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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Highlights of the News

Donald John Trump is still our president.

ITEM 1: Flashback to four days before the 2016 election.

Vox reported, "Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump in recent national polls has been shrinking, with key swing states like Florida and North Carolina looking increasingly competitive and Ohio and Iowa appearing to have fallen beyond her reach.

"But to win an Electoral College majority of at least 270 votes, Clinton doesn’t need to win any of those states. She just needs to hold six swing states where public polling has generally shown her doing very well: Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire.

"This group of states has been dubbed Clinton’s 'firewall,' and she’s led the vast, vast majority of polls of them this year. Indeed, her campaign cut off its ad spending in Virginia and Colorado back in August, signaling that they were in the bag, and never even bothered to run ads in Wisconsin or Michigan."

Didn't. Bother. To. Run. Ads. In Wisconsin. Or. Michigan.

Guess whose firewall Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are now.

Firehouse Strategies reported, "This week we continued our quarterly battleground polling series in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin asking likely 2020 general election voters their political opinions on President Trump, the 2020 presidential election, and impeachment.  We polled voters through a combination of live landline, live cell, and peer-to-peer text message to web survey modes from December 3 to December 5.

"As the impeachment process heats up in Washington, Donald Trump is seeing a boost in support in crucial swing states. Across the board, President Trump is polling well against the Democratic field in each of these battleground states. Notably, Vice President Biden has seen a sharp decline in support in our surveys as he currently runs behind President Trump in each of the three states."

President Trump has an outside-the-margin-of-error lead against every Democrat in the poll (Biden, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Sanders and Warren) in each firewall state.

ITEM 2: Bill Barr said, "The Inspector General’s report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken. It is also clear that, from its inception, the evidence produced by the investigation was consistently exculpatory. Nevertheless, the investigation and surveillance was pushed forward for the duration of the campaign and deep into President Trump’s administration. In the rush to obtain and maintain FISA surveillance of Trump campaign associates, FBI officials misled the FISA court, omitted critical exculpatory facts from their filings, and suppressed or ignored information negating the reliability of their principal source."

We already know that.

What is Barr going to do about it? Tell Congress to scrap FISA? Charge the perpetrators with crimes? Or shuffle the deckchairs at the FBI and promise not to do it again?
And what about the FISA judges? Were they duped or accomplices? In either case, Chief Justice John Roberts should replace them all.

ITEM 3Reuters reported, "Russia was banned from the Olympics and world championships in a range of sports for four years on Monday after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) ruled to punish it for manipulating laboratory data, a WADA spokesman said."

WADA mess.

This will be the first Olympics without Russia since 1984. They won't be missed.

ITEM 4: The Hill reported, "Lawmakers on Sunday touted a bipartisan deal on protecting patients from surprise medical bills, but the effort still faces some tough questions before it can reach President Trump's desk.

"While the announced deal was a boost to efforts to address the complicated issue, supporters still face opposition from powerful industry groups and need to secure the backing of congressional leaders, who have yet to sign on.

"And the clock is ticking. Backers of the deal between House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), Energy and Commerce ranking member Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) are trying to include the measure in a year-end government funding package, which must pass before a Dec. 20 deadline.

"Key committee leaders are signing on, but the top Democratic and Republican leaders in each chamber have not endorsed the deal.

"And the American Hospital Association, an influential group in Washington, is also opposed, worried the measure would result in damaging cuts to payments to hospitals. Doctors and hospitals have been lobbying hard on the measure, and that work is likely to ramp up as the year draws to a close."

Through Medicaid, Medicare and other programs, the government gives a trillion bucks a year to hospitals, doctors and the rest of the medical industry. He who pays the piper calls the tune.

ITEM 5: Half a loaf is better than none.
Half a news story is worse than none.

ITEM 6: The Hill reported, "The White House and House Democrats are on the verge of a new North American trade deal in what would give President Trump a signature legislative victory.

"The Washington Post reported Monday that AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said the two sides had come to a deal and that the labor union was reviewing it."

If Obama were being impeached, he would crawl under his bed and remain in the fetal position until it was over.

ITEM 7: The Washington Examiner reported, "The Supreme Court won't hear an appeal over a Kentucky law that forces health providers to show pregnant women ultrasounds of their fetuses before having abortions.

"The decision, issued Monday, means that the Supreme Court leaves intact a 2-1 ruling from the 6th Circuit that the law does not violate doctors' First Amendment rights to free speech, writing that the information gleaned from an ultrasound was 'pertinent' to a woman's decision-making.

"At least four justices must agree to hear a case for it to be taken up by the Supreme Court. Court observers have been closely watching the court, which now includes Republican-confirmed Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, to see whether they'll take up cases challenging Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. Next year, the justices will hear arguments about a Louisiana law that requires doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital."

Ultrasounds save babies.

I don't see the problem. Women still get a choice.

