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State and local officials were anxiously awaiting what Monday night might bring after weekend protests statewide were marred by violence, property damage and tense confrontations with police.

After a rash of rioting Saturday in Miami, Tampa and Jacksonville, at least 11 Florida municipalities imposed curfews Sunday that expired Monday morning. Miami-Dade County’s curfew remains in place.

Gov. Ron DeSantis had not declared a state of emergency in Florida. On Saturday, the governor activated nearly 500 National Guardsmen to respond to requests for assistance from local officials. As of Monday, 150 guardsmen were in Miramar, 100 were in Tampa and 150 were in Camp Blanding near Starke.

 

DeSantis had not addressed the demonstrations staged across the state and nation in the wake of last week’s death in Minneapolis of George Floyd – a black man who died in custody after a white police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes – until he issued a statement at 5 p.m. Monday.

“Florida has zero tolerance for violence, rioting and looting,” he said. “George Floyd’s murder was appalling, and the Minnesota perpetrators need to be brought to justice, but this cannot be used as a pretext for violence in our Florida communities.”

DeSantis said he has activated an additional 200 Florida National Guardsmen “specially trained to support law enforcement. I have also worked with the FHP to coordinate more than 1,300 sworn Florida Highway Patrol troopers to support local law enforcement efforts. We will continue to do everything necessary to keep residents safe.”

Weekend demonstrations were staged in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, Tallahassee, Daytona Beach, Stuart, Lakeland and other Florida cities.

• Miami: Protesters Saturday night vandalized or set ablaze 17 squad cars outside Miami Police headquarters; hurled rocks and bottles, injuring four officers; shut down I-95; and looted stores inside Bayside Marketplace.

Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina said Sunday that 13 of the 57 people arrested Saturday were Miami residents. The Miami Herald reported, however, 30 had Miami-Dade County addresses. Eleven others were from Broward and Palm Beach counties, seven were not Florida residents and six were listed as homeless.

On Sunday, hundreds marched past the federal detention center and blocked the westbound lanes of I-395. They were confronted by Miami-Dade officers in riot gear and gradually dispersed without a repeat of Saturday’s violence.

 

Miami-Dade County remains under a curfew imposed by Mayor Carlos Gimenez. As a result, beaches – closed since March because of the COVID-19 emergency – did not open as planned Monday but may open Tuesday if the curfew is lifted.

• Fort Lauderdale: Police used tear gas along Las Olas Boulevard and near the the Broward County Library to break up what witnesses and media reported was a peaceful demonstration by about 2,500 people. One officer was suspended after video showed he pushed a kneeling woman to the ground, spurring protesters to throw bottles.

Police and local official said “agitators” are infiltrating organized marches.

“What I’m hearing from different sources is there are people embedded in these demonstrations to cause a lot of misery on people to make the demonstrators who were there early look bad and to really not benefit the cause of moving our country forward,” Broward County Mayor Dale Holness told CBS4 Sunday night.

• Tampa: Protesters smashed 40 store windows; looted AT&T, jewelry and Champs Sports stores; and set a Mobile gas station ablaze Saturday night. Police in riot gear confronted hundreds in University Mall’s parking lot and arrested 41. One Hillsborough County deputy was hit in the back of the head with a “hard object,” and a Tampa police officer was treated for minor burns after being struck by a “mortar.”

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor on Sunday imposed a 7:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew in response to Saturday protests and called for National Guard assistance.

On Sunday, thousands gathered and demonstrated, although there was little violence. Black Lives Matter organizers had nearly 100 “safety marshals” in fluorescent vests and with walkie-talkies, patrolling their march, using “de-escalation tactics” and watching for “antagonists.”

• Jacksonville: Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry on Sunday imposed an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew after Friday and Saturday protests turned violent in the face of tear gas and a heavy police presence.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said one deputy was either stabbed or slashed in the neck and was taken to a hospital for treatment Saturday evening.

John Haughey

The Center Square

 

 

 

 

The Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) has requested 100,000 private companies registered as vendors authorized to bid on state contracts to verify within 30 days whether they are “majority-owned by United States interests.”

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said at Thursday's Florida Cabinet meeting – the first gathering of the state’s four top elected officials since February – that DFS will demand contractors and vendors “self-identify whether they’re majority American-owned.”

The goal of the query, he said, is to “better identify businesses that are majority Communist Party of China-owned that do business with the state of Florida.”

