Advertisement

The “Party of Tolerance” is giving African-Americans a good look at how savagely intolerant they really are toward anyone who expresses a non-approved thought. If the Republican Party ever treated its black members with such harsh disrespect, the charges of racism would be headline news. And there are two glaring examples that have arrived simultaneously.

First came the story of Democratic Michigan State Rep. Karen Whitsett, who thought she was going to die of COVID-19 until she received the treatment mentioned by President Trump. She quickly recovered and publicly thanked him, saying the drug saved her life. For that, a group called the 13th Congressional District Democratic Party Organization announced that it will meet tomorrow to consider censuring Whitsett.

Now, think for just a moment of all the outrageous things various Democrats (cough-Adam Schiff!-cough!) have done for which they were never censured – but they want to censure her for saying something positive about Trump for recommending a drug that she believed saved her life.

Trump drew attention to that “disgraceful” move and offered a great suggestion to Whitsett: “Should join the Republican Party!”

Meanwhile, Georgia State Rep. Vernon Jones has had a change of heart. The black Democrat set off a firestorm by saying he endorsed Trump’s reelection because of his record on job creation and supporting black colleges and prison sentence reform. He and his family were hit with so many hateful, threatening messages that he announced he would step down. But he now says that after receiving a wave of support, he’s changed his mind and will remain in office. Having already compared the Party to a plantation, Jones declared, “I will not allow the Democrats to bully me into submission. I will not let them win. I will NOT resign.”

Good for him! That’s the “punch back twice as hard” philosophy that Obama originated, but that Democrats never imagined would be used against them until Trump came along.

Former President Barack Obama broke the tradition of Presidents not attacking their successors (especially during a national emergency) by criticizing President Trump’s response to the coronavirus. At this link, Matt Margolis of PJ Media reminds us of why Obama has no room to talk, having botched the response to two pandemics during his term, Ebola and H1N1 (swine flu.)

Speaking of violating long-established protocols, Bob Ehrlich has a good piece at Western Journal about six ways in which Donald Trump has changed old rules that everyone used to follow.

It’s an interesting read, but to put in my two cents: I’m constantly hearing about how Trump has upended all the agreed-upon rules and previously-revered niceties of politics, media relations, diplomacy, etc. In some ways, he has (usually by telling us what he honestly thinks, which ironically gets him branded as a “liar” by people who think he should have been honest enough to keep telling the same lies they’ve all agreed to mouth for years.) But the charge that Trump is responsible for inventing personal attacks on opponents and “lowering the tone of political discourse” is laughable. And I ought to know.

If you recall, I stood on the debate stage with Trump, competing with him for the nomination at a time when he was being assailed for giving mocking nicknames to his opponents. Do you know what he called me? “Governor Huckabee,” or “Mike.” Do you know why? Because I said I knew that Hillary Clinton would be far worse for America than any Republican, so I was going to observe Reagan’s 11th Commandment and not attack my fellow Republicans. I didn’t call Trump names, and he didn’t call me names. Imagine that!

In virtually every case where Trump has been accused of attacking people, breaking the rules and “lowering the tone,” he was attacked first. He was called a phony, a con man, a racist, a sexist, a xenophobe, a liar, a crook and someone who was only running to enrich himself, surely the most hilarious of all the false charges. And a media that had just spent eight years giving Obama shoeshines with their tongues declared themselves to be open advocates for Hillary and threw any pretense of journalistic standards out the window as they attacked Trump like a pack of baying hounds.

But he didn’t do what Republicans are supposed to do when they’re unfairly maligned, which is to roll over and apologize for their shortcomings. No, he punched back. And for that unforgivable act of self-defense, he’s the one who’s blamed for “lowering the tone of public discourse.” Maybe he should point out that he’s just following the Obama principle of “if they hit you, punch back twice as hard.” Or would it be uncouth to remind the Democrats and the media (pardon my redundancy) that he’s not the first President to disregard the niceties of polite discourse when attacked?

One relative upside of the pandemic shutdown is that it has made a lot of people who like to wrap themselves in the mantle of “compassionate liberals” show their true colors. For instance, we’ve seen some truly wretched comments, ranging from anonymous Twitter trolls wishing death on the President and his supporters to clueless, bubble-dwelling celebrities and politicians mocking people who are desperate to get back to work so they don’t lose their homes and businesses and so they can pay their bills and feed their families.

