“It is of great importance to set a resolution, not to be shaken, never to tell an untruth. There is no vice so mean, so pitiful, so contemptible; and he who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good disposition.” —Thomas Jefferson (1785)
IN TODAY’S DIGEST
- Russia Probe: Schiff Deflects and Rosenstein Memo Reveals
- CBS Caught Peddling Fake News
- COVID-19 Data Plagued With Reliability Issues
- CV19 Task Force — Resurrected Before Death
- National Day of Prayer
- Daily Features: News Executive Summary, Videos, Best of Right Opinion, Short Cuts, Memes, and Cartoons.
Adam Schiff, Democrat chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and Grand Poobah of the Impeachment Inquisition Past and Future, earlier this week attacked President Donald Trump for daring to criticize Beijing’s handling of the China Virus. He claims Trump has “chosen to go after China” in an attempt to “deflect attention away from the administration’s terrible mishandling of this virus.”
Beyond setting up his next inquisition on the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic, Schiff has another reason to be the one deflecting: His party’s Russia-collusion hoax took another couple of body blows this week.
Acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Richard Grenell wrote a letter to Schiff informing him that 6,000 pages of transcripts from all 53 interviews the Intel Committee conducted in its Russia probe “can be released to the public without any concerns of disclosing classified material.” Grenell then told Schiff, “In the interests of transparency and accountability, I urge you to honor your previous public statements, and your Committee’s unanimous vote on this matter, to release all 53 cleared transcripts to all Members of Congress and the American public as soon as possible.”
Despite review of 43 of those transcripts having been completed nearly a year ago (well before Grenell took the helm in February), Schiff has refused to release them. Why? Because the Democrats’ collusion narrative was a BIG lie, and Schiff knows it. Unfortunately, far too many Americans don’t, and Schiff would very much prefer to keep it that way.
Schiff, of course, blames the DNI’s office for the delay. But after his many pompous declarations of having “direct evidence” of Trump’s supposed collusion with Russia, Schiff has yet to provide a scrap of it.
That fact is all the more remarkable given Robert Mueller’s total failure to come up with anything incriminating. And that failure itself is magnified by the scope of Mueller’s probe, which is the next bit of news on the collusion front this week.
We already knew his net was quite wide. But on Wednesday, the Justice Department released a Rod Rosenstein memo from August 2017 laying out an even broader scope for Mueller’s probe after Rosenstein established it in May 2017. That includes Mueller’s ability to continue investigating Michael Flynn after the FBI’s despicable efforts to entrap him, as well as to pursue Paul Manafort, Carter Page, and George Papadopolous.
As The Federalist’s Sean Davis observes, Rosenstein’s memo “was riddled with conspiracy theories lifted straight from the bogus dossier of Christopher Steele.” The dossier bought and paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC, and that the FBI knew — or should have known — was hot garbage when agents used it as the basis for surveilling the Trump campaign. This confirmation of the belief that Rosenstein likewise relied on it for empowering Mueller a year later is damning.
The 2016 election was nearly four years ago and we’re still learning fresh details about just how depraved Democrats and their allies in the deep state really were.
CBS News has been exposed for staging a “news” story regarding testing for COVID-19. The segment in question appeared on “CBS This Morning.” It showed a long line of cars at a drive-in testing facility that was being run by the nonprofit organization Cherry Health, in which people were presumably being tested. CBS used the footage as part of a story featuring Michigan’s Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who blamed the federal government for failing to provide her state with enough testing resources to address the state’s pandemic needs. It served as an obvious hit piece against President Donald Trump’s leadership during this national crisis.
Furthermore, the story aimed to promote ObamaCare as a shining example of how the law enabled Cherry Health to meet the healthcare needs of the community. Of course, President Donald Trump and Republicans have worked against that law, so the story doubled as a swipe at callous Republicans on top of relaying how the federal government’s supposed lack of support during this pandemic was putting immense strain on the health facility.
This story also has a Joe Biden connection. “Perhaps it’s not a surprise that two months ago Cherry Health hosted a campaign event for former Vice President Joe Biden, where he was lauded by Gov. Whitmer,” The Wall Street Journal observes. “Mr. Biden also promised at the event to further expand ObamaCare, which was no doubt welcome news to Cherry Health officials. Mr. Biden also had kind words for Ms. Whitmer.”
An employee of Cherry Health contacted the media watchdog Project Veritas, which released undercover videos showing several employees claiming that the long line of cars was staged, and that it was done at the behest of CBS reporters and their own boss.
CBS News denied that it staged anything and placed the blame for any apparent staging on the Cherry Health facility, though it removed the segment in question from the web. Cherry Health CEO Tasha Blackman offered the following explanation: “I did not instruct any of our staff to get in their cars as part of the line of vehicles.” Notice that neither CBS News nor Cherry Health denied that the line of cars was staged.
