15 thoughts on “News/Politics 5-14-21

  1. AG Merrick Garland Says White Supremacists Liberal Idiots ‘the Most Dangerous Threat to Our Democracy’



    “Attorney General Merrick Garland told Congress that white supremacists represent the greatest danger to America right now.

    His testimony was a gross distortion of reality. It is nothing more than an attempt to reinforce the narrative pushed by Democrats and the media since January of this year.

    Alexander Nazaryan of Yahoo News has details:

    White supremacy is top security threat, Garland says

    Attorney General Merrick Garland told Congress on Wednesday that violence incited by white supremacists poses “the most dangerous threat to our democracy.” That assertion reflects near-universal consensus among national security experts, including those who worked for the Trump administration.

    Garland’s warning came during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, which was conducted by supporters of then-President Donald Trump and incited by white supremacist groups like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. Five people died as a result of the attack.”


  2. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.


    They built it. Now they get to own what’s left of it.


  3. But hey, no more mean tweets, right?



  4. Gross. The whole lot of ’em.

    “Rep. Cori Bush Praises St. Louis “Palestinian” Activist Infamous for “Pigs In A Blanket, Fry ‘Em Like Bacon” Chant and Taunting Police “I`m Praying for Your Death”

    “St. Louis and I rise today in solidarity with the Palestinian people and in memory of our brother Bassem Masri, a Ferguson activist who was with us on the front lines of our uprising for justice following the police murder of Michael Brown, Jr.”


    “Democratic House Rep. Cori Bush hates Israel, and views it as in illegitimate colonial entity. That’s not new, it’s the prevailing wisdom now on the left wing of the Democratic Party.

    In a speech yesterday on the House floor, Bush lashed out at Israel, summing it up in this tweet echoing “intersectionality” rhetoric that has been a staple of anti-Israel activism for years:

    The fight for Black lives and the fight for Palestinian liberation are interconnected. We oppose our money going to fund militarized policing, occupation, and systems of violent oppression and trauma. We are anti-war. We are anti-occupation. And we are anti-apartheid. Period.”

    “Note that the speech is devoted to honoring and praising Bassem Masri.”

    “The name Bassem Masri probably meant nothing to almost everyone listening to the speech.

    But Legal Insurrection readers may recall Masri, who is now deceased, from our coverage of the 2014 Ferguson riots after the shooting of Michael Brown. (Contrary to Bush’s claims, Brown’s shooting was found to be a justifiable use of police deadly force both by local prosecutors and the Obama-Holder DOJ, because Brown was shot and killed when he physically attacked a policeman and tried to steal his weapon.)

    Masri was featured in our coverage of the Ferguson riots and how anti-Israel activists tried — with some success — to turn them into anti-Israel events.”


  5. You’d think they’d have learned by now not to provoke Israel.

    But they haven’t yet, so they must be taught yet again. Note they used the useful idiots in the press to their advantage for a change too.

    “Reports: Israel Lured Hamas Fighters Into Tunnels With Rumor Of Ground Invasion, Then Bombed Tunnels In Massive Airstrike

    “160 aircraft flying simultaneously conducted a massive attack on a network of tunnels dug by the Hamas terror group after ambiguous IDF statement caused media frenzy that Israel has launched ground invastion.”


    “The Israeli military apparently used a brilliant deceptive maneuver to take out Hamas’s terrorist fighting force and underground tunnels — in a single blow.

    In what could only be described as killing two birds with one stone, the Israel Defense Forces on Thursday night told news reporters that the Israeli ground forces were on their way to Hamas-held Gaza.

    The news spread quickly through the mainstream media and affiliated social media accounts. Believing an Israeli ground invasion to be imminent, Hamas ordered its terrorist fighters to seek shelter in the tunnel network dug up under the Gaza city.

    What followed the Hamas mobilization was a massive wave of Israeli airstrikes — comprising of 160 aircraft — on the Gaza tunnel network with the jihadi group’s top terror brass sitting underground, right where the IDF wanted them.”


