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Georgia State Rep. Vernon Jones, who made headlines for being an African-American Democrat who endorsed Trump’s reelection, is stepping down from his office less than a week later. He said he’s sick and tired of him and his family being attacked and harassed by the Democrat Party for putting his country ahead of his political party.

Jones said, “I take pride in being an independent thinker. My First Amendment right to freedom of speech is under siege. I intend to help the Democrat Party get rid of its bigotry against Black people that are independent and conservative. Turn the lights off, I have left the plantation. Someone else can occupy that suite.”

He said that with Trump’s record of creating jobs and record-low unemployment for African-Americans, he is best prepared to lead a post-virus recovery. He added, “I endorsed the White guy (Trump) that let Blacks out of jail, and they endorsed the White guy (Biden) that put Blacks in jail.”

The Democrats are playing a dangerous game by refusing to rein in their Trump Derangement Syndrome mobs with their vicious intolerance of any wavering from the leftist line. They’ve already sparked a “Walk Away” movement. If they can’t count on 90+ percent support from black voters, they’re in trouble electorally. And when their intolerance has grown so glaring that their own Black office holders are not only walking away, they’re comparing the trip to fleeing a plantation, that’s really bad optics. It might even inspire a lot of miseducated students to finally pick up a real American history book and learn who ran the original plantations and which party was created to end that system.

Latest Coronavirus news

April 23, 2020

Here is the most recent, complete White House press briefing on the COVID-19 (Chinese) coronavirus. On Wednesday, President Trump was joined by CDC Director Robert Redfield…

Trump asked Redfield to speak and correct what he called “fake news,” headlines suggesting that Redfield said there could be an explosion of new cases in the fall. Redfield said that he just meant it would be more complicated to deal with a second wave in the fall because it would hit simultaneously with flu season, so there would be two viruses circulating at the same time. He said that doesn’t mean COVID-19 would be worse or impossible to handle, just difficult. But he’s confident that our mitigation strategies can keep it in containment mode and it will not overwhelm the medical system.

Trump also announced “Operation America Strong,” which he said was suggested by military officials. The Thunderbirds and Blue Angels will do flyover air shows in major cities, as tributes to the heroism of frontline health care workers who, like soldiers, have run toward the danger.

In one surprising twist, Trump undercut the claim that he’s pushing too hard to reopen America by saying he disagrees strongly with Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s plan to reopen some Georgia businesses. Trump said the time isn’t right yet under the guidelines, but that “at the same time, he must do what is right.” Boy, he really doesn’t have this “Hitler-like authoritarian dictator” thing down very well, does he?

In addition to Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina and Colorado have announced plans to begin reopening. More details about each state’s plans are here.

LATEST COVID-19 NEWS

Here is our link to the most recent, complete White House press briefing on the COVID-19 (Chinese) coronavirus. On Wednesday, President Trump was joined by CDC Director Robert Redfield…

Trump asked Redfield to speak and correct what he called “fake news,” headlines suggesting that Redfield said there could be an explosion of new cases in the fall. Redfield said that he just meant it would be more complicated to deal with a second wave in the fall because it would hit simultaneously with flu season, so there would be two viruses circulating at the same time. He said that doesn’t mean COVID-19 would be worse or impossible to handle, just difficult. But he’s confident that our mitigation strategies can keep it in containment mode and it will not overwhelm the medical system.

Trump also announced “Operation America Strong,” which he said was suggested by military officials. The Thunderbirds and Blue Angels will do flyover air shows in major cities, as tributes to the heroism of frontline health care workers who, like soldiers, have run toward the danger.

GO AHEAD, MAKE MY DAY

Fresh off of deleting her tweet about how great it is to have all those people unemployed and forced into their homes while the economy languishes and the fossil fuel industry craters (“How are you enjoying your 30-day free trial of socialism?”), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez once again inadvertently told us what “Democratic socialists” really believe. She said that even after the virus lockdown ends, people should “just say no” to going back to work. She wants Americans to say, “We’re not going back to working 70-hour weeks just so that we could put food on the table and not even feel any sort of semblance of security in our lives.”

Get the impression that she doesn’t grasp the importance of “putting food on the table”? Or that not everyone has a job that pays over $170,000 a year for doing nothing? But to be fair, if she wants to stage a boycott and not return to Congress, she has my blessing.


