15 thoughts on “News/Politics 3-12-20

  1. Italy is on lock down.


    “Italy Is On A Nationwide Coronavirus Lockdown. Is America Next? ”

    “The coronavirus continues to spread rapidly in Italy. In just the last 24 hours the country announced an additional 2,300 cases and 196 more deaths.”

    “The surge of cases in Italy has many people wondering why the nation is being hit so hard. ABC News published a story today in which two medical doctors suggest several possible explanations:

    To start, part of the answer may lie in the age distribution of Italy’s population. Italy has an older population with a greater percentage of adults over the age of 65 than the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control cautions that older adults may be at risk for more serious COVID-19 illness…

    Another risk factor may relate to smoking. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that can lead to pneumonia, respiratory failure and, in the worst cases, death. Smoking is known to impair lung function and the immune system, contributing to more severe respiratory illnesses. A recent study suggests that more than 21% of Italians are smokers, compared to less than 14% in the U.S…

    An additional risk factor could be related to local customs. The CDC has urged the use of social distancing as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19 — but prior to this outbreak, the common custom in Italy was to greet friends and loved ones with a kiss on both cheeks.

    As of Tuesday, the entire nation of Italy is on lock down with people ordered to stay at home unless they have to go out for necessities like food or health care. But the NY Times reports that officials in the north of Italy, where the infection has hit the hardest, are asking for even tougher measures.”


  2. Now is not the time to play hero Nancy. We’d be worse off with an infected, non-functioning govt.


    “Pelosi: “We Are The Captains Of The Ship”, Nixes Closing Congress”

    “Should Congress just shut down and wait for the COVID-19 virus to run its course? That is the topic of discussion behind closed doors on Capitol Hill.

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi is in favor of keeping the lights on. When Rep. Jerry Nadler suggested that members of Congress could vote remotely instead of gathering to vote in person, Pelosi quickly shot that idea down. The idea is to present a sense of calmness from lawmakers to the public who are on edge over the COVID-19 outbreaks across the country.

    “We are the captains of the ship,” House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democratic lawmakers at a meeting, according to a person in the room. “We are the last to leave.”

    There is also the fact that Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader McConnell have no intention of giving up the power they hold – especially the power to compel members to convene at the Capitol. It’s Washington, D.C. and it is always all about power. It is much more difficult to twist arms over the phone than it is in person, you know. The topic came up because members of Congress have been asked to come up with contingency plans to keep their offices open. Congress is in recess next week and some lawmakers are wondering if it is wise to travel back and forth rather than just extend the break for another week or so, especially since some go home to epicenters of the epidemic.

    “I don’t think it’s the best idea for us to be flying back and forth,” said Representative Pramila Jayapal, a Washington state Democrat whose home district includes the hard-hit city of Seattle.

    “It’s time for us to take some steps to figure out other ways that we can get our business done,” she said.

    Jayapal said she held a telephonic town hall on Monday night that drew more than 4,000 participants and 120 questions.

    Lawmakers in both parties are struggling with a solution to the problem – how does Congress continue doing the work of the people while taking precautions to keep themselves and others around them healthy? For example, many lawmakers are in their 70s and 80s which puts them in a category as being some of the most vulnerable to COVID-19. Leadership in both the House and Senate are older people. Pelosi and McConnell are both in their late 70s. Lawmakers travel back and forth to their districts and states and that places perhaps unnecessary risks to the folks back home, as well as themselves.”


  3. Another Trump win, and another Obama appointed activist has his ruling destroyed on appeal. 🙂


    “Trump ‘Remain in Mexico’ Asylum Rule Continues, Supreme Court Stays Lower Court Injunction

    Feared border surge avoided, as Wuhan coronavirus spreads”

    “The Supreme Court, once again, has put on hold a lower court injunction trying to prevent Trump from exercising his lpower over who enters the country.

    Amy Howe reports:

    Today the Supreme Court granted the Trump administration’s application for permission to enforce the Migrant Protection Protocols, colloquially known as the “remain in Mexico” policy, while it appeals to the Supreme Court. Announced in December 2018, the policy allows the Department of Homeland Security to return immigrants seeking asylum to Mexico while they wait for deportation proceedings. Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the only justice to note publicly that she would have denied the government’s request.

    The Trump administration came to the Supreme Court last week, after a federal district court in California blocked the government from enforcing the policy anywhere in the United States. The policy, the district court ruled, is likely inconsistent with both federal immigration law and the doctrine of international law barring the return of asylum seekers to countries where they may be in danger. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld the district court’s decision and barred the government from enforcing the policy in California and Arizona; the 9th Circuit’s order was scheduled to go into effect tomorrow.”




