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Sundance at the Conservative Tree House has been documenting the various aspects of the Obama/Biden/Holder/Brennan/Clapper coup attempt to take down the presidency of Donald J Trump. As SD drills in deeper and deeper the harder it is to accept innocent explanations of what went on. In a post, today, Coffee Talk, SD identifies the person […]

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WNBA Players Walk Off Court During National Anthem

 

The wokeness of sports continues. Did you know that WNBA players walked off court during the National Anthem? Nope, neither did I. And I wouldn’t have unless I saw a headline about it. And now I am going to see exactly the same number of WNBA games as I was going to see before this story. But, I will have one more reason not to watch.

What are the odds that more people will watch because of this? Zero, zip, nada. So why, exactly, did you set yourself on fire Ms. WNBA player?

Bipartisan Consensus on COVID-19!

 

Last night, a conservative friend of mine told me that he thinks the whole reason for our government’s response to COVID-19 is to gain control of the people, teach American citizens to follow limitless orders no matter how arbitrary, and then lead the newly converted sheep to a socialist state. I thought that might be a bit of an overstatement, but this morning, a mutual friend of ours (who is progressive) posted the meme below on Facebook, expressing her agreement with my conservative friend. We seem to have reached a bipartisan consensus on the true motivations behind our government’s response to COVID-19. While it’s nice that Democrats and Republicans can agree on anything these days, I must say that I hope they’re both wrong.

Quote of the Day: Peace and Freedom

 

“You can have peace or you can have freedom. You cannot get both at once.” – Robert Heinlein

Robert Heinlein made this comment during his speech at the 1976 MidAmeriCon World Science Fiction Convention, where he was guest of honor (skip to 7:40 to avoid a dull introduction). Heinlein was a cold warrior; he was a warrior, period. He understood freedom was not free, and the tree of liberty had to be renewed with the blood of patriots and tyrants. During his life, he saw the US struggle against four tyrannies: Imperial Germany, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and the Soviet Union. He died before the ultimate victory against the Soviet Union, but he understood the only way to overcome tyranny was to fight it.

It occurs to me that since the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States  – temporarily – achieved what Heinlein felt was impossible: simultaneous peace and freedom. The US has been enormously blessed during the last 30 years. Yet as Heinlein observed on several occasions, all bills come due. The bill for the last 30 years’ domestic peace is being presented. The question is, how do we pay it? Do we accept tyranny and resign ourselves to peaceful lives as serfs or do we take arms against it and opt for freedom?

However simple the choice, the path we choose will be difficult. On one hand, the perpetual humiliations to which a servile class is subject. On the other hand, the blood and treasure that will have to be spent — not by a nation, but by each individual in that nation — to maintain freedom.

In 1976, the choice most Americans would have made would have been for freedom. Peace without freedom is ashes. Today? Maybe it is the natural pessimism of the old (I turned 65 this month), but I wonder if most Americans would not rather have peace.

We shall see.

Full Speed Friday!

 

President TrumpFriday, July 24, was not a slow news day. Indeed the Trump White House was in overdrive. Kayleigh McEnany started with a reminder of the basic duty of government to uphold the law on our streets, and the dramatic failure of Democrats and their media wing to stand with decent citizens against anarchists, socialist thugs, and rioters. President Trump awarded the Medal of Freedom to a distinguished high school and Olympic athlete, former Congressman Jim Ryun. Ryun spoke up for honoring our country and the flag which stands for it. The core of his remarks was grounded in his Christian faith: “To God be the glory.  Great things He has done.” Finally, President Trump unleashed four powerful executive orders, slaughtering sacred cows neither party would touch for decades. He used his pen for the people, attacking the major causes of inflated prescription drug prices.

Crush’em Kayleigh! Kayleigh McEnany started with a short video showing the American people the violence of the falsely labeled “protests,” then closed with a short video showing police in a positive light.

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany
Issued on: July 24, 2020
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
1:36 P.M. EDT

MS. MCENANY:  Hello, everyone.  The first duty of government is to protect the safety of our citizens.  That’s what Attorney General Barr said when he was here at the White House just a few days ago.  For 55 days in Portland, Oregon, we’ve seen lawlessness, anarchy, and destruction that threatens peace in our streets and the safety of our fellow American citizens and the safety of our brave law enforcement officers.

Yet some Democrats and some in the media continue to ignore reality.  As Portland’s — Portland’s Democrat Mayor Ted Wheeler tweeted, quote, “What I saw last night was powerful in many ways.  I listened, heard, and stood with [the] protesters. And I saw what it means when the federal government unleashes paramilitary forces against its own people.”  That was a quote from the Democrat mayor who quite literally stood in the middle of a riot as violent protestors attacked a federal building.  That is appalling, and Mayor Wheeler is clearly failing at his duty to protect his streets and his city there in Portland.

The federal government has a sworn duty to uphold the laws of the United States through field offices and federal facilities across the country.  These agents protect and serve the American people.  Yet the rhetoric of the left undermines our justice system, with Nancy Pelosi calling them “stormtroopers,” Jim Clyburn calling them the “Gestapo,” and Wheeler using the term “paramilitary forces.”

