Saturday, January 30, 2021

Johnson & Johnson's long-awaited one-shot vaccine WORKS: Single jab prevents 72% of COVID cases and 100% of deaths

America has a contract for 100 million doses, and the firm has said it can provide that supply by June.

President Biden aims to get 100 million Americans vaccinated by late April, but states say they are running out of doses of vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, both firms say they are manufacturing as fast as they can and the White House is desperate to boost its supply of shots.

Because it requires just one dose, 100 million doses of J&J's vaccine will get twice as many people full protection as 100 doses of either of the two vaccines currently approved in America.

The shot was slightly less effective globally (66 percent) because it only prevented 57 percent of cases in South Africa and 66 percent in Brazil, where new variants that are somewhat resistant to vaccines are rampant.

J&J said it would ask the FDA to give emergency authorization for its shot within the week, but doesn't expect the regulators will actually green-light the jab until March, despite the urgent need to boost the US supply.

The US has a $1 billion contract with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) for 100 million doses, pending the green light from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The firm has said it is on track to provide the doses by June.

J&J's data suggests its vaccine completely prevents hospitalization and death. No participants who received the shot died of or had to be hospitalized for COVID-19.

Those results compare to the high bar set by two authorized vaccines from Pfizer and partner BioNTech and Moderna, whose two-dose shots were around 95 percent effective in preventing symptomatic illness.

Those trials, however, were conducted mainly in the United States and before the broad spread of new variants now under the spotlight.

Brazil's variant is triggering massive outbreaks and reinfections there, and one case has been reported in the US.

Dr Anthony Fauci warned that the South African variant was most concerning to him because it has mutations - shared by the Brazilian variant - that could make vaccines less effective.

He said on Friday that the shot is 'value added' despite its lower efficacy, compared to vaccines made by Moderna and Pfizer.

Specifically, the fact that the shots are cheap to make, easy to store and offers protection within seven to 10 days of one shot - 'and only one shot' - will mean they fill an important role in the rollout, Dr Fauci said.

He also noted that J&J is ready to make 'in the numbers of billions' of doses.

The company plans to seek emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration next week.

Unlike the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, J&J's does not require a second shot weeks after the first or need to be kept frozen, making it a strong candidate for use in parts of the world with weak transportation infrastructure and insufficient cold storage facilities.


Hedge funders have lost $19 BILLION in war with Reddit investors who have pushed GameStop shares up 1,800% this month

Big time hedge funds have suffered an estimated $19 billion in losses on their bets against GameStop, which surged on Friday in a rally fueled by mom-and-pop investors - and one hedge funder who got burned says he won't short sell stocks again.

GameStop shares ended the day up nearly 70 percent, as Robinhood eased restrictions on buying the unlikely market darling, even as the broader market tanked, with the Dow dropping 620 points amid concerns about the ripple effects of the bubble. Stock in theater chain AMC, which, like GameStop, had been heavily shorted, closed up 54 percent.

The target of a campaign on the online message board Reddit to 'squeeze' hedge funds betting against the stock, GameStop shares have rallied roughly 1,800 percent since the beginning of the month as the 'meme stock' insurgency picked up steam.

So far, the gains and losses for each side in the battle are mostly on paper, with each side hoping to outlast the other before cashing out. But as of Friday, investors who bet against GameStop are sitting on about $19 billion in losses, with the damage topping $10 billion alone on Wednesday, when GameStop shares surged 135 percent, according to data from Ortex provided to Business Insider.

Though their specific losses are undisclosed, hedge funds Melvin Capital, Citron, and Maplelane LLC are known to be among those that took out massive positions betting that GameStop's share price would fall.

Citron Research founder Andrew Left - once called the 'Bounty Hunter of Wall Street' and one of the key investors who had bet against GameStop - said on Friday morning that he would no longer publish 'short reports' and instead focus on opportunities for 'long' investments, a term for betting that the stock of a company will rise.

The notorious activist short-seller has claimed that he pulled the plug on his bets against GameStop after suffering losses of 100 percent as the stock surged this week.

The Reddit insurgency against hedge funds was led in part by YouTuber 'Roaring Kitty', a 34-year-old financial adviser named Keith Patrick Gill, who broke cover on Friday at his suburban Massachusetts home and appeared to be leaving with luggage ahead of the weekend.

On the Reddit forum WallStreetBets, where people trade stock tips and opinions, Gill and others have promoted a campaign to buy and hold shares of GameStop to punish hedge funds that had bet against the struggling video game retailer. The campaign has required steely resolve not to sell the shares, even as their value skyrocketed.

GameStop's continued rally came as Robinhood began to allow 'limited' purchases of shares on Friday after provoking widespread outrage with a buying ban yesterday, as the trading platform struggled to cover the bets its customers made amid extreme volatility.

Robinhood's trading restrictions triggered political backlash from both Democrats and Republicans, including Senator Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The Republican attorney general of Texas and his Democrat counterpart in New York are both investigating the matter.

On Friday, Robinhood relaxed its buying restrictions on a number of volatile stocks, including GameStop, but still placed limits on the number of shares users could accumulate. GameStop, for example, had a limit of one share for those who didn't already own more.

In an unusual statement just before the start of trade, the SEC said it 'is closely monitoring and evaluating the extreme price volatility of certain stocks' trading prices over the past several days.'

'Our core market infrastructure has proven resilient under the weight of this week's extraordinary trading volumes. Nevertheless, extreme stock price volatility has the potential to expose investors to rapid and severe losses and undermine market confidence,' the statement added.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday launched an investigation into Robinhood and other entities that halted certain trades related to GameStop.

Discord, the company that suspended a chat server used by the Reddit traders, was also a target.

“Wall Street corporations cannot limit public access to the free market, nor should they censor discussion surrounding it, particularly for their own benefit,' Paxton said in a statement.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, also said she is 'reviewing' the matter.

Launched by small investors on Reddit, GameStop assault is directed squarely at hedge funds and other Wall Street titans that had made bets the struggling video game retailer's stock would fall. Instead, it has surged some 1,800 percent since the beginning of January, forcing hedge funds to buy up shares to cover their staggering losses.

Left and other short-sellers have already essentially admitted defeat -- but the army of small investors organizing on the Reddit forum WallStreetBets is pledging to keep up the momentum for GameStop shares in hopes of inflicting more pain. On the forum, many boast that they will never sell until the hedge funds are driven to ruin.

Even as GameStop's shares soared to dizzying levels, the insurgency began to spread beyond the bounds of Reddit, with deep pocketed investors vowing to support the movement.

But Robinhood's buying halts drew fierce backlash from members of the Reddit forum WallStreetBets, which had promoted the stock, and the Senate Banking Committee announced it would hold a hearing on the matter.

On Thursday, a federal class action lawsuit was filed against Robinhood in the Southern District of New York over the move to halt certain trades.

The suit accused Robinhood of 'pulling securities like [GameStop] from its platform in order to slow growth and help benefit individuals and institutions who are not Robinhood customers but are Robinhood large institutional investors or potential investors.'

Tenev likewise flatly denied that Robinhood had faced any outside pressure to limit buying on certain shares, telling CNBC the claim is 'completely false, that's complete misinformation' and adding 'nobody pressured us'.



Biden starts staffing a commission on court packing now that Trump has balanced the judiciary (Politico)

YouTube extends Trump's suspension for a second time (CNET)

Shameful theatrics: DHS issues nationwide terrorism alert over "violent extremists" (American Military News)

National Guard ludicrously to remain in Washington, DC, until at least end of March (Disrn)

To Iran's delight, Biden administration slows arms sales to Saudi Arabia and UAE for review (Bloomberg)

Who'd a thunk it? Hydroxychloroquine may have some use to treat COVID after all, study shows (

Not exactly benign: Long-term study reveals harm in regular cannabis use (University of Queensland)

Red-state governors lead the COVID recovery after blue-state tyrants tanked the economy (The Federalist)

Press Secretary Jen Psaki on GameStop stock surge: "We have the first female treasury secretary" (Daily Wire)

Climate czar John Kerry's family still owns private jet as he (mis)leads climate fight (Fox News)

Policy: Canceling Keystone and reducing U.S. arms are Biden's first two major gifts to Russia (The Federalist)

Policy: The dark side of global "gender equality" (The Daily Signal)

The Virtue Signal: Dependency — Co-hosts Bill Whittle and Alfonzo Rachel discuss the corrosive effect of losing control of your own destiny.

Why Tom Brady Has a Career and Colin Kaepernick Doesn't — Some on the Left are complaining, which is a little bit like complaining that Kevin Durant has a job in the NBA but Matt Walsh doesn't.

