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Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 26 May 2020

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"

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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.

 

 

Published in General/Features

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.

Published in Lifestyle
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

Published in Business

 

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.

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Published in Politics

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