Mid-Day Digest

Mar. 24, 2020

THE FOUNDATION

“It is the madness of folly, to expect mercy from those who have refused to do justice; and even mercy, where conquest is the object, is only a trick of war; the cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf.” —Thomas Paine (1776)

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IN TODAY’S DIGEST

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Dems See ‘Tremendous Opportunity to Restructure Things to Fit Our Vision’

Nate Jackson

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) gave the game away in remarks he made recently to fellow Democrats regarding how they should hijack Congress’s $1.8 trillion relief: “This is a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”

Democrats twice derailed the Senate bill over the last two days. What makes that even more appalling is that it was a bipartisan effort hailed by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as recently as Saturday night.

Then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi flew back from House recess, offered her own $2.5 trillion alternative, and it all went to heck.

Clyburn’s comments shed light on why. As millions of Americans are losing their jobs and income, getting pummeled in the stock market, and are generally worried about their future, the original aim for Congress was to send relief money as quickly as possible. That would go to individuals hurt by the crisis and to businesses to ensure that more jobs could be retained.

Yet here are just a few of the things Democrats have decided to demand (largely courtesy of the White House 1600 Daily email and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR)):

  • Audits of election results

  • Airline carbon emissions

  • Corporate diversity requirements

  • Collective bargaining for Federal workers

  • Expansion of wind/solar credits

  • Bailing out $11 billion in debt for U.S. Postal Service

  • Giving another $20 billion in cash to U.S. Postal Service

  • $10k bailout for everyone with student loans

  • $15 minimum wage at companies receiving assistance

  • Retirement plans for community newspaper employees

The White House concludes, “And the list goes on and on — for 1,119 pages in Speaker Pelosi’s bill, to be exact.”

The real aim? As Mark Alexander put it, “Democrats have disgracefully derailed emergency COVID-19 funding by claiming it helps corporations too much. They know that is a lie — relief for hard-hit corporate sectors IS relief for employees in those sectors, but the lie plays well in the Leftmedia.”

Democrats clearly want a recession, so dragging this out makes sense. Worse, the poison pills they insist on adding will likely slow the recovery, much like they did during Barack Obama’s administration.

Sen. Cotton rightly noted, “The Democrats see an opportunity in this crisis. Not to help the American people, but to hold an emergency relief bill hostage until they get their radical wish list. How long will … Americans across the country have to wait?”

And Rep. Dan Crenshaw delivered an appropriately blistering rebuke: “Do Dems want a recession? A depression? How can they justify this? This bill is critical for the livelihood of millions. Our country will be devastated without immediate help. Dems can lie all they want about ‘helping workers’ but now they are destroying their lives.” He added, “This will go down as one of the most cynical, disgusting, malevolent actions in history. Millions are losing jobs while they play these games.”

Nevertheless, Congress will (eventually) hammer out a deal, probably in the neighborhood of $2 trillion. And the relief to average Americans will be larded up with pork for Democrat constituencies, the $23.5 trillion national debt notwithstanding. Future generations will pay dearly for the Democrats’ cynical political hackery.


Editor’s Note: For more on today’s top news, check out our daily Executive Summary.

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Trump Signals Determination in Face of Growing Pandemic

Thomas Gallatin

On Monday, President Donald Trump asserted that he would like to see the country open for business in a matter of weeks, not months. “We can’t have the cure be worse than the problem,” Trump argued. “We have to open our country because [not doing so] causes problems that, in my opinion, could be far bigger problems. … Life is fragile, and economies are fragile.”

Trump further defended his position, arguing, “You have tremendous responsibility. We have jobs. … People get tremendous anxiety and depression, and you have suicides over things like this when you have terrible economies. You have death probably in far greater numbers than the numbers we are talking about with regard to the virus.”

The president’s senior economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, backed up his assessment: “We can’t shut in the economy. The economic cost to individuals is just too great. The president is right. The cure can’t be worse than the disease, and we’re going to have to make some difficult trade-offs.”

The mainstream media has been keen to play up the dilemma by claiming that Trump’s economic concerns are out of step with medical experts who warn that the threat posed by the China Virus pandemic is just beginning and will get much worse before it gets better.

