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From Judith:

Mike, I am one of your biggest fans; however, I find the references to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) above to be tone deaf to what the true small business owner is experiencing.

Supposedly the PPP was a first-come, first-served program to protect small companies and their employees. The way it is being administered is egregious if it is anything like what my 29-year-old son experienced.

He and a college roommate own a metal fabrication and welding business that they started in 2015. They had five employees.

He applied to Pittsburgh National Corporation PNC, his banker, on the day that the program opened. Four days later, the banker at PNC contacted him to say that my son had not initialed the application in two places. He did so within three hours.

When he did not hear back from PNC on the status of his application, he contacted the banker repeatedly. No response at all until last Thursday, April 16, 2020, when the banker contacted him and said that she had submitted his application that day at 12:30 pm. The money had run out.

He had to furlough all of his employees. Now he is frantic to keep his business afloat.

He submitted a complaint to PNC and the banker called and offered him a loan at 7%. He has avoided debt like the plague. He and his partner have paid themselves paupers’ wages, believing that investing in equipment and good employees now would pay off in the future.

If he had not acted in a timely manner, he would not be upset. BUT when he did everything in time to get a loan and the "big guys" get funding and you didn't, it feels like crony capitalism at its worst.

Whom does he blame? Trump and Marco Rubio. Somebody had to write and approve the bill. He believes that they left loopholes for the banks and the connected.


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From the Gov:

Thank you so much for writing, Judith. I certainly don’t mean to be tone deaf about the real-world problems faced by small business owners; that’s why I’m highlighting your letter. As I said, this is the sort of bureaucratic nightmare that is common to virtually ALL government programs. It angers me to hear this story and think that loopholes might have been deliberately left in the bill to benefit the connected and savvy over independent small business owners such as your son who don’t have high-priced attorneys to make sure every “i” is dotted and every “t” crossed (and every blank initialed) on every page of the voluminous paperwork.

It’s hard to know exactly what happened here; did the banker deliberately set aside your son’s application in deference to more “important” applicants, or did his paperwork get lost in the shuffle of a deluge of applications. Either way, it’s unacceptable.

But the fact that all the money was gone so quickly underlies the need to end the political bickering and bargaining and replenish those funds NOW. I’ve been hearing economists say that even this infusion of $$$ is not going to be nearly enough, and they are worried. (It should worry us all.) As for your son’s bank, they should be apologizing profusely for delaying his application. They have the completed paperwork now, so as soon as more money is available, he needs to be AT THE HEAD OF THE LINE. If that doesn’t happen, I have two words for him after the crisis is over: “new bank.”

On the other hand, just a few moments ago (this is Monday afternoon), my researcher heard a report of a major, MAJOR financial institution being “out of money” for small businesses who were similarly right there with their applications on the very first day. Had it all been earmarked for big-deal clients? We’ll be looking into this. And when Congress (finally) approves more funding for the program, they might also want to take a look at how the program is already being abused and quickly close those loopholes. Emphasis on the word "quickly."

Thanks again, Judith, for your perspective. I hope your son gets the money in time to keep his business together and that he and his employees are able to get back to work soon. I’m not sure how shutting down a metal fabrication/welding plant with five employees (or any number, really, as long as they’re taking basic precautions) is going to affect the spread of coronavirus one way or the other.

Saturday, a federal judge in Kansas blocked Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s executive order restricting church services in the name of stopping the coronavirus. As the state attorney general, who opposed Kelly’s order, put it, the government can tell churches that they shouldn’t hold services during this time, but it doesn’t have the power to ban them. This is the latest of several cases across America where judges have had to remind liberal officials that they don’t have the power to rescind the First Amendment.

While it is certainly prudent for churches to protect their members by holding online services or drive-in services (although even those have been targeted for no good reason), the judge in this case pointed out that the Governor’s ban on large public gatherings includes 26 secular exceptions, including bars, libraries and shopping malls. Her order seems to specifically, and unconstitutionally, target religion. For instance, the judge noted that a large group could meet in an office building to conduct a real estate deal, but not to hold a Bible study.

