22 thoughts on “News/Politics 5-19-20

  1. Now that the challenges to these overbearing orders are happening, petty tyrants are being put in their places.


    “Federal Judge Overrules North Carolina Governor’s Restrictions On Worship”

    “A federal judge overturned North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s orders Saturday that sought to cap religious services at no more than 10 people while businesses and other organizations in the state were left to accommodate up to 50.

    The double standard, District Court Judge James C. Dever ruled in the Eastern District of North Carolina, was an overt show of distrust among those gathering to worship and deemed the directive illegal, according to the News and Observer.

    “The record, at this admittedly early stage of the case, reveals that the Governor appears to trust citizens to perform non-religious activities indoors (such as shopping or working or selling merchandise) but does not trust them to do the same when they worship together indoors,” the judge wrote.

    A state hearing on whether the governor’s directive will become permanent is slated to take place on May 29, but the judge’s decision bars the governor from taking action against those congregating for religious services. Cooper said he had no plans to appeal the judge’s ruling, the News and Observer reported.”


    And another….


    “Oregon Judge strikes down Governor’s lockdown orders (Update: OR Sup Ct issues emergency stay)

    “once the maximum 28-day time provisions of ORS 433.441(5) expired, the Governor’s Executive Order and all other orders were rendered null and void”

    “A Circuit Court Judge in Oregon has granted an injunction halting the Emergency Order of Governor Kate Brown that, among other things, restricted in-person church services and imposed certain travel restrictions.

    The case was brought by a coalition of churches, and focused primarily on the religious services restrictions.

    As we have covered previously, numerous rulings and lawsuits have challenged lockdown orders that applied to religious groups but not secular groups like fast food restaurants and liquor stores.

    But as I noted when the Wisconsin legislature filed suit, and again in our live online event, holding state government to the procedures required by law could be a fruitful legal strategy. It was a procedural defect that cause the Wisconsin Supreme Court to strike the ‘Safer-at-Home’ administrative order.”


    The state SC has issued a temporary stay and will hear the case next. That was expected, because she appointed 5 of the 7 judges on the SC.


  2. The French courts have it right. I’d expect the same outcome here, once the tactic gets challenged. It’s too much of a Big Brother type of infringement.


    “French top judges banned the use of surveillance drones by police to monitor public compliance with coronavirus-related restrictions, citing privacy issues.

    The authorities’ use of drones to help contain the spread of Covid-19 “constitutes a serious and manifestly unlawful infringement of privacy rights,” the court said on Monday.

    The Paris-based Conseil d’Etat ruled that drones with cameras can no longer be used until the concerns are addressed, either via a privacy-friendly law or by equipping the drones with technology that makes it impossible to identify the people filmed.

    Civil liberties groups La Quadrature du Net and the Human Rights League initiated the legal battle with a lawsuit earlier this month, saying people were being filmed without their knowledge, and with no limits on how long footage could be kept.

    “Drones surveillance is suspended,” the Paris police said, adding that alongside the Interior Ministry they will review “the technical and legal conditions to respond to requirements” set by the court.

    Sonia Cisse, a lawyer at Linklaters in Paris, said the result will force police in France to be “much more protective of privacy rights.”

    The ruling comes a few weeks after France’s police launched its biggest ever procurement program for more than 650 small drones, which it had wanted to deploy next year for surveillance purposes. The Conseil d’Etat ruling on Monday will impact this plan, Cisse said, as France currently has no legal framework for the use of surveillance drones and the court ruling demands the state to have one, and have it checked by an independent privacy watchdog.”


  3. “China used air travel to ‘seed’ virus in early stage, top WH official says”


    “Peter Navarro, the White House trade adviser, said in an interview Sunday suggested that China “sent hundreds of thousands” on aircraft throughout the world to “seed” the spread of the virus.

    Navarro told ABC News’ “This Week” that the “Chinese—behind the shield of the World Health Organization—for two months hid the virus from the world and then sent hundreds of thousands of Chinese on aircraft to Milan, New York and around the world to seed that. They could have kept it in Wuhan, but instead, it became a pandemic.”

    “George Stephanopoulos, the host of the program, asked if he was accusing Beijing of deliberately spreading the virus. Navarro said he was not implying that it was intentional.