Irrespective of these lame denials, what this fake news once again demonstrates is the deeply biased mindset of the mainstream media, which eagerly promotes “news” stories that support a leftist narrative. Add this latest episode to the long-running series of MSM promulgation of fake news that comports with former CBS anchor Dan Rather’s infamous “fake but accurate” standard. There’s ABC News’s fake Syrian video, CNN’s scripted anti-Second Amendment rally, the staged photo of a migrant woman running with her two children among gas canisters, the migrant kids in cages taken during Barack Obama’s presidency but falsely attributed to President Donald Trump, and the Covington Catholic high-school boys being falsely labeled racists and accused of harassing a Native American on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. These are just a few of the more recent instances.
The news media have a responsibility not to be set up — to get the facts straight and report them, not to perpetrate a narrative. That in a nutshell is the overarching problem with Leftmedia.
With the news media and politicians so fixated on the China Virus pandemic, what has quickly become apparent is the troubling lack of accurate and consistent data regarding COVID-19. Why has this been the case?
The initial answer is likely the easiest: China’s communist totalitarian regime has been aggressive with its propaganda campaign, spinning the blame for having released this pandemic onto the world away from Beijing’s morally bankrupt government. China’s lies explain much of the initial faulty data on the novel coronavirus. The World Health Organization’s kowtowing to Beijing further exacerbated the problem with data reliability.
However, as the weeks have gone by since the U.S. began its aggressive response to the pandemic in the form of shutdowns and increased testing, the reliability of the data has not gotten much better. U.S. data collection can’t be blamed on China, so what’s the explanation for this?
The most glaring issue has been inconsistent data regarding the total number of people in which COVID-19 was the cause death. There appear to be at least two reasons why this most sobering of data sets has been so inconsistent and difficult to pin down. The first is the lack of any nationwide standards for determining cause of death. This problem existed well prior to the pandemic, though it has been more publicly exposed in recent weeks. Furthermore, to what degree can COVID-19 rightly be blamed as the cause of death? The vast majority of those who have died have been elderly or were suffering from underlying health problems. In other words, was COVID-19 primarily responsible for causing death or was it simply the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back?
The second problem is the novelty of the virus. How many people have died over the last couple months from COVID-related complications but were never tested for the infection? This reality has produced some of the most widely disparate numbers. PowerLine’s Paul Mirengoff observes, “The Washington Post tells us that total U.S. deaths surged early in the pandemic. It cites a study by Yale University that found the U.S. recorded an estimated 15,400 excess deaths in ‘the early weeks of the pandemic’ (‘the weeks leading up to April 4’) nearly twice as many as were publicly attributed to the Wuhan coronavirus at the time. It’s plausible that deaths from the virus were under counted during this period, given the relatively small number of tests administered as of that time.”
The takeaway is that even as more is learned every day regarding this novel coronavirus, the statistical data specifically on death totals often serves as little more than a tool to induce panic in people who would be better served not becoming obsessed with a running death toll of a virus they can do little to control. Follow the safety and social-distancing guidelines and stop fretting over numbers that will only continue to be adjusted and readjusted. And a final thought: If the apparent low death rates from COVID-19 in developing countries like India continues, then that raises some serious question with the numbers in the U.S. and much of the developed world.
On Tuesday, affirming the administration’s position that the increase in the CV19 disease case load will be more manageable by June, Task Force chairman Mike Pence said there are discussions “about what the proper time is for the Task Force to complete its work.” He added, “We’re starting to look at the Memorial Day window, early June window, as a time when we could begin to transition back to having our agencies begin to manage our national response in a more traditional manner.” President Donald Trump later confirmed these discussions.
Task Force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said she would remain an adviser to the administration for the rest of the year to “keep a close eye on the data.” She added, “Because we have very good data now, it took us a while to build that capacity and we’ll make sure that we’re watching that at a federal level.”
Apparently, somebody forgot to tell Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has often arrogantly contradicted the Task Force while basking in the light of his newfound CNN infamy. When he was asked about the phasedown, he responded, “That’s not true. I’ve been in every Task Force meeting, and that’s not what they are doing.”
By Wednesday, the discussions to dissolve the Task Force hit reverse gear. President Trump said, “Because of [its] success, the Task Force will continue on indefinitely with its focus on safety of opening up our country again.” According to Trump: “I thought we could wind it down sooner. But I had no idea how popular the Task Force is until … I started talking about winding down. I got calls from very respected people saying, ‘I think it would be better to keep it going, it’s done such a great job.’ So the task force will be around until we feel it’s not necessary.” (“Popular”?)
In a national pandemic with a collapsing economy — now 33 million jobless claims with about 12 million more who are eligible for unemployment compensation — mixed messaging on the Task Force responsible for managing the nation’s response and recovery does not build public confidence.
For the record, as I recommended in March, President Trump should shift focus from the CV19 Task Force to full focus on economic recovery by setting up a “Back to Work Task Force” instead of the “commission” he established, which has no clear task.
Don’t miss yesterday’s Alexander Column: Americans Must Understand the Consequences of Restoring Our Economy. What is it Republican governors should be making clear to their respective constituents — but haven’t?
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Today is the National Day of Prayer.
