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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, March 13, 2020

Pelosi Uses Virus Bill to Spread Abortion

Tony Perkins
by Tony Perkins: Congress's coronavirus bill was supposed to be about saving lives -- not taking them! But tell that to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who doesn't seem to mind exploiting a global tragedy to help out her pals at Planned Parenthood. Turns out, while Democrats are bashing the president for not working fast enough, they're bogging down the debate with secret language on abortion.

The revelations shouldn't have caught anyone by surprise, but when a White House official broke the news that Pelosi tried to bury taxpayer-funded abortion in the stimulus bill, even MSNBC was stunned. Openly liberal host Joy Reid didn't hold back her amazement, tweeting, "Wow... @kasie just reported that Republicans' objections to the House Democrats' emergency coronavirus bill include issues related to abortion. What does that have to do with COVID19...?"

Absolutely nothing, which is why so many Republicans -- including the president -- were so frustrated. Asked if he supported Pelosi's first proposal, the president didn't mince words. "No," he fired back, "because there are things that are in there that have nothing to do with what we are talking about." The original 124-pager wasn't serious, he said. This crisis is not the time "for them to get some of the goodies that they haven't been able to get for the past 25 years." Not only is blowing a hole in the Hyde amendment the surest way to stop progress, it's also the best way to out themselves as hypocrites. "Pelosi wanted to sneak in a billion dollars in funding for abortion programs through the coronavirus stimulus package. Don't ever tell me the Democrats aren't politicizing this situation," Human Rights editor Ian Cheong argued.

Even more astounding, Pelosi had the nerve to stand in front of the press and argue that this bill was about "putting families first." If her colleagues had objections, she challenged, they should "save it." "We need to just make a decision to help families right now..." If she really believed that, House Minority Steve Scalise (R-La.) wanted to know, why was she trying to stuff the stimulus with "liberal fantasies that have nothing to do with the coronavirus?" Simple. Because even in a crisis, the only economy Democrats care about is the abortion industry's.

As for the rest of the deal, "a sweeping, multibillion-dollar package that would guarantee free testing for all Americans -- including the uninsured -- expand worker protections such as sick leave and unemployment insurance," Republicans are hopeful it will be the first wave of real and tangible help. Still, Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) explained on Thursday's "Washington Watch," there are lingering concerns about what else was hurried along behind closed doors.

"Congress does its best work," he explained on Thursday's "Washington Watch," "when we work in the daylight -- when we hold hearings, get subject matter experts, and [testimony]. Then we make our decisions based upon facts. This," he warned, "is anything but that. This was something written in the speaker's office and delivered to us at 11:15 [Wednesday] night... So there are a number of open questions and we're being asked to render judgments or opinions really without a great deal of knowledge. That's unfortunate. And I'd lay that at the feet of the speaker. That's not the president has caused that. That's the Democratic leadership of the House of Representatives."

For Pelosi's party, who's desperately tried to turn this crisis to their political advantage, they've not done their cause any favors. "There is so much bad blood in Washington," the New York Post bemoans, "and the leading Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, [have] further poisoned the well by attacking Trump mercilessly on his initial handling of the coronavirus. Right out of the gate, they sounded as if they wanted to impeach him again instead of helping him find solutions. So they, too, now face a crisis of their leadership. Will they help fight this killer disease and try to calm the nation? Or will they continue to abdicate their governing responsibilities and put their partisan interests ahead of the nation's well-being?"

We'll see. But their first attempts at "bipartisanship" sure don't look promising.
-----------------------
Tony Perkins (@tperkins) is President of the Family Research Council . Article on Tony Perkins' Washington Update and written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

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The Great Coronavirus War Is Upon Us

. . . If we stay calm and rational, we can defeat the enemy.
Victor Davis Hanson
by Dr. Victor Davis Hanson: Try this thought experiment. Envision the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, as a living, breathing enemy — which, of course, is exactly what it is.

But imagine for a moment that we are in real war with a cognizant, thinking, and clever enemy whose sole reason to live is to hurt, maim, or kill as many of us as it can.

COVID-19 may not have jets, tanks, or nukes, like our past enemies. But its arsenal, numbers, cunning, and willpower are said to be formidable.

To win its war against Americans, COVID-19 must infect and sicken lots of Americans each day. If it cannot infect enough victims to multiply and sustain a hungry army of viruses, COVID-19 will soon sputter and die. It will get trapped in just a few hosts among an otherwise victorious and healthy nation of about 330 million.

Nature has given COVID-19 some weapons that its defeated cousins — the H1N1 swine flu and the MERS and SARS viruses — lacked.

It is more clever by being less lethal — and a little tougher in its ability to live outside a host. Viral resiliency ensures that it rarely turns into a suicide bomber by dying with a terminally sick host, and that it does not perish so quickly when orphaned in the air and on surfaces.

The coronavirus has allies. It infiltrates our defenses by using our own weapons against us — our dirty hands, the habitual touching of the face, and indiscreet sneezing and coughing.

Poor personal and public hygiene gives the virus some sustenance and camouflage. To win — defined as sickening or killing thousands of us — COVID-19 counts on our laxity. It hates careful individuals who block its invasion into the eyes, nose, and mouth.

Remember, unlike our past human enemies, COVID-19 is invisible to the naked eye, even more so than the most stealthy terrorists or underground enemy agents. It does not leave a smell. It cannot be heard. It certainly cannot be touched. We know COVID-19 only by the damage it does to us, even after it has left, leaving its trail of fever, fatigue, congestion, and labored breathing.

COVID-19 also relies on ignorance of its complexity and sophistication. It assumes that our experts will not learn how this new virus originated, how it spreads, and how it sickens or kills.

So the virus hopes that we cannot effectively quarantine the sick, or at least not before a pandemic spreads.

In desperation, the enemy virus hopes that even if our researchers can quickly infiltrate the COVID-19 master borg and learn its deepest secrets, we will still be unable to treat it with medicines or prevent it with vaccines — or at least not before it becomes a plague of biblical proportions.

To a popular culture that laps up creepy zombie movies, the virus certainly knows how to use its greatest weapons: fright and panic. As of early this week, the relatively lightweight bug had killed fewer than 30 Americans. But we seem to be acting as if it has already killed 200,000 of us.

If COVID-19 can create fear that we will end up like the grotesque monsters on television, perhaps we, its enemy, will go on hoarding binges that result in shortages of masks, gloves, and supplies for the health providers who need them most.

Or, if the virus can scare us enough that we cease working and interacting, our canceled-out economy will grind to a halt.

Or maybe the coronavirus can cleverly keep hopping on jets between countries and states, sowing dissension as nations blame one other for its creation and contagion, and politicians seek to destroy each other rather than band together to kill the virus.

COVID-19 counts on globalization as it sneaks onto jets and ships. In a few hours, it can find a new home and new hosts to terrify — even thousands of miles away.

It is a vengeful enemy. It knows we have killed off or rendered impotent most of its fellow viruses. Its cousin, the flu, has not since 1918 translated its annual tactical wins into a strategic pandemic victory.

Viruses and anti-human microbes have not had a major win in America in decades, perhaps not since polio used to terrorize, cripple, and kill thousands of Americans annually.

COVID-19 believes our progress, confidence, and sophistication are not our strengths but rather our greatest weakness, as our vanity and assumed invulnerability render us ripe for panic.

The battle is upon us. But if we stay calm and rational, we can easily defeat the enemy, whose reputation is likely far scarier than its reality.
------------------------
Victor Davis Hanson (@VDHanson) is a senior fellow, classicist and historian and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution where many of his articles are found; his focus is classics and military history. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush. H/T McIntosh Enterprises.

