NOTE: THERE’S A DIFFERENT BUTTON FOR THE LIVE SHOW! DON’T CLICK THE “LISTEN LIVE” BUTTON — CLICK THE ONE BELOW AFTER READING THIS.
Yeah…I know: it was a bomb. I have never been so upset or disappointed in my life. Quite honestly, I was humiliated. But the REAL problem was that you were caught up in the middle of that craziness. I am humbly sorry and promise you it will never happen again.
That being said, I want to make certain you understand the source of the problem: the volume of our listenership crashed their broadcast servers! That’s a good thing — at least having so many of you aboard so quickly. But it was a bad thing because the IT company knew going-in we expected a big crowd. But they apparently didn’t, and it crashed the servers.
That will not happen again. Why? We changed companies. We now are using as our new partner the largest company on the planet that streams radio broadcasts. They worked with us all day yesterday, late into the night, and got us all set to move forward quickly.
There’s one small change pending: DON’T CLICK ON THE LISTEN LIVE ICON TODAY! It’s being revised by the new company and will be ready for you tomorrow.
At 9:00 AM Central this morning, click on the “circle arrow” below. It will immediately take you to the temporary player that when you click will connect you to us.
Let’s be clear: losing ONE person to Coronavirus is one person too many. Having ONE person lose a job to Coronavirus is one person too many.
That said, we have many Americans who are infected with the virus, many of which are hospitalized. Of those hospitalized, there are many in poor condition. Our prayers are for every one of these people: the ones who are ill, those who have lost jobs, and the families of those who have died.
Today’s conversation is undoubtedly NOT about trying to debunk or to express disbelief in the seriousness of COVID-19. It’s real, it’s horrid, and it’s terrifying. But what today’s conversation IS about is that Coronavirus, while dangerous in every way, life-changing in most ways, it is NOT the inevitable death sentence that we were led to believe.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, many folks (including me) looked at the numbers of afflicted across the World, looked at the numbers of those who have died from the disease, and put the numbers together to try to draw educated conclusions about the “what-ifs.” In doing so, the “what-ifs” do not match remotely close to the projections that have been given to us by the WHO, the CDC, and even our government.
So what’s going on?
The current estimate for the fatality rates on the coronavirus just doesn’t add up. The calculations based on existing data are entirely inaccurate. Current data shows that this virus is much less deadly that even the common flu from the 2019-2020 season.
1. Estimates have been made about the fatality rate of the coronavirus.
Often times “estimates” have to be made because data is just not yet available. These estimates usually involve information that is available and making estimates on what is not. We cannot tell the future, but we can make educated guesses based on data available. This is what has been done with the coronavirus because this type of virus has never been seen before.
2. Sometimes estimates are reasonable, and sometimes they are wrong, way off.
Estimates are just that — estimated thoughts based on information available. The entire financial market and the American economy is based on calculations: the stock market, interest rates, sales of cars, furniture, electronics, etc. are all based on estimates regarding where the economy is and where it is “supposed” to go.
The point is that often when estimates are made, they are wrong because no one can tell the future. Sometimes forecasts end up close and sometimes they are not and sometimes they are way off.
3. The current estimate for the coronavirus fatality rate is about 3.4%.
The estimates for the fatality rate for the coronavirus are shocking. The CDC released one report in February stating the percentage varies between 12% and 1%:
“Our estimates of the risk for death in Wuhan reached values as high as 12% in the epicenter of the epidemic and ≈1% in other, more mildly affected areas.”
A report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and China estimates the mortality rate to be around 3.8% based on actual results:
“As of 20 February, 2114 of the 55,924 laboratory-confirmed cases had died: 3.8%. The overall fatality rate varies by location and intensity of transmission (i.e. 5.8% in Wuhan vs. 0.7% in other areas in China).”
Other reports are that the WHO estimates the mortality rate to be around 3.4%:
“The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated the mortality rate from Covid-19 is about 3.4%. That is higher than seasonal flu and is cause for concern – but even if it is correct, more than 96% of people who become infected with the coronavirus will recover.”
As of today, the actual fatality rate for those who were confirmed to have had the coronavirus is 3.84%. This is the number of fatalities from the virus divided by the number of individuals who were established with the virus.
4. The same rate for the flu is 10% (but the media tells you it’s .1%).
As The Gateway Pundit reported, according to CDC numbers, in the U.S. in the 2019-2020 flu season, there were 222,000 confirmed cases of the flu from testing and an estimated 36 million flu cases in the United States. There were 22,000 confirmed deaths from the flu.
That the number of deaths and confirmed cases (through testing) of the flu in the U.S. is based on actual data; the number of people who contracted the flu is an estimate by experts. There is no way to know who had the flu in the U.S. because many cases are not severe and people do not have a test done to confirm they had the flu. They believe their symptoms are minor and go on with their normal lives thinking they have a cold or something similar. Because of this, the CDC must estimate and they estimated 36 million people had the flu in this past flu season.
The rate of the number of individuals who died from the flu to the number of individuals who had the flu is therefore .1% (22,000 / 36 million). This is an estimate.
However, the rate of individuals who died from the flu to the number of individuals who were confirmed to have had the flu is around 10% (22,000/ 222,000). This is based on actual data similar to the rate for the coronavirus above.
5. Actual results for the coronavirus are lower than the flu.
Based on the above numbers, the actual fatality rates for those who were confirmed to have had the coronavirus are around 3.4%.
The actual rates for those who were confirmed to have had the flu are around 10%.
The actual data shows that the fatality rate for those who had the flu (10%) is 6% higher than for those with the coronavirus (3.8%).
6. Current estimates between the flu and the coronavirus are not comparing ‘apples to apples’.
The fatality rate that is commonly referred to in the media for the coronavirus is 3.4% from the WHO. This number is based on actual cases of those who are confirmed with the virus.
The flu fatality rate provided by the CDC includes an estimate of individuals who had the flu but were not confirmed while the fatality rate for the coronavirus does not include those who had the coronavirus but were not confirmed. This is why the flu fatality rate is .1% and the coronavirus fatality rate is 3.4%!
The two rates are like comparing apples to oranges. By doing so the coronavirus fatality rate is way overstated when compared to the flu and the media has created a worldwide crisis and panic by reporting this!
The coronavirus is not more fatal than the flu based on current data. It is much less fatal than the flu based on current data.
7. Those most at risk from the coronavirus are the elderly and sick (similar to the flu).
Just as with the flu, those most at risk of dying from the coronavirus are the elderly and the sick. The average age for those who died from the coronavirus in Italy is 81 years old. This is consistent around the world. There have been no known fatalities for any children 10 and under.
The sick are also at a higher risk similar to the flu. Current data shows that if you have no pre-existing conditions, your fatality rate if you contract the coronavirus is .9%.
In summary, the coronavirus is not as deadly as is being portrayed in the liberal media. In fact it is not as deadly as the flu. The elderly and the sick should be protected. Everyone else has very little to worry about. Again, don’t believe what the media is telling you. They are lying again.
So What Should We Do?
We should listen and adhere to those in authority over us.
Coronavirus seems to be much more easily transmitted than is the flu. However, stating that is just an opinion. But it IS certain that the virus is highly contagious. And we all should take every precaution to protect from infection ourselves, our family members, and others around us.
Social distancing has really been effective in slowing the spread of Coronavirus. As of Saturday morning, March 28, in numbers given by the CDC the numbers of NEW cases is slowing. That alone proves that people staying from the close proximity to others, staying away from crowds, washing hands frequently and just being cautious is working.
Sadly, I predict that at some point in the near future, we are going to be horrified to learn that many who have died at the hands of Coronavirus did so needlessly. We almost certainly will find senseless deaths because of people placing themselves in contact with others with no regard for their proximity and person-to-person contact.
Louisiana is quickly becoming another New York City when it comes to the concentration of Coronavirus cases. The two cities are vastly different and 1500 miles apart. Is their any legitimate correlation to draw between the two?
Yes: they’re both magnets for large numbers of people from other states and countries to visit and spend large percentages of time in groups and in crowds. And in doing so, people find themselves in dangerous proximity to others who carry the virus. And they’re exposed.
The timing of the massive rise so quickly of New Orleans area cases can be easily matched and timed to coordinate with the 2020 Mardi Gras season in New Orleans. For those outside the state, it is common to think of Mardi Gras and its festivities as one day in which several parades with raucous crowds have crazy fun! That’s not the case.
Mardi Gras is a SEASONAL event that takes place over a month with dozens of parades not just in downtown New Orleans, but in multiple suburbs. It’s hard to peg a specific number, but it is safe to estimate 500,000 to 1,000,000 invade the Crescent City for the happening.
Imagine the Coronavirus spreading opportunity it was.
Here’s what I think will probably happen (based solely on opinion):
Disease spread will slow in the U.S. because of social distancing.
Businesses will begin to slowly reopen in areas of the U.S. with smaller concentrations of people live.
Metro areas with intense population concentration will continue to struggle with the virus and infections will continue to rise.
Deaths in those area will continue to rise.
Americans will permanently alter their ways of personal contact and interfacing with others as will retailers and those in personal service industries. Restaurants, bars, churches, and schools will permanently revise methods of operations.
Commercial airline travel will struggle with significant travel decreases. Travel by ground will skyrocket.
Professional and amateur sports and entertainment events will transition to ways of operations that curtail closeness between those directly involved and fans and workers. The same will apply to concerts, movie theaters, in parks and recreation areas.
People will see personal interactions plummet and obvious mental and emotional issues will begin to creep into the “problem” mode.
These are just a few thoughts of where we may be headed. Based on what we’ve seen, I feel strongly these are logical. And, anyway, who today can say these are going to be wrong!
Seriously, be careful, be cautious, be smart and be safe.
Madness is trying to find details of anything our government does. There’s nothing significant going on in the U.S. government right now, right? Nothing but the most expensive spending bill in world history!
