12 thoughts on “News/Politics 12-21-22

  1. This one is sad and infuriating.

    There are no words.

    “The heartbreak in Uvalde never seems to end”


    “As if the sight of dozens of fully armed police officers stacked and snugged against the halls of the schoolhouse – peeking safely from around corners, doing nothing as children and teachers called repeatedly for help, cowering as the slaughter goes unanswered – wasn’t enough to engender utter disgust and heartrending sadness. Where damn near every last thing went so horribly, inexcusably, and unnecessarily wrong, and cost so very dearly.

    The hits on this horror show just keep coming. A joint report out this morning from the WaPo, Texas Tribune, and ProPublica will cause the bile and tears to well up all over again.

    Oh, my God, is it hard to read.

    Not just a retelling of some of the more gut-wrenching moments of the siege and botched operation, but a detailed analysis of the emergency medical response to the school shooting. Nineteen kiddos and two teachers died, and the emergency services story is another complete and total disaster.

    …Law enforcement’s well-documented failure to confront the shooter who terrorized the school for 77 minutes was the most serious problem in getting victims timely care, experts said. But previously unreleased records, obtained by The Washington Post, the Texas Tribune and ProPublica, for the first time show that communication lapses and muddled lines of authority among medical responders further hampered treatment.

    …Three victims who emerged from the school with a pulse later died. In the case of two of those victims, critical resources were not available when medics expected they would be, delaying hospital treatment for Mireles, 44, and student Xavier Lopez, 10, records show.

    …The disjointed medical response frustrated medics while delaying efforts to get ambulances, air transport and other emergency services to victims. Medical helicopters with critical supplies of blood tried to land at the school, but an unidentified fire department official told them to wait at an airport three miles away. Dozens of parked police vehicles blocked the paths of ambulances trying to reach victims.

    Multiple cameras worn by officers and one on the dashboard of a police car showed two ambulances positioned outside the school when the shooter was killed. That was not nearly enough for the 10 or more gunshot victims then still alive, though additional ambulances began arriving 10 minutes later. Six students, including one who was seriously wounded, were taken to a hospital in a school bus with no trained medics on board, according to Texas EMS records.

    …Although helicopters were available, none were used to carry victims directly from the school. At least four patients who survived were flown by helicopter to a more fully equipped trauma center in San Antonio after first being driven by ambulance to a nearby hospital or airport.

    Meticulously documented with transcripts, audio, maps and video, the article lays out in detail how emergency responders stumbled from practically the beginning of the siege. The first two ambulances arrived on the scene, but the subsequent influx of law enforcement blocked the streets, as did the vehicles of panicked parents rushing to the school.

    Again, as with the law enforcement arm, there was no one in charge. And no one took charge.

    …Medics on helicopters and in ambulances who responded to the Uvalde shooting told investigators they were confused about who was in charge, where they should be stationed and how many victims to expect. Some of them pleaded to be allowed closer to the scene. In the absence of clear guidance, experts said, medics did the best they could while trying to save lives.

    “They were told, essentially, to go to the airport and wait,” according to an interview the Texas Rangers conducted with Julie Lewis, the regional manager for AirLIFE, an air medical transport service that sent three helicopters from the greater San Antonio area.

    “They couldn’t figure out who was in command.”

    Reading again how police officer Rueben Ruiz desperately tried to save his wife is difficult. She believed her husband was coming – he told her “We’re coming. We’ll be there” when she called, telling him someone was shooting at the school. And then Ruiz was prevented from saving her by fellow officers. None who had the courage to go in with him and then there were even those who went as far as stripping him of his weapon – for his own safety, you understand.

    That’s revolting enough to turn your stomach.

    …About 20 minutes later, his wife called again.

    At 11:56 a.m., he shouted, “She says she’s shot!”

    TWENTY MINUTES have passed and police have done nothing.

    But when you learn what that magnificent woman, shot while protecting her students, had the presence of mind to do, even as she lay wounded – and then you find out she might not have had to bleed out after all? Oh, Lord.

    …Trapped inside her classroom, Mireles tied a plastic bag around her arm to help slow the blood loss, one of her students told investigators. Another child in Room 112 told investigators that Mireles tried to protect him. The boy was hit in the back of his shoulder but survived.