  6. As always with our deceptive media, it’s what they leave out that’s most relevant.

    Unemployment claims are down because states are cutting people off. The number still claiming that extra fed UC credit however keeps rising. As the 700K increase shows, folks aren’t returning to work, they’re just going with only the fed money and most still make out better. This isn’t the great news they tell you. Also the claims number was revised up, again.


    “Most of the media coverage of today’s initial jobless claims report highlights the positives. Those are legitimate positives, but lack important context, especially considering the debates over April’s lackluster jobs report. For instance, ABC News focuses on the topline number, which decreased to its lowest level of the pandemic, but never mentions a much bigger number in the details:

    The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 473,000, a new pandemic low and the latest evidence that fewer employers are cutting jobs as consumers ramp up spending and more businesses reopen.

    Thursday’s report from the Labor Department showed that applications declined 34,000 from a revised 507,000 a week earlier. The number of weekly jobless claims — a rough measure of the pace of layoffs — has fallen significantly from a peak of 900,000 in January. Instead of cutting jobs, many employers are struggling to attract enough applicants for open positions. …

    In April, employers added 266,000 jobs, far fewer than expected and a sign that some businesses struggled to find enough workers. The surprisingly low gain raised concerns that businesses may find it hard to hire quickly as the economy keeps improving and that regaining pre-pandemic employment levels could take longer than hoped.

    Why might that be? The actual report from the Department of Labor contains key data necessary to understanding this phenomenon. The count of current claims under special pandemic benefits programs didn’t go down, they went up — and by almost 700,000 in the most recent week:”

    “Very few if any media outlets have reported on the levels of continuing claims in pandemic benefit programs, let alone covered it on an ongoing basis. We have well over 12 million active claims in these programs alone, apart from (but likely overlapping considerably with) the regular state ongoing claims. That represents millions of sidelined workers, potential labor in a market starving for labor, which are essentially being paid not to work.”


  7. Her own worst enemy.

    Buh-bye….. 🙂


    “Apparently, Liz Cheney’s ouster from leadership has taught her nothing.

    She went on Fox News this evening with Bret Baier. Instead of trying to reconcile with voters or show that she’s focused on moving forward and combating Joe Biden, the Wyoming congresswoman lost her ever-loving mind, ranting about “The Big Lie” and refusing to hold Democrats accountable for anything. She even managed to attack Fox News directly, which is an odd thing to do when you are being interviewed by someone as straight and level as Baier.

    Here are the clips courtesy of Curtis Houck over at Newsbusters (a must-follow if you are on Twitter).”


  8. ———-

    “What Liz Cheney Said Last Night Is Why She’s No Longer in GOP Leadership”


    “Well, she did it again. Liz Cheney again showed why she was booted from her position as Chair of the House Republican Conference in an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier last night. The Fox News host asked the Wyoming Republican why she peddled total fake news about Russian bounties on American soldiers in Afghanistan. It’s a story that was anonymously sourced and thoroughly debunked, but she has no regrets about spreading a lie. Why? Well, because she was concerned about Trump and Russia. Seriously? The only people who believe that are Democrats. There was no Russian collusion. It’s one of the greatest myths the media ever manufactured and here we have one of the former faces of the GOP peddling its spin-off series.”


  9. Her replacement.



  10. “Biden’s State-Sponsored Labor Shortage”


    “President Biden spoke at the White House earlier this week to address an unsettling national trend – millions of jobs going unfilled in an economy still struggling to right itself. The president couldn’t deny the existence of the paradox: His own administration’s numbers show that millions of Americans are drawing unemployment while millions of jobs are going unfilled. But he and his top economic officials dismissed the most obvious explanation for April’s dismal job numbers – generous unemployment benefits eroding the incentive to work. “We don’t see much evidence of that,” Biden said.