IN CASE YOU MISSED ITEvening Edition - April 22


TRUMP DISAGREES WITH GEORGIA GOVERNOR

In one surprising twist, Trump undercut the claim that he’s pushing too hard to reopen America by saying he disagrees strongly with Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s plan to reopen some Georgia businesses. Trump said the time isn’t right yet under the guidelines, but that “at the same time, he must do what is right.” Boy, he really doesn’t have this “Hitler-like authoritarian dictator” thing down very well, does he?

In addition to Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina and Colorado have announced plans to begin reopening. More details about each state’s plans are here.

PROBLEMS WITH THE MEDIA'S FAVORITE STUDY

Yesterday, I wrote about a study of coronavirus patients at VA hospitals that found that the drug hydroxchloroquine did not help and was even associated with a higher death rate. As I expected, the mainstream media gave massive play to this study, since it gave them a chance to make President Trump look wrong (and even responsible for MORE DEATHS!!) for suggesting patients try it.

I saw none of these breathless accounts point out what I did: that the footnotes to the study made it clear that the drug was given to severely ill patients who were more likely to die anyway. Since then, other problems with the study have come up that will probably be ignored, since they don’t advance the “Trump is a dumb liar who wants people to DIE!” narrative.

Laura Ingraham has more

…As does Matt Margolis at PJ Media, who lists five serious problems with the study…

These are the same people who demand rigorous standards of proof from any study that shows the benefits of hydroxychoroquine. Is it too much to expect them to demand the same standards from studies that purport to refute those benefits?

Again, I’m not a doctor and I’m not qualified to recommend any particular treatment. But I am capable of recognizing media malpractice when I see it. Discouraging sick people from trying a promising treatment just because if it works, it might make your political opponent look better, is journalistic quackery at its worst.

MOVING FAST

A potential COVID-19 vaccine is already entering the first phase of human trials. Developing a vaccine can take years to decades, but there are ways to speed testing and invoke emergency use authorizations to get it to high-risk areas faster. There’s much more info at this link.

"SARS 2"

Here’s yet another way in which the World Health Organization ran defense for China: It turns out that in the early days of the coronavirus, it was being referred to as “Sars 2.” That was the devastating disease that came out of China in 2003 and has escaped from a Beijing biolab four times since. The WHO decided that, “From a risk communications perspective, using the name SARS can have unintended consequences in terms of creating unnecessary fear for some populations…” In other words, bad PR for China. So they called it COVID-19 instead.

I can certainly see their point. We wouldn’t want to frighten and confuse anyone by calling it Sars 2. So I’ll continue calling it by a clear and accurate name: either the “COVID-19 (Chinese) virus,” or, most clear and accurate of all, “the Wuhan virus.”

TRUE COLORS

During an Arbor Day/Earth Day tree-planting ceremony at the White House Wednesday, President Trump announced that over the next few weeks, national parks will begin reopening. Maybe this will help discourage the harassment and arrests of people who dare to walk through public parks. Some local officials seem to believe that the coronavirus can be spread over a hundred yards of open territory, or maybe that it came from Smokey the Bear, not Chinese bats.

Meanwhile, as Trump was planting a tree, renowned eco-warrior Al Gore and Joe Biden provided the fertilizer. In a dual video appearance for Earth Day, Gore endorsed Biden for President and Joe responded with some organic word salad that must’ve had Al immediately regretting his endorsement.

I’m sure Gore would have preferred to take a private jet and a fleet of SUVs to some big gathering of fellow environmentalists at a five-star resort to tell the rest of us to live in caves, which is how celebrity environmentalists normally mark Earth Day. But this year, he was forced to use Skype, something I’ve been suggesting to them for years with no response.

Meanwhile, CBS and other media outlets showed their true colors on Earth Day by celebrating how wonderful it is that the air is cleaner, what with all those people being locked in their homes, forced to be wards of the government and having their freedom to travel taken away. They showed their love of the Earth by celebrating how great it would be if there were no people on it.

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard someone in the media declare, “I love mankind, it’s people I can’t stand!” But that used to just be Linus in the “Peanuts” comic strip, not the environmental reporters.

