Friday, November 06, 2020

The Good News Is That Biden Is Screwed, Even if He Wins

Hanging on to the Senate was brilliant

My gut says that Donald Trump will snatch victory from the jaws of the pollsters. A great deal hangs on Pennsylvania, where Trump now leads by 600,000 but where 1.7 million mail-in ballots remain to be counted. There’s a 2:1 ratio of registered Democrats to registered Republicans among mail-in voters, and the pundits are saying that this will cancel out Trump’s lead. What they don’t consider is that a lot of registered Democrats in Pennsylvania will vote for Trump. Of course, getting the ballots counted fairly is a non-trivial problem.’s headline this morning reads, “Biden looks screwed even if he wins.” The Republicans kept a Senate majority and reduced the Democratic majority in the House. If Biden squeaks by, he will have no popular mandate, no Senate, and no help from the Supreme Court. He won’t be able to pass tax increases, big changes in health care, or his Green New Deal boondoggles. He will have the same headaches confirming his favorite nominees as Trump did, and worse, as a Republican Senate casts a jaundiced eye at Biden’s supporting cast.

The good news is that the election stymied the Democratic Party’s plan for radical transformation of the United States into an Orwellian state enforcing political correctness, and turning the federal budget into a pinata for Democratic constituencies. That’s the genius of the American political system. To make big changes you need either a big majority or a small majority for a very long time, and the Democrats have neither.

Of course, a Biden administration would have the freedom to undo some of President Trump’s accomplishments in foreign policy, for example, returning to the repugant Obama policy of coddling Iran.

If Trump wins — as I hope and expect — the White House will still have freedom of action in foreign policy, as well as the ability to go after Big Tech. He will also have time to drain the swamp in the Intelligence Community. Trump will not forget that Twitter and Facebook suppressed the New York Post’s revelations about the Hunter Biden emails on the recommendation of a gaggle of retired spooks.

As Glenn Greenwald, a left-leaning investigative journalist, told Tucker Carlson last week:

The real story of the last four years of the Trump administration is that for a long time on the Left there was a healthy skepticism of the CIA,. That is all disappeared. And the reason it has disappeared is that the CIA from the very first days of the Trump administration, even before he was inaugurated, devoted themselves to sabotaging his administration because he questioned a few of their pieties.

That can’t be done in Washington. Whoever does that must be destroyed. And so the CIA and Deep State operatives became heroes of the liberal Left…They are now in a full union with the neo-cons, the Bush-Cheney operatives, the CIA, Silicon Valley and Wall Street.

Fifty former top intelligence officials published a manifesto on October 19 to denounce the Biden emails as a “Russian information operation.” They said: “We write to say that the arrival on the US political scene of emails purportedly belonging to Vice President Biden’s son Hunter, much of it related to his time serving on the Board of the Ukrainian company Burisma, has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”

The mainstream media spiked the political story of the year at the diktat of the spook establishment — perhaps the scariest thing that ever has happened in American political history. If the Deep State can do this sort of damage when it is out of power, I shudder to think what they will do if and when Biden brings them back into power.

That’s why the White House is critical. It’s the Deep State vs. the American republic. But even if Biden squeaks through, the Republican Senate and the Supreme Court provide constitutional bulwarks against the Democratic cabal. We will live to fight another day and win another presidential election.


Wall Street jumps higher as Congress gridlock looms

US stocks surged to close higher on Wednesday (US time) as the presidential election race remained cloudy but the likelihood of gridlock in Congress made investors optimistic that major policy changes would be difficult to enact.

Both President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden still had paths to reach the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win as states kept counting mail-in ballots. Biden held a narrow lead in Wisconsin while Trump's campaign said it had filed a lawsuit to try and halt vote counting in that state.

A surprise win by Republican Senator Susan Collins in Maine dimmed hopes by Democrats that they could get control of the US Senate.

The S&P 500 finished 2.2 per cent higher while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.3 per cent higher and the tech-heavy Nasdaq jumped by 3.9 per cent. The ASX is set for gains, with futures at 7.59am AEDT pointing to a gain of 9 points, or 0.2 per cent, at the open.

Growth stocks, currently comprised of a large portion of names in areas such as tech, surged 4.3 per cent as investors expected them to keep outperforming value stocks as they have in recent months. Value names, which closed flat, are currently comprised of mostly cyclical stocks such as banks and energy.

"Even if Joe Biden wins the Presidency, it looks like we are going to have a divided congress so the opportunity to have meaningful change at the fiscal level is pretty slim, and that is what is being priced into the back end of the market today," said David Joy, chief market strategist at Ameriprise Financial in Boston.

"If we are going to have a similar type of economic environment as we’ve had, then we are going back to an emphasis on trying to find earnings in a relatively scarce earnings environment, back to the same winners as before."

Still, investors said they favour a definitive, swift resolution of the presidential race that would clear the way for a deal on a stimulus package to revive the economy.


Trump Campaign Manager on Why He's Still Confident in Re-election

President Trump's re-election campaign manager Bill Stepien is confident that 45 will be reelected. But that only happens, he explained on a Wednesday morning phone call with reporters, if there are no shenanigans. In his speech earlier this morning, Trump pledged to go to the Supreme Court if need be to stop states from counting suspicious ballots.

"The Democrats are pushing to count late ballots," he said. "Why? They know and we know that if we count all legal ballots, we win."

"We are confident in our pathway...we project confidence because of the math that we believe is in front of us," Stepien said. He laid out that pathway to victory in a handful of battlegrounds still counting ballots.

In Pennsylvania and Arizona especially, Stepien says the math adds up. "When we count the remaining ballots in a legal fashion, apply realistic and conservative estimates to those remaining ballots, the president can win, the president will win."

Of course, the Biden campaign says that their math shows that the Democratic nominee has the same states in the bag.

“I want to share with all of you that Joe Biden is on track to win this election and he will be the next president of the United States,” Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon told the press.


Liberal Law Professor Shreds Dems' Calls for Barrett to Recuse Herself From Election-Related Cases

George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley slammed Democrats' assertion that Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett should have to abstain from any cases related to the 2020 presidential election. According to Turley, there's no reason for Barrett not to participate simply because she was confirmed before an election.

"Jonathan, so that brings us to the fact that Justice now Amy Coney Barrett is in this position in this Court that is now nine, filling the spot of deceased Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Democrats, during that hearing, were saying, 'You have to recuse yourself if an election case comes to the Supreme Court after November 3rd.' I assume we're going to hear that more," Fox News' Bret Baier said.

"It will and it's utterly ridiculous and it's also incredibly insulting. There's no reason under the usual interpretation of the standard for recusal for Justice Barrett to withdraw from this case," Turley explained. "She doesn't have an interest in this case. She doesn't have a financial interest in this case. She didn't work on underlying litigation or cases related to any appeal. None of those conditions exist."

"I know of no case in history where a justice would recuse herself simply because she was nominated shortly before an election and some people, as you heard, as a judicial shill," he said.

Turley made the statement shortly before President Donald Trump addressed supporters around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning. The president made clear that he plans to litigate mail-in ballots in some of the key swing states.

As of now, results from battleground states like Pennsylvania and Michigan might not be decided until the end of the week.


USPS Whistleblower in Michigan Claims Higher-Ups Were Engaging in Voter Fraud

According to James O'Keefe, the Office of the Inspector General for the USPS is investigating.

A United States Postal Service worker on Wednesday told Project Veritas that a supervisor named Johnathan Clarke in Traverse City, Michigan – one of the big swing states this election cycle – potentially engaged in voter fraud.