 

In an April 23 letter to Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai, Patronis warned the state has identified $2 billion in unclaimed assets in Florida linked to “wholly” owned Chinese companies that it may target as restitution to compensate the state for costs incurred from the COVID-19 emergency.

“China should own the problems they've caused this country and the state of Florida due to their mishandling of #COVID19. Let’s find any unclaimed property of Chinese-owned companies and look at ways to use it to help Florida,” Patronis tweeted that same day.

On Thursday, Patronis said his warning to Tiankai fell on deaf ears, so he is authorizing DFS to ferret out vendors with Chinese ties.

“Since they’ve chosen to not respond to our official transmission, we’re going to follow through in our commitment of identifying Chinese-owned businesses that do business with the state,” he said. “This will provide us information should Florida need to withhold payments to these businesses as federal leaders sort out potential financial impacts against the Communist Party of China.”

DFS’ Vendor Ownership Survey, sent to the state’s registered contractors, said, “If you are a vendor that is domiciled in the United States and controlled directly or indirectly at all levels (meaning at least fifty percent (50.00%) ownership or more) by United States citizens and entities (“U.S. Interests”), you are hereby requested to respond within 30 days by verifying your status as a company owned and controlled by U.S. Interests, in order to avoid necessary follow up by the Department.

 

“If you are not included in the above because you are not owned or controlled by U.S. Interests,” the survey concluded, “your response stating so is also requested.”

Florida Cabinet meetings are chaired by the governor. In addition to Gov. Ron DeSantis and Patronis, the Cabinet includes Attorney General Ashley Moody and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.

All four have targeted China, generally, and the Communist Party of China (CPC), specifically, since the COVID-19 emergency emerged in March.

DeSantis routinely accuses China of withholding disclosure about the coronavirus to hoard personal protective equipment and other supplies “to try to screw over the rest of the world.”

Moody joined 17 other state attorneys general last month in calling on Congress to investigate CPC for an alleged “massive conspiracy to cover up and mislead the international community about the severity and highly contagious nature of the novel coronavirus.”

Fried is lobbying against a “misguided” USDA-approved plan to import five types of Chinese citrus as the state’s $8.6 billion citrus industry combats greening disease, or citrus huanglongbing (HLB), a bacteria that originated in China.

Florida Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-St. Augustine Beach, have called on DFS to purge Chinese companies from the state's $200 billion investment portfolio after learning the Florida Retirement System (FRS) owned – as of June 2019 – 1.8 million shares in Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co. Ltd., a black-listed Chinese-owned company.

 

John Haughey

The Center Square

If a State, County or City, because of their political beliefs, fails to enforce the law…lawlessness is ALWAYS the result!

I am not surprised of the resulting lawlessness after what may well be an illegal act of a few lawmen.

I am surprised at the continued use of an extreme, choke hold, on an apparently, submitted subject. I am not surprised that it resulted in a death. I am not surprised; at the resulting rioting in a black neighborhood, against innocent, black, honest citizens and their businesses… in an extremely left State, extremely left City and extremely Democrat led failure to enforce the freaking law!! You folks who keep electing incompetent, Democrat leaders whose only agenda is to replace our President, are getting what you deserve for leaders…do nothing… if it’s okay take credit if it turns to crap…blame a Republican. That’s the leadership that exists in every single Democrat led State and they are all in big financial trouble… but not one Republican led State is in trouble!?

On the use of a choke hold…I was the head Firearms and DT (Defensive Tactics) Instructor for my FBI Division. I did not teach the choke hold to either FBI Agents or Police Officers. I demonstrated the choke hold…explained that it is “the use of deadly force” … and it can be used, if not prohibited by their Agency…just like you can shoot to kill when necessary…to save a life.

I didn’t teach it because, in my opinion, it required a skill factor that required more training than we could provide, in the time allotted for any DT training. We dedicated many weeks to the use of handguns, rifles and shot guns for the proficiency in the use of deadly force and a single week for DTs covering every aspect of handcuffing, control, disarming, self-protection, extraction from a vehicle and on and on and …oh yea, choke holds…not nearly enough time.

I used a choke hold once in my entire career of some 3 decades working the FBI’s Violent Crimes Program. That was after exchanging shots with and during the arrest, of an extremely tough, bad guy, who decked my partner twice, took a hostage (12 year old little girl), after I shot back. We ended up in a “fight for survival” where I knocked him out with an “extreme” choke hold. He never stopped fighting…until he was out cold!