In 1775, on the eve of Revolution, the First Continental Congress called for “a day of publick humiliation, fasting, and prayer.” Indeed, our Founders saw a national day of prayer as a fitting observance.
In 1952, Congress established the National Day of Prayer as an annual event by a joint resolution, signed into law by President Harry Truman. The NDP designation (36 U.S.C. § 119) calls for the nation “to turn to God in prayer and meditation.” Each year since its inception, the president has signed a proclamation encouraging all Americans to pray on this day.
Prayer is Almighty God’s prerequisite for true hope and change, and our nation needs an abundance of both right now. The Patriot Post’s National Advisory Board and staff invite you to join us, and millions of our countrymen, in prayer for our nation today at 12:00 local time.
More Great Analysis
Arnold Ahlert ponders whether COVID-19 will yield a major exodus from big cities.
Harold Hutchison asserts that the Navy picked the wrong frigate.
Above the Fold
“The U.S. Education Department on Wednesday finalized campus sexual assault rules that bolster the rights of the accused, reduce legal liabilities for schools and colleges, and narrow the scope of cases schools will be required to investigate,” the AP reports. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos explained that the reform “recognizes we can continue to combat sexual misconduct without abandoning our core values of fairness, presumption of innocence and due process.” The Obama administration not only didn’t recognize this balancing act but essentially nullified due process altogether. Joe Biden, himself accused of sexual assault, helpfully added, “This new rule gives colleges a green light to ignore sexual violence and strip survivors of their rights.”
Yesterday, President Trump vetoed the Iran War Powers resolution, lampooning it as “a very insulting resolution, introduced by Democrats as a part of a strategy to win an election on November 3 by dividing the Republican Party.” Said resolution “directs the President to terminate the use of United States Armed Forces for hostilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran or any part of its government or military, unless explicitly authorized by a declaration of war or specific authorization for use of military force against Iran.” Peculiarly, the resolution was a rejoinder to the much-deserved precision strike on Iranian terrorist leader Qasem Soleimani. Thankfully, the Senate’s endeavor to override the veto today appears bleak.
Government & Politics
The Trump administration reportedly shelves detailed guide to reopening country (AP)
Justice John Roberts and leftist colleagues wary of exemptions to birth-control mandate — an issue that shouldn’t even exist in a country that cherishes religious liberty (The Washington Free Beacon)
Supreme Court reverses fraud convictions of Chris Christie aides in New Jersey “Bridgegate” scandal (CNBC)
Weekly jobless claims total 3.169 million, bringing seven-week tally to 33.5 million (CNBC)
The EU is facing its worst-ever recession; economy projected to shrink by 7.4% (The New York Times)
Surreal Georgia shooting case will go to grand jury as disturbing video surfaces online (The Washington Post)
Health workers that volunteered to come to New York during pandemic have to pay state income tax, says socialist Governor Cuomo (PIX11)
Policy: Blame the federal government for militarized police crackdowns on citizen protests (Washington Examiner)
Policy: America needs to rediscover civics in education (E21)
Humor: Trump retaliates against Asian murder hornets with American kamikaze bears (The Babylon Bee)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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Video: Senator Cotton Wants to Limit Visas for Chinese Students — The Federalist’s Ben Weingarten explains why Tom Cotton’s argument is reasonable.
Video: Dismantling the NYT’s 1619 Project — Here’s the truth about the New York Times’s 1619 Project.
Video: Judge Kicks Out Women’s Soccer Unequal-Pay Claim — His reason may surprise you.
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
Insight: “The deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principles on which it was founded.” —Charles de Montesquieu (1689-1755)
2020 in a nutshell: “Governors with the worst outbreaks are being hailed as heroes while governors with the most well contained outbreaks are villainized. Everything is upside down and backwards.” —Matt Walsh
Propaganda: “Since January, China has fought a tough battle against the novel coronavirus and made remarkable progress. In this unprecedented fight, China spared no expense to save lives. However, an unnecessary burden has been distracting our focus and undercutting international efforts to curb the virus: the absurd mind-set of ‘always blame China.’” —Chinese ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai in a Washington Post op-ed
Braying jackass: “We’re not in a position to provide any subsidies right now because we have a $13 billion deficit. So there’s a lot of good things I’d like to do, and if we get federal funding, we can do, but it would be irresponsible for me to sit here looking at a $13 billion deficit and say I’m gonna spend more money, when I can’t even pay the essential services.” —New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo refusing tax breaks for non-residential healthcare workers
Alpha jackass: “We, of course, could have survived [COVID-19] much better if [the] idiot had done the right thing and listened and heeded all the warnings. There were many, many warnings. And we’re all paying for it now. It would have been bad maybe in some ways, but never like this.” —Robert De Niro, blaming President Trump
And last… “Governors and mayors have infected over 33 million Americans with joblessness, and it’s spreading. The vaccine: open the economy.” —Twitter’s @hale_razor
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
Join us in prayer for our Patriots in uniform and their families — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way, and for our nation’s First Responders. We also ask prayer for your Patriot team, that our mission would seed and encourage the Spirit of Liberty in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis