"HEALS ACT" UNVEILED
Monday, Senate Republicans unveiled their proposal for a new round of coronavirus relief. It’s called the “HEALS Act” (Health, Economic Assistance, Liability protection, and Schools.) The $1 trillion package would include a second round of $1200 stimulus checks and more Paycheck Protection Program funds to keep businesses afloat. Federal unemployment benefits would be extended, but at an extra $200 per week. Democrats want to continue the extra $600 a week, but critics say that’s paying low-income workers more to stay unemployed than they’d make if they went back to work. There’s also $105 billion for schools to reopen safely, which is more than House Democrats voted, but then, I wonder if they want schools to reopen at all, at least before the election. There are more details at the link.
The bill is being touted as a negotiating starting point with House Democrats, who voted to spend $3 trillion, or three times more than the Senate bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell provided us all with some much-needed laughter by saying, “I hope this strong proposal will occasion a real response. Not partisan cheap shots. Not the predictable, tired, old rhetoric as though these were ordinary times and the nation could afford ordinary politics.”
Naturally, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer immediately responded with cheap shots and predictable, tired old partisan rhetoric. He blasted the HEALS Act as “totally inadequate” and accused Republicans of wanting to “take $1600 out of your pocket every month” (actually, they just don’t want to keep placing $1600 of someone else’s money into your pocket every month indefinitely, which isn’t the same thing.) He declared that America has been standing on the precipices of several cliffs for months, and the Republicans have done nothing.
If I were him, I wouldn’t use the metaphor of standing on the precipice of a cliff and insisting the Republicans do something. They might stop listening and just start fantasizing about what they’d like to do in that situation.
BARR GOES BEFORE THE HOUSE
By the time you read this, Attorney General William Barr will have appeared voluntarily before the House Judiciary Committee, to offer real statistics on crime, race and police killings and to set the record straight on the “Russian collusion” hoax. He’s already released the transcript of his opening statement, which you can read here:
And here’s more background on what this is all about:
Rep. Jerrold Nadler is the chair of that committee, and he and his Democratic colleagues have been slinging a lot of slander and innuendo at Barr, engaging in the time-dishonored leftist tradition of accusing the right of doing precisely what they’ve been doing all along: the Attorney General acting as the President’s “wing man” and politicizing the Justice Department to target the President’s political opponents (which could have been the motto of the Obama Administration.)
Nadler should have borne in mind the old saying, “Be careful what you ask for; you might get it.” Barr will now have a chance to confront his accusers face-to-face on national TV and offer a fact-based rebuttal to their claims, and as we saw during the impeachment hearings, that doesn’t work out well for them. Barr is expected to outline the real treasonous activity from the other side that created the ginned-up “Russian collusion” coup attempt that they’ve been flogging without evidence for three years, and perhaps outline some of the federal crimes committed in the process, and, let us hope, the federal charges that should be forthcoming.
Barr also plans to acknowledge that there is a long history of racism in law enforcement but that there has been great progress in recent years. He will note that police forces are more diverse than ever, police shootings are down, more unarmed white than black suspects are shot by officers, and those were mostly while the suspects were attacking the officers. He also will argue that the greatest threat to black lives is not police but crime: every year, 7500 blacks are murdered, 90% of them by other blacks, mostly by gunfire, and every one of those lives mattered. Removing police will only create a snowball effect, increasing gang violence, bringing in drugs, snuffing out job opportunities and making those neighborhoods unsafe for children.
This is called a “hearing,” but as with most House hearings these days, I imagine there will be a lot more talking than there is listening. Barr surely has little hope that those who’ve been attacking him care to hear what he has to say; they’ll just be chomping at the bit to get their air time and launch into another partisan diatribe. Let’s just hope that despite what I’m sure will be a thick media filter and selective editing to misrepresent his words that enough Americans will watch the whole thing live for the truth to leak out.
NOTE: This hearing has already occurred. More from me to follow on what was said!
COVID POWER GRAB AND DEFLECTION
I already told you about how bars in New York cleverly got around the re-shutdown over COVID-19. Gov. Andrew Cuomo required bars to serve alcohol only if it came with the purchase of a food item, the idea being that people wouldn’t crowd into bars and socialize if they had to buy food. So bars started offering $1 “menu items” like chips, wings, a single slice of cheese or fries (dubbed, hilariously, “Cuomo fries.”)