That was extreme, justified and legal even if he had not survived the fight…that’s how extreme the situation must be in my opinion, before the use of a gun or choke hold (deadly force)  can be used…in my opinion. 

So, is the use of deadly force allowed…justified…absolutely…but you had better be ready to explain how you were protecting yourself or somebody else!

With the limited information, and needless to say, the lack of the MSM displaying the entire videos and all that led up to the unfortunate death...no one should say who was at fault until there is a Grand Jury Hearing and Grand Jury verdict … True Bill or No Bill.

Being a lawman is unlike anything else in the world. In war a soldier has rules of engagement on whether to kill or not. Lawmen are not allowed to toss in a hand grenade to clear a room…soldiers are. Extreme? Not at all…being that a Police Officer is less likely to be shot, sniped or IED’d than a soldier is good… but his “Rules of Engagement” are much less clear, not well defined! He truly has to make his own Rules of Engagement as he moves down that street!

We must, because of the dangers our Police, Lawmen face daily…we must… give them the benefit of doubt…no matter how tough that may be. I personally have been pulled out of FBI cars looking down the barrel of a 12 gage shotgun held by a Police Officer, more than once, during critical FBI surveillances, because of mistakes made, mostly due to a lack of communication, with no one person to blame…it’s a “mistake”! Stuff happens!

Unlike Obama and Erick Holder…President Trump does have the backs of his lawmen and I believe he will continue to do so! Just let the other lawmen do their jobs…and don’t think burning down buildings and looting are allowed because it’s blacks harming blacks…all black lives and black businesses do matter, but scum, any color,  like those arsonists and looters…don’t!

gary small

J.Gary DiLaura, FBI RED

Retired, Extremely Dangerous!

After President Donald Trump took to Twitter to threaten pulling the Republican National Convention out of Charlotte, N.C, other southeast states with Trump allies as governor have offered to host the convention.

The GOP convention is scheduled for late August in Charlotte. North Carolina entered phase two of its reopening plan amid the coronavirus pandemic last week under Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who has been cautious in lifting restrictions.

"I love the Great State of North Carolina, so much so that I insisted on having the Republican National Convention in Charlotte at the end of August," Trump tweeted Monday. "Unfortunately, Democrat Governor, @RoyCooperNC is still in Shutdown mood & unable to guarantee that by August we will be allowed full attendance in the Arena."

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Trump's four-tweet thread went on to say that without an immediate answer about attendance, the Republican Party will be forced to find a new location.

Enter Florida and Georgia.

A little more than four hours later Monday morning, Republican Party of Florida Chairman and state Sen. Joe Gruters responded.

"America’s #1 Governor @GovRonDeSantis and the state of Florida would welcome @realDonaldTrump and the 2020 convention with open arms," Gruters tweeted. "Florida is open for business. @FloridaGOP"

tweet2

DeSantis addressed the situation Tuesday at a news conference naming two new Florida Supreme Court justices.

“Florida would love to have the RNC,” DeSantis said. “Heck, I am a Republican, and I can say that Florida would love to have the [Democratic National Convention]” because of the revenue conventions generate.

“Florida wants to work with you,” DeSantis said. “We definitely want to work with you. We’d like to have you in Florida. The door is open.”

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp also weighed in Tuesday.

"With world-class facilities, restaurants, hotels, and workforce, Georgia would be honored to safely host the Republican National Convention," Kemp tweeted. "We hope you will consider the Peach State, @realdonaldtrump!"

“Under Governor Kemp, Georgia has led the nation in safely reopening its economy," Georgia Republican Party Chairman David Shafer said. "We have first-class facilities, a skilled workforce and a reputation for hospitality second to none. We would be proud to host the Republican National Convention.”

A Cooper spokesperson responded, via Cooper's Twitter account, to Trump's tweets: "State health officials are working with the RNC and will review its plans as they make decisions about how to hold the convention in Charlotte. North Carolina is relying on data and science to protect our state’s public health and safety."

It should be noted, Republican Charlotte City Council member Ed Driggs told the Charlotte Observer, Charlotte’s contract is with the GOP’s Committee on Arrangements, not the White House.

 

 

President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and as many as 200,000 spectators viewing from scattered Space Coast sites in Florida were hoping to witness history this afternoon when American astronauts aboard an American rocket blast off from Cape Canaveral, opening a new era in space development and exploration.

