32 thoughts on “News/Politics 4-20-20

  1. The ventilator shortage that wasn’t.


    “The ventilator shortages of which we were all gravely warned have not yet come to pass.

    In March, one of the most feared aspects of the pandemic was the widely reported coming shortage of ventilators. One well-publicized estimate, repeated by the New York Times, the New Yorker and CNN, was that the U.S. would need roughly one million ventilators, or more than five times as many as we had. Gulp. Ventilators are expensive, they’re complex machines, and they can’t be churned out in the thousands overnight.

    In the state that (as of today) has one-third of the country’s confirmed COVID-19 cases, New York governor Andrew Cuomo sounded the alarm for ventilators repeatedly. On March 27, he acknowledged “I don’t have a crystal ball” but said his state desperately needed 30,000 ventilators, maybe 40,000, but had only 12,000. When President Trump noted that Cuomo’s state had thousands of unused ventilators it hadn’t even placed yet, Cuomo admitted this was true but said he still needed more: “Yes, they’re in a stockpile because that’s where they’re supposed to be because we don’t need them yet. We need them for the apex,” Cuomo said at the time. On April 2, Cuomo predicted the state would run out of ventilators in six days “at the current burn rate.” But on April 6, Cuomo noted, “We’re ok, and we have some in reserve.”

    Now New York appears to have passed the apex. Deaths, a lagging indicator, crested at 799 on April 9 and hit 606 on April 16, the lowest figure since April 6. Hospitalizations are also declining, and on April 16 also hit their lowest level since April 6. Cuomo today has so many ventilators he is giving them away: On April 15, he said he was sending 100 of them to Michigan and 50 to Maryland. On April 16, he announced he was sending 100 to New Jersey.

    New Jersey has by far the most cases outside of New York, with 75,000 positive tests. It also has by far the most deaths outside of New York: 3,518 as of April 16. However, New Jersey, with 8,011 total hospitalizations as of April 16, also has more ventilators than it is currently using and also may have passed its apex; as of April 16, the fewest New Jerseyans were on ventilators since April 8. So far, the peak was April 14, when 1705 patients were on ventilators. Yet before Cuomo’s announcement, New Jersey reported that 46 percent of its ventilators were still available.”


    But the truth won’t stop Democrats from lying about it.



  2. “Here’s How Much Downstate New York Is Skewing the United States’ Coronavirus Numbers”


    “I live in New York State. But I live in Western New York—not New York City or downstate. If you ask anyone from downstate, they are New Yorkers. I am not. And quite honestly, I’m okay with that. I have no problem with not being lumped in with the downstaters.

    Except I still am. New York is a hotspot when it comes to coronavirus cases and deaths, but that’s only because of downstate. Upstate New York’s coronavirus situation pales in comparison to downstate. New York City, in particular, was doomed due to the incompetence of local leaders, as well as other factors, such as population density and its subway system aiding in the spread of the virus.

    Personally, I’ve thought for weeks we should be counting downstate New York separately from the rest of the country. So I looked at the numbers to see what happens when you separate downstate New York from the rest of the country.

    The numbers are shocking. Downstate has been so heavily impacted by the coronavirus that it skews the United States when you compare us to the rest of the world.”


    “Right away we can see that the United States does not “lead the world” in coronavirus cases. Even with downstate New York in the mix, the United States isn’t nearly as bad as the mainstream media makes it out to be. But here’s what happens to the top ten once you treat downstate New York as its own country:

    Downstate New York (16,230.65)
    Spain (4,100.67)
    Belgium (3,208.30)
    Switzerland (3,166.40)
    Italy (2,851.95)
    Ireland (2,831.23)
    France (2,284.94)
    Portugal (1,930.52)
    Netherlands (1,853.88)
    United Kingdom (1,698.42)

    Separating downstate New York from the rest of the United States shows us just how bad the situation there is. In fact, the rest of the country doesn’t even rank in the top ten anymore (it comes in at #13).”


