Posts

Showing posts from March, 2020

China is yet to come clean about the coronavirus

Image
Daily Mail:

China has covered up key information or lied during virtually every stage of its coronavirus response, from initial cases to current infection and death figures, observers experts and politicians warn. While China now claims to have fewer deaths from the virus than the US, few people believe them.  People are looking at the sale of urns in the impacted region as well as the cancellation of cell phone service that suggests that 10 to 40 times the number of people they claim as victims have actually been killed.

Reports indicate that as many as five million people were allowed to travel out of the city of Wuhan before a lockdown was in place.  This must be what Trump is talking about in saying the spread could have been greatly reduced if China had been honest about the issue.

FBI abuse of FISA was worse than first reported

Washington Post:
Problems with FBI surveillance extended far beyond probe of Trump campaign, inspector general says The Justice Department inspector general has issued a new memorandum alerting officials of widespread problems in FISA applications. Will someone in the FBI ever be held accountable for these abuses?  The record of prosecution of illegal conduct by agents and others working for the DOJ is that such prosecutions are at best rare.  The agents who engage in criminal activity are rarely publicly punished.

More on the problem here.

Reminding Democrats, media of their impeachment distraction

Washington Post:
McConnell claims impeachment ‘diverted the attention’ of Trump administration from coronavirus response It was a massive distraction.  It was also a bad faith coup attempt against the Trump administration that should live in infamy. 

It should also be noted that the same Democrats who claim that President Trump did not move quickly enough to deal with the pandemic also criticized the moves he did make to ban travel from China which stopped some of those carrying the disease from coming. 

At the same time, the Democrats were critical of the travel ban, they were also encouraging people to not let the fear of the virus stop them from gathering in huge crowds.  There are plenty of clips on the internet of Democrat politicians in New York telling people to go to the gatherings and suggesting that doing otherwise would be racist.

Media frustrated by not being able to drive down Trump's approval rating?

NY Times:
Who Are the Voters Behind Trump’s Higher Approval Rating?Despite the president’s slow performance on the coronavirus and his series of falsehoods, some independent voters and Democrats are giving him a measure of credit for his handling of the crisis. Trump had been attracting Democrat voters to his campaign rallies.  Some 10 to 20 percent of those participating in the rallies self-identified as Democrats.  I suspect that is because his policies were bringing jobs back to this country.  I also think that one of the reasons Democrats are against the reopening of the country is that they want to depress those voters.

One of the things that is helping Trump is that his performance at the press briefings has impressed those forced to stay at home.  At the same time, the performance of much of the media at these events has really hurt the credibility of reporters and their media.  What is clear from watching them is that they have an agenda-driven approach to covering the news and…

Chinese researchers were examining bat viruses shortly before the virus epidemic in Wuhan

Bill Gertz:
Chinese government researchers isolated more than 2,000 new viruses, including deadly bat coronaviruses, and carried out scientific work on them just three miles from a wild animal market identified as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several Chinese state media outlets in recent months touted the virus research and lionized in particular a key researcher in Wuhan, Tian Junhua, as a leader in bat virus work.

The coronavirus strain now infecting hundreds of thousands of people globally mutated from bats believed to have infected animals and people at a wild animal market in Wuhan. The exact origin of the virus, however, remains a mystery.

SEE ALSO: Chinese markets again selling bats — likely source of deadly pandemic — reporters say

Reports of the extensive Chinese research on bat viruses likely will fuel more calls for Beijing to make public what it knows about such work.

“This is one of the worst cover-ups in human history, and now the world is facing a global pandemic,”…

Gov. Abbott orders Texas schools to remain closed until May 4

Houston Chronicle:
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered schools in the state to remain closed until Monday, May 4 unless otherwise extended.

Under the executive order Abbott issued Tuesday, which will be in place until April 30, Texans are expected to limit person interactions except for essential activities and services.

HOUSTON CORONAVIRUS UPDATES: Harris County to extend stay-at-home order

State residents will not be required to shelter-in-place. Grocery stores, banks, hardware stores, and other essential businesses will remain open.

The order empowers any law enforcement officer in the state to impose its directives through fines, imprisonment or a quarantine order.
...

Abbott said 42,922 people have been tested for the virus, with 3,266 positive cases across 122 counties. Only 2.4 percent of the beds available for COVID-19 patients are currently occupied, he said. There have been 41 deaths so far attributed to the coronavirus in Texas.

What is not clear is whether students will be required …

Brooklyn man accused of hoarding medical supplies and masks and price gouging

NY Post:
A Brooklyn man claiming to be infected with the coronavirus coughed on FBI agents who were investigating him for hoarding medical supplies, the US Attorney’s Office said Monday.