Democrats eye 14th Amendment as impeachment alternative (Washington Times)

Talks stalled over Senate power-sharing agreement (Fox News)

A voice of sanity: Democrat Tulsi Gabbard asks Joe Biden to denounce the targeting of all Trump supporters (Post Millennial)

Just one in five Americans have ill-considered confidence Biden can unite the country (NY Post)

Highway to hell: Pete Buttigieg says a gas tax hike is "on the table" (Disrn)

A trip down memory lane: In 2011, Nancy Pelosi praised unionists storming Wisconsin State Capitol (Fox News)

Trump wasn't exactly a role model when it came to always speaking truth, but The Washington Post evidently needs reminding that Biden's entire career is checkered with lies.

Adding insult to injury: WaPo is caught scrubbing Kamala Harris "prisoner" story (NY Post)

Journalists celebrate the destruction of freedoms they once championed (City Journal)

The Latest on COVID-19: Researchers say 17% of Americans — 55 million people — have been infected (Daily Mail)

Hospitalizations fall to lowest levels since mid-December as U.S. reports sharp drop in new cases (Daily Mail)

Biden reinstating COVID travel ban targeting UK, Europe, and Brazil (NY Post)

Merck ends clinical trials for two inferior vaccine candidates (UPI)

Only 10 serious allergic reactions to Moderna vaccine and no deaths (Examiner)

California, with its nincompoop governor, naturally ranks last in administering vaccine doses (Hot Air)

Amazon, owned by archenemy of liberty Jeff Bezos, slams mail-in voting on unionization (Daily Wire)

Kentucky bill protecting abortion survivors passes without governor's signature (Live Action)

Sarah Huckabee Sanders officially announces run for Arkansas governor (NY Post)

More than 3,000 arrested in Russia in protests calling for release of Vladimir Putin critic Alexei Navalny (NPR)

ISIS claims responsibility for twin suicide bombings in Baghdad (Fox News)

Missile or drone intercepted over Saudi Arabia's capital of Riyadh (CBS News)

Mexico president tests positive for COVID (Fox News)

Policy: Biden has reinstituted the pernicious Critical Race Theory at the federal level, but governors and local legislators can still fight it off (City Journal)



Friday, January 29, 2021

Fears as Germany rejects AstraZeneca vaccine for over-65s

A vaccine war in Europe has intensified with Germany refusing to give the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine approval for use in people over 65.

A vaccine war in Europe has intensified with Germany refusing to give the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine approval for use in people over 65.

In Britain, the Oxford jab has made up a substantial part of 7.5 million vaccinations so far, mainly in those over 70, as well as younger health care workers.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson rejected Germany’s assessment, based on trial data, saying that the Oxford jab provides a “provides a good immune response across all age groups”.

Germany’s shock health decision comes after days of moaning from European Union leaders about access to the Oxford vaccine, with AstraZeneca warning it was unlikely to meet the EU’s 100 million dose order by the end of March.

The EU has demanded that Britain divert its supplies to help fill its order.

Germany’s decision was pinned on a lack of over 65s involved in the Phase 3 clinical trials, which Public Health England’s Dr Mary Ramsay acknowledged on Friday morning Australian time.

But she said other data had been reassuring, as Britain continued with its big bet on the Oxford rollout, which has been gathering pace and reaching up to 500,000 people each day.

Mr Johnson said he does not agree with the German ruling, as he backed the advice from the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

When asked if he was worried about Germany’s move, he replied: “No, because I think the MHRA, our own authorities have made it very clear that they think the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is very good and efficacious, gives a high degree of protection after just one dose and even more after two doses.

“And the evidence they’ve supplied is they think it’s effective across all age groups and provides a good immune response across all age groups.”

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) was expected to approve the vaccine for use in the EU on Friday, although it is not yet clear whether it will set an age limit.

But the German authorities said: “There currently is not sufficient data to assess the vaccination effectiveness from 65 years.”

Oxford University, which partnered with AstraZeneca to develop the vaccine, has stressed that its jab offers high protection against severe disease and prevents people needing to go to hospital.

“The latest analyses of clinical trial data for the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine support efficacy in the over 65 years age group,” AstraZeneca said in a statement.

“We await a regulatory decision on the vaccine by the EMA in the coming days.”

A Phase 3 Lancet study published in December said older age groups had been recruited later into the study so “efficacy data in these cohorts are currently limited by the small number of cases, but additional data will be available in future analyses”.

In that particular analysis, only 12 percent of people given two doses of the vaccine in the UK arm of the trial (285 out of 2,377) were aged 56 to 69, while 9 per cent (213) were over 70.

Some 12 percent of people in the control group (given a dummy vaccine) were also aged 56 to 69 while 9 per cent were over 70.

Older people made up similar proportions in the Brazilian section of the trial, which was made up of 4,088 people.

Previous work published in November included findings for 560 people. Of these, 160 were aged 18 to 55, 160 were aged 56 to 69, and 240 were 70 or older.

Those results found that all age groups, including older people, had an immune response to the vaccine after two doses.


Populism Is Engulfing Wall Street…And They’re Not Happy About It

Harrison is a good friend of the Triggered Podcast and his tweet pretty much sums what’s happening on Wall Street: “Populism is contagious.” Yes, a few smart randos on a Reddit thread, ‘wallstreetbets,’ decided to exercise their right to free speech and only boost the stock price of GameStop through the roof.

It cost hedge fund firms, who were trying to keep the price low, tons of money—billions of dollars were just roasted. If you need a visual comparison, think the Joker lighting that mountain of money on fire in The Dark Knight. Some hedge funds got wiped out. I have another media reference for what’s happening—sort of—and it centers on the ending of Trading Places with Dan Ackroyd and Eddie Murphy manipulating the market of frozen concentrate orange juice. It’s that scene, but in reverse—and yes, those margin calls can be quite steep. They have been quite steep. As a Mets fan, I know new owner Steve Cohen, who serves as the basis for the character Bobby Axelrod on Showtime’s Billions, will be okay. That doesn’t negate the fact that his hedge fund lost a ton of money in the past few days.

Look, a few small-time guys are beating Wall Street. They’re making some money—and the big wigs aren’t happy. The power of the people is screwing the folks who are rigging the system. And now, that’s a problem. How dare the little guy make some scratch by conducting some trades? How dare they? This is our playground. Well, everyone has a plan until you get punched in the mouth. So far, some of the stocks targeted for this money train ride are AMC Theaters, Nokia, GameStop, and a couple of others. It’s a financial ‘storming of the Bastille,’ which I wholeheartedly endorse. Even Barstool's Dave Portnoy is getting in on the action

A real estate salesman in Valparaiso, Ind. A former line cook from the Bronx. An evangelical pastor and his wife in Huntington Beach, Calif. A high school student in the Milwaukee suburbs.

They are among the millions of amateur traders collectively taking on some of Wall Street’s most sophisticated investors — and, for the moment at least, winning. Propelled by a mix of greed and boredom, gleefully determined to teach Wall Street a lesson, and turbocharged by an endless flow of get-rich-quick hype and ideas delivered via social media, these investors have piled into trades around several companies, pushing their stock prices to stratospheric levels.


On Wall Street, individual investors are often derided as “dumb money,” destined to lose against the highly compensated analysts and traders who buy and sell stocks for a living. But in recent days, individual investors — many of them followers of a popular, juvenile, foul-mouthed Reddit page called Wall Street Bets — have upended that narrative by banding together to put the squeeze on at least two hedge funds that had bet that GameStop’s shares would fall.

While the hedge funds and other professional money managers had been shorting GameStop’s shares, betting that its stock was doomed to further decline, the retail investors — online traders, mom-and-pop investors, small brokers and others — have been pushing the other way, buying shares and stock options. That caused GameStop’s market value to increase to over $24 billion from $2 billion in a matter of days. Its shares have risen over 1,700 percent since December. Between Tuesday and Wednesday, the market value rose over $10 billion.


Ben Patte, 16, a high school student in Wisconsin who said he made $750 off GameStop stock, said the campaign felt like vindication for himself and fellow young traders. “It’s a good opportunity to make money and stick it to the hedge funds,” he said. “By buying GameStop, it’s kind of like beating them at their own game.”

No one knows how this ends. Some analysts say the intense activity could eventually prompt a wider sell-off in the market by forcing hedge funds on the losing side of these trades to sell parts of their portfolios to raise cash to cover their losses.

Yeah, those poor billionaires. How will they ever live now? Also, it’s hilarious to see the NASDAQ CEO make suggestions that trading be halted so the elites can recalibrate their standing in the market. This right here is one of the many reasons why Trump won. Believe it or not, there are significant Trump and Bernie supporters who feel the economic system is rigged and the elites are trash. Well, this is exhibit A in that regard. Also, Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) husband bought $50,000 in stocks that weren’t disclosed. But it’s okay—she’s willing to pay a fine. Two separate rules, except it’s between the wealthy and well-connected and the little guys.