As you know, late Wednesday evening, the Senate passed a version of the Stimulus bill that, fortunately, did NOT include very many of the government multi-billion dollar pork Christmas presents House Speaker Pelosi and other Democrats demanded to be included. If you missed those, look back on our published story on 3/25 that contained in a bullet-point format a summary of those: “CURE THE DISEASE!”
And if you’re a speed reader or someone who loves to hit yourself in the head a few dozen times because you have nothing better to do, put down the hammer and read the 888 Senate bill passed Wednesday.
If you, like most of us, prefer a synopsis of something this intense and detailed, here’s a 35-page “roundup” of the hot details of the CARES Act — what the Coronavirus relief bill has been named. Feel free to download a section by section synopsis here:
Congress is good at one thing: spending taxpayer dollars — those we have or that are coming soon in the way of taxes plus the dollars we don’t have and must borrow because we’re spending them before we get them.
Democrats LOVE bigger and more controlling government. To that end, somewhere in every financially related bill that Dems put forth that ever gets signed into law is some “thing” or “things” devised strictly to increase the government’s size and authority through unsustainable spending.
Nancy Pelosi IS the most influential person in American politics today. No one else — even President Trump — can even remotely compare to her. The Senate bill awaiting House approval verifies how strong she is.
Americans are petrified of the unknowns of COVID-19 and are frightened at its devastation playing out now not just in the disease but in its daunting future unknown costs on Americans. And Congress brilliantly parlays those fears into trillions of dollars THEY control and spend.
Though many will say Senate Republicans bested Pelosi by allowing just a few of her outrageous spending demands from HER bill, quietly and with no fanfare Pelosi will come away with a victory when the House passes this bill and President Trump signs it. And every Republican — including the President — knows it.
The fact that Pelosi, along with every other Congressional Democrat, held this bill up for a week in the face of more people dying, millions losing jobs. At the same time, small companies close their doors and school students out of school stand hoping for a bus with their lunch proves how much disdain there is for America’s working people among Democrats. Let’s take a short pause! I need to catch my breath. Just for grins, take a listen to the “new” version of Margarittille fondly titled “Coronaville.” You’ll get a cute giggle or two. (It’s just a couple of minutes.
I thought with your pursuits of toilet paper; you might enjoy a bit of humor from someone who is “sharing the joy” with all of us!
Any Goodies — REAL Goodies in the CARES Act?
Yes, there are.
Most of us in the South are Pro-Life. I am personally unabashedly Pro-Life. I’ve never stated that here, but now you know. I feel strongly that aborting a baby is killing a human being — period. Someone mentioned to me the other day that if we could prolong the social distancing a bit and a shutdown of non-essential services for two weeks, (that include operations of abortion clinics) we could stop the killing during that two weeks of more humans than Coronavirus will kill in the entire world.
Think about that.
Congressman Mike Johnson (R-LA) just passed this along to me for you. This is a segment inserted in the Senate Republican CARES Act regarding tax dollars paying for abortions:
Planned Parenthood Exclusion from Small Business Loan Assistance: The bill applies the Small Business Administration’s affiliation rules to nonprofits for purposes of small business assistance (loans and forgiveness for payroll costs), but includes a provision that disqualifies Planned Parenthood– whose affiliates, taken together, have around 16,000 employees nationwide — based on the 500 employee threshold for nonprofits.
Hyde Amendment Protections: On the Supplemental Appropriations, applies FY2020 Labor HHS’s terms and conditions, including the Hyde Amendment (prohibiting funds for elective abortion and elective abortion coverage), to new supplemental discretionary health funding in Division B, including $100 billion for hospitals and other health care providers determined by the HHS Secretary that provide diagnoses, testing or care for COVID-19.
Supplemental Awards for Health Centers: Applies the Hyde Amendment by cross-reference to a $1.32 billion plus-up in mandatory funding for health centers.
Community Health Center Fund: Applies the Hyde Amendment by cross-reference to the extension of mandatory funding for community health centers, the National Health Service Corps, and Graduate Teaching Health Centers
Coronavirus Relief Fund: Applies the Hyde Amendment by cross-reference to the new $150 billion in mandatory funding for the coronavirus relief fund for states.
In other words, the Democrat House plan included methods to sidetrack the Hyde Amendment through the funding of abortions, not directly to Planned Parenthood, but to several of their affiliates. Senate Republicans made sure Democrat language proposed by Pelosi did NOT make it into the CARE Act. (How many babies will that save?)
The ‘Bad’ Stuff
(Just a note here: the writers of the bill have included a “qualifying” phrase in their spending lingo to expressly point to coronavirus as the “sole” reason for the spending: “…to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, for necessary expenses related to providing support for and access to…..” Make what you will with that phrase. To me, it means “This is what we’re spending in this department in addition to what we are already spending. This amount is only for coronavirus.”
While none of the following are technically “pork,” it is safe to say, “I think this is crazy and superfluous spending on the part of our government!”
Dept. of Agriculture
$258,000,000 for broadband services in rural areas
$32,615,098,000 for “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program” for Child Nutrition
$100,000,000 for administrative expenses and $50,000,000 for additional food costs for Food Distribution on Indian Reservations
Dept. of Commerce
$2,000,000,000 for “Economic Development Assistance Programs” to be used “for necessary expenses related to responding to economic injury as a result of coronavirus.”
Dept. of Justice
$100,000,000 for nat’l criminal justice operations;
$500,000,000 for state and local criminal justice operations;
$100,000,000 for juvenile criminal justice operations
National Science Foundation
$100,000,000 for “Research related activities,” $2,000,000 for “Agency operations and Award Management.”
Legal Services Corporation
$100,000,000 to “carry out the purposes of the Legal Services Corporation.”
Dept. of Defense
$3,805,500,000 for “research, development, test and evaluation.”
Dept. of the Treasury
$6,000,000 for increased salaries for Courts of Appeals
$500,000 for increased salaries for Supreme Court
$11,000,000 for “Emergency Planning and Security Costs in D.C.”
$4,000,000,000 for “Election Assistance Commission to states for contingency planning, preparation, and resilience of elections.”
$200,000,000 for “Salaries and Expenses” — basically pay raises — for the FCC
$3,000,000,000 for the “Technology and Modernization Fund of the General Services Administration (GSA)
$12,100,000 for salary increases for the Office of Personnel Management
$100,000,000,000 for SBA Business Stabilization Loan Programs
$100,000,000,000 for the “Relief of Small Businesses Act.”
$100,000,000,000 for “Small Business Act” for “economic recovery grants.
$25,739,000,000 for “Disaster Loans Program Account”
$16,800,000,000 for the cost of “loan debt relief.”
$805,000,000 for “Salaries and Expenses” for the “Small Businesses Act.”
$20,000,000,000 for US Postal Service for “an emergency requirement under the Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.”
$2,000,000,000 for the “Disaster Relief Fund”
Repeat Disclaimer: all of this funding is “in addition to” other budgeted monies already in use by each of these departments.
The two big Pelosi pork projects that did not get negotiated out of the bill are the John F. Theater and a Union funding provision. The original Pelosi funding clause in the House bill was for $35,000,000. In the Senate version, it was cut to $25,000,000. Yes, I agree: $25,000,000 for a theater is atrocious. Just think of the full scholarships this could fund for underprivileged children. 250 American students could enter great colleges with fully-funded $100,000 scholarships with that JFK money!
The second is a Pelosi “favor called-in” by labor unions. The CARES Act is full of loans and grants for businesses. The applicable provision is to prevent any company that under the CARES Act receives either federal grants or loans, cannot deter Unions from approaching their employees regarding unionizing those companies.
Yes, these both are dumb. And, yes, they will cost Americans far more than just their face value. But this is how the U.S. government operates. It’s full of attorneys who draft laws. And they do that for the most part to favor someone in every law.
Most in Congress reconcile this nasty and tasteless task as merely “giving up whatever it takes to get whatever I need or want.” Quid pro quo.
Are we done yet? Short of a grandstand play on the House floor today, we’re done. I am confident the President will sign the CARES Act into law on either Saturday or Sunday.
Meanwhile: COVID-19 relentlessly attacks Americans with a vengeance. What are we going to do? How long will it last? How many will die? We’ll waltz back into that fray on Saturday.
As of preparation of the story and podcast, The U.S. Senate nor the House have taken action to vote on the Coronavirus Stimulus Bill. However, we were just handed the revised Senate Bill that is 800+ pages long.
As we did with the original House bill, during the day today we will break down the provisions in it so that you will know what in the revised bill is good, what is bad, and what is Nancy Pelosi pork. To that topic, let me say this:
Pelosi and Schumer have weaponized the coronavirus! There is no way around it. Though I do not know deep details of this bill yet, I know that many of the provisions in the House bill you saw yesterday are included in the Senate revision. Why is that? CHUCK AND NANCY ARE HOLDING GUNS TO THE HEADS OF GOP SENATORS BECAUSE THEY KNOW YOU ARE IN DESPERATE STRAIGHTS AND NEED THIS BILL PASSED, SIGNED, AND MONEY SENT OUT!
I could rant some more about it. Let’s wait until tomorrow when I will pull out all the goodies and present them to you.
In the meantime, let’s get down with today’s business!
Think about this one horrible thought: what happens if Coronavirus whips our butts and we CAN’T STOP IT! For answers, read on:
I’m relatively comfortable that we’re going to come out of this coronavirus pandemic OK. I don’t minimize the importance of the lives lost, the companies that will shutter their operations, nor the Americans who will live through an awful financial struggle because of the virus due to no fault of their own. It’s tough but truthful to say, “Sometimes bad things happen to good people.” And that’s what is happening right now. It’s bad today and getting worse daily. How much worse can it possibly get? And what will happen?
An “Eternal” Pandemic?
God forbid that the U.S. would ever see a situation in which some “thing” could happen that could destroy all of our government infrastructure in one monstrous event. In the 60s, the fear of that materialized as a possible Russian nuclear attack. In large part, preparations for such an attack went so far as drills in which school students hid beneath their desks. In that type of horror or something even worse, much more would be required in the way of preparation if we are to expect our country to survive.