Baruch Feldheim, 43, is facing charges of assault and making false statements to the feds on Sunday outside his Borough Park home where he allegedly peddled and stored massive amounts of N95 respirator masks, federal officials said.

Feldheim is also accused of price-gouging. On March 18, he’s suspected of selling a New Jersey doctor about 1,000 of the masks for $12,000, a markup of roughly 700 percent, authorities said.

The accused fraudster also directed another doctor to an Irvington, NJ, auto repair shop to pick up another order. There, the doctor reported to investigators that Feldheim was allegedly hoarding enough medical supplies “to outfit an entire hospital.”

The materials included hand sanitizers, Clorox wipes, chemical cleaning agents and surgical supplies.

By last Monday, Feldheim was opera…

US stealth destroyer ready for combat

Image
Washington Free Beacon:


...
The USS Zumwalt, the Navy's first stealth destroyer, will soon complete the installation of its combat system and be ready for active duty, according to Defense News.

Originally commissioned in 2016, the Zumwalt has been described as "the largest and most technologically advanced surface combatant in the world," featuring "the latest war fighting technology and weaponry available." Its imminent entry into the U.S. fleet is great news for fans of American military supremacy and bad news for the enemies of freedom.
... I think the advantage of the stealth operations of this ship will be mainly under cover of darkness where it will present a difficult radar image to decipher.

Why were so many Democrat candidates supporting harming US and economy with their opposition to fracking

Forbes:
The onslaught of COVID-19 will one day pass and we will get back to normal life. Our reality is that we must march on as best we can. There will be an election in November, so let us get to it.

The question: why did so many presidential candidates (two still are) propose energy policies that were: (1) a direct threat to U.S. national security, (2) morally unjust, (3) counter to climate change goals, (4) sure to raise energy prices, and (5) designed to put millions of people out of work?

Just look at the roughly 20 candidates that ran for the Democratic nomination. Most of them opposed fracking and the export of oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG). Elizabeth Warren promised to “ban fracking – everywhere” and also make it impossible to export LNG. Still running, Bernie Sanders says “we are going to ban fracking in 50 states of this country” and opposes all fossil fuel exports – as did most of the others that were involved in the race, including Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Tom…

Mortality rates did not increase in December in US

Image
According to Hoyt:
Let me preface this by saying that I’m not a statistician. I’m not an epidemiologist, nor am I a medical doctor, or even a schmuck with an undergrad in biology. My degrees are in Industrial Management and Automotive Technology. I am a long term organ transplant recipient who has lived with being immunocompromised long enough to take interest in these subjects because disease activity has more potential impact on me than on the average person.
I’ve been watching CDC’s flu surveillance since last fall when there were rumors floating about of a nasty new flu bug in China. That’s not that unusual, there seems to always be rumors of nasty new bugs in China. According to the South China Post the first COVID-19 case in Hubei province China was found November 17. Even that article states that patient zero may have been earlier than that. This page on FlightRadar24.com shows the Wuhan Tianhe airport serves many domestic and international routes. I contend that it is …

Michigan's incompetent Democrat governor tries to blame Trump for her screw up

Elizabeth Vaughn:
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, spent a lot of time last week disparaging President Trump’s response to the coronavirus crisis. She went so far as to imply that Trump Administration officials were blocking vendors’ attempts to ship much needed medical supplies to the state. And every step of the way, she was aided by a compliant media.
...
In other words, now that everybody knows she was late in submitting the paperwork, she can no longer blame it on Trump.

But, why did she blame it on Trump in the first place?

Donald Trump Jr. believes she was trying to hurt his father’s popularity in the state ahead of the election. He may be right. Following her ridiculous non-answer to Chuck Todd’s question, he tweeted, “So it appears the governor of Michigan lied about what was actually going on to try to hurt Trump in Michigan. Typical Democrat politics and typical media response…also absolutely disgusting. Don’t they have bigger stuff to worry about?”

He may be right.…

Grocery sales may save some restaurants

Epoch Times:
Restaurants across the nation are adapting to the shutdowns caused by the CCP virus pandemic by switching to grocery sales. The strategy is a win-win-win situation, as it helps businesses stay afloat, alleviates supply shortages at regular grocery stores, and diffuses the supply glut in the hospitality industry. Some restaurants are also combining grocery sales with deliveries.

