“We should never despair, our Situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new Exertions and proportion our Efforts to the exigency of the times.” —George Washington (1777)
IN TODAY’S DIGEST
- Evaluating a COVID Milestone
- Trump Takes on Social-Media Censorship
- A Fatal Police Tactic Does Not Mean the Entire Justice System Is Racist
- Biden Exposes the Democrat Party’s Racial Mindset
- Daily Features: News Executive Summary, Videos, Best of Right Opinion, Short Cuts, Memes, and Cartoons.
The U.S. reached a grim milestone Wednesday: 100,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19. Some are warning of a “second wave” later this year, though White House Task Force medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci says that is “not inevitable.” As for the statistics, the devil is in the details, and specifically the word “attributed.” We’ll come back to that.
“These 100,000 are not nameless numbers, nor are they mostly famous people,” reports The Washington Post. “They are, overwhelmingly, elderly — in some states, nearly two-thirds of the dead were 80 or older. They are disproportionately poor and black and Latino. Among the younger victims, many did work that allowed others to stay at home, out of the virus’s reach. For the most part, they have died alone, leaving parents and siblings and lovers and friends with final memories not of hugs and whispered devotion, but of miniature images on a computer screen, tinny voices on the phone, hands pressed against a window.” The individual stories are indeed heart-rending.
According to Reason, “Across the 39 states that report the location of COVID-19 deaths, 42 percent have occurred in nursing and residential care facilities. … In some states, the total is as high as 65%.” That’s despite those residents accounting for just 0.6% of the population, which leads Forbes’s Avid Roy to note that “the 99.4 percent of the country that doesn’t live in those places is roughly half as likely to die of the disease.”
Numerically, New York’s nursing homes have been especially hard hit thanks to Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo. Of the 100,000 deaths nationwide, 23,000 occurred in New York. And of those deaths, perhaps as many as 10,000 occurred in or originated from New York’s nursing homes.
To say this has been a tragic and bizarre episode in American history is an understatement.
But that brings us back to the statistics themselves. As our Arnold Ahlert noted a week ago, there are “lies, damned lies, and COVID-19 statistics.” Many Americans are justified in doubting that officials are accurately counting COVID deaths because there could be a big difference — especially in the elderly and infirm — between dying because of COVID and dying with COVID but perhaps primarily due to another cause.
A CDC directive in March stated, “COVID-19 should be reported on the death certificate for all decedents where the disease caused or is assumed to have caused or contributed to death” [bold in the original]. Katie Hutchinson, health statistics manager for Washington state’s Department of Health, confirmed that her state’s data “reflects anyone who died, that tested positive for COVID, irrespective of cause of death” [emphasis added].
On the other end, there are some number of people who have died at home but aren’t counted as COVID deaths because they were never tested. In a tragic irony, there has been loss of life from otherwise treatable illness because of hospital restrictions, as well as deaths of despair that wouldn’t have happened had the nation not totally shut down for over two months.
Of those lockdowns, even Fauci declared last Friday, “We can’t stay locked down for such a considerable period of time that you might do irreparable damage and have unintended consequences, including consequences for health.” He added, “I don’t want people to think that any of us feel that staying locked down for a prolonged period of time is the way to go.”
Those lockdowns were based on deeply flawed models and now untrustworthy statistics, and Mark Alexander argues there’s going to be hell to pay.
On the heels of being “fact-checked” by Twitter’s clearly biased “right opinion” police, President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that he would soon be issuing an executive order that would hold social-media companies to account for infringing on Americans’ right to free speech. “Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservative voices,” Trump said, warning, “We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen.”
Trump’s contention is made that much more relevant given the fact that Twitter has not “fact-checked” any of the demonstrably false COVID-19 propaganda posted from Chinese communist officials. This glaring inconsistency serves to expose the fundamental problem with these self-appointed arbiters of “truth” — they are playing off opinion-checking as fact-checking.
This reality has been demonstrated by the fact that Twitter’s “Head of Site Integrity,” Yoel Roth, who is responsible for “fact-checking” (which he got wrong, ironically) Trump’s tweet on the problem of fraud associated with mail-in ballots, is an avid anti-Trump and anti-Republican leftist based upon his own social-media history. Roth has called the Trump administration “ACTUAL NAZIS,” derided Trump supporters in “fly-over states” because they “voted for a racist tangerine,” and labeled Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a “personality-free bag of farts.” He donated to Hillary Clinton in 2016, tweeting that “I just gave $100 to Hillary for America. We can’t f___ around anymore.”
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey lashed out after Roth was unmasked as chief of Twitter’s opinion police, telling critics to “leave our employees out of this.” Dorsey then ridiculously asserted, “We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. And we will admit to and own any mistakes we make.” Actually, Twitter has yet to correct its erroneous labeling of Trump’s tweet on mail-in voting as a false claim despite the existence of numerous reports showing that those ballots are indeed susceptible to massive fraud.