"We were issued a directive this morning to collect any ballots we find in mailboxes, collection boxes, just outgoing mail in general, separate them at the end of the day so that they could hand stamp them with the previous day's date," the whistleblower stated. "Today is November 4th for clarification."

Michigan Courts ruled that ballots had to be received by the election clerk before the polls on Election Day, which would mean 8 p.m. eastern time on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

According to the whistleblower, the ballots are in "express bags" so they could be sent to the USPS distribution center.

"In regards to a hamper, there's a standard hamper that all letter mail is supposed to go to and they had a tub next to it that we were supposed to put any ballots collected today into," the carrier stated.

The postal worker said they decided to come forward because things appeared "sketchy" and they didn't like the corruption, even though he or she is afraid of potential retaliation. The person said they want other postal workers who see similar things to come forward.

"How are we supposed to have any integrity in this county if we are just going to let things slide based on a scaling issue?" the whistleblower asked rhetorically.



It's Hazy, Man. Marijuana legalization measures pass in at least four states — NJ, AZ, SD, and MS (ABC News)

DC votes to decriminalize hallucinogenic mushrooms by wide margin (The Hill)
Oregon decriminalizes possession of hard drugs (Washington Post)

GOP Rep. Greg Gianforte wins Montana governor's race, ending 16-year Democrat streak (The Hill)

California passes Prop 22 in a major victory for Uber and Lyft (The Guardian)

Utah voted to make hunting and fishing a constitutional right (USA Today)

Trevor Noah provokes outrage by posting a video of Florida being obliterated by the Death Star (Daily Mail)

Policy: Tech hangovers: Unresolved challenges for the next administration (AEI)



Thursday, November 05, 2020

A young person who understands

Paige McCullough

From the time I was old enough to understand the simplest definition of what an election was, I have watched TV on each election night with my colored pencils and map — ready to fill in each state red or blue. I have always known that it was an important day, but I did not know the full extent to which it mattered to the rights of every American until 2020.

As a high school student having to adjust to the "new normal" of COVID-19, this year has proven to be one of the most stressful in my life thus far. What has stood out to me most is how divided our country has become. That hits especially close to home because I am the daughter of a police officer.

I have been judged for publicly speaking about how blessed I am to have a father who serves and protects my city and everyone around me. I have been judged by people who claim that they are "tolerant" — unless you are a conservative who loves our country and the people who protect it. Right?

The events occurring across our nation prove to all of us that there are two paths we can take.

I'm still too young to vote, but that doesn't mean my voice won't be heard this year. I choose to stand for the America that defends ALL of its citizens, including those who honorably protect and serve others. I choose to stand for those whose businesses and careers have been destroyed. I choose to stand for those who are judged for not agreeing with "mainstream" ideas promoted by the media and on social media. I choose to stand for those who cannot fight for themselves.


Pivotal Evangelical Voting Bloc Is ALL IN for Trump, Poll Finds

Every four years, evangelical Christians support the Republican nominee for president, and every four years, the legacy media acts surprised and outraged. Yet according to a new study, the most Spiritually Active and Governance Engaged conservative Christians (SAGE Cons) supported Donald Trump reluctantly in 2016 and are far more enthusiastic about pulling the lever for him this year. A whopping 96 percent of SAGE Cons plan to vote for Trump, while only 0.5 percent will vote for Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

“The 2020 election is not about personalities, parties, or even politics. It is an election to determine the dominant worldview in America,” Dr. George Barna, director of research at Arizona Christian University’s Cultural Research Center (CRC), said in a statement.

CRC conducted a study commissioned by the Family Research Council (FRC) in order to determine where SAGE Cons stand in the 2020 election. In 2016, a whopping 91 percent of SAGE Cons voted, and 93 percent of those who voted cast their ballots for Trump. The study predicted that the president will improve on this margin in 2020.

While SAGE Cons only represent about 9 percent of the U.S. population, they are expected to have a strong impact on the election. Slightly less politically and spiritually active conservative Christians (termed “almost SAGE Cons” or ASC) make up about 10 to 12 percent of the U.S. population, and their attitudes mirror those of SAGE Cons.

In the past four years, SAGE Cons have grown to trust and admire Trump, for whom they begrudgingly voted in 2016. In 2016, only 19 percent of them described Trump as “trustworthy,” while 63 percent described him that way this year. More SAGE Cons also describe Trump as smart (35 percent in 2016 and 76 percent in 2020), presidential (15 percent in 2016, 53 percent in 2020), and a strong leader (54 percent in 2016 and 89 percent in 2020). These Christians considered Trump “arrogant” in 2016 (59 percent), but far fewer consider him arrogant this year (33 percent).

What explains this shift? The president has a strong record on the issues SAGE Cons care about most. These Christians say that five issues most drive their votes: abortion and reproductive rights (52 percent), religious freedom in the U.S. (43 percent), federal court nominations (43 percent), crime control/law and order (26 percent), and economic growth/stability (24 percent). These evangelical Christians prioritized the same issues in 2016, and Trump has proven himself on these issues.

SAGE Cons overwhelmingly describe Trump as a “patriot” (89 percent), a “strong leader” (89 percent), “smart” (76 percent), “trustworthy” (63 percent), and “presidential” (53 percent). Almost SAGE Cons also describe Trump in such terms. Meanwhile, very few of these evangelical Christians say the same about Biden.

By contrast, more SAGE Cons describe Biden as “polarizing” (40 percent) rather than Trump (27 percent). A whopping 85 percent describe Biden as “incompetent” and 75 percent call him “mentally unstable.” Majorities also call the Democrat “too old” (60 percent), “senile” (74 percent), and a “political hack” (61 percent). Almost none of them described Trump with those terms.

Almost SAGE Cons also describe Biden in these terms, not applying them to Trump. About a third (32 percent) of SAGE Cons say Biden is “racist,” while only 1 percent said the same of Trump.

Many of these attitudes make sense. While Biden is only a few years older than Trump, the president has jetted across the country, hosting 4, 5, or 6 rallies a day, and Biden has spent many days at home, even in the critical lead-up to Election Day. Biden has also made repeated gaffes, most notoriously seeming to invent a word by slurring: “Trunalimunumaprzure.”

Biden has expressed hostility to religious freedom protections and embraced radical positions on abortion and LGBT issues. It stands to reason that evangelical Christians consider his positions radical, divisive, and not trustworthy.

Evangelical Christians may still hold some reservations about Trump’s moral character, although it seems he has not engaged in sexual misconduct in the White House (unlike Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy). Yet Joe Biden is also morally compromised by a sexual assault claim, lying about the man who got into an accident with Biden’s late wife, and his shiftiness on evidence-based claims that he was personally involved with Hunter Biden’s business deals in China.

Evangelical Christians shocked the legacy media by turning out in large numbers for Trump in 2016, helping the Republican win a close race. This year, it seems they’re likely to turn out in even greater numbers.


Brace for Impact

By Catherine Mortensen

In my newsfeed this morning I read that George Washington University in D.C. is urging students to prepare for election as they would for a hurricane or blizzard. Students are advised to stock up on at least a one-week supply of food and refill any prescriptions that may run out in the next two weeks.

A few minutes later, I got a call from my 22-year-old daughter at Utah State University north of Salt Lake City. She is scared about election night violence and riots. “People here are hoarding toilet paper again,” she said. “I’ve seen four posts on my newsfeed today warning me to “be prepared for a civil war.”

At lunch, a friend who has family in rural Idaho told me the town is forming a militia. “I heard in one meeting they were teaching the group how to slip a person’s throat,” she said. To which I responded, “Well, that escalated quickly!”

