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Friday, May 22, 2020

Highlights of the News



Ric Grenell is still our ambassador to Germany.

ITEM 1: Politico reported, "The Senate on Thursday confirmed Rep. John Ratcliffe as President Donald Trump’s top intelligence official, in a move aimed at ending nine months of reshuffling at the top of the nation's spying establishment.

"Lawmakers voted 49-44 in a party-line vote to confirm the Republican congressman from Texas as the sixth director of national intelligence since the office was created in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The split was a contrast to the 85-12 vote in 2017 that had confirmed Ratcliffe's predecessor, former Republican Indiana Sen. Dan Coats, and comes amid an escalating feud between Trump and Democrats over the political use of intelligence.

"But Ratcliffe's path to the intelligence post was still relatively smooth — this time around. Thursday’s vote came just two days after a divided Senate Intelligence Committee approved his nomination, and well before initial expectations for full chamber consideration sometime after Memorial Day."

A reader pointed out that Democrats wanted Ambassador Grenell out as acting chief spook as quickly as possible because he was releasing the evidence that Obama had the FBI spy on Donald John Trump, his family, his friends, and his campaign.

ITEM 2Argus-Press reported, "Barber Karl Manke can go back to cutting hair, according to a ruling today by 35th Circuit Court Judge Matthew Stewart, who again declined to issue a temporary restraining order requested by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that would have forced the barber to close his business.

"Manke has been operating since May 4 in defiance of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order that instructed all non-essential businesses to close. Those state orders will continue at least through May 28, and possibly longer."

I am not calling her a witch, but the judge should have just said, "Governor, you have no power here. Begone."

ITEM 3: Andrew McCarthy reported, "The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, on its own motion, ordered Judge Emmet Sullivan to respond within ten days to the petition for a writ of mandamus filed by Michael Flynn. Earlier this week, Flynn’s counsel, Sidney Powell, filed the petition for that extraordinary writ, asking the appellate court to instruct Sullivan to grant the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss the case against Flynn."

McCarthy also wrote, "The three-judge appellate panel that is considering the mandamus petition and that ordered Judge Sullivan to respond includes Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson, who was appointed to the D.C. Circuit by President George H.W. Bush (after being named to the district court by President Reagan); Judge Naomi Rao, who was appointed by President Trump; and Judge Robert L. Wilkins, who was appointed by President Obama."

I am no lawyer, but the judge may want to use this as an opportunity to just dismiss the case with prejudice, meaning Flynn cannot be charged again, and move on.

ITEM 4: Fox News reported, "President Trump on Thursday brought a mask with him to tour a Ford plant in Ypsilanti, Mich., but said he didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing him wear it while he was on camera.

"'I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it,' he said. 'In the back area I did have a mask on. I had goggles and a mask right back there.'

The story said, "When asked if it was true that it wasn’t required that the president wear a mask, Ford’s CEO, Jim Hackett, told reporters, 'It’s up to him.'"

That should be the rule for everyone. We are grownups. We know the risks.

ITEM 5: Fox News reported, "Donald Trump Jr. on Thursday blasted the media for its lack of response to the announcement that Robert Mueller's former prosecutor Andrew Weissmann will headline a virtual fundraiser for the Biden campaign."

Weissmann also persecuted General Flynn in an attempt to cover-up the mass political spying by the FBI under Obama.

That Weissman sidles up to an actual crooked politician in bed with Red China and Ukraine tells you all you need to know about Democrats and other Never Trumpers. The press is more worried about President Trump going maskless than the spying and the bribery under Obama.

As an American, I thank Junior for pointing out this corruption.

ITEM 6: United Press International reported, "Actress Lori Loughlin and husband fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli will plead guilty to conspiracy charges in connection with the college admissions cheating scandal, prosecutors said Thursday."

The story also said, "Under the plea agreements, Loughlin, 55, will serve a two-month jail sentence, pay a $150,000 fine, perform two years of supervised release and 100 hours of community service."

She lost her TV show and movie career.

Meanwhile, Hillary continues to walk scot free enjoying the millions in post-political tribute paid to make speeches and the like.