NEW KURT SCHLICHTER 

As always, Kurt Schlichter dares to say what the mainstream media never will...but we’re all thinking it.

BRING BACK DRIVE-IN MOVIES

John Nolte serves up a nostalgic tribute to drive-in movies, and urges Hollywood to counter the coronavirus by bringing back drive-ins, good movies and hot dogs heated on engine blocks.

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

O Lord, thou art my God;

I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name;

for thou hast done wonderful things;

thy counsels of old

are faithfulness and truth.

Isaiah 25:1

We know the People’s Republic of China has been covering up its response to the release of the COVID-19 virus, but here’s a firsthand account that will chill you. It really is like something out of a spy thriller.

Chinese “citizen journalist” Li Zehua disappeared on February 26, after posting video on YouTube, Twitter and Weibo from his own car of being ambushed and followed by a white SUV and finally making it home but, hours later, having his apartment entered by three agents.

Prior to this happening, Li was working for the State-sanctioned broadcaster CCTV and had traveled to Wuhan to report on the coronavirus after another journalist “disappeared.” Li dared to report on the efforts of one neighborhood committee to hush up the reporting of new infections. Apparently the State decided he was taking his duties a bit too seriously, as his reports also involved interviewing the sick and visiting a crematorium where an employee said they were being paid extra to transport bodies.

At the time of his reports, he was outspoken about what he had seen, saying, “I don’t want to remain silent, or shut my eyes and ears. It’s not that I can’t have a nice life, with a wife and kids. I can. I’m doing this because I hope more young people can, like me, stand up.”

As Li was being pursued, he got it on video. He made it back to his apartment but then saw police and men in protective gear knocking on his neighbors’ doors. So he turned out all his lights and waited silently in front of his computer for hours. When the knock finally came, three men who identified themselves as “public security” officials entered his apartment and made him go with them to the police station, where they had him turn over his devices to a friend and told him he was being detained and investigated on charges of “disrupting public order.”

He wasn’t jailed, technically, but was kept “in quarantine” in Wuhan and later in his hometown, which is in a different province. Officials said the quarantine was being done because he had visited “sensitive epidemic areas.” Apparently, he was monitored by security guards, served three meals a day and was allowed to watch the CCTV evening newscast. Isn’t that nice?

He re-entered society on March 28. But some of those covering the story of his re-emergence have noticed that Li’s newly uncritical, patriotic tone is markedly different from the way it was before law enforcement took him in. “Throughout the whole time, the police acted civilly and legally,” he said after his release, “making sure I had rest and food. They really cared about me.” So nice. He said that since he got back, he had been spending time with his wife and family. He wished those who had been suffering from the disease a fast recovery. “May God bless China and the people of the world unite,” he said.

At the close of the new video he made on Wednesday, he quoted a cryptic line from Confucius about staying true to one’s beliefs: “The human heart is unpredictable, restless. Its affinity to what is right is small. Be discriminating, be uniform so that you may hold fast.”

When award-winning Chinese author and Wuhan resident Fang Fang documented online her life under the coronavirus lockdown and agreed to publish her journal in other languages, she began receiving threats. Apparently, her diary is not anything like the “official” account.

For example, in a post from February 13, she describes the scene inside a local crematorium. She tells the story of receiving a picture from a friend who is a doctor; it shows the floor of the facility littered with the cell phones of people who had been incinerated. The scale of death was apparently much larger than officials had said publicly.

Many of her posts have been deleted, she said in an interview last week with Chinese outlet Caijing (whose piece was –- surprise –- also deleted); her Weibo account (it’s like Twitter) was temporarily blocked; and she has received threats that make her worry for her family’s safety, as her home address was published.

For writing about the fear, anger and hope of Wuhan residents being kept in isolation, as well as “sensitive” topics such as overwhelmed hospitals turning away patients, shortages of basic supplies, the death of relatives, and –- worst of all –- daring to have the work published in English and German, she is being called a traitor.

Much more detail of her fascinating story is at the link. And read on to learn what we know about the two coronavirus whistleblowers who are still missing.