  3. More revisionist history from Democrats….


    “De Blasio claims he said ‘early on’ to avoid NYC mass transit”

    “Mayor Bill de Blasio claimed Thursday to have told New Yorkers to avoid riding buses and subways “early on” in the coronavirus crisis — even though he was still saying public transit was safe well into March.

    “Early on we said to people, if you don’t need to go on the subway, don’t; if you can work from home, work from home; if you can walk or bike or anything else, do so,” Hizzoner told reporters at his daily press briefing.

    “There was a concern to start clearing out the subway to the maximum extent possible while recognizing that we also depended on the subway to get essential workers to do the lifesaving work they do.”

    Up until March 8 — a week after the city’s first case emerged — the mayor and his administration were adamant that the subways were safe to ride for people who weren’t sick, according to public transcripts from his media appearances and press conferences.

    “From what we do understand, you cannot contract it through casual contact so the subway is not the issue,” de Blasio said on March 3, responding to concerns that a Manhattan lawyer with the virus may have commuted from his home in New Rochelle on the Metro-North Railroad.

    “Home is the issue, home is the problem, where you are in constant, regular, intense contact with other people, breathing the same air, the same bodily fluids around, like that’s the issue,” he said at the time.

    “Subway is the other extreme, limited contact in a more open space, short period of time. Subways is not our problem right now.””


    Wrong Mr. Mayor.


    “MIT study: Subways a ‘major disseminator’ of coronavirus in NYC”

    “A new study argues that city subways and buses were a “major disseminator” of the coronavirus in the Big Apple.

    The paper, by MIT economics professor and physician Jeffrey Harris, points to a parallel between high ridership “and the rapid, exponential surge in infections” in the first two weeks of March — when the subways were still packed with up to 5 million riders per day — as well as between turnstile entries and virus hotspots.

    “New York City’s multitentacled subway system was a major disseminator — if not the principal transmission vehicle — of coronavirus infection during the initial takeoff of the massive epidemic,” argues Harris, who works as a physician in Massachusetts.

    While the study concedes that the data “cannot by itself answer question of causation,” Harris says the conditions of a typical subway car or bus match up with the current understanding of how the virus spreads.

    “We know that close contact in subways is fully consistent with the spread of coronavirus, either by inhalable droplets or residual fomites left on railings, pivoted grab handles, and those smooth, metallic, vertical poles that everyone shares,” he writes.

    But some experts and transit officials question the study’s findings.”


    Of course they would. They’ll never admit they and the mayor were wrong in telling people it was safe.


  4. Golf clap for Wallace.


    And just a reminder….


    “Nancy Pelosi’s hypocrisy comes at a real cost to small businesses”

    “President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus is certainly worth criticism, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the wrong person to give it.

    “He’s a poor leader,” she told ABC News’s This Week on Sunday. “He’s always trying to avoid responsibility and assign blame.”

    What followed this comment was a series of finger-pointing and deflections — made not by the president but by the speaker.”


    “The Democrats are trying to do to the PPP what they did to Congress’s $2 trillion relief package — they’re trying to fill it with additional, unrelated funding that requires comprehensive debate. The small businesses shutting their doors don’t have time for that debate, which is why Senate Republicans have pushed for a stand-alone bill that would immediately address the needs of the PPP, while tabling the Democrats’ additional funding requests for Congress’s next relief package. This seems like a straightforward, fair offer, but the Democrats have continued to stonewall, all while pointing the finger at Republicans.

    So, it’s difficult to take Pelosi seriously when she speaks of leadership. She clearly thinks of herself as a good leader, yet she continues to do that which she’s condemned: She refuses to take responsibility for the PPP’s funding shortage and points the finger at the other side of the
    political aisle instead.

    This kind of hypocrisy isn’t just tiresome, it comes at a real cost. Our economy is at a standstill, millions of Americans are losing their jobs every single week, and the PPP funding many businesses need to keep their doors open can no longer be relied upon. This is a serious problem that should never have been a problem in the first place. Congress could have immediately bolstered the PPP’s funding had Pelosi and the other Democratic leaders demonstrated just an ounce of humility.

    But here we are.”