Best of luck, guys. Keep making them pay.


UPDATE: The Elites Fight Back

Well, all good things come to an end. Yet, that usually doesn’t come with a hefty side of corruption. As Leah wrote this morning, Robinhood app, which allows ordinary folks to participate in the stock market, pretty much froze trading on the stocks being targeted by WallStreetBets by removing those companies from the app. Again, how dare the little guy make some money after using the very same pump and dump schemes the big hedge funds use. How dare they? And then, the elite strikes back like this by limiting Robinhood app users' participation in the market—and people wonder why populism is on the rise. Why Trump won. And why folks act crazy at times. We all talk about market manipulation. This is it in its purest, most corrupt form.

These elite hogs set off a dirty bomb inside Wall Street today. It's a total and complete atrocity.


GameStop stock price crashes as Robinhood app restricts trading

GameStop shares have sunk as trading platforms including Robinhood and Interactive Brokers restricted trading in the video game retailer along with AMC Entertainment, Blackberry and other stocks that soared this week in a social media-driven trading frenzy that shook stock markets.

GameStop, the US video game chain whose 1,700 per cent rally has been at the heart of a battle between small scale "retail" investors and hedge funds over the past week, lost half its value in early trading.

Having finished Wednesday's session at $US347.51 a share, GameStop plunged to $US265 when the New York Stock Exchange opened last night, ending the day down 44 per cent at $US193.60.

However, the company's share price rallied in after-hours trade when Robinhood released a statement after the NYSE's close saying that it would allow "limited buys" of the securities it had suspended from trade.

"Starting tomorrow, we plan to allow limited buys of these securities," the company announced on its "Under the Hood" blog. "We'll continue to monitor the situation and may make adjustments as needed."

GameStop shares had previously jumped more than 1,000 per cent in the past week, driven primarily by retail investors trading on online apps and sharing tips on social media messaging boards.

Such gains have forced short-sellers to buy back stock to cover potential losses in what is dubbed a "short squeeze".

On Reddit board WallStreetBets, where calls to buy stocks have helped drive the extraordinary moves, some of its more than 4 million members reported trading platform Robinhood was now preventing investors from buying GameStop and other volatile stocks.

In a statement on its website, Robinhood said the restrictions were necessary to comply with Securities and Exchange Commission financial requirements given the recent volatility in these stocks. It said restricted stocks also included BlackBerry, Koss and Express.

It was quickly hit with a class-action lawsuit alleging that as many as 10 million people may have "lost out on earnings opportunities" as a result of Robin Hood's move.

Interactive Brokers, another online trading platform, also said it was restricting trading in those stocks. "We do not believe this situation will subside until the exchanges and regulators halt or put certain symbols into liquidation only," Interactive Brokers said.

On Twitter, many observers decried the decision to remove certain stocks, arguing the retail trading platforms were trying to protect Wall Street interests at the expense of Main Street.

"Robin Hood: a parable about stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Robinhood: an app about protecting the rich from being short squeezed by the poor," tweeted Jake Chervinsky, a lawyer for fintech company Compound.

The decision to halt trading on the platforms was also condemned by US politicians from opposite ends of the political spectrum, with Republican Senator Ted Cruz retweeting a tweet from Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez labelling Robinhood's move "unacceptable" and flagging the possibility of a congressional investigation into the issue.

However, Robinhood has defended its actions, saying they were taken purely due to regulatory requirements and not at the behest of big Wall Street players.

"To be clear, this was a risk-management decision, and was not made on the direction of the market makers we route to," the trading platform wrote on its blog.



Thursday, January 28, 2021

Mutant COVID strain spreads as AstraZeneca war erupts

A fast-moving coronavirus variant found in the UK has spread to more than 70 countries as AstraZeneca invokes the wrath of the EU over vaccine shortages.

The new and more contagious COVID-19 variant first spotted in Britain has now spread to 70 countries — 10 more than a week ago, the World Health Organisation said on Wednesday (local time).

In its latest epidemiological update, the UN health agency also said the variant of the virus first found in South Africa had spread to eight more countries in the past week and was now present in 31 nations; meanwhile another variant discovered in Brazil had spread to eight countries.

It comes as global cases passed 100 million and more than 18,000 people worldwide died of coronavirus over the past 24 hours, a new grim record amid the battle to stem the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the EU has demanded that AstraZeneca make up delays of its COVID-19 vaccine by supplying doses from its UK factories on Wednesday (local time) risked setting the bloc and Britain on a post-Brexit collision course.

Both the European Union and former member Britain insisted the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company uphold contractual delivery promises to each of them — even as the company said there was not enough to go around.

“The 27 European Union member states are united that AstraZeneca needs to deliver on its commitments in our agreements,” EU health commissioner Stella Kyriakides told a Brussels media conference.

“We expect contracts to be adhered to. AstraZeneca has committed to two million doses a week here in the UK and we do not expect that to change,” Mr Johnson’s spokesman said.

The row was triggered last Friday when AstraZeneca informed the EU that it could only supply a quarter of the vaccine doses it had promised for the first three months of this year.

That infuriated the European Commission, which is planning this week to add the AstraZeneca vaccine to two others it has already authorised — from BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna — to help reach a goal of inoculating 70 per cent of adults in the EU by the end of August.

The anger became incandescent when AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot on Tuesday gave an interview saying his company was prioritising supplies to the UK, which had signed its contract three months before the EU did, and was required only to make a “best effort” to supply the bloc.

Kyriakides said that went against the terms of the contact AstraZeneca signed with the European Commission.

“The view that the company is not obliged to deliver because we signed a ‘best effort’ agreement is neither correct nor is it acceptable,” she said.

“We reject the logic of first-come, first-served. That may work at the neighbourhood butcher’s but not in contracts, and not in our advanced purchase agreements.”

Should AstraZeneca start diverting vaccine supply from the two UK plants, however, that could jeopardise Mr Johnson’s commitment to have 15 million Britons vaccinated by mid-February.

Already, thanks mainly to the AstraZeneca vaccine, Britain is one of the leading countries for the pace at which it is inoculating its population — doing so at five times the rate of EU member states collectively.

A sudden slowdown in those doses would be dramatic, especially as Britain has suffered the highest death toll from COVID-19 of any European country and Mr Johnson is counting on the vaccinations to stem deaths

Tensions between the EU and Britain remain high in the wake of Brexit, with British traders and consumers suffering as they cope with higher costs and bureaucracy outside of the European single market.

The EU, meanwhile, plans to grill AstraZeneca further in a meeting with its executives later Wednesday (local time). There was some confusion, though, over the videoconference, with one EU official saying the company had abruptly pulled out but AstraZeneca saying it would attend.


So It’s Safe to Talk about Joe Biden’s Corruption, Flaws and Mental Decline Again

That didn’t take long! Apparently, the moratorium on stating truthful facts about Joe Biden’s corrupt family dealings, his weirdo hands-on approach with women and little girls, and his severe mental decline has been lifted. Just in the last few days, the Washington Post has noticed something truly alarming: Joe Biden seems to be a doddering old fool with dementia. He’s not quite the same old vigorous Joe who ran such a robust, energetic campaign in 2020!

It’s as if the media is suddenly admitting what all of us knew all along: Joe Biden is probably not long for this world. They may as well begin reporting on some of the sleazier truths of Joe Biden, now that he is no longer needed.

For example, Politico – Politico, of all places (!) – is reporting that one of Joe Biden’s revenue streams is suddenly refusing to reveal who his donors are. Now that the media is no longer wildly disinterested in vetting Joe Biden, it turns out that something called the “Biden Institute” was founded at the University of Delaware in 2017. That was the first year that Biden was out of office, you may remember.

Yeah, I had never heard of this “Institute” before either – that’s how much the media avoided looking into Joe Biden for four years, even though everyone was pretty sure he was going to run for office in 2020.

Anyway, Politico notes that this Biden Institute is being quite a bit less subtle than the Clinton Foundation ever was. If someone wants to curry some sort of favor with the Biden administration, they should feel free to make a generous donation to the Biden Institute, winka winka.

Oh, and it gets even sleazier!

At the University of Pennsylvania, there’s also a previously-unheard-of thing called the “Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.” The man who has been running the Penn Biden Center since it was founded in 2018 is a guy named Tony Blinken. That name might sound familiar to you, since Tony Blinken is Biden’s nominee to be the new US Secretary of State.

The Penn Biden Center under Blinken’s leadership took in more than $20 million in anonymous donations from Chinese nationals. And the Penn Biden Center is now refusing to disclose the identities of those Chinese donors.