The CCP virus, also known as the novel coronavirus, broke out in the central Chinese city of Wuhan around November 2019 and was allowed to spread across China and the world due to a coverup and mismanagement by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Many U.S. states have banned eat-in restaurants in an effort to mitigate the epidemic. As massive layoffs sweep through the industry, many restaurateurs are looking to adapt. Meanwhile, some states have rolled back regulations to allow restaurants to sell their bulk supply of food directly to customers.
...

“We’re trying to help our supply chain,” he said. “We…

Nursing homes a dangerous place for those vulnerable to coronavirus

Washington Examiner:
The number of nursing homes reporting cases of the coronavirus surpassed 400 on Monday.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of long-term care facilities with cases of COVID-19 jumped 172% from the 146 nursing homes that had cases one week ago.

Elderly populations are highly susceptible to fatal cases of the coronavirus, making nursing home infections dangerous. Eighty percent of those who have died in the United States after contracting COVID-19 were over the age of 65.
... People with elderly parents would be wise to care for them in their own homes than send them to a nursing home where the virus spreads rapidly.

Trump listens to the experts on when to reopen the economy

Image
Washington Post:
As Trump changed course, both public health and politics played a role Campaign officials are said to have briefed the president in recent days about their fears of reopening the economy too soon, arguing that a spike in deaths could be more politically damaging than the economic downturn. It was not just camp[aign officials who made that recommendation.  Trump has been listening to the experts on the Coronavirus taskforce and taking their advice on measures to contain the outbreak.  He has actually been ahead of the Democrats on measures to contain the disease with his early travel bans which virtually all the Democrats opposed.  Those same Democrats are now castigating the President for not moving quicker although many of the leaders of the party encouraged large gatherings that help spread the disease.  The Democrat duplicity in dealing with the virus will be an issue in the 2020 campaign.

Virus gives energy producing states a preview of what life will be like if Democrats kill fracking

NY Times:
Fracking Once Lifted Pennsylvania. Now It Could Be a Drag.Natural-gas companies operating in the state were looking shaky before the coronavirus hit.
Local economies are now at risk. What would really be a long-term drag is electing Democrats who have made an irrational pledge to stop fracking.  That would be a disaster not only for the economy but also for the environment.  Fracking is the reason the air is getting cleaner because it made it possible to switch to natural gas for electricity production instead of coal.  It is now also clear that alternative energy is not reliable enough to substitute for natural; gas.  It is also vulnerable to extreme weather which could be disastrous to northern states.

Biden and Democrats short of campaign money

NY Times:
Biden Faces a Cash Gap With Trump. He Has to Close It Virtually.
Joe Biden’s campaign and top donors are racing to reimagine the ways they raise money
as worries grow that the coronavirus could choke off contributions from donors big and small. Biden did a poor job of fundraising before he virtually secured the Democrat nomination and what he did have he had to spend running against other Democrats which means that many of the party's source of funds was getting tapped well before the Cornonavirush crashed the economy.   Meanwhile, Trump has been building his war chest and spending money attacking Democrats.  The virus is a serious threat to the small donor base of the party.

News industry in trouble as ads dry up in coronavirus outbreak

Vanity Fair:
As Americans are turning in large numbers to media outlets for coronavirus coverage, the industry itself is struggling to stay afloat. “The Coronavirus Is Killing Local News,” read an Atlantic headline last week, while BuzzFeeddubbed the pandemic a “media extinction event.” Alternative weeklies, local dailies, and digital-only newsrooms are struggling with the current advertising free fall, compounding the long-running issue of advertising revenue migrating to big tech platforms like Facebook and Google.

BuzzFeed announced last week it would cut pay for its employees through May in an attempt to avoid layoffs, while newspaper giant Gannett, which owns papers such as USA Today, the Des Moines Register, and Arizona Republic, told staff Monday that furloughs and pay cuts were coming. The Tampa Bay Times is also furloughing some staff and announced Monday that it cut print production to only Sundays and Wednesdays. “These extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures,” …

Saudi's try to raise cash with sale of pipeline suggesting a cash flow issue

Bloomberg/Fuel Fix:
Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil producer, is weighing the sale of a stake in its pipeline unit to raise money amid a slump in crude prices, according to people familiar with the matter.

Aramco may need to raise cash this year as it confronts a historic rout in oil prices and a burgeoning list of spending obligations. The company has reaffirmed its commitment to pay out $75 billion in dividends this year and also needs to make the first installment for its $70 billion acquisition of a stake in chemicals producer Saudi Basic Industries Corp.

Aramco, the world’s most valuable publicly traded company after selling shares on the Riyadh exchange last year, could raise more than $10 billion from the sale, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Aramco has already held some preliminary discussions with potential advisers on the deal, but talks are still at an early stage and Aramco may decide against a sale, the people said.