ITEM 7: Gallup reported, "Significantly fewer Americans say they are avoiding public places, with the largest weekly declines seen to date in Gallup's trends. These include an eight-point decline in the percentage avoiding small gatherings, a six-point decline in the percentage avoiding public places and a five-point decline in the percentage avoiding air travel or public transportation."

I read that and immediately thought of the Four Seasons hit, "Walk Like A Man."

Let those who want out get out. If they keel over, it is on them.

Let those who want to hide stay hid.

ITEM 8: Today we mourn.
Tomorrow we make Red China pay.

ITEM 9: Dr. Kevin Pham of the Daily Signal reported, "President Donald Trump is again at the center of another hydroxychloroquine controversy after he disclosed earlier in the week that he has been taking the drug as prophylaxis in a manner being investigated for use by front-line health care workers.

"Media outlets and left-wing politicians predictably have been quick to criticize the president for that, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi feigning concern that the drug might be harmful to him because of his age group and his weight group calling the president morbidly obese.

"Neither of those are particular risk factors for potential side effects of hydroxychloroquine."

What would a doctor know about treating a pandemic?

But the jury is still out on this regimen.

He reported, "The verdict is still out on the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine on patients with COVID-19, with the body of research largely ambivalent on its use. Without the results from studies on its prophylactic use, it will be impossible to tell whether the president is benefiting from it, but he might.

"The health care workers who are currently in the prophylaxis study may benefit from it. Or some will and others won’t, or none will. Those are all open questions at this time, and politicizing its use in the middle of the pandemic is only going to be detrimental to the cause of public health.

"If politicians continue to insist on demagoguing questions of public health, including about the use of a potentially beneficial drug, they ultimately will subject the public’s health not to critical health findings and medical evidence, but to the angry whims of partisans and politicos."

The only thing clear is that government doctors oppose using a generic and readily available drug, and prefer to wait for Big Pharma to develop an exotic and expensive treatment.

ITEM 10: United Press International reported, "Former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and his nine Super Bowl trips will be the subject of a nine-part documentary series on ESPN, the network announced Thursday."

It will be called Everybody Hates Tom Brady.

ITEM 11: Fox reported, "A University of Minnesota Law School professor, Francesco Parisi, has won a nearly $1.2 million defamation case against a woman who had falsely accused him of rape.

"In his blistering ruling on Tuesday, Hennepin County Judge Daniel Moreno wrote that Parisi’s former lover, Morgan Wright, had pursued an untruthful narrative crusade, and her accusations were false, and made with malice.

"It is believed to be the largest defamation judgment in Minnesota. The vast majority of the judgement, $814,514 is for economic losses, as well as reputational and emotional damages. Only $100,000 was for punitive damages.

"Parisi walked out of jail three years ago, his life in shambles.

"He was criminally charged with raping Wright and trying to run over her with his car. While in jail for three weeks, with his bail set at a half-million dollars, his mother died in his native Italy.

"Days later, the Hennepin County Attorney would drop charges because of insufficient evidence. Prosecutors privately conceded there was no evidence."

Punitive damages should be higher. Apparently she has the money.

ITEM 12: BBC reported, "A head teacher says he is sorry if homework asking pupils to define types of hardcore pornography led them to undertake inappropriate web searches.

"The work was given to children, aged 11 to 14, at Archbishop Sentamu Academy in Hull, the Hull Daily Mail reported.

"Principal Chay Bell stressed the assignment did not require internet research as the answers were in the material the pupils were sent."

The teacher's only sorrow is he got caught. The principal is an ass who thinks parents are stupid.

Instead of demanding they be fired, parents should find another school not run by perverts.

ITEM 13: The Associated Press reported, "President Donald Trump won at least a temporary reprieve from the Supreme Court earlier this week in keeping secret grand jury materials from the Russia investigation away from Democratic lawmakers. The president and his administration are counting on the justices for more help to stymie other investigations and lawsuits.

"The high court is weighing Trump’s bid to block subpoenas for his tax, banking and financial records. It will soon be asked by the administration to kill a lawsuit alleging that Trump is illegally profiting from his luxury hotel near the White House. And a dispute over Congress’ demand for the testimony of former White House counsel Don McGahn also could find its way to the justices before long."

Curse that Constitution for stymieing investigations into the Orange Man who obviously broke some law somewhere somehow.