NASA pilots Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken will launch from Kennedy Space Center Pad 39A, the same one Apollo astronauts used to get to the moon, marking the first time U.S. astronauts will launch into orbit from American soil since the end of the space shuttle era in 2011.

It also will mark the first time NASA astronauts will ride into space and journey to the International Space Station aboard a privately built commercial space ship – Elon Musk’s SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule mounted on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, largely designed and built Florida, another confirmation the Space Coast has regained its historical status as a leader in the burgeoning trillion-dollar aerospace industry.

All is set to go for the 4:33 p.m. EDT launch except for one thing NASA or SpaceX can't control: the weather.

SpaceX Vice President Hans Koenigsmann said the launch control team will incorporate global weather patterns and models into its split-second launch window to determine “if the weather gods are working with us.” unfortunately .... they were not! The launch was scrubbed for weather 17 minutes before liftoff.

Forecasters said there is a 40 percent chance for “acceptable” launch conditions in Florida, but the launch trajectory extends along the U.S. and Canadian coast across the Atlantic to Ireland.

The decision to scratch the mission was made, literally, minutes before blast-off. The tropical weather systems buffeting the Sunshine State are expected to dissipate through the week. Because SpaceX diddn't launch today, it has scheduled another launch Saturday.

SpaceX will have two recovery ships deployed off the Space Coast. NASA will have two cargo planes ready to take off with additional planes in New York and England ready to assist if the capsule must splash down in the Atlantic.

NASA has discouraged spectators because of the COVID-19 emergency and is limiting the number of visitors inside the Kennedy Space Center, which has been closed to the public.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine asked spectators to watch the launch online or on TV from home. The space agency also is offering a “virtual launch experience.”

“The challenge that we’re up against right now is we want to keep everybody safe,” Bridenstine said last week. “And so we’re asking people not to travel to the Kennedy Space Center, and I will tell you that makes me sad to even say it. Boy, I wish we could make this into something really spectacular.”

High-profile space shuttle launches often drew as many as a half-million visitors to the Space Coast. Brevard County officials say over 100,000 spectators showed up.

With the COVID-19 emergency dramatically reducing travel to Florida and local tourism-related businesses suffering, Brevard County officials are laying out the welcome mat.

“By all means, come,” Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey told The Associated Press. “I’m not going to tell Americans they can’t watch a great piece of history.”

Ivey is asking visitors to practice social distancing, noting about 85 reserve deputies will be on hand to monitor crowds and ask people to comply with social distancing.

Space Coast Office of Tourism Executive Director Peter Cranis told AP the area’s tourism business is down by 40 percent for the year, and that could cost the area $1 billion, he said.

“A launch like this after a big long weekend could really give us a shot in the arm,” Cranis said.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020 19:11

Cashing In on Contact Tracing

Look out. An "army of contact tracers" is about to be unleashed on America. Corporations, political lobbyists and government bureaucracies all win. Privacy, freedom and family autonomy all lose. Big time.

You may have already heard of the aptly named House Bill 6666, sponsored by Illinois Dem. Bobby Rush. Known as the Testing, Reaching and Contacting Everyone (TRACE) Act, the legislation would allocate $100 billion in public funding to "eligible entities" to "conduct diagnostic testing for COVID-19, and related activities such as contact tracing, through mobile health units and, as necessary, at individuals' residences, and for other purposes." The cash could be used to hunt down infected individuals, quarantine them in their homes for undefined periods under unknown conditions and subsidize a hiring spree of untold thousands of trackers from nonprofits, schools and medical facilities.

As for "other purposes," the proposal does not define them -- leaving Swamp public health bureaucrats and their pet grantees' imaginations to run wild. What recourse or appeals process to citizens have when the "experts" get diagnoses and assessments wrong? Or when, say, homeschool families refuse to submit to intrusive phone call monitoring or forced quarantine? What are the opt-in or opt-out mechanisms? H.R. 6666 is silent on all these fundamental issues of autonomy and sovereignty. Feel safer yet?

This federally supported surveillance-state bonanza comes on top of the $631 million in Centers for Disease Control funding for contact tracing already in the pipeline after the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, plus another $75 billion in proposed contact-tracing spending embedded in the House Democrats' supplemental stimulus bill known as the HEROES Act.