In all seriousness, Americans everywhere are on edge. And in some cases, they have good reason to be. In D.C., a group called #ShutDownDC is organizing protesters to target Republican officials and government buildings during a series of planned election-week demonstrations.The demonstrations will culminate Friday, when—based on the election results—protesters will attempt to blockade bridges, major highways, intersections, and government office buildings.

In the days leading up to the election, business owners in downtown D.C. have already begun boarding up windows to protect their stores from rioters and looters. Anti-police protesters vandalized and looted dozens of businesses this summer following George Floyd’s death.

A JL Partners-Independent poll found that 72% of voters say they’re concerned about post-election violence. A YouGov survey says 56% of voters expect such unrest after Nov. 3. And a group of scholars who wrote an op-ed for Politico earlier this month said their research shows that about one in three Americans who identify as Democrat or Republican believe violence could be justified to advance their party’s political goals – a substantial increase over the last three years.

“We are increasingly anxious that this country is headed toward the worst post-election crisis in a century and a half,” they wrote.

In anticipation of election day, elected officials in cities around the country are preemptively proposing similar measures like restoring curfews and working to close off streets, while police departments across the country are advising businesses to secure their properties.

The boarding-up of businesses has become a regular occurrence in D.C., with many businesses and federal offices in the District now going behind plywood for the third time this year. The police department is preparing by purchasing $130,000 of tear gas. President Trump has moved his Election Day celebration from his hotel to the White House where he will be protected by concentric rings of security barriers. This week crews put in an additional barrier, a “non-scalable fence. ”

I went to D.C. to check it out for myself. I parked 3 blocks west of the White House and as I walked toward it, I passed building after building boarded up. It was nearly impossible to see the White House through all the fences and barricades now surrounding it. Four secret service officers on bicycles passed me as I watched crews prepare the grounds outside the White House for the National Christmas Tree. The city around the White House was eerily quiet. The calm before the storm, perhaps.

It’s not right that businesses in our nation’s capital should be boarded up or that college students should be stocking up on food and medicines. BLM and Antifa thugs are holding our cities hostage, threatening violence if the election doesn’t go their way. This is outrageous and unacceptable.

If we are to remain a free people, we must take back our cities by restoring law and order. Only one candidate has promised to do that, Donald Trump. We need him to win, and to win decisively.


Democrats have outsmarted themselves on mail-in voting

A sickening feeling is spreading among some of the smarter Democrats that they have royally screwed up their election strategy. The plan that seemed so smart, once they realized that COVID was a golden opportunity to distract from President Trump's massive foreign policy and economic triumphs, is backfiring.

The plan, in short, was to terrorize Americans with fear porn over the purported dangers of COVID (despite it being 99%+ survivable for all but those over 70, and despite huge progress in therapeutics driving the survival rate even higher), while emphasizing mail-in voting for their base. Republicans, they thought, could be discouraged from in-person voting on Election Day, and with compliant state governors, A.G.s, and secretaries of state extending deadlines for mail-in votes, the margin of victory could be manufactured in the days afterward.

In a series of tweets, Larry Schweikart laid out the plan and why it is collapsing:

Several things began to severely damage that plan. First, the GOP won 11/14 court cases, with the remaining 3 likely headed to the USSC. Most of these drastically limited the time and/or conditions under which these votes can be counted and for how long.

Then the anvil fell. RBG died. That meant that there would be NO appeals related to fraud that could succeed.

At around the same time, President Trump got the China Virus, overcame it, & showed that we do not have to walk in constant terror.

This meant that the Ds would be heavily voted out by election day, but also that whoever was still available would have to vote under a cloud of terror

This strategy also dramatically damaged their ability to use fraud, because


Rs (and the world) could tell how many ballots were outstanding. It made it harder to keep from "calling" a state" early.

It also worked against the election day chaos in which DemoKKKrats could "find" votes. With a more orderly (and much smaller) flow of people at a given time, it made it harder for one or two ballot-counters "on the take" to work their magic.

But now the pollsters were also stuck with the failed initial strategy showing Biteme up by a million. They had no legitimate way of bringing polls into even remotely normal ranges.

And, like 2016, the pollsters & DemoKKKrats gave their hapless followers false hope. Like 2016, this will boil over in new waves of anger when Trump wins. And he will win. Bigly.



Wednesday, November 04, 2020

White evangelicals want a puncher, not a preacher, in the Oval Office

Earlier this year at a huge "Evangelicals for Trump" rally in Miami, Florida, a pastor welcomed the President by shouting a prayer that sounded like the introduction to a heavyweight title bout: "Lord I thank you," he bellowed. "America did not need a preacher in the Oval Office, did not need a professional politician in the office. It needed a fighter and a champion for freedom and Lord that's exactly what we have." Cheers of adoration resounded.

This moment captured much of what is complex, confusing and disturbing about the highly politicised religious landscape of America today and the bearing it will have on the presidential election. Eighty-one per cent of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and that figure looks like holding. That statistic is the accentuation of a pattern that has existed since the 1980s when an alliance emerged in the Republican Party between big business, populism and the religious right.

You can't understand America without understanding its religion and that, you might say, is something of a riddle. The non-conformist origins of the US spawned a bewildering array of denominations and expressions of belief. Even the term "evangelical" means so many different things depending on who is using it. Traditionally it signified a devout faith that, as historian David Bebbington describes it, prioritises conversion, the Bible and a personal relationship with God. But in popular usage today it most often simply means "politically conservative Christian".

The Republican Party has most successfully captured those who self-identify as evangelical. (That's if the person is white. Black protestants, themselves often theologically conservative, reliably vote Democrat to the tune of nine to one). The widely held perception among believers is that the Democratic Party has become secularised to the point where there is no room for the specific commitments of religious adherents.

Andy Crouch, former editor of Christianity Today Magazine, a leading evangelical publication, believes the brutally contested nature of contemporary American politics signifies something much deeper than the surface issues surrounding presidential elections and the appointment of Supreme Court judges.

"The best word I can think of is respect or recognition," he tells me. "The recognition of parts of our society that feel very unseen, or when seen, feel held in contempt … And the people who feel least respected and feel least included by the systems and institutions of American life … are looking for someone to validate them, and say, I see you. I recognise you. You matter." Crouch says this is by no means limited to religious people but says all kinds of groups who feel left behind in American life are looking for someone in their corner.

When it comes to evangelicalism as a cultural and historical movement, Kristen Kobes Du Mez, author of Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation believes this desire for a strong leader to offer protection and power has led to a distorted faith that favours rugged masculinity, of the John Wayne-type, alongside a misplaced Christian nationalism. "Love your enemies" and "turn the other cheek" can start to sound a bit awkward in such an environment. "Jesus becomes the warrior Christ and he's going to slay his enemies," says Du Mez. "And so they actually change the Jesus of the gospels to fit this ideal and in doing so, I argue, change Christianity itself."

A figure like Donald Trump fits perfectly the image of tough masculine protector uninhibited by virtues of kindness or self-control.

But not all believers buy it. Christians against Trumpism and Political Extremism is a recently birthed movement of influential Christian leaders who are calling for an end to the poisonous rhetoric and "extreme and dangerous methods of civic engagement" they see as characteristic of the current administration. The movement says it stands against political extremism of both "left" and "right" that uses "violence, chaos and degrading language", seeking instead justice, truth and unity.

It remains to be seen exactly what role religious communities will play in the election. But Christianity at its best centres on its founder who defied easy categorisation – being socially conservative and politically radical, as he was.


