROES Act, which has been passed by the House but not the Senate, is there any money given to the Postal Service specifically for the election. In any event, the Postal Service has the capacity to handle the election and does not need any additional money specifically to do the job.

Another item mentioned in the article deals with the charge that President Trump is sabotaging the post office:

In addition, there have been reports of the Postal Service removing collection boxes and sorting machines. While some Democrats and journalists have portrayed that as another effort toward voter suppression, the fact is the number of letters the Postal Service handles each year has declined for 20 years since the arrival of email. In those last two decades, the Postal Service has downsized its capabilities as the number of letters handled has decreased. Here is how the Washington Post described the situation, specifically concerning sorting machines: “Purchased when letters not packages made up a greater share of postal work, the bulky and aging machines can be expensive to maintain and take up floor space postal leaders say would be better devoted to boxes. Removing underused machines would make the overall system more efficient, postal leaders say. The Postal Service has cut back on mail-sorting equipment for years since mail volume began to decline in the 2000s.”

Evidently some Democrat focus group has decided that the post office would make a good campaign issue,so Speaker Pelosi is calling her minions back to Washington to capitalize on that idea. This is a charade to try to damage President Trump in order to elect the most radical Democrat candidates ever.

A Forgotten Precedent

Recently I have heard members of the mainstream media opine that President Trump’s acceptance of his party’s nomination from the White House would be against the law (Hatch Act). Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article that might shed some light on that opinion. An acceptance speech from the White House would not be something that has not happened before.

The article notes:

Even the media are piling on the outrage. An Aug. 6 piece by Deb Riechmann of the usually reliable Associated Press wrote, “Using the Rose Garden, the Executive Mansion or even the Oval Office as the backdrop for his speech capping the Aug. 24-27 convention would mark an unprecedented use of federal property for partisan political purposes.”

Except it wouldn’t be unprecedented at all.

Just past midnight on a muggy Thursday night in July 1940, Franklin Roosevelt was wheeled into the Diplomatic Reception Room on the White House’s ground floor. His chair was placed before a large, silvery microphone. Roosevelt felt comfortable speaking in that particular spot. It was where he had delivered many of his famous “fireside chats” and where, four years later, he would lead people in prayer on the evening of D-Day.

But Roosevelt wasn’t performing an official duty at the moment. Sitting in his shirt sleeves, he thumbed through the papers in his hands, scanning the words typed on them one last time. At 12:14 a.m., a producer pointed a finger toward him indicating that it was time to talk. Franklin Roosevelt took a quick breath and spoke these words: “Members of the Convention — my friends …”

He then spent the next half-hour accepting the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination for the third time and laying the groundwork for his upcoming reelection campaign. And he did it inside the walls of the White House.

The article explains why Roosevelt gave the speech from the White House:

While the party machinery was firmly in Roosevelt’s control, Democratic leaders were jittery. Would rank-and-file delegates vote to make it official? Outgoing Vice President John Nance Garner had sought the nomination, giving them an alternative. And Roosevelt himself had been coy all spring and summer about running for a third term. The president’s advisers had him stay home in Washington, just to be on the safe side. But in the end, there was nothing to worry about. Roosevelt was easily nominated on the first ballot.

Which was how Roosevelt became the first (and to date, only) candidate to ever deliver this most political of all speeches from the White House.

Those condemning President Trump for considering the idea might want to take a look at their own history!

The RussiaGate Scandal Begins To Unravel

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported that Kevin Clinesmith will plead guilty to charges of altering evidence involved in the surveillance of the Trump campaign in 2016.

The article reports:

Kevin Clinesmith, who worked on both the Hillary Clinton emails investigation and the Trump-Russia inquiry, will admit that he falsified a document during the bureau’s targeting of Carter Page, according to multiple reports. Clinesmith, 38, claimed in early 2017 that Page was “not a source” for the CIA when the CIA had actually told the bureau on multiple occasions that Page was an operational contact for them — a falsehood used to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act renewal against Page. Durham submitted a five-page filing to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Friday, noting Clinesmith was being charged under 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(3) for “False Statements.”

Attorney General William Barr had hinted at a “development” in Durham’s investigation during a Fox News interview on Thursday night.

Clinesmith’s responsibilities during the Trump-Russia investigation included communicating with “another specific United States government agency,” which is believed to be the CIA, as well as providing support to the FBI special agents working with the Justice Department’s National Security Division to pursue FISA warrants and renewals against Page.