    “The justices’ order, over a dissenting vote by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, overturns a lower court order that would have blocked the policy, at least for people arriving at the border crossings in Arizona and California. The lower court order was to have taken effect on Thursday. Instead, the “Remain in Mexico” policy will remain in force while a lawsuit challenging it plays out in the courts, probably at least through the end of President Donald Trump’s term in January.

    The next step for the administration is to file a formal appeal with the Supreme Court. But the justices may not even consider the appeal until the fall and, if the case is granted full review, arguments would not be held until early 2021.

    The high court action is the latest instance of the justices siding with the administration to allow Trump’s immigration policies to continue after lower courts had moved to halt them. Other cases include the travel ban on visitors from some largely Muslim countries, construction of the border wall, and the “wealth test” for people seeking green cards.”


  4. So how’s that new border wall working?



    “New border wall blocks 90% of illegal crossings, up from just 10%”


    “President Trump’s long-promised border wall is working.

    The new chief of Border Patrol, which is under U.S. Customs and Border Protection, revealed that the parts of the new “wall system” are 90% “effective,” up from just 10% before it was built, replacing a ragtag of broken fencing.

    “It changes everything,” said Chief Rodney Scott, of the 135-136 miles of new wall, roadways, and high-tech spyware. “There is a huge return on investment,” he added.

    “This system is going to have a huge impact,” added Deputy Chief Raul Ortiz.”


    It already is. 🙂


  5. Cali is throwing the book at those who dared bring to light the abortion industry’s horrors.


    “California Throws The Books At Undercover Reporter Who Exposed Baby Body Trafficking

    Even those who disagree with David Daleiden and his techniques but care about how the legal actions against him could define press freedom need to follow this case.”

    “An undercover reporter has been arraigned in California and charged with ten felonies for secretly recording conversations, and it’s time to revisit how the judiciary and the law can stifle the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of the press.

    The accused, David Daleiden, used standard media undercover techniques to investigate and expose Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted fetus body parts. While the use of undercover techniques like Daleiden’s is a controversial practice even within journalism circles, Daleiden’s upcoming jury trial has far wider implications for journalists.

    Namely, can and should government criminalize undercover reporting, which historically has revealed otherwise hidden wrongdoing of all kinds?”

    Being Pro-Life Is Not a Crime
    Let’s first put aside that Daleiden, as director of the Center for Medical Progress, is a pro-life activist—which is not a crime. He should have the same right to penetrate the practices of America’s abortion providers and report his findings just as other reporters and publications investigate other matters.

    Consider the multitude of covertly conducted investigations exposing threats to public health and safety, racism, and various other injustices, dating back to the dawn of our republic. To mention a few: In a classic case of disguised reporters using hidden cameras, ABC “Prime Time Live” outed Food Lion’s alleged unsanitary food handling practices. “Dateline” NBC deployed decoys and hidden cameras to expose men who solicited sex with minors on the Internet. Vanity Fair had a clandestine reporter join a tour group to the Holy Land to probe then-President George W. Bush’s alleged ties to religious right leaders.

    Undercover Chicago Tribune reporters, working from the inside as employees, exposed life-threatening conditions in nursing homes. Another Tribune reporter worked undercover in the city’s election board to reveal widespread election fraud. Chicago Sun-Times reporters, working inside, turned up dangerous practices at abortion clinics. The paper also opened a bar, the Mirage, in a sting using hidden cameras to bare shakedowns by city inspectors.

    Jerry Thompson of the Nashville Tennessean infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan to provide a first-person account of its racist practices and beliefs. BBC used clandestine students to describe a “sex for grades” scandal. In Los Angeles, CBSN’s David Goldstein regularly goes undercover.

    The Washington Post captured a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service by disclosing disgusting and unsanitary conditions at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The reporters never identified themselves as such, which, according to Brooke Kroeger, a New York University law and journalism professor, defines their action as investigative reporting. It is, she argued, yet another demonstration of how deception in investigative reporting is not only permissible but a necessary tool regularly exposing wrongdoing that can’t be found any other way.

    Attacking Whistleblowers Who Exposed Crime
    Instead, Daleiden faces a legal system that has unleashed both criminal and civil actions against him for a variety of supposed violations of law, including criminal trespass, fraud, and breach of contract, even federal civil racketeering. A jury in the civil trial awarded the plaintiffs more than $2.2 million in damages, enough to permanently silence Daleiden’s small pro-life and nonprofit operation. We are appealing.”


  6. Trump endorses Tuberville over Sessions.


    “President Donald Trump officially endorsed former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville over his former attorney general Jeff Sessions.