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Declaration of National Emergency, Getting Back To Basics, America’s Body Politic

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Breaking News: Declaration of National Emergency
This afternoon President Trump declared a National Emergency on the Chinese Coronavirus. This action frees up as much as $50 billion in funding for hard hit communities. The president urged each state to establish their own State Centers of Emergency.

His action also gives the HHS Secretary the power to wave bureaucratic regulations.

He announced new tests for the virus have been authorized and over four million will be available next week. Working with Google the administration has also developed an online process to locate the best place for a citizen to go to access a test.

He again tried to calm the public and reiterated that “this will pass.”

The press conference itself included major U.S. corporations such as CVS, Quest Labs and others, demonstrating a private/ public partnership.

The president also waived current interest on student loans. He announced the U.S. will start buying oil for the strategic reserve to help our energy industry currently under pressure from the Russian/ Saudi price war.

In short, Trump hit a grand slam home run this afternoon.

Getting Back To Basics
The coronavirus is dominating the news again today. The outbreak has caused real pain. Sadly, some people have lost loved ones, and the financial markets are in turmoil.

There’s a lot of debate in Washington about how best to combat the outbreak. But one thing each of us can do is to get back to basics — to remember that God’s in charge and that this, too, shall pass.

When I woke up this morning, I found myself thinking about something I used to include in most of my speeches. The thoughts expressed in it are still relevant today, and I want to share them with you.

For most people, life is not about judicial decisions and executive decrees. It’s helping hands and good neighbors. It’s nighttime prayers and lovingly packed lunchboxes. It’s hard work and a little put away for the future.

No government can command these things. They’re done naturally, out of love and a commitment to the future.

Believe in these things. Fight for these things. Teach your children about these things. If you will do that, it will serve you well in life. And if enough of us do it, this great country, with all of its challenges – next year, and five years and 100 years from now – will still be a shining city up on a hill.

The Sickness Infecting America’s Body Politic
In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, there are many stories of people doing very noble things for one another. But there are also stories that can’t help but astonish you. Unbelievably yesterday, Joe Biden tried to exploit people’s fears for personal gain, sending an email warning Americans about coronavirus and soliciting donations for his presidential campaign. It’s cynical and exploitative — and it’s beyond the pale.

Later, Biden gave a speech outlining his plan to combat the coronavirus should he become president. Of course, by the time Biden would actually take the oath of office, the outbreak will almost certainly have ended. But that didn’t stop Biden from releasing a detailed plan.

But much of it involved implementing ideas that the Trump-Pence administration is already acting on. And Biden didn’t mention the one thing that has probably done more to keep infection rates lower here than in other countries: international travel restrictions.

In fact, earlier this week House Democrats introduced legislation that would have rescinded limitations the administration placed on the number of individuals entering the U.S. from countries that have faced widespread outbreaks of coronavirus. (That legislation was pulled yesterday.)

Democrats always claim that Republicans don’t respect science. But the first thing the nation’s top public health experts advised the president to do was shut off travel from China, the epicenter of the outbreak. And that’s exactly what Trump did.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy sent an innocuous tweet this week in which he referred to the virus as the “Chinese coronavirus.”

Can you guess how the left responded? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic lawmakers lined up to demand that McCarthy apologize for what they called a “xenophobic” and “bigoted” tweet.

Meanwhile, Chinese propogandists across the world have been spreading the conspiracy theory that coronavirus was brought to China by the U.S. military.

At a time when Pelosi should be defending our nation against the communist Chinese, she’s been attacking her colleagues for simply noting that the coronavirus originated in China.

The left’s conduct is a symptom of a sickness in our body politic that’s much more harmful than any respiratory virus.

Speaking of Sick
Speaker Nancy Pelosi tried to put abortion funding into the Coronavirus relief legislation moving through the House today. You read that correctly. In legislation intended to help save lives, Pelosi and her pro-abortion colleagues tried to use your tax money to snuff out more lives through abortion on demand.

GOP leaders discovered the provision which was hidden in the massive bill. It is not clear whether it is in the final version of the legislation which will be passed later today.
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Gary Bauer (@GaryLBauer)  is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

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America-Italy and the Dual Coronavirus Threats

by Newt Gingrich: The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic poses two threats: public health and economic.

I am living in Italy, where my wife Callista is the Ambassador to the Holy See.

I have watched first-hand as the Italian government has worked hard to contain the coronavirus by imposing strong public health measures to try to get the epidemic under control. These measures will lead to significant economic challenges.

As I write:
  • All schools are closed in all of Italy.
  • All churches are closed (including St. Peter’s Basilica).
  • All weddings and funerals are postponed.
  • All restaurants are closed.
  • In fact, all stores except grocery stores and pharmacies are closed.
  • People are urged to work from home unless they work in special designated factories.
The streets are almost empty.

These steps are not an overreaction. The coronavirus is out of control of in Northern Italy. As of 6 pm local / 1 pm EST on March 10, there were 15,113 total cases in Italy, with 12,839 active cases, 1,016 deaths, and 1,258 recoveries. There are 162 total cases here in Rome.

The hardest hit region around Milan has had to improvise as its health system has been deeply stressed by the sheer number of patients. In Milan and Brescia, field hospitals have been set up in the fairgrounds as the local hospitals have been drowned in patients.

Because the demand for respirators and intensive care has been beyond any previous planning, doctors have been forced into the kind of triage thinking developed for intense battlefield casualty situations. There are reports that emergency room doctors are allotting respirators to those with higher life expectancy due to the limited equipment in the hardest hit areas of the province. If you are older or have other illnesses, you may simply not be eligible for treatment.

The impact of restricting travel is clear and continuing. The No. 2 airports in Milan and Rome are being closed. The main airports in Italy’s two largest cities have radically decreased flights – and many of them are almost empty.

Yesterday, 158 passengers arrived in Rome on direct flights from the United States. Italy depends for 14 percent of its total economy on tourism. Last year, Rome attracted 15.2 million tourists. The Colosseum alone attracted an average of 21,000 tourists a day. Now the Colosseum is closed.

There are some significant lessons from Italy for Americans who want to get through this pandemic with minimum loss of life and economic damage.

President Trump was right to cut off travel from China as soon as it was clear how big the pandemic was going to be. He saved American lives and bought time for America to be more prepared as the pandemic developed.

When you realize that the current 1,016 deaths in Italy with a population of 60 million would be the equivalent of 5,400 deaths in the United States instead of the 41 deaths we have had so far, you can see what milder, slower, and less aggressive responses might have cost in lives. Then we would have needed to move to truly draconian measures of isolation and shutdowns.

By the same standard, President Trump was exactly right to ban travel from Europe. In fact, he was following the advice of his best medical experts.

As ABC News reported:
“Dr. Anthony Fauci, the widely-respected director the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield, appeared before the House Oversight Committee for a second day of questioning Thursday and backed President Trump’s travel ban from much of Europe.

“‘The real risk in general right now and this is why the president took the action he did last night within the world now over 70 percent of the new cases are linked to Europe’ Redfield said. ‘Europe is the new China, and that’s why the president made those statements.’”
ABC continued:“California Democratic Rep. Jimmy Gomez raises Trump’s various travel restrictions, asking if the European travel ban will have a significant impact on reducing the spread of community cases, Fauci said, ‘a firm yes.’

“’Because if you look at the numbers it’s very clear that 70 percent of new infections in world are coming from that region, from Europe,’ Fauci said. ‘Of the 35 or more states that have infections, 30 of them now, most recently, have gotten them from a travel related case from that region.’

