Friday, November 27, 2020

Outrage when Trump pardons former national security adviser Mike Flynn

Where was the outrage when Bill Cinton pardoned Marc Rich, a genuine crook? No mention that Trump has used his clemency power less often than any other president in recent history.

The whole need for a pardon was that a Leftist judge refused to let go of Flynn, despite all reasons why he should let go. The pardon was in other words needed to correct a failing in the judicial system -- which is one of the traditional reasons for pardons

The President announced on Wednesday he was granting a full pardon to Michael Flynn, a retired former Army lieutenant general who briefly served in the Trump administration before being ousted for allegedly lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with the Russian ambassador during the transition.

“It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon,” Mr Trump tweeted. “Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!”

General Flynn simply tweeted “Jeremiah 1:19” – the Bible passage which reads, “‘They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the Lord.”

The move brings to an end a four-year criminal case, which the Department of Justice had attempted to drop in May this year after an independent review ordered by Attorney-General Bill Barr uncovered prosecutorial misconduct.

General Flynn twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, but later reversed course after retaining defence lawyer Sidney Powell, who fought to have the charges thrown out, alleging her client was “set up” by the FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team.

The case has been tied up in seemingly never-ending legal proceedings ever since, with DC Circuit Court Judge Emmett Sullivan refusing the DOJ’s request to dismiss the case and instead appointing an “amicus curiae”, or friend of the court, to argue against the government’s motion.

Democrats reacted with fury at the announcement, with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff saying in a statement that the President “abused the pardon power to reward Michael Flynn, who chose loyalty to Trump over loyalty to his country”.

“There is no doubt that a President has broad power to confer pardons, but when they are deployed to insulate himself, his family, and his associates from criminal investigation, it is a corruption of the Framer’s intent,” Mr Schiff said. “It’s no surprise that Trump would go out just as he came in – crooked to the end.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the pardon was “an act of grave corruption and a brazen abuse of power”. “Trump is again using the pardon power to protect those who lie to cover up his wrongdoing, just as he did when he commuted the sentence of campaign adviser Roger Stone, who was convicted on seven felony counts,” she said in a statement.


New research suggests immunity to COVID-19 is better than we first thought

Early in the pandemic, many researchers feared people who contracted COVID could be reinfected very quickly. This was because several early studies showed antibodies seemed to wane after the first few months post-infection.

It was also partly because normal human coronaviruses, which are one cause of common colds and are cousins of SARS-CoV-2, do not generate long-lasting immunity, so we can get reinfected with them after 12 months.

But new preliminary research suggests key parts of the immune system can remember SARS-CoV-2 for at least eight or nine months, and possibly for years.

When a country is invaded by an enemy, it rallies its forces, fights the war and hopefully repels the invaders. While the enemy has disappeared back to their own territory, a smart country sets up watchers to look for any signs of a new invasion.

Our immune system is exactly the same. Whenever we fight a bacterial or viral infection we leave behind certain cells that remember exactly what this invader looks like.

These are called memory cells and their job, in the event of another "invasion", is to warn our immune system early and ensure the right sort of response is mounted.

It means we don't have to start all over again to make a new response, and so reinfection is either eliminated or the time to recovery is much reduced.

This long-lived memory response can last a lifetime for some viruses such as measles.

We have two main parts of our adaptive immune response: B cells and T cells. Both of these cells can generate "memory".

We'll talk about B cells first. They make antibodies, which latch onto and destroy disease-causing agents such as viruses and bacteria.

A team of researchers from Australia, led by Menno van Zelm at Monash University, published a preliminary study last week showing the body can generate memory B cells specific to SARS-CoV-2. The research showed these cells last at least eight months, and likely even longer. This means these memory B cells could still rapidly produce antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 eight months post-infection, if the person were to be exposed to the virus again (although this work has not yet been peer-reviewed so should be treated with caution).

Other researchers from the United States showed memory B cells lasted at least six months, in a preliminary study also released last week.

While the researchers from Australia saw a drop in circulating antibodies against the virus after two months in the blood of the 25 patients they looked at, they found memory B cells against two important parts of the virus: the spike protein (what most vaccines are designed to target) and the "nucleocapsid", another structural protein of the virus.

They say this should give long-lasting immunity.

But we can't directly prove this, because that would involve reinfecting patients, which would be unethical. So to study this further, we have to rely on natural reinfections.

There have been just 26 confirmed cases of reinfection reported worldwide so far, according to a COVID reinfection tracker by Dutch news agency BNO News (although the true tally is likely higher). With 60 million people infected globally so far, reinfection therefore seems to be a very rare event.

What about T cells? These are cells that bind directly to infected human cells within the body and destroy them. All infected cells smuggle out bits of the invading pathogen onto their surface, as a kind of "SOS" signal that allows T cells to find the hidden enemy.

Researchers from the University of Oxford published a study in September showing memory T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2. This means certain T cells could remember how to respond to virus-infected cells, long after the initial infection was cleared —although there was no data on how long this may last.

A more recent study, published as a preliminary report last week from researchers in China and Germany, answers this question.