    Sessions, then an Alabama senator, became one of Trump’s earliest supporters in 2016.

    Trump made him attorney general, but the relationship soured. In September 2018, Trump made his feelings known:

    In September, Trump took his criticism to a new level when he disassociated Sessions from the administration, including the attorney general’s border enforcement efforts.

    “I don’t have an attorney general. It’s very sad,” Trump said in an interview with Hill.TV. “I’m not happy at the border, I’m not happy with numerous things, not just this.”

    The broadsides became even more pointed in recent weeks, when Trump described Sessions as “disgraceful” for asking the Justice Department’s inspector general – not prosecutors – to review Republican allegations of surveillance abuses related to the monitoring of a former Trump campaign aide.

    Sessions’ recusal in March 2017 for failing to disclose election-year meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak – and Trump’s dismissal of FBI Director James Comey in May 2017 – prompted the appointment of Mueller, a former FBI director, as the Justice Department’s special counsel to direct the wide-ranging Russia inquiry.”


  7. The FISA court admits what we already knew, and what the FBI continues to lie about.


    “From former FBI Director James Comey and his successor, Christopher Wray, to former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, high-ranking Obama Administration officials have maintained that none of the “errors” they made in their applications to the FISA Court for the warrant to spy on Carter Page were intentional. Although it’s obvious to all that these machinations were planned and executed inside of the top echelons of the FBI and the DOJ, law enforcement officials have tried to attribute these “mistakes” to lower-level agents and attorneys. They’ve repeatedly claimed they were accidental “process errors downstream from them and not an effort to deceive the judges.”

    They continued to make excuses after Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Horowitz released his December 9 report, which found that the four FISA Court warrant applications “were riddled with mistakes, including 17 examples of misconduct, misinformation or outright lies.”

    Leave it to the brilliant and relentless investigative reporter John Solomon to find the gem inside of the nineteen-page Order issued last week by U.S. District Court Judge James A. Boasberg, the new chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Boasberg, Solomon writes, “took direct aim at the excuses and blame-shifting of these senior Obama administration FBI and DOJ officials.”

    Solomon reports that “in just 21 words, Boasberg provided the first judicial declaration the FBI had misled the court, not just committed process errors.” Boasberg wrote:

    There is thus little doubt that the government breached its duty of candor to the Court with respect to those applications.

    Simply put, none of this was an accident. It was deliberate. Boasberg adds:

    The frequency and seriousness of these errors in a case that, given its sensitive nature, had an unusually high level of review at both DOJ and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have called into question the reliability of the information proffered in other FBI applications.

    Solomon explains the enormity of Boasberg’s statement:

    Boasberg’s ruling was far more than a temporary suspension of FBI personnel’s participation in the FISA court. It is the first and only judicial finding in the Russia case that the FBI vastly misled the nation’s intelligence court and that blame must be shouldered by federal law enforcement’s top leaders, many of whom have spent much of the last three years trying to escape such accountability.

    For those who have begged the FISA court for years to more aggressively rebuke the conduct in the Russia case, Boasberg’s ruling was a welcome step in the right direction and a first effort to end the excuse-making. But those critics are holding out for more, including prosecutions or disciplinary action.

    In the meantime, those who led the FBI and DOJ through that turbulent time — Comey and his deputy Andrew McCabe, as well as former acting Attorney General Sally Yates and Rosenstein — must come to grips with this new reality. A judge has formally concluded that his court was misled by the work product they oversaw and signed.

    Boasberg’s ruling was issued one week ago and was widely reported by the media. However, the coverage focused only upon Boasberg’s order “suspending all FBI and DOJ lawyers involved in the Russia collusion case from appearing before his court until it is determined whether they engaged in misconduct.”

    But of more importance, according to Solomon, was “his language pinning responsibility for FISA abuses squarely on senior officials, not just lower-level line agents and lawyers who prepared the warrant applications. In other words, he is worried the bad conduct exhibited by the FBI may extend to more cases affecting others’ civil liberties.””


  8. Wuhan virus.

    This is on them, despite their propaganda. Which of course, most of the media gleefully reports as news, and the Dem party releases as their official talking points.


    “Inside China’s high-stakes campaign to smear the United States over coronavirus”

    “If you listened to Chinese state-run media, you’d think President Trump went to China and released vials of COVID-19 on groups of unsuspecting men, women and children.

    Beijing has been bending over backward trying to convince the world that the United States is the real culprit behind the quickly spreading virus that’s already claimed more than 4,600 lives across the globe.

    It’s a high-stakes strategy for the Asian nation fighting to keep its superpower status amid a national lockdown and palpable anger over claims that Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus, at first covered it up, triggering a worldwide health and economic crisis.