“’It was pretty compelling that we needed to turn off the source from that region,’ Fauci said.”
While these have been the right steps, and while the Coronavirus Task Force led by Vice President Pence has been making progress, there are some big things that need to be done on both the public health and the economic fronts.

Faced with a pandemic threat, history teaches us it is far better to be over prepared than underprepared.

As I indicated earlier, if America begins to have the Italian scale of deaths, we would be losing 5,000, 10,000, or 15,000 Americans. If it really got out of control the rates could go higher.

Italy has a unique vulnerability to coronavirus, because it has the second oldest-aged population in the world (only Japan has older citizens on average). This virus especially hits the elderly, and in Italy the average age of death is 81. The tragic experience of the Washington State nursing home simply reinforced the sense of vulnerability of older people.

However, America has a uniquely vulnerable population, too. There are tens of thousands of homeless people in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. If the coronavirus ever began spreading among those folks who already suffer from malnutrition and other health problems the losses could be catastrophic.

While President Trump’s decisive actions have bought us time it is important to recognize that we must use that time to think through the health threat in every component and react accordingly.

We should be planning for a worst-case pandemic and using the kind of intensity of implementation which served us so well in World War II. Getting enough ventilators, masks, intensive care units, treatment medications, and aggressive community wide testing are the minimum steps to saving lives and stopping the pandemic.

The Pence-led Coronavirus Task Force has begun to pull things together, but it should have a planning group that creates a worst-case projection and then devises the steps necessary to smother the pandemic and minimize its impact.

At the same time, we are solving the public health crisis we also must solve the economic challenge.

Italy has a worrisome economic problem, because it was already sliding into a recession and the necessary steps to isolate the disease will also crush the economy. There is a real danger that the Italian banks will fail and will pull the European banks down with them.

As President Trump and the Congress consider what we must do to keep America growing and prosperous they have to recognize that we may need to grow strongly enough to help pull Europe out of a deep recession by this fall. We can’t just think about what is happening economically in the United States. A collapsing Europe would have huge impact on the entire world economy including America.

We do not need a “stimulus” package or a “recovery” package. We need an economic growth package that stimulates and invests in the kind of development that grows a bigger, better, more productive, more competitive American economy for the future.

The idea that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House of Representatives was going to go home for several weeks was just hopeless. As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated, the Congress has to stay in session until it passes the program necessary to both defeat the pandemic and to regrow the American economy.

The lesson of Italy is that the sooner you act the fewer lives you will lose and the less damage you will do to your economy.

President Trump’s address this week was a good start, but we have a lot to do before these two challenges are met.
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Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. This commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions.

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Will the Coronavirus Kill the New World Order?

by Patrick Buchanan: What does the future hold? It may one day be said that the coronavirus delivered the deathblow to the New World Order, to a half-century of globalization, and to the era of interdependence of the world’s great nations.

Dr. Brian Monahan, attending physician of Congress, told a closed meeting of Senate staffers this week that 70 million to 150 million Americans — a third of the nation — could contract the coronavirus. Dr. Anthony Fauci testified that the mortality rate for COVID-19 will likely run near 1%.

Translation: Between 750,000 and 1.1 million Americans may die of this disease before it runs its course. The latter figure is equal to all the U.S. dead in World War II and on both sides in the Civil War.

Chancellor Angela Merkel warns that 70% of Germany’s population — 58 million people — could contract the coronavirus. If she is right, and Fauci’s mortality rate holds for her country, that could mean more than half a million dead Germans.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis called Merkel’s remark “unhelpful” and said it could cause panic. But Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch seemed to support Merkel, saying between 40% and 70% of the world’s population could become infected.

Again, if Fauci’s 1% mortality rate and Lipsitch’s estimate prove on target, between 3 billion and 5 billion people on earth will be infected, and 30 million to 50 million will die, a death toll greater than that of the Spanish Flu of 1918.

There is, however, some contradictory news.

China, with 81,000 cases, has noted a deceleration in new cases and South Korea appears to be gradually containing the spread of the virus.

Yet, Italy, with its large elderly population, may be a harbinger of what is to come in the West.

As of Thursday, Italy had reported 12,000 cases and 827 deaths, a mortality rate of nearly 7%. This suggests that the unreported and undetected infections in shutdown Italy are far more numerous.

In the U.S., the death toll at this writing is 39, a tiny fraction of the annual toll of tens of thousands who die of the flu.

But the problem is this: COVID-19 has not nearly run its course in the USA, while the reaction in society and the economy approaches what we might expect from a boiling national disaster.

The stock market has plunged further and faster than it did in the Great Crash of 1929. Trillions of dollars in wealth have vanished. If Sen. Bernie Sanders does not like “millionaires and billionaires,” he should be pleased. There are far fewer of them today than there were when he won the New Hampshire primary.

What does the future hold?

It may one day be said that the coronavirus delivered the deathblow to the New World Order, to a half-century of globalization, and to the era of interdependence of the world’s great nations.

Tourism, air travel, vacation cruises, international gatherings and festivals are already shutting down. Travel bans between countries and continents are being imposed. Conventions, concerts and sporting events are being canceled. Will the Tokyo Olympics go forward? If they do, will all the anticipated visitors from abroad come to Japan to enjoy the games?

Trump has issued a one-month travel ban on Europe.

As for the “open borders” crowd, do Democrats still believe that breaking into our country should no longer be a crime, and immigrants arriving illegally should be given free health care, a proposition to which all the Democratic debaters raised their hands?

The ideological roots of our free trade era can be traced to the mid-19th century when its great evangelist, Richard Cobden, rose at Free Trade Hall in Manchester on Jan. 15, 1846, and rhapsodized:

“I see in the Free Trade principle that which shall act on the moral world as the principle of gravitation in the universe — drawing men together, thrusting aside the antagonism of race, and creed, and language, and uniting us in the bonds of eternal peace.”

In the pre-Trump era, Republicans held hands with liberal Democrats in embracing NAFTA, GATT, the WTO and most-favored-nation trade privileges for China.

In retrospect, was it wise to have relied on China to produce essential parts for the supply chains of goods vital to our national security? Does it appear wise to have moved the production of pharmaceuticals and lifesaving drugs for heart disease, strokes and diabetes to China? Does it appear wise to have allowed China to develop a virtual monopoly on rare earth minerals crucial to the development of weapons for our defense?

In this coronavirus pandemic, people now seem to be looking for authoritative leaders and nations seem to be looking out for their own peoples first. Would Merkel, today, invite a million Syrian refugees into Germany no matter the conditions under which they were living in Syria and Turkey?

Is not the case now conclusive that we made a historic mistake when we outsourced our economic independence to rely for vital necessities upon nations that have never had America’s best interests at heart?

Which rings truer today? We are all part of mankind, all citizens of the world. Or that it’s time to put America and Americans first!
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Patrick Buchanan (@PatrickBuchanan) is currently a blogger, conservative columnist, political analyst, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He has been a senior adviser to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000.

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The Coronavirus Cure Is Killing Us

. . . Is the current cure right-sized for the illness?
by Mark Alexander: Not to diminish the fear people feel – that is real, but given that the current viral fear pandemic besieging our nation is a medical issue, let me draw a rough healthcare analogy.

If a woman goes to her doctor and tells him that she is having chest pain, she should get ready for a battery of tests, especially if she is well insured. One reason for all those tests is that the physician wants to help determine the cause and will call in other specialists who will keep ordering tests until the cause can be identified and the risk quantified. If it turns out to be a heart condition, a proper course of treatment can be determined. But if the physician assumes it is heartburn with no further assessment, sends the patient out the door with a roll of antacids, and that patient dies of congestive heart failure in the parking lot, there is an enormous liability, not to mention the fact the patient is dead.