Why is this important? The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was passed to allow the FBI to track terrorists more easily. It was never intended to be used against American citizens who were not breaking the law. The falsifying of a document to allow the surveillance of Carter Page resulted in the violation of Carter Page’s civil rights (and unauthorized spying on the Trump campaign) . The use of FISA to spy on an opposition political campaign was simply Watergate using government surveillance warrants that were unjustified.

The article also notes:

In a scathing July 2018 inspector general report on the FBI’s Clinton emails investigation, Clinesmith was mentioned — again, not by name — numerous times as being one of the FBI officials who conveyed a possible bias against Trump in instant messages, along with Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, both of whom have left the bureau.

In a lengthy instant message exchange between Clinesmith and another FBI employee on Nov. 9, 2016, the day after Trump’s presidential victory, he lamented Trump’s win and worried about the role he played in the investigation into Trump and his campaign. “My god damned name is all over the legal documents investigating his staff,” Clinesmith said, adding, “So, who knows if that breaks to him what he is going to do?”

Other messages showed Clinesmith, listed in Horowitz’s report as “FBI Attorney 2,” expressed favor toward Clinton and said “Viva le resistance” in the weeks after Trump’s win.

The July 2018 report shows Clinesmith claimed his messages reflected only his personal views and that his work was unaffected by them; Horowitz ultimately was unable to find that “improper considerations, including political bias,” influenced any investigative decisions.

Horowitz’s December report criticized the Justice Department and the FBI for at least 17 “significant errors and omissions” related to the FISA warrants against Page and for the bureau’s reliance on the Democrat-funded discredited dossier compiled by British ex-spy Christopher Steele. Declassified footnotes from Horowitz’s report indicate the bureau became aware that Steele’s dossier may have been compromised by Russian disinformation.

The DOJ watchdog called the FBI’s explanations for these mistakes “unsatisfactory across the board” and testified he wasn’t sure if the errors were “gross incompetence” or “intentional.”

In January, the Justice Department determined that the final two of the four Page FISA warrants “were not valid.” The FBI told the court it was working to ” sequester” all the information from the Page wiretaps, and FBI Director Christopher Wray testified to Congress he was working to ” claw back” that intelligence. The FBI director also testified that the bureau likely illegally surveilled Page.

“After several years, Kevin Clinesmith is finally being held accountable and pleading guilty to committing a felony for his involvement in the plot to falsely portray me and, by implication, the Trump administration as traitors. The actions by the full band of government officials and Democrat operatives involved in the creation of the false applications for my FISA surveillance warrants were entirely unconscionable,” Page said in a statement shared with the Washington Examiner.

I am sure there is more to come. The fact remains that the trial will probably be held in a Washington, D.C. court. It will be very interesting to see how the court rules. We may be about to find out if we actually do have equal justice under the law in America.

When Red Tape Meets Medical Care

On Monday The Washington Examiner posted an article illustrating how the handling of the coronavirus in New York provides a look into the potential problems with government healthcare.

The article reports:

I have a lot of fears in life: sharks, heights, wrinkles, government controlling my healthcare.

Recently, the New York Times provided plenty of fodder supporting the latter anxiety, revealing the results of a study it conducted that examined the disparities between public and private healthcare at the height of the pandemic in New York City. The disparities included staffing levels, differences in the age and type of equipment available, and access to drugs and experimental treatments. As one might guess, patients at the city’s community facilities fared far worse than those in private facilities, with their mortality rate 3 times higher in some cases.

All hospitals saw higher staff-to-patient ratios than best practices would recommend. In a typical emergency room, that figure should look like 1 nurse for every 4 patients. But during COVID-19, private facilities experienced ratios closer to 1 nurse for every 6 to 7 patients. At the government hospitals, that number was 1 nurse for every 10 to 15, and at times even 20 patients.

Less time per patient meant fewer tests, less information, and less monitoring. Several patients woke up from medically induced comas and, in confusion, removed their oxygen masks, leading to death. This occurred at the Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, where staff referred to the patients as “bathroom codes” as their bodies were typically discovered near the bathroom 30 to 45 minutes later. One doctor told the New York Times that for every 10 deaths he saw, two to three patients could have been saved with the proper care.

The article goes on to explain that despite the makeshift hospitals put up to serve patients during the epidemic, those hospitals were barely used.

The article notes:

The paper (The New York Times) looked at the hospital set up at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to study why this occurred. Though the center was equipped with 470 beds and hundreds of employees (many of them out-of-state healthcare providers being paid handsomely), it ultimately saw only 79 patients and closed its doors after one month. It was a catastrophic failure, the kind only government can pull off.

Patients were not admitted due to red tape, delays due to the need to train workers on computers and other problems. Meanwhile, many patients died. Please follow the link above to read the entire article. The problems in New York were due to red tape, cronyism, extensive bureaucracy, and the general inability of the government to respond quickly to a crisis.

