COVID-19 NEWS UPDATE
Here’s the link to Thursday’s full White House press briefing on the coronavirus, where you hear what President Trump actually said instead of what someone who hates Trump tries to convince you he said.
That way, you don’t fall for fake news like this.
For the time-challenged, the link below is to a recap of the major points of the briefing. Trump said that the US has passed the peak of new coronavirus cases, and some states may be able to reopen before May 1st. He said we have to strike a balance, realizing that the virus is bad, but so is destroying the economy, which can lead to rising mental health problems and suicides.
We need to get the economy back up and running as soon as possible. New figures show that unemployment benefit claims jumped by 5.25 million last week, bringing the four-week total to nearly 22 million workers, which erases all the job gains since the 2008 financial meltdown. Hopefully, people will start getting back to work quickly. We know that's possible because it happened when Trump took over from Obama.
In a positive sign, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who once feared there wouldn’t be enough ventilators to handle all the COVID-19 cases, announced that the situation has stabilized and New York will send 150 ventilators to Michigan and Maryland.
Finally, in “Why Is This News?” News, Nancy Pelosi is in her usual outrage mode and liberal media outlets are railing over word that Trump’s name will appear on the relief checks Americans will receive who are not signed up for direct deposit with the IRS.
There’s a sure sign that you are suffering late-stage Trump Derangement Syndrome: You get a $1200 check out of the blue for staying home and doing nothing, and you fly into a fit of rage because you see Trump’s name on it.
AREAS UNDER DEMOCRAT CONTROL
The key to the American form of government is that leaders do not rule by Divine right or by the sword, but by the consent of the governed. Some politicians need a reminder of that, and they’re starting to get one as restless citizens begin to rebel against irrational and unconstitutional restrictions under the guise of fighting the coronavirus.
For instance, Wednesday, hundreds of people in Michigan took to their cars and trucks to launch “Operation Gridlock,” a bumper-to-bumper, horn-honking protest of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s draconian and in some cases inexplicable rules. They range from banning people from traveling to their own second homes to blocking them from buying items she deems “nonessential,” like garden seeds, that are on the shelves in stores that are open for business. The same ironfisted and boneheaded rules apply even in counties that have had no COVID-19 cases.
As one protest leader put it, “Quarantine is when you restrict movement of sick people. Tyranny is when you restrict the movement of healthy people.” They note that citizens are stopping the spread of the disease by voluntarily self-isolating, observing social distancing, wearing masks, etc., and they don’t need one-size-fits-all nanny state tyrants running every aspect of their lives. Our system rests on respect being a two-way street between the government and the governed. If the people feel the government doesn’t respect them, their respect for the government quickly breaks down.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and the Raleigh Police are also under fire for arresting people who protest Cooper’s crackdown policies, not for violating social distancing but for gathering in groups in public at all. Both freedom of assembly and the right to protest are in the First Amendment, but the Raleigh PD declared protesting a “non-essential activity.” I don't think they have the power to do that.
Still, some politicians just don’t seem to grasp how thin is the ice upon which they are clomping. When Fox News’ Tucker Carlson asked New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy what authority he had to nullify the Bill of Rights, Murphy responded, "That's above my pay grade, Tucker. I wasn't thinking of the Bill of Rights when we did this…”
That caused Judge Andrew Napolitano to point out that Murphy took a “solemn oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution," and claiming that the Bill of Rights is “above his pay grade” and violating it is a “felony of misconduct in office” and “an impeachable offense.”
I believe the pandemic crisis has proven the greatness of the American system: when danger arose, Americans came together and voluntarily pitched in, to keep the supply chain going, to care for the sick, to protect the vulnerable and to stop the spread of the disease. In short, they acted like responsible adults. But the surest way to incite rebellion is for government to treat them like idiot children. As some overreaching authorities are discovering, “Do it because I said so” only works on four-year-olds.
Finally, since all three of the Governors mentioned above are Democrats, congrats to the commenter on this story at Instapundit who made this observation:
“To paraphrase and update Tom Wolfe, ‘The dark night of fascism is always descending on Americans due to the actions of Republicans and yet lands only in areas under Democratic Party control’.”