  5. “The Grim Truth About the “Swedish Model””


    “As the coronavirus pandemic has swept the planet, Sweden has stood out among Western democracies by pursuing a “low-scale” lockdown. Whether this approach speaks to a unique strength of Swedish society, as opposed to bad judgment, can be determined by comparing Sweden’s COVID-19 rate with its neighbors’.

    Does Sweden’s decision to spurn a national lockdown offer a distinct way to fight COVID-19 while maintaining an open society? The country’s unorthodox response to the coronavirus is popular at home and has won praise in some quarters abroad. But it also has contributed to one of the world’s highest COVID-19 death rates, exceeding that of the United States.

    In Stockholm, bars and restaurants are filled with people enjoying the spring sun after a long, dark winter. Schools and gyms are open. Swedish officials have offered public-health advice but have imposed few sanctions. No official guidelines recommend that people wear masks.

    During the pandemic’s early stages, the government and most commentators proudly embraced this “Swedish model,” claiming that it was built on Swedes’ uniquely high levels of “trust” in institutions and in one another. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven made a point of appealing to Swedes’ self-discipline, expecting them to act responsibly without requiring orders from authorities.

    According to the World Values Survey, Swedes do tend to display a unique combination of trust in public institutions and extreme individualism. As sociologist Lars Trägårdh has put it, every Swede carries his own policeman on his shoulder.

    But let’s not turn causality on its head. The government did not consciously design a Swedish model for confronting the pandemic based on trust in the population’s ingrained sense of civic responsibility. Rather, actions were shaped by bureaucrats and then defended after the fact as a testament to Swedish virtue.

    In practice, the core task of managing the outbreak fell to a single man: state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell at the National Institute of Public Health. Tegnell approached the crisis with his own set of strong convictions about the virus, believing that it would not spread from China, and later, that it would be enough to trace individual cases coming from abroad. Hence, the thousands of Swedish families returning from late-February skiing in the Italian Alps were strongly advised to return to work and school if not visibly sick, even if family members were infected. Tegnell argued that there were no signs of community transmission in Sweden, and therefore no need for more general mitigation measures. Despite Italy’s experience, Swedish ski resorts remained open for vacationing and partying Stockholmers.”


    “Through it all, Sweden’s government remained passive. That partly reflects a unique feature of the country’s political system: a strong separation of powers between central government ministries and independent agencies. And, in “the fog of war,” it was also convenient for Löfven to let Tegnell’s agency take charge. Its seeming confidence in what it was doing enabled the government to offload responsibility during weeks of uncertainty. Moreover, Löfven likely wanted to demonstrate his trust in “science and facts,” by not – like US President Donald Trump – challenging his experts.

    It should be noted, though, that the state epidemiologist’s policy choice has been strongly criticized by independent experts in Sweden. Some 22 of the country’s most prominent professors in infectious diseases and epidemiology published a commentary in Dagens Nyheter calling on Tegnell to resign and appealing to the government to take a different course of action.

    By mid-March, and with wide community spread, Löfven was forced to take a more active role. Since then, the government has been playing catch-up. From March 29, it prohibited public gatherings of more than 50 people, down from 500, and added sanctions for noncompliance. Then, from April 1, it barred visits to nursing homes, after it had become clear that the virus had hit around half of Stockholm’s facilities for the elderly.

    Sweden’s approach turned out to be misguided for at least three reasons. However virtuous Swedes may be, there will always be free riders in any society, and when it comes to a highly contagious disease, it doesn’t take many to cause major harm. Moreover, Swedish authorities only gradually became aware of the possibility of asymptomatic transmission, and that infected individuals are most contagious before they start showing symptoms. And, third, the composition of the Swedish population has changed.”


  6. Consequences are in order.


    “Wuhan Virus Watch: Trump warns of ‘consequences’ if China is ‘knowingly responsible’ for pandemic

    Comedian Bill Maher derides “Panic Porn” and hope shaming. MIT study shows NYC subways “major disseminators” of virus. Poor lab practices at the CDC contaminated first test kits.”

    During Saturday’s Coronavirus Task Force briefing, President Donald Trump sent a striking message to China about its actions related to the spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus.