Who benefits? Let's take one prominent entrant into the "digital transformation services" arena: a company called MTX. Founded in Albany, New York, and now based in Frisco, Texas, the small software company is raking in hundreds of millions of tax dollars to construct "virtual call centers" of 25,000 COVID data-mining agents. In Chicago, MTX has partnered with Google to create an app so residents can "pre-register" for the vaunted coronavirus vaccine and receive alerts on treatments and testing. In Georgia, the company nailed a five-year government contract for a new online contact-tracing platform. In New York and Massachusetts, MTX's mission has spread to monitoring jobless claims and child care facilities.

Lynn Davenport, a Texas public school mom and student privacy activist, reports that MTX is "also donating its newly launched tracking application to all public school districts in the U.S." Generous... or opportunist? As Davenport and other education technology watchdogs who have documented the proliferation of billions of dollars in invasive student data-mining schemes often remind us: "When it's free, YOU (and your children) are the product." Never forget: The price of "free" apps is access to your kids' search engine queries, website and video browsing, and undoubtedly just around the corner: their temperature, weight and mental health.

Contact tracing makes sense for some types of infectious disease epidemics. But with something as widespread as COVID-19, with possibly hundreds of millions of asymptomatic people, it amounts to yet another cost-ineffective, virtue-signaling boondoggle.

Sure, they tell us our privacy is guaranteed. Medical privacy is sacrosanct in America, right? But did you know that the U.S. Health and Human Services has quietly relaxed Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act data security and privacy requirements for pandemic testing sites, which will allow Big Pharma interests and other business interests to access previously protected personal health information?

Nothing to see here; move along.

If you do try to see and know more, good luck. Houston Chronicle reporters tried to shed sunlight on MTX's deal with top Texas GOP officials and were lucky to obtain a heavily redacted copy of the company's $295 million contract (paid with your money and mine). You know that creepy phrase "Operation Warp Speed" being used to ram a COVID vaccine through expedited, short-circuited clinical trials? Well, the same phrase applies to the adoption of these high-stakes contracts. Both anti-establishment Republicans and Trump-skeptical Democrats in Texas have raised red flags about the failure by Gov. Greg Abbott to provide advance notice to the state legislature of the enormous deal. The state took a hasty two days to approve MTX's proposal after putting the project out for bid. The scheme was rolled out in just a little over two weeks.

Who greased the wheels? Follow the money, of course. The Houston Chronicle revealed that "The deal appears to have been put together within just a few days... MTX hired Austin-based lobbyists Andrea and Dean McWilliams for up to $50,000 each, according to public disclosure documents." The McWilliamses are the Matt and Mercedes Schlapp of Texas -- consummate insiders and six-figure Bush bundlers looking out for their corporate clients over our constitutional rights and medical freedom. Not coincidentally, MTX reflects the "America last" values of the open borders Bush empire. The firm runs a "development center" out of offshore outsourcing hub Hyderabad, India, and CEO Das Nobel aspires to lead a "diverse" "billion-dollar-company" from which he hopes to "advance our culture initiatives."

Where's our protection from the globalism virus?

                Michelle Malkin

 

Think about an election where a ballot is sent to a person regardless of eligibility or to an address that person may not live at anymore; signed by someone else; picked up and delivered by a Democratic campaign operative; and still counted. If Democrats were to get their way, that is what would happen in my home state of Nevada this June, and nationwide in the November presidential election.

This is clearly a trial run by Democrats to see if they can get away with The Scam of the Century with which they have one goal in mind: to steal all future U.S. elections.

Keep in mind that even Mexico demands election integrity. Voters in Mexico must physically show up to vote. They must have federal government-issued photo identification (with thumbprint). They can't vote in English. Voting in Mexico is only done in Spanish.

In today's America, the only possible reason to be opposed to voter ID is that you want to cheat. Everyone has government-issued ID -- no matter how poor, no matter skin color. Everyone needs it to collect a government check -- welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, Obamacare. Every Democratic voter has it.

But it's no longer enough for Democrats to block voter ID. Now it's no voter ID combined with mail-in ballots. Democrats want anyone to vote from anywhere, with no election security or integrity. And to oppose this farce and fraud is racism and voter suppression.

It's all Democrats talk about. It's in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's latest coronavirus bill. Failed Democratic candidate and spokesperson Stacey Abrams says without mail-in voting, democracy is lost. Cheating Democrats are showcasing what is in their cheating hearts: a deep desire to wipe out fair elections and "the will of the people."

From now on, they will simply stuff the ballot box to stay in power and, therefore, fix the election results to get the outcomes they desire.