From Tiffany to Target, stores are boarding up windows in case of election unrest

Retailers in Democrat cities are boarding up shops in preparation for a Democrat election loss. Lefties know they are the violent ones

Retailers across the US are stepping up security measures to try to head off any damages to their stores during election-related protests in the coming days. Tiffany, Saks Fifth Avenue, CVS, Target and Macy's are among the chains that are boarding up some of their stores' windows in preparation.

"While we intend to remain open where possible, out of an abundance of caution the windows of select stores in key cities will be boarded in anticipation of potential election related activity," said Nathan Strauss, spokesperson for Tiffany.

Stores around the US were damaged this summer, and merchandise was stolen during protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Retailers are hoping to prevent this from happening again.
CVS said it is boarding up stores in areas where they have been damaged by unrest in the past. Stores where windows are covered "will continue to be open to serve customers as long as it is safe to do so," said CVS spokesperson Mike DeAngelis.

Tom Buiocchi, CEO of ServiceChannel, an online platform that connects retailers with local contractors, said 750 stores have requested orders on the platform to board up their windows around the country since October 27, with the most in California, New York and Illinois.


My Kid Has Cancer and ObamaCare Is Making Everything Worse

‘Before ObamaCare went into effect, the private marketplace offered us a wide range of relatively inexpensive plans.’

Joe Biden has been running an ad in which he says he can’t imagine what it would be like to have a child with cancer and no health coverage. I don’t have to imagine. Under the health “reform” championed by Biden when he served as President Barack Obama’s vice president, I live that reality every day.

Twice over the past three years, ObamaCare has had no plans to sell us that covers little girls ravaged by cancer or recovering from that ordeal—and it might leave us floundering again.

In November 2015, my wife got the most dreadful call a parent can get. The doctor knew why our daughter Colette, then 2 ½ years old, hadn’t been feeling well: Blood work had revealed leukemia.

Thanks to ObamaCare, we were already in financial straits. In 2014, the law had eliminated a great plan we had had for years. Before ObamaCare went into effect, the private marketplace offered us a wide menu of relatively inexpensive plans that covered specialist care, even out of state.

Afterward, however, all that was left were increasingly costly plans with fewer benefits. Premiums swelled. In 2017, I took my family into the ObamaCare marketplace to escape at least the crushing premiums.

But things were about to get much worse than expensive. In mid-2017, President Trump merely suggested scrapping massive ObamaCare subsidies to insurance giants that only delivered lousy care at ever-greater cost. In response, every insurer in northern Virginia with a family plan pulled out for the following year.

That is, except one. But Cigna Connect wouldn’t cover Colette at Inova Fairfax, the one hospital in the region with a pediatric cancer ward. Under ObamaCare, our daughter was effectively without coverage for cancer.

Panicked, we called the politicians, the media and Cigna. We retained an attorney. Nothing changed. No full policy coverage from Cigna. Without options, I shut down part of my consulting business and started work at a friend’s organization for its group insurance—and got saddled with monthly premiums far in excess of what we could afford.

Thanks to the publicity and some strong-arming by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Cigna agreed to cover the hospital—but it was too late for us. Then, for 2020, we purchased a better plan from Anthem, newly returned to the ObamaCare marketplace. We thought we might be done with insurance crises.

How naïve. In mid-March, with the novel coronavirus sweeping the country, Colette’s cancer doctors told us Anthem had decided that, in two weeks, it would no longer cover her clinic. Once again, thanks to ObamaCare, we were left without coverage for our daughter recovering from cancer.

Perhaps the marketplace would grant us a waiver to buy the Cigna plan still for sale in our ZIP code? Nope. So, like in 2017, we were forced to turn to Warner, to bully Anthem into its covering the clinic—at least through April 1, 2021.

After that? Who knows.

Open enrollment for next year starts Nov. 1. I could beg Warner to gear up for another round of veiled threats to a private company, to force one to cover us. Perhaps President Trump could issue an executive order prohibiting the insurance companies from pulling out of the market midyear, leaving children stranded.

But none of these is the right long-term answer. We must repeal ObamaCare and put into the hands of Americans real, automatically renewable insurance products curated to individual needs. Too many Colettes will suffer, and possibly die, waiting for the personal carve-outs only a few of us can ever get anyway.

To solve the inherent instability of ObamaCare, the state could just take over all medical facilities. It’s called single-payer. But then we would all be at the mercy of the same government bureaucracy that has been working for years to slowly kill my daughter.

And that has taught us a lesson. Turns out there is a nightmare worse than one’s watching cancer brutalize one’s little girl. It’s having Obama’s law—which his vice president rightly claims as his own—collude with the disease against her.

Mr. Biden, you might try imagining what that feels like.


Does vitamin D protect against COVID-19?

Recent studies have found a link between low vitamin D levels and an increased risk of COVID-19 infection, but they don't prove that the vitamin is protective.

In the absence of a COVID-19 cure or vaccine, scientists are investigating whether vitamin D can reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection or the severity of the disease. Indeed, the idea of taking a vitamin to ward off COVID-19 infection certainly is appealing.

But although some recent studies have suggested a link between low vitamin D levels and a higher risk of catching the disease, experts say it's not enough to prove that vitamin D itself protects against the disease, or if other factors are playing a role.

One study, published Sept. 3 in JAMA Network Open, found that the risk of COVID-19 infection in people with vitamin D deficiency was nearly two times higher than in people with sufficient levels of the vitamin. Another study, published Oct. 27 in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, found that hospitalized COVID-19 patients had higher rates of vitamin D deficiency than a control group of patients who didn't have COVID-19 but whose vitamin D status was measured pre-pandemic.

These associations don't prove that vitamin D deficiency causes increased COVID-19 risk, said Adrian Martineau, who studies respiratory infections and immunity at Queen Mary University of London, and , who was not involved with either study. "But it's suggestive and it's enough to justify doing further research to find out whether or not there is a true cause-effect relationship," Martineau told Live Science.

A protective effect?

There are several reasons to hypothesize that vitamin D might reduce COVID-19 risk, Martineau said. Vitamin D has been shown to boost the immune system's response to viruses and dampen its inflammatory response; an excessive inflammatory response characterizes severe COVID-19 cases, he said.

According to a meta-analysis by Martineau, first published in 2017 in the journal BMJ and updated to include more recent studies this July on the preprint server medRxiv, vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of acute respiratory tract infections in general compared with a placebo. (However, the meta-analysis did not include studies about COVID-19.)

Additionally, there's an overlap between the groups of people with higher risk of vitamin D deficiency, such as older people and people with darker skin, and those at higher risk for COVID-19, Martineau said. "People put two and two together and thought, 'Well, this is quite a striking coincidence, if it is indeed a coincidence.".

An earlier study published May 6 in the journal Aging Clinical and Experimental Research found that in 20 European countries, the lower the average vitamin D levels, the higher the rate of coronavirus cases and deaths were for a given country.

Still, not all studies have suggested a protective effect. A study published May 7 in the journal Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome found no statistically significant association between vitamin D levels and COVID-19 risk once the researchers took into account other factors that could affect COVID-19 risk.