Almost every dime that the Penn Biden Center raked in over a two-year period came exclusively from anonymous Chinese donors. Yet not one Republican in Blinken’s Senate confirmation hearing bothered to ask about it. They were too busy complimenting Blinken while nervously asking questions about the embassy in Jerusalem.

Since the Penn Biden Center is almost entirely bought and paid for by anonymous Chinese donors, you should know that there are a few other people who worked there who are also moving over to the White House this week.

The list includes White House counselor Steve Ricchetti, Brian McKeon who will be headed to the State Department, the new Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl, the new deputy UN ambassador Jeff Prescott, and three other people that Biden has appointed to the National Security Council.

See how that scam works? All of these people are required, obviously, to fill out financial disclosures during the nominating process. But they’re all just going to write that they were paid salaries by this Penn Biden Center. And the Penn Biden Center is refusing to disclose its list of anonymous donors from Communist China.

Bought. And. Paid. For.

The good news for the media is that the Biden-Chinese-money funnel is a scandal that won’t impact their preferred fake president, Kamala Harris. Now that Joe Biden no longer serves any purpose in the communist takeover of America, the press can feel safe about digging into the corrupt Biden family cesspool.

Once that happens, look for Joe Biden to have some sort of health emergency that requires him to step down.

Here’s another reason why this is all significant. None of the money that flowed into the Penn Biden Center from Communist China had anything to do with Hunter Biden. The Biden family can’t just pawn that off on their black sheep of an excuse for a son. This is Joe Biden’s money scandal – and his alone. Which gives the puppet masters one more reason to take Joe back behind the barn and give him the Old Yeller treatment.


The Left Wants Unconditional Surrender, Not Unity

About two years ago, one of my wife's best friends began to turn down invitations to get together. Then, out of the blue, she unfriended my wife on Facebook.

That's kind of a rude way to brush off someone, so my wife finally asked her: What gives? Have I offended you? Her terse text response was full of self-righteousness: "John (her husband) and I are so appalled by the things that Steve writes that we don't want to associate with you anymore."

I wasn't offended that they disagree with my positions or even that they felt our political disagreements are so wide that we probably shouldn't hang out together anymore. After all, we are two Americas today.

What stuck in my craw was the word "appalled." It was her way of saying: "We are better people than you. We have higher standards." "Appalled" is the outrage you feel when someone gets drunk and starts hitting on your wife.

I recite the incident because it is an example of how liberals have anointed themselves as not just intellectually but morally superior to those on the right. Welcome to the "religious left."

A case in point: the Boston Globe recently printed a front-page opinion piece by the paper's liberal columnist Yvonne Abraham, who denounced the idea of any "unity" agenda with Republicans or conservatives. "Here's the thing about unity," she snuffed. "To achieve it, you have to believe in a common good. And most members of this Republican Party have demonstrated over and over that they simply don't." You can't find common ground with a movement "defined by lies."

Of course, the irony here is that it is President Joe Biden, not Republicans, who is pledging an agenda to unify the country. But so far, the new administration's position seems to be: Why bother to find common ground when you control all of the levers of governmental power and you can steamroll over them instead?

What is to be gained by uniting with people who are "white supremacists" or "insurrectionists"?

Most everyone I know on the right agrees that violence is rarely, if ever, an acceptable form of political protest.

Do liberals? The new vice president of the United States called the liberal mobs who ransacked cities this summer "social justice warriors." Apparently, it is excusable to burn down a building or assault a police officer if you are protesting racial injustice, climate change, abortion rights or cuts in social programs.

The Trump Haters say that the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol are guilty of a treasonable offense. OK, but several years ago, when many thousands of "social justice warriors" (i.e., union thugs) stormed past the police and occupied the domed Capital building in Madison for days, the media celebrated.

Abraham is right about unity. America is now a country divided into Hatfields and McCoys. In just his first four days in office, it's clear there isn't going to be any unifying of the country under Biden. That was a hollow campaign slogan that has swirled down the drain as the White House issued executive orders, such as killing the Keystone XL pipeline, that have infuriated conservatives. The absurd House snap-impeachment of former President Donald Trump a few days before he was to leave office was absurd enough, but not nearly as divisive as the apparent Senate plans to go ahead with a trial.

Biden said he "doesn't see red states and blue states, only sees the United States." Really? Then why is one of his first proposals a blue-state bailout to the tune of $350 billion -- to be paid by the Republicans in red states. That is a financial insurrection against the half of the states that are not run by Democrats.

The left doesn't want unity with the right. It wants submission. They don't think we live up to their standards of proper behavior and righteousness.

If these are the people that are collectively "unfriending" us on Facebook and in the grocery stores, that's fine by us. Frankly, the feeling is mutual.



Rule by decree: Joe Biden sets record with at least 21 executive orders in first week (Breitbart)

Senate confirms Janet Yellen as treasury secretary (UPI)

Supreme Court throws out lawsuit alleging Trump profited illegally from presidency (Post Millennial)

"It has gotten harder and harder to break through the partisan gridlock": Ohio Senator Rob Portman not running for reelection in 2022 (Fox News)

Biden admin to "speed up" efforts to place Harriet Tubman on $20 bill honor gun-wielding Republican who freed Democrat slaves (National Review)

New York Times claims Dr. Fauci has "commitment to hard facts" after he admitted to paper he lied about herd immunity (Fox News)

Unity! Biden officially ends Trump's ban on troops suffering from gender dysphoria (American Military News)

Thousands of National Guard troops to remain in DC for Trump impeachment trial (Examiner)

Testing Biden: For second straight day, China provokes Taiwan — and the U.S. (NY Post)

Moderna says its vaccine is effective in blocking new COVID strains (UPI)

Globally, job losses from coronavirus were four times as bad as the 2009 financial crisis (AP)

And not a minute too soon: Seattle police chief announces tougher policy of prosecuting anarchists (Seattle Times)

Ironic: Baltimore "Safe Streets" gun control advocate shot and killed (TTAG)



Wednesday, January 27, 2021

It's Not a Lie to Say the Left Hates Us

Recent history is replete with examples of the Left's extreme animus for those of us on the Right.

In the course of pursuing accountability for the 2020 election results, we can’t ignore those who’ve been actively gaslighting grassroots Patriots about the Left’s intentions. It’s a strong word, yes, but when one looks at the facts, it’s an accurate description of what The Dispatch’s David French recently tried to do.

Pundits make their living by stirring the pot, no doubt about it. If they can generate a lot of discussion and comment in these click-bait times, so much the better. But French’s insistence that it’s a lie to say that the Left hates us is itself a lie. Furthermore, the evidence of left-wing hatred for the Right long predates Donald Trump’s escalator ride to announce his 2016 bid for president.

The Left’s track record of extreme animus is undeniable, and we’re not the only outlet to have noticed. It comes from Hollywood, from politicians like Maxine Waters, from pundits like Eugene Robinson, from “media figures” like Al Sharpton, and from plenty of other places. Hollywood elites and politicians who never missed a paycheck mocked not just those exercising their First Amendment rights to protest the harm the lockdowns did but those who were watching their businesses die and their financial situation turn more and more desperate. A certain former first lady said those trying to fix a botched school-lunch experiment were okay with kids eating crap.

But beyond ugly statements and the mocking of valid concerns, we have a long train of abuses. What motivated the regime of Andrew Cuomo and Letitia James to target the National Rifle Association? Cuomo all but admitted his reasoning — he hated the NRA for its opposition to gun control. And, by the way, the NRA is now leaving New York for Texas.

What motivated the notorious John Doe investigations in Wisconsin? French himself answered the question in his own National Review article on those abusive probes: hatred stemming from Scott Walker’s status as a Republican governor, and later his long-overdue reforms of the state’s teachers unions. Or, to put it bluntly, the vindictive leftist prosecutor hated the conservatives and the success they enjoyed in Wisconsin in the early 2010s.

What motivated the state of Colorado’s harassment of Masterpiece Cakeshop? The Supreme Court answered that in a 7-2 ruling: hatred toward the sincerely held religious beliefs of bakeshop owner Jack Phillips. The smoking gun was the disparity in how other bakeries were treated.

The abuse leveled at conservative commentator Dana Loesch after she took on Jake Tapper at CNN’s post-Parkland Second Amendment shaming special? Pure hatred for conservatives’ support of the Second Amendment. Much of the invective is unprintable, and Loesch isn’t the only woman who’s faced it. Just ask Sarah Palin, Candace Owens, or Nikki Haley to name three prominent targets.

When we look at the Left over the years, we see the over-the-top hatred leftists have directed at grassroots Patriots and other advocates for constitutional government. We can go on and on, but the fact pattern is undeniable. When it comes to the Left’s hatred of the Right, are we to believe David French or our own lyin’ eyes?