    At least two students used Mireles’s phone to call 911, begging officers to send help.

    The children trapped in that horrific situation knew their beloved teacher had little time left, as did so many of their classmates who lay in the carnage.

    Finally, a Border Patrol tactical team arrived at the school and took charge of the chaos…

    …With no one clearly in charge of the police or medical responses, an elite Border Patrol tactical team that began arriving at the school at 12:10 p.m. assumed both roles, according to a July report by a state House committee tasked with investigating the response.

    …breaching the classroom, and neutralizing the murderer, who’d popped out of a closet, firing, as they stormed in.

    77 precious minutes had elapsed.

    …Officers who had packed the hallway now filled the classrooms. Ruiz ran back into the school, looking for his wife. Children lay on the floor, many near or on top of each other, most of them dead.

    Officers and EMS personnel trying to clear dead and wounded children from the school became its own frantic exercise in danse macabre.”


    There is no excuse for this.


  2. And now you’re starting to understand why Obama made it legal for US 3 letter agencies to spread propaganda in the US.

    For just such operations as we’ve seen for the last 6 years.

    “How the FBI Copied Parts of the Debunked Steele Dossier Directly Into Its Spy Requests”


    “The FBI relied more extensively on Christopher Steele’s debunked dossier in their Russiagate investigation than has been revealed, inserting key parts from it into their applications for warrants to spy on the 2016 Trump campaign.

    Agents did this without telling the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that the precise wording was plucked  directly from a political rumor sheet paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign or providing judges with any independent corroboration of the explosive  allegations.

    For years, defenders of the FBI and its Russiagate probe have downplayed the bureau’s reliance on the opposition research cooked up by Steele – with its incredible tales of billion-dollar bribes and pee-tapes – insisting it was limited to justifying the  surveillance of a single Trump campaign adviser and used sparingly.
    But the notion that mere “snippets” of the reporting by paid Clinton subcontractor Christopher Steele showed up  in FISA applications,  as CNN has described it, no longer holds up to scrutiny.

    A close examination of all four of the FISA warrants reveals that the FBI lifted dozens of key  phrases from the dossier  – as well as practically some entire sentences – and pasted them verbatim into their sworn  affidavits. It did so repeatedly without citing its sources or using typical hedging language such as “allegedly” or “purportedly” to indicate that the claims were unverified.

    As a result, the FBI lent its voice of authority to many of the unsourced – and now debunked – accusations in the dossier.

    For example, it avowed under oath in all four warrant applications that “the FBI has learned” that onetime Trump campaign  adviser Carter Page had secretly met with sanctioned Kremlin officials in Moscow. But those allegations  came from Steele’s D.C.-based collector Igor Danchenko, who admitted to the FBI in a January 2017 interview his input  was just “hearsay” gathered from “conversation with friends over beer.”

    It is not clear whether the bureau decided to pay Steele in connection with the dossier so that it could represent the material as originating from one of its own confidential sources. At one point it reportedly offered him $1 million if he could verify key claims (he could not).

    Meanwhile, the FBI repeatedly portrayed improbable third-hand rumors as sound “intelligence,” despite taking them directly from paid political opposition research operatives. Suggesting independent verification, the bureau repeatedly assured the FISA court it “assesses” the truth of damning claims. ”


    See also…

    “Are FBI And CIA Agents ‘Sheep Dipped’ At Twitter And Other Tech Companies?”



  3. More here on the govt spread propaganda and lies….

    “*How Twitter Quietly Aided the Pentagon’s Covert Online PsyOp

    “Despite promises to shut down covert state-run propaganda networks, Twitter docs show that the social media giant directly assisted the U.S. military’s influence operations.”


  4. They got him this time for sure….


    They know this won’t stand, but it’s purpose is just to dirty up Trump for 2024.

    “Alan Dershowitz says Jan. 6 committee’s criminal referral of Trump is unconstitutional

    “Article One limits the power of Congress through legislative actions,” Dershowitz said”


    “Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz says that the Jan. 6 committee’s criminal referral to the Justice Department against former President Donald Trump is unconstitutional and violates separation of powers.