Of course, if there’s one thing liberal micro-managers hate, it’s people figuring out ways around their arbitrary regulations. In a press release that reads like something out of a “M*A*S*H: rerun, the State Liquor Authority declared that bars must offer sandwiches, soup, or “other foods,” defined as “foods which are similar in quality and substance to sandwiches and soups; for example, salads, wings, or hotdogs would be of that quality and substance; however, a bag of chips[,] bowl of nuts, or candy alone are not.” As Cuomo himself railed at a news conference, “More than just hors d’oeuvres, chicken wings. You had to have some substantive food — the lowest level of substantive food were sandwiches.”
Okay, let’s step back for a moment and take in the big picture. Gov. Cuomo is dealing with a contagious and potentially deadly disease. His state and his own actions, such as putting patients in nursing homes and threatening to sue any states that barred New Yorkers from coming in and spreading it elsewhere, have been largely responsible for the lion’s share of US fatalities. He did nothing to stop all the protesters crowding into the streets, events that were followed within two weeks with a surge of cases.
But now, he’s devoting his time and energy to dictating bar menus and arguing that somehow the pandemic will be stopped in its tracks if bars are forced to offer sandwiches or some foods he deems more “substantive” than a bowl of nuts. I will helpfully add that a sandwich is a sandwich, but a Manwich is a meal. Also, the entire leadership of New York City and State are a bowl of nuts.
HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE BACK IN THE NEWS, WELL SORT OF
Yesterday, doctors from across America held a summit on COVID-19 (Chinese) coronavirus on the steps of the Supreme Court, and what they had to say upended a lot of media and political narratives. For instance, that it’s time to reopen society and get kids back into school.
Here’s the entire summit, which I warn you is three hours, but at least it’s not misleadingly edited…
Videos of the doctors’ comments were removed from social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube because they allegedly made “false” and “misleading” claims about the treatment for COVID-19, such as arguing that in their own experience, Hydroxychloroquine is effective when given very early on with zinc and the antibiotic zithromax. Texas Minister and Doctor Stella Immanuel said she has treated 350 patients and counting with it, and none died. She called the studies showing it’s ineffective and has deadly side effects “fake science” in which the drug was given to late-stage patients and in far greater doses.
President Trump retweeted a video of Dr. Immanuel, which was like kicking a beehive for the media. They went into overdrive attacking him, the drug and the doctors, and writing stories emphasizing the “spreading false claims” phrase – none of which explained why the tech geeks who police social media would know more about this subject than doctors who’ve actually treated thousands of patients. Dr. Immanuel says she’s received threats, including from other Houston physicians against her job and medical board positions. A friend even set up a GoFundMe page to help with her legal fees: https://www.gofundme.com/f/dr-stella-immanuel039s-legal-team
I’ve said from the beginning that I’m not a doctor and I take no position on whether Hydroxychloroquine works. I’ve heard that clinical trials say no, but there are also many doctors who’ve used it and claim it’s effective, and that the trials were flawed. The problem is that politics (“Trump endorsed it so we must destroy it to prove that ORANGE MAN BAAAD!!”) has completely poisoned the well.
I’ll just leave you with this: USA Today ran an article claiming that a Michigan study that found it was effective was flawed and shouldn’t be believed (the article conveniently failed to mention that the study that got it barred by the FDA was retracted and the Lancet apologized for running it.) But here is their story attacking that study.
And here’s a Yale epidemiology professor who believes it could save up to 100,000 lives, but unfortunately, there’s a “propaganda war” over it, based on politics, not medical facts.
Finally, nobody is going to force you to try the hydroxychloroquine combo if you believe the media. I’ll even offer you an alternative. The biotech giant Moderna is beginning a trial of a potential COVID-19 vaccine. They’re looking for 30,000 volunteers. Have at it.
And today’s excuse for Joe Biden not debating President Trump is…(spin “Big Wheel of Excuses” and it comes to rest on…) “The coronavirus!”