Dear Conservatives: Big Corporations are Not Your Friends

Over the past three decades, the Left-Right debate in America has been full of oddities and contradictions. Perhaps the strangest of them all has been the conservative movement's devotion to the interests of large corporations, which routinely use their wealth and power to support causes that directly conflict with conservative ideals.

Among the most notable examples is the recent attack on political speech waged by large technology companies (and multi-billion-dollar corporations) such as Apple, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook.

Conservatives spent years calling for limited regulations, special laws that allow for tech companies to operate more easily online and lower tax rates for all corporations, including tech giants. Tech companies have responded by limiting the political speech of conservatives—and no, I am not referring to restrictions placed on the social media accounts belonging President Trump.

One could present dozens of examples of social media's bias against prominent conservative voices and right-leaning media outlets. For instance, consider Twitter's decision to ban The New York Post in October because it refused to remove a story from Twitter about evidence showing Chinese and Ukrainian businesses had paid Hunter Biden—and possibly Joe Biden as well—to gain access to the White House while Joe Biden was serving as vice president.

Regardless of whether you believe the Post's story, there was no denying that the evidence it presented was compelling and in line with modern journalistic standards, and thus should never have been prohibited on an allegedly "open forum" like Twitter.

Conversely, hundreds—perhaps even thousands—of stories claiming to show that Donald Trump had colluded with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign were reposted millions upon millions of times during Trump's four years in office. Social media platforms did nothing about these stories, despite the fact that many of them relied solely on a dossier paid for by Hillary Clinton and dependent on interviews with unnamed foreign sources.

Consider also the recent removal of social media app Parler from the Google Play and Apple app stores, as well as the subsequent removal of the website from web servers run by Amazon.

Apple, Google and Amazon all claim they decided to effectively shut down the right-leaning Parler app—silencing its more than 10 million users in the process—because Parler had not done enough to moderate obscene content and calls for violence on its platform. But if that were truly the reason for the actions taken against Parler, why haven't these big tech companies also closed down left-leaning services like Facebook and Twitter, which permit all sorts of reprehensible posts on their platforms?

For example, to this day, Twitter continues to allow the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, to spew hateful language on its platform, including this racist, violent post from June 2018: "Israel is a malignant cancerous tumor in the West Asian region that has to be removed and eradicated: it is possible and it will happen."

Of course, large technology companies are not the only powerful corporations that have worked against conservative interests.

The massive corporations controlling the health insurance industry were some of the biggest supporters of the Affordable Care Act in 2009 and 2010, when President Obama and Vice President Biden were working to push their proposal through Congress.

Today, dozens of prominent leaders in business and finance, including the CEOs of Mastercard, BP and Bank of America, are working with the World Economic Forum to create a "new social contract" that aims to dramatically alter the global economy in line with progressive goals.

Corporations across the country frequently use their vast resources and influence in the labor market—about half of all employees work for large businesses, many of which are corporations—to coerce state and local governments to provide crony tax breaks or government funding in exchange for relocating, expanding or keeping business operations in particular regions.

Large corporations have been some of the largest advocates for and beneficiaries of government bailout programs, going all the way back to the George W. Bush administration. Analysts on the ideological Left and Right have found that the government coronavirus bailouts provided in 2020 mostly favored large, often very wealthy, corporations.

There is nothing even remotely "conservative" about any of this. And yet, many within the conservative movement, a group I have belonged to for my entire adult life, have for years supported policies designed to help this powerful group. The question is not whether this has occurred, but rather why it has occurred. Why have conservatives fought so hard for people who have worked so tirelessly to undermine right-wing principles?

"We're for the free market!"—that's the response you'll most likely hear if you ask many, but certainly not all, within the conservative movement. But the truth is, large corporations are often the creations of government policies, not free-market economics.

Corporations operate under different regulatory and tax structures than individuals. They have special liability protections that are not available to individuals, either. And publicly traded corporations are typically not loyal to any one country; they will often go wherever they can secure the most lucrative conditions, often at the expense of taxpayers. In fact, they are the opposite.

The era of conservatives supporting large corporate interests must end. Taking any other course of action would not only be hypocritical; it would be in direct opposition to conservatives' interests, and possibly even the survival of the movement.

If those of us who value free markets and individual liberty cannot see the desperate need to reverse course by now, then we will deserve the catastrophic consequences in the years to come.

Joe Biden's deportation freeze blocked by federal judge

A federal judge in Texas has delivered a major blow to Joe Biden's immigration plan, blocking the new President's 100-day pause on deportations.

The ruling comes after the state of Texas sued the federal government over the move.

US District Judge Drew Tipton on Tuesday issued a 14-day nationwide restraining order blocking the policy while both parties submit briefs in the case.

“VICTORY,” tweeted Texas Attorney-General Ken Paxton, a close ally of former President Donald Trump.

“Texas is the FIRST state in the nation to bring a lawsuit against the Biden Admin. AND WE WON. Within six days of Biden’s inauguration, Texas has HALTED his illegal deportation freeze. *This* was a seditious left-wing insurrection. And my team and I stopped it.”

Judge Tipton, a Trump appointee, said in the order that Texas has a “substantial likelihood of success” on at least two claims, including that the freeze violated federal immigration law which says authorities “shall remove” illegal immigrants with final deportation orders within 90 days, Reuters reported.

The American Civil Liberties Union had in turn filed a brief asking the court to deny the request.

“The voters rejected the Trump administration’s disastrous immigration policies, but Texas is now seeking to keep the Biden administration from turning the page,” said Cody Wofsy, an attorney with the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.

Joe Biden says he is rescinding the previous administration's "harmful ban on diversity and sensitivity training" and abolishing the "offensive, counterfactual" 1776 Commission set up by Donald Trump.

"Unity and healing must begin with understanding and truth, not ignorance and lies," Mr Biden said on Tuesday.

Last September, the former President signed an executive order banning federal agencies from using diversity training programs that teach about "white privilege" and critical race theory.

"The President has directed me to ensure that federal agencies cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund these divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions," Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought wrote in a memo at the time outlining the directive.

"Executive branch agencies have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to date 'training' government workers to believe divisive, anti-American propaganda."

In response to the Biden administration's move, a network of private lawyers and conservative organisations has formed to fight such training on the grounds that it violates the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the US Constitution.

"Critical race theory training programs have become commonplace in academia, government, and corporate life, where they have sought to advance the ideology through cult-like indoctrination, intimidation and harassment," Discovery Institute researcher Chris Rufo, who is leading the coalition, said in a press release.

But one lawyer who has conducted such sessions defended the practice. "If we are going to live up to this nation's promise — 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal' — we have to see each other as human beings, and we have to do whatever it takes, including taking whatever classes make that possible," M.E. Hart told The Washington Post.



Tuesday, January 26, 2021

President Biden told vast lies about the vaccine roll-out - but the groveling US media was too busy putting halos on Saints Joe and Kamala to say so

Well, the brave new world of honesty in American politics lasted a grand total of 24 hours. President Joe Biden promised an immediate end to the constant lying from the White House that we endured over four years of Donald Trump's tenure.

But then he couldn't help himself and promptly spewed the kind of brazen, bare-faced, media-bashing whopper that Trump is accused of loving.

Biden's made a big noisy deal of setting a target of 100 million coronavirus vaccines in his first 100 days.

But he knows that hitting this target would be a completely bogus 'achievement' because the US is already at that level of vaccination, averaging 914,000 daily doses administered last week according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and rocketing to 1.6 million on the very day of Biden's inauguration.

So, at this rate, the goal will be easily attained, and masks the reality that America could and should be aiming a lot higher.

That, though, wasn't the lie. That was just the kind of under-promise, over-deliver type of sneaky political spin designed to grab headlines and win a cheap 'victory' down the line when the target is easily met.

No, the lie came when Biden was asked by a reporter at the White House to defend such a comparatively derisory target and angrily snapped back: 'When I announced it, you all said it's not possible. Come on, give me a break, man. It's a good start - 100 million.'

This was utter nonsense. Nobody qualified to comment in the mainstream media said it was impossible. In fact, on the day in December when Biden first made his 100 million pledge, CNN's medical expert Dr Sanjay Gupta said it was 'very doable' given what he'd been told by the vaccine companies controlling supply.

Biden knows this, because he'll have been told the same information by the same companies. Yet he chose to pretend the media had ALL attacked him for making an impossible promise. And he did that to deflect them from rightly pulling him up on the weakness of his pledge.

Good politics, bad optics – especially from the man the media seems to think is more Saint than President.

I didn't have a problem with the generally euphoric reaction to Biden's inauguration. Like most people, I found his unifying speech very inspiring and it was a welcome relief to hear some civility coming out of the mouth of the President of the United States again after four long profane years.