America, BE VERY AFRAID. If the Democrats ever gain full control of Congress and the presidency, free and fair elections are gone. Few Republicans will ever be elected. Just like every other socialist/communist banana republic, ballots will be counted and the outcome determined long before voting takes place.

Do you doubt me? Look at how bad it already is. States across America are issuing driver's licenses to illegal aliens, and in some cases, if they didn't opt out, they were automatically registered to vote. How many do you think opt out? Take a stab: A) No one or B) None.

In Nevada, I registered to receive mass election texts from liberal organizations. I get a half dozen or more a day. They tell Democratic voters (in Spanish) to get out and vote. Or "Trump and Republicans will deport you," they say.

You don't think every text message to Democrats is going to illegal aliens? Then why is every message in Spanish? And why are they claiming you'll be deported if you don't vote Democrat? U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement can only deport illegals, right?

Democrats are begging illegal aliens to vote.

Heck, they're bribing them to vote. These texts offer everything free to encourage illegal aliens to vote -- money, food, housing, health care, phones and turkeys.

But, this is only the start. It will get much worse. Ballot harvesting is legal in California. Democrats are fighting to implement it in Nevada. Ballot harvesting allows anyone to pick up and cast the ballots of others. How easy can it be for the harvester to fill out blank ballots? Or simply dump in the garbage bin any ballots marked Republican? What a scam!

With absentee ballots, ballot harvesting, early voting and illegals automatically registered to vote at the Department of Motor Vehicles, the amount of cheating already occurring is disgusting and dangerous to our democracy. Any additional version of "vote by mail, or email" would simply be an abdication of any semblance of free and valid elections.

So, here are a few "last stand for America" ideas for President Donald Trump:

   #1) Use presidential executive order to demand proof of federal photo ID and thumbprints for federal elections. If it isn't racist in Mexico, it isn't racist here.

   #2) Make English the official and only language of voting in America.

   #3) Order the posting of multiple ICE agents at polling places across America during election season. Don't Democrats claim illegal aliens never vote? Then why would this be a problem?

         ICE agents don't scare me. They shouldn't scare any legal American citizen. They can't touch us. And if you're illegal and they scare you, I have a simple solution: Stay away from                 polling places.

   #4) Make election fraud by a noncitizen a felony punishable by instant deportation.

   #5) Never, never, never, ever allow mail-in voting.

These five ideas are how we guarantee election integrity. This is how we stop "foreign interference" in our elections.

And this is how we stop the Democratic Scam of the Century.

small smiley face with sunglasses1

Thursday, 21 May 2020 07:59

The Weird Andrew Cuomo Boomlet

 

Usually, when a CEO severely underperforms peers, he or she is fired or handed a gold watch and given a quick retirement party. In the Democratic Party, a rotten performance is a qualification for the presidency.

I'm referring to the bizarre infatuation inside Democratic circles with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a possible replacement for Joe Biden at the top of the ticket. Democratic operatives are increasingly nervous that the party has tethered itself to a fatally flawed nominee. Cuomo is now heralded as the sure bet to beat President Donald Trump this November.

The love affair began when Cuomo began holding nationally televised addresses on the state of affairs with the coronavirus in the Empire State. The media fawned: He is so eloquent, so smart, so charming, so factual. He is everything, they gushed, that Trump is not.

Except they forgot something. Cuomo has arguably the worst record of any governor in America, and his decade-long tenure as governor has driven the New York economy into a ditch.

No state has lost more people since 2010, the year Cuomo was first elected governor, than New York. More than 1.2 million more people have left the state than have moved there. Its economy might have fizzled as factories, businesses and capital have fled for lower tax climates. Even before the virus, downstate New York started to resemble the Rust Belt state of West Virginia.

The fiscal mismanagement of the state under Cuomo is legendary. New York spends almost twice as much per resident on state and local government services than Florida, even though the two states have roughly the same population size. By most standards, public services at half the cost are better in Florida. New York also has triple the debt burden as Florida.

Democrats seem to love the idea of making America look more like New York, but good luck convincing Middle America of that idea.

Then there is the governor's handling of the health emergency. This supposed stellar governor's policies didn't stop New York from having almost as many deaths as the other 49 states combined. His mishandling of the nursing homes allowed thousands of seniors to die. Two-thirds of the deaths in recent weeks have been in these senior centers. He isolated the seniors, so when they were on their deathbeds, they couldn't be with their loved ones.

Cuomo's most grievous error was keeping the New York subway open even as it became clear these trains were the single largest transmitters of the virus. The Big Apple would soon become the epicenter of the disease.