    It was a line dutifully echoed by his designee to run the Commerce Department, the Cabinet department tasked with compiling employment numbers. But it’s a disingenuous argument. The Commerce Department, through the Bureau of Labor Statistics, derives employment numbers by compiling two surveys of employment – one completed by roughly 144,000 employers and another completed by approximately 54,000 American citizens. Neither of these surveys actually ask if an employee has been offered a job and turned it down. And it’s awfully hard to find evidence of something when you’re not actually looking for it.

    The president’s remarks Monday were in response to an April jobs report showing that only 266,000 Americans rejoined the workforce at a time when employers coast to coast are reporting that they have job openings but can’t find willing workers. As if to underscore the sheer perverseness of the situation, the following day the government released data showing that job openings in March are up by 597,000 – to a staggering 8.1 million. This is the highest number of job openings since the government started tracking them at the turn of the century. It could be the highest ever.

    You don’t need evidence to know that incentives matter. Common sense will suffice. But there is evidence, which I’ve witnessed first-hand.

    In April 2020, as businesses were grappling with how to navigate the pandemic and associated shutdowns, I was involved in helping half a dozen businesses plan for the unknown. Their stories are instructive. In one instance, the CEO of an Idaho firm had to lay off a significant number of manufacturing staffers as orders declined precipitously. As he gathered everyone in the plant and shared the sobering news that all but three employees were going to be furloughed, one of those being kept on audibly groaned when his name was called. Roughly eight weeks later he persuaded the CEO to lay him off — saying that he, too, deserved an extended “paid vacation” — and call back one of the other employees.

    As the pandemic progressed into the summer and fall, a Kansas City manufacturer that prints invitations and promotional items (neither big sellers in an age of Zoom meetings and social distancing) was finally able to call back furloughed workers. All his employees were offered their job back, but 20% declined (three out of four of those were still receiving unemployment compensation). The company, which pays its press operators starting pay of $22 an hour and provides benefits including health insurance, disability, and a 401(k) match, is now relying on temp agencies to fill vacancies.”


  11. Yet another failure by the media to vet their sources.

    They most likely knew, but her lies benefitted the right people politically, so they just played along with the lies.

    “Rebekah Jones, the COVID Whistleblower Who Wasn’t”

    “The former dashboard manager alleges a vast data conspiracy in Florida; not a word of it is true.”


    “This is a story about Rebekah Jones, a former dashboard manager at the Florida Department of Health (FDOH), who has single-handedly managed to convince millions of Americans that Governor Ron DeSantis has been fudging the state’s COVID-19 data.

    When I write “single-handedly,” I mean it, for Jones is not one of the people who have advanced this conspiracy theory but rather is the person who has advanced this conspiracy theory. It has been repeated by others, sure: by partisans across the Internet, by unscrupulous Florida Democrats such as Nikki Fried and Charlie Crist, and on television, by MSNBC in particular. But it flows from a single place: Rebekah Jones. To understand that is to understand the whole game. This is about Jones, and Jones alone. If she falls, it falls.

    And boy does it deserve to fall.

    Jones’s central claim is nothing less dramatic than that she has uncovered a massive conspiracy in the third most populous state in the nation, and that, having done so, she has been ruthlessly persecuted by the governor and his “Gestapo.” Specifically, Jones claims that, while she was working at the FDOH last year, she was instructed by her superiors to alter the “raw” data so that Florida’s COVID response would look better, and that, having refused, she was fired. Were this charge true, it would reflect one of the most breathtaking political scandals in all of American history.