ITEM 14: The Associated Press reported, "President Donald Trump said Thursday that Russian violations make it untenable for the U.S. to stay in a treaty that permits 30-plus nations to conduct observation flights over each other’s territory, but he hinted it’s possible the U.S. will reconsider the decision to withdraw."

The president said, "Russia didn’t adhere to the treaty. So until they adhere, we will pull out, but there’s a very good chance we’ll make a new agreement or do something to put that agreement back together. So I think what’s going to happen is we’re going to pull out and they (the Russians) are going to come back and want to make a deal. I think something very positive will work."

If Russia won't abide by this treaty, why should we?

ITEM 15: Politico reported, "Georgia’s early move to start easing stay-at-home restrictions nearly a month ago has done little to stem the state’s flood of unemployment claims — illustrating how hard it is to bring jobs back while consumers are still afraid to go outside.

"Weekly applications for jobless benefits have remained so elevated that Georgia now leads the country in terms of the proportion of its workforce applying for unemployment assistance. A staggering 40.3% of the state's workers — two out of every five — has filed for unemployment insurance payments since the corona virus pandemic led to widespread shutdowns in mid-March, a Politico review of Labor Department data shows.

"Georgia's new jobless claims have been going up and down since the state reopened, rising to 243,000 two weeks ago before dipping to 177,000 last week. The state cited new layoffs in the retail, social assistance and health care industries for the continued high rate of jobless claims that have put it ahead of other states in the proportion of its workforce that has been sidelined.

"Georgia, which began pushing to resume economic activity on April 24, presents an early reality check as the White House amps up pressure on governors to lift shutdown orders and President Donald Trump’s economic advisers predict jobless claims will nosedive after the reopening. The state’s persistent unemployment numbers suggest that government restrictions aren’t the only cause of skyrocketing layoffs and furloughs — and that the economy might not fully recover until consumers feel safe.

"Georgia, one of the last states to impose widespread shutdowns, has loosened restrictions on a broad array of businesses and dine-in restaurants since its stay-at-home order officially expired on April 30. Only bars, nightclubs, theaters, live music venues and amusement parks remain fully shuttered through the end of May.

"Some laid-off workers have gone back to jobs since Gov. Brian Kemp first allowed gyms, bowling alleys, hair salons and other businesses to begin limited operations: The number of workers in Georgia remaining on unemployment assistance after an initial application dropped by 11 percent over the past two weeks. But others are still heading to the unemployment line for the first time. Georgia has now seen more than 2 million workers file for unemployment in nine weeks — out of the nearly 39 million who have applied for jobless benefits nationally.

"Weekly new applications have gone both up and down in Georgia in the three full weeks of data released since the reopening began. They dipped slightly at first, then rose again before dropping again in the latest week, although at a slower rate than states like Louisiana and Kentucky that have seen similar levels of unemployment claims."

Americans will learn the hard way that our economy can not be clapped off/clapped on like a light switch.

This shutdown lasted too long and did too little.

Georgia is ahead of the curve in restarting. Think how many years it will take New York to recover.

ITEM 16: USA Today reported, "On Wednesday, two days into the park's reopening, a woman was knocked to the ground and injured by a bison in the Old Faithful Upper Geyser Basin after approaching the animal too closely, officials said. Visitors are advised to stay 25 yards away from large animals, including bison.

"The woman refused to be transported to a medical facility and the incident remains under investigation, park officials said in a news release. Prior to the Yellowstone's reopening this week, the park had been closed since March 24 amid the ongoing corona virus pandemic."

Social distancing is not just for covid-19.

32 comments:

  1. One of the epic crosstown rivalries EVAH was between my high school, the Charles M. Russell “Rustlers”, and the Great Falls High “Bison.” Wonderful imagery for a young child to contemplate. Bison have brains about the size of a squirrel’s, attached to a body like a fookin VW Bug. In a word: Dangerous.

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    1. We were in Yellowstone a few years ago and it was incredible how idiotic people are around bison. We also noticed that a remarkable number of those people were associated with cars that had California plates. Second most noticeable group was foreigners who clearly had no experience with wild animals.