    During the Jan 6. final committee hearing Monday, the panel unanimously made four criminal referrals against former President Trump.

    “In my view, it’s clearly unconstitutional,” Dershowitz said on Monday’s edition of the “Just the News, No Noise” TV show. “Article One limits the power of Congress through legislative actions. This is not a legislative action — naming a specific individual and referring them to the Justice Department. It’s not legislative and it tramples on the authority of the executive branch.”

    “The 14th Amendment provides one specific time when Congress may in fact, act against an individual,” he later continued. “That is if the person was engaged in an insurrection or rebellion, like in the Civil War, and they didn’t act under that provision.”

    “According to the Harvard law professor, the law has been weaponized and it is becoming more and more obvious to everyday Americans.

    “We’re seeing the law weaponized and once the Republicans get power, they’ll probably do some of the same thing,” Dershowitz concluded. “So the American public has to be protected against the weaponization of our legal system for partisan purposes.””


  5. Even some liberals get it.

    But the media will act as the PR wing of the Dem party and pretend it carries weight, which is laughable.


  6. The politicization of the CDC continues.

    Got a problem with childhood obesity?

    Just change the standards, like they did with the definition of a recession and your problem is fixed.

    “CDC Changes BMI Charts as Childhood Obesity Skyrockets

    Bureaucrats making new charts, instead of correcting the policies that created the problems in the first place.”


    “As the rates of childhood obesity skyrocketed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an expansion of the Body Mass Index (BMI) charts used for assessing growth.

    Updated growth charts released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now extend to a body mass index of 60 — up from previous charts that stopped at a BMI of 37, with additional categories to track obesity in kids ages 2 to 19.

    In recent decades, severe obesity among children in America has nearly quadrupled, experts said.

    We noticed a decade ago that we were kind of outstripping our growth charts,” said Dr. Tom Inge, who directs the weight loss surgery program at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

    The CDC charts are the most widely used tool in the U.S. to track growth and development in kids.

    Currently, about 4.5 million children (about 6 percent) are severely obese.

    The old charts had been used since 2000, and were based on data from US surveys conducted from 1963 to 1994, when far fewer children were obese, let alone severely obese, said CDC epidemiologist Cynthia Ogden.

    Growth charts show patterns of development by age, expressed in BMI, a calculation of height and weight, and also in curves called percentiles.

    Unlike adults, children are not classified as obese or severely obese based on a strict BMI cutoff.

    Instead, kids are described as obese based on percentiles — where they fall compared to other kids their age.

    A child is considered obese if they reach the 95th percentile on the growth charts, and severely obese at 120 percent of that mark — or with a BMI of 35 or higher, according to the CDC.
    Many people have questions for the CDC, especially as the lockdowns it recommended prevented children from getting outdoor activity and resulted in the use of more electronics that further contributed to this issue.”


  7. McConnell sucks. He’s all for it.


  8. This should surprise no one.

    “CDC Funding Decisions Based Largely on Politics, Not Science”


    “For the second year in a row, the Centers for Disease Control has been caught ignoring science and letting liberal interest groups set its policies.

    In 2021, the American Pediatric Academy and the Children’s Hospital Association tracked COVID-19 statistics in children and the data show no relationship between mask mandates and the rate at which children caught the disease. In the face of this evidence – and other data showing that masks harm children’s development, the CDC supported masking students after being pressured by the National Education Association (the nation’s largest teachers’ union).

    Now comes word that CDC is again allowing partisan politics to influence its policies. This time, gun control activists got the CDC to remove research from its website. Yet, the CDC is trusted to impartially dole out millions of dollars for public health research on firearms: From 2020 to 2022, the CDC and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) each spent about $50 million on such research.

    Until May of this year, the CDC cited a 2013 National Academies of Sciences (NAS) report showing that the annual number of defensive gun uses ranged from about 64,000 to 3 million. The CDC website listed the upper figure at 2.5 million. But now, the CDC has removed from its website all of those numbers and even the link to the NAS report.