In the case of COVID-19, the diagnosis is out of order. The mainstream media is playing the medical team who worry the patient to death, the politicians are playing role of the doctor trying to cover their rear end, and Americans are the patient being subjected to all the tests.

Here in Tennessee, there is another analogy.

If weather reporters predict a big snow (“big” is relative), knee-jerk school administrators close schools. This creates a significant local disruption and financial burden on working parents and the businesses that employ them. This is particularly true in the case of lower-income single parents. The administrators force these closures because of liability — if a bus driver or parent has an accident on a slippery road trying to get kids to school, they can be held legally liable. In the meantime, the snow panic results in a consumer run on basic necessities, and the accidents mount up because people are still out and about.

In the nationwide viral fear pandemic currently sweeping our country, the “weather predictors” represent the mainstream media, the “administrators” represent the politicians, and the “working parents” represent anyone with a job, particularly actual working parents and their families. On those occasions when the weather prognosticators were right, the administrators can claim they made wise decisions that protected many people. However, more than a few times, the snow never fell (insert eye rolls here).

Now, as we have written repeatedly, this will be a bad flu season — it is not just heartburn and the snow is going to fall. In the U.S., there have already been 26,000 flu deaths this season, and WuFlu casualties could far exceed the 2017-18 flu season, when the CDC estimated the U.S. flu death toll was 80,000.

As COVID-19 viral infections and deaths accumulate — and they will continue to do so — politicians have attempted to indemnify themselves from voter liability, regardless of the burden they have created across the nation for working men and women and their families. And in two months, when the threat has subsided and the fear dissipated, the politicos and their Beltway media echo chambers will be preening their feathers, reminding you that if you survived WuFlu, you owe them an eternal debt of gratitude for saving your life, regardless of the price you and the rest of the nation paid for the cure.

The school shutdowns, which have enormous impact on families, are based in part on the lowest common denominator factor – the parent who is going to send their child to school sick because it was not convenient to keep him or her home. And when Americans begin to figure out the economic consequences of the state and local actions which have shuttered schools, events and businesses, there will be political HELL to pay. Thus, in April, the Left will begin to crank up its finger-pointing machines, especially using “coronavirus policy leaks” as fodder for blaming Trump.

But the most pressing question now: Is the current cure right-sized for the illness? Hindsight is (mostly) 20/20. We may look back in six months at the devastation of hundreds of thousands of deaths. We don’t know.

But we also don’t know if wiping out billions of dollars of income and trillions of dollars of equity value in investment and retirement accounts, home values, etc., in the end, will prevent this disease from ultimately taking the toll it was going to take regardless.

The fact is that all the extraordinary measure taken to, in effect, shut down the nation under the auspices of “social distancing” will help mitigate the spread of coronavirus and the rate of COVID-19 cases and deaths. That will buy our nation additional time to develop treatment regimens — but at what price?

This viral contagion is already nationwide, and it will continue to creep and hopefully slow with the weather gets warmer. It has mutated into two strains, and one may be much more aggressive. The “S-type” appears to be milder and less infectious, but the “L-type” is more contagious and accounts for 70 percent of cases. Unfortunately, though human vaccine trials will begin in early April, if successful the vaccine will still take 8-12 months before it is available.

What we do know for certain is that we have demonstrated to the world that, as a nation, the mass media can generate mass hysteria. Are we going to shut the nation down next fall when somebody sneezes in China?

All the coming political self-congratulations, spin and finger-pointing aside, the response to coronavirus is certainly a case study of the most grossly negligent media-driven panic in decades, and it’s indicative of the degree to which the MSM can drive fear and panic. The resulting WuFlu viral fear pandemic is the biggest load of crap ever dumped on American workers. They and their families are absorbing the financial shock of this monumental malfeasance, and the nonstop 24/7 news cycle is responsible. Every media talkinghead fomenting the fear and those politicians who are using it as political fodder should be exiled to Wuhan.

As one of our editors noted this morning, “We founded a nation out of wilderness, settled the great untamed West, survived a Civil War and two World Wars, and a Great Depression between them. But today we seem like a nation of chicken littles.”

As President Donald Trump prepares his National Emergence declaration today, it is worth reconsidering what he reminded us Wednesday: “No nation is more prepared or more resilient than the United States. We have the best economy, the most advanced healthcare, and the most talented doctors, scientists, and researchers anywhere in the world. We are all in this together. We must put politics aside, stop the partisanship, and unify together as one nation and one family. As history has proven time and time again, Americans always rise to the challenge and overcome adversity.”

And we will again.

Fear not. Panic is not a strategy — unless you are a Democrat wanting to defeat Trump.

(Visit our updated COVID-19 contagion preparedness and response resource page, “WuFlu and You,” and see our related pages.
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Mark Alexander is Executive Editor and Publisher of The Patriot Post.

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Clinton Capers . . .

. . . What “deplorables” need to recall as Hillary Clinton contemplates a comeback.
Hillary Clinton
by Lloyd Billingsley: “All the party has to do is call. Her bag is packed,” writes Michael Goodwin in “Democrats’ hunt for Trump slayer may lead to Hillary Clinton comeback,” and her platform writes itself. “She didn’t really lose the 2016 election. Trump colluded with the Russians to deprive her of her civil right to be president. Anything else is just a Republican talking point and part of the vast right-wing conspiracy.”

The Democrats are down to increasingly addled Joe Biden and Rip Van Winkle communist Bernie Sanders. In these conditions, “Clinton would have to be dead not to dream of a miracle, one that would give her the victory fate has twice denied her.” As this unfolds, Hulu comes out with the documentary series “Hillary,” prompting husband Bill to speak out.

His sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky, Bill Clinton explains, was a way to “manage my anxieties.” That plays into the “Me Too” narrative and the notion that Hillary is a victim of sexism. Fox News revisited the Lewinsky liaison in a “Scandalous” documentary and so did Kenneth Starr’s 2018 Contempt: A Memoir of the Clinton Investigation. In reality, there were two Clinton investigations, and they break down like the movies in Pauline Kael’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

The Lewinsky affair is like the “kiss kiss” story, but Ken Starr also investigated the death of Clinton’s deputy White House counsel Vincent Foster. This “bang bang” tale is the one to recall with Hillary still a possibility in November.

On July 20, 1993, as Starr explained in Contempt, “Vince Foster had taken his own life in Fort Marcy park while seated on the Civil War berm where his body was found.” Starr notes that his investigators never found the bullet, and that the Clinton White House prevented the police from searching Foster’s office. On the other hand, Starr ignores varying accounts of where the body was found, conflicting reports on the wounds, and many other irregularities noted by Starr’s own investigator Miguel Rodriguez, a U.S. Attorney with the forensic experience Starr lacked.

“Conspiracy theories began to spread,” Starr wrote, “alleging that Foster had been murdered by the Clintons’ operatives, to protect them from his testimony or prevent him from producing records damning for the Clintons.” As the time line shows, the theory that Foster committed suicide emerged before the Park Police, FBI, and the special prosecutors had completed their investigations.

Ken Starr basically echoed the conclusions of special prosecutor Robert Fiske, who proclaimed that Foster was depressed and found “no evidence” that any issues relating to the Whitewater scandal and such “played any part in his suicide.” In Contempt, Starr deploys “conspiracy theory” like a CNN anchor and trashes Rodriguez as a “rogue prosecutor” without dealing with what he uncovered and why he resigned from Starr’s investigation.