However, Trump’s economic concerns are legitimate and echo the opinions of many Americans, especially those who find themselves out of a job, holed up at home, and wondering how they’ll pay the bills — especially when congressional Democrats elect to put partisan politics before the needs of the American people.

In fact, it is likely that one of the primary reasons behind much of the mainstream media’s criticism of Trump for his economic concerns is that his approval rating is rising. That can be most directly tied to his handling of the China Virus pandemic, as the most recent ABC News/Ipsos poll finds Trump with a 55% approval rating on the crisis — a dramatic increase over recent weeks. It appears clear that Trump’s daily press conferences informing the public of his administration’s actions to combat the pandemic have been welcomed by a majority of Americans. Quite simply, they see the president leading this fight.

Also on Monday, Trump signed an executive order forbidding price gouging and hoarding critical supplies. Attorney General William Bar explained, “Under section 102 of the Defense Production Act, the president has authorized to prohibit the hoarding of needed resources by designating those materials as scarce or as materials whose supply would be threatened by persons accumulating excessive amounts. Once specific materials are so designated, persons are prohibited from accumulating those items in excess of reasonable, personal or business needs, or for the purpose of selling them in excess of prevailing market prices.” However, Barr also assured that this order did not apply to people who have stockpiled large amounts of toilet paper, nor to those individuals who have long prior prepared by accumulating large amounts of goods for personal consumption.

Finally, the Trump administration will for the first time use the Defense Production Act to procure 60,000 coronavirus test kits, following Trump’s invoking of the law last week even as he downplayed wanting to use it. “We’re a country not based on nationalizing our business,” Trump noted on Sunday, “The concept of nationalizing our businesses is not a good concept.” However, he did anticipate that “we may have to use it someplace along the chain.” Well, it appears clear that point has now been reached.

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Treatments, Vaccines, and Defeating COVID-19

Mark Alexander

The latest mainstream media drama and distraction is centered on politicized claims accusing the HHS/CDC (and, by extension, Donald Trump) for being slow to implement testing for COVID-19 (CV19) infections. While tests are not vaccines, antidotes, or cures, they certainly are instructive in determining viral spread and how to retard it.

As for all the Demo finger pointing, some issues about our national response to CV19 should be fairly debated at the proper time, in hindsight after-action. But those conclusions regarding those issues can’t be fairly assumed now, as the Demos and Leftmedia have done.

One of the physicians who has been a Patriot Post resource for years is a former Army doc and an exceptionally gifted medical analyst. He graduated from a highly esteemed medical school at age 20 and completed seven medical specialty fellowships.

He offered the following assessment on the prospects for CV19 treatment and vaccines: “Healthcare providers from around the world are collaborating as never before to improve treatment results. Anti-viral, antibiotic, inhaled medication, and connective-tissue-disease medications have all shown promise and the world’s medical community has embraced the challenge. We get daily updates from our Seattle, French, and Italian colleagues from the trenches on what is working and what is not (avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs!). Outcomes are improving. We are utilizing this information to treat our sickest patients.”

Regarding hopes of a quick vaccine, he notes, “Vaccine is many months away and double-blinded treatment protocols are not being considered (who wants to be in the ‘no treatment’ group?). A vaccine requires a stable locus on the virus (no mutation that would delete the antigen), safety and efficacy data, as well as the ability to mass produce the vaccine. This process usually takes 2-5 years and very few of these ever make it to market. Approximately 87% of would-be vaccines never make it to human testing. We are attempting to greatly accelerate the process, but only so many corners can be cut if we are to have a safe and effective product. It’s worth mentioning that we’ve had the SARS virus around for over a decade and have yet to develop a vaccine for it. A daunting task, but with many brilliant minds, the human spirit, and a healthy dose of prayer, we shall overcome.”

As for the vaccine now being administered in Seattle, the original epicenter of CV19 in the U.S., he adds, “While the vaccine doses being administered there are being used under a ‘compassionate need’ basis, it will take time to know if that vaccine has any effect on prevention.”

In other words, successful treatments and vaccines are not likely to emerge soon.