Still, the drumbeat for a Cuomo candidacy marches on. It is reminiscent of dreams liberals had in the 1980s of another New York governor becoming president: Mario Cuomo, Andrew Cuomo's father. That never panned out, but don't count out the ambitions of the son.

If Cuomo does end up crowbarring Biden out of the picture, the happiest guy in the country will be none other than Trump.

                Stephen Moore

 

On March 24, President Donald Trump said he wanted the country and the economy "opened up and just raring to go by Easter."

Easter came and went. And Trump was mocked for being aspirational and unrealistic. Yet, with Ascension Thursday at hand, 40 days after Easter, the president seems to have been ahead of his time.

The country, as a whole, is, and has been, opening up. Sunday's New York Times reports that, for weeks now, more than two-thirds of the states have been relaxing restrictions as Trump had urged.

The reasons: weariness with the lockdown and sheltering in place, a growing belief that the worst of the pandemic is behind us and undeniably positive news from several fronts in the coronavirus war.

"New Cases in U.S. Slow," ran The New York Times top headline Sunday, adding the cautionary warning, "Posing Risks of Complacency."

The facts suggest a positive trend. The number of newly confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has been dropping for a month. The number of deaths has fallen from 2,200 a day in April to closer to 1,400 a day in mid-May. Several days last week recorded fewer than 1,000 deaths, an awful toll but a clear improvement over April.

As of Friday, the rate of new cases of the coronavirus was declining in 19 states and rising in only three. New Orleans and Detroit have seen sharp drops. The number of new cases in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island has dropped. New cases in Cass County, Indiana, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where meatpacking plants had seen outbreaks, have declined.

"On eight of the past nine days," said the Times, "there have been fewer deaths announced than there were seven days prior, indicating that the virus toll appears to be easing. More than half of the 24 counties that have recorded the most coronavirus deaths, including Oakland County, Mich., and Hartford County, Conn., are seeing sustained declines."

Still, the thrust of the Times article was about the new crisis we will be courting, should we try to resume normal activities too soon. Do that, says the Times, and we could easily forfeit all the progress we have made.

Message: Social distancing, sheltering in place, wearing masks, working at home -- the practices that broke the back of the pandemic -- should be sustained for those able to do so.

Clearly, the opening in many states has been driven by popular protest and public demand. Crowds have ignored social distancing to demonstrate for an end to the shutdown. Protesters have refused to wear masks and engaged in the time-honored practice since the '60s of civil defiance and disobedience.

The protesters seem to be saying: We deplore the losses and know the risks, but we cannot live our lives behind closed doors in our homes until the elites tell us, as though we were children, when we may go out in the yard.

Hence, the next question we are all likely to confront:

If there is a sudden resurgence of the coronavirus, a second wave, and the media elite and blue state governors demand a new shutdown, a new closure of beaches, parks, shops, restaurants and churches, will the people of this republic comply with those demands or defy them?

Will the nation answer back to the elites: We did that. We sheltered in place. We wore the masks. We socially distanced. We stayed in our homes. We stayed home from work. We have done all we were told to do to contain the virus. But, now, with the shutdown having put 36 million Americans on unemployment and sunk our GDP to Depression-era levels, we're going back to work.

The political divide has already begun to appear.

Among those making the case for ending the shutdown and reopening the country and economy will be Trump, red state governors like Ron DeSantis in Florida and Brian Kemp in Georgia, conservatives in Congress and populists.

The proponents of a second shutdown will be liberal governors and mayors, the mainstream media and the Nancy Pelosi wing of Congress.

It should not go unmentioned that the latter's political interests are best served the longer the shutdown endures and the worse the economic situation on Nov. 3. If the economy has failed to begin a robust recovery by fall, the greater the odds that Joe Biden wins the White House.

Yet, even if the pandemic returns in the fall, the establishment cannot keep the country closed indefinitely.

Prediction: If the people conclude they have done all they can do to mitigate the suffering from a virus they cannot eradicate, they will resist the imposition of another shutdown, and the establishment will have neither the will nor ability to push them back into their homes.

Ultimately, the people will decide when this shutdown ends, and when a plurality so concludes, the elites will be swept aside.

 

Patrick J. Buchanan

 

Last Mother's Day weekend, my family defied government pandemania. We drove out east from Colorado Springs to the tiny town of Calhan for a lovely little hike in the purple-and-gold-hued Paint Mines archeological district. Unmasked, we basked in the sunshine, fresh air and freedom. The park was teeming with moms like me who put family bonding over "social distancing."