Even though President Trump said he tested negative for coronavirus, the COVID-19 pandemic raises the fear that a large number from the executive branch or even Congress and the Supreme Court could also be disabled, seriously ill and incapacitated, or even die. This would force the implementation of “continuity of government” plans that include evacuating Washington and “devolving” leadership to second-tier officials in remote and quarantined locations. Remember that television series Designated Survivor? We may be as close as we’ve ever been to that being an actuality because of coronavirus or some other cataclysmic event.
But today we’re in a different environment from those that ANY of the pandemic plans “in the can” were created to guide us through. The military is always a key piece of any of those plans. But with coronavirus, the military itself is vulnerable and the disaster scenarios being contemplated — including the possibility of widespread domestic violence as a result of food shortages — are forcing planners to look at what are called “extraordinary circumstances.”
Contingency plans already exist for what the military is supposed to do if all the Constitutional successors are incapacitated. We’d have to go pretty deep in the “line of succession” to get to that. But you never know.
Standby orders were issued more than three weeks ago to ready these plans, not just to protect Washington, but also to prepare for the possibility of some form of martial law. The various plans – codenamed “Octagon,” “Freejack” and “Zodiac” – are the underground laws to ensure government continuity. They are so secret that under these extraordinary plans, “devolution” could circumvent the normal Constitutional provisions for government succession, and military commanders could be placed in control around America. What is “devolution?”
“Devolution” is defined as the statutory delegation of powers from the central government of a sovereign state to govern at a subnational level, such as a regional or local level. It is a form of administrative decentralization. Devolved territories have the power to make legislation relevant to the area and thus granting them a higher level of autonomy.
This possibility is all-new for the Nation. We’ve had previous pandemics, wars, riots, but, thank God, no nationwide domestic attacks from other countries. But we go through numerous disasters for which the U.S. government in conjunction with its citizens has always prevailed handling every aspect of each of those. But Coronavirus is something totally different than ever seen in the U.S. How different?
Ok: want an example? Have you ever met “General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy?” No, you haven’t. And let’s hope you nor I ever will. Who is Terrence? Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy is the “combatant commander for the U.S. who would be in charge if Washington literally “goes out of business.” His would be a temporary position — one that would last only until Americans could elect a new leader.
Is it not spooky to you to think that something like this that would put a total stranger — “Terrence O’Shaughnessy — in charge of the Nation? Such a thing appears to now be more than just a “remote possibility.”
Americans are not known to be the most committed planners for government matters applicable to many years ahead. Our legislators have conditioned us to plan only four years ahead at a time.
Americans are really good at setting goals and the implementation of the processes necessary to meet goals, but only on a short term basis. Using that as an example of American preparation for an event such as this, one would hope our government has made sufficient plans for this, especially in the shadows of 9/11. A plan has been started. But it desperately needs to be completed, rolled-out, tested and put in place. Our government has NOT taken such measures.
There’s a group of Americans that shortly after 9/11 felt a call to structure plans for this in the unlikely (but very possible) Washington D.C. event which would result in no federal government at all. But in 20 years of those people pushing hard to get Congress, every Administration and even each Department of Defense engaged to formalize a plan to address our needs in the event of a pandemic, nothing has happened! Is anyone surprised at that?
There certainly are multiple emergency plans of all kinds to address the needs of the nation in the case of another 9/11 nationwide cataclysm. Even though we have in the past had epidemics, none have risen to the level of seriousness as has coronavirus. And we’re finding out we MUST find and implement new ways of dealing with future horrors that we today cannot even imagine.
As a rule, Americans (and our government) are not very proficient at preparing “for” such events. We ARE proficient at addressing aggressively “after” a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, and even 9/11. But each of these other horrors are “one-offs” that are basically localized and contained from their inception. Coronavirus has as its target every human being on planet Earth! That’s a pretty big target to try to protect from an invisible enemy.
Here are the unclassified elements of a U.S. Government plan to address the chaos at every level of a Coronavirus pandemic aftermath. This plan is in place.
The Pentagon has instituted unprecedented restrictions on off-base travel. Last Wednesday it restricted most overseas travel for 60 days, and then on Friday issued supplemental domestic guidance that essentially keeps all uniformed personnel on or near military bases. There are three absolute elements of the plan for Coronavirus actions compiled by the Pentagon. They each fall under a sub-plan that carry different names.
CONPLAN 3400, or the military’s program for “homeland defense,” if America itself is a battlefield.
CONPLAN 3500, “defense support of civil authorities,” where the military assists in an emergency short of armed attack on the nation.
CONPLAN 3600, military operations in the National Capital Region and continuation of government, under which the most-secret plans to support continuity are nested.
All of these plans are the responsibility of the Pentagon’s U.S. Northern Command (or NORTHCOM), the homeland defense military authority created after 9/11. Air Force General O’Shaughnessy is NORTHCOM’s Colorado Springs-based commander. (You knew you’d learn what Gen. O’Shaughnessy’s responsibilities would be!)
On February 1, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper signed orders directing NORTHCOM to execute nationwide pandemic plans. Secretly, he signed Warning Orders (the WARNORD as it’s called) alerting NORTHCOM and a host of east coast units to “prepare to deploy” in support of potential extraordinary missions.
Seven secret plans – some highly compartmented – exist to prepare for these extraordinary missions. Three are transportation-related, just to move and support the White House and the federal government as it evacuates and operates from alternate sites. The first is called the Rescue & Evacuation of the Occupants of the Executive Mansion (or RESEM) plan, responsible for protecting President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and their families — whether that means moving them at the direction of the Secret Service or, in a catastrophe, digging them out of the rubble of the White House.
The second is called the Joint Emergency Evacuation Plan (or JEEP), and it organizes transportation for the Secretary of Defense and other national security leaders so that they can leave the Washington area. The Atlas Plan is a third, moving non-military leaders – Congressional leadership, the Supreme Court and other prominent figures – to their emergency relocation sites. Under Atlas, a still-secret bunker would be activated and cordoned, with government operations shifting to Maryland.
The three most compartmented contingencies – Octagon, Freejack, and Zodiac – call upon various military units in Washington D.C., North Carolina, and eastern Maryland to defend government operations if there is a total breakdown. The seventh plan -– codenamed Granite Shadow — lays out the playbook for extraordinary domestic missions that involve weapons of mass destruction.
Most of these plans have been quietly activated during presidential inaugurals and State of the Union addresses, the central feature of the weapons of mass destruction scenario seen in the annual Capital Shield exercise in Washington. Last year’s exercise posited a WMD attack on Metro Station. Military sources say that only the massive destruction caused by a nuclear device — or the enormous loss of life that could be caused by a biological agent — present catastrophic pressure significant enough to justify movement into extra-Constitutional actions and extraordinary circumstances plans.
“WMD is such an important scenario,” a former NORTHCOM commander stated, “not because it is the greatest risk, but because it stresses the system most severely.”
According to another senior retired officer, who said about Granite Shadow and is now working as a defense contractor, the national mission force goes out on its missions with “special authorities” pre-delegated by the President and the Attorney General. These special authorities are needed because, under regulations and the law, federal military forces can replace civil authority or engage in law enforcement only under the strictest conditions.
When might the military’s “emergency authority” be needed? Traditionally, it’s been thought of after a nuclear device goes off in an American city. But now, planners are looking at the military response to urban violence as people seek protection and fight over food. And, according to one senior officer, in the contingency of the complete evacuation of Washington.
Under Defense Department regulations, military commanders are authorized to take action on their own — in extraordinary circumstances — where “duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation.” The conditions include “large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances” involving “significant loss of life or massive destruction of property.” The Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed these rules in October 2018, reminding commanders that they could decide, on their authority, to “engage temporarily” in military control in the circumstances “where prior authorization by the President is impossible” or where local authorities “are unable to control the situation.” A new Trump-era Pentagon directive calls it “extreme situations.” In all cases, even where a military commander declares martial law, the directives say that civil rule has to be restored as soon as possible.
“In scenarios where one city or one region is devastated, that’s a pretty straightforward process,” the military planner said. “But with coronavirus, where the effect is nationwide, we’re in the territory we’ve never been in before.”
An extended period of devolution
The smooth flow of government and protection of the presidency began in the Eisenhower administration with the possibility emerging that Washington could be evaporated in an atomic attack. The need to plan for a nuclear decision-maker to survive even a direct attack led to the building of bunkers and a maze of secret procedures and exceptions, many of which are still followed to this day. Congress was also folded in – at least Congressional leadership – to ensure that there would always be a Constitutional successor. And then the Supreme Court was added.
Before 9/11, continuity and emergency programs were broadened beyond nuclear war preparedness, particularly as hurricanes began to have such devastating effects on modern urban society. And because of the advent of pandemics, broadly starting with the Avian Influenza, civil agencies responsible for national security, such as the Department of Health and Human Services, which is the lead agency to respond to coronavirus, were also brought into continuity protection.
Despite well-honed plans and constant testing over 30 years, the attacks of September 11, 2001, severely tested all aspects of continuous movement and communications. Many of the procedures written down on paper were either ignored or thrown out the window. As a result, continuity had a second coming, billions spent by the new Department of Homeland and the other national security agencies to ensure that the Washington leadership could communicate and move, a whole new system established to be ready if a terrorist attack came without warning. Bunkers, many shuttered at the end of the Cold War, were reopened and expanded. Matching the panic at the time, and the atomic legacy, the most extraordinary planning scenario imagined a terrorist attack that would involve an improvised nuclear or radiological dispersal device in a major American city.
The terrorist attack scenario dominated until 2006 when the disastrous government response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans shifted federal government preparedness to adopt an “all-hazards” system formally. Civil agencies, the 50 states, and local communities — particularly large cities — all began to synchronize emergency preparedness with standard protocols. U.S. Northern Command was created to harness military assistance in domestic disasters; its unified contingency plans are the product now of 15 years of trial and error.