All that, and more, emerged in The Strange Death of Vincent Foster, by Christopher Ruddy. As he showed, most facts in the case stand in serious dispute, much evidence mysteriously lost or altered, and testimony was frequently contradictory and “occasionally blatantly false.”

Ruddy’s 1997 book escapes notice in Contempt, despite the approval of William Sessions, former head of the FBI. He resisted White House attempts to wrest political control over the FBI and President Clinton duly fired him on July 19, 1993. That dismissal, the first ever of an FBI director, compromised the role of the FBI in the Foster investigation.

According to Sessions, Ruddy “detailed a significant array of facts and issues involving the death of Mr. Foster. His work is serious and compelling.” Ruddy “tenaciously argued a persuasive case that the American public has not been told the complete facts of this case,” but the author “carefully avoided drawing undue inferences about the death.”

Launched under the Clintons, political deployment of the FBI surged under POTUS 44, who deployed the bureau to clear his designated successor Hillary Clinton and attack candidate and President Trump. While avoiding undue inferences about Foster, Ruddy also revealed another dynamic lingering into 2020

“Part of the problem,” he wrote, “has been the absolute refusal of the establishment media to report on this case.” In similar style, the establishment media echoed the Russia hoax while backing off on the Clinton emails. True to form, Trump’s concerns about the emails were branded a “conspiracy theory,” now a standard feature of leftist boilerplate.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden is beating Sanders in the primaries but losing his grip on reality. Hillary’s bag is fully packed and as she waits for the call, those deplorables would do well to focus on her “bang bang” back story, well worthy of a “Forensic Files” episode.

In January 1996, PBS’ “Frontline” noted, Hillary’s Rose Law Firm billing records, the target of investigative subpoenas for two years, miraculously appeared in the White House, and they did show work on Whitewater and such. The last person to possess the records was Vince Foster, and the FBI found fingerprints of Foster and Hillary Clinton, who said she had “no idea” how the billing records came to be in her book room.

Also under subpoena were the 30,000 emails Clinton deleted in 2016. Trump thinks they could be in Ukraine, so as the president says, we’ll have to see what happens.
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Lloyd Billingsley writes for numerous publications including FrontPage Mag

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Monsters . . .

. . . COVID-19 is a serious contagion but not as bad as the panic spreading across the country and wall street.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: AF Branco, editorial cartoon, Monsters, COVID-19, serious contagion, but not as bad, as the panic spreading, across the country, wall street To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Globalization Helped Export China’s Coronavirus. Never Again

by Bill Wilson: In the current environment, something not seen in America in living memory, the fear and panic of the Chinese coronavirus make it near impossible to look ahead.

But while everyone who can is working on the “here and now,” it is vital that we think about how this situation came to be, what we can learn from it, and how the crisis we are now experiencing can be prevented in the future.

First, what exactly do we face? A virus that began in China and was allowed to fester before strong action was taken has now circled the globe. The impact of cheap, universal travel for all has exacted its price. There is no place safe. But while countries and governments work to contain or mitigate the effects of the virus, something far more dangerous have developed; a fear so deep that it has shaken the very foundations of our society.

Assaults on airplanes. Thieves of medical supplies, in some instances from Emergency Rooms themselves. Hording of basic commodities and price gouging. And, of course, the financial meltdown on Wall Street. These are all results of the virus. And they are more deadly.

So, into this maelstrom, what should be our primary interest? What is the singular question we must ask ourselves?

The globalist cadres, those pale, bloodless vipers who seek nothing but power and control over people’s lives, harp endlessly that only international organizations can address the problem. More globalization they whine. But it was globalization that got into this fix. It has been the mindless greed of the open borders, open trade zealots who set the table. It was they and their oh so chic ideas, their post-nation-state nonsense, their uber urbanism, their raw and open disdain for anything based on founding American principles that has led us to this place.

More of this poison is not the answer. And that could be the ray of sunshine to break through the doom and gloom of the moment. What if, what if we take the lessons being learned and began to address the root problems.

Listen to the Wall Street crowd and the “free traders” and you would think that China has a stranglehold on us. They don’t. The total volume of trade — going in both directions – between us and China is $660 billion. But the economy of the U.S. is at or above $20 trillion! China is a mere 3 percent of our economy. We sell approximately $180 billion to them. If all trade stopped tomorrow, we could absorb the lost sales by subsidies and never skip a beat. China, on the other hand, would bleed from every pour.

But, say the globalists, China controls 95 percent of all world antibiotics. What ever will we do if they refuse to sell them to us? Well, of course they will sell them to us or to a third party who then direct them to us. Why? Because they desperately need the money. They cannot feed their own people — that is why they are eating bats, and snakes and monkeys. They cannot afford to not have the money to buy food. But we, on the other hand, have another option—begin immediately to produce our own drugs.

The insanity of the globalist agenda is shown for all its vile treason when you consider just this issue of anti-biotics. To put our nation — our people — in a position where a communist government, a government that has killed millions of their own citizens, can blackmail us is nothing less than criminal stupidity.

We have the financial and technical tools to build this industry from the ground up. It is a matter of national security to do so. So, do it. We can discuss how the government can divest of the industry to American citizens once the crisis is past and the industry up and running.

The same can be said of rare earth refining. If a mass of EPA red-tape has to be eliminated for a while, that is just not a big deal. And when the luddites of the so-called “green movement” act irresponsibly to block the moves, they should be handled with harsh prejudice. The same for water in the San Fernando Valley. The same with a dozen other industries.

The devastating impact of the virus will be with us for a long time. It may end up being the equivalent of 9/11 for the Generation Z youth. But something positive and good can come out it, a return to national sovereignty and an end to the globalist nightmare would be an extremely good reward.

We must say never again.
---------------------------
Bill Wilson is the President of the Market Research Foundation and a former board member and former President of Americans for Limited Government.

Tags: Bill Wilson, Americans for Limited Government, Globalization, Helped Export, China’s Coronavirus, Never Again To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Cinderella Man

by Kerby Anderson: One time when I was speaking on the subject of entitlements, someone reminded me of the scene in the movie “Cinderella Man.” The scene is relevant to our current debate on entitlements.

In the movie, Russell Crowe plays boxer James Braddock in the real-life story of a man who went from dockworker to champion. Braddock is living in a dingy tenement in New Jersey sharing little food with his wife and children. But even at this low point in his life, he has too much pride to ask the government for help. It is only after the utility man shuts off the heat that things get so desperate. When his wife farms the children out to a relative for fear they are slipping into pneumonia, Braddock relents.

Next we see him at the counter of New Jersey’s Emergency Relief Administration. The administrator counts out $19, looks at him with some pity and says, “I never thought I would see you here, Jimmy.” Braddock is humiliated. He collects his money and leaves. Next we see him inside a saloon in Madison Square Garden where he is begging a room full of boxing promoters and businessmen for enough money to turn on the heat. All the time he is mumbling apologies and choking back tears.

What caused him to try to make it without government assistance? Pride is one reason. Shame is another. You cannot watch the scenes I just described without sensing that James Braddock was ashamed he had to get a government handout. Soon he finds himself on the way to the miraculous title bout. Now that he has money, he goes back and returns every cent of charity he ever took.

Somehow it is hard to imagine this scene today. Our entitlement culture has removed any shame that used to exist when a person took a government handout. Some of that is good because we don’t want people to avoid getting help when they need it. But when entitlement has become a way of life without any shame, we have lost something.
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Kirby Anderson is an author, lecturer, visiting professor and radio host and contributor on nationally syndicated Point of View and the "Probe" radio programs.