The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a top swing-state newspaper, hasn't endorsed a Republican in almost 50 years — but is backing Trump now (The Blaze)

Twitter restores New York Post account — and all it took was a Senate hearing (Washington Times)

Trump adviser Jason Miller hints legal battle to stop Dems from stealing the election (Washington Examiner)

Biden pledges to "collaborate" with the Chinese Communist Party (Free Beacon)

Scranton Joe's final Philly gaffe: says he's wearing an Eagles jacket, but it's a Delaware Blue Hens jacket (Washington Examiner)

Biden staffers can't stop calling Kamala "the next president" (Post Millennial)

Facebook removes 29K-member pro-Trump group, reinstates after Trump blasts on Twitter (Disrn)

Boston Globe columnist suggests no "difference" between Trump supporters and ISIS (Fox News)

Gavin Newsom sends kids back to class at fancy private school while public schools remain closed (Daily Wire)

Walmart reverses decision to remove guns and ammo (The Hill)

Study finds 20% of grocery workers had coronavirus, most without symptoms (New York Post)

Kyle Rittenhouse, dubiously charged with killing two Kenosha protesters, extradited to Wisconsin (NBC News)

Fraudster attempts to register dead Americans as Democrat voters in Florida (Fox News)

U.S. Postal Service likely lost thousands of Pennsylvania mail-in ballots (Free Beacon)

So close: Alyssa Milano dresses as RBG for Halloween, misspells name. Deletes and reposts. Misspells name again. Deletes. (Daily Wire)



Tuesday, November 03, 2020

‘Hermit nation’: World’s astonishment at Australia’s response to COVID-19

The NYT has oversimplified, as one would expect. It was only the State of Victoria that had severe lockdowns and a significant death toll (819). In my home State of Queensland deaths were negligible (6) and there were few everyday restrictions. I live my life pretty much as I ever did

Even in Victoria however there is a huge contrast with Europe and the USA in the death rate. Deaths in Victoria seem to have ceased now in fact. As I read of the huge difficulties elsewhere in the world, I feel I am living in an oasis of civilization

The world is flabbergasted by Australia's response to COVID-19, but one major newspaper reckons strict rules have turned us into a “hermit nation”.

Articles published internationally over the weekend highlighted Australia's monumental success, reporting that Saturday was the first day of no community transmission cases of virus in 145 days.

The New York Times ran a piece saying Australians now embrace the isolation they tried to escape for so long, but that our rules are so strict they’ve essentially turned us into a “hermit nation”.

The author wrote that our rules were so strict they “seem like something out of China or North Korea”.

“The virus has turned this outgoing nation into a hermit. Australia’s borders are closed, internationally and between several states.” the author wrote.

“Rather than chafing against isolation, though, Australians these days are more willing to smile in the mirror. Island living looks like a privilege when the world is pestilent. “

American current events opinion website Business Insider said we had an advantage over most countries from the start.

“It’s an island with relatively low population density,” they wrote. “But its rules were still far stricter than in many other countries.”

With Victoria reporting another day of zero cases on Sunday, it appears the state is on track to easing restrictions this coming weekend.

More rules are set to be scrapped on November 8, including the 25km travel radius for Melburnians, and now it has been revealed that even more restrictions could be eased than previously thought.

Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said on Sunday that some of the rules around gatherings could also be changed on November 8.

“We can always make consideration of what the caps might be in certain settings, what the density quotients might be and some of the specific industries that might come on board in terms of being able to operate,” he said.

Australia’s success comes amid sharp rises across the rest of the globe.

The US reported 99,321 new Covid-19 cases today – the highest single day number of cases recorded for any country to date. It marks an alarming jump of almost 11,000 more cases compared to yesterday.

Meanwhile the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a national lockdown after passing one million coronavirus cases, and France is recording around 50,000 new cases daily.


Eastern Europe Fights for Its Life Against a Virus It Thought It Had Crushed

The leaders of seven eastern European countries who gathered in Bled, Slovenia, at the end of August were so certain they’d overcome the coronavirus that they staged a panel called “Europe after Brexit and Covid-19.”

Less than two months later, that confidence has been shattered. Despite having beaten back the initial wave with some of Europe’s fastest and strictest lockdowns, countries from the Baltic to the Black Sea are suffering an explosion of new cases.

Their early advantage squandered, governments across the region are struggling with the same issues as their western counterparts -- or often worse.

Soaring death tolls and a spate of high-profile infections are eroding trust and feeding into a communist-era tradition of skirting rules, exacerbating the crisis.

Field hospitals are popping up as the virus threatens to overwhelm health-care systems and measures that devastated economies this spring are returning..“The coming months, quarters -- I hope it isn’t years -- will be the toughest Poland has faced in decades,” Polish Premier Mateusz Morawiecki told parliament last week.

Morawiecki was on stage at Bled along with leaders from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia. Since then, coronavirus cases have more than tripled in Poland to exceed a quarter of a million on Monday. Deaths there more than doubled to 4,438, according to the World Health Organization.

And it’s not even the region’s worst-hit country. The Czechs now lead the European Union both in new cases and deaths per capita, followed by Hungary.

It didn’t start that way. When Slovakia reported just five cases of the virus on March 9, its capital Bratislava closed elementary schools. Within a week, the Czechs shut schools and banned public gatherings, Hungary declared a state of emergency and Serbia postponed elections.

All of that happened before France closed its schools, even though it had recorded more than 3,000 cases and 79 fatalities.

It was a textbook plan to fight a pandemic: Eastern European governments shut borders, shops and factories and imposed social-distancing restrictions.

With the virus raging in Italy, the U.S. and the U.K., newspaper headlines in the continent’s former communist half declared sympathy while boasting of their countries’ resilience and wisdom in following rules.

That resolve melted in the summer and millions went on holiday abroad as soon as borders reopened. Those who stayed home thronged beer gardens, mountain huts and national parks.

Hoping to rebuild after the lockdowns decimated economies and to save key industries such as tourism, politicians urged people to get back out and spend. Having opened the state’s coffers to help businesses and furloughed workers, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, Hungary’s Viktor Orban and other leaders vowed that even if the virus returned, they’d avoid strict lockdowns.

Leaders in Western Europe are experiencing a similar sense of dismay. Italy and Spain, had sworn off any second lockdowns. Looking at the situation getting exponentially worse with their eastern neighbors, they too are coming to terms with the idea of whether they also declared victory too soon.

By mid-September, the number of new daily cases in the Czech Republic exceeded those in Germany, a country with almost eight times as many people. They did in Poland too, where President Andrzej Duda won a second term after his allies in the government had to postpone elections.

He’s now quarantining after testing positive for the disease.Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov -- another Bled attendee -- is also convalescing with Covid-19, which is on track to kill as many people in his country in September and October as in the first six months of the pandemic combined.

Governments, however, are reluctant to return to the playbook that served them so well in the spring, or to tap into what the pandemic has taught the world in the past seven months.

Their mixed messaging, along with frequent rule-breaking by leaders, has spread public doubt about the effectiveness of restrictions. That’s especially dangerous in a region where people spent decades circumventing official decrees under communist governments, according to Jan Hartl, chairman of the Prague-based researcher the STEM Institute.

“People in former communist countries perceive authorities differently than citizens in the West,” he said. “They intuitively rebel against strict orders from the government since they intuitively consider them stupid. That’s a heritage of totalitarianism.”

At the weekend, as Czech soldiers completed a 500-bed field hospital near a shopping mall in the Prague suburb of Letnany, images flooded media of throngs at a farmers’ market in the city center


The Great American Recovery: Third Quarter GDP Blows Past Expectations

After releasing his plan to reopen America safely in April, President Trump remarked that prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, the United States had “built the greatest economy anywhere in the world . . . and we’re going to build it again.”

At that time, the consensus among economic forecasters was that pandemic-induced lockdowns would result in a sharp economic contraction in the second quarter, and that the economy would experience tepid growth in the third quarter as it slowly clawed back pandemic losses. But because of the President’s pro-growth policies that set a strong pre-pandemic foundation—and the extraordinary speed and scale of the Administration’s support for America’s families and businesses—our nation’s recovery continues to exceed expectations.