Government at all levels now have extensive “continuity” programs to respond to man-made and natural disasters, a national response framework that has steadily grown and taken hold. This is the public world of emergency response, ranging from life-saving efforts to protect and restore critical infrastructure to drills that practice the evacuation of key officials. It is a partnership created between federal government agencies and the States, carefully constructed to guard the rule of law.
In July 2016, Barack Obama signed the classified Presidential Policy Directive establishing “essential functions” that government agencies were tasked to protect and retain. At the highest level were the National Essential Functions, those that control “the continued functioning” of government under the Constitution. To preserve Constitutional rule, agencies were ordered to have not just a line of succession but also one of “devolution,” a duplicate chain of individuals hidden secretly outside Washington available in a catastrophic emergency. Federal Continuity Directive 1, issued just days before Donald Trump became president, says that devolution has to establish “procedures to transfer statutory authority and responsibilities” to this secondary designated staff to sustain essential functions.
“Devolution may be temporary or may endure for an extended period,” the directive states. And it further directs that the devolution staff be located at “a geographically dispersed location unaffected by the incident.” Except that in the case of coronavirus, there may be no such location. This places the plans for the extraordinary into entirely uncharted territory, planners not just considering how devolution or martial law might work in a national disaster but also how those earmarked to implement these very plans have to be sequestered and made ready, even while they are equally vulnerable.
NORTHCOM stresses in almost everything it produces for public consumption that it operates only in “support” of civil authorities, in response to state requests for assistance or with the consent of local authorities. Legally, the command says, the use of federal military forces in law enforcement can only take place if those forces are used to suppress “insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy.” A second test also has to be met, that such disturbances “hinders the execution of the laws of that State, and the United States within the State,” that is, that the public is deprived of its legal and constitutional protections. Local civil authorities must be “unable, fail, or refuse” to protect the civilian population for military forces to be called in, Pentagon directives make clear.
Since Hurricane Katrina in 2006, no emergency has triggered any state to even request federal military aid under these procedures. Part of the reason, the senior officer involved in planning says, is that local police forces have themselves become more capable, acquiring military-grade equipment and training. And part of the reason is that the governors have worked together to strengthen the National Guard, which can enforce domestic law when it is mustered under state control.
But to give a sense of how sensitive the employment of military forces on American soil is, when the New York National Guard arrived in New Rochelle, NY. recently, even though they were operating under the control of the governor, Mayor Noam Bramson still found it necessary to assure the public that no one in military uniform would have any “policing function.”
Local authorities around America are already expressing worries that they have insufficient equipment, particularly ventilators, to deal with a possible influx of coronavirus patients, the number of hospital beds fewer than the potential number of patients that could need them. And brawls have already broken out in stores where products are in short supply. The worst case is that shortages and violence spreads, that the federal military, isolated and kept healthy behind its own barricade, is called to take over.
Orders have already gone out that Secretary of Defense Esper and his deputy, David Norquist, to remain physically separated, and to guard against both of them becoming incapacitated. Other national security agencies are following suit, and the White House continuity specialists are readying evacuation should the virus sweep through the Executive Mansion.
The plans state that the government continues essential functions under all circumstances, even if that is with the devolved second string or under in temporary military command. One of the “national essential functions,” according to Federal Continuity Directive 1, is that the government “provide leadership visible to the Nation and the world … while maintaining the trust and confidence of the American people.” The question is whether a faceless elite could ever provide that confidence, preserving government command but also adding to public panic. That could be a virus too.
In the furor of the last five days regarding the necessity to stabilize the U.S. economy that is in freefall, almost lost is the absolute necessity to make haste to find the cure for COVID-19. Yes, doctors are treating ill patients in dramatic numbers that are now seeming to double daily. Those certainly are the priorities of our amazing American hospitals, clinics, and specialists. I do not diminish treatment necessity at all. But while doing so, we need to take dramatic steps in preventions and to get those in place, functional, operating, and monitored ASAP.
Our “social distancing” in most cases, is working well. Multiple states have issued orders that have closed all businesses but those which are essential. That has put tens of millions of American workers on the sidelines. That horror has been consuming almost all the oxygen in the atmosphere. But we cannot ignore our requirement to find a cure.
And there may already be one. Watch and listen to this message from Dr. Vladimir Zelenko of New York:
At a Fox News “virtual town hall” Tuesday in the Rose Garden, Vice President Mike Pence was asked by Dr. Mehmet Oz, the popular TV doctor, how the distribution of the hydroxychloroquine treatment can be accelerated. Pence said, “there is no barrier,” explaining the FDA already has approved “off-label” use, meaning the drug used to treat malaria also can be prescribed to treat COVID-19. The vice president said the administration is working with Bayer on increasing the supply of the drug as clinical trials are being conducted.
“Doctors can prescribe that medication, which, as you know, is a perfectly legal malaria medication,” Pence said.
Oz asked Pence if he would allow himself to be treated with hydroxychloroquine if he were infected with the coronavirus. “I would follow the advice of my physician, and I would recommend everyone do that,” the vice president replied.
Oz has called chloroquine “the biggest game-changer of all,” with the potential of preventing the U.S. from “becoming Italy.”
President Trump announced Monday that clinical trials for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine would begin in New York on Tuesday. He said 10,000 units of chloroquine would be distributed in the state. Studies in China, Australia, and France have found the combination of chloroquine and azithromycin treated the coronavirus within six days with a 100% success rate.
In an interview, Dr. Peter Costantino, the chairman of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, was asked to comment on Dr. Zelenko’s reported results. “I’m very, very optimistic about this,” he said. “This is not a controlled study, but the number of patients represented by Dr. Zelenko is very significant.”
Costantino noted there were no hospitalizations, intubations, or deaths among Zelenko’s 350 patients. As many as 40 admissions would have been expected, he said, along with possibly two or three deaths.
Isn’t it sad that as this that is a logical and working treatment to stop coronavirus has been all but lost in the noise of politicizing for power and money this pandemic? Americans should be outraged at how many in Washington have been playing a game with coronavirus. While playing with the disease, they have put the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans at risk.
Pelosi’s bill offers a minuscule amount of taxpayer funding for curing this disease while filling the coffers and pockets of political party backers and federal workers that do nothing but cause the national debt to skyrocket: $2 Trillion!
I’ve been asked dozens of times the last week, “Is there anything we as American voters can do to shut down this lunacy in Congress? Can we stop this senseless wasteful spending?”
What have we at TruthNewsNetwork been harping on for five years now regarding American government: wasteful spending, political fraud, nepotism, and corruption — all for the quest for unilateral political POWER.
For those of you who have been skeptical, take a stroll to the corner of the two busiest streets in your town or city today. Look down both roads and notice NOBODY’S HOME!
We are close — so VERY close — to losing the greatest nation on Earth.
It is impossible that Pelosi, along with workers from her office were able to put the “Take REsponsibility for Workers and Family Act” together in just a few days. Pelosi knows that a “major” COVID-19 stimulus bill was in the offing, has been planning for the opportunity to jump into the fray at the last moment, and hold Americans hostage to a pork-ulus bill that is bulging with Democrat goodies. And that’s just what she has done, knowing that time is now on her side and that Republicans have very little power regarding whether or not to approve her bill.
I watched throughout the day on Tuesday as Democrat after Democrat found a television camera in front of which they to a person stated the Pelosi bill has NOTHING in it but measures to stop the coronavirus, funding emergency measures necessary to stop the virus spread while treating those already infected, assisting with measures to prevent further spreading, and economic stimulus measures for the American people. Each of those Democrats not only lied, but they in doing so are also trying to hijack the American financial system while piling up goodies that Democrats can use like Mardi Gras beads coming from a float in New Orleans. Every Mardi Gras, “Give me something, Mister!” is the common phrase for Louisianians to illustrate the pandemonium of Mardi Gras parades. It’s appropriate to say that “Give me something, Ms. Pelosi!” is the relevant cry being answered by the House Speaker with this package.
Her bill is 1400+ pages in length. It is packed full of pork. Because it is so long, she is confident there is not enough time for Republicans to read and digest its measures, determine which of the measures included are legitimate and which are partisan fodder for her party and their financial supporters. She’s done pretty well with that process in her House Speaker career. Who can forget how she rammed down the throats of Americans another bill about the same length a few years ago. When asked what was in that bill, she famously answered, “We don’t know what’s in the bill. We have to pass the bill so we can find out what’s in the bill.” That bill was Obamacare.
We’ve done the dirty work for you. Here in bullet point, we have identified almost every one of the items included in the bill. As you digest these, remember when asked yesterday was there a bunch of pork in the bill, this was her response:
“Every measure in the House Coronavirus bill is to support the necessary medical needs to stop the virus while shoring up the American economy for workers. We MUST assist American workers in keeping going without finding themselves in dire financial circumstances and without fear of the virus.”
Keep that in mind — you will not believe what you are about to see.
$100,000,000 to NASA
$20,000,000,000 to the US Postal Service to payoff their debt
$300,000,000 to the Endowment for the Arts
$300,000,000 for the Endowment for the Humanities (I’ve never heard of it)
$15,000,000 for Veterans Employment Training
$435,000,000 for mental health support
$30,000,000,000 for the Department of Education stabilization fund
$200,000,000 to Safe Schools Emergency Response to Violence Program
$300,000,000 to Public Broadcasting / NPR
$500,000,000 to Museums and Libraries
$720,000,000 to Social Security Admin, of which ONLY $200,000,000 goes to recipients. The balance is for “Administrative Costs” — $520,000,000.