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What happened to the Israeli Left?

by Caroline Glick: MK Ofer Shelah from the Blue and White party is the architect of his party’s current efforts to form a government with the support of Joint Arab List. If Shelah succeeds, he will have formed a radical, post-Zionist minority government entirely dependent on 15 Arab lawmakers, who reject Israel’s right to exist, just to stay afloat.

As Shelah blazed forward in his efforts, political philosopher Yoram Hazony recalled an earlier bid by Shelah to force the public to accept post-Zionist positions hostile to the very right of the Jewish people to self-determination.

In February 2001, the Yitzhak Rabin Center convened a meeting of Israel’s elites from across the political spectrum to compose a document that would set out the Jewish goals of the State of Israel. The meetings led to the drafting of the Kinneret Charter, which in later years served as the basis for the 2018 Basic Law: Israel, the Nation-State of the Jewish People.

The Rabin Center was spurred to action by three dramatic events. First in July 2000, PLO chief Yassir Arafat rejected Ehud Barak’s offer of statehood and peace at the Camp David summit, effectively ending the Oslo peace process. In September, Arafat ordered his terror forces to initiate a campaign of terror against Israel the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the 1930s.

And in October 2000, the Arab Israeli community joined the Palestinian onslaught. In two weeks of violent riots, Arab Israelis throughout the country assaulted their Jewish neighbors and countrymen and called for the destruction of the state.

The third event – the Arab Israeli riots – shook Israeli society to its core because it called into question the very survival of the state as a coherent political unit.
As a well-known journalist, Shelah was invited to participate in the inaugural meeting. Hazony recalled that the politician now pushing the hardest to form a government reliant the Joint Arab List which rejects the legitimacy of the Jewish state, stood up and announced that he refused to participate in a Jewish-only forum and demanded that Arab Israelis be invited to participate.

Prof. Ruth Gavison, perhaps the most influential intellectual on the Left at the time, responded that Jews have a right to convene to discuss their future just as Arabs do. Most of the participants, including some on the far left, like former Education Minister Prof. Yuli Tamir from Peace Now, agreed with Gavison.

With his demand rejected, Shelah walked out. A handful of participants joined him.

This week, with the liberal mass media providing wall-to-wall support for Blue and White’s efforts to form a post-Zionist government dependent on the anti-Zionist Joint Arab List, it appears that over the past 19 years, Shelah’s post-Zionism has moved from the margins to the mainstream. The media’s energetic attempts to defend Blue and White’s efforts show that post-Zionism is the predominant position of the Israeli left.

How did this happen?

Dozens of leading lights of Israeli society signed the Kinneret Charter in July 2001. The next month, the ideals they embraced were bludgeoned by the international community. In late August 2001, the UN convened its “anti-racism” conference in Durban, South Africa. At Durban, UN member states and the most prominent non-governmental organizations in the world came together to libel and criminalize the Jewish state and people with unprecedented brutality.

Just ten years before, in 1991, the US used its post-Cold War clout at the UN to repeal UN General Assembly resolution 3379 from 1975. Resolution 3379 defined Zionism, the Jewish national liberation movement as “a form of racism.” At that time, it was still taken for granted in the Western world that it is anti-Semitic to deny the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in their homeland.

Two conferences were convened at Durban – a conference of UN member nations and a conference of non-governmental organizations. In both, Resolution 3379 was not merely brought back from the dead. It was transformed into the cri de coeur of the UN and the international NGO community. The NGO conference produced a shocking resolution that called for Israel’s destruction as a Jewish state and accused Israel of being a Nazi, Apartheid regime that was committing genocide and other war crimes. UN member states and NGOs were directed to enact a total boycott of Israel.

The international boycott campaign against Israel was initiated shortly thereafter.

One of the groups most responsible for the diplomatic pogrom at Durban was an Israeli Arab legal advocacy organization called Adalah. The heads of Adalah played leading roles in drafting the resolution. Following the conference, Adalah, which is funded by the EU and anti-Israel foundations in the US set about organizing the Israeli Arab community around the NGO resolution. Arab MKs all parrot the language of hatred and rejection of Israel and Jewish peoplehood that was so violently expressed in the Durban resolution.

Together with other subversive, anti-Zionist NGOs, Adalah works through the post-nationalist Supreme Court to block elected officials in the government and Knesset from enforcing the laws of the state towards Arab Israelis. In accordance with the Durban NGO resolution, they demand that Israeli Arabs be accorded “communal rights,” and so effectively undermine Israel’s ability to operate as a democracy governed by the rule of law. Internationally, Adalah is actively involved in boycott efforts against Israel whose goal is to criminalize Zionism, Israel’s supporters abroad and Israel’s very existence. The anti-Israel portion of the Black Lives Matter charter was reportedly written by Adalah.

Among Israeli Jews, views like Adalah’s have long been dominant in many universities. Already at the outset of the Palestinian terror war against Israel, professors from Israel’s premier universities signed petitions calling for IDF soldiers to refuse to serve in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza and calling for the economic boycott of Israel.

Over the past generation, inspired by retired Supreme Court president Aharon Barak, these positions have come to dominate the legal fraternity as well. Barak is the father of Israel’s legal revolution, which gave unchecked powers to the Supreme Court and state prosecution. Barak’s morally relativist, post-modern world view holds that every nation – including Israel – has the potential to act like Nazis. Barak’s view ignores the plain fact, borne out by hundreds of years of German history before World War II that Nazism was not alien to Germany, but in many ways, intrinsic to it. So too, his view discounts thousands of years of Jewish history and heritage, as well as the character of contemporary Israeli society which all negate the prospect of Israel ever adopting the characteristics of Nazi Germany.

Aside from its historic and sociological inanity, Barak’s view is also problematic from the perspective of anti-Semitism.

Like most Western democracies, Israel embraces the definition of anti-Semitism conceived by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. According to the IHRA definition, “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis,” is an example of anti-Semitism.

So by claiming that Israel can potentially become a Nazi state, members of the Barak-influenced Israeli legal fraternity have embraced perceptions of Israel that are substantively anti-Semitic.

Perhaps the most problematic place where echoes of the Durban conference are heard is the IDF officer corps. These echoes are heard loudest in IDF discussions of the lessons of the Holocaust.

In 1993, then education minister Shulamit Aloni, from the post-Zionist Meretz party joined then prime minister Yitzhak Rabin at the newly inaugurated March of the Living, which brings Jewish groups to Auschwitz. Aloni remarked that she believed the trip would be destructive to Israeli school children who would go to Auschwitz and come home right-wingers.

Over the past decade, distressing signs appeared that the IDF senior brass shares Aloni’s position on Auschwitz and the right-wing.

On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2016, then IDF deputy chief of staff and current Meretz MK Yair Golan gave a speech at an official ceremony. There, he explicitly drew a comparison between contemporary Israel and Nazi Germany. Golan alleged that “nauseating trends that occurred in Europe generally and in Germany specifically back then – 70, 80 and 90 years ago – are now present among us.”

When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded that then-defense minister Moshe Yaalon instruct Gen. Golan to retract his remarks, Yaalon refused. Yaalon (who now prefers forming a minority coalition with Meretz backed by the pro-Hezbollah Joint Arab List to forming a unity government with Likud), insisted that Golan’s straightforward defamation of Israeli society had been distorted and taken out of context. He then attacked his fellow politicians for having the temerity to criticize Golan’s scandalous remarks.

In his words, “The attacks on [Golan]… which stem from deliberately distorted interpretations of his remarks … are yet another attempt in the worrying and irritating campaign to politically harm the IDF and its officers. Woe to us if we permit this to happen.”