    The Chinese government has already published a book in English — with translations in the works in French, Spanish, Russian and Arabic — touting its handling of the deadly disease.

    “A Battle Against Epidemic: China Combatting COVID-19 in 2020” is a mishmash of glowing state media reports on the accomplishments of President Xi Jinping, the Communist Party and the dominance of the Chinese system in fighting the crisis.

    At best, China’s aggressive new campaign can be chalked up to ambitious propaganda. At its worst, it’s a reckless display from a country that has actively misled the world while working overtime to save its own skin, foreign affairs expert Gordon G. Chang told Fox News.

    Chang believes Beijing has been laying the groundwork for a PR attack against the United States for more than a month, first by throwing doubt on the origin of COVID-19 and second, by slamming America’s handling of previous diseases like the swine flu, which decimated China’s pork industry.

    On Sunday, Lin Songtian, China’s ambassador to South Africa, said: “Although the epidemic first broke out in China, it did not necessarily mean that the virus is originated from China, let alone ‘made in China.'””

    Vague and misleading statements like the one from Lin are ripped right out of China’s propaganda playbook and attempt to sow doubt about the global crisis.

    Chinese officials have also pushed back on the expression “Wuhan coronavirus” — saying the name used frequently by U.S. conservative commentators unfairly stigmatizes the world’s most populous country.

    Chang said it’s just another tactic in China’s playbook, carefully choreographed to make Americans look petty and racist.

    “This an all-out assault on the United States,” Chang said.”


    And who was pushing the same narrative all week? The Dem party and every prominent Dem in office.


  9. Disgusting, but exactly what you’d expect from her.


    “White House Officials Allege Speaker Pelosi Pushed To Include Hyde Amendment Loophole Into Coronavirus Stimulus Plan”

    “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sought to include a potential way to guarantee federal funding for abortion into the coronavirus economic stimulus plan, according to multiple senior White House officials.

    Speaking to the Daily Caller, those officials alleged that while negotiating the stimulus with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Pelosi tried to lobby for “several” provisions that stalled bipartisan commitment to the effort. One was a mandate for up to $1 billion to reimburse laboratory claims, which White House officials say would set a precedent of health spending without protections outlined in the Hyde Amendment.

    The Hyde Amendment blocks clinics that perform abortions from receiving federal funding, and Democrats have pushed the Trump administration to end it since he was elected in 2016. (RELATED: Here’s What The $8.3 Billion Bill For Coronavirus Actually Does)

    “A new mandatory funding stream that does not have Hyde protections would be unprecedented,” one White House official explained. “Under the guise of protecting people, Speaker Pelosi is working to make sure taxpayer dollars are spent covering abortion — which is not only backwards, but goes against historical norms.”

    A second White House official referred to the provision as a “slush fund” and yet another questioned “what the Hyde Amendment and abortion have to do with protecting Americans from coronavirus?””


    “Politico confirmed after this article went to press that the Hyde Amendment provision was eventually removed from the stimulus later on Thursday and will hit the House floor as a separate bill.”


  10. ———-



    “Brazilian Official Pictured With President Trump Tests Positive For Coronavirus”


  11. Interesting to watch gov’ts scramble to stop a virus and/or fix a quickly failing economy (somewhat related). Like 2008, there are different ways of approaching the problems — and again the US gov’t has chosen to bail out the rich. The stock market, which has been divorced from reality for years, was given 1.5 trillion dollars today and it disappeared in a few hours. Now if you took the 1.5 trillion and applied it to medicare, testing, paid sick leave etc, you would solve both problems. One commentator noticed that 1.5 trillion dollars equalled the entire student loan debt — wiping that out would do more for the economy than to give private banks the money and accomplish a mild blimp on the stock market. Lessons have not been learned since the last recession — were back to socialism for the rich, capitalism for the rest of us and a transfer of wealth to the wealthy.


  12. On another note, Trump really should get tested given that several people who he has been in contact over week have tested positive. At his age, he should take precautions and get treated right away if necessary.


  13. ———–


    “The U.S. military launched multiple strikes using warplanes targeting multiple bases used by Iranian-backed Shia militias believed to be behind the rocket attack on Camp Taji, Iraq, the day before that killed two Americans and one British soldier, a senior U.S. military source told Fox News.

    The launch began after 1 a.m. Baghdad time.

    The U.S. military strike was “proportional,” according to the U.S. military source, and hit multiple bases used by the Kata’eb Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed militia that fired 30 Katyusha rockets yesterday at the Taji Base, which housed American and British troops. Of the 12 troops wounded yesterday, five are in serious condition.”


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