    U.S. President Donald Trump warned China on Saturday that it should face consequences if it was “knowingly responsible” for the coronavirus pandemic, as he ratcheted up criticism of Beijing over its handling of the outbreak.

    “It could have been stopped in China before it started and it wasn’t, and the whole world is suffering because of it,” Trump told a daily White House briefing.

    …“If it was a mistake, a mistake is a mistake. But if they were knowingly responsible, yeah, I mean, then sure there should be consequences,” Trump said. He did not elaborate on what actions the United States might take.

    Trump also slammed the press for essentially regurgitating the case numbers China offered without questioning them.

    Trump also voiced doubts on the death rate being reported by Chinese officials. At one point, when Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, was presenting charts comparing the U.S. mortality rate to that of other countries, Trump interrupted.

    “Does anybody really believe this number?” Trump said, referring to China’s reported mortality rate of 0.33 per 100,000 people. Birx responded that she had included China on the chart to show how “unrealistic” those numbers were. The U.S. mortality rate is 11.24 per 100,000, which Birx said is half to a third of other countries. Belgium led the world with 45.2 fatalities per 100,000, followed by Spain with 42.81, and then Italy with 37.64.”


    It’s way past time to decouple.


    “With China’s economy on life support, it’s time to turn off the ventilator”


    “The “China Dream” of dictator Xi Jinping is now on life support, in grave danger of succumbing to the same novel coronavirus that he and his fellow communists have unleashed upon the world.

    I say we turn off the ventilator.

    This sentiment seems to be even more infectious than the disease itself. A Harris poll released on April 6 found that 77 percent of the US population believes China is to blame for the pandemic. Before this thing has run its course, most of the world’s seven-plus billion people will likely agree as well.

    It was just three years ago that Xi made a triumphal entry into Davos, celebrated as the new champion of free trade by Europeans leery of Trump’s America First policies.

    Today, it is hard to imagine an invitation to Davos — or an invitation to anywhere, frankly — being extended to the Chinese dictator, whose campaign of silencing and intimidating medical whistleblowers allowed the virus to flourish and eventually spread across the world.

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to be furious with China as he recovers from the coronavirus, which nearly killed him earlier this month. Not only may he shut out China’s state-controlled electronic firm, Huawei, from the UK’s 5G networks for good, he has promised that there will be other consequences for China’s failure to share accurate and timely data on the deadly virus.

    How well-disposed do you think the leaders of Spain, Turkey, the Netherlands, Australia and the Czech Republic are toward China at the moment? All of those countries have been on the receiving end of defective PPE and test kits, Chinese medical supplies that failed to contain the virus.”

    Even an official in Iran, China’s closest ally in the Middle East, has bitterly complained about the Chinese lies that cost the lives of thousands of his fellow citizens.

    The epidemic has also revealed our dangerous dependence on China for many of our most common drugs and medical supplies. You might think that no country would ever threaten to withhold life-saving medications in the midst of a global pandemic. But, shockingly, China already has. We have no choice but to add such things as penicillin and PPE to the list of products that, like steel and silicon chips, we must be able to manufacture here.

    The big question is whether major American companies — say, Apple — will begin to move production out of China in the wake of this pandemic. Left to their own devices, they probably wouldn’t. It would mean sacrificing their bottom line for intangibles such as US national security and economic independence.

    But governments are already intervening to make sure their companies do act in the national interest. Japan’s government has just announced that it will start paying its companies to relocate out of China. Other countries, including our own, will doubtless follow suit. Then there are Trump’s tariffs, which will kick back in if China likely fails to keep its promise to buy $250 billion in American-made products before the end of 2021.”

    Liked by 2 people

  7. “Our garbage media”


    “Want to know how you can tell when the lockdown became a new great depression? It’s when the media starts experiencing large layoffs. Glenn Reynolds has a roundup of media layoffs currently under way that makes for the feel good story of the week for sure.