$25,000,000 for Cleaning supplies for the Capitol Building (I know it’s unbelievable. You can find it on page 136)
$7,500,000 to the Smithsonian for additional salaries
$35,000,000 to the JFK Center for Performing Arts
$25,000,000 for salary increases for the House of Representatives
$3,000,000,000 to upgrade to the IT department at the Veterans Administration
$315,000,000 for State Department Diplomatic Programs
$95,000,000 for the Agency of International Development
$300,000,000 for International Disaster Assistance
$300,000,000 for Migrant and Refugee Assistance (pg 147)
$90,000,000 for the Peace Corp (pg 148)
$13,000,000 to Howard University (pg 121)
9,000,000 Miscellaneous Senate Expenses (pg 134)
$100,000,000 to Essential Air carriers (pg 162)
$40,000,000,000 goes to the “Take Responsibility to Workers and Families Act.” (Pg 164)
$1,000,000,000 Airlines Recycle and Save Program (pg 163)
$25,000,000 to the FAA for administrative costs (pg 165)
$492,000,000 to the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) (pg 167)
$526,000,000 Grants to Amtrak to remain available if needed through 2021 (pg 168)
$25,000,000,000 for Transit Infrastructure (pg 169)
$3,000,000 Maritime Administration (pg 172)
$5,000,000 Salaries and Expenses for the Office of the Inspector General (pg 172)
A clause that ratifies there is No voter ID necessary to get a ballot to vote. It also establishes and makes legal the anonymous “ballot harvesting” process (pg 650)
$2,500,000 for Public and Indian Housing (pg 175)
$5,000,000 for Community Planning and Development (pg 175)
$2,500,000 for the Office of Housing
$1,500,000,000 for the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Office of Public and Indian Housing, $billion of which can be used as “additional administrative and other expenses.” (pg 176)
$720,000,000 to the public housing fund (pg 177)
$100,000,000 for Community Block Grants for Native Americans (pg 183)
$250,000,000 for Housing Block Grants for Tribes (pg 182)
$130,000,000 for AIDS Housing (pg 185) $20,000,000 of which goes to “one-time grantees” (pg 186)
$15,000,000,000 for the Community Development Fund (pg 188)
$5,000,000,000 in Homeless Assistance (pg 193)
$100,000,000,000 for Rental Assistance (pg 198)
An additional $7,000,000 to enforce the Fair Housing Act (pg 203)
$227,000,000 for grants to States for “youth activities” (pg 80)
$261,000,000 for grants to States for dislocated worker employment and training activities, including supportive services and needs-related payments (pg 80)
$10,000,000 for the Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker program
$100,000,000 for ‘‘Job Corps.’’
$15,000,000 for ‘‘Program Administration’’
$6,500,000, to the ‘‘Federal Wage and Hour Division.’’
$30,000,000, to OSHA
$10,000,000 for Susan Harwood training grants
$1,300,000,000, for ‘‘Primary Health Care’’
$75,000,000, for ‘‘Student Aid Administration’’
$9,500,000,000, for ‘‘Higher Education’’
In this bill, Paid Family Leave for Sickness is two paid work weeks (pg 213). “Emergency Family Leave,” and now applies to all employers, not just for companies with over 500 employees (pg 208)
Guarantees paid leave to employees who have an in-law who gets sick (pg 209)
Opens up leave for some you are in a “committed relationships with” (pg 212)
$1,000,000,000 for more Obamaphones!
Odds and Ends…
$9,000,000,000 is allocated to colleges and universities
$100,000,000 to juvenile justice programs
It suspends various aspects of the enforcement of immigration laws
Hidden in these provisions is hundreds of billions of dollars in Green New Deal subsidies. Also hidden is the “ACCESS” Act that imposes requirements for states to allow early voting, voting by mail, and requires the mailing of absentee ballots to everyone.
In this bill, only $10 billion is set aside for infrastructure for fighting infectious diseases (pg 191), AND…
Hidden on page 174 the Secretary of the Treasury has only seven days from the date this bill is signed into law to allocate the funds & notify Congress
Plain and simple: I’m nauseated. I have never in my lifetime seen a more corrupt, dishonest, and massive display of evil in any branch of the U.S. government than this. And as deep as what we outlined for you, the underlying truth in each is eviler than its bullet point!
I was asked on Tuesday, “Why is Speaker Pelosi taking this action?” I have thought through this again and again, and I resolve the question in only one answer I can puzzle to: She wants to crash the U.S. economy and the lives of 300+ million Americans.
But why would she do that?
Could it be that she is so driven to and so set on destroying this presidency that she would take the entire nation down with President Trump?
Before you respond with, “No Way! — think it through. Remember this, HBO host Bill Marr has one more than one occasion stated he’d be fine if that happened just to rid the nation of Donald Trump.
The situation IS that desperate; it IS that critical — at least for most Americans. I cannot think of a better way to say it than this: Senate Democrats don’t give a rip about average Americans, small business owners, employees of mega-corporations OR small businesses.
“That’s pretty dramatic, Dan.” You bet it is. I have watched the Senate live during the day today as the debate has gone on and on and on. Let me catch you up to how we got to where we are:
Both parties agree we are in a crisis — a “Corona Crisis.” But the agreements stop there.
House members took a week off last week and left D.C. Senators stayed in D.C. and negotiated all last week, much of which was bi-partisan. Late Saturday night, it appeared a reasonable bi-partisan agreement was reached.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi returned to D.C. and Sunday morning blew-up any deal the Senate had agreed to during the week. She notified America, the House is going to draft its OWN bill. Hopefully, it will include much of what the Senate included in their bill.
Let me give you a summary of the contents of the Senate bipartisan bill that has been riddled in two Senate votes solely to take-up the bill and debate it! Can you believe that? Democrats will NOT even agree to put it up for debate! The Senate bill includes the following:
An immediate $1200 to every American adult plus $500 for each child;
A massive federal deposit of cash to assist employers with unemployment benefits;
A program of $300 billion for small businesses of billions of dollars that would be to keep their employees on the job during this pandemic and not layoff those employees. Those funds are initially a federally-backed loan. If they keep those employees through the pandemic, that loan is turned into a grant with no repayment required.
A program of $500 billion for major corporations, $50 billion of it is for the airline industry. Those funds, too, are federally backed loans that WILL be repaid.
There are other provisions in the bill, none of which are “pork” project funding. Every part of the bill deals specifically with the issues tied directly to the Coronavirus pandemic problems that are directly impacting Americans economically as a result of the virus.
Democrats flatly refused to allow the bill to the floor after denying it on Sunday as well. All-day long, Democrats took turns to scream and holler about how unfair, unrealistic, and unacceptable is the GOP bill. They continuously cry, calling the corporate dollars “a slush fund.” They demand there is no accountability for the spending of the dollars from the corporate dollars they call “a slush fund.” Here’s the foundation for Democrat concern:
In the previous bailout of corporations, billions of taxpayer dollars went to corporations that used the funds primarily to buy back company stock and fatten the pockets of crucial executives — some in the tens of millions. But Democrats have been assured this will NOT happen under the GOP bill. How? Democrats have been told, and the press has detailed this for all to see: NO corporate stock buybacks; no executive at a company receiving money may make more than $425,000 in total annual compensation for two years, retroactive to March 1.
Why then would Democrats continue to cry against corporate support? After all, who work at corporations? Hundreds of thousands and even millions of American workers. Who invests in corporations that are seeing their values plunge and profits melt away? Those same employees through pension funds, retirement programs, 401K retirement savings programs, etc. Without assistance for their employers, they will have no jobs and NO retirement income for them in the future — not mentioning THE EMPLOYEES WILL BE UNEMPLOYED!
Before we make you go starking raving crazy with the details of what Democrats want to be added to the bill before they will approve it, Senator John Kennedy (D-LA) on the Senate floor put it better than I ever could. Buckle in: his speech will put you in orbit!
It’s Not Fair! Democrats Need More in the Bill
Do you have any idea of what Pelosi and other Democrats want to be put in the Coronavirus bill before they will lend their support? Details of their demands are scant at this time (they are purposefully hiding them), but here is what we have been able to verify so far today. You’re going to love this!
They demand $500 million for the National Endowment for the Arts;
They demand $500 million for the Solar Energy Industry;
They demand guarantees for the payment of ALL labor union pensions, which are estimated to be several TRILLION dollars short of being fully-funded;
Democrat representation on corporate boards who receive funds along with mandated “diversity” on corporate boards;
Requiring early voting along with same-day voter registration;
Requiring collective bargaining and election reform.
There are more demands that are steadily being leaked. But let me ask you this question that is the only question that matters: which of these Pelosi demands has anything to do with Coronavirus treatment and prevention and assisting Americans, American small businesses, and corporations in ways to keep them economically capable of surviving until the pandemic is resolved?
For three hours Monday afternoon, every Senate Democrat vacated the Senate chamber. Of course, their excuse is to isolate themselves from potential exposure to COVID-19. That sounds like nothing but a great excuse. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans remained in session, one by one gave floor speeches detailing the facts of the proposed GOP Coronavirus bill and little by little exposed to the nation what Democrats are doing and why. More and more of the pork they wish to be included in the hoped-for law that is supposed to give Americans immediate economic relief and also their employers have been exposed. Folks, if there ever was a minuscule desire to offer the American public real relief during this disaster, these Democrats indeed lost that desire somewhere along the way.
What many Americans are doing is trying to find some reasonable answer to the question, “What do Senate Democrats hope to accomplish with their antics on Capitol Hill?” As of this moment, I don’t think there’s a reasonable answer that can be given.
I just spoke to one member of the House who is as angry as I at the delay tactics Americans are watching play out on C-SPAN. It’s as if Democrats don’t care about the lousy light their actions shine on their party. Yes, the voters from their states who are looking-in have recoiled at the incompetence their Democratic Senators are showing to the world. Maybe Dems forget that their inaction means millions of THEIR party members have nothing to do but sit at home and are watching their antics exposed. I cannot believe that knowing that, Senators would continue to stall while trying to protect some semblance of honesty, decency, and the dignity Americans expect from U.S. Senators. All of that, they may have once had has been flushed and is long gone.
But that’s not the critical issue here: Americans are dying from COVID-19. Millions of others will not go to work today that could have if Democrats had joined Senate Republicans to get the relief package completed and sent to the President to sign. Wealthy Democrat members of Congress probably don’t relate to working Americans who fight for weekly paychecks. Democrat House members are acting the same.