But by the following morning, I expected the US media to start doing to Biden what they did to Trump from the moment HE got elected and hold his feet to ferocious fire. After all, the most important function of the media is to make government accountable for its actions.

Instead, the open fawning has carried on in a quite nauseating manner. With the exception of Fox News, which naturally is trashing Biden with the same fervour it defended Trump – often indefensibly - America's news networks and newspapers have fought amongst each other to see who can win the title of Biggest Biden Toady.

One journalist was even fired by the New York Times for being too overt about her breathless excitement after she tweeted 'I have chills' over a photo of Biden's plane landing for the inauguration.

I don't agree with the firing, not least because she was only tweeting what 99% of other New York Times journalists would have been thinking. But the fact she was happy to be seen to be so publicly partisan is a very bad look for the liberal-dominated media.

We've seen the same kind of cringe-worthy groveling across cable news too. Former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly lambasted the media this week because she claimed they 'checked their objectivity' when covering Trump and the public 'lost trust' as a result. She even said this abandonment of normal impartial journalism was partly to blame for the riots at the US Capitol three weeks ago.

Kelly makes a good point about the danger of supposedly impartial journalists bringing personal feelings into covering a president, any president.

For example, I can't have been the only CNN viewer who was shocked when Anderson Cooper described President Trump as 'an obese turtle on its back flailing in the hot Sun'.

Cooper, who spent four years openly sneering at Trump on air, including spending two years gorging over a Russia collusion story that turned out to be a nothing-burger, has been barely able to contain his personal glee since Trump's downfall and Biden's election.

But Cooper's not alone. Much of the US media is currently in the grip of an unctuous prolonged period of gratuitously intense derriere-smoke-blowing towards 'Halo' Joe and his Vice-President, Kamala 'the new Mother Teresa' Harris.

Laughably, the only time the media's got angry about anything involving Ms Harris is when they thought her recent Vanity Fair cover wasn't flattering enough.

Yet she is now the second most powerful person in the country, already involved in huge decisions with huge ramifications for people's lives and livelihoods.

The vaccine roll-out is a perfect illustration of the double standard at play. The media's largely been very content to play along with Biden's narrative that Trump did nothing on vaccines, it's all been a 'dismal failure' and he's now the jab-administering cavalry to save everyone. One White House official even asserted as fact about the vaccine program: 'There is nothing for us to rework. We are going to have to build everything from scratch.'

This completely false statement was quickly debunked by Dr Anthony Fauci who said: 'We certainly are not starting from scratch because there is activity going on in the distribution.'

There certainly is….

It's perfectly true the Trump administration fell short of its own pledge to deliver 20 million vaccine doses by the end of 2020.

It only delivered around three million by then.

However, by the time of the Inauguration on January 20, that number rose to 16.5 million including, as I said earlier, 1.6 million that day alone.

This was equivalent to five doses per 100 people and put the US fourth in the world behind Israel, the UAE and the UK.

So, not the best, but considerably better than most other countries including European power-houses Germany and France. And the US federal government had actually distributed 35 million doses to the states by January 20, but less than half had been given.

If they'd all been administered, the US would have been even higher up the global vaccine league table.

I have no desire to defend Donald Trump but to pretend his administration did nothing on vaccine distribution is palpably untrue; another Biden administration vaccine-related lie in fact.

And ironically, the main reason President Biden will comfortably hit his 100m target is because his predecessor had already got the vaccine roll-out to the required daily levels.

So, why isn't Biden being torched for all this disingenuous self-promoting vaccine bullsh*t?

Sadly, I fear it's because the liberal torch-carriers in the media are reluctant to light the flame because Biden's one of them.

CNN's media correspondent Brian Stelter, an evangelical Trump-basher, added a personal comment to an image on his show yesterday featuring new White House press secretary Jen Paski. The banner headline said: 'Psaki promises to share 'accurate info' (How refreshing)'.

Hmmm. If would have been rather more 'refreshing' if Stelter had got Ms Psaki onto his show to flame-grill her about her boss's untrue claims about the vaccine roll-out.

He'd have certainly been all over the lies like a cheap rash if it had been Trump spewing them, as would the rest of the news media.

The non-questioning hero-worshipping treatment of Joe Biden and his administration is gut-wrenching and needs to stop immediately. And the media needs to start doing its job properly.

Otherwise, the 75 million Trump voters who suspected there was a media bias against their guy will have all those suspicions confirmed before their very eyes on a daily basis.

And that will cement rather than repair the shockingly partisan disunity that has enveloped America in recent years.


Lockdowns cripple the poor and pamper the rich

Lockdown has improved the physical and mental health of the wealthy, while devastating the poor.

A new poll from Morning Consult provides a stark illustration of the unequal impact of personal finances, mental health and physical health.

Those in the US earning under $50,000 per year were the most likely to report a decline in their personal finances in 2020, whereas those earning over $100,000 reported a net improvement. The job security, take-home pay, personal life and work-life balance of the poorest have deteriorated significantly, too.

More strikingly, lower earners also experienced the greatest deterioration in mental and physical health. Those with postgraduate degrees, on the other hand, reported improvements in their physical health – by a whopping 23 per cent.

As spiked has repeatedly highlighted since the lockdowns began last year, the consequences for the working class have been devastating, while the more affluent seem to have profited from the restrictions.

In the US, between 18 March and 10 April 2020, over 22million people lost their jobs. But in the same three weeks, the wealth of billionaires increased by $282billion, according to a report by the Institute for Policy Studies.

And in the UK, an Instititue for Fiscal Studies report found that between March and September last year, the average monthly savings of the poorest fifth of people fell by £170 compared to a normal year. Higher-income quintiles, on the other hand, enjoyed a rise in their savings.

All this gives the lie to the absurd claims that opposition to lockdown serves the interests of the wealthy. Supporters of the lockdown – particularly on the left – are quick to denounce any call to reopen society as an attempt to ‘save the billionaires’.

But the billionaires and the well-heeled have done brilliantly out of lockdown. It is the poor who have suffered most from the shutdown of society, as they are less likely to be able to work from home and more likely to be hard-hit by redundancy and declines in pay.

Lockdowns are crippling the poor and pampering the rich.


Biden's 'Illegals First' Amnesty Plan

Joe Biden plans to put the concerns of American citizens and their interests in the back seat as he will return to the disastrous Barack Obama-era immigration policy. Noncitizens and those who gained access to this country illegally will now receive priority treatment as if they were not only welcomed guests but were themselves citizens of the republic.

Biden has proposed a plan that will put an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the country on an eight-year path to U.S. citizenship. The Washington Post reports, “To qualify, immigrants must have been in the United States as of Jan. 1, a move meant to blunt any rush to the border.”

Well, so much for preventing that border rush. A migrant caravan that has formed in Honduras is not only expecting but demanding that Biden open the border for them. As one migrant stated, “I just want patience and prayers that we can get to the U.S. because they have a new president, Biden. He’s going to help all of us, he’s giving us 100 days to get to the U.S. and give us [legal] papers, so we can get a better life for our kids, and for our families.” Who can blame these migrants? Biden has essentially laid out the welcome mat by eliminating Donald Trump’s “wait in Mexico” asylum policy and suspending deportations.

Meanwhile, American citizens, especially lower-income working-class Americans, will be the ones feeling the brunt of Biden’s amnesty policy as they see their wages and job opportunities diminish due to an influx of illegal aliens.

Of course, for Biden and company, the prospect of gaining 11 million new Democrat voters outweighs any concerns over the plight of the American working class. As Breitbart reports, “Under current rules, legal immigrants can get citizenship and voting rights five years after getting green cards. But the Biden bill would allow the migrants to convert their green cards into citizenship in just three years.”

By the way, aren’t we still in the middle of a “dark winter” of a global pandemic? Why fling the immigration door open wide right now? Well, because the Democrats’ agenda on immigration has not changed. It is what it always has been — making more Democrat voters.



Monday, January 25, 2021

The luckiest country: Australia goes a WEEK with zero coronavirus cases across the entire nation

Australia has gone a week without a single community transmission of Covid-19, as other nations across the world continue to buckle under the strain of the virus and its ever changing and increasingly dangerous mutations.

While a day without any local cases may seem impossible for other countries battling the virus, for Australia it is slowly becoming the new normal.

In Victoria, the state has gone an incredible 18 days without a single community transmission case following fears the Northern Beaches cluster would completely ruin their long standing streak after it spread across the border.

After enduring a hard three-day lockdown in Brisbane, Queensland also recorded zero new cases of Covid-19.

The rest of the country have continued to record no community transmission as the virus is once again under control.

In the meantime, beaches around the country were packed over the weekend with restrictions eased many weeks ago, in stark comparison to the strict lockdowns experienced across Europe.