We were not alone -- and that was a glorious thing.

There is nothing public health fossil Dr. Anthony Fauci can do or say to stop me from making the best choices for my children's health, sanity and resilience. He appeared before the Senate on Tuesday to heckle states like Colorado not to get back to business -- back to life -- too soon and too quickly. "Needless suffering and death" will occur, he told The New York Times. "I think we better be careful (that) we are not cavalier in thinking that children are completely immune from the deleterious effects," he testified.

Irked by Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul's very necessary reminder that no federal infectious disease bureaucrat is the "end-all" decider of our fate, Fauci warned against reopening schools because children in New York are "presenting with COVID-19 who actually have a very strange inflammatory syndrome, very similar to Kawasaki syndrome."

How dare you accuse us parents of being "cavalier" with our children's health, Fauci, when you are scaring them with dubious, unverified claims connecting a few cases of an alleged mystery pediatric disease to the coronavirus?

How dare you toss around so cavalierly the uncorroborated specter of "Kawasaki syndrome" (a rare but treatable disease) while untold numbers among the 57 million K-12 students suffer from the effects of panic-induced anxiety, depression, phobias and isolation?

Here are some actual facts about Fauci's Kawasaki hype: Peer-reviewed studies over the last several years have identified multiple theories of the inflammatory disease's etiology, including genetic factors, environmental triggers, superantigens, bacterial infections and viruses. A blinded, case-control retrospective study on kids at Children's Hospital in Denver investigating whether one strain of human coronavirus infection was a factor among Kawasaki syndrome patients "failed to demonstrate an association." The Mayo Clinic diseases and conditions information website states that "scientists don't believe the disease is contagious from person to person." Moreover, the Mayo Clinic states: "Kawasaki disease is usually treatable, and most children recover from Kawasaki disease without serious problems."

The truth is that Fauci is misleading American families and educators through arrogant acts of both omission and commission. The Kawasaki lie is not his first or last lie. Before he embraced masks for all, he smugly dismissed the measure in March during a "60 Minutes" interview because it would "make people 'feel' a little bit better, and it might even block a droplet, but it's not providing the perfect protection people think that it is." Now, he says, face coverings must be a "should be a very regular part" of our daily lives

Dutiful reporters ignore the flip-flop, slavishly acting as stenographers for Fauci and the rest of the dishonest "deep state." "Masks are here to stay," The Washington Post Lifestyle section chirped last week. To which I say: Hell, no.

As a responsible parent and citizen, I will not let terror rule my children's lives. I speak from heart-wrenching personal experience over the past five years as my teenage daughter, already battling chronic pain and joint hypermobility requiring multiple surgeries, also suffered from severe clinical OCD that left her unable to do mundane things -- like use a public bathroom, eat out at a restaurant or ride in a crowded vehicle. She lost friends. She fell into depression. Her physical and emotional health deteriorated. She was homebound, helplessly trapped in the worst kind of self-imposed lockdown.

Thanks to a brilliant and effective doctor, she learned to confront her fears instead of cowering from them. She learned that avoiding risks at all costs carries its own unacceptable risks. Every member of my family benefited from embracing the exposure therapy ethos. We cannot hide from germs, people or adversity. My daughter has remained strong in the face of mass hysteria and refused to withdraw from the world -- working, seeing friends and living life.

As Dr. Judy Mikovits, author of "Plague of Corruption" and star of the documentary, "Plandemic," which social media platforms have banned everywhere, "Fear is a very powerful immune-suppressant." By holding our children hostage, federal scare-mongers with vested financial interests and ideological agendas are making our most precious and vulnerable members of the American family sick.

Here in Colorado Springs, two cadets at the Air Force Academy committed suicide while on extreme lockdown.

In Ohio last month, 12-year-old Hayden Hunstable committed suicide after suffering in a "perfect storm" of loneliness under quarantine, his family said. Isolation was a "hidden killer and equally as shocking and horrific as what is happening on the front lines of this disease."

Where is Fauci's concern for these invisible victims of the invisible enemy? He's apparently too busy preparing to jab a new generation of young guinea pigs with his BFF Bill Gates' shots. To which I again say: Hell, no.

Teaching your children to live rationally and fearlessly, through words and deeds, is the most potent vaccine we can give them.

            Michelle Malkin