Two things matter today: First, give Americans economic relief: their employers, their companies, and them individually. Get the $1200 per adult and $500 per child paid immediately. Secondly, fully fund quickly every medical issue pending sufficient to protect medical providers, patients, emergency medical workers, and public servants who are putting their lives in danger to save us.
The devil in all this — as hard as it is to say — is NOT Democrats in the Senate. The devil always has been and still is COVID-19. We need to continue to support the President and his team and other medical professionals who are working 24/7 to find medical relief for us all from Coronavirus. At the same time, give Americans the economic relief necessary to make it through the pandemic.
Here’s a novel thought: why don’t the members of Congress just use our tax dollars for us for a change!
In this age in which Socialism is being touted by tens of millions of Americans, including 2020 presidential candidates, people from everywhere pointing to nations in the European Union as the “standard” for Socialism after which the U.S. should pattern its government. Many Democrats loudly proclaim the unity of the EU as being far more inclusive of their residents, often pointing to the pervasive arrogance of Americans, many of who reject those different from them. After all, Americans are xenophobes, racists, and bigots. Not so of Europeans. They have it all together: have each other’s back, work together, and are unified with their fellow Europeans.
Then came mass migration from Muslim countries in North Africa. Subsequently, openness and camaraderie that for decades the European people of 44 countries touted as the quality of humanity all on Earth should be so lucky to be a part. A few million immigrants changed that tune very quickly.
How would that feel here?
It would be like at least the 48 contiguous states each was a nation unto itself. Each would have its government, which included a president, premier, or prime minister, and government’s divided in different ways like our House and Senate. Each would have its own set of laws, law enforcement, and even military. Within each of those 48 countries would be different cultures, languages, and customs. Multiple religions would be just like in the U.S. now. But moving between what are now our states would be severe in many cases just as in Europe.
Can you imagine how difficult such an environment would be to manage?
The greatest irony of the European Union and those independent 44 countries is that even though they are part of one entity, they all take pride in their individuality — not unlike what happens in the U.S.
Three years ago, Brexit tore the EU asunder to the chagrin of millions of residents from all those countries. Most before that had reveled in their diversity and differences but held the strength and unity of 43 fellow nations under one umbrella jointly. The U.K. was the glue and power of the Union. And Brexit took all that away from those other nations. Many thought it would be a good thing, but many thought it would be a mistake. The book is still out on that.
But a big “bug” has landed right in the middle of the utopia Europeans have so proudly called theirs for a generation: COVID-19.
Utopia Dead in the EU
The new coronavirus and its accompanying disease Covid-19 has stopped the EU in its tracks. Governments, markets, and news cycles have become dominated by the pandemic. Europe is now the epicenter for the disease, with reportedly more fatal cases of infection than China, where the virus first erupted in December.
Several European Union countries have declared themselves states of emergencies, including Belgium, France, Portugal, Spain, and Italy. The 27-member bloc has sealed off external borders. Some states, such as Poland, have begun closing borders with other EU members. Brussels, the administrative center of the EU, is alarmed because their flagship of success — their single market and its core principles of free movement of goods and people is at risk of collapsing.
The European entity which proclaims solidarity status is reverting to a collection of nation-states, each desperately fighting for their survival amid the COVID-19 pandemic. EU leaders have been criticized for showing a lack of central leadership and solidarity. When Italy first reported a surge in infections, the rest of Europe was slow to respond with the necessary prompt assistance. Now Italy is such a grip of the disease – with thousands dead – that in some parts of the country, regular funeral services reportedly cannot even cope with the number of deceased.
The Serbian President Alexander Vucic, a few days ago, lamented that there was “no European solidarity.” Serbia is a prospective member of the EU along with several other Balkan states, but Vucic said his country had received little in the way of aid from the EU in the face of the coronavirus threat. Indeed, by contrast, the Serb leader praised the generosity of China, which has sent large shipments of equipment to combat the disease. Beijing also dispatched aid cargoes and medical teams to Italy and other EU members to help them cope with their outbreaks.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has praised the prompt and massive intervention by the Chinese authorities in curbing the spread of the disease within their borders. The latest indications seem to show China has halted the spread of the infection.
The anemic response by the EU and its nation-based reactions could turn out to be a fatal political lack of governing with a massive death toll and ruinous economic impact. The citizens of Europe will not forgive such fecklessness.
Laughably, an EU monitoring group last week claimed that Russia was interfering by spreading disinformation about impacts of the novel coronavirus in such a way as to undermine European governments and to “sow division” among European civilians. This scapegoating for its incompetence is laughable.
Weeks ago, when the world could see that the virus outbreak in China was a grave development, the EU administrators and national leaders were sitting on their hands. Now that the disease has become a pandemic across the EU, the European Central Bank has suddenly announced it is pumping 820 billion dollars to shore up financial markets and institutions while countries struggle to find test kits to detect the disease and ventilators to treat victims. Healthcare systems have been gutted by years of continual economic hardships.
What is clear is that the EU has become a financially-driven cartel, not a human-centered federation of nations. An organization that cannot adequately protect the health of its public is not an organization worth defending. The EU’s declarations of solidarity are being seen for the facade that they are. That facade was always shaky. A microbe called COVID-19 or coronavirus is enough to tear it down.
Meanwhile, Back in The U.S.A.
It gets worse. From Saturday to Sunday, COVID-19 cases jumped approximately 5,000 cases. Worldwide Sunday evening, there were 331,273 confirmed cases, 14,450 confirmed deaths, and a reported 97,847 reported to have recovered. The U.S. has moved past Spain into the number three spot in the number of infected persons.
The U.S. is far from out of the water.
It’s not just the European Union that is scrambling in the face of this horror. Now every country on Earth is either deep into the abyss of COVID-19 or making exhaustive preparations to deal with it because it is almost certainly coming.
There is good news on several fronts, though. First, that drug from the 40s used for decades against Malaria is showing dramatic signs of effectiveness at stopping this virus. That drug, chloroquine, is intended to treat malaria, a condition caused by a parasite transmitted through a mosquito bite. Studies suggest the drug can work against COVID-19. It keeps coronavirus from spreading by blocking its method of infecting cells, according to a report last week in the journal Cell Research. On Sunday, it was reported that lab tests on a limited number of humans have already shown dramatic results.
There are frantic tests of other types underway in the U.S. and around the World. Already historically, rapid testing results are showing good results. The timing of this is nearly miraculous. Remember hearing that the creation, testing, and approval of any new drugs for coronavirus would probably take two to three years? That was just weeks ago. We are now being told it could happen in just months. Medical technology is amazing!
Then There’s The Media
On Sunday, I looked in for a brief moment to see CNN’s contributors Carl Bernstein and longtime CBS News anchor Dan Rather in a conversation eviscerate the President. Bernstein — credited for initiating the Watergate investigation that ran Nixon from the White House — angrily attacked the President. Rather when asked by CNN’s Brian Stelter what Rather thought about the job of the news media regarding Mr. Trump’s press briefings also demeaned Mr. Trump. Listen to this short audio of that CNN report from Sunday:
It’s sad, isn’t it, for two former journalists who sat on the top of the heap when it came to reporting giants. They each have lost the two absolute must-haves for members of the media, no matter which network or newspaper for which they report. What are those two must-haves? Honesty and the simple reporting of the news.
All of this crud happens daily on most news outlets! Seven days a week the President brings members of the White House Task Force to answer questions from the media about specifics. Mr. Trump always opens the pressers, usually introduces Vice President Pence, who says a few words, and then opens it up for questions. Contrary to what Rather and Bernstein claimed, media members in that room have full access to ask the President or members of the Task Force anything they like!
I’ll say this one last thing about the Bernstein-Stelter-Rather blather: Bernstein read some words from someone from the White House blasting the President for his ineptness and dishonesty regarding the U.S. preparedness and implementation of all things COVID-19. Who was that White House source who spilled the beans to Bernstein? Anonymous! Bernstein nor Rather were reporting to Americans on Sunday. They were spewing their partisan anti-Trump venom. Mr. Trump and the Task Force gave Americans pure, unadulterated facts. And the media asked appropriate questions from all those in the room — just as happens daily — and then answered them.
What should WE do?
Pay attention. Look and listen in several times a day to those you consider reputable media sources to stay current on the latest details of the fight against coronavirus. Who are those reliable sources? FOX News delivers during the day all day, real news. Their evening shows are not news shows, but Opinion shows. In the way of newspapers, I find the Washington Times and the New York Post reasonably accurate. Of course, TruthNewsNetwork is here for you, albeit currently just once a day. (more about that in a few moments)
Listen to all those in authority in your area. Follow their instructions. Things are different in different parts of the country and various parts of each state. Localize your news digestion.
Find and take care of those around you who may not be in an excellent place to take care of themselves. In every community, there are ways, people, and places that are ready and willing to take care of those who cannot do so themselves. Give of yourselves: that’s what we Americans do!
Pray, Pray, Pray! God’s got this. Let Him know daily you trust Him for that.
Don’t panic! Fear is the #1 enemy here. It is difficult to make the right decisions when we are consumed with fear.
Remain as isolated as you can. You may not have the virus. You may HAVE it and don’t know that. Be aware that others around you may not be as strong physically or mentally as you, and you don’t want to create any panic in them and certainly no virus exposure.
Support all those in authority over you, whether you agree with them or not. That doesn’t come from me — it comes from Jesus!
NOTE: TruthNewsNetwork is going live! We are testing our system this week. Hopefully, we will be ready by the weekend, final testing during the weekend, and going live one week from today. Here’s how it will work:
Our live show will be via internet Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM Central time;
You will be able to access it by simply logging into www.truthnewsnet.org. On the home page, there will be a button you push to access the live broadcast.
IT’s that simple!
What will you hear? We’ll daily talk in detail about some of the events you see and hear every day. We don’t have the time to go into detail many times. This way, you’ll always get “the rest of the story.” The good news is you’ll be able to call in live and talk live on the air with me, other listeners around you, and even some who are partners from around the world.
The number with which you will call toll-free to get on the air is 866-37TRUTH. In all numbers, that’s 866-378-7884.