NATIONAL REVIEW reports that U.S. officials believe the ChiComms have spread already-existing misinformation about coronavirus through fake social media accounts and also through text messages, which Americans, in turn, shared on their networks. For example, one fake text message claimed the Department of Homeland Security had announced the Trump administration would impose a lockdown “as soon as they have troops in place to help prevent looters and rioters.” This one spread so widely (no doubt given a big push by anti-Trump media) that the National Security Council took the rare step of publicly denying its content.

According to one senior American official, agencies are looking into whether misinformation was being spread by Chinese spies on diplomatic missions in the U.S.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a Wednesday interview with Laura Ingraham, said “we still don’t have the transparency and openness we need in China,” and he blamed the World Health Organization for failing to achieve that transparency. “We need a structural fix for the W.H.O.,” he said, adding that we may never be able to give funds to that organization again.

Pompeo wouldn’t commit to saying the virus came out of the biolab, saying only that “we don’t know precisely where it started,” because China has denied access to investigators. He chuckled lightly at suggestions from the likes of former Secretary of State John Kerry that we should work with China. We’d love to work with China, Pompeo said, but you have to have a partner who is willing to do that.

One thing you have to say about Mike Pompeo: when it comes to the ChiComms –- and to most things, come to think of it –- he’s a master of understatement.

Every now and then, when new developments pointed to Michelle Obama being on the ticket for 2020, I’ve written to sound the alarm once more. The last time was March 6, which seems like a thousand years ago. At that time, I said that she would be installed, “either as a last-minute substitute for him [Biden] or as #2 on the ticket, as he quietly fades away.” Since then, we’ve entered a whole new era, with a pandemic that has devoured all our attention, caused us to do the unthinkable and shut down the entire economy, and also completely changed the process of running for President (and all elective offices) this time around.

RELATED READING:  Ainsworth: Michelle O follow-up; answers to readers

At least a couple of years ago, I was sure Michelle Obama would somehow end up on the Democrat ticket --- for President. It was in February of 2019 that I felt it was necessary to start putting out the warning that she would be the nominee, that this was a foregone conclusion no matter what kind of make-believe show the Democrats put on. I won’t go back over the myriad reasons this seemed inevitable, but I will tell you why it seems like even more of a given today.

First with the obvious: In the past few months, even though the 77-year-old Biden stumbled his way to the top spot on the ticket, his mental decline has been even more marked. True, the coronavirus has made it easier for the Democrat Party to keep this confused, rambling, apparently senile man under wraps, as there will be no personal appearances, no town halls, apparently not even a convention. I doubt most Democrats seriously think that if he wins, decisions of any consequence will actually be made by him. But they’ll vote for him anyway, because 1) they hate Trump with the fire of a thousand suns, and 2) he’ll be bringing back the Democrat power structure, which is this time even farther to the left.

The real attention now is going to be on the choice for VP, who one way or another will have the real power if they win.

In January, an Iowa man asked Biden if he might consider former President Obama for the Supreme Court. “Yeah, I would, but I don’t think he’d do it,” Biden answered. “He’d be a great Supreme Court justice.” The man then asked, “The question is, which Obama?” The room predictably exploded with applause and various other warm expressions of approval.

"Well, I sure would like Michelle to be the Vice President,” Biden said with a laugh. “They’re both incredibly qualified people, I mean, and they’re such decent, honorable people.”

The buzz started immediately, with the INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES writing that “Michelle Obama recently sparked rumors that she could become the next Vice President of the United States.”

Just a week ago, a report in the WASHINGTON EXAMINER said, “Former first lady Michelle Obama is back in play big-time as a favorite to be Joe Biden’s running mate.” It went on to say that according to OddsChecker.com, gambling markets have seen a surge for Obama.

"Michelle Obama has been the most backed person in the market, accounting for almost 32 percent of all bets,” the firm reports. (On the other hand, I don’t know how much weight should be given to that, as another name “surging” a bit recently has been the extremely frightening and power-mad Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.)

On March 8, John Fund at NATIONAL REVIEW broke down the reasons she might or might not do it. “Stranger things have happened in politics,” he said, “and in the age of Trump, they often do.” He pointed out some of the inducements: She wouldn’t have to endure the marathon campaign for President (and since he wrote that, it’s become clear there won’t be much campaigning at all). She reportedly doesn’t like mingling, but there will be no hand-shaking now; she could just “appear” at events before the adoring crowds. (I would add it looks now as if there will be no events and no crowds.) She wouldn’t have to do fundraising. Malia and Sasha are college-age now, and the media would continue to treat them with deference.