    The New York Times reports that “Roughly 33,000 workers at news companies in the U.S. have been laid off, been furloughed or had their pay reduced. Some publications that rely on ads have shut down.” And it seldom gets better than this:

    NPR Warns of Major Cuts Due to Coronavirus

    NPR will be instituting severe cost-cutting measures as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Wednesday internal memo, with a budget deficit looming as high as $25 million through fiscal 2021. . .

    I suppose this will just free up a lot of media people to volunteer full time for Democrats, though of course they’re doing that already, so how could we tell?

    The mendacity and mediocrity of our major news media have seldom been on display more clearly than during the COVID-19 crisis. While the media pretend to be “objective” and are now clearly on the side of the Democrats’ narrative that Trump was negligent and slow in responding to the virus, there is plenty of evidence of the media downplaying the threat of the virus and criticizing Trump’s early moves, especially his China travel ban, which the media decried as “xenophobic.” And then there is the media’s lack of interest in the Tara Reade allegation about Joe Biden, which is so blatant that even Alexandria Ocasio Cortez gets it.

    But who are you going to believe—me, or your lying eyes? A few samples:”





    Liked by 1 person

  8. The traitorous worms are squirming. 🙂


    “If you are exhausted from the drumbeat of doom and gloom surrounding the Corona virus pandemic, here is a welcome diversion–corruption and malfeasance by the FBI and the Department of Justice. The Senate Judiciary Committee dumped several critical documents Thursday night relevant to the Deep State plot to portray Donald Trump and his team as agents of Putin’s Russia. Jim Hoft was first out of the box posting the links to the damning documents (see here). You can click on the links in Jim’s article and read the original documents for your self.

    The Conservative Treehouse also provided an excellent piece focusing on the cover letter sent to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court trying to explain why the errors in the FISA applications were not important errors. That was a big lie. The letter was signed by AAG John Demers in July 2018, when Jeff Sessions was Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein was Deputy AG; Christopher Wray was FBI Director, David Bowditch was the Deputy, and Dana Boente was FBI chief-legal-counsel. This letter was a lame effort at trying to cover the FBI’s crooked ass.

    There are many fascinating and damning revelations in these documents. They confirm what I have written in the past about the FBI role in the attempted coup against Donald Trump. This July 12, 2018 letter to Judge Rosemary Collyer tries to put lipstick on the pig of FBI misdeeds and pretend that the FBI’s FISA applications were the equivalent of the gorgeous Marilyn Monroe in her heyday. Instead, the FBI misdeeds are exposed as a fat, ugly crone.

    Demers’ letter continued to insist that four FISA applications to spy on Carter Page were properly predicated. That is balderdash.

    Let me take you on a detailed journey through the first FISA application seeking permission to spy on Carter Page. Congressional Democrats falsely insisted that Steele’s lies and misinformation played little role. You can see from the following how wrong that assertion is:

    pp. 2-3 Statements of “fact” about Russia as a threat, including a blacked out section attributed to a foreign government.
    pp. 4-5 FBI tries to explain why they thought Carter was a bad guy.
    p. 5 Uses statements of proven liar James Clapper as “evidence” of Russian bad intentions.
    p. 6 Repeats the U.S. Government propaganda about Wikileaks (they’re bad because Julian Assange published information very embarrassing to the United States).
    pp. 7-8 More historical (and semi-hysterical) boiler plate describing the evil intentions of Russia.
    pp. 8-10 FBI states its “BELIEFS” about the nefarious intention of Carter Page and others linked to the Trump campaign.
    pp. 10-15 FBI draws on open source information and previous interviews with Carter Page to paint in the darkest terms Page’s business contacts with Russians that Page voluntarily disclosed.
    pp. 15-22 Now the dirt from Steele starts to flow. Steele and his sub-source are cited frequently in establishing the so-called “facts” of Page’s contacts with Russia.
    pp. 22-26 The FBI plays the clever trick of citing journalist reports as further evidence to support the allegations against Page without disclosing that those reports were based on leaks from Steele. The FBI does acknowledge having multiple contacts with Page who denied these reports as scurrilous lies.
    pp. 27-28 FBI admits it used a Confidential Human Source to try to bait Page but came up empty. That damn Carter Page kept telling the truth about not working with the Russians.
    pp. 29-31 These are blacked out.
    pp. 32-33 The FBI conclusion, which they use to justify spying on an innocent American.