At some point Americans need to learn that there are charitable organizations out there that do a better job of responding to an emergency than the government. The Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Blessing, and the Red Cross are a few of these organizations. I live in a city that was hit hard by hurricane Florence. It was encouraging to know that as the storm was bearing down on the city, Operation Blessing was parked nearby out of harm’s way ready to come in and provide meals and supplies to the people who were impacted by the storm. The recovery efforts in my city were largely undertaken by religious and charitable groups and ordinary citizens. A friend who is a teacher and realized that he wouldn’t have classes for a while gathered a group of friends and a few chainsaws and went around helping people move trees off their houses and clear streets. It’s time to get back to individual responsibility–even in healthcare.

 

It’s About Time

Yesterday Sara Carter posted an article about some comments made during Wednesday’s House subcommittee tech hearing. The exchange was between Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL).

The article reports:

During Wednesday’s House subcommittee tech hearing, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) questioned Amazon’s usage of the radical Southern Poverty Law Center to deem eligible charities for donations, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said he would look to alternative options.

Gaetz layed out a list of charities that focus on Christian and Jewish causes as charities unjustly labeled as “extremists” by the SPLC — to which Bezos said he accepts Gaetz’s criticism and “would like a better source if I can get it.”

One of the groups unjustly labeled as a hate group by the SPLC is the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal group focused on defending religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and free speech. Their cases have included defending Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker sued for sticking to his religious beliefs.

In case you have forgotten, the Southern Poverty Law Center has not been a sterling influence.

On February 6, 2013, The Washington Examiner reported:

The Family Research Council shooter, who pleaded guilty today to a terrorism charge, picked his target off a “hate map” on the website of the ultra-liberal Southern Poverty Law Center which is upset with the conservative group’s opposition to gay rights.

Floyd Lee Corkins II pleaded guilty to three charges including a charge of committing an act of terrorism related to the August 15, 2012 injuring of FRC’s guard. He told the FBI that he wanted to kill anti-gay targets and went to the law center’s website for ideas.

At a court hearing where his comments to the FBI were revealed, he said that he intended to “kill as many as possible and smear the Chick-Fil-A sandwiches in victims’ faces, and kill the guard.” The shooting occurred after an executive with Chick-Fil-A announced his support for traditional marriage, angering same-sex marriage proponents.

Generally speaking, the Southern Poverty Law Center labels any group that stands for traditional values, traditional marriage, and any other ideas that do not fit the liberal agenda as a hate group. Using them as a guide to determine which charities are acceptable is like using the Ku Klux Klan as an arbitrator in a civil rights case.

What Happens If Joe Biden Is Elected President?

The Washington Examiner posted an article today listing ten things the Democrats would do if they manage to take control of the White House and the Senate in November.

This is the list:

1. Gun control

2. Amnesty for illegal immigrants

3. Taxpayer funding of abortion

4. Tax increases

5. Ending the secret ballot for unionization

6. D.C. statehood

7. Court-packing

8. The public option — and maybe Medicare for All

9. Oil company crackdowns

10. The Green New Deal

This platform would destroy America as we know it. It would end constitutional gun rights, negatively impact the income of average Americans, end the freedom of workers to refuse to join a union, end American energy independence, ruin our healthcare system, and end any possibility that the Supreme Court would uphold the Constitution rather than rewrite it. This is not a platform that would create or ensure the continuing success of America.

Why All Of Us Should Question What We Hear

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about the number of coronavirus cases in Texas.

The article reports:

Texas health officials removed more than 3,000 reported coronavirus cases from an overall count after “probable” cases for people who were never tested were counted as confirmed cases.

“Since we report confirmed cases on our dashboard, we have removed 3,484 previously reported probable cases from the statewide and Bexar County totals,” Chris Van Deusen, a spokesman for the state health agency, said to the Austin American-Statesman.

“The State of Texas today had to remove 3,484 cases from its Covid-19 positive case count, because the San Antonio Health Department was reporting ‘probable’ cases for people never actually tested, as ‘confirmed’ positive cases.- TDHS,” Fox 4 Dallas Evening News anchor Steve Eagar tweeted Wednesday. “What other departments make this same mistake?”

This is not an isolated problem. Recently a friend told me of an incident where a person who had tested positive for coronavirus was retested three times during a two week period. When two of the tests came back positive, the results were reported as a new case each time. Therefore, one person’s battle with the coronavirus resulted in the reporting of three new cases. There was another incident of a person who signed up to be tested, but left before being tested because of the extended wait time. Two weeks later she received a telephone call stating that she had tested positive. When she explained that she had not actually been tested, she was removed from the positive test list, but why was she on the list to begin with?