ITEM 8: NESN reported, "The NFL is investigating allegations that the New England Patriots were filming the Cincinnati Bengals’ sideline Sunday in Cleveland, which naturally caused a ripple effect of reactions across the league and Internet. Although it seems rather apparent the crew was there to film a Patriots’ advanced scout as part of the team’s Do Your Job series, some within the Bengals organization believe New England was cheating.

"A Bengals source told The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Dave Clark and Tyler Dragon that they 'believe the Patriots were stealing signs from the Bengals sideline during Week 14’s game in Cleveland.'"

Simon bar Belichick strikes again. But the Bengals are 1-12. Do the defending Super Bowl champs have to cheat to beat them? Must be force of habit.

ITEM 9: CBS reported, "Pope Francis is demanding that technology companies remove child pornography from the web and prevent children from accessing porn online.

"Francis told a Vatican conference of religious leaders and high-tech representatives Thursday that it's no longer acceptable to merely follow the law in monitoring online content, since technology is fast outpacing regulation."

Good for him. If you ain't old enough to make it, you ain't old enough to view it.

ITEM 10: Eric Trump is wrong. It is very real although unusually blunt.
News is a business and employees do what the boss tells him to do.

ITEM 11: Deadline reported, "Warner Bros is more than willing to take on one of America’s largest newspapers over claims that portions of the studio’s Clint Eastwood-directed Richard Jewell movie are defamatory.

"'The film is based on a wide range of highly credible source material,' the AT and T-owned studio said today after being threatened with a defamation lawsuit by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s outside counsel."

The movie runs a standard disclaimer at the end, "The film is based on actual historical events. Dialogue and certain events and characters contained in the film were created for the purposes of dramatization."

The Atlanta paper's role was paramount in the FBI's attempt to scapegoat Jewell.

23 years later, it claims to be a victim.

The newspaper is a public figure. Its editor should deal with it.

ITEM 12: The Washington Times reported, "She’s not running for president — yet — but Hillary Clinton was the top choice for Democratic voters in the Harvard-Harris national poll released last week.

"Mrs. Clinton drew 21%, followed by former Vice President Joseph R. Biden with 20%, when registered Democrats were asked whom they would support for the 2020 party presidential nod if she and former Secretary of State John Kerry were added to the mix.

"Placing third in the hypothetical race was Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders at 12%, followed by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 9% and ex-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at 7%."

Democrats are stuck in 2016.

ITEM 13: A 66-year-old's day.
Blog some more.
A 73-year-old's day.

Donald John Trump is the hardest working man in president business.

ITEM 14: The Associated Press reported, "Global commerce will lose its ultimate umpire Tuesday, leaving countries unable to reach a final resolution of disputes at the World Trade Organization and instead facing what critics call the law of the jungle.

"The United States, under a president who favors a go-it-alone approach to economics and diplomacy, appears to prefer it that way.

"The terms of two of the last three judges on the WTO’s appellate body neared their end at midnight Tuesday. Their departure will deprive the de facto Supreme Court of world trade of its ability to issue rulings."

Oh that meanie.

Paragraph Nine said, "The panel is supposed to have seven judges. But their ranks have dwindled because the United States — under Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Trump — has blocked new appointments to protest the way the WTO does business."

But, uh (sputter), oh nevermind.

ITEM 15: Vox reported, "In less than three years as president, President Trump has done nearly as much to shape the courts as President Obama did in eight years.

"Trump hasn’t simply given lots of lifetime appointments to lots of lawyers. He’s filled the bench with some of the smartest, and some of the most ideologically reliable, men and women to be found in the conservative movement. Long after Trump leaves office, these judges will shape American law — pushing it further and further to the right even if the voters soundly reject Trumpism in 2020.

"Let’s start with some raw numbers. Both Obama and Trump appointed two justices to the Supreme Court but Trump’s impact on the highest Court far exceeds Obama’s, because Trump replaced the relatively moderate conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy with the hardline conservative Brett Kavanaugh (that was after appointing conservative Neil Gorsuch to fill Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat). Obama’s appointees — Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — largely maintained the balance of power on a conservative Court, while Trump has shoved that Court even further to the right.

"On the courts of appeal, the final word in the overwhelming majority of federal cases, more than one-quarter of active judges are Trump appointees. In less than three years, Trump has named a total of 48 judges to these courts — compared to the 55 Obama appointed during his entire presidency."

But Never Trumpers assured me losing the judiciary did not matter. We had to vote for Egg McMuffin to keep the Orange Man out.

And the Vox story said, "And they’re young, too. 'The average age of circuit judges appointed by President Trump is less than 50 years old,' the Trump White House bragged in early November, 'a full 10 years younger than the average age of President Obama’s circuit nominees.'"

Age dodn't matter because Democrats thought they would rule forever.

President Trump knows better.

ITEM 16: Old: Everyone I don't like is Hitler.
Remember, the Jeff Bezos Washington Post does not shape opinion in Washington. The paper parrots it.

ITEM 17: You can buy American...
... or you can pay a tax.

It is your choice.

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