This morning’s release of U.S. GDP for the third quarter of 2020 from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) affirms President Trump’s statement that “we’re coming back, and we’re coming back strong.”

The BEA estimates that real GDP grew 7.4 percent (33.1 percent at an annual rate) in the third quarter, the largest single quarter of economic growth on record and roughly twice the prior record of 3.9 percent (16.7 percent at an annual rate) set in the first quarter of 1950. This growth follows the most severe pandemic-induced contraction on record in the second quarter of 2020, which occurred as the government mandatorily shut down all but nonessential services, and Americans made sacrifices to slow the pandemic.

With the historic third-quarter growth, the United States in a single quarter has now recovered two-thirds of the economic output lost due to the pandemic during the first half of the year (Figure 1). In the recovery from the 2008-09 recession, it took 4 times as long to regain the same share of lost economic output.


Las Vegas Oddsmaker Announces Final Prediction: Trump Electoral Landslide Coming

It's all there. All the cards fell into place. Liberals and the biased and bribed mainstream media are just too blind to see it.

It's Donald Trump's win over Hillary Clinton all over again. It's George H.W. Bush overcoming a 17-point deficit to beat Michael Dukakis all over again. It's the final days of Ronald Reagan versus Jimmy Carter, when all of America broke for Reagan at the same time.

At this moment, if you're not blind, deaf or very dumb, it's clear that in these final days up to the election, a majority of American voters, certainly crucial voters in battleground states, are breaking to reelect President Trump.

It's all adding up to a Trump electoral landslide.

And I'm not just talking about tightening polls, the few polls that show Trump actually in the lead or battleground states where Trump is outperforming his numbers from his race against Clinton four years ago.

Much more importantly, I'm talking early-voting numbers. Trump is doing extraordinarily well in early voting in Florida, Nevada, Iowa, North Carolina and Arizona. Trump and Republicans are outkicking the coverage. In other words, they're kicking the Democrats' butts -- with the physical votes on Election Day still to come. And we all know Republicans rule on Election Day.

If Florida is representative of battleground states all over the country, Trump is about to win both the Florida popular vote and an electoral landslide. Democrats are panicking in Florida and all over the country.

Trafalgar Group, which ran the most accurate state-by-state poll of 2016 by factoring in the "shy Trump voters" (people afraid to tell a stranger on the phone they support Trump), shows Trump taking the lead this week in Florida, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Rasmussen shows Trump's approval rating at 52%, five points better than former President Barack Obama's at this same time in 2012 when he was heading for reelection victory.

On Friday, Poll Watch came out with its electoral map, which shows a Trump landslide of 312 electoral votes to 226.



Monday, November 02, 2020

A contagion of hatred and hysteria: SUNETRA GUPTA tells how she has been intimidated and shamed for backing shielding instead of lockdown

(Professor Sunetra Gupta is an infectious disease epidemiologist and a professor of theoretical epidemiology at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford)

Lockdown is a blunt, indiscriminate policy that forces the poorest and most vulnerable people to bear the brunt of the fight against coronavirus. As an infectious diseases epidemiologist, I believe there has to be a better way.

That is why, earlier this month, with two other international scientists, I co-authored a proposal for an alternative approach — one that shields those most at risk while enabling the rest of the population to resume their ordinary lives to some extent.

I expected debate and disagreement about our ideas, published as the Great Barrington Declaration.

As a scientist, I would welcome that. After all, science progresses through its ideas and counter-ideas.

But I was utterly unprepared for the onslaught of insults, personal criticism, intimidation and threats that met our proposal. The level of vitriol and hostility, not just from members of the public online but from journalists and academics, has horrified me.

I am not a politician. The hurly-burly of political life and being in the eye of the media do not appeal to me at all.

I am first and foremost a scientist; one who is far more comfortable sitting in my office or laboratory than in front of a television camera.

Of course, I do have deeply held political ideals — ones that I would describe as inherently Left-wing. I would not, it is fair to say, normally align myself with the Daily Mail.

I have strong views about the distribution of wealth, about the importance of the Welfare State, about the need for publicly owned utilities and government investment in nationalised industries.

But Covid-19 is not a political phenomenon. It is a public health issue — indeed, it is one so serious that the response to it has already led to a humanitarian crisis. So I have been aghast to see a political rift open up, with outright abuse meted out to those who, like me, question the orthodoxy.

At the heart of our proposal is the recognition that mass lockdowns cause enormous damage. We are already seeing how current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health.

The results — to name just a few — include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health.

Such pitfalls of national lockdowns must not be ignored, especially when it is the working class and younger members of society who carry the heaviest burden.

I was also deeply concerned that lockdowns only delay the inevitable spread of the virus. Indeed, we believe that a better way forward would be to target protective measures at specific vulnerable groups, such as the elderly in care homes.

Of course, there will be challenges, such as where people are being cared for in their own multi-generational family homes.

I am certainly not pretending I have all the answers, but these issues need to be discussed and thrashed out thoroughly.

That is why I have found it so frustrating how, in recent weeks, proponents of lockdown policies have seemed intent on shutting down debate rather than promoting reasoned discussion.

It is perplexing to me that so many refuse even to consider the potential benefits of allowing non-vulnerable citizens, such as the young, to go about their lives and risk infection, when in doing so they would build up herd immunity and thereby protect the lives of vulnerable citizens.

Yet rather than engage in serious, rational discussion with us, our critics have dismissed our ideas as ‘pixie dust’ and ‘wishful thinking’.

This refusal to cherish the value of the scientific method strikes at the heart of everything I, as a scientist, hold dear. To me, the reasoned exchange of ideas is the basis of civilised society.

So I was left stunned after being invited on to a mid-morning radio programme recently, only for a producer to warn me minutes before we went on air that I was not to mention the Great Barrington Declaration. The producer repeated the warning and indicated that this was an instruction from a senior broadcasting executive.

I demanded an explanation and, with seconds to go, was told that the public wouldn’t be familiar with the meaning of the phrase ‘Great Barrington Declaration’.

And this was not an isolated experience. A few days later, another national radio station approached my office to set up an interview, then withdrew the invitation. They felt, on reflection, that giving airtime to me would ‘not be in the national interest’.

But the Great Barrington Declaration represents a heartfelt attempt by a group of academics with decades of experience in this field to limit the harm of lockdown. I cannot conceive how anyone can construe this as ‘against the national interest’.

Moreover, matters certainly are not helped by outlets such as The Guardian, which has repeatedly published opinion pieces making factually incorrect and scientifically flawed statements, as well as borderline defamatory comments about me, while refusing to give our side of the debate an opportunity to present our view.

I am surprised, given the importance of the issues at stake — not least the principle of fair, balanced journalism — that The Guardian would not want to present all the evidence to its readers. After all, how else are we to encourage proper, frank debate about the science?

On social media, meanwhile, much of the discourse has lacked any decorum whatsoever.

I have all but stopped using Twitter, but I am aware that a number of academics have taken to using it to make personal attacks on my character, while my work is dismissed as ‘pseudo- science’. Depressingly, our critics have also taken to ridiculing the Great Barrington Declaration as ‘fringe’ and ‘dangerous’.

But ‘fringe’ is a ridiculous word, implying that only mainstream science matters. If that were the case, science would stagnate. And dismissing us as ‘dangerous’ is equally unhelpful, not least because it is an inflammatory, emotional term charged with implications of irresponsibility. When it is hurled around by people with influence, it becomes toxic.

But this pandemic is an international crisis. To shut down the discussion with abuse and smears — that is truly dangerous.