    Following introductions from the White House and Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, gun control advocates linked up with the CDC. They had a private meeting and numerous email exchanges, in which they lobbied hard to have the CDC remove the information.

    “[T]hat 2.5 Million number needs to be killed, buried, dug up, killed again and buried again,” Mark Bryant, who runs the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), wrote to CDC officials after their meeting. “It is highly misleading, is used out of context and I honestly believe it has zero value – even as an outlier point in honest DGU [Defensive Gun Use] discussions.” He was upset that the 2.5 million number “has been used so often to stop [gun control] legislation.”

    The Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey estimates that there are between 64,000 and 120,000 instances each year in which a firearm is used defensively. This is on the low end of all the other social science on this subject. Some 20 such surveys have been conducted. Three of them show about 800,000 defensive gun uses a year. All the other estimates are over 1 million, with one as high as 3.5 million. The average estimate is about 2 million. William English of Georgetown University surveyed 16,708 gun owners just last year, and estimated that there are 1.67 million such uses annually.

    The National Crime Victimization Survey’s low numbers result from its choice of a screening question. It first asks a person if they have been a victim of a crime. Only respondents who answer “yes” are then asked if they have used a gun defensively. Yet, people who successfully brandish a gun generally do not view themselves as having been victimized.

    Devin Hughes, who runs another gun control group, GVPedia, argued in a July 6, 2021 email to the CDC that it should use the Gun Violence Archive (GVA) estimate of defensive gun uses. Hughes claimed that the GVA is “the most widely accepted compendium of gun violence data.” Between January and mid-December this year, the GVA claims that there were only 1,112 defensive gun uses in the United States.

    Last year, RealClearInvestigations examined Gun Violence Archive’s data from Jan. 1 to Aug. 10 and found 774 defensive gun uses. Ninety-five percent of these self-defense cases were from initial news reports. I checked those cases against other lists compiled by the Heritage Foundation and the Crime Prevention Research Center, and found that the GVA had missed an additional 30 cases. But that wasn’t the important problem.

    What makes defensive gun uses newsworthy doesn’t accurately reflect the real world. In GVA’s statistics, 43% of the GVA’s gun violence cases involve fatalities, 42% involve woundings, and 10% are cases in which shots were fired defensively that don’t hit anyone. Less than 4% of cases involved no shots fired, and more than half of those involve the criminal being held at gunpoint until the police arrive. But as gun control experts know, these kinds of cases represent a tiny fraction of the instances in which firearms are used defensively for self-protection.”


    The foxes are in the hen house.


  9. Turley gets it.

    “FBI and Twitter formed a censorship alliance and they can’t be allowed to get away with it

    Congress must get answers on Twitter censorship carried out in conjunction with the FBI”


    “”They are probing & pushing everywhere.” That line sums up an increasingly alarming element in the seventh installment of the so-called “Twitter files.” “They” were the agents of Federal Bureau of Investigation, and they were pushing for the censorship of citizens in an array of stories.

    Writer Michael Shellenberger added critical details on how the FBI was directly engaged in censorship at the company. However, this batch of documents contains a particularly menacing element to the FBI-Twitter censorship alliance. The documents show what writer Shellenberger described as a concentrated effort “to discredit leaked information about Hunter Biden before and after it was published.”

    Twitter has admitted that it made a mistake in blocking the Hunter laptop story. After roughly two years, even media that pushed the false “Russian disinformation” claims have acknowledged that the laptop is authentic.

    Yet, those same networks and newspapers are now imposing a new de facto blackout on covering the details of the Twitter files on the systemic blacklisting, shadow-banning, and censorship carried out in conjunction with the government.

    The references to the new Hunter Biden evidence were also notable in the dates of these back-channel communications. On October 13, weeks before the election, FBI Special Agent Elvis Chan sent 10 documents to Twitter’s then-Head of “Trust & Safety” Yoel Roth related to the Biden story. It was the next day that New York Post ran its story on the laptop and its incriminating content. The United States government played a key role trying to bury a story damaging to the Democrats before the election.

    The Twitter files now substantiate the earlier allegations of “censorship for surrogate” or proxy. While the First Amendment applies to the government, it can also apply to agents of the government. Twitter itself now admits that it acted as an agent in these efforts.