The article at The Washington Examiner concludes:

The change in cases comes as questions have been raised across the country about coronavirus testing, most notably in Florida. An investigation in the state determined that the test positivity rate reported by officials was inaccurate and that the number of positive tests was much lower than reported.

In May, coronavirus task force member Dr. Deborah Birx suggested that the actual number of coronavirus cases could be inflated by as much as 25%, while others have argued that cases have been undercounted.

Questions about the number of coronavirus cases have also been raised in Colorado, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey over claims that suspected coronavirus patients are dying from causes other than the virus.

Be careful what you believe.

Finally

Yesterday (updated today) The Epoch Times reported that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency on Monday, sending the National Guard to Atlanta to restore order.

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported:

In Atlanta this weekend, an 8-year-old girl was shot and killed while riding in a vehicle with her mother. The driver was trying to enter a parking lot where a group of people had illegally placed barricades. Someone in the group reportedly opened fire.

The article at The Epoch Times reports:

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed an order declaring a state of emergency on Monday, authorizing the deployment of the troops.

He argued that the troops are needed to protect state buildings, including the state capitol, the Department of Public Safety headquarters, the governor’s mansion, and the Georgia World Congress Center. He noted these troops will free up state troopers from those locations to patrol the streets of Atlanta.

“Peaceful protests were hijacked by criminals with a dangerous, destructive agenda. Now, innocent Georgians are being targeted, shot, and left for dead,” Kemp said in a statement on Monday. “This lawlessness must be stopped and order restored in our capital city.”

Kemp said that as a result, he declared an emergency “because the safety of our citizens comes first,” adding that it will “allow troops to protect state property and dispatch state law enforcement officers to patrol our streets. ”

“Enough with the tough talk,” the Republican governor concluded. “We must protect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians.”

Across Atlanta over the Fourth of July weekend, 31 people were shot and five people died, including an 8-year-old girl. The Georgia State Patrol headquarters were also vandalized by protesters over the same time period, according to local media reports.

“They were armed with bricks, landscaping bricks, Molotov cocktails, fireworks. Their one mission was to destruct property and that is exactly what they did,” Lt. Stephanie L. Stallings, spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Public Safety, told WSB-TV, adding that between 60 and 100 vandals dressed in dark clothing came to the headquarters in the early-morning hours to cause havoc.

This is not a protest–it is a murderous rampage of lawlessness.

The article concludes:

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, a Democrat, said the 8-year-old child wasn’t killed by police officers and referenced recent calls for police reform.

“Well, now we’re demanding action for Secoriea Turner and for all of the other people who were shot in Atlanta last night and over the past few weeks because the reality is this—these aren’t police officers shooting people on the streets of Atlanta, these are members of the community shooting each other,” she told reporters on Monday.

“If you want people to take us seriously, and you don’t want us to lose this movement, then we can’t lose each other,” the mayor said, adding that “you can’t blame this on a police officer, you can’t say this is about criminal justice reform.”

“This is about some people carrying some weapons who shot up a car with an 8-year-old baby in the car.”

If the Mayors of our largest cities cannot maintain order, the Governors of their states need to declare an emergency and call in the National Guard to restore order. Lawlessness is not an option, and those who choose to practice it need to be arrested and sent to jail.

Now They Are Coming For My Ice Cream

The politically correct movement has reached new heights lately. Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth, the pretty young Indian lady on Land o’ Lakes butter, and Uncle Ben have all disappeared or are about to disappear. Now they are coming after Eskimo Pie.

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about the attack on Eskimo Pie.

The article reports:

Eskimo Pie is the latest brand to change its packaging amid calls for corporations to participate in the fight against racism.

The chocolate-coated vanilla ice cream bar will be changing its name and axing the cartoon image of an Alaska Native child that is featured on its packaging to reflect Dreyer’s commitment to racial equality.

“We have been reviewing our Eskimo Pie business for some time and will be changing the brand name and marketing.” Elizabell Marquez, head of marketing for Dreyer’s, told the Washington Examiner, adding that Dreyer’s is “committed to being a part of the solution on racial equality, and recognize the term is derogatory.”

The term “Eskimo” is considered derogatory because it was given to the indigenous peoples of Alaska and Canada by non-Inuit people and was said to mean “eater of raw meat.” The name, however, is thought to come from the French word “esquimaux,” which means “one who nets snowshoes.”