Yaalon then claimed that it is the duty of IDF commanders to shape the values of their soldiers, and to serve as their “compass and conscience.”

The storm of controversy that Golan’s slander of Israeli society provoked came in the midst of another public outcry over the brutal treatment that Yaalon and his fellow generals meted out against IDF Sgt. Elor Azaria for killing a wounded terrorist in Hebron. Yaalon and his generals castigated Azaria as a criminal before the IDF even investigated the allegations raised against him by a video taken by anti-Israel activists from the radical B’tselem group. The widespread sense of the public was the Yaalon and his generals rushed to side with radical leftists who seek to criminalize IDF soldiers against Azaria, a young conscript who claimed he acted out of fear that the terrorist was about to detonate an explosive vest.

Two years ago, a mid-level IDF career officer who had just returned from an IDF delegation to the March of the Living told me that the post-modern, anti-Israel views that Golan gave voice to in his 2016 speech were among the central themes of the lessons he and his colleagues received from the Education Corps before and during their trip to Poland.

In other words, put lightly, post-Zionism, which views Israel as atavistic at best, and xenophobic at worst is not unfamiliar to IDF commanders.

Benny Gantz, Yaalon and Gaby Ashkenazy, the three former IDF chiefs of staff who lead Blue and White, (together with Shelah’s friend Yair Lapid), were at the helm of the IDF when these events occurred.

We don’t know how Israel’s political Gordian knot, the product of yet another inconclusive election, will be cut. But what is clear enough is that Blue and White’s eagerness to form a coalition dependent on lawmakers who reject Zionism and support terrorists is the consequence of a decades-long process that led to the post-Zionist takeover of the Israeli Left. This process will not be reversed by the simple formation of a government, regardless of who leads it, and who supports it.
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Caroline Glick is the Senior Contributing Editor of Israel Hayom and the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project. For more information on Ms. Glick's work, visit carolineglick.com.

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Biden's 'Charming' Rudeness and Instability

David Limbaugh
by David Limbaugh: The left’s reaction to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s rude exchange with a union worker in Michigan is a case study on liberal hypocrisy and propaganda.

You’d have to be living in a cave not to recognize that something is way off with Biden. He’s always been strange, but he’s getting noticeably worse. His rhetorical recklessness is a feature, not a bug.
He has a history of gaffes, especially for someone so prominent.

Casual ethnic slurs roll off his tongue like water off a donkey’s back. Pandering to an Indian American supporter, he said: “You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.” Or how about this tribute to the poor? “We have this notion that somehow if you’re poor, you cannot do it,” he said. “Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”

How long would a Republican politician last saying those things? Biden always gets a pass because he’s a Democrat.

Just when he needs to be most careful, Biden is tripping all over himself, with blunders, aggression and hostility. When challenged, he shows no kindness or patience. He attacks and escalates.

Understanding liberal media bias, we aren’t surprised that the media whitewash these incidents. But their hypocrisy is particularly glaring, given their routine condemnation of President Donald Trump for much less.

They say Trump is uncouth, vulgar, combative, rude and insane. Never mind his policy successes; he’s a dangerous bore, a walking impeachment machine. He has to be removed before he ushers in Armageddon. GOP never-Trumpers are so mortified at the horrors of Trump in office that they’re supporting liberal Democrats. But what about Biden, whom many now support? No problem.

Trump supporters admire Trump for standing up to Democrats and the media — unlike his Republican predecessors and unlike most of the pre-Trump GOP. But Trump haters ridiculed Trump supporters as being interested only in “owning the libs” and not Trump’s policies. This was insultingly absurd and illustrated the cluelessness of never-Trumpers about Trump supporters.

Trump haters’ indifference to Biden’s incompetence, gaffes and rudeness exposes their dishonesty and their Trump Derangement Syndrome. Some who denounced Trump supporters for overlooking Trump’s faults find the same characteristics charming in Biden.

Their reaction to a viral video of Biden’s confrontation with a Detroit autoworker is instructive. The worker accused Biden of “actively trying to end our Second Amendment right and take away our guns,” and Biden responded, “You’re full of s—.” When the worker pointed out Biden’s ties to former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who has bragged that he would come for Americans’ guns, Biden angrily denied it. He repeatedly pointed his fingers at the worker, who mimicked Biden’s hand gestures and said, “This is not OK.” This further enraged Biden, who said, “Don’t tell me that, pal, or I’m going to go outside with you.” “You’re working for me,” said the worker. “I’m not working for you,” said Biden. “Don’t be such a horse’s a–.

The media didn’t call Biden on his lies or say he is unstable. They didn’t condemn his rudeness but found him charming. Some doctored the video to cut Biden’s threatening remarks.

CNN’s John King said, “Some people see that as charming that a candidate is willing to air it out face to face with a guy on the floor.” So King is OK with Biden attacking a voter but draws the line with Trump calling out media hacks?

“I think when you listen to Joe … out on the campaign trail, you see something that resonates with voters,” said Mike Barnicle. “It’s humanity. It’s empathy. It’s stability and experience.” Empathy? Stability? Wow!

MSNBC’s Joe Scarbrough said, “Biden yesterday showed the other side of his humanity, and that is he’s a fighter.” Yet these clowns ridicule us for appreciating Trump’s willingness to fight back.

After Biden’s second string of primary victories on “Super Tuesday 2,” MSNBC commentators gushed over his “very soft tone of voice … as if you’re in the living room with him” and praised him for promising to restore “honor” to the presidency.

Hollywood leftist Rob “Meathead” Reiner posted a love tweet for Biden: “A vote for Joe Biden is a vote for Science, Compassion, Decency, The Rule of Law & Democracy. A vote for Joe Biden is a vote for Sanity.” Fellow Hollywood commie Debra Messing tweeted, “@JoeBiden will be our next President because of his decency and civility and his refusal to lower himself to your surrogates’ & supporters level.”

Sometimes it’s more effective to let actions and words speak for themselves, so I’ll refrain from further comment, trusting you’re every bit as capable as I am of seeing the glaring hypocrisy and bias.
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David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book is "Jesus is Risen: Paul and the Early Church." Follow him on Twitter& @davidlimbaugh and his website at davidlimbaugh.com.

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The Humanitarian Weapons of Refugees

Carter Page
by Cully Stimson: Two words: Carter Page.

That’s who drove the House, including members of both parties, to pass major reforms Wednesday evening to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by a vote of 278-136.

Page, of course, is the Navy veteran, business consultant, and former Trump campaign adviser who the FBI decided to spy on as a suspected Russian agent in 2016.

Four provisions of FISA will expire, or sunset, on Sunday unless Congress reauthorizes them. The provisions were set to expire three months ago, on Dec. 15, but Congress had extended them.

Several major developments in the past six months moved the dial from whether Congress would reform any of the four provisions to which ones lawmakers would reform, how, and why in the legislation called the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2020.

Before explaining what moved the dial, how the politics quickly changed on this, and the merits of the reforms themselves, it’s important to highlight the four expiring provisions and what they do.

The 4 Expiring FISA Provisions
Congress first passed the four provisions in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Ironically, they have nothing to do with wide-ranging procedural abuses in the application process in 2016 for warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to spy on Page, the Trump campaign volunteer. These abuses were highlighted in a report from the Justice Department’s inspector general, which we wrote about here.

But that doesn’t seem to matter to Congress at this point.

The roving wiretap provision (Section 206 of the USA Patriot Act of 2001) lets the government conduct surveillance of national security targets, approved by the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, when the target takes steps to undermine surveillance efforts.