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    2. I was there decades ago when a bison calf was just off the side of the road and there were hundreds a couple hundreds yards away. This foreign looking couple had their 2 children walk up to the calf and pose on either side of it for a picture. I put my car in reverse and backed up and turned around very quickly. I didn't stay around to see if the adults bisons reacted as I expected they would.

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    3. Tourists in Maine do the same thing with moose. That's 1000 to 1500 pounds of wild animal that will attack you if you frighten it!
      Subvet

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    4. My Pop ran a western outfitters store for years and collected Charlie Russel prints. Her eNE Oregon we had a fair Bison population before the settlers. Local golf course is called "Buffalo Peak"where the local tribes would run them off the ah, peak. Forget this riding up and spearing a moving mass of 2,000lbs. of big mean and stupid.. Spent a lot of time in my firefighting days at Billings. My old Captain, was in the 7th air Cav. in Vietnam.He was military history buff, an dhe and I went out to the Custer Battlefield. he gave me a tour of that place that was probably better than any tour guide..

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    5. I don't remember the bison on trips to Yellowstone in the '60s, but I remember the big mama bears and their cubs on the side of the road.

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  2. #16. "But, they look so cute on the National Geographic Channel"

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  3. Item 15: My son and his girlfriend living in Georgia are making more on unemployment than they did on their jobs and have no intention of going back to work until the money runs out.

    $600 per week on top of regular unemployment is too generous and now must be scaled back.

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    1. Good luck to your son. A soft landing in an economy like this might be hard to pull off.  They better use this time to perfect their dumpster diving skills for finding food so they can eat when the money runs out and they still can't find work. :)

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  4. 1 - Master move by PDJT. Ratcliffe was railroaded by the Senate Intelligence (I use that term loosely) Committee last year, Including the corrupt republicans on it. Grenell would get another year added to his acting role if they denied Ratcliffe this time. They didn’t want either of them but chose a Ratcliffe. Grenell is a tough act to follow, but Ratcliffe will be up to the task.

    7 - exactly. My body my choice. And get sports going again. And let the fans decide whether they want to attend or not. Great family time attending college football games. Why can’t we sit together at a stadium when we sit together at home? Another fan doesn’t want to sit by us? Easy. Stay home. Your choice.

    15 - gee media, I wonder why some consumers may be afraid to go outside.

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    1. I used to really enjoy college ball games. Then I realized that they were the reason we have the protests that wrecked Pro football. Our college administrations need to be fired and replaced with ones who care about our children's success instead of being hellbent on creating sheeple for the communist state.

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    2. Same here Jeremy, but in particular, it was college football. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I gave up on following my team anymore, and found that I have a lot of productive time now. I don't miss it one bit. I can go on YouTube and relive the glory of better days if I so desire, and I have.

      The loss of college sports revenue will hurt the colleges. Maybe force them to make some hard decisions they had been putting off, to save money. We'll see.

      FLOlson

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    3. Maybe now they will look at STEM rather than how to get money for more Football equipment and coaches..

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    4. In Arizona the highest paid government employees are the head football coaches for ASU and UofA. It's unbelievable how much tax money goes into those 2 schools football programs (millions).

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  5. "Ric Grennell is still our ambassador to Germany."

    Yeah, but that is a waste of his talents. I know Trump knows that. It will be interesting to see where Trump puts him next.

    ITEM 4: 'I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it,' he said. 'In the back area I did have a mask on. I had goggles and a mask right back there.'

    That's my POTUS! Stick it to the Fake Newsers! They deserve even more.

    ITEM 5: The crooks, like the corrupt Weissman, are getting desperate. However, it is a shame that they know they can do this right out in the open, due to the cover the leftist MSM gives them.

    ITEM 9: I get so sick of people like Dr. Kevin Pham blaming both sides for politicization of something, in this case, using hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for Kung Flu. Hey idiot, let me give you a clue. It has been, is, and always will be, the LEFT that politicizes everything. They did it to marriage, sex, health care, the nation's intelligence and law enforcement services, etc. If the idiot Dr. would go back to the original statements of Trump, he would see that all he was doing was highlighting a potential treatment of the Kung Flu, using anecdotal evidence. The left, lead by their propagandists, the leftist MSM, were the ones who politicized it. Stop being lazy, and live up to your Doctorate, by conducting a little investigation before you make false accusations. Then you will come to the conclusion of where the real blame lies: with the left.