Gov. Kelly vowed to fight the judge’s order, saying, “This is not about religion. This is about a public health crisis.” I’d say it’s about more than that. It’s about a public health crisis and about how some public officials will use a crisis to advance a political agenda. We all want to stamp out the coronavirus, but let’s make sure that in the process, we don’t succumb to an even worse virus that kills off our Constitutional rights.

Cheers to the editor-in-chief of BILD, Germany’s largest newspaper, who wrote this in an open letter to Chinese President Xi:

"In your country, people are whispering about you. Your power is crumbling. You have created an inscrutable, non-transparent China. Before Corona, China was known as a surveillance state. Now, China is known as a surveillance state that infected the world with a deadly disease. That is your political legacy.”

This comes as China is doubling down on its original fairytale that COVID-19 came from the local “wet market” and NOT from the biolab in Wuhan. The head of that lab has even called out Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, saying his accusations are “based on speculation,” though I will “speculate” that he is being forced by Dear Leader to say this to those reporters in State media who are allowed to talk to him. With what we have learned, there is no one with the intelligence of a Chinese horseshoe bat who buys the official story. But when Communists lie, they don’t care if what they say is even feasible; they just expect you to choke it down.

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation has put together a remarkable paper explaining what was done, by whom, and when, to enable the spread of this virus. It is so spectacular, it needs little elaboration. After the article, there’s a painstakingly assembled timeline, starting in MID-NOVEMBER OF 2019 (though I think it might possibly turn out the virus was circulating even before then), with three columns showing what 1) the People’s Republic of China/Chinese Communist Party was saying and 2) the World Health Organization was reporting while 3) reality intruded. I cannot tell you how illuminating this is.

To quote: “The denial of information, outright fabrications, and disregard for human life --- both within and outside of China’s borders --- is so shocking and pervasive that the contracting of this virus by millions worldwide and the resultant death toll was not only foreseeable but entirely avoidable.” It calls for the People’s Republic of China to be held accountable “through demands for economic reparations and other and other sanctions pertaining to human rights.”

The condemnation it lays on the World Health Organization is equally great. “The WHO,” it says, “...has served as a ‘useful idiot’ that repeats CCP propaganda without question.” I would add that our own leftist media, blinded by their hatred of President Trump, have had a major role in that as well and deserve to be described the same way.

We now know that the People’s Republic of China had confirmed human-to-human transmission by late December yet ordered the evidence destroyed. Through the middle of January, they were saying the virus was containable, when other actions (such as the effort to stockpile medical supplies from American and Europe) show otherwise. And that was just the beginning of the deception by the PRC and WHO. Most stunningly, the PRC allowed 5 million people to leave the province of Wuhan –- not to go to other parts of China, but to go to other countries. Much of this we have covered, but when you see it all together like this, it’s almost beyond belief. The evil just leaps from the page.

This paper and the timeline that follows are absolute must-reads. But, one word of caution: this information, laid out before you as it is, will raise your blood pressure to the sky, and as we’ve been told by the doctors and epidemiologists, high blood pressure is a risk factor for this virus. So take breaks as appropriate, and walk outside, taking deep breaths.

Be sure also to read about the organization that put this together, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. I have to give President Bill Clinton credit for signing the bill that created it, passed unanimously by Congress on December 17, 1993. Perhaps they didn’t anticipate how desperately we’d need a group like this less than thirty years later. But we have a few people in Congress NOW who would never vote to create an organization like this if a similar bill came up today. That’s because they themselves are communists who would exercise total government control if they could, and they lie with the ease of the CCP.

"Those witnesses with a living memory of 20th Century communism are passing away,” the Foundation says on their website. “And an entire generation of Americans is open to collectivist ideas because they don’t know the truth...Our mission is to educate this generation and future generations about the ideology, history and legacy of communism.”

Reader Carol wrote in to ask about a story in the U.K. DAILY MAIL that criticized a tax provision in the “CARES” Act as a giveaway to the rich. Specifically, it said that 80 percent of the benefit would go directly to millionaires and billionaires, including Jared Kushner and others in the “Trump circle.”