    A four-page Department of Homeland Security intelligence report dated May 1 and obtained by The Associated Press said Chinese leaders “intentionally concealed the severity” of the pandemic from the world in early January.

    Not classified but marked “for official use only,” the DHS analysis states that, while downplaying the severity of the coronavirus, China increased imports and decreased exports of medical supplies.”


  4. Cuomo and DeBlasio keep trying to avoid accountability for their horrible policies that led to numerous unnecessary deaths.



  5. These deaths are on Cuomo.


    “Fox News Channel meteorologist Janice Dean, known for her sunny disposition, has fiercely criticized Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo over the past few weeks, following the tragic deaths of her mother-in-law and father-in-law at long-term care facilities that were adhering to policies approved by Cuomo, which have proved deadly.

    “Can you imagine how much press the nursing home tragedy here in New York City would be getting if [Governor Cuomo] was a Republican?” Dean mused on Sunday. “It would be on every single channel and newspaper. (And yes, if he was a Republican I’d be just as furious).””

    Earlier this month, Dean said she was wrongly “swayed” by Cuomo’s “leadership ‘theater’,” but is now calling out the governor for requiring nursing homes and other long-term care facilities to take in COVID-19-positive patients, where the virus is far and away most deadly. Cuomo only reversed the policy on May 10, after thousands of deaths, including Dean’s in-laws.

    Additionally, Cuomo is taking heat following an admission from the New York Health Department of undercounting nursing home deaths, only enhancing the scandal. According to Dean, her family wasn’t aware her father-in-law died from coronavirus until they saw it on his death certificate.

    Dean hit the governor for skirting blame for his policies when he suggested Sunday that elderly people “are going to die from this virus” no matter what action he took.

    “Translation: ‘Not my fault even though I approved the order that recovering corona virus patients could go back into nursing and assisted living homes. And then it spread like wildfire to the most vulnerable people that we are supposed to be protecting…’”

    “There are no words to explain how furious I am,” the meteorologist posted to social media on Friday. “Grateful to the journalists who keep looking into this real life nightmare so many families including mine are living through.”

    “My husband is still grieving about the loss of his parents to this virus,” she continued. “Both were in nursing/assisted living homes. I’m trying to respect his wishes to not scream every day about this. But, make no mistake we want answers and there’s no question their deaths were avoidable.””

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Personally, I think it’s already too late for that. They destroyed what little credibility they had left. Now they just keep doubling down.


    “Media Must Report Truth Of Anti-Trump Spy Operation Before It’s Too Late For Them

    As facts about the Obama administration’s spying and leaking are spilling out, media have a brief window of opportunity to salvage some credibility.”

    “As new details emerge about the Obama administration’s broad spying-and-leaking campaign against the incoming Trump administration, reporters have a choice to make about whether to cover this story honestly, at long last. There is a brief window of time afforded the media to get the story right. They should take advantage of it.

    Journalist Lee Smith already noted the seriousness of the problem facing legacy media after the implosion of the Russia collusion conspiracy theory they peddled. “Americans still want and need accurate information on which to base their decisions about their own lives and the path that the country should take. But neither the legacy media nor the expert class it sustains is likely to survive the post-dossier era in any recognizable form,” he wrote. “For them, Russiagate is an extinction level event.”

    Many of our supposedly smart media elites are dinosaurs who are completely unaware of the asteroid headed right to them. Instead, they are doing their part in an all-hands-on-deck effort to continue pushing out Democratic talking points that got them into the mess. This week, that meant they regurgitated the Democratic claim that the Obama administration’s spying and leaking was “normal” and that to be concerned about it is nothing more than a “distraction.”

    The Media Are in Too Deep
    The less deft at pushing out the partisan talking point include MSNBC’s Brian Williams, who literally asked implicated former CIA chief John Brennan if he could “once and for all” explain to people who had heard about the scandal despite his corporation’s best efforts why it was no big deal. Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo complained that a biased NBC News piece that itself attempted to wave away the scandal was not biased enough for his liking. The Daily Beast’s Sam Stein begged Axios not to cover the issue lest it help Trump, in the way that covering Hillary Clinton’s email scandal may have helped Trump.