Yet of all the criticisms flung at us, the one I find most upsetting is the accusation that we are indulging in ‘policy-based evidence-making’ — in other words, drumming up facts to fit our ideological agenda.

And that ideology, according to some, is one of Right-wing libertarian extremism.

According to Wikipedia, for instance, the Great Barrington Declaration was funded by a Right-wing think-tank with links to climate-change deniers.

It should be obvious to anyone that writing a short proposal and posting it on a website requires no great financing. But let me spell it out, since, apparently, I have to: I did not accept payment to co-author the Great Barrington Declaration.

Money has never been the motivation in my career. It hurts me profoundly that anyone who knows me, or has even a passing professional acquaintance, could believe for a minute that I would accept a clandestine payment for anything.

I am very fortunate to have a house and garden I love, and I couldn’t ask for more material wealth than that. Far more important to me are my family and my work. Yet the abuse continues to flood in, increasingly of a personal nature.

I have been accused of not having the right expertise, of being a ‘theoretical’ epidemiologist with her head in the clouds. In fact, within my research group, we have a thriving laboratory that was one of the first to develop an antibody test for the coronavirus.

We were able to do so because we have been working for the past six years on a flu vaccine, using a combination of laboratory and theoretical techniques. Our technology has already been patented and licensed and presents a rare example of a mathematical model leading to the development of a vaccine.

Even more encouraging, however, is that there is now a groundswell of movements — Us For Them, PanData19 and The Price of Panic, to name but three — seeking to give a voice to those, like me, who believe that the collateral damage of lockdown can be worse than the virus itself.

On Thursday, a broad coalition was launched under the banner of Recovery. Drawing people from across the mainstream of political views, the movement is calling for balance and moderation in our response to Covid-19, backed by a proper public debate and a comprehensive public inquiry.

I am delighted that it has received such a level of support.

For, ultimately, lockdown is a luxury of the affluent; something that can be afforded only in wealthy countries — and even then, only by the better-off households in those countries.

One way to go about shifting our perspective would be to catalogue all the ways in which lockdowns across the world are damaging societies. At present, I am collaborating with a number of colleagues to do just this, under the banner .

For the simple truth is that Covid-19 will not just go away if we continue to impose enough meaningless restrictions on ourselves. And the longer we fail to recognise this, the worse will be the permanent economic damage — the brunt of which, again, will be borne by the disadvantaged and the young.

When I signed the Great Barrington Declaration on October 4, I did so with fellow scientists to express our view that national lockdowns won’t cure us of Covid.

Clearly, none of us anticipated such a vitriolic response. The abuse that has followed has been nothing short of shameful.

But rest assured. Whatever they throw at us, it won’t do anything to sway me — or my colleagues — from the principles that sit behind what we wrote.


Too little, too late: Bernie Sanders slams the Democratic Party for becoming the 'party of rich, coastal elites' and ignoring working-class people for many years

In an appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers, Sanders criticized the party from getting off track when it comes to meeting the needs of working class people.

Seth Meyers seemed to be in agreement, acknowledging that the party has gotten away from America's working class, to which Sanders nodded in agreement.

Meyers then asked Sanders what former Vice President Biden could do to 'bring the Democratic Party back to serving the working people in this country' if he won the election.

'I think it is fair to say that in many ways the Democratic Party has become a party of the coastal elites, folks who have a lot of money, upper-middle-class people who are good people, who believe in social justice in many respects,' Sanders said, Newsweek reports.

'But I think for many, many years the Democratic Party has not paid the kind of attention to working-class needs that they should've.'

Party demographics have shifted as more donors and businesses fund campaigns, Sanders asserted. He then stressed the need for Democrats in Congress to 'start bursting out of the blocs in an effort to protect working people.'

Sanders emphasized the importance of passing a 'very substantive' coronavirus bill that was similar to the one passed in March by Congress.

Under the Vermont politician's proposal, the weekly $600 payment that supplemented state unemployment benefits would be extended and an additional $1,200 would be given to individuals and families.

Sanders also stressed the need for the government to provide health care to anyone who might have lost it and to provide aid to cities so that they don't have to furlough or lay off workers.

The senator also voiced his support for raising the minimum wage to at least $15 while making it easier for workers to join unions. He also advocated for women to receive equal pay for their work, compared to their male counterparts.

'If the Democratic Party does not stand firmly for working families and have the courage to take on the drug companies and the insurance companies and the big money interests, shame on them,' Sanders said.



Sunday, November 01, 2020

There’s No Going Back To ‘Normal’ After Trump. The Republican Party Is Changed Forever

No more cringing before the Left

Donald Trump is not a Republican. He never was before, and he is not one now. As the nation speeds toward Nov. 3, members of the GOP have been all over the board with predictions about the outcome, but some prominent Republicans have been consistently negative about Trump’s prospects and even hopeful for his defeat.

Peggy Noonan penned an archetypal anti-Trump article this month, titled “Biden, Pence and the Wish for Normalcy.” Noonan mused almost longingly that America might be headed toward an unprecedented landslide in favor of Joe Biden. If this happens, she said, one of the primary reasons will simply be “that [Biden] is normal … and people miss normal so much.”

Noonan, like many Republicans who don’t like Trump, wants to go back to normal. The reality is we are never going back to “normal.” The old Republican Party is dead. Trump made a new party, and that is the party of the future.

The Old GOP Is Dead

In 2016, Trump hijacked the Republican Party. Although he was billed as Republican, the support propelling him to victory was a new configuration of the electorate. Many mainstream Republicans still don’t understand this, but no other GOP candidate was going to win in 2016. Trump won because he was not actually a Republican.

Both the Republican and the Democratic parties are in the midst of internal civil wars. The extreme left wing of the Democratic Party is hurtling toward socialism and the destruction not only of statues but of American values and the fundamental principles of this country. Indeed, the escalating rhetoric currently employed by the left historically does not just silence dissent, it eventually seeks to eliminate the dissenters. America is in a struggle not only for its identity, but for its life.

While the left remakes itself, Republicans are engaged in their own struggle. When Trump won the White House, many of the anti-Trumpers of the Republican Party pivoted on a dime. For most, it wasn’t a unity move, but a power play for survival. Trump won, so the GOP decided to ride that wave. They stacked the White House with their people, promoted mainstream Republicans toward presidential appointments, and benefited as best they could from the electoral upset, but they never coalesced behind Trump or his new party’s plan for American renewal.

Both the NeverTrumpers and the “ReluctantTrumpers” are hell-bent on holding out until Trump is out of office to return to the “normal” times for which Noonan yearns. What all Republicans need to realize is that the party, as it was, is dead. Its leaders lost the GOP’s soul by following globalist policies and pursuing their personal wealth at the expense of the American people.

While those Republicans were busy chasing their own interests and melding into a ruling elite in Washington, the country, and indeed the world, changed. What has come to be in the GOP’s stead, and what will continue to develop, is a new party. Trump is not a fluke president. He unified a movement and formed a new party that will continue on, even after he leaves office.

The Party of Trump Isn’t All Republicans

The makeup of Trump’s party is new. He didn’t win in 2016 only by motivating greater Republican turnout. Trump flipped voters, pulling them from across the aisle. This excerpt from a Wall Street Journal article provides a striking example:

‘What happened in 2016 is [Trump] got a great many people who had supported Barack Obama and Democrats in the past to vote for him,’ Republican strategist Whit Ayres told me earlier this week by phone. ‘Trumbull County in northeast Ohio is my classic example. Obama beat [Mitt] Romney there by 22 percentage points. Trump beat [Hillary] Clinton there by seven — a 29-percentage-point turnaround. So it was far more changing the allegiance of existing voters rather than generating a substantial turnout of new voters.’