RELATED READINGAinsworth: With Biden winning, watch what Michelle O does now

There’s also the inducement of Biden appointing Barack Obama to the U.S. Supreme Court. Yes, we have precedent for this: William Howard Taft in the 1920s.

Cut to yesterday (Tuesday), when CNN.com reported that in an interview with Pittsburgh’s Jon Delano, Biden said of Michelle, “I’d take her in a heartbeat. She’s brilliant. She knows the way around. She is a really fine woman. The Obamas are great friends.”

The article goes on to say there’s no one who could help Biden’s ticket more than Michelle O. “Period.” But it expresses major doubt as to whether she would agree, citing what she has said previously about running for office, which I will say means exactly nothing. As the article muses, “...it’s impossible to totally rule out the possibility of Michelle Obama agreeing to be the Vice Presidential nominee. Why? Because if Biden asked her and told her that if she said ‘yes’ they would have a greatly increased chance of ending Trump’s time as President, it is theoretically possible that she might be swayed by that argument.”

CNN also cites her criticism of Trump in a 2019 interview with Gayle King: “...what saddens me is what it’s doing to the country as a whole. What we have to be really conscientious of is what kind of country we’ve leaving for our children and grandchildren.” That, of course, would be the media-reinforced theme of her candidacy:  bringing the nation together after this time of great conflict (which, of course, is all because of Trump, not the irrational hatred the left has for him).

Here’s another story from yesterday, at Yahoo News, in which we learn from Obama “family adviser” Valerie Jarrett that Michelle “really kind of transcends politics. “Obviously, she supports Vice President Biden bur doesn’t see herself as a political figure.” That’s what Jarrett told POLITICO, but don’t be fooled. It is not a denial.

The POLITICO article is what sparked me to write on this topic again.

About the only other real possibility was New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but my Magic 8 Ball says IT IS NOT TO BE. Cuomo did a radio interview with Sean Hannity a few days ago in which Sean really put him on the spot about running. The way that conversation went, I actually believed Cuomo (yes, seriously) when he said he is absolutely not leaving New York. Besides, Biden has committed to picking a woman, preferably a black woman, and I’ll bet Cuomo already knows Michelle is it. While we’ve been talking about infection rates and “flattening the curve,” they’ve been moving the chess pieces around.

Democrats know that putting Michelle on the ticket and winning with that is the one way to keep the Obama legacy from being entirely dismantled during a second Trump term. She could end up sliding neatly into the Oval Office without even having to campaign. If anything poses more long-term danger to America than the damn coronavirus does, this just might be it.

In welcome news, Attorney General Bill Barr said the Department of Justice may side with citizens who sue local governments for trampling their Constitutional rights in the name of preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

Barr made it clear that he’s not talking about justifiable restrictions to protect public health, but “onerous” crackdowns that go too far and become “burdensome impingements on liberty.” And proving that sometimes, lawyers and courts are useful to people on the right, too, the Mayor of Greenville, Mississippi, announced that the $500 tickets handed to church members for attending a drive-in service in their own cars will not be enforced.

The American people are speaking up against government overreach in the name of public health, and they’re not always doing it politely. Like the Idaho mom who demanded to be arrested, and whose arrest sparked protests, when she was threatened with arrest for entering a closed public park to protest the government’s clampdown policies.

But Idahoans are downright polite compared to New Yorkers. When Mayor Bill DeBlasio set up a snitch hotline for people to turn in their neighbors for allegedly violating his stay-at-home orders, he got a lot of calls – but not the kind he was hoping for. Some of the nicer ones ratted on him for going to the gym when he banned it for other people. Some of the more New York-y responses included words I can’t repeat and photos of various finger gestures and parts of their anatomy that should definitely be kept behind closed doors. It’s funny how New Yorkers will elect liberals who love telling people what to do, but nobody better dare tell them what to do!

Maybe Mayor DeBlasio was under the delusion that New Yorkers were like the Australians who reported a couple to authorities and got them fined for violating the ban on non-essential travel after they posted some vacation photos on Facebook – from last year’s vacation. Who do those snitches think they are, Mark Zuckerberg?