Not surprisingly, a review of the DAILY MAIL report showed it had no balance, no commentary from anyone on the other side of this issue. And predictably, the story was picked up by other left-leaning sites that presented the same simplistic take-away; namely, that the Republicans had added this provision to further enrich their “rich friends.” It took some looking, but we found an analysis in a more conservative news outlet, THE FEDERALIST, from Kyle Sammin, that took exception to this conclusion.


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The headline and subhead sum it up: “No, Boosting Small Business Isn’t Rich People ‘Looting’ Taxpayers: Far from a handout to rich guys, a small change under the coronavirus stimulus package reduces taxes on business owners so they can retain employees on payroll.” It cites Jeff Stein at the WASHINGTON POST for using the tired media narrative that Republicans care only about rich people while failing to explore the reasons Democrats went along with this (they voted for it, you know). “As usual,” Sammin writes, “there is more to the story than the class warfare angle.”

The way Sammin explains it, this is “far from a naked handout to rich guys.” The tax incentive was added because of a change that had been made in the tax law in 2017 regarding the way small business tax losses are treated. The reason taxes on business owners (those “millionaires and billionaires”) have been reduced is to make it easier to retain workers on payroll while they’re shut down. It does not apply to personal income taxes.

It also doesn’t apply to huge, publicly-traded corporations, he says, but to smaller businesses that are organized for tax purposes as “tax-throughs.” We’re talking about proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, and subchapter S corporations, whose profits are taxed at the individual level, not the corporate level. According to Sammin, about 95 percent of all businesses in America are organized this way.

This is your locally-owned neighborhood hair salon, family-owned restaurant or clothing boutique that has been hard-hit by the quarantine. In parts of the country with a mid-to-higher cost of living, especially, these business owners are going to be in the “millionaire” category, and these are the people –- along with their employees –- who are holding on for dear life.

The tax change in 2017 meant that, starting in 2018, small businesses couldn’t write off more of a loss than $250,000, or $500,000 if it was owned by a married couple. At that time, people who lost that kind of money tended to be disproportionately wealthy. But now, many more small businesses will show a loss like this, which means they have to cut pay or lay off employees altogether. This provision in the CARES Act was intended to lighten the load on these small businesses. “Like most tax incentives,” Sammins writes, it is not perfect, but it should be marginally effective in helping all workers, not just the rich.”


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Yes, some of these small businesses are owned by quite wealthy people. Democrat Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, who did vote for the bill, complained, “It’s a scandal for Republicans to loot American taxpayers in the midst of an economic and human tragedy.” He’s hoping you don’t think too deeply about this and realize that it’s not “looting” to let small businesses write off their actual losses, especially at a time when they are faced with the very real possibility of losing it all.

As long as we’re looking at the CARES Act, here’s a less shall-we-say “charitable” look at the possible unintended consequences. It explains how the program is vulnerable to waste, fraud and abuse. (To that I would say, well, yes...isn’t every government program?) As Gary Meltz writes in the WASHINGTON EXAMINER, “These are honest and legal ways the PPP allows business owners who are not struggling due to the pandemic to make massive profits. Now think about the unethical and illegal methods that probably also exist.” To give the complete picture, I’ve included that take here:

The law has loopholes that allow larger businesses such as large restaurant chains to take advantage. For example, as Dominick Mastrangelo reports in the WASHINGTON EXAMINER, an exemption in the CARES Act allows food industry businesses to obtain loans as long as no more than 500 employees work at a single location. (I could argue, though, that it might be just as challenging, perhaps in different ways. to keep a big chain of restaurants afloat as it is to sustain a single restaurant or small regional chain.) Also, the law does not specifically prohibit aid from going to publicly listed firms.

Keep in mind that while we’re talking about this, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are holding off their approval of a bill to replenish by $250 billion the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small business loans, which in just two weeks was drained of its original $350 billion. This lack of money could affect hundreds of thousands of businesses. Again, this bill is another effort to help businesses keep people employed while they are unable to make payroll. Democrats are trying to inflate the bill to $500 billion –- for hospitals, food assistance and first responders –- and are delaying its passage.

They should go forward with this NOW and take up other funding in a separate bill. Stop bickering and playing politics; Congress has the “power of the purse” and could introduce additional legislation and debate the details of that funding separately rather than hold this bill hostage.