I am sorry if the indigenous people of Alaska and Canada are offended by Eskimo Pie. I suspect that the offense is not on their top ten list of priorities. If changing the name makes the manufacturers happy, so be it, but I really believe that this is much ado about nothing.

Looking For Your Keys On The Wrong Side Of The Street

There is an old joke about a man walking around under a street light who was asked by a passerby what he was doing. The man replied that he was looking for his car keys that had fallen out of his pocket when he got out of the car. The passerby pointed out that the car was parked on the other side of the street and asked why the man was looking on the wrong side of the street, The man replied, “The light is better over here.” That is what is currently happening at the United Nations.

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported that the United Nations Human Rights Council is holding an “urgent” debate on police brutality and systemic racism.

The article reports:

While the UNHRC president says the debate is not just about the United States, it’s clear the U.S. is the primary subject as the killing of George Floyd was the catalyst for the meeting. And it’s clear that the conclusion the council will reach is a sham.

The article notes some of the history of the United Nations Human Rights Council:

The council is an abomination because most of the countries it should be examining are sitting members of the body. China and Cuba were members until the end of last year. Qatar, which has been using slave labor to build stadiums for the 2022 World Cup, is a sitting member. Nicolas Maduro’s socialist dictatorship didn’t stop Venezuela from becoming a member this year, nor did Libya’s human rights abuses or Mauritania’s slavery.

There’s a reason the Human Rights Council was the original whipping boy of U.N. critics before the World Health Organization was revealed to be a Chinese puppet. “The Human Rights Council is a poor defender of human rights, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said when the U.S. withdrew from the council in 2018, “But worse than that, the Human Rights Council has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy with many of the world’s worst human rights abuses going ignored.”

The U.S. was right in its assessment in 2018, and the show trial that council members will make of the U.S. won’t mean much of anything. But in principle, the Human Rights Council’s existence is just an exercise in appeasing real human rights abusers. Between this and the World Health Organization’s debacle over the coronavirus and China, it’s time for Americans to start considering real alternatives to the U.N.

I guess the way to avoid criticism by the United Nations for civil rights violations is to actually be a member of the Human Rights Council. At least that is the way it has worked so far.

Would You Vote For This Person?

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about retired Air Force Col. Kim Olson, a Democratic candidate in a closely watched House race in Texas.

The article reports:

“What the hell you got snipers on the roof for in a peaceful march? Even if people loot, so what? Burn it to the ground, you know, if that’s what it’s going to take to fix our nation,” retired Air Force Col. Kim Olson said during a live digital event on Tuesday, shown in a clip obtained by the Washington Examiner.

“I don’t think people want me to say that,” added Olson, a Democratic candidate in Texas’s 24th Congressional District, which covers much of the suburban area in between Fort Worth and Dallas.

Olson, 62, made the comment during a several-minute answer to a question about what she thought about far-left calls to disband or defund police departments.

Olson started by saying that while “defunding” is a “tough word,” explaining that she supports prioritizing funding services such as rehab centers and social workers.

“You can’t just tackle the police, you’ve got to tackle some of the social injustice issues that are going on within our justice system,” Olson said. “You can’t train racism out of folks.”

The article provides some information about her military career that indicates that she would probably play the Washington game very well:

Her military career is a highlight of her resume — she was one of the first women to attend and graduate from military flight school — but it is also a potential liability. In the early 2000s, when she was stationed in Iraq, the Pentagon accused Olson of directing contracts to a private security firm that she helped operate. While Olson denies personally profiting from the arrangement, she pleaded guilty to charges that included creating the appearance of a conflict of interest, paid a $3,500 fine, and was permitted to retire with an honorable discharge. That history has not been a major issue in her campaigns or line of attack from her opponents.

There seems to be an inference in her statements that everyone is a racist. I object to that statement. There are some (ignorant) people among us who are racists. I have encountered a number of them in my life. I have no idea why they are racist. The best way to deal with them is to understand who they are and treat them accordingly. Keep them out of positions where they can exercise their racism. I don’t know whether the policeman who killed George Floyd was a racist or simply an out-of-control policeman. From the information coming out now, there was a personal vendetta involved that may or may not have included racism.

At any rate, burning down businesses solves nothing. It puts the people the rioters and looters care about at a disadvantage when stores in their neighborhoods refuse to reopen. The best thing we could do to fight racial injustice would be to improve our schools in neighborhoods with failing schools and set up mentoring programs for children without fathers in their homes.

 

A Synopsis Of What Obamagate Was And How It Happened

Yesterday Andrew McCarthy posted an op-ed piece in The Washington Examiner detailing some of the highlights of Obamagate. Please follow the link to read the entire article. I am going to focus on a few highlights.