Aramco…

Coronavirus outbreak strikes Marine Corps recruit Depot at Paris Island

AP/Houston Chronicle:
A coronavirus outbreak has infected dozens of Marine recruits and staff members at the service's East Coast recruit training center, prompting the suspension of additional arrivals for the foreseeable future, defense officials said Monday.

The cases at Parris Island, South Carolina, emerged following a "wave in testing" over the weekend, a defense official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. One official said there are at least 20 positive cases, and another said there are believed to be a few dozen but fewer than 50.

The outbreak could mark the Defense Department's largest yet. Defense officials have said that dozens of sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for the virus while on deployment in the Pacific, forcing a stop last week for treatment in Guam.

The Marine Corps acknowledged the suspension of new recruits arriving at Parris Island on Monday but d…

How New York politicians took actions that spread the coronavirus

Tucker Carlson shows the clips.

Democrats side with the virus in war with Trump

Steve Cortes:
Even in highly polarized times, America historically displays an uncanny ability to unite in the face of a universal foe. For example, after taking office in 2001, President George W. Bush was still reviled by many Democrats following the hotly contested vote recount showdown of the 2000 election. But once the tragedy of 9/11 shocked America, our national conscience and body politic largely coalesced around a shared sense of mission and a will to win, together.

Unfortunately, in 2020 America, as our nation faces a warlike attack from the coronavirus and the concomitant economic fallout, Democrats choose to posture, mislead, and play politics. Specifically, presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi deploy outright partisan lies, even as our nation endures the throes of this pandemic.

President Trump initiates a flurry of action to address the historic virus challenge. Through legislation, executive orders, and travel…

Media continues to be out of touch with reality in its war with Trump

Mollie Hemingway:
Media Reaction To Yamiche Alcindor Dustup With Trump Shows Why Their Approval Ratings Are Low
Her peers rushed to defend her, but Alcindor has a track record of partisan commentary and unnecessarily hostile and silly questions.

They actually thought they came out ahead in the confrontation where Trump caught them misreporting his statements?  They thought the miscreant reporters were heroes when they were exposed as biased and attempting to mislead their readers about what the President actually said.

Their game is to twist what he actually says into something opposite of its meanings in an attempt to get voters to reject him.  That is not journalism.  It is practicing the politics of fraud.  When you shorten a quote to make it have the opposite meaning of what was intended that is a fraud.  It is much worse than a childish game of a professional clique of Trump haters.

If they were not so blinded by their biases they would understand why Trump's press briefings ar…

Vehicles can shoot?

Trump has turned Pelosi into one of the worst politicians in history

Red States:
Pelosi Claims Trump ‘Fiddles’ While ‘People Are Dying,’ Trump, Jr, Lindsay Graham, and Others Light Her Up for Her Hypocrisy She used to be too smart to make statements like this, but her Trump hatred has turned her into a terrible politician.

Residents of Chinese province where virus originated think government is not being honest about number of dead

Washington Examiner:
Some residents in Wuhan, China, believe the region's death toll is likely at least 20 times higher than numbers reported by the government.

"It can't be right," a Wuhan resident told Radio Free Asia on Friday. "The incinerators have been working round the clock, so how can so few people have died?"

He added, "They started distributing ashes and starting interment ceremonies on Monday."

Officially, there have been around 3,000 deaths in the Hubei province where Wuhan is located, but residents think the total is more likely 42,000-47,000.

They have estimated that the seven funeral homes in the Wuhan area are giving out 3,500 urns each day. Another calculation estimated the capacity for each funeral home in cremating people. Both estimates have led them to conclude that likely over 40,000 people have died in the area.

"Maybe the authorities are gradually releasing the real figures, intentionally or unintentionally, so that p…

Texas adds Louisiana residents to quarantine list

Washington Examiner:
Texas governor orders all travelers from Louisiana to self-quarantine for two weeks I suspect there were also a lot of Texans in New Orleans for Mardi Gras too.  Other visitors to Texas were also added to the self-quarantine list.

Twitter trolls the Washington Post's bad take on the economy

Sister Toldjah:
...
Here was the tweet:
I’ve seen a lot of super-bad hot takes over my years of covering and analyzing the media, but this one ranks right up there in the top ten worst....

Twitchy documented more reactions

Joe Diffie dies following coronavirus diagnosis

Image
This is one of his bigger hits.  I have owned a few trucks through the years but did not become a full-time driver until a moved to the country and found out how handy they were.  I was already married when I started driving them full time, but I remember a high school friend who dated the women who became his wife and remember seeing her sitting next to him in his pickup.  Tommy  Goode was the original pickup man over 50 years later he is still married to the same gal.