Dorsey then hit overdrive in his double-speak, claiming, “This does not make us an ‘arbiter of truth.’ Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves. More transparency from us is critical so folks can clearly see the why behind our actions.” How exactly haranguing critics for exposing Twitter’s “Head of Site Integrity” for leftist bias equates to “more transparency” Dorsey failed to explain.
In truth, Trump’s decision has been a long time in the making, as his administration has increasingly raised alarms over the growing censorship practices by social-media giants Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The Wall Street Journal reports, “As drafted, the White House order would seek to reshape the way that federal regulators view Twitter and other social-media companies — not as hosts of speech but as monopolies that control millions of Americans’ daily experiences on their platforms. … It could also lay groundwork for treating them as public squares where individuals’ First Amendment rights are protected. The draft order is far-reaching in scope.”
Following Trump’s announced crackdown on social media, it comes as little surprise that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg quickly came out criticizing Twitter. “I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be arbiter of truth of everything that people say online,” Zuckerberg (rather hypocritically) insisted. “Private companies probably shouldn’t be, especially these platform companies, shouldn’t be in the position of doing that.” In other words, Thanks for screwing this up for us, Dorsey.
After the ugly case in Georgia already had the Leftmedia cued up, we didn’t need a crystal ball to see this coming. In the wake of George Floyd’s deeply disturbing death at the hands of four Minneapolis cops Monday night, South Minneapolis has been consumed by violence to the point that parts of it now look like a war zone.
One wonders whether the riots, the vandalism, and the widespread looting would’ve met with Dr. Martin Luther King’s approval. Or George Floyd’s approval, for that matter. Our guess is no. What measure of “social justice,” after all, is extracted by the pillaging of a Target or the firebombing of an AutoZone?
Yesterday, we called for restraint and due process but, admittedly, that’s an easy call to make from afar. The officers’ bodycam footage has yet to be released, but the video evidence we’ve seen so far of Floyd’s death is utterly damning — so much so that even those strongly inclined to defend controversial police actions are loath to do so here. James Gagliano, a law-enforcement analyst and former FBI employee, summed it up in yesterday’s Washington Examiner: “Floyd had a right to breathe. He also had a right to exist. And yes, his life mattered. The officer at the center of this case failed to protect those rights.”
Of course, a bad police tactic does not constitute “racism” or justify a lawless response. Two wrongs, and all that. Nor does it condone the race-baiting rhetoric of Mayor Frey, who weighed in with a series of obviosities right out of the Black Lives Matter playbook. Or by the likes of Ilhan Omar, the Minnesota representative who schizophrenically tweeted, “Our anger is just. Our anger is warranted,” before following it up with, “We should and must protest peacefully.” Or by tired old agitators like the Reverend Jesse Jackson, who dubbed Floyd’s death “a lynching in broad daylight.”
It’s worth noting that President Donald Trump wasn’t waiting around for Jackson to stoke the flames of race hatred: “At my request,” the president tweeted yesterday, “the FBI and the Department of Justice are already well into an investigation as to the very sad and tragic death in Minnesota of George Floyd.”
Justice, whether Jesse Jackson likes it or not, is being done.
As for whether the death of George Floyd was racially motivated, how can Jackson know for sure? How can he or anyone else know, definitively, what was in the heart of the officer whose knee took the life out of Floyd, or in the hearts of his three fellow officers who inexplicably stood by during those heated moments? We do know what the Minneapolis Police statement said: The suspect appeared intoxicated and resisted arrest. And we do know that Floyd was “a six-and-a-half-foot-tall giant of a man,” according to those who knew him.
Of course, neither Floyd’s size nor his possible intoxication justify the officers’ actions. He was handcuffed, he was subdued, there were plenty of officers present, and he was shown in new video to be cooperating with officers — no longer a threat to anyone. Qualified law-enforcement analysts agree that there was no reason for the officer to have kept his knee on Floyd’s neck when he was gasping and couldn’t breathe. No reason, no excuse.
Sometimes, though, despite what those in the race industry want us all to believe, indefensible police work is simply that. Indefensible. That does not make it indicative of systematic oppression.
In one sentence, Joe Biden encapsulated decades of Democrat Party thinking. But just in case his message wasn’t clear, Nikole Hannah-Jones, architect of the New York Times’s historically revisionist Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project, offered a similar take on the matter. “There is a difference between being politically black and being racially black,” she tweeted before deleting it. “I am not defending anyone, but we all know this and should stop pretending that we don’t.”