The op-ed notes:

The Trump-Russia inquiry was ingeniously designed. If the president demanded that his subordinates unveil the intelligence files that would reveal the prior administration’s political spying, he stood to be accused of obstructing investigators and seeking to distract the country from his own alleged criminality.

On that score, an underappreciated aspect of the saga is that Trump came to office as a novice. His unhinged Twitter outbursts obscure an abiding uncertainty about the extent of the president’s power to direct the intelligence bureaucracy. A more seasoned Beltway hand would have known what he could safely order reluctant bureaucrats and Obama holdovers to produce for him or disclose to the public. Trump, however, was at sea. That is why it was so vital for his antagonists to sideline Michael Flynn and Jeff Sessions, Trump loyalists with deep experience in intelligence and law enforcement, who could have put a stop to the farce if they’d remained, respectively, national security adviser and attorney general.

The article concludes:

There are two lessons to be drawn from all this.

First, Barr could not be more right that the malfeasance in our government today is the politicization of law enforcement and intelligence. The only way to fix that is to stop doing it. That cannot be accomplished by bringing what many would see as the most politicized prosecution of all time. The imperative to get the Justice Department and the FBI out of our politics discourages the filing of charges that would be portrayed as banana-republic stuff. Yet, even if Barr succeeds in this noble quest, there is no assurance that a future administration would not turn the clock back.

Second, when wayward officials are not called to account, the powers they have abused become the target of public and congressional ire. The problem is that the powers are essential. Without properly directed foreign counterintelligence, supplemented by legitimate law enforcement, the United States cannot be protected from those who would do her harm.

The Trump-Russia farce has destroyed the bipartisan consensus on counterterrorism, and on the need for aggressive policing against cyberintrusions and other provocations by America’s enemies. There is an implicit understanding: The public endows its national security officials with sweeping secret authorities, and those officials solemnly commit that these authorities will only be used to thwart our enemies, not to spy on Americans or undermine the political process.

That understanding has been fractured. In counterintelligence, government operatives have to be able to look us in the eye and say, “You can trust us.” Americans no longer do. The sentiment is justified. That will not make our consequent vulnerability any less perilous.

Consequences for the guilty parties would be appropriate. However, until the American public is educated on exactly what happened, any consequences are going to look political. What is needed at this time is a massive education campaign to bring the general public up to speed. Unfortunately, the mainstream media is not likely to participate in that campaign. I am concerned that because of the dishonesty of the mainstream media,  many Americans have no idea that there actually was an attempted soft coup against President Trump. Attorney General Barr and those working with him will need the wisdom of Solomon to navigate the maze that lies before them.

Transparency Is Coming

In his daily memo at The Washington Examiner, Byron York reported that the transcripts of the 53 secret interviews the House Intelligence Committee conducted during its Trump-Russia investigation are ready to be released. Having Rick Grenell as Acting Director of National Intelligence has already had an impact–he has made it clear that the transcripts need to be released and that he will release them if Adam Schiff does not.

The article reports:

…Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell has sent a letter to chairman Adam Schiff notifying him that transcripts of all 53 interviews, over 6,000 pages in all, have been cleared for public release. “All of the transcripts, with our required redactions, can be released to the public without any concerns of disclosing classified material,” Grenell wrote to Schiff in a letter dated May 4.

The Intel Committee did the first probe into Russia’s 2016 campaign interference and allegations of Trump-Russia collusion. Even today, its findings make up most of what we know about the affair. As part of that investigation — it was run by then-majority Republicans — the committee interviewed some key witnesses in the Trump-Russia matter: Donald Trump Jr., Steve Bannon, Andrew McCabe, Sally Yates, Michael Cohen, Hope Hicks, and many more.

The article lists the names of the 53 people interviewed.

The article continues:

The interviews were conducted in secret. But by September 2018, with the committee’s report long finished and made public, the Republicans who still controlled the committee decided the interview transcripts should be released to the public. In a rare moment of comity, Democrats agreed, and on September 26, 2018, the committee voted unanimously to release the transcripts. But there was a catch: The documents would have to first be checked for classified information by the Intelligence Community. So off they went to the IC — never to be seen again.

Now, in May 2020, they’re still secret. Two weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal editorial board reported that the IC had finished its review of 43 of the transcripts, but Schiff was refusing to release them. The paper said Schiff was also preventing declassification of the remaining ten transcripts.