Justice Department considers NOT charging up to 800 MAGA rioters who caused havoc at the Capitol 'since most of them just trespassed and were not violent'

This is a very big admission: "most of them just trespassed and were not violent"

The FBI and prosecutors at the Justice Department are debating whether to decline to charge some of the MAGA rioters who stormed the United States Capitol on January 6 in an attempt to derail President Joe Biden's certification.

There is concern among DOJ officials that bringing charges against all of the estimated 800 rioters who ransacked the Capitol building could flood the local federal courthouse in Washington, DC, with cases.

There appears to be unanimous agreement among Justice Department officials to bring charges against alleged extremists who are suspected of coordinating and planning violent actions inside the Capitol.

Prosecutors have indicated that they intend to bring seditious conspiracy charges to anyone who has been found to plot violent actions against the government.

Among those who participated in the January 6 assault were members of the Oath Keepers, which often recruits current and former military, police or other first responders; the Proud Boys neo-fascist group; followers of QAnon, which spreads bizarre conspiracy theories; racists and anti-Semites; and others with nearly blind devotion to then-President Donald Trump.

Federal authorities on Tuesday presented new details about three self-described members of a paramilitary group who were the first to be charged with plotting the attack.

The FBI said a Virginia man, Thomas Edward Caldwell, appeared to be a leader of the effort. Caldwell and a man and woman from Ohio were all charged with conspiracy and other federal counts.

Details of the documents made public offer some insight to planning and coordination behind the extraordinary attack, which apparently took law enforcement by surprise despite various warnings online.

But there is serious question as to whether it is worth pursuing charges against a large majority of the people who were seen streaming into the Capitol.

Those individuals entered the grounds of the building and trespassed, but they were not involved in any serious crimes that would warrant stiff prison sentences.

There is also a fear among federal prosecutors that bringing trespassing charges against those who did not commit any other violent acts could lead to losses in trial.

'If an old man says all he did was walk in and no one tried to stop him, and he walked out and no one tried to stop him, and that's all we know about what he did, that's a case we may not win,' one official said.

DOJ officials told the Post that evidence is still being gathered and that those rioters who were initially thought to be relatively harmless could be charged if photos or videos show them committing serious crimes.

One option that federal prosecutors are weighing for non-violent Capitol offenders is to enter deferred plea agreements in which they agree to drop charges if they do not commit crimes over a certain period of time.



That number keeps coming back to me.

74,216,722 votes for a president who was relentlessly vilified, maligned, lied about, and falsely accused of treason (not to mention high crimes and misdemeanors) every day of his presidency.

74,216,722 votes for a man who made unforced errors and harmed his own cause in innumerable ways but still managed to accomplish policy goals the polished, practiced, professional Republicans who came before him only gave lip service to but never really intended to lift a finger to accomplish.

74,216,722 voters who defied the overwhelming, multi-headed leviathan of academia, pop-culture, mainstream news media, Hollywood, Broadway, professional sports, and big tech by going out of their way in a pandemic to vote for the most demonized figure in modern American history.

74,216,722 voices who are now expected to just go away.

Well, we won't. We aren't going anywhere.

"Unity" seems to be the word of the hour. It's a lovely notion. I mean, who doesn't want unity? Things are so much easier when we are unified, aren't they?

But unity is a goal without any moral, principle, or value associated with it. To merely unify is a meaningless activity without examining what we are to unify around.

That important detail was glaringly absent from President Biden's inauguration address.

To unify a nation around a destructive, immoral, and even evil policy is no great accomplishment.

We are all for unity. We would have appreciated a little unity around "America First" or perhaps around "Enforce our immigration laws as written" or "The US Embassy in Israel belongs in the capital city of Jerusalem." These are all good ideas and would be worthy of unified support. Instead, all we got was The Resistance.

The calls for unity are really calls for no more debate. As Obama (the last great "Let's all unify" president) said as he dismissed Republicans who wanted some input into some of his more radical agenda items, "I won, you lost."

They want to shut you up. They want to shut me up.

They sort of succeeded in the final weeks of the presidential campaign.

The mainstream media and big tech oligarchs colluded with the Biden campaign to virtually erase a factual, truthful, and completely legitimate report concerning an open FBI criminal investigation involving Hunter Biden and his ties to America's foreign adversaries, millions of dollars, and an alleged pay-to-play scheme reaching all the way to the new president.

That story was virtually muted. Silenced. In other words, we had unity.


They want all of us to shut the hell up. That's the only way they achieve unity.

We aren't going away. At least, not easily.

But, all of us have to be ready because the attempts to silence us and our ideas in the name of unity have already begun.

The attacks on social media freedom are now leading to an attack on conservative-leaning news outlets and will be followed by attacks on talk radio and eventually on right-leaning websites like this one.

The first thing all of us can do is to support all those outlets we need on a daily basis to stay informed and, even more importantly, stay united in our loyal opposition to the creeping socialism we are about to witness in Washington, DC.

To that end, please, if you haven't already, renew your VIP membership to Townhall and, more importantly, share the news of your membership with your friends and contacts on Facebook and other social media platforms so they can join too. If we stay strong and stay together, we have a chance to stay alive to fight another day.

Now is the time when we need to know who our friends are and plan for what's coming next.

74,216,722. That's not nothing. And it is the perfect start for the courageous growth we need to renew this country again.

We aren't going away. And we won't be quiet. Never.


Lockdowns cripple the poor and pamper the rich

A new poll from Morning Consult provides a stark illustration of the unequal impact of personal finances, mental health and physical health.

Those in the US earning under $50,000 per year were the most likely to report a decline in their personal finances in 2020, whereas those earning over $100,000 reported a net improvement. The job security, take-home pay, personal life and work-life balance of the poorest have deteriorated significantly, too.

More strikingly, lower earners also experienced the greatest deterioration in mental and physical health. Those with postgraduate degrees, on the other hand, reported improvements in their physical health – by a whopping 23 per cent.

As spiked has repeatedly highlighted since the lockdowns began last year, the consequences for the working class have been devastating, while the more affluent seem to have profited from the restrictions.

In the US, between 18 March and 10 April 2020, over 22million people lost their jobs. But in the same three weeks, the wealth of billionaires increased by $282billion, according to a report by the Institute for Policy Studies.

And in the UK, an Instititue for Fiscal Studies report found that between March and September last year, the average monthly savings of the poorest fifth of people fell by £170 compared to a normal year. Higher-income quintiles, on the other hand, enjoyed a rise in their savings.

All this gives the lie to the absurd claims that opposition to lockdown serves the interests of the wealthy. Supporters of the lockdown – particularly on the left – are quick to denounce any call to reopen society as an attempt to ‘save the billionaires’.

But the billionaires and the well-heeled have done brilliantly out of lockdown. It is the poor who have suffered most from the shutdown of society, as they are less likely to be able to work from home and more likely to be hard-hit by redundancy and declines in pay.

Lockdowns are crippling the poor and pampering the rich.



Making America energy dependent again: Joe Biden pauses federal drilling program (Reuters)

House to send Trump impeachment article on Monday (AP) | Trump hires attorney Butch Bowers to represent him at trial (Forbes)

Biden to keep Christopher Wray on as FBI director (NBC News)

Hunter inquiry looms large as Biden pledge prevents "improper interference" with DOJ investigations (Examiner)

Democrats slap Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley with ethics complaint over Capitol mob (Examiner)

Unity! Bernie Sanders dismisses meeting in "the middle" with Republicans (Newsweek)

House approves waiver for Lloyd Austin to serve as defense secretary (U.S. News & World Report)

Policing free speech but not actual crimes? Twitter faces lawsuit for refusal to remove child porn (Disrn)

Google threatens to pull out of Australia over plan to make it pay for news (Time)

U.S. sees five-fold increase in methamphetamine overdose deaths from 2011 to 2018 (UPI)

Policy: Raising the minimum wage won't stimulate the economy, but it will stimulate Democrat interest groups (City Journal)

Policy: Don't rush to failure on Iran nuclear negotiations (Daily Signal)



Sunday, January 24, 2021

Proof the Pfizer Covid vaccine works in the real world? Israeli healthcare group says coronavirus infections have PLUNGED by at least 60% among vaccinated over-60s

An Israeli healthcare group on Friday said coronavirus infections had plunged among people aged over 60 who had been vaccinated with the Pfizer Biontech vaccine.

Israel is currently leading the global vaccination drive, with around 30 per cent of its citizens having had at least a single dose of a jab so far. But concern had risen globally over infection, death and hospitalisation rates in the country, which remained stubbornly high.

Out of 82,930 active cases on Thursday, 1,918 were hospitalized. Last week, the hospitalisation figure was just over 1,000.

Officials had hoped that the vaccine drive - which began on December 19 - would start to show an effect by mid-February.