    But it’s not true. Indeed, it’s nonsense from start to finish. Jones isn’t a martyr; she’s a myth-peddler. She isn’t a scientist; she’s a fabulist. She’s not a whistleblower; she’s a good old-fashioned confidence trickster. And, like any confidence trickster, she understands her marks better than they understand themselves. On Twitter, on cable news, in Cosmopolitan, and beyond, Jones knows exactly which buttons to push in order to rally the gullible and get out her message. Sober Democrats have tried to inform their party about her: “You may see a conspiracy theory and you want it to be true and you believe it to be true and you forward it to try to make it be true, but that doesn’t make it true,” warns Jared Moskowitz, the progressive Democrat who has led Florida’s fight against COVID. But his warnings have fallen on deaf ears. Since she first made her claims a little under a year ago, Jones has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars through multiple GoFundMe accounts (and, once she realized that she was losing a percentage to credit-card fees, through paper checks); she has become a darling of the online Left; and, by pointing to her own, privately run dashboard, which shows numbers that make Florida’s COVID response look worse than it has been, she has caused millions of people to believe quite sincerely that the state’s many successes during the pandemic have been built atop fraud. Stephen Glass, the famous writer-turned-liar who spent years inventing stories but got caught when he pushed it too far, could only have dreamed of such a result.

    Jones’s journey began on May 18, 2020, on which day she was dismissed by the Florida Department of Health. Today, she claims that she was fired because she had refused to take part in a massive cover-up. But as her personnel file shows, not only was there no cover-up but the agency did everything it could to de-escalate the situation around this employee before it eventually became untenable. Indeed, as the records clearly show, indulging Jones had been its approach from the outset. At the time she was hired, the state government knew from its background check that Jones had completed a pre-trial intervention program in Louisiana in 2018, thereby securing a “no conviction” record for “battery of a police officer,” and it knew that she had entered into a deferred-prosecution agreement with the State of Florida in 2017 after being charged with “criminal mischief.” And yet it hired her anyway. Had she applied for a more important role, the forest of red flags that Jones leaves wherever she goes might well have prevented this mistake—especially given that she did not mention any of them in her application. But Jones wasn’t there to fill an important role. She was there to run a website.”

    “That matters, for, with the enthusiastic help of the press, Rebekah Jones has unremittingly inflated the prominence of the position she held. And yet when one reads through the FDOH documents that chronicle the affair, one is struck by how dull and unheroic the whole thing really was. There are no “whistleblowers” anywhere in this story. There is no scandal. There is no grand fight for truth or justice. There is just a replacement-level government employee who repeatedly breaks the rules, who is repeatedly mollycoddled while doing so, and who is fired only when she eventually renders herself unworthy of the department’s considerable grace.


    “For a year now, pretty much everyone who has criticized Jones has met the same fate as did Salemi. It doesn’t matter who they are, or what they have been arguing, the play is always the same. First, they are called a sexist or a racist or a member of the “alt-right.” Next, it is implied that they are working with Ron DeSantis or with Vladimir Putin—or, sometimes, with both. Then they are told that they hate “science”—or, if they disagree with her or expose a given lie or confirm that she does not have the qualifications or experience she claims, that they have sold out. And, finally, they are added to Jones’s “enemies” list (she really has one, and used to publish it online), and an attempt begins to get them kicked off Twitter or Substack or whatever portion of the Internet they are using to explain the ruse. Because a good number of the people Jones has targeted are not journalists or public figures, but scientists and public servants, such attacks work pretty well. If your career is in epidemiology, and your employer is a public university, there is little to be gained by attracting scandal.

    One is almost left impressed by the strange alchemy with which Jones manages to transmute her own bad behavior into lucrative victimhood. A 342-page “manifesto” that Jones penned in 2019 gives example after example of this tendency. She manages to cast herself as the injured party in the passages in which she describes violating a no-contact order to engage with an ex-boyfriend, damaging his car, and harassing his mother. She also manages to cast herself as the victim in the parts in which she records being fired from Florida State University for having sex with a student in her office and for lying to her employer about her criminal record. She even presents herself in defensive terms in a now-removed part of the document that contains explicit text messages between her and her ex-boyfriend, as well as close-up photographs of the man’s genitals. (A misdemeanor stalking case against Jones, filed by Florida in 2019, is ongoing, although the cyber-harassment and cyber-stalking charges have been dropped or narrowed, as were earlier charges, relating to the same individual, of trespass, felony robbery, and contempt of court.) Everywhere Jones goes—whether it’s Louisiana State University (where she got her master’s), Florida State, or the Florida Department of Health—she seems always to leave a trail of wreckage. And somehow, it’s always someone else’s fault.”