The most common example is when a terrorist buys burner phones and switches phones frequently to avoid detection. Roving wiretaps are used routinely in domestic criminal law enforcement investigations, and should not be controversial in the counterterrorism context.

The business records provision (Section 215 of the Patriot Act, found at 50 U.S.C. § 1861) permits the government to apply to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain “tangible things” such as documents, records, driver’s licenses, and the like—as long as they are deemed “relevant” to an ongoing investigation into international terrorism or foreign intelligence.

To use this provision, the FBI must be conducting one of three types of investigations:

—A foreign intelligence investigation, as long as it does not concern a U.S. person.

—An investigation to protect “against international terrorism,” which could include a U.S. person.

—An investigation to protect against “clandestine intelligence activities,” whether targeting a U.S. person or not.

The “call detail record” program grew out of the USA Freedom Act of 2015.

Recall that Edward Snowden revealed that the U.S. government had been collecting bulk records of telephone metadata from the phone companies.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has been issuing orders to phone companies, under an interpretation of Section 215, which required those companies to provide telephone metadata secretly to the National Security Agency, including data from Americans.

After the program became public, a vibrant debate broke out in the country and in Congress that resulted in the USA Freedom Act of 2015, which forbade bulk collection and instead authorized only the production of call detail records. Certain conditions must be met before the FISA court will authorize the production of call data records.

And finally, the lone wolf amendment, found in Section 6001 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (also 50 U.S. § 1801(b)(1)(c)). This amendment applies only to non-U.S. persons and has not been used.

Typical surveillance orders under FISA Title 1 apply only to agents of a foreign power. But what about a “lone wolf,” a foreign person who is not an agent of a foreign power but is still a terrorist inspired by a foreign terrorist organization?

The lone wolf amendment to the “agent of a foreign power” definition in FISA allows the government to use lawful tools to surveil that person.

The Politics Fueling Reform
First, there was special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of nearly two years, which concluded that although Russia attempted to disrupt the 2016 election, there was no evidence that then-candidate Donald Trump colluded with Russia to influence the election.

Mueller’s report debunked the incessant liberal mantra and narrative that Trump and Russia colluded with each other so that Trump could win.

Second, there was the report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz on the four FISA warrants to surveil Page that the FBI obtained. In his scathing report, Horowitz methodically lays out the myriad deficiencies in the FBI’s warrant applications, and how those applications failed on numerous fronts, as we wrote about here.

Third, Horowitz’s report on FISA abuses got the attention of the presiding judge of the FISA court, Rosemary Collyer, who ordered the Justice Department and FBI to “inform the court in a sworn written submission of what it has done, and plans to do, to ensure that the statement of facts in each FBI application accurately and completely reflects information possessed by the FBI that is material to any issue presented by the application.” That was an extraordinary move, as we wrote here.

And fourth, in response to Collyer’s demand, the FBI admitted in a filing with the FISA court that two of the FBI’s four applications for warrants to spy on Page lacked probable cause and should not have been submitted in the first place.

And fourth, in response to Collyer’s demand, the FBI admitted in a filing with the FISA court that two of the FBI’s four applications for warrants to spy on Page lacked probable cause and should not have been submitted in the first place.

What’s more, the FBI made “material misstatements and omissions” in those two warrant applications, according to the Justice Department, and the agency isn’t using information from any of the four warrants now, as we wrote about here.

To right the ship, FBI Director Christopher Wray directed the bureau to take more than 40 corrective actions, including 12 that relate to the FISA process. These proposed actions are substantive and serious and would, if enacted and carried out, go a long way to improve the system.

But given all that had happened, Congress was not going to trust the FBI, or future Justice Departments, to institutionalize the reforms Congress deemed necessary to make sure that these types of FISA abuses wouldn’t occur again.

Cementing those reforms in legislation is the only way Congress can assure itself that the Carter Page fiasco won’t be repeated again in the future, so the thinking goes.

The Proposed Reforms
The House bill reauthorizes the lone wolf, business records, and roving wiretap provisions. This is prudent.

Business records and roving wiretaps are used daily in domestic criminal law investigations and form the backbone of many cases. They should be equally available, via order of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, for counterterrorism investigations.

Reauthorizing the lone wolf provision, despite the fact that it has not been used, is prudent because individuals inspired by terrorist groups or organizations do exist and have grown in recent years. Giving the government the ability to petition the FISA court for an order to use lawful tools to surveil lone wolves is a step that protects our interests.

The biggest reforms fall into two categories: killing the call detail record, or CDR, program and tightening the FISA application process—especially for politically sensitive cases.

Letting Data Program Expire
The USA Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2020, the legislation passed Wednesday by the House, would repeal the call detail record program. This is not surprising for a number of reasons.

First, the program was difficult to administer in the first place, according to the National Security Agency. Since the bulk collection program was ended in the USA Freedom Act of 2015, the NSA replaced it with a supposedly targeted effort called the CDR program.

In June 2018, the National Security Agency admitted that there were “technical irregularities” in implementation of the program, and as a result, phone companies had provided call detail records to the NSA that they should not have provided.

The NSA said that it was not able to separate the proper call data records from the ones that it shouldn’t have gotten, so the agency deleted all of them dating back to 2015, when the statute was first passed.

This called into question, quite reasonably, whether the program itself was useful in the first place.

By letting the program sunset, Congress is answering that question for the NSA. What that means in practical terms is that the situation will revert back to the way it was before passage of the USA Patriot Act.

Back then, as law professor Robert Chesney writes, the FISA court “could authorize production of records only from entities that count as common carriers, public accommodation facilities, storage facilities, or vehicle rental facilities.”

Furthermore, the government had to have “specific and articulable facts giving reason to believe that the person to whom the record pertains is a foreign power or agent of a foreign power.”

No More Carter Pages
Although the Department of Justice and FBI announced over 40 reforms to the application process for warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, especially in politically sensitive cases, Congress decided to cement processes it believed would reform the system by legislating change.

Many of these reforms have merit, at first blush.

Rather than trusting the attorney general to be aware of a request for a FISA application against an elected official or candidate for federal office, one provision would require the attorney general to personally approve such an application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. This would make the attorney general himself responsible for the request.

As a result of the USA Freedom Act of 2015, attorneys serving as amicus curiae (impartial advisers, at least in theory) already assist the FISA court in a limited manner. This reform would broaden the role of amicus attorneys before the court and include any case involving the political activity of a U.S. citizen.

Perhaps the most meaningful set of reforms, which the FBI already had identified and started to implement internally, was the need to make sure that FISA applications contain all information about a potential target. This would include potentially exculpatory information or information that cuts against the government’s request itself.

This makes common sense, and one, no doubt, the FISA court judges themselves have been concerned about after the Page fiasco.

Several reforms concern holding to account those who, in the future, knowingly hide information from the court, knowingly making a false declaration in an affidavit before the court, intentionally disclose a FISA application, or engage in other misconduct.

These are, for lack of a better term, the “Carter Page reforms,” and they are commonsense reforms.

Any attorney or law enforcement official who engages in similar misconduct in state or federal court would face consequences, so there is no reason that similar rules shouldn’t apply to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and those appearing before it.

It remains to be seen what the Senate will do with the House-passed legislation.

Because the intelligence community may be concerned about leaks, the Trump administration could face some pushback regarding the reform requiring independent legal advisers to identify issues with warrant applications.
-------------------
Cully Stimson (@cullystimson) is a leading expert in national security, homeland security, crime control, immigration, and drug policy at The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. Article via The Daily Signal.

Tags: Cully Stimson, The Daily Signal, Humanitarian Weapons of Refugees To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

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