We’ve also seen in stark terms the ugly selfishness of the left's “never let a good crisis go to waste” mentality, as Nancy Pelosi held up desperately-needed aid to small businesses to try to extort her “progressive” wish list into the bill. She’s now boasting that if we need another bill to keep the economy alive, she will force a national vote-by-mail law into it, creating a tsunami of vote fraud that will keep Democrats in power forever.

Another way that opportunistic leftists have tried to use this crisis to impose their agenda on America was by making it more lucrative to stay unemployed than to go back to work. They insisted that this wouldn’t incentivize unemployment. But it already is…

Some analysts say the lucrative unemployment benefits are a stealth way of forcing small businesses to raise wages without having to pass a new national minimum wage law. If so, then it’s a stealth way to put small businesses out of business nationwide, just as they have in cities and states that raised the minimum wage above market rates. Small businesses are drowning, and the Democrats want to throw them an anvil.

To sum up, Americans have gotten a good, hard look at what life under “Democratic socialism” and the Green New Deal would look like, as some prominent leftist politicians have celebrated the blows to the fossil fuel industry, all the lost jobs in industries they don’t like, and the expansion of dependence and government power, with people being ordered to stay inside, not drive, live off handouts, etc. If you like the current despair, impoverishment, lack of freedom and official disregard for constitutional rights, elect more AOCs and they’ll make it permanent.

Must-read for April 24

April 24, 2020

The most important MUST-READ article of the day is by Dr. Scott W. Atlas, former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center. It’s titled, “The Data is In; Stop the Panic and End the Total Isolation.”

Dr. Atlas lists five facts that all point to the need to end the economic lockdown while continuing to proceed with reasonable caution. These facts, which he explains in much more detail, are:

The overwhelming majority of people have little risk of dying from COVID-19 (those over 75 are at greatest risk; the current death rate for those 18 and under is zero)…Protecting older, high-risk people eliminates hospital overcrowding…Our total isolation policy is prolonging the problem by preventing the development of “herd immunity”…People are dying because hypothetical projections of the need for care for COVID-19 patients caused states to cancel other medical procedures, from cancer screenings and biopsies to chemotherapy and brain surgeries…We now have a clearly-defined at-risk population that can be protected with targeted measures, so we don’t have to shut down the entire country.

This isn’t to say that we can immediately go back to life as it was two months ago. We’ll still need to follow reasonable precautions. Even if you’re not at greatest risk, why take unnecessary chances? But we now know a lot more about how dangerous the disease is, and about how damaging the response has been. We now have to consider whether the cure is on the verge of becoming worse than the disease.

In Harris County, Texas (Houston), Democrat Judge Lina Hidalgo ordered the county’s 4.7 million residents to wear face masks in public at all times with very limited exceptions, or face a fine of up to $1,000, a ruling that Houston’s Democratic mayor agreed with. But Republicans, many residents and the Houston Police Officers Union definitely did not agree. Critics say that encouraging and urging mask use is fine, threatening to arrest and fine people for not doing it crosses the line into unconstitutional tyranny.

In fact, the police union flatly refused to enforce it, saying that while they believe everyone should be wearing a mask in public, “we draw the line at the draconian measures Hidalgo has decided to engage in. Our officers work every single day to bridge the gap with our community and earn their trust, we will not stand idly by and allow Hidalgo to tear that bridge down, with her horrific leadership and echo chamber decision making.”

As the story above details, other police and sheriff’s departments around the country are also refusing to enforce draconian, contradictory (landscapers are allowed to work outside, building contractors aren’t, etc.) and most of all, unconstitutional edicts by judges. You know you’ve overreached your powers when even the cops are telling you to put your legal threats where the sun doesn’t shine.

To show how seriously locals are taking Judge Hidalgo’s commands, a hilarious typo in a graphic from KPRC-TV went viral nationally. It read that the Judge ordered everyone over the age of 10 to cover their faces with either masks, scarfs or “bananas.

As a public service, and since so many judges are now issuing rulings that are so bananas they sound like a Monty Python sketch, here’s what to do if you are attacked by a masked person with a banana.