    “This tendency continues today. Much of the national attention that Jones has received is the result of her insisting that, having learned about her “whistleblowing,” Governor DeSantis used his “Gestapo” and “raided” her house, putting her children in danger. But this, too, is a ridiculous lie. Late last year, the police did indeed execute a search warrant on Jones. But they did so because a data breach at the FDOH—in which the personal information of 19,000 employees was stolen—was traced back to the IPv6 address that Comcast had assigned to Jones’s house. Governor DeSantis had nothing to do with it. The search warrant—which alleges that Jones committed a felony by not only temporarily accessing personnel data she had no right to access but permanently stealing it—was initially signed by Judge Joshua Hawkes, a Republican appointee, but subsequently upheld by Judge John Cooper, an elected judge in heavily Democratic Leon County. (Florida does not have explicitly partisan judicial elections.)

    Jones now claims that she was “terrified” by the police’s visit. But even this seems to be highly questionable. Not only did she prepare for the visit by creating a made-for-the-cameras sign that read “Biden hire me!”—hardly the instantaneous work of someone who is surprised that the cops are at the door—but she subsequently spread a host of extraordinary claims about the conduct of the police that, after festering online for a while and spawning a swiftly dropped lawsuit from Jones, were flatly disproven by the release of the body-camera footage. As the Tampa Bay Times recently noted, despite Jones’s having “claimed on Twitter that the agents ‘pointed a gun in my face. They pointed guns at my kids,’” the bodycam video “does not appear to show police pointing their guns at anyone in the house.” On the contrary: It shows the police waiting outside patiently for 22 minutes; it shows them trying to minimize the disruption to her children by encouraging her to come and talk to them at the door; and it shows them repeatedly calling Jones to find out why she wasn’t cooperating. After the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) had released the footage, a spokesman confirmed what anyone who watches it can see: that at no point during the search did the agents point their guns at anyone in the house.

    They did, however, find enough of what they were looking for in Jones’s home for another Leon County judge, Nina Ashenafi Richardson, to sign a warrant for her arrest. In January, Jones turned herself in. She is currently awaiting trial. Thus did her stint at the FDOH end as her stints elsewhere seem to have ended: in disgrace, in termination, with the cops showing up at the door, and, eventually, in the filing of charges. Until now, Jones has got away with it every single time. Eventually, though, her luck is going to run out. And when it does, no amount of flailing or distraction is going to prevent the bills from coming due.


  12. Follow the science!

    Or not….


    “Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday that New Jersey will keep its requirement — at least for now — that all people must wear masks indoors in public to protect against the coronavirus, despite federal health officials releasing updated guidance that says masks are no longer needed for fully vaccinated Americans in most circumstances.

    “We’re not there yet,” Murphy said a day after the federal Centers for Disease Control released its new recommendations — though he stressed that could change “within a matter of weeks” if vaccinations continue to increase and the state’s outbreak keeps receding.

    The Democratic governor also said those who are fully vaccinated in the Garden State no longer have to wear a mask outside in public in the wake of the CDC’s announcement Thursday, but those who aren’t vaccinated should still masks when in “close proximity” to others outdoors.

    “With all respect to the CDC, we have made extraordinary progress,” Murphy told reporters during a public event tin East Orange with Whoopi Goldberg to boost vaccination efforts.

    Murphy noted how New Jersey has gone from having the highest infection, hospitalization, and death rates in the country last month to seeing numbers drop dramatically over the last couple of weeks.

    “And a big part of that reason is that folks are getting vaccinated and folks are doing the right thing,” he said. “And so as far as we can tell and as much as we want to get there — and we will get there, as it relates to indoor masking, it’s only a matter of time — if you’re in a business and a public setting, we’re not there yet. We’re frankly not there yet.””


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