    As you can see, the majority of the so-called “evidence” presented to get permission to spy on Page came from Christopher Steele’s dossier, which was commissioned and paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

    If you take time to read the first FISA application you will learn the following supposed “facts” that are in fact evidence of the FBI deliberately deceiving the FISC:”


    Plenty more at the link.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Can you say “prosecutorial misconduct?”

    I knew ya’ could. Whether you like these guys and their views and politics, this is abusive, and shouldn’t happen in America.

    Just imagine the outrage from the MSM if Trump had Barr using similar tactics on the NY Times reporters while investigating one of the many leaks they published.

    But nope, no outrage for these guys, because Orange Man Bad.


    “A MUST-READ: How Mueller Thugs Targeted and Abused This Gateway Pundit Journalist and Conservative Activists During the Stone Investigation”

    “Now that the gag order has been lifted on Roger Stone, this Gateway Pundit reporter is now able to speak freely about what actually happened.

    America knows the pressures presented by a subpoena to appear before a federal grand jury in Washington DC. It can cost you tens of thousands of dollars, can cause unrest in your personal relationships, and puts you at the mercy of a jury infested by people with extreme hatred for traditional America and anyone who supports President Donald J. Trump.

    In the months following the propagandist CNN televised raid and arrest of Roger Stone, those working closely with Roger or with those around him began being harassed by United States Marshalls or FBI agents sent by Robert Mueller’s partisan hit-squad of far-left prosecutors. Tyler Ziolkowski, the founder of the Florida Chapter of the Proud Boys was visited by the FBI at his house in February of 2019. They demanded to know the whereabouts of this Gateway Pundit reporter in a very threatening and aggressive manner. This was not the first time federal agents harassed Ziolowski.

    Two years earlier, when he first started traveling with Roger Stone to help coordinate his book tour, the U.S. Marshalls showed up at his home on the same day that Parkland school shooter Nicholas Cruz threatened a mass shooting.

    How ridiculous is that? They were more concerned about intimidating a political activist for engaging in their constitutionally protected free speech rights than they were preventing a mass shooting.”

    “Ziolkowski would be summoned to DC a year later to testify before a federal grand jury as part of the investigation of Roger Stone. He has confirmed to TGP that the questions and behavior of prosecutor Michael Mirando were “unstable and concerning.”

    “The interview before my grand jury appearance was very uncomfortable. A federal agent interrogated me and asked outlandish, rude, personal questions meant to humiliate me. Most of them had no relation to what they claimed to be investigating publicly.”

    Ziolkowski also shared that once he entered the grand jury room, prosecutor Michael Mirando transformed into a nasty and unstable personality. Ziolkowski’s appearance mirrors that of Proud Boys Chairman and congressional candidate Enrique Tarrio, who was also summoned to appear before the same DC grand jury. Speaking exclusively to TGP, Tarrio said that he knew what kind of pressure they were trying to apply and was ashamed that our justice system was being used in such a partisan manner.

    “For the Mueller investigation to be given so much unchecked power is a clear violation of what our founders intended. This was a partisan witch-hunt designed to reverse the results of the 2016 election.”

    Tarrio said that he was supposed to be provided a hotel room and reimbursement for food and travel costs, as is legally required when demanding someone’s presence before a federal grand jury, but that he was never reimbursed and had to spend nearly $1,000 out of pocket in order to make the appearance before the federal grand jury.”


    And yes, the FBI had been warned about Cruz too.


  10. Good. It’s about time Dems to do their job.



  11. Facts?….. Pfffttt…..

    This is the NY Times.



  12. Sorry, the article is about the “drying up” of some illicit drug trade because the border is shut so tight. Cartels are now forced to make synthetic drugs at home and volume isn’t as high. Big drug center was Wuhan. 😦


  13. I appreciate seeing such joyous celebration around job losses in our long-struggling (financially speaking due to revenue issues, NOT politics) sector.

    Thanks! We’ll try not to disappoint.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. DJ.