    The current media blackout on the Twitter files story only deepens these concerns. For years, media figures have denied Twitter was engaging in censorship, blacklisting, shadow-banning and other techniques targeting conservatives. The release of the files have shattered those denials. There is simply no further room for censorship apologists.

    In a city that relies on “plausible deniability,” there is no longer a plausible space left in the wake of the releases. All that remains is silence — the simple refusal to acknowledge the government-corporate alliance in this massive censorship system.”


    And our corrupt media will continue to play dumb.


  10. “Anonymous GOP Aide Epitomizes The Swampiness Behind Congress’s Omnibus Spending Bill”


    “Late last night, congressional negotiators revealed the long-awaited omnibus spending bill. The mammoth legislation came in at 4,155 pages and allocated $772.5 billion in spending for domestic initiatives and $858 billion for defense.

    On Monday, Politico reported that the omnibus would include provisions ending a requirement that states keep ineligible Medicaid beneficiaries on the rolls, effective April 1. Congress enacted the requirement in March 2020, and the Biden administration has continued to extend the public health emergency started by the federal government at the outset of the Covid pandemic despite President Biden previously declaring the pandemic to be “over.”

    A primary reason for the constant extension of the state of emergency was to enable the government to finance an ever-increasing amount of Medicaid recipients. Expanding programs like this is one of the main objectives of the welfare-industrial complex.

    However, in exchange for an end to this eligibility requirement — which was designed to be temporary and should have ended months, if not years, ago — Republicans had to agree to use the “savings” to permanently expand Medicaid eligibility and potentially help pay for a round of Medicare and Medicaid payment increases to doctors and hospitals.

    The timing of this nascent “deal” seems particularly questionable. With Republicans regaining control of the House of Representatives in January, lawmakers could force votes in both chambers early next year on terminating the public health emergency. (Previously, Republicans only had the ability to demand a vote in the Senate.) Such an effort would likely force Biden to veto legislation ending an emergency for a pandemic he already called “over.”

    Why would Republicans cave mere weeks before gaining an additional leverage point? The answer appears both cynical and obvious.

    A Corrupt Bargain

    Consider the following quote from “a Senate Republican aide” in the Politico story:

    Because Democrats are squeamish about this, they will use it to drive a hard bargain. Their support and openness to it is clearly contingent on reinvesting the savings into Medicaid permanently. The question is: Can they get enough wins to take the political sting off, allowing states to kick people off the rolls?

    When analyzing the obtuse nature of the Senate aide’s remark, it makes little difference. First of all, why would any Republican staffer talk (even if only on background) to a publication that consistently shows political bias and advocates for left-wing causes?

    Second, note that the Republican aide spends the entire quote analyzing the policy from the Democrats’ perspective. Why does the Republican staffer appear more concerned about giving Democrats a win than enacting good policy — or, heaven forbid, actualizing Republican prioritizes and inserting them into this legislation?

    Third, the aide speaks the language of the left when talking about “reinvesting the savings.” The last time I checked, “investing” in government-speak means spending someone else’s money. The fact that a purportedly Republican staffer uses such terminology reinforces the old axiom about bipartisanship occurring when Republicans agree to act like Democrats.

    And finally, the staffer admits that in exchange for ending a designation that was always meant to be temporary, Republicans must agree to expand “Medicaid in a permanent way.” The staffer admits that this agreement amounts to a defeat to the extent the staffer, or any Republican, actually cares about stemming the growth of the welfare state.

    Why would any staffer, no matter their partisan affiliation, not just admit such a stunning defeat but brag about it publicly? Quite possibly because the staffer didn’t have the public in mind when speaking to Politico — not most of the public, anyway.”


  11. That childhood obesity article reminded me of how the fashion industry changed the sizing on women’s clothing im our nation. I did not read all of the article so wondered if that was referred to? Ladies would not buy clothes sized larger than they wanted to admit to being, so just change the numbers to give them their dream size.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Janice – My mom once took me to a dress shop that was more upscale than where we would usually go. In that shop, for women with a good deal of money, I was amazingly a size smaller than usual. 🙂


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