Additionally, regarding the rise and decline of CV19, Nobel laureate and Stanford biophysicist Michael Levitt believes the virus spread will be much more manageable than current risk assessments trumpeted by the mass media.

According to Levitt, “What we need is to control the panic. … We’re going to be fine. The real situation is not nearly as terrible as they make it out to be.” His analysis indicates that CV19 in the U.S. will follow a similar pattern to that in Asia and will peak sooner than thought. Let’s pray that assessment is correct.

(For more on the efficacy of vaccines, visit this resource page.)

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China Virus Demands Reckoning for Beijing

Harold Hutchison

The China Virus has wreaked economic havoc. It has infected tens of thousands of Americans, killing several hundred so far. This is an immense tragedy for all those affected, whether they have lost jobs, health (either temporarily or permanently), or loved ones.

Sadly, it didn’t have to happen. Despite massive disinformation efforts, evidence has emerged that the government of the People’s Republic of China engaged in a cover-up that lasted weeks, if not months. Even as this evidence mounts, the Chinese Communists have spewed the despicable lie that the Wuhan coronavirus is somehow a biological weapon developed by the United States Army.

Mainstream media outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Times of London — all of which are grossly biased against President Donald Trump — have published reports about what the Chinese Communists knew, when they knew it, and how they tried to keep that knowledge from the world. The Financial Times has some even more damning reports about how Taiwan’s warnings to the World Health Organization were ignored.

Take a look at this January 14 post on Twitter from the WHO. Take a look at what life in America is like as of today, and what has been in the news. Reread what those mainstream outlets have reported about how the government of Communist China responded and how Taiwan’s warning was ignored.

China fed the world lies and propaganda for weeks to cover up the existence of the Wuhan coronavirus, and at the very least the WHO went along. It may be more than coincidence that China backed the election of WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in 2017. Ghebreyesus has spent the last two months downplaying the threat, while providing cover and offering fawning praise for the ChiComs.

Moreover, that cover-up cost time — time that could have, at the very least, mitigated the effects of what became a pandemic. Imagine if it hadn’t been covered up. Imagine being worried about how your NCAA bracket is going to turn out instead of whether all the toilet paper has been bought up — or if you’ll receive a paycheck on Friday.

Because of the cover-up orchestrated by the People’s Republic of China and the WHO’s inexcusable failure to heed Taiwan’s warning, Americans have suffered a serious economic hit. Because of this cover-up, Americans have gotten sick. Because of this cover-up, Americans have died. For what? To avoid embarrassing Beijing’s dictator?

When companies perpetrate crap like this that doesn’t cost lives (see Enron), they face class-action lawsuits. Sometimes, executives even go to jail. We don’t exactly have those options when it comes to what was negligence at best and depraved malevolence at worst on the part of the People’s Republic of China. But we can do stuff on multiple fronts to hold the Butchers of Beijing accountable and ensure that this never happens again. The payment for the rebuilding of our economy can, in a way, come from the hide of the People’s Republic of China — primarily by us extricating ourselves from dependence on China for so many goods. That is not nearly sufficient when Beijing’s BS cost Americans their lives. But it will be a start.

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Closing the Border Over COVID-19

Lewis Morris

President Donald Trump has acted to lock down America’s borders in the midst of the China Virus outbreak, which has already dramatically cut illegal border crossings. The new policy calls for illegal immigrants caught crossing the border to be immediately returned to their country of origin.

“We’re not going to take you into our custody,” said Mark Morgan, the acting head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “We don’t know anything about you. You have no documents. We’re not going to take you into our facilities and expose you to CBP personnel and the American people as well as immigrants.”

Illegal crossings are already down by half in recent weeks. The borders remain open to trade and commercial traffic, but tourists are much better off staying home. A major concern right now is with the agricultural industry, which fears that a shortage of seasonal workers could lead to disruptions in the food supply later in the year.

Many large agricultural companies rely on immigrant labor from other countries during major harvest periods. Immigrant visa restrictions put in place to stem the spread of the Chinese Virus in the U.S. mean that these companies will face a shortage of foreign workers who come in every year on temporary H-2A visas. While it’s possible to stem this shortage with American workers displaced from other jobs that have been affected by the virus, the agricultural industry maintains that these are not all unskilled positions. Some of the jobs require workers trained in specific farming methods using technical machines. We believe American workers are up to the task.