I’m not Limbaugh or Hannity — far from it. Those guys are the best at this. Some of you know me, so you know what to expect. For the rest of you, you’ll hear facts, and sometimes facts mixed with opinions. We’ll always make sure you know which are facts and which are opinions. And I want you to do the same thing. You can ask questions about something we’ve written or said on previous days, something we’re talking about that day, or even something brand new. We’re going to make it your show!
Another great thing is we’ll have guests both in the studio and on the phone live that you will be able to interact with by calling in.
It’s going to be a lot of fun! We’ll tell you more about it and the progress in testing this week.
By the way: this is not a “Corona-Week!” What’s going to happen is going to happen. Make the best of it for your family and you. The Best is Yet to Come!
There are conspiracies today about almost everything: Are the pictures of the Moon Landing real; Did Oswald kill President John F. Kennedy; Have aliens been among us for years hidden by the U.S. Government. A full list of conspiracy theories would be exhaustive. But we have one today that seems to be growing swiftly and is bloated now: COVID-19 is NOT a naturally-occurring disease.
Here’s what seems to be sparking those conspiracies:
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that so far this season in the U.S., there have been at least 38 million flu illnesses, 390,000 hospitalizations, and 23,000 deaths from flu from September 2019 through March 14, 2020.
As of March 21, according to the CDC, the U.S. has a reported 9,931 coronavirus confirmed cases with a total of 275 deaths, almost half occurring in Washington, New York, and California. (287,239 confirmed cases worldwide with a total of 11,921 deaths)
These two sets of numbers, when laid on a table side-by-side, create a pause for many people — including many experts. Put the following in context:
Thirty-eight million Americans infected with influenza since September 2019 have resulted in 23,000 deaths so far. That, of course, happened when we have flu vaccinations and have for many years.
Then there are 9931 COVID-19 confirmed illnesses nationwide with 275 deaths.
These numbers seem to conflict with each other.
Based on influenza (flu) numbers that experts in Medicine have watched for decades, it is reasonable to expect there to be some correlation to those of COVID-19.
There are not.
This has those in Medicine, those in politics, and many Americans also in a panic. One often-expressed concern is, “What if there’s some underhanded political conspiracy underway to scare Americans to death while destroying the American economy?”
If you’ve thought that or something similar, you’re not alone.
The World Health Organization (WHO) put out this statement: “At WHO, we’re not just battling the virus, we’re also battling the trolls and conspiracy theorists that push misinformation and undermine the outbreak response.”
Twenty-seven scientists recently put out this statement in an open letter stating that theories suggesting COVID-19 does not have a natural origin do “nothing but create fear, rumors, and prejudice that jeopardize our global collaboration in the fight against this virus.”
“An outbreak like this has many uncertainties, and when people don’t have answers, and scientists are not able to give them all the answers and assurances they need, they are likely to start speculating.” This quote is from Marina Joubert, a senior science communication researcher based in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Why Conspiracy Theories?
One study by the U.S. State Department, reported by the Washington Post, said roughly two million tweets touting conspiracy theories about the virus – such as claims a bioweapon caused it – had been posted outside the U.S. over the three weeks when the disease began to spread outside China.
According to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization (WHO), such claims hamper the effort to fight the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Also, understandably, people are scared and the images of people wearing masks and large cities that are deserted, cause further anxiety,” she added, referring to lockdowns imposed in several Chinese and Italian cities and now the U.S. to contain the outbreak.
Andrea Kitta, associate professor at East Carolina University, said the “narrative patterns” of conspiracy theories surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak were identical to those in past epidemics.
“In previous pandemics like HIV or H1N1, there have been similar conspiracy theories on bioengineering, plots to cull certain populations, or that it’s linked to eating and sanitation habits,” she said.
A widely circulated theory linked the virus to a video of Chinese woman eating bat soup, which was shared widely on social media and eventually picked up by mainstream media sites including Russian state-owned network, RT, and British tabloid Daily Mail.
It later emerged that the clip was of a well-known Chinese vlogger eating the soup in Indonesia in 2016. While scientists believe bats are a carrier for the new virus, they suspect it may have jumped to humans via another animal host.
The bat soup claim is just one of the many reports linking what Chinese people eat to the new outbreak, and one among many peddling racially charged claims.
“Some of the stereotypes that have emerged are that Chinese people are ‘dirty’ and that they eat weird things. When we don’t have the information we need, we tend to speculate, but unfortunately, that’s also where our inherent bias starts to come into play. We do this to make ourselves feel safe, but it’s problematic,” said Kitta.
In the U.S., right-wing media have also peddled conspiracy theories of their own, with the Washington Times saying that the coronavirus may have originated in a lab linked to China’s “covert biological weapons program,” a theory later backed by Republican Senator Tom Cotton.
Rush Limbaugh said the “coronavirus was being weaponized as yet another element to bring down” Trump.
“Had the virus originated in a country not so significant, it would have been treated and seen in a different light,” said a Thai political scientist and director of the Institute for Science and International Security, in Bangkok.
“China has issues with a lot of countries, including economic rivalry and geopolitical tensions with the U.S. It is dominant globally, and Chinese tourists are the number-one source for a lot of Asian countries. All of this has impacted the way the pandemic has been reported.”
An article in Foreign Policy magazine said Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “political agenda might turn out to be a root cause of the epidemic” and that his multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative has “made it possible for a local disease to become a global menace.”
COVID-19 Conspiracies Get Wilder
Some seem to be far out. We’ll list a few so that you know how creative some folks are when creating conspiracies. Please understand: we do NOT endorse any theory at all regarding the Coronavirus. None of these conspiracy theories are ours, nor do we support them in any way. We just relate them to you hear so you know they are out there and are nothing more than someone’s theory.
One conspiracy theory is that China set coronavirus loose as a population control tool. Here’s their reasoning: China in the past has been known to participate in forced abortions, infanticides, and even executions strictly on the grounds of population control. Setting COVID-19 loose elsewhere in the World allowed them to cripple some of their geopolitical opponents while China moves forward ahead of those others with the confidence of knowing all about how this pandemic occurred.
A second conspiracy theory is that China is using the virus to cripple the number one economy in the World: the U.S. We all know how devastating to our economy COVID-19 is already. Just imagine how much more damage will occur in the next few weeks. Once again, China inches closer economically to the U.S. in such a case.
Still another theory is that the U.S. outsourcing so much of the development of our pharmaceuticals to China gives them a tremendous opportunity over the U.S. Some of the drugs being used to treat those who have contracted COVID-19 are manufactured in China. Can’t you envision what damage it would do if Xi Xinping blackmailed the U.S. to weaken our political position compared to China by withholding medication from us?
Then there are the domestic conspiracy theories. Deep Staters comprised of many Democrats and even Never-Trumpers from the GOP are using Coronavirus in cahoots with the mainstream media to scare Americans to death. They are doing this (allegedly) to denigrate the President’s ability to lead in a crisis to breathe life back into their heretofore hopelessness for winning control of the Senate and the White House and maintaining House control this November.
This final conspiracy theory is probably the most bizarre. Some think the $22 Trillion in U.S. debt when coupled with the $100 Trillion of unfunded liabilities (primarily the U.S. government guarantees of unfunded pensions of municipal employees and labor unions) makes it unlikely the American economy can survive much longer without massive unemployment, skyrocketing inflation, and a recession that might even turn into another Great Depression. To counter that, this immediate massive COVID-19 spending could be the last straw for the U.S. economy. We just might see the U.S. default on its debt. That’s NEVER happened before. What would that look like? Our principal tool for “borrowing money” is the issuance of Treasury Bonds. The Federal Reserve issues those bonds, and the Treasury sells them in auctions. The U.S. Treasury uses the money to put into circulation. What if the U.S. just said the government is no longer going to pay interest or even principal on those bonds? That besides being an economic pandemic would undoubtedly destroy our financial structure of capitalism. Those who believe this want a “do-over” in government.
These are crazy, aren’t they? The quarantine most Americans are living in now makes it easy for some just to reach out and grab the latest and most dramatic conspiracy theory they have heard of holding onto something that “might” be tangible.
DON’T BE TEMPTED TO DO THAT! The only conspiracy theory I know that came true CAME TRUE ONLY IN A MOVIE. Surprisingly, the name of the movie was Conspiracy Theory in 1997! Isn’t that odd? Mel Gibson starred in the film.
Here are the REAL truths of this entire thing: It’s Real! People are ill; people are dying. And the numbers are growing at dramatic rates.
It doesn’t matter where COVID-19 came from at this point. It could have been some crazy nut created in his shoe! If so, that’s something to think about somewhere in the future, if not at all. What matters today is self-preservation and that of our family members and loved ones.
I must be honest in saying this: our President is acting very presidential and is getting things done timely, efficiently, and thoroughly in dramatic fashion. He and the U.S. government are spot-on in dealing with federal and state experts regarding the medical necessities of people who are ill and also medical workers who are being exposed every day. For the American people, they are working around the clock to mitigate the personal and business economic damage being caused by this pandemic.
Never in modern history has a U.S. president dealt with anything like COVID-19. Speculate all you want. Listen to whoever you want. But take action on what you KNOW is right: we in America are in medical trouble!
My advice to all is to pay close attention to instructions given by local, state, and federal authorities. Stay close to news sources that deliver facts. I don’t know about you, but I get dozens and sometimes hundreds of emails and social media messages about first one theory and another. Often I get the same on ten times a day. Why is that? People are afraid.
It’s natural to fear the unknown. I suggest we all face it, address it with the knowledge that we have in our hands, trust those who are in the battle with and for us, and Pray!
For decades, members of Congress have taken advantage of financial details garnered from pending legislation or from those who are directly involved in specific business negotiations with Congress. It has been prevalent through the years for members to enrich themselves with suspect stock market transactions that could only have happened by their access to and then using that info.
Who would have thought that Coronavirus would have opened a door for our federal employees — members of the House and Senate — to take advantage of a pandemic that has 330 million Americans hiding under desktops in fear for their lives? But that is happening today. (Details of these just ahead)
Remember the words of President Obama’s Chief of Staff and later Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel:
“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
That’s precisely what current members of Congress have been secretly doing. But it has happened often in the past but mostly just to make a lot of money by playing the Congressional Monopoly game!
“Let’s Make A Deal”
What’s happening now is NOT new. It’s been going on for decades. Before we tell you the latest, let’s look back a few years.
Then Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), President Donald Trump’s Health and Human Services secretary, when just a nominee was under siege — the harsh lights of a Senate hearing upon him. News reports showed he had bought shares in a tiny biotechnology company while sitting on committees that could influence the firm’s prospects. A colleague, Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), had tipped him off to the investment.
Rep. Doug Lamborn, Republican of Colorado, bought shares of the same tiny Australian company, Innate Immunotherapeutics. Within two days, three more members also bought in — Republicans Billy Long of Missouri, Mike Conaway of Texas, and John Culberson of Texas. Conaway added more shares the following week.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, the Rhode Island Democrat who sits on the Senate HELP Committee, which oversees health care, is a substantial investor in pharmaceutical stocks. As lawmakers closed in on a bipartisan deal over a significant medical research bill called the 21st Century Cures Act, Whitehouse bought shares in the pharmaceutical firms McKesson, Gilead, and Abbott Labs ten days before the bill was made public. Whitehouse and his wife bought additional stock in Gilead and Amgen two days before the House voted on the bill. The day President Barack Obama signed the bill into law, Whitehouse started a series of three sales of shares in those companies.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois, was a guest speaker at Prescient Edge, a small research and technology firm with Defense Department contracts, in January of 2016. When the company raised private capital later that year, Kinzinger bought in to the tune of $20,002. Kinzinger was a member of theHouse Foreign Affairs Committee, which oversees issues affecting Prescient Edge.
Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, Republican of Tennessee, served on the health care appropriations panel. As then-Vice President Joe Biden was pressing lawmakers to approve funding for his “Cancer Moonshot” proposal in the summer of 2016, a Fleischmann family account invested in two companies, Juno Therapeutics, and Celgene, which were developing new cancer drugs. One of the investments was made a week before the Obama administration announced new measures that would speed up approval for cancer therapies.
384 House members and senators who served in the 114th Congress made no stock trades over two years. Meanwhile, the lawmakers who are active in stock trading conducted a total of more than 21,300 trades during the same two years, but a small group of very wealthy lawmakers accounted for a significant share of those trades.
Texas Republican Rep. Mike McCaul reported approximately 7,300 stock transactions in an array of industries over the two years. Oregon Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader made a substantial number of trades in companies that have an interest in the committee’s health and energy work. Schrader made close to 700 stock trades over two years.
Instances of insider trading by members of Congress are not difficult to find. For example, in 2008, then-Congressman Spencer Bachus shorted the U.S. stock market one day after attending a confidential meeting with Henry (“Hank”) Paulson and Ben Bernanke, who at that time were the secretary of the Treasury and chairman of the Federal Reserve, respectively. At this meeting, which took place on Sept. 18, Bachus and other members of Congress were given material nonpublic information about the extent of the risks that were facing the financial system at that time.
John Boehner and Dick Durbin, both Senators at the time, also attended that closed-door meeting. Both of them placed orders selling shares in mutual funds the following day.
These are just a pittance of examples of those who have been found involved in unscrupulous stock dealings in the past. Discovering these transactions (which are publicly reported if one cares to dig to find them) show there is a strong propensity for many lawmakers to take advantage of “insider information” obtained by just being a member of Congress.
House and Senate members who are active traders insist their buying and selling is a normal part of managing their finances, as with any American who wants to save for retirement or put their kids through school. But their colleagues don’t seem to agree. The clear majority of lawmakers avoid potential conflicts of interest by buying mutual funds, putting their portfolios in blind trusts or simply staying out of the stock market. Wouldn’t that be the wise and ethical approach for those who have access to information that could possibly be used for self enrichment?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), when just a Representative back in 2012, was slapped on the wrist by Congress for participating in several obvious personal enrichment transactions committed by her husband Paul Pelosi. Both the Senate and the House passed a bill —The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, or “STOCK Act.” The measure made it illegal for members of Congress to engage in insider trading. The act was passed in April 2012, during the presidency of Barack Obama.
The STOCK Act was fondly termed the “Pelosi Rule” by Republican members of Congress. Americans were happy that it appeared that a stop had been crafted for greedy public servants who seemed to always leave Congress as multi-millionaires when being just average economic Americans when entering Congress.
In April 2013, Congress amended the STOCK Act, loosening its financial disclosure requirements and making it more difficult for members of the public to access the required filings.
The STOCK Act outlawed insider trading by members of Congress.
The law was passed in April 2012 with strong bipartisan support.
In April 2013, key provisions of the law were weakened, reducing the safeguards against insider trading.
Does any of that surprise you?
“I’m deeply concerned,” said Minnesota Democratic Rep. Tim Walz, an early supporter of the Stock Act who does not himself trade stocks. “If you buy stock and then do something that changes that stock, you’ve got to know what’s going on.”
Trouble on the Hill: “Busted!”
What’s happening in Washington right now? We got through the Mueller Investigation, the impeachment trial of President Trump, and we’re eight months away from a presidential and Congressional election. What could possibly go wrong now? Coronavirus!
Do you remember the statement above of Rahm Emanuel?
“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
Coronavirus is certainly a horror for every American. But several in Congress in the shadow of the current pandemic found a way to make a few quick bucks. If you haven’t heard, it’s because you’ve been asleep or are fasting news coverage.
Four senators dumped millions of dollars worth of stock while Capitol Hill was being briefed on the threat of coronavirus but before the markets tanked as infections soared, disclosure records have revealed.
Republicans Richard Burr, Kelly Loeffler and James Inhofe and Democrat Dianne Feinstein collectively offloaded up to $11 million in stock between late January and early February, according to disclosure records.
Burr, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee that was directly briefed on coronavirus, sold up to $1.7 million in stock including in hotels, according to reporting from ProPublica. To put Burr’s actions in context, his last financial disclosure form filed with the Senate showed his total net worth at $1 million. Yet, ProPublica reported he sold $1.7 million. Why and how could the Senator sell stock he reportedly did not own? Did he come into stock ownership to that level between the time of his disclosure statement and the coronavirus attacking the stock market?
Burr’s spokeswoman said in a statement to DailyMail.com that Burr filed his financial disclosure form several weeks before the markets showed ‘volatility.’
Feinstein, a member of the same committee, sold up to $6 million in stock including in a biotech firm.
Loeffler dumped up to $3.1million in investments starting on the day the Senate Health Committee, which she sits on, was briefed by the CDC. Meanwhile, James Inhofe sold up to $400,000 in stock, including real estate.
Loeffler and Feinstein have defended themselves, saying their stocks are invested in trusts and portfolios that they have no personal control over. Inhofe has not commented.
Numerous times you have witnessed TruthNewsNetwork asking a question in stories and podcasts, “What’s Going On?” We’re asking it again.
It is obvious that politicos in Congress have bountiful opportunities for self-enrichment once seated in the House or Senate. It cannot be happenstance that so many enter Congress with modest net worth only to leave their post years later worth millions. That is NOT normal and is obviously based on enrichment opportunities not available to the general public. And they are OUR employees.
That “Pelosi Rule” that was passed and signed into law by President Obama was little more than a straw gift given to Americans to show “We in Congress are going to police ourselves and make sure NO ONE cheats regarding stock trading.”
In YOUR world, do you know of any other public entity (like Congress) in which workers can cheat, take advantage unethically and illegally to make money and there’s no accountability to anyone for those actions? In many respects, it reminds me of that old saying, “That’s kinda’ like the prisoners, not the guards, guarding the prisoners.” Self-policing seldom works, especially when it comes to someone else’s money.
What is most objectionable to me about this has not changed since I first discovered it. These 535 elected officials took an oath of office to serve us — all of us. They’re paid well — far better than are average Americans. Doors they certainly would never know of open to them as they meet and interact with those in business while in office. That’s normal. But there’s NO honest explanation for the actions you are hearing about from these today.
In the REAL world, here’s how this would be structured:
Before taking the oath of office, each member of Congress would be required to either divest 100% of their personal holding other than a retirement plan already in place and then to place ALL of their personal and business assets remaining in valid Blind Trusts in which they nor their spouses or children have any knowledge of or control of any kind.
No member of Congress would be allowed to receive any compensation of any kind — other than their published Congressionally controlled income and expenses while serving their term in office — PERIOD.
NO lobbying of members of Congress or any person serving in the White House or a cabinet position can participate in any type of lobbying as defined in existing U.S. law. Under NO circumstances can any member of Congress receive any kind of compensation from lobbyists. That includes payment of any kind — direct, indirect, or even in-kind. That prohibition applies to the immediate family members of those in Congress.
Finally, and most importantly, any member of Congress found to have violated any of these will immediately be removed from their office in Congress. Further, the Department of Justice will immediately file charges for felony violations against those former members of Congress AND any person or persons who participated in facilitating this illegal process.
Does that sound somewhat radical? What is the role of serving in Congress? TO REPRESENT US…PERIOD. No longer should Americans feel that “serving in Congress” is really “serving.” Being in Congress really means “obtaining unscrupulous if not illegal opportunities to personally enrich oneself, trying to gain as much wealth as possible by walking as close as possible to the ‘felony line’ without stepping across it.”
Here’s a challenge: ask your members of Congress from your district and state if they would support a law that prohibits “extra” compensation based on the points above? Most will say, “I’d have to see the bill before I could commit to support it.” When they say that, ask them this, “Would you create such a bill and promote it in Congress?”
I guarantee the answer will be a resounding “No” with a plethora of excuses.
Sad, isn’t it. Sad mostly that so many take advantage of it and us. But it’s saddest that so many do it at all and think nothing of doing so.
That says a lot about them. Who in God’s name have we put in charge of creating the laws of our nation?