Trump has impressive press briefing and scolds several reporters

Washington Post:
Trump berates PBS NewsHour reporter for ‘threatening’ question, hits ‘nice’ question out of park He also scolded a CNN reporter for misleading reports on that network which implied that Trump was demanding personal appreciation from those he was helping.  He made the reporter repeat the entire statement he made which showed he was talking about the efforts of FEMA and others on the White House team who were trying to help the states deal with the coronavirus crisis.   It wasn't just CNN that used the shortened quote to attack the President.  Two of the top reporters at the NY Times also mislead readers about the entirety of the statement.

It was one of the President's strongest briefings.  He also brought out industry leaders who are contributing to the effort to fight the virus showing how he is building a team of leaders in this country dedicated to helping those on the frontlines of this fight.

I think the main reason that the media hates these press briefin…

France struggles in African effort to defeat Islamist because of inadequate force to space ratio

Image
NY Times:
CREDITCrisis in the Sahel Becoming France’s Forever WarRiding along with French troops hunting Islamist militants in France’s unwinnable West African war.
This is typical of the fight against the Islamist guerilla war efforts.  The Islamist rarely mass their forces.  To defeat this kind of warfare it takes a force to space ration adequate to deny movement to contact by the enemy forces.  France is not willing to make that kind of commitment and probably does not have the resources to do so.  Its troops are probably better than the ones they are fighting, but there are just not enough of them to deny enemy movements.

The Islamists do not have enough troops or resources to defeat the French either, so you get a stalemate.

US is still getting medical supplies from China

NY Times:
White House Airlifts Medical Supplies From China in Coronavirus FightOfficials have teamed up with medical supply companies to speed the arrival of masks,
gloves, gowns and other goods. This is happening at the same time some in the US are pushing to move that business back to the US.  It is in China's interest to cooperate in getting the supplies here, although there are issues about teh quality of some of the material in other countries.  Testing kits for the Coronavirus imported by European countries have been found to be unreliable.

What this does show is the herculean effort of the administration to supply healthcare workers with the material they need to fight this disease.

Democrats lost their minds when Trump was elected and then lost their edge on the internet

NY Times:
Trump Won the Internet. Democrats Are Scrambling to Take It Back. In the era of big data, memes and disinformation, the Democrats are trying to regain their digital edge as the president and his loyalists dictate the terms of debate. First and foremost the Democrats and their media cohorts embraced the big lie of the Russian collusion hoax and then they tried to turn diplomatic negotiations into an impeachable offense.  They wasted so much time on crap that wasn't true to attack the President that they lost what edge that had even with the full-throated embrace of most of the media.   Meanwhile, Trump and his supporters were able to get their message out on social media and they did it with interesting memes and other material.

With the Democrats and the media believing so many things that were not true the Republicans pushed ahead actually gained support in the face of a virulent opposition.

Anti-energy left continues its war against Rio Grand Valley LNG projects and job creation

Fuel Fix:
Opponents of three proposed liquefied natural gas projects in the Rio Grande Valley have hit the projects with three simultaneous federal lawsuits.

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Shrimpers and Fisherman of the RGV, challenging the issuance of a wetlands permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for Rio Grande LNG and the Rio Bravo Pipeline, two projects being developed by Houston liquefied natural gas company NextDecade.

Save RGV From LNG, the Sierra Club, Vecinos para el Bienestar de la Comunidad Costera and the city of Port Isabel filed two lawsuits challenging the permits issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the Annova LNG and Texas LNG projects.

“In their approvals of these three highly polluting fracked gas export facilities, federal agencies violated the law by ignoring serious threats to local communities and the environment of the Rio Grande Valley,”Sierra Club Senior Attorney Nathan Matthews said. “It is unaccepta…

Some governors seek to shift their responsibility during the coronavirus up to federal level

Jonathon Turley:
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called on the federal government to take control of the medical supply market. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker demanded that President Trump take charge and said “precious months” were wasted waiting for federal action. Some critics are even more direct in demanding a federal takeover, including a national quarantine.

It is the legal version of panic shopping. Many seem to long for federal takeovers, if not martial law. Yet like all panic shopping, they are buying into far more than they need while not doing as much as they could with what they have. For decades, governors tried to retain principal authority over public emergencies, but they did very little with those powers. While many are doing impressive work now, some governors seem as eager to contain the blame as the coronavirus. Call it political distancing.

Even if Trump nationalized the crisis by deploying troops, imposing price controls, and forcing production of ventilators, t…