Biggest news of the day

April 24, 2020

The biggest real news of the day involving the COVID-19 (Chinese) coronavirus is that it might not be as deadly as we were led to believe when we shut down the economy based on computer models that predicted millions of deaths, and have since been adjusted steadily downward. There’s always a temptation when dealing with a disease scare to look back with 20/20 hindsight and say, “It wasn’t that bad! We didn’t need to take all those precautions!” when it’s possible that if we hadn’t taken the precautions, it might’ve been much worse. It was certainly necessary to take drastic action upfront to “flatten the curve” and keep the disease from spreading and overwhelming the medical system.

But we’ve done that. While we don’t want a second wave to bring it roaring back, we can’t keep the economy shut down forever. Due to the shutdown, another 4.4 million Americans just applied for unemployment benefits, bringing the total to 26 million. Indeed, there are estimates that keeping it shut much longer will lead to so much despair, depression, drug abuse and suicide that more people will die than would have died of the virus.

We were also told that we needed to take drastic measures until we knew more about the threat. Well, now we know more, and some of it is good news, but the people lobbying to keep the economy shut down don’t want to hear it.

For instance, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who not that long ago was worried about millions of deaths and a shortage of ventilators and hospital beds (none of which came to pass) announced that a test of 3,000 people across 19 New York counties found that 13.9% of them had coronavirus antibodies. Extrapolated to the entire state population, that would be 2.7 million people who contracted the virus but had no symptoms or sickness too mild to go to the hospital. That would mean the death rate per infection isn’t 6%, as previously stated, but 0.5%. We still don’t know if antibodies provide long-lasting immunity, but it is proof that many people can catch the virus and not even get sick enough to need a doctor.

We also now know that 94% of coronavirus patients who were hospitalized in New York City had another underlying condition, and 88% had two or more. The most common was hypertension, followed by obesity, diabetes, morbid obesity, and coronary artery disease.

But the most important MUST-READ article of the day is by Dr. Scott W. Atlas, former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center. It’s titled, “The Data is In; Stop the Panic and End the Total Isolation.”

Dr. Atlas lists five facts that all point to the need to end the economic lockdown while continuing to proceed with reasonable caution. These facts, which he explains in much more detail, are:

The overwhelming majority of people have little risk of dying from COVID-19 (those over 75 are at greatest risk; the current death rate for those 18 and under is zero)…Protecting older, high-risk people eliminates hospital overcrowding…Our total isolation policy is prolonging the problem by preventing the development of “herd immunity”…People are dying because hypothetical projections of the need for care for COVID-19 patients caused states to cancel other medical procedures, from cancer screenings and biopsies to chemotherapy and brain surgeries…We now have a clearly-defined at-risk population who can be protected with targeted measures, so we don’t have to shut down the entire country.

This isn’t to say that we can immediately go back to life as it was two months ago. We’ll still need to follow reasonable precautions. Even if you’re not at greatest risk, why take unnecessary chances? But we now know a lot more about how dangerous the disease is, and about how damaging the response has been. We now have to consider whether the cure is on the verge of becoming worse than the disease.

RIP: Ian Whitcomb at 78

April 24, 2020

My wife/”Huckabee” co-writer Laura Ainsworth and I are saddened to report the death of Ian Whitcomb of natural causes at 78 after a long period of ill health.

Whitcomb was one of those “one-hit wonders” who had an amazing career completely unrelated to his one hit. He reached 8 in Billboard in 1965 with the R&B-flavored “You Turn Me On (Turn On Song),” but even if you remember that, you don’t really know Ian Whitcomb. In the 55 years since, he became better known as one of the world’s leading pop music historians, preserving long-forgotten Tin Pan Alley, vaudeville, 78 and cylinder, piano roll and musical hall tunes for new generations. (Laura does similar song rescues from the jazz/lounge/big band era on her albums, and she was Facebook friends with Ian.) Who else in our modern age would actually record such songs as “Oh! I Wish I Was Tarzan!,” “Fuzzy Wuzzy Woo!,” “Chong, He Come From Hong Kong,” “You’ve Got to Show It to Mother (Before You Can Show It to Me)” and “We’re Going to Celebrate the End of the War in Ragtime (Be Sure That Woodrow Wilson Leads the Band)”?

Ian Whitcomb chronicled all this delightfully oddball musical history in his albums, his XM Channel radio show, live performances with his trusty ukulele, and books such as “After the Ball,” “Letters from Lotusland,” “Ukulele Heroes” and “Songs of the Ragtime Era.” He won two Grammy Awards for his 2005 album, “Titanic: Music As Heard on the Fateful Voyage,” that recreated the songs played by the orchestra on board the doomed ship.