I would add that OF COURSE any funding bill designed to help desperate small businesses could end up benefiting some people who are wealthy –- including some who are disliked for partisan reasons. Just speaking broadly, if a bill that’s going to provide critical relief to small businesses happens to have some benefit for, say, Jared Kushner, does that mean we’re going to go on the assumption that it was DESIGNED to help build Jared Kushner’s portfolio and summarily reject it, leaving small businesses to twist in the wind? Or, are we perhaps going to do some sort of carve-out so that the program benefits everyone EXCEPT Jared Kushner (and anyone else who might be in Trump’s “circle,” or even every rich Republican)? Leftists would love to do that, but there’s a word for it: unconstitutional.

By the way, Pelosi, in a Sunday interview with Chris Wallace in which she repeatedly noted how “nonpartisan” her colleagues are being on the issue of help for small business (!), still managed to finger-point at Trump and would give no Democrats any responsibility for the delay in funding. “He’s a poor leader,” she said of the President. “He’s always trying to avoid responsibility and assign blame.” Um, Nancy, isn’t that exactly what YOU are doing in this very interview?

Last week I made the case for why the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) from January 2017, which concluded that Russia was trying to damage Hillary and help Trump win, was 180 degrees WRONG. It’s no longer just a wild right-wing conspiracy theory, but, I believe, the only logical conclusion, to say that Russia was actually trying to hurt Trump and stay on what they assumed was the winning side, Hillary’s.

Let’s start making sense: if certain “dossier” stories were Russian disinformation designed to help Trump, as recently-declassified footnotes in the IG report suggest the FBI suspected, then they wouldn’t have been anti-Trump falsehoods like Michael Cohen’s imaginary trip to Prague or Trump’s fictional romp in a Moscow hotel with a couple of full-grown Betsy-Wetsy dolls. Heck, the Russians would have been working on a “dossier” of their own, full of terrible Hillary stories (as if we didn’t have enough of those).


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It certainly makes sense to think they’d assume Hillary was going to win. (And surely they would not want the scenario of Hillary winning and then finding out they’d been working for her opponent!) Hillary was a known quantity, she headed an unfathomably-huge international political power machine, they’d supported the Clinton Global Initiative and they’d paid her husband a fortune just to give a couple of speeches. Surely they were expecting some big things in return. One of these things they’d already received, when she signed off on an agreement that led to Russia owning 20 percent of America’s uranium reserves. Do they think President Donald Trump in their wildest dreams would have gone for THAT?

But as John Solomon wrote over the weekend, “As the Obama administration was headed out the door in January 2017, its intelligence leaders concluded with moderate to high confidence that Russia’s meddling in 2016, including the hack of emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and the Democratic Party, was designed to help Trump defeat Clinton.” And that was their narrative (with cooperation from the media) going into Trump’s administration –- not just Russian "meddling," but that Trump's campaign had actively conspired with the Russians. They claimed this with no evidence at all, as the special counsel would determine much later.

You know, we still don’t even have hard evidence that the Russians were the ones who got those emails in the first place. The DNC never did turn over the information on their servers to the FBI, only the report from CrowdStrike. Yet for some baffling reason the FBI were okay with that and went along with the DNC’s self-serving conclusion. Others have come up with some very different possible scenarios for the hacking or leaking of that information, but these are dismissed as wild conspiracy theories.


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Daniel Hoffman, the CIA’s former Moscow station chief and one of our top experts in Russian spycraft, said he believed all along that the Obama administration’s assessment was wrong and sees the newly-declassified footnotes as confirmation. In other words, the Russians were NOT trying to help Trump get elected. On the other hand, he thinks the whole issue of whether the Russians were helping Trump or Clinton is “superfluous.” If I understand correctly what he’s quoted as saying, I disagree strongly with that because of the anything-but-superfluous political consequences of the "helping Trump" narrative chosen by Obama’s outgoing administration.

So, considering there was no evidence that Trump was “colluding” with Russians, where did the FBI get that idea? According to Solomon, Republican investigators such as Rep. Devin Nunes of California, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, are focusing on what John Brennan’s CIA was telling the FBI in 2016.