    You're welcome.


    FLOlson

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    1. "Ric Grennell is still our ambassador to Germany."
      Has Ratcliffe actually been sworn in yet? If not, then Grennell still has authority in his dual roles. I'm watching for a "Friday night document dump" today. In any case, it's clear Grennell is a rising star, and it'll be interesting where PDJT wants him to go next.

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    2. He doesn't get sworn in to Tuesday. There is supposedly at least the declassified version of the Flynn-Kiyslak phone calls (plural) coming. I am hoping he goes out with quite the bang with the first big holiday of the season coming up.

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    3. If we ever decide to put a gay mans picture on U.S. currency, I hope it's Grenell. It's be funny to see the left object to that.

      I don't know about this Ratcliff guy, but he's smart enough to see the respect Grenell has garnered by providing transparency to the American people.
      Chollaman

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  6. #9. Look at chloroquine in Wikipedia. It has a section on use as an antivirus. They have references from the nis.gov that show it fights viruses and explains how.

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  7. My wife and I enjoyed Lori Laughlin's "Garage Sale Mystery" series on Hallmark Channel. Hey Hallmark! Time to start it up again. She has lots of fans who will be back.

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  8. #9 New study from S. Korea finds HCQ +AZ (or other antibiotic) significantly reduces time to viral clearance and hospital stay in moderate covid-19 patients compared to both conservative treatment and Lopinavir-ritonavir.

    https://medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.13.20094193v1.full.pdf

    H/T Judith Curry

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  9. #6 Another:

    Comparison of Marseille to France where people are being treated with HCQ+AZ. 0.5% fatality rate compared to 21.6% nationwide. http://francesoir.fr/efficacite-des-mesures-un-point-de-vue-factuel-marseille-30-fois-moins-de-chance-de-mourir-du-covid

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    1. Didier Raoult for the Nobel!

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    2. If not the Rock'n roll hall of Fame at least he looks the part.
      I am convinced about the Big Pharma attack on this, btw.

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    3. Dr. Raoult is this century's Louis Pasteur.
      NB

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  10. Item 3: I think 48 hours should be sufficient, no need for ten days.

    Item 7: For the health and mental safety of those who are concerned about getting the Chinese Lung Pox, I suggest they wear a Karen Browne belt as a symbol for others to stay away. It can be a bright yellow stripe....

    Item 14: Why stay in? "Because staying in hurts American and profits our enemies, of course!" - Democrats

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  11. #12

    a "head" teacher assigns hardcore porn homework...

    wow. school sure has changed.

    waterman

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  12. Bet you this is a Jesuit School. My Catholic Relative have very little confidence in Francis and his Jesuit Mafia..

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  13. #16: I lived near the Smoky Mountain National Park. Friends who worked for the service would tell me of the constant problems they had with tourists getting too close to bears. And, not just a few feet too close, or feeding them. Some people actually would find a bear cub and put their own small child near the bear cub to get a picture. Do you know what is near a bear cub....it's mother, and she does not like her child getting it's picture made. Also, some tourists would complain that the park rangers needed to "bring out" the bears and let them get pictures. "This is not a Zoo, Karen"

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  14. #15--I live in Georgia. I was at a Kroger this morning and the store is advertising that they have immediate openings they need to fill. The Starbucks inside the store is hiring as well.

    The problem is clearly not that people are still afraid and are not going out (although, unsurprisingly, we do have some of those). The problem is the ridiculously-generous unemployment benefits being handed out. I have no doubt that jobs are going unfilled because of that, not because the jobs aren't there.

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  15. Ric Grennell is still our ambassador to Germany and as such can keep an eye on the entire EU and NATO for us.

    Which reminds me of Mike Flynn. Some want him to be appointed FBI director. I disagree.
    I'd like to see him appointed as special assistant to the President (no Senate confirmation needed) for the reformation of the entire Intelligence Community.

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    1. Hear hear! Wherever they end up, anyone who demonstrates competence and loyalty will have a bright future on the Trump Train.
      As for who follows PDJT, I suspect we have a couple of years yet before he starts to drop the hints, but I've no doubt that he is thinking further ahead than that.

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