But KSM Maccabi Research and Innovation Center claimed on Friday there had been a 'significant decrease' in the number of coronavirus infections among people aged over 60 who were vaccinated between December 19 and 24.

After analysing data of more than 50,000 patients aged over 60, they also found that hospitalisations in the same group had plunged by more than 60 per cent.

Israel secured access to large amounts of Pfizer's jab by agreeing to provide data about its citizens for the company to track how well the jab works.

The new figures are a sign of hope that nationwide infections, deaths and hospitalisations could soon start to see a sustained fall.

KSM Maccabi Research and Innovation Center's report was based on data 50,777 members of Maccabi who were aged over 60 and were vaccinated 23 days ago.

KSM, which is part of Israeli healthcare provider Maccabi, noted that there was a 'significant decrease within the vaccinated members aged 60+', reaching a decrease of around 60 per cent in new infections.

They added that there was also a 'decrease of slightly more than 60 per cent in the number of new hospitalised patients.'

However, KSM cautioned that 'on this level of efficiency, there should be no exemption from performing Corona tests, isolation, or the enablement of crowded gatherings, until additional convincing data is obtained. 'And of course continue to wear masks and keep social distancing, as recommended'.

It was reported yesterday that a single shot of the Pfizer vaccine had led to a 'major presence' of antibodies in 91 per cent of doctors and nurses who received it in Israel within 21 days.

On Friday, Israel announced a further 6,159 new cases, an 18 per cent increase on the figure of 5,235 announced seven days ago, but down from Wednesdays and Thursdays totals, of 10,213 and 7,027 respectively.

Since the rollout of vaccinations one month ago, more than 2.5 million of Israel's nine-million-strong population have been vaccinated already, the health ministry said on Friday.

Israel began administering vaccines on December 20, beginning with health professionals and quickly proceeding to the elderly, sick and at-risk groups, continuously lowering the minimum age of those entitled to the shot.

On Thursday, the estimated COVID-19 reproduction number in Israel dipped below 1 for the first time since the country launched its vaccination campaign, the government announced.

An 'R' number above 1 indicates infections will grow at an exponential rate, while below 1 points to their eventual halt.

Israel's 'R' number hit 1.3 on Dec. 11. It began vaccinating citizens the following week. With contagion surging, on Dec. 27 it imposed a third national lockdown - which is still in effect.

On Friday, the UK's Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said it was too early too draw conclusions from Israel's vaccination drive after alarm that hospitalisations have not yet dropped.


As more countries impose COVID curfews, scientists ask: Do they work?

The NYT:

With coronavirus infections rising and a contagious new variant threatening to accelerate the pandemic, France has implemented a stringent 6pm-to-6am curfew. Citizens nationwide are sequestered indoors, and businesses must close down.

In Quebec, Canadian officials imposed a similar restriction earlier this month, running from 8pm to 5am. It has frayed nerves: Notably, a woman who was walking her boyfriend on a leash at 9pm has argued that this was permitted during the curfew, surely one of the pandemic’s most unexpected moments.

The question for scientists is this: Do curfews work to slow transmission of the virus? If so, under what circumstances? And by how much?

A curfew requires people to be indoors during certain hours. It is often used to quell social unrest — many cities imposed curfews during the George Floyd protests this summer — and following natural disasters or public health emergencies.

But curfews also have been used as instruments of political repression and systemic racism. Decades ago, in so-called sundown towns in the United States, black people were not permitted on the streets after dusk and often were forced to leave altogether.

As the pandemic unfolded, Melbourne, and many European countries imposed curfews, on the theory that keeping people at home after a certain hour would slow viral transmission. Usually curfews were implemented alongside other measures, like closing businesses early and shuttering schools, making it difficult to tease out the curfew’s effectiveness.

The scientific evidence on curfews is far from ideal. There has not been a pandemic like this one in a century. While curfews make intuitive sense, it’s very hard to discern their precise effects on viral transmission, let alone transmission of this coronavirus.

Ira Longini, a biostatistician at the University of Florida, believes that curfews are, on the whole, an effective way to slow the pandemic. But he acknowledged his view is based on intuition. “Scientific intuition does tell you something,” Longini said. “It’s just that you can’t quantify it very well.”

“In general,” she said, “we expect that staying at home mechanically slows the pandemic, as it reduces the number of interactions between people.”

“The trade-off is that the reduction in economic activity especially hurts many workers and their families in the large service sector of the economy,” she added.

“Assuming that nightclubs and such are already closed down anyway, for instance, prohibiting people from going for a walk around the block with their family at night is unlikely to reduce interactions,” Polyakova said.

Moreover, the virus thrives indoors, and clusters of infection are common in families and in households. So one daunting question is whether forcing people into these settings for longer periods slows transmission — or accelerates it.

“You can think of it like this,” said William Hanage, a public health researcher at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, “what proportion of transmission events happen during the time in question? And how will the curfew stop them?”

One study, published recently in Science, analysed data from China’s Hunan province at the start of the outbreak. Curfews and lockdown measures, the researchers concluded, had a paradoxical effect: These restrictions reduced the spread within the community but raised the risk of infection within households, reported Kaiyuan Sun, a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health, and his colleagues.

Longini and his colleagues incorporated lockdowns and curfews into models of the pandemic in the United States and concluded that they can be an effective way to reduce transmission. But, he cautioned, models come with a lot of assumptions about the population and how the virus spreads.

“Whether you believe that is a scientific rationale depends on whether you believe the model,” he said.

Jon Zelner, a public health researcher at the University of Michigan, said that there was too little scientific data to know whether curfews are effective, but that such coercive measures rarely work in the long run.

“With respect to curfews, I think that it is hard to understand what the positive impact of them is going to be,” he said. “One of the things I worry about with relatively vague or poorly reasoned orders is that it erodes the trust people need to have to follow these.”

In countries like Japan, which have a much lower incidence of COVID-19 than the United States, the secret seems to be a population that accepts and follows guidelines like social distancing and mask wearing, “rather than a series of rule-like restrictions” like curfews.

That could have happened in the United States, Zelner said, but public health recommendations were “drawn into our broader set of unending cultural and political conflicts.”


UK PM Boris Johnson warns new COVID-19 variant may be more deadly

New evidence is emerging to suggest the UK’s new COVID-19 variant may be more deadly, says prime minister Boris Johnson.

The variant is already known to be more easily spread, and is putting the National Health Service under “intense pressure”, he said in a press conference.

“We’ve been informed today that in addition to spreading more quickly, it also now appears that there is some evidence that the new variant, the variant that was first discovered in London and the southeast, may be associated with a higher degree of mortality,” he said.

The new UK variant is transmitting between 30 per cent and 70 per cent more easily than the original COVID-19 strain.

However Johnson said current evidence showed both vaccines remained effective against old and new variants.

Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance has warned that there was some uncertainty about the data, and the evidence suggesting a higher risk of death was not strong at this stage.

“I want to stress that there’s a lot of uncertainty around these numbers and we need more work to get a precise handle on it,” he said. “But it obviously is a concern that this has an increase in mortality as well as an increase in transmissibility.”


Hi-tech quarantine solution proposed in Australia

The Queensland State Government is pushing ahead with controversial plans to establish quarantine camps in central Queensland and Toowoomba.

Dr Anseline, together with epidemiologists Professor Marylouise McLaws and Dr Henning Liljeqvist, is lobbying for a similar national scheme.

They said recent evidence suggested hotels were far from optimal for quarantine, as the virus could easily spread among guests and workers.

Dr Anseline said locking people up in hotel rooms for 14 days – often without fresh air or exercise – was having a huge impact on mental health.

He said while state and federal governments had done a great job thus far containing the virus, changes were needed as the pandemic dragged on.

“Hotels have been a stopgap solution, but we have to look at the medium and longer term because even with a vaccine, this virus could be with us for years,” he said.

“There are still tens of thousands of Australians waiting to return home, as well as overseas students and tourists hoping to travel to Australia again in the not-too-distant future once travel bans are lifted.

“We need to come up with safer, novel and more effective solutions, and we believe that new technology and processes, which can be overlaid on existing hotel quarantine protocols, are the answer.”

Under Hemisphere’s plan, overseas arrivals would be rapid-tested on arrival in Australia, with those testing positive housed in separate quarantine accommodation.

Those testing negative would be quarantined in single-level cabins with their own kitchens, outside CBDs but close to airports and hospitals. “This would reduce worker and guest transmission but also significantly improve mental health outcomes,” Dr Anseline said.

The plan also involves guests and staff wearing new hi-tech wristband trackers to monitor movements and vital signs. The wristbands could also be used for home quarantine, Dr Anseline said.

Quarantine facilities would have COVID marshals and on-site sewage testing.