AND THE WINNER IS...
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is raging over President Trump’s “dangerous” and “illegal” decision to hold up funding of the World Health Organization while it’s being investigated for why it parroted Chinese propaganda instead of stopping the spread of the coronavirus. She’s also vowing to fight it.
It’s still early, but this could be the winner of the “Most Predictable Story of the Year” Award. If Donald Trump announced that he was donating his entire fortune to orphans, Nancy Pelosi would rage that it’s dangerous and illegal and vow to fight it.
PROFILE IN COURAGE
The winner of today’s “Profiles in Courage” Award is Georgia State Rep. Vernon Jones. Jones is a black Democrat who dared to announce that he is endorsing President Trump’s reelection. Jones said it was very simple to him and a lot of African-Americans see it: Trump has supported historically black universities, he’s achieved criminal justice reforms no one else would touch, and before the pandemic hit, he’d created record low black unemployment.
Predictably, Jones was immediately mauled by fellow Democrats. The head of the state Democratic Party called Jones an “embarrassment” who doesn’t represent the Party’s values and who stands with a “racist President who has made an all-out assault on Black Americans, who has tried to rip away American health care, and who has failed our country in its greatest time of need…” Notice that Jones listed concrete reasons for supporting Trump, while she responded with insults, name-calling and baseless accusations, but nothing that refutes what Jones said. Are those “Democratic Party values”?
The state House Minority Leader chimed in that Trump is “antithetical to what we believe in.” Since his party never gave African-Americans support for black colleges, criminal justice reform or record low unemployment, I guess that’s true.
Jones gave African-Americans three good reasons why he’s supporting a Republican President’s reelection. I’d like to offer a fourth that the vicious reaction to his decision made clear: Republicans believe in freedom of thought and that everyone has the right to make his or her own decisions. The GOP was founded to fight the Democrats’ pro-slavery mentality. Sounds like the job isn’t finished yet.
THE BIDEN SEXUAL ASSAULT STORY
As a staunch defender of due process for both sides in any legal dispute, I make no judgements about whether Joe Biden is guilty of the sexual assault allegation made by former staffer Tara Reade. But the story is proving to be very revealing in another way, in that it’s exposed the media as being obviously guilty of bias and blatant double standards.
As already noted, the allegation, which would have set off a media firestorm had it been lodged against any Republican, has been utterly ignored by all the mainstream news outlets. When the New York Times finally deigned to write about it, it was mostly a PR release implying Biden’s innocence, disguised as an investigative news piece. And how do we know it was as biased as a PR release?
Because Times executive editor Dean Baquet tried to spin away the backlash by sitting down for an interview with a Times staffer in which he explained the thinking behind the article, and he admitted that the Times actually let the Biden campaign rewrite one of the key sentences in it. Can you imagine the Times calling the Trump campaign before running an article to ask if they think anything is too negative and should be removed? If they did, all the Times’ articles about Trump would be about two sentences long.
Believe it or not, that may not be the most jaw-dropping part of the interview. Baquet also tried to explain why the Times trumpeted obviously shaky accusations against then-SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh while ignoring and then downplaying the Biden accusation. He claims that was different because Kavanaugh was a “running, hot story.” As Robby Soave at Reason.com points out, that was because the media was all over the Kavanaugh accusations from day one while ignoring the Biden accusations.
And if they only cover hot, “running” stories, allow me to point out to the Times that Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee. Granted, it might be easy to forget his, given the state of his campaign, but Joe Biden is actually RUNNING for President of the United States. I’m not a journalist, but it seems to me that would make him reasonably newsworthy.
Derek Hunter has an excellent commentary on this phenomenon. With a nod to Mel Brooks, it’s titled, “It’s Good to be a Democrat.”
HUCK'S HERO STIMULUS PROGRAM
The Huck’s Hero stimulus program: A big salute to the anonymous benefactor who helped out the small town of Earnham, Iowa, hard-hit by the coronavirus shutdown, by buying 549 $50 gift cards from each of the town’s three main businesses – a grocery store and two restaurants – and delivering one of each card to all of the town’s 549 households.
More details, and lots of expressions of gratitude, at the link.