They studied patients from Wuhan, where the first reported COVID cases occurred, and who therefore have the oldest immune responses. They showed T cell memory responses were still present nine months after infection.

It would seem SARS-CoV-2 is not like its normal common cold coronavirus cousins. People's immune responses to common cold coronaviruses typically don't last very long, meaning we typically get reinfected by 12 months.

But it's clear people's immune systems can "remember" and respond to SARS-CoV-2. Interestingly, more severe coronavirus infections SARS and MERS appear to elicit longer-lasting responses up to three years.

So, people who've been naturally infected with SARS-CoV-2 can expect reinfection to be rare. If it does occur it will probably result in very mild disease, but otherwise they should be fully protected for at least eight or nine months after their first infection.

But we still don't know what would happen if someone was re-exposed after this timeline — only time will tell.


America’s Two Largest Republican States Announce They Will Have No More Lockdowns

America’s two largest Republican states — Texas and Florida — have announced that they will not be going into any more lockdowns as coronavirus cases surge across the country. The news comes as 45 out of 50 states have seen at least a 10% increase in coronavirus cases from the previous week.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott “said in an interview that there won’t be ‘any more lockdowns’ in the state and he wants to focus on ‘working to heal those who have Covid’ so they can leave the hospitals and get back to their normal routines,” NBC News reported. “A spokesperson for the governor told NBC News on Wednesday that Abbott’s plan to slow the spread of the virus will rely on ‘the data-driven hospitalization metrics used by doctors and medical experts.'”

Renae Eze, a spokesperson for Abbott’s office, issued the following statement last week outlining the state’s plan to deal with the spike in cases:

As some communities experience a rise in hospitalizations, the state of Texas is working closely with local officials to quickly provide the resources needed to address these spikes and keep Texans safe. The state’s coordination efforts go hand-in-hand with enforcing the existing protocols, a strategy that proved effective in slowing the spread over the summer and containing COVID-19 while allowing businesses to safely operate. The protocols work, but only if they are enforced. The reality is, COVID-19 still exists in Texas and across the globe, and Texans should continue to take this virus seriously and do their part by social distancing, washing their hands, and wearing a mask. These best practices, coupled with the governor’s metrics to monitor COVID-19 hospitalizations and local enforcement of protocols, are key to mitigating this virus and keeping our communities and our people safe.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also dismissed the notion of shutting down his state as cases surge around the country.

“Today we are back down to 4,500 [cases] and a 7.3% positivity rate,” a spokesperson for Governor DeSantis told CBS12 News. “We believe yesterday’s high number was due to a large submission file and skewed the numbers for that day. The Governor will not lock down and hurt families who can’t afford to shelter in place for 6 weeks. Especially not for a virus that has a 99.8% survival rate. One area of concern is Assisted Living Facilities. Since those over 70 face the greatest threat from [COVID] the Governor is monitoring those numbers daily and is prepared to move therapeutic and prophylactic assets to those facilities as needed.”



Trump vows he'll "never concede" despite administration starting transition move (Washington Times)

Pennsylvania, Nevada, North Carolina, and Minnesota certify their election results (NYT)

Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Arizona legislatures will hold hearings on election fraud (

GOP poised to flip four House seats in deep-blue California, more than any other state (Fox News)

Biden will immediately move to give citizenship to millions of illegals (Daily Wire)

The Dow surpasses 30,000 for the first time ever (

Home prices see biggest spike in six years in September (CNBC)

Restaurant employees out of work again as virus surges anew (AP)

Airlines absurdly discussing requiring proof of COVID vaccination for passengers (The Hill)

Seattle city council slashes police budget (Free Beacon)

California inmates part of a $1 billion unemployment fraud schemes (Politico) But remember: Voter fraud isn't a thing.

"Transhood" documentary despicably shows parents brainwashing four-year-olds (The Federalist)

Young kid get "baptized" into transgenderism at a woke "church" (Not the Bee)

"Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." —Matthew 18:6

Outdoor dining during COVID is starting to look suspiciously like indoor dining (Not the Bee)

Pete Davidson to lead all-star version of "It's a Wonderful Life" (NY Post)

Our Andrew Culper observes: "Davidson is trying to fill the shoes of Jimmy Stewart, a literal war hero. What a joke!"

Here's what a few notable communists would look like with bangs (Not the Bee)

Dude goes to a restaurant that's about to shut down, buys one beer, leaves a $3,000 tip (Not the Bee)

Policy: Socialism failed miserably for the Pilgrims, just like it does everywhere (The Federalist)

Policy: Americans should be free to decide how to celebrate Thanksgiving (Daily Signal)



1 comment:

Bob Smith said...

While Florida doesn't have any state-level lockdowns, DeSantis unfortunately isn't doing anything about county-level restrictions. Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties have abused their emergency powers (supposedly limited to 30 days, easily worked around by rubber-stamping a new declaration of emergency every 30 days) to implement mask mandates, capacity limits, business shutdowns (no bars), and so forth that are hardly distinguishable from actually calling it a lockdown. They've done this since May/June to "flatten the curve" (which never spiked, their fear mongering over "cases" notwithstanding) and have refused to publish what their criteria are for lifting the restrictions. I assume they will continue indefinitely.