    Susan Glasser at the New Yorker suggested that acknowledging the Obama administration’s recorded attempts to undermine a duly elected administration through spying and leaking was a form of political agitprop. Her husband Peter Baker over at the New York Times took the same line but went with the authoritative gaslighting approach in which he suggested it was odd that Trump would want to correct the false narrative that he was a traitor to his country and replace it with the truth that he was the victim of a coordinated attack to spy on his campaign, criminally leak against him, and force him out of office. CNN’s Jake Tapper, a journalist implicated in one of the early Russia hoax stories, reported for duty to spread this partisan talking point as well.

    Many of these people are simply in too deep. They’re not giving back the awards they got for peddling the false story uncritically. To do so is a level of honesty they are not currently capable of. But not everyone needs to follow them. For liberal media who want to be honest, there is plenty of ground between shouting “OBAMAGATE!” in all caps and denying the spying and leaking ever happened.

    Honest Reporting Could Help Trump — and Journalism
    The big problem with covering the story honestly is what Stein himself pointed out — it might help Trump and Republicans. But they should look to left-wing journalists who were able to put aside their genuine dislike of the Orange Bad Man and his co-partisans and retain their journalistic integrity. These brave reporters, including Glenn Greenwald, Aaron Maté, Matt Taibbi, and Michael Tracey, managed to buck in-group journalistic and political pressure to report accurately about the political scandal.

    Among the few journalists on the right who covered these issues well, there were many who weren’t particularly fond of Trump. Whether left or right or otherwise, skepticism of the intelligence community helped these reporters, certainly, but only in that they have been consistently skeptical across multiple administrations. These reporters are honest enough to say that political spying and criminal political leaking is not what our intelligence agencies should have been doing. This should not even be a debate.

    A rather obvious intimidation campaign has been launched against any reporter who breaks with the groupthink on whether it’s a scandal (or even just a legitimate news story!) to spy and leak falsehoods against political opponents. The Daily Beast’s Maxwell Tani alleged that merely reporting on the existence of public documents related to the spying and leaking campaign, as opposed to ignoring them, meant that CBS’ Catherine Herridge was problematic. No one could defend the journalistic merits of killing such an explosive story. These attacks on Herridge — which sadly did not result in a strong defense from her employer or colleagues — are chin music directed at everyone else who might be courageous enough to step out of the groupthink zone.”


    Plenty more is coming, so it’s decision time reporters. Some honesty finally, or just keep ignoring the facts?


  7. A reporter that does her job the right way. Just the facts.




    “The filing stated that the court needed to grant the DOJ’s motion to dismiss the case without commentary immediately “because such punditry disrobes the judiciary of its cloak of impartiality.” The short brief also elaborated on the problems that the court created by “inserting itself into the Justice Department’s exercise of prosecutorial discretion.”

    On the recommendation of U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen, who served as an FBI agent for more than a decade, the Justice Department earlier this month moved to drop its case against Flynn. The stunning development came after internal memos were released raising serious questions about the nature of the investigation that led to Flynn’s late 2017 guilty plea of lying to the FBI as his legal fees mounted.

    One of the documents — apparently concealed for more than two years in defiance of a court order — was a top official’s handwritten memo debating whether the FBI’s “goal” was “to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired.” Other materials showed efforts by anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok to pursue Flynn on increasingly flimsy legal grounds.

    After the DOJ pushed to dismiss the case, D.C. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan issued an order last Tuesday indicating he would accept “amicus curiae,” or “friend of the court” submissions — drawing immediate scrutiny and a planned ethics complaint against Sullivan, who had previously refused to hear amicus briefs in the case.

    “There was no reason to issue these orders because this Court has no say in the federal government’s decision not to prosecute,” the state attorneys general argued. “Simply put, the decision not to pursue a criminal conviction is vested in the executive branch alone — and neither the legislature nor the judiciary has any role in the executive’s making of that decision.”

    “In addition to Yost, the brief was signed by attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Perfectly reasonable.



  9. THIS is CNN.



  10. More lies exposed….



  11. ————


  12. You know, like a real journalist….



  13. Aren’t governor’s orders simply the state version of executive orders? Trump has issued slightly more than Obama at this pace and several of his orders have also been dismissed by the courts and/or the legislature. Is the current acts of the governor and the courts just part of the ebb and flow from the branches of power?