It’s unclear how Trump’s tougher immigration policies will play out in the courts. Before the virus outbreak, open-border advocates challenged every move he made to strengthen the border and clamp down on both illegal and legal immigration. The more he worked to fix immigration, the more they moved away from immigration enforcement and toward sanctuary cities and other actions to flout federal law.

The fact that we need to even argue about the necessity of protecting our borders — especially during a contagion crisis — is outrageous. But leftists, ever eager to use a crisis to their advantage, continue to argue against tougher immigration policies.

The Washington Post claims that Trump’s policies are doing more harm than good to illegal immigrants. The Post editorial board’s argument, if you want to call it that, is that the much-needed federal crackdown on sanctuary cities is driving illegal immigrants further into the shadows, scaring them off from seeking medical treatment. Leave it the Post to be more concerned about illegal immigrants than U.S. citizens and legal immigrants.

The ACLU and other leftist organizations advocating for open borders are mulling over legal challenges to the Trump administration’s latest actions. This is to be expected, but they might not find the level of support they once counted on as the virus and the national slowdown it has caused run their course. People purposely holed up in their homes and those who consequently have lost jobs and income because of it might not be so sympathetic to illegal aliens who ignore our laws. Similarly, federal judges in hard-hit states like California and New York where these cases are often heard might also be facing a whole new world. The value of strong border protections and the need to protect law-abiding citizens might take on new meaning.

But we’ll see.

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DOJ Uses Pandemic to Request Greater Power

Thomas Gallatin

The Justice Department “quietly” petitioned Congress last week to grant it greater powers. Specifically, Politico reported that the DOJ “has quietly asked Congress for the ability to ask chief judges to detain people indefinitely without trial during emergencies — part of a push for new powers that comes as the coronavirus spreads through the United States.” In other words, the DOJ wants new power to essentially suspend habeas corpus whenever the DOJ deems it necessary.

Politico further noted that “the proposal — which the agency hopes to have included in the next round of pandemic legislation — would let the DOJ and its sister agency, the FTC, add 15 days onto merger timelines during emergencies, such as disease outbreaks, natural disasters or government shutdowns. … The proposal would also grant those top judges broad authority to pause court proceedings during emergencies. It would apply to ‘any statutes or rules of procedure otherwise affecting pre-arrest, post-arrest, pre-trial, trial, and post-trial procedures in criminal and juvenile proceedings and all civil process and proceedings.’”

The DOJ’s proposal is troubling and arguably dangerous, as it seeks to set a precedent that during extraordinary or crisis circumstances the government should enjoy greater power that literally strips Americans of their constitutional rights. Abraham Lincoln was wrong to suspend habeas corpus protections during a literal war. How much worse of an overreach is it during peacetime, even if it is an extraordinary national crisis?

As Scott Bullock, president and general counsel for the Institute for Justice, warns, “History demonstrates again and again that governments use a crisis to expand power and violate vital constitutional principles. And when the supposed emergency is over, the expanded powers often become permanent.”

Echoing Bullock’s warnings, Cato Institute vice president for criminal justice Clark Neily states, “If history is any indication, it’s a near certainty that these powers will be abused and that DOJ will try to hide those abuses when they occur. This is simply not an agency that has earned the kind of trust implied by these requests for increased authority and discretion.”

Ironically, the DOJ still hasn’t fully answered for its abuse of the secretive FISA court system, and now it’s asking to be trusted with even more power. Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI) is correct in responding, “Congress must loudly reply NO.”