    There was no mention made of local papers or their journalists. They were speaking of the larger, corporate media, like the NYT, NPR, CNN, the AP.

    Don’t take it personally, they’re clearly not speaking of you and reporters like you.

    And perhaps if they weren’t so one sided and biased, people wouldn’t be happy to see them shrinking. Most local reporters like you do it right, but that is not the case with the outlets mentioned above. You know this is true. They are all reporters worst enemies, because sadly folks like you get painted with the same brush.

    I get that small outlets like your’s are struggling. I feel bad, because local coverage is some of the most important out there. But I cannot muster much sympathy for the outlets mentioned above.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. We used to have these arguments all the time on WorldMagBlog, people crowing because the NYT or WaPo were in trouble. I used to argue we cannot afford to lose the fourth estate because with that loss goes democracy.

    We’ve lost it; democracy is suffering, scandalous lies flout truth on social media and our entire nation is riven by slander and fake news.

    I don’t know how to get it back. I’ll keep praying for Jesus’ return when truth will be revealed.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Alright, so after seeing Michelle’s reference to the fourth estate, a term I’ve heard many times and understood to be the media, I googled it because I never knew why it was called such, and what are the first three estates, and is there a fifth … and subsequent? … estate? Etc.

    If anyone else is interested in the history behind the term the fourth estate, here is an article you may enjoy:


    Liked by 2 people

  17. From the above link, 2:22:


    The term “fourth estate” is often attributed to British politician Edmund Burke. Thomas Carlyle, in “Heroes and Hero-Worship in History,” writes:

    Burke said that there were three Estates in Parliament, but in the Reporters’ Gallery yonder, there sat a fourth Estate more important far than them all.
    The Oxford English Dictionary attributes the term fourth estate to Lord Brougham in 1823. Others attributed it to English essayist William Hazlitt.

    In England, the three estates preceding the fourth estate were the king, the clergy and the commoners.

    In the United States, the term fourth estate is sometimes used to place the press alongside the three branches of government: legislative, executive and judicial.

    The fourth estate refers to the watchdog role of the press, one that is important to a functioning democracy.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. To subtract the epicenter from a country’s case count and then compare to other countries without subtracting their epicenter is dishonest. Take London out of the UK figures and the number will drop substantially for UK. In the Netherlands, my relatives report their province almost covid free — take out Amsterdam-Rotterdam and the Netherlands is doing extremely well. Take five or six nursing homes out of the Ontario numbers and my province would almost be Covid free. Remove any megacity from a country and numbers will drop — pandemics always affect high density urban areas far more than rural areas. The yahoos flooding their state’s capital should keep this in mind; if they are from a small rural area, they may be the ones who bring Covid to their hometown.

    Sweden is the poster child for why “herd immunity” and lockdown for the vulnerable doesn’t work in a pandemic. Any attempt to move away from a lockdown before its appropriate risks an increased case load and the flat curve will spike. New Zealand demonstrated the effectiveness of full scale lockdown. They not only flatten the curve, they crushed it. Reproduction rate is now at 0.5 meaning cases are now in decline. Within a week or two, they will open up part of their economy and may even start some limit schooling. Two women — Merkel and Ardern leading the way in the west. One a conservative and the other a socialist, either way they understand the need to protect citizens not the economy first. And perhaps its no accident that the leader of Taiwan is also a woman. And the only male leader in the Nordic countries is Swedish.

    The US does have a lower death rate than some European countries but there are reasons behind this. The lack of an immediate lockdown before the virus struck, the general age of the population and the higher population density of Europe. Of the western nations, the US is the only one with a 50% rural population — most developed countries are far more urban. And yes Italian government is incompetent. However, there are European countries with far better stats — which Brix conveniently overlooks. The more isolated Nordic countries all did better, except Sweden, and Germany, Austria and Portugal did better. The population density in Germany makes their Covid statistics remarkable. Finally, a US to Canada comparison is probably the fairest to make as the outbreak started at similar times with similar measures — the difference 12.5 (US) to 4.5 (Cdn) is startlingly. It does point out the benefit of universal medicare – people don’t delay medical treatment, and perhaps people are healthier to start, etc. A greater willingness to listen to experts and stay at home is also important plus the cooperation between province and federal gov’t is probably better than in the US.