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Hoffman said he’s always maintained that the Kremlin was tracking Christopher Steele’s information-gathering efforts. “Putin would have recognized the opportunity to infiltrate Steele’s work and plant misinformation, which would not immediately be spotted because Steele was supposed to be a reliable, retired MI-6 officer with a strong background on Russia,” he said. (I would add that if Putin thought that about Steele, he was wrong, as the FBI had been doubting him as a reliable source since 2015.)

I still say Putin was doing this to help Hillary, to gain additional favor with her, as he must have assumed she would find out after she was President about his efforts to help her win. No telling what he might get in return --- plus it occurs to me that it might be an interesting blackmail opportunity for him as well. Nobody thought Trump was going to be President (well, except for me and a few other independent thinkers.) “The Steele dossier was used as fodder in our partisan, political meat grinder,” according to Hoffman. “Putin’s goal is to exacerbate the already high level of animosity between Democrats and Republicans, with an eye towards degrading our democracy.”

Well, his effort to help Hillary with anti-Trump "disinformation" failed, but he certainly degraded our democracy, with plenty of help from Democrats.

I’ve been concerned enough about the Coronavirus that I haven’t left my home in almost 6 weeks and have taken extreme precautions to protect my family and myself. It wasn’t irrational fear about getting sick, but respect for the guidelines so we can get this over with. But there is something that scares me worse than a virus and in fact, scares me more than death itself. I’ve made arrangements both for my physical death and my eternal life once that happens. But I’m genuinely afraid that we are losing our civil liberties and our fundamental freedoms as they are ripped from our lives. Shockingly, many American are actually cheering about it. To quote Jesus, “Father, Forgive them-they know NOT what they do!”

In KY, it took a smart and “rule-of-law” federal judge on Saturday afternoon before Easter Sunday to declare that the government couldn’t forbid a Louisville church from offering a drive-in service to its members. The federal judge noted that there was irony in that people were free to visit a liquor store drive-through couldn’t attend a drive-in church service and that he doubted that consumption of alcohol was somehow considered more “essential” than attending church on Easter Sunday.

In Greenville, MS the mayor sent cops to a church to forbid the people from even sitting in their own cars in the church parking lot for a drive-in service and gave $500 tickets to each person sitting in his or her own car. The only violators of safe social distancing were the cops, who went right up to car windows and barked orders and handed tickets to startled worshippers. Thank God, Attorney General Bill Barr has decided to review clear violations of the 1st Amendment in cases like this.


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In Michigan, the Governor moved from nanny to tyrant by forbidding people to buy seeds to plant gardens, even though the seeds were on shelves in stores that were open! That resulted in hundreds of people driving around the State Capitol, honking their horns in protest. The Governor stubbornly asserted that she was right. So people planting their own gardens and eating produce they grow is somehow more unhealthy than going to a supermarket and handling produce that may have been touched by dozens of strangers?

In addition, a father was arrested and handcuffed for playing catch with his own daughter in a completely deserted public park. People have been threatened with arrest for setting foot in their own backyards. The New Jersey Governor, when asked about what gave him the right to suspend the Bill of Rights, said, “that’s above my pay grade…we weren’t thinking about the Bill of Rights when we did this.” Obviously not! Well we all need to be thinking about it!

I don’t want any of us to get sick or die from a virus that probably came not from bat-soup, but a Chinese bio-lab. But if we freely surrender our basic civil liberties now, don’t think we will ever get all of them back. I don’t trust government. I was in government long enough to know that the only thing between freedom and tyranny is a vigilant citizen who remembers that government works for us—not the other way around.

I fully understand the Biblical mandate to obey civil authorities, but I also understand that when civil authorities demand of me to do something immoral or against the law or Constitution, I have not merely a right, but a responsibility to resist and to willingly suffer the consequences. Thank God for Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and for that matter the entirety of our Founding Fathers who revolted against racism, Nazism, and tyranny but willingly suffered for doing so because they valued liberty and the law more than life itself.

It’s fine to be afraid of the virus. It’s wise to take precautions. But be afraid of a government that can take your life, your liberty, and these days, even your freedom to worship your Lord.