    While executive orders are still in effect I imagine the police and other law enforcement agencies have to enforce them. Any law enforcement agent deciding on the legality on his own misunderstands his role and if he sees it as tyrannical he needs to resign. From my side of the fence, the political nature of Covid orders is difficult to fathom — all political parties here agree that social isolation is necessary. And compliance isn’t’ really an issue, there’s broad consensus that we need to be guided by the latest science. In fact the only enforcement of these orders comes from the public health department and local by law enforcement. In most cases common sense prevails and nosy neighbours are few since we all assume that we will comply. Hence, I visit my girl friend and vice versa since we both live alone, my daughter comes over with her boyfriend but we follow the queue in stores and keep 6 feet apart. I like the larger personal space this have given me. I say we keep the 6 feet rule.

    If Covid is political as it is in the US, data becomes suspect and manipulated. Its a given for example that Florida stats are probably under reported, and New York might over reported. One side downplays in increase (better testing) and the other side plays it up (need to close down again). Without trusting each other and acting in the benefit of the country not party, the US is pretty much going to play whack a mole with the virus. And the economy will take longer to recover than elsewhere.

    Aren’t drones already in use by many police forces in the US? I know they are used by the border patrol and other agencies so I won’t be surprised if police forces have them. Once they have obtained them and used them for one purpose its mostly too late.


  14. I honestly have yet to see any overreach on Obama’s part. He did exactly what Trump claimed as executive privilege when arguing over disclosure in the impeachment and Mueller inquiry. The president has the authority to make decisions based on national security and other to reveal or not to reveal information. Flynn’s ties to Russia qualify in this case.

    I’m not sure if Trump isn’t just trolling the media with his hydrochorliqune (sp?) admission.

    Finally, this is strange




  15. I guess the problem is we don’t really know the truth because so much has been bent in the last few years for partisan reasons. That’s what happens when you lose the Fourth Estate. 😦

    Here in a sanctuary state, police are in a very challenging situation. Do they uphold the law they’ve sworn to protect or the declarations of non-Constitution abiding politicians? It’s a puzzle.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Norma McCorvey was a damaged woman, pulled and tugged for many years. She struggled with a variety of self-medicating diseases and was used by many. I heard her speak once, covered the story as it were, and felt sorry for her.

    She was here to talk at a fundraiser for our local crisis pregnancy center, but it was clear she was broken in many ways. The director decided our role was simply to love and care for her while she was in our community, give her space to rest and relax, basically to leave her alone until she asked for us.

    She had a hard time with her speech but got through it in the end. Many people prayed for her, before, during, and after.

    As Mumsee has been arguing on the regular page, we’ll know in heaven.

    My feeling is, after seeing so many celebrities crash and burn, the best thing we can do is pray for them and encourage them to leave the public eye for good.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Michelle,

    I agree with your comments on McCorvey. Mental health issues become suspect when you see such dramatic changes more than once especially given her childhood etc. Hence, my comment; this is strange.

    As well as your comments on data. I just read an article on the firing of the woman who has been collecting the data for Florida. Florida’s data has already been suspect but her firing has raised even more questions. This is unfortunate as data is needed to make the right decisions. The partisan nature of the Covid response in the US and the constant smearing of the press by political figures isn’t helping the decision making nor an ability to get the cooperation needed to contain the virus.


  18. There’s a line toward the end of ‘Absence of Malice’ (1981) where Sally Field confesses that she blew it — she did her job as a reporter on this one particular story poorly — but that doesn’t mean, she added, that the work of journalism itself is not important. Very important.

    It’s vital that we have a fair and honest media. For numerous reasons, the industry is unraveling now, but let’s pray there is a reawakening and rebuilding in the years ahead.

    We can bash the national media, it’s like beating a dead horse, not much point to it anymore, frankly. It’s an old and boring subject. Time to move on.

    But let’s hope and pray that the industry awakens from within, that new voices (speaking the old truths) will be heard, sooner rather than later.

    And never forget, good journalism is still (and always) being done, amen? Praise it when you see it.

    Liked by 3 people

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