Making this even more clear, after one of his recent rallies in Florida, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel reported that “31.8% [of attendees] were NOT Republicans. 16.3% were Democrat. 24.4% did not vote in 2016. 14.4% did not vote in the last 4 elections.”

Trump’s new party cuts across traditional party lines and draws from every socioeconomic stratum in America. Although Trump’s base remains the strong conservatives who once vitalized the old Republican Party, he has attracted new voters among blue-collar Democrats, immigrants, and minorities. What are the core values of this new Party of Trump?

The “Make America Great Again” slogan captures the spirit that unites these people. Trump’s party retains the core family values of the old GOP but with an additional and robust focus on economic nationalism, strong sovereignty and national security, and smart foreign policy. The people in Trump’s party are risk-takers and wealth-builders, and they truly live the American ideals of independence and free thought.

Trump’s “Promises Made, Promises Kept” theme is a direct rebuke to the years of betrayal by Washington elites, years of big social and economic pledges from politicians on the campaign trail followed by inaction toward those promises or disloyalty to those principles following a successful election. The Party of Trump isn’t interested in politicians who just talk, or even those who merely take some action. This new party wants someone who will deliver.

Never Trumpers Want Their Sinecures Secured

The people who oppose Trump have something in common too. They are predominantly takers. They don’t build; instead, they want the safe route to success. This type of person can also be found in every stratum of society, from politicians like Joe Biden and Mitt Romney, to the middle-class people with safe corporate jobs who have no skin in the game, to the poor who would rather get a handout than a hand up.

The NeverTrumpers within the Republican Party are working hard against the president and his coalition. Just last week, the New York Times highlighted the organized elements of this insurgency in an article titled “The Crowded, Competitive World of Anti-Trump GOP Groups.” Leading the pack are the Lincoln Project, founded by Rick Wilson, George Conway, and their ilk, and Reclaim Our Party, a super PAC run by Greg Schott, “who sold his business software company to Salesforce in 2018 for a reported $6.5 billion” and has poured $1 million into targeted ads trying to convince soft Republicans to vote against Trump.

The type of Republican who does not believe in Trump does not understand how the world has changed and cannot face the crisis we are in now. In addition to those like Noonan, who yearn for a long-abandoned sense of normalcy, they commonly come in one of two other flavors: the corrupt self-interested and the weak. Many of these figures want politics to revert to its former glory, when they held power and made money. Others can’t stand up to the assault of the left because they want to be perceived as having that most-prized trait: gravitas.

Trump’s Is the Party of Fighters

Four years ago, Trump understood something had to change in America, and now it is clear we are in more of a battle than we ever imagined. The unfolding facts of the elite bureaucracy’s attempted coup and the radical resolve of the far-left to destroy our institutions, our history, and perhaps us, too, requires a new kind of Republican.

Politicians today must be fighters. Although Trump is unique in his style, every politician who successfully follows after him in this new party will need to show Americans that he or she is willing to fight for the good of the nation with the same uncompromising and aggressive resolve. Politicians who can take on our new party’s platform will be winners in America.

The old Republican Party is dead. Trump supporters have witnessed the corruption at home and understand the threats we face from abroad, and we see that politics has changed. We cannot go back to “normal” if we want to turn this ship around. Trump’s new party is composed of people who still believe in the American dream for themselves and for each other. This new party is ready to do the difficult work necessary to peacefully but decisively, and without apology or compromise, return this country to its founding principles.

Be wary of the negative assaults of otherwise “good” Republicans, and don’t let them dissuade you. When the chaos of this current realignment settles, it will be clear that they aren’t in our party. Their party failed. Ours is going to lead America back to prosperity and encourage a global movement toward national sovereignty and freedom.


New Data Suggests President Trump May Be Right About Success of Regeneron

When President Trump emerged from Walter Reed Medical Center, he seemed pretty convinced that the treatment he was given was a cure for COVID-19. He reported feeling better almost immediately after being given Regeneron, a polyclonal antibody formula. Yesterday, Regeneron published the results of the first three phases of their trials for treating COVID-19.

Regeneron has completed the required randomized, double-blind studies that Dr. Fauci insisted on. At the end of September, the company reported that the treatment reduced viral levels in a study of 275 patients who had no evidence of an immune response before receiving the therapy:

“After months of incredibly hard work by our talented team, we are extremely gratified to see that Regeneron’s antibody cocktail REGN-COV2 rapidly reduced viral load and associated symptoms in infected COVID-19 patients,” said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron. “The greatest treatment benefit was in patients who had not mounted their own effective immune response, suggesting that REGN-COV2 could provide a therapeutic substitute for the naturally-occurring immune response.

Now the company is confirming that the treatment significantly reduced medical visits in a trial of another larger group of patients:

“The first job of an antiviral therapeutic drug is to lower the viral load, and our initial data in 275 patients strongly suggested that the REGN-COV2 antibody cocktail could lower viral load and thereby potentially improve clinical outcomes. Today’s analysis, involving more than 500 additional patients, prospectively confirms that REGN-COV2 can indeed significantly reduce viral load and further shows that these viral reductions are associated with a significant decrease in the need for further medical attention,” said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron.

Once again, patients with the highest viral load and no native immune response demonstrated the most benefit. The antibody cocktail reduced COVID-19-related medical visits by 72% in patients with one or more risk factors. The preexisting conditions included being over 50 years of age, obesity, cardiovascular, metabolic, lung, liver, kidney disease, and immunocompromised status.

The study also showed there was no difference in outcomes between the high-dose and low-dose treatment. The low dose also had no infusion reactions. This is good news because there is a limited supply of the drug as the company moves to obtain an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA. This would allow current production to treat more patients as the company ramps up production.

According to NBC News, Eli Lilly and Co. has a similar therapy and applied for a EUA. Between Regeneron and Eli Lilly, the government has contracted for 600,000 doses of the treatment. President Trump has said he would push for a EUA after his experience with the therapy and wants it to be free for Americans who need it.

Any significant delays in the authorization must be viewed skeptically at this point. The FDA still has a warning regarding the use of HCQ for COVID-19 outside a hospital setting on its website. This causes politicians and professional boards to interfere with its use to treat COVID-19 in the outpatient setting in some states.

This dishonest attack on HCQ, even though millions of patients worldwide have taken this medication safely for decades, is an indictment of the agency. According to Yale epidemiologist Dr. Harvey Risch:

There is extensive evidence that HCQ, when used within the first five days of symptom onset, produces a sharp and statistically significant reduction in hospitalization and mortality. Seven controlled, well-conducted clinical studies show this: 636 outpatients in São Paulo, Brazil; 199 clinic patients in Marseille, France; 717 patients across a large HMO network in Brazil; 226 nursing-home patients in Marseille; 1,247 outpatients in New Jersey; 100 long-term care institution patients in Andorra (between France and Spain); and 7,892 patients across Saudi Arabia.

All of these studies pertain to the early treatment of high-risk outpatients, and all showed 50% or higher reductions in hospitalization or death. Not a single fatal cardiac arrhythmia attributable to the HCQ was reported among these thousands of patients. In addition, a new summary analysis of five randomized controlled trials has also shown a statistically significant outpatient benefit, proving the case.

The barriers to effective outpatient therapy are becoming unconscionable, and everyone should be concerned that the FDA will drag its feet on Regeneron as well. Our agencies should be making every effort to reduce hospitalizations and the progression to severe illness.



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