America should stop pretending all right. And the first pretense that should be tossed on the ash heap of history is the self-aggrandizing notion that the Democrat Party is the only entity standing between an inherently racist America and a black American community that must vote Democrat for their self-preservation — and to avoid being deemed “inauthentic” at best or race traitors at worst.
Yet if people like Hannah-Jones wish to illuminate America’s history of racism, the Democrat Party’s role in it would be a great place to start. Why not reveal that, from 1868 through 1948, the Democrat Party embraced political platforms that either supported segregation outright or were silent on the subject? Or the fact that the 1924 Democrat Convention known as the “Klanbake” was held in Madison Square Garden, during which a plank condemning Klan violence was defeated outright, and a KKK celebration attended by 10,000 hooded Klansmen was held in New Jersey immediately afterwards?
Shouldn’t more Americans know that Democrats opposed the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, banning slavery, guaranteeing due process and equal protection to former slaves, and granting black Americans the right to vote, respectively? Or that Democrats provided the lion’s share of the opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, including a filibuster led by Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), a former KKK member, Kleagle (recruiter), and Exalted Cyclops?
As for Democrat assertions that America is institutionally racist, shouldn’t Americans be reminded that Democrats segregated the federal government at the direction of Democrat President Woodrow Wilson, that Democrat Commissioner of Public Safety Bull Conner turned the dogs and the water hoses on black protesters in 1963 in Birmingham, that Democrat Mississippi Governor Ross Robert Barnett denied James Meredith entry to Mississippi University, or that Democrats passed Jim Crow laws and Black Civil Codes that created separate drinking fountains and other segregated facilities?
How about illuminating the failures of LBJ’s Great Society responsible for a massive spike in out-of-wedlock birthrates and single-parent families in black communities, and the despicably racist remark attributed to LBJ as his rationale for doing so?
And how about reminding America that eight years of Barack Obama’s administration — with a president who shaped a divisive tone in racially charged cases, insisted most Americans believe the nation is racist, accused religious Americans of being xenophobic “bitter clingers,” and hired an attorney general who asserted America is a “nation of cowards” when it comes to discussing race — widened the racial divide in the minds of a majority of Americans?
How about policy? Despite a nearly 60-year alliance between Democrats and national education unions, the black/white achievement gap in education remains as wide as it ever was. Despite the deleterious effect on black employment and wages, Democrats still support amnesty and sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants at best, and open borders at worst. Despite largely gang-related, black-on-black crime sprees that afflict many Democrat-controlled urban centers, Democrats still stoke anti-police sentiment based on false narratives generated by an equally corrupt media. And despite the party’s feigned commitment to Rule of Law and the Constitution, they have precipitated some of the most draconian lockdowns in the nation — during a pandemic Democrats also seek to exploit in racial terms.
The Democrat Party’s future? Even more divisive. “We don’t need black faces that don’t want to be a black voice,” stated Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) during a 2019 panel discussion at the Netroots Nation convention in Philadelphia. “We don’t need Muslims that don’t want to be a Muslim voice. We don’t need queers that don’t want to be a queer voice.”
Those who refuse to toe the party line? Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has been so throughly demeaned for his conservatism that “Uncle Clarence” is defined in the Urban dictionary as an “African American who has improved his lot by kow-towing to the white establishment; an Uncle Tom; an oreo.”
By contrast, Pressley is one of an increasing number of Democrats pushing the party to embrace identity politics, where the content of one’s character takes a back seat to skin color, gender, and sexual preferences. Thus, it is completely unsurprising that a recent Washington Post op-ed authored by seven female black activists warns Biden that when it comes to selecting a running mate, he has no choice. “Though we have propped up the Democratic Party for decades, the return on our investment in the party might as well read, ‘insufficient funds,’” the writers assert. “Those days are over. We are here to collect.”
Perhaps those women might might ask themselves a simple question: Why haven’t they “collected” long ago? The answer is as simple as it is damning. Columnist Dov Fischer explains, “The strength of any political interest group in this country is to keep both parties guessing, both vying for your vote. When you signal to one side that they own you — or let them believe that they have you enslaved to them — you lose your leverage.”
It is precisely that loss of leverage that engendered Joe Biden’s statement, and no amount of backtracking or pretending it was said in jest can obscure it.
“There is no question — the Democrats cannot win an election without a 90 percent Black vote,” Fischer reminds us. “So they turn every screw they can to maintain that hegemony.”
That’s as “authentic” as it gets.
More Great Analysis
Harold Hutchison argues for A Guardedly Optimistic Prognosis for Conservatism.
Thomas Gallatin says it should be no surprise that New Zealand Gun Confiscation Results in More Gun Crime.
Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column
Read BIG Question: If NO Huge CV19 Spikes in Opening States, Then What?. After tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs, what if there are not significant increases of infections as states reopen?