In the letter, Grenell revealed that the 43 transcripts have been finished since June 2019. Schiff has been sitting on them all that time. Grenell said the final ten have just been finished as well. “I urge you to honor your previous public statements, and your committee’s unanimous vote on this matter, to release all 53 cleared transcripts to Members of Congress and the American public as soon as possible,” Grenell said. Just in case Schiff is still not interested, Grenell added, “I am also willing to release the transcripts directly from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, as to ensure we comply with the unanimous and bipartisan vote to release the transcripts.”

I think we are about to learn a whole bunch of things that are going to make some of our Congressmen look very bad.

Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about some recent comments by former Attorney General Eric Holder.

The article reports:

Former President Barack Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged that he sees the coronavirus as “an opportunity” to change the way U.S. citizens vote forever.

“Coronavirus gives us an opportunity to revamp our electoral system so that it permanently becomes more inclusive and becomes easier for the American people to access,” Holder told Time magazine.

Holder went on to say that he supports shifting toward a system with more mail-in ballots.

“There has to be a sea change in our thinking there,” he said when asked how important he thinks mail-in ballots will be going forward. “Allow people to access their primary American right by voting at home. It’s not as if this is an untried concept. Oregon has been doing this for years. But we have to make sure that we’re being sensitive to the needs of poor communities and communities of color by doing things like having prepaid postage on envelopes. Construct a system so that you’ve got expanded in-person voting, you’ve got expanded at-home voting and expanded no-excuse absentee vote-at-home measures.”

Holder said he believes that these changes during the coronavirus crisis will help “enhance our democracy.”

Democrats across the country have been pushing for increased mail-in voting during the coronavirus crisis despite reports over the past week suggesting over 28 million mail-in ballots have been lost in the past 10 years and that thousands of ineligible voters could possibly receive mail-in ballots, including many dead people.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson said on his show this week he believes these efforts to push mail-in voting are part of a broader effort on behalf of Democrats to “encourage” voter fraud to win elections.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a sentiment similar to Holder’s claim that increased mail-in voting is a positive step forward for democracy.

This is the voice of desperation. The only way to push Joe Biden across the finish line in the 2020 election is with voter fraud. The greatest amount of voter fraud in America occurs with mail-in absentee ballots. We have all heard the stories from people who have gone to the polls to vote and were told they had already voted. There are also stories from people who requested absentee ballots and had them stolen and cast by other people. This is not a step forward for the voting process–it is an open door for voter fraud.

Losing Our Constitutional Rights One At A Time

As we celebrate Resurrection Day tomorrow, most of us won’t be gathered in our churches to celebrate. In some places we won’t even be able to do celebrations reminiscent of drive-in movies where we gather in our cars and listen to the sermon on our car radios (with the windows up even). That is an unnecessary restriction that some states have imposed and that the citizens of those states are tolerating. We really need to rethink this.

Meanwhile, The Washington Examiner reported yesterday that Governor Northam of Virginia has signed several pieces of gun control legislation into law.

The article reports:

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed several pieces of gun control legislation into law, including mandating background checks on every gun sale, ordering reporting of lost and stolen firearms, and reinstating the state’s former one-handgun-purchase-a-month policy.

…Following Virginia Democrats’ takeover of both chambers of the state legislature in the 2019 elections, the party put forth a slew of gun control measures to be considered in the 2020 legislative session.

The signing of the slate of bills comes nearly three months following the rally of over 20,000 gun rights activists in the Virginia Capitol to protest the legislation. The gun laws will go into effect on July 1.

The article mentions two of the laws that did not pass:

Two major gun control bills, the assault weapons ban and magazine capacity limits, were proposed and debated while Virginia lawmakers were in session but, ultimately, failed to pass both chambers of the state legislature. However, supporters of the bills have advocated to bring them back in the next session.

Northam also proposed amendments to legislation currently being debated in the Virginia state legislature’s upper and lower chambers.

Senate Bill 35 and House Bill 421 would enable municipalities to regulate firearms in public buildings, parks, recreation centers, and during permitted events. Senate Bill 479 and House Bill 1,004 would bar individuals subject to protective orders from possessing firearms, require them to turn over their firearms within 24 hours, and would require them to certify to the court that the weapons were turned in.

The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

That right was put in there to protect Americans from an overreaching government.–not to make sure they could go hunting. We are at the point where government overreach is here. Hopefully the laws signed by the Governor will be overturned by the Supreme Court, but the laws like this need to be stopped long before they get to the Supreme Court. I am hopeful that the people of Virginia will embrace their history and remove this Governor from office in the next election.

Who Are They Working For?

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about the media spin in reporting the news about the coronavirus.