He also produced albums for other artists, including the hilariously bizarre “Hollywood Hi-Fi” classic, “Great Balls of Fire,” the rock debut of Mae West at age 79.

Ian Whitcomb did an immeasurable service to the world by preserving so much antiquated music that might have been lost forever. If you’d like to escape from today’s soulless, computer-generated “music” to happier times (well, the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic aside), you can find his recordings, radio shows, books, YouTube videos and more here.

Here are a couple of stories from this week that should make readers question the conventional wisdom that we hear every day from the media.

First, I don’t usually link to Slate.com because it’s slanted so much to the left, so you know it must be an exceptional piece if I do. Henry Grabar took a close look at the coronavirus stats for New York City and found that all the reasons we’ve heard for why it was so bad there don’t hold up to scrutiny. For instance, population density and levels of subway ridership had no correlation to neighborhood infection rates. San Francisco has more restaurants per capita and far fewer virus cases. Other cities are just as crowded and rely just as much on mass transit but weren’t hit as hard, while some smaller, less crowded towns were hit just as hard. His conclusion: New York’s leaders simply waited too long to impose social distancing guidelines. Two weeks earlier might have reduced the death rate by 80 percent.

And as we listen to the arguments over when to reopen the economy, with some people chomping at the bit to get back to work and others arguing that we must all stay behind closed doors for at least 18 months, here’s a bucket of cold reality.

It’s a Twitter thread reminding us that the shutdown and social distancing were never meant to prevent us all from ever getting sick. It was to flatten the curve of infections, so the medical system wouldn’t be overwhelmed with cases before we were prepared for them. No matter when we emerge from our cocoons, and no matter who is President, there is no way to prevent a virus from spreading. The common cold is a virus, and we’ve been trying to get rid of it for centuries with no success.

The fact is that no matter when we restart the economy or how careful we are, the virus is going to spread. Some people will get it and never get sick, some will have milder cases, some will get very sick and (hopefully) we’ll be better prepared to help them, and tragically, some will die. All this self-quarantining was never going to reduce the number of cases in the long run, it was just meant to slow down the spread to make it easier to deal with. And it was also never meant to be an excuse for certain politicians to impose their crazy agendas or trample people’s Constitutional rights.

Nor was it meant to be an excuse for social media giants like Facebook to start acting like the Russian secret police and declaring people who protest the government to be “spreading misinformation” and silencing them.

This canard is based on a rationale similar to the slander of the Tea Party movement, that it wasn’t an “organic” public uprising, but just some astroturfed theater created by rightwing manipulators. I saw the Tea Party movement up close, and even wrote a book (“God, Guns, Grits and Gravy”) about the growing anger and frustration in “flyover country” at out-of-touch political and media elites. That was quite genuine, as the election of Donald Trump proved. And the fury over politicians who are trying to use the current health crisis to impose irrational and draconian restrictions on people’s rights is also quite genuine. (Here's the latest, and brace yourself for this one).

Note to Mark Zuckerberg: “Misinformation” doesn’t mean “states an opinion leftists don’t want to hear.” As a reminder, there are other social media outlets aside from the big names that do not censor political speech. My Twitter tweets are echoed on one, Parler.com. You should check it out, you might be needing it soon.

The New York Post tried to link a protest of the lockdown to a surge in coronavirus deaths, when the surge was reported on the same day the protest took place. That’s one fast virus!

A number of media outlets ran photos allegedly showing crowds on a newly-reopened beach in Jacksonville, Florida, violating social distancing guidelines. But it turned out that the photos looked like crowds from some angles, but from others, you could tell they were actually small groups, likely families who quarantine together, staying at least six feet away from other people. It’s called “perspective,” which a lot of people obviously don’t have.

Finally, New York Times writer Ginia Bellafante tried to blame the death of a New York man on Fox News because he allegedly contracted the virus on a cruise he took after watching Sean Hannity downplay the seriousness of the disease. Problem: the Hannity quote she cites was from March 9th, long after the man left on the cruise. However, before he left on the cruise, back on February 27th, he might have seen this tweet from another media figure: “I fundamentally don’t understand the panic. Virus is not deadly in vast majority of cases.” That was a quote from…take a wild guess?...New York Times reporter Ginia Bellafante.

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 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