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Above the Fold
The Guardian reports that “China’s legislature has approved a controversial national security law for Hong Kong, dealing what critics have said is a ‘killer blow’ to the city’s autonomy and freedoms.” As such, “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday officially declared that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China,” Fox News adds.
“President Trump is crafting an executive order on social media that could seek to curb legal protections for the industry, a broadside that comes amid his escalating fight this week with Twitter over the company’s decision to fact-check his claims for the first time,” Fox News reveals. Furthermore, the White House is “working on a commission to look at alleged anti-conservative bias among big social media platforms.” Trump proclaimed, “This will be a Big Day for Social Media and FAIRNESS!”
Government & Politics
DOJ makes George Floyd death investigation a “top priority” after protests, rioting, and looting grip Minneapolis (Fox News)
Attorney General William Barr appoints U.S. Attorney John Bash to investigate “unmasking” requests by Obama officials (Washington Examiner)
A solid bedfellow: William Barr has become Trump’s religious-liberty enforcer (Washington Examiner)
House passes Uighur human rights bill — via proxy vote (Axios)
The Latest on Coronavirus
Nursing homes account for at least 42% of America’s fatalities (Reason)
Vaccine development threatened because infections are declining (PJ Media)
Business & Economy
Over 2.1 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, pushing total job losses to 40 million from coronavirus lockdown (Fox Business)
A whopping two-thirds of furloughed workers may temporarily be receiving more money in unemployment benefits than they did from their jobs (MarketWatch)
Opening businesses while keeping churches closed is constitutionally problematic (Washington Examiner)
Culture & Heartland
“protests”anarchy: Looting and arson grip Minneapolis (Fox News)
Is a $1 million donation the reason Governor Andrew Cuomo gave immunity to nursing homes? (PJ Media)
For the record: The Central Park dog case is Covington 2.0 (National Review)
Trump administration to end Iran deal waivers in a blow to Obama-era pact (The Washington Post)
California district attorney launches investigation into whether Joe Biden’s accuser, Tara Reade, lied while testifying as expert witness (The Daily Caller)
Two days after WHO abandons trial testing, France bans hydroxychloroquine as COVID-19 treatment (The Hill)
Stormy weather delays SpaceX Crew Dragon launch to Saturday (CBS News)
Policy: Hong Kong’s worst-case scenario is happening before our very eyes (The Heritage Foundation)
Policy: Just how exaggerated is the COVID-19 death count? (Issues & Insights)
Humor: Black man votes Republican, immediately turns white (The Babylon Bee)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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Video: NY Times Links U.S. Military to KKK, White Supremacy — On Memorial Day weekend, no less!
Humor Video: Blue Pill People — Those who choose blue to stay plugged into the matrix love to live in an unawakened state knowing they’re free to do as they’re told.
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
Insight: “I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves. I want them to have the rewards of their own industry. This is the chief meaning of freedom. Until we can reestablish a condition under which the earnings of the people can be kept by the people, we are bound to suffer a very severe and distinct curtailment of our liberty.” —Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)
Observations: “If President Donald Trump sends out a series of bizarre and morally reprehensible tweets accusing Joe Scarborough of murdering a congressional intern — and if you point out that this is both bizarre and morally reprehensible — then you will be labeled insufficiently loyal to the cause. It’s not about truth; it’s not about decency; it’s about signaling your commitment. In the real world, commitment without decency is a sin. Online, commitment without decency is a virtue. Which is why if you spend too much time on Twitter, you probably ought to be committed.” —Ben Shapiro
For the record: “I don’t really care what you think about Joe Scarborough, but no American deserves to have the President of the United States targeting him with accusations of murder. No American deserves the President of the United States tweeting out salacious and unproven accusations suggesting murder and conspiracy. The deceased’s family does not deserve it. Her widower husband does not deserve it. That President Trump does not seem to understand that should bother every one of us.” —Erick Erickson
Tone deaf: “Let’s put politics aside for a single moment. It’s not, red and blue. It’s red, white and blue. We need to act like the United States of America.” —Andrew Cuomo (“This is rich coming from one of the most partisan, nasty governors in our entire country.” —Caleb Hull)
Non compos mentis: “[Delaware] declared our independence [from Pennsylvania] on December the 7th by the way. It’s not just D-Day.” —Joe Biden (“The state of Delaware was established on June 15, 1776, when it declared its independence from Britain and Pennsylvania. The Allied World War II D-Day invasion of Nazi Germany controlled-Normandy, France, was on June 6, 1944. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, was on Dec. 7, 1941.” —Naomi Lim)
And last… “The biggest casualty from the COVID-19 pandemic has nothing to do with the disease. It’s the power we’ve given to politicians and bureaucrats. The question is how we recover our freedoms.” —Walter Williams
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