The article reports:

It should not be this easy for Chinese Communist Party propaganda to make its way into major American newsrooms.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, which Chinese lies ensured would become a pandemic, American news media have promoted a number of Beijing-approved talking points, including the one that alleges it is racist to refer to the virus by its country and city of origin. American news media have also accepted at face value a series of dubious claims pushed by Chinese Communist apparatchiks, including the absurd boast that China’s new case numbers have remained essentially flat since late February.

“U.S. has more known cases of coronavirus than any other country,” CNN reported on March 26, its declaration coming in unison with nearly every major news outlet in the United States.

The CNN report, which was published shortly after pandemic trackers placed the number of coronavirus cases in America at more than 85,000, claimed the “U.S. cases piled up … surpassing China and Italy.”

Does anyone actually believe the numbers coming from the Chinese Communist Party reporting the number of coronavirus cases in China?

The article continues:

But the obvious red flags regarding China’s reported data did not slow American newsrooms from declaring the U.S. the leader in reported coronavirus cases without caveats.

This is not the only example of western news media hailing China’s allegedly successful campaign to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Earlier, even before the U.S. had even supposedly passed the case number milestone, the New York Times published a report on March 18 titled “Its Coronavirus Cases Dwindling, China Turns Focus Outward.”

The article, the chief claim of which has been repeated elsewhere by the New York Times, Bloomberg, and NBC News, goes to great lengths to cast China as a thoughtful, meticulous, proactive, and responsible world leader, one whose contributions to fighting the pandemic have made it a more reliable and responsible superpower compared to the U.S. The New York Times article repeats the Chinese Communist Party’s claim that China’s daily coronavirus cases have dwindled “into the single digits.”

No attempt is made to verify these numbers.

…The U.S. intelligence community determined last week that China has underreported both the total number of coronavirus cases and deaths, all of it in an attempt to conceal the full extent of the pandemic in its country.

Early on, China silenced doctors who raised alarms about the virus, denied access to foreign scientists who could have studied the virus, and falsely claimed that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission.

There is a massive public relations campaign going on right now from the Chinese Communist Party to downplay the role China played on releasing this virus on the world. The effort is to change the narrative to show China as saving the world from a virus caused by America. This is simply one part of China’s effort to establish itself as the lone superpower in the world–usurping the role currently played by America. The America media does not need to help China in that effort.

The Slow Drip Of Investigations Into FISA Abuse Continues

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article titled, “FISA court orders DOJ to review flawed surveillance applications and provide names of targets.”

The article reports:

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court demanded answers about whether FISA applications were invalid after a new Justice Department inspector general report found pervasive issues with the FBI not following fact-checking procedures.

Friday’s ruling came days after DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a memo showing FISA flaws were not just limited to the surveillance of Trump campaign associate Carter Page.

The findings of Horowitz’s audit released on Tuesday focused on the FBI’s requirement to maintain an accuracy subfile known as a “Woods file.” Investigators found serious problems in each of the 29 FISA applications they examined.

“We believe that a deficiency in the FBI’s efforts to support the factual statements in FISA applications through its Woods Procedures undermines the FBI’s ability to achieve its ‘scrupulously accurate’ standard for FISA applications,” Horowitz concluded.

The article continues with information that might indicate the FISA court is not happy about being misled:

“It would be an understatement to note that such lack of confidence appears well-founded. None of the 29 cases reviewed had a Woods File that did what it is supposed to do: support each fact proffered to the Court. For four of the 29 applications, the FBI cannot even find the Woods File,” presiding Judge James Boasberg said. “For three of those four, the FBI could not say whether a Woods File ever existed. The OIG, moreover, ‘identified apparent errors or inadequately supported facts’ in all 25 applications for which the Woods Files could be produced. Interviews with FBI personnel ‘generally have confirmed’ those deficiencies, not dispelled them.”

Boasberg said the wide-ranging problems “provide further reason for systemic concern” about the FBI’s FISA process and “reinforces the need for the Court to monitor the ongoing efforts of the FBI and DOJ to ensure that, going forward, FBI applications present accurate and complete facts.” The judge said, “When problems are identified in particular cases, furthermore, the Court must evaluate what remedial measures may be necessary.”

The article concludes:

In a rare public order last year, the FISA court criticized the FBI’s handling of the Page applications as “antithetical to the heightened duty of candor described above” and demanded an evaluation from the bureau. The FISA court also ordered a review of all FISA filings handled by Kevin Clinesmith, the FBI lawyer who altered a key document about Page in the third renewal process. He is now under criminal investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham, a prosecutor from Connecticut who was tasked by Attorney General William Barr with investigating the origins and conduct of the Russia inquiry.

I will not be impressed with any of this until people actually go to jail for violating the civil rights of American citizens. I am still not convinced that will ever happen.

 

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.

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.

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.