  19. Speaking of Dr. Brix — she let slip the effect of the profit motive in Covid testing. Eliminate the profit motive on human health and welfare.


    Speaking also of state-federal cooperation and profit making. The fact that US states are forced to bid against each other in purchasing equipment is a recipe for profiteering. And then mix in a federal government that seems willing to intervene in the process at any time and you can understand the governor’s complaints. A federal gov’t which wants the power but not the responsibility. Here’s an interesting account of how weird medical purchasing has become.



  20. You do realize that the big national (yes, mostly liberal but that’s a whole other topic and issue) news outlets will likely survive all this, correct?

    It’s all the rest of the media that goes down. It will be the shot to the head that finishes off what’s been a years-long struggle to find enough revenue to keep on keeping on in the digital age.

    The WaPo? NYT? They’ll be fine, relatively speaking.

    For everyone else, local, regional, state media outlets, and the people who work in those more immediate coverage venues, it’s all a crushing blow that probably won’t be survivable.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Even if WaPo, NYT and others like them are not profitable, they will continue as the vanity project and personal message machine/propaganda of wealthy individuals and/or corporate elite.

    John Oliver does in-depth commentary with a comedic edge almost every week. He did one on small regional papers. First of all he credited them with doing real investigative journalism often forming the basis for his own show. Second, he point out their very important role in democracy especially at the lower levels. Both the left and the right should realize without small independent press we are at the mercy of the corporate elite for information.


  22. AJ explained himself, and even as an occasional checker-inner of this site, I know the vast majority of his criticism of media is directed at the major outlets, and rightfully so. They are flat out awful. No need to get huffy at AJ for making this observation.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Not huffy, just making the point that this is impacting a lot of other folks in the business. The big guys are the tip of a huge iceberg, they’re the minority. The NYT and WaPo, btw, have done well at online subscriptions, they’re actually transitioning quite well, considering.

    It’s the massive rest of the media that is struggling through it all.

    The political issues with the media are valid but have nothing to do with the revenue problems faced through what has been a tumultuous and long season as the internet grew and online giants such as Facebook & Google gobbled up most of the digital ad revenue.

    And lastly, I’d just remind us all that job losses have real people behind them. I find it hard to celebrate when any sector gets hit.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Exactly, DJ, and that’s the real issue. My friend and I have wondered how people find out they need to wear a mask in our community if they don’t have Internet access. And who will explain to those of us who have Internet access and get the paper every morning WHY we need to wear masks, etc.

    To some extent, we end up living in an almost illiterate world–it’s so hard now to find an even-handed news source no matter the level, we’re blind on deciding most issues. Very frustrating when you realize the voters growing up have been watching the late night comedy shows for news.

    Sigh. I just get older every day.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. To subtract the epicenter from a country’s case count and then compare to other countries without subtracting their epicenter is dishonest. Take London out of the UK figures and the number will drop substantially for UK.

    Eh, it’s not all that dishonest. It’s more dishonest to equate one country’s epicenter with the epicenter of other countries, respectively, one to one. The population of the “downstate” NY counties mentioned in the article is about 12 million (assuming its author was right). That’s a far smaller fraction of the entire population of the U.S. than London–pop. 9 m–is of the U.K. Disproportionate effects, etc, but really, it doesn’t matter. In any case, it just shows simplistic assessments of stuff aren’t good grounds for blaming everything on Trump.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I’m just saying — and I spotted that original post from the powerline blog last night, just shook my head, so consider my frustration as being with the original posters, but seeing it repeated, yeah, it did strike a nerve — perhaps it’s time we all back off of the personal animosity meme.

    It sounds naive these days I know, but I often recall the words attributed to Abraham Lincoln, about having malice toward none and charity toward all. Not a bad guide.

    I’m so weary of our modern-day, often vicious, political wars.

    Maybe I’m just not in the mood.

    Liked by 5 people

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