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NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Jordan Candler

The Latest on Coronavirus

  • AT LAST, THE $2 TRILLION DEAL: Expect a coronavirus stimulus agreement in Senate, Chuck Schumer says, after Democrats obstructed the legislation multiple times (Fox News)

  • NOT LETTING A CRISIS GO TO WASTE: The real reasons Democrats stopped the stimulus bill (PJ Media)

  • DPA OFFICIALLY INVOKED: FEMA head says administration will use Defense Production Act to obtain 60,000 coronavirus tests (National Review)

  • CRACKING DOWN: Trump signs executive order to prevent price gouging, hoarding of medical supplies (The Hill)

  • “AMERICA WILL AGAIN AND SOON BE OPEN FOR BUSINESS”: President Trump turns to reopening economy (Washington Examiner)

  • PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: How the VA is prepared to handle rising rates of veterans with coronavirus (The Daily Signal)

  • ENFORCEABLE WITH FINES: The UK goes into full lockdown with the public barred from leaving home for nonessential reasons (Business Insider)

Heartland

  • SECOND AMENDMENT SUBTERFUGE: Pennsylvania Supreme Court greenlights mandatory gun store closures (The Washington Free Beacon)

  • MEANWHILE IN NEW JERSEY… Gun-rights coalition sues Gov. Phil Murphy for closing gun dealers during coronavirus pandemic (The Washington Times)

  • 22ND STATE TO BAN CAPITAL PUNISHMENT: Colorado abolishes death penalty (National Review)

Other Notables

  • “THE GAMES ARE NOT GOING TO START ON JULY 24”: Tokyo Olympics inevitably postponed (National Review)

  • COMMUNIST SYMPATHIZERS: Twitter says Beijing’s coronavirus lies are just fine (The Daily Beast)

  • BEGINNING OF A NEW COMMERCE ERA: When coronavirus is through, our economy will look a lot different (Washington Examiner)

Closing Arguments

  • POLICY: Time for a national telework policy (Issues & Insights)

  • POLICY: Even in a crisis, canceling student loans is a bad idea (E21)

  • SATIRE: Democrats worried stimulus bill would stimulate economy (The Babylon Bee)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.

The Patriot Post is a certified ad-free news service, unlike third-party commercial news sites linked on this page, which may also require a paid subscription.

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VIDEOS

Video: Changes Coming to the Post-COVID-19 World — Bill Whittle, Scott Ott, and Stephen Green on the reformations, and revolutions, that will shape the post-COVID-19 world.

Video: What Was Revolutionary About the American Revolution? — The American Revolution, of all revolutions, was a game-changer for the entire world.

Video: USAF Museum — From the Air — This mesmerizing drone footage was captured inside the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “When a government takes over a people’s economic life it becomes absolute, and when it has become absolute it destroys the arts, the minds, the liberties and the meaning of the people it governs.” —Maxwell Anderson (1888-1959)

Never let a crisis go to waste: “Instead of taking that legislation — urgent, necessary legislation — and passing it quickly, Democrats have now decided to allow Speaker Pelosi to block it through proxies here in the Senate so that she can rewrite the bill with a ton of crap that has absolutely nothing to do with the public health emergency that we face at this moment,” —Sen. Ben Sasse

For the record: “Democrats won’t let us fund hospitals or save small businesses unless they get to dust off the green New Deal.” —Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Observations: “The money [Congress] will eventually send to taxpayers isn’t a handout. It is our money that they took in the first place to pay the cost of conducting government. When the check arrives to your house, it is doing just that — the government shut down the economy of this country and that is costing money. They are paying for it with the checks they send.” —Peter Heck

Straight from the horse’s mouth: “This is a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.” —Majority Whip James Clyburn

Braying jackass: “Let me be clear: Donald Trump is not to blame for the coronavirus, but he does bear responsibility for our response, and I, along with every American, hope he steps up and starts to get this right.” —Joe Biden

Alpha jackass: “Rand Paul’s neighbor was right.” —Nancy Pelosi’s daughter, Christine, seemingly condoning the despicable assault on Senator Paul

Non compos mentis and dezinformatsiya all in one: “A man has died after ingesting chloroquine phosphate — one of the anti-malaria drugs that Trump has mentioned in recent days.” —Axios, which later revealed, “We have deleted this tweet and corrected our story because it did not reflect the full nature of the self-medication done with an additive commonly used to clean fish tanks.”

And last… “This country was founded by geniuses, but it’s being run by a bunch of idiots.” —Sen. John Kennedy

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