Under President Trump, violent crime rates in America finally began to fall.  Rhetoric like this cannot be allowed to set us back.  Augmenting the Federal Protective Service, guarding federal property in Portland, our brave officers have — since — since augmenting them, I should say, our brave officers have faced all of these various things — like rioters barricading officers inside the Hatfield federal courthouse, trapping officers inside.  A, quote, “commercial-grade mortar firework” was launched by rioters.  A federal agents hand was impaled by planted nails.  Another federal agent was shot with a pellet gun, leaving a wound deep to the bone.  And tragically, three federal officers were likely left permanently blinded by the rioters using lasers pointed directly at their eyes.

These are not the actions of so-called peaceful protesters, and the Trump administration will not stand by and allow anarchy in our streets.  Law and order will prevail.

And I have a short video for you because I want it to be real what is happening right now in Portland.  So if we could play that video, that’d be great.

(A video clip is played.)

As you can see, that is anything but a peaceful protest.  And this President will always stand on the side of law and order.

And with that, I’ll take questions.  Yes.

Q    Kayleigh, thank you so much.  I want to ask you about the convention, and then I have another question on foreign policy.

First of all, has President Trump determined where he’s going to or how he’s going to deliver his speech?  He said he was working on that yesterday.

[Substantive question to start, but one also designed to trip her up with the Hatch Act.]

MS. MCENANY:  So he hasn’t decided that just yet, but we have a number of really creative, exciting options that he’s looking at.  It’s a question more for the RNC.  But he’s very excited about the prospect of what will come with the convention.

Q    And I want to ask you about something that he tweeted back in April.  He said, “Joe Biden wanted the date for the Democrat National Convention moved to a later time period.  Now he wants a ‘Virtual’ Convention, one where he doesn’t have to show up. Gee, I wonder why?”  Does the President regret that now?

[Partisan much?]

MS. MCENANY:  Well, as you know, I can’t respond to Joe Biden.  You’d have to ask the campaign about that.  But the President — the circumstances changed in Florida, where we intended to have the convention.  As the circumstances on the ground changed, the President changed his viewpoint on having the convention in Jacksonville at that particular location.

Q    I wanted to ask you about the President’s phone call with Vladimir Putin.  Did the President raise the issue of Russian bounties on the lives of American troops during that phone call?

[Peddling fake news and their oldest lie, really projection, about President Trump.]

MS. MCENANY:  So, as you know, that intelligence is unverified still to this day.  There are dissenting opinions within the intel community.  I won’t get into the President’s private discussions with a foreign leader.  I was not on that call, but that intelligence is still unverified.

But rest assured our President will always stand with our military and protect them against any and every foreign adversary.

Yes.

Q    Has he made a determination, Kayleigh, about what happened?  He’s been briefed now, right?

MS. MCENANY:   (Pointing to a journalist.)  Yes.

Q    Yes, thank you, Kayleigh.

Q    Kayleigh, thank you —

Q    Yes, Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell announced that John Lewis –-

MS. MCENANY:  I’ll come back to you next.  Yes.

Q    — will be lying in state at the Capitol on Monday and Tuesday.  Does the President plan to go to the Capitol to visit John Lewis on one of those days?

MS. MCENANY:   I have no announcements about the President’s upcoming plans.  But John Lewis was a civil rights icon; we lowered the flag at the White House here to signify that.  So I have no future announcements of the President’s plans, other than to make that one note.

Yes.

Q    Thank you, Kayleigh.  So the Senate has approved overwhelmingly a bill that would require the renaming of bases that are named after Confederate leaders.  How — and how is it that Senator Inhofe assured the President he was going to be able to remove that from legislation that has passed both chambers of Congress?

MS. MCENANY:  Yeah, I’ll leave that to Senator Inhofe, as to how that works, legislatively speaking.  But the President was assured by Senator Inhofe that that would be changing, and that Republicans stood with the President on this and stood with the rest of America.  Fifty-six percent, according to an ABC/Ipsos poll, are opposed to the changing of the U.S. base names.

[We shall see if the McConnell Republican’ts have really caved on this.]

Kevin.

Q    Kayleigh, thanks.  Two quick questions.  I think you probably hear this often: When can Americans expect some money in their pockets by way of stimulus?  What’s the President’s plan to get that money to them as quickly as possible?

And just a question about COVID reporting: Is the White House at all concerned about inaccuracies or inconsistencies with respect to COVID death reporting?

[Hurray! Real questions about which Americans actually care!]

MS. MCENANY:  So, first, let me note: When it looks — when we look at numbers, we want the most accurate reporting.  And I went through, last week, the CDC numbers.  We want to make sure hospitals are truly reporting all of the information they’re getting.  One of the systems of data gathering, only 81 percent of hospitals were reporting into.  Another HHS system was getting a more full picture of what we’re seeing in hospitals. So we want to ensure all of our information is accurate, and we trust the numbers that we’re getting from HHS and CDC.

And with regard to phase four, those negotiations are ongoing.  These are long and extended negotiations.  We feel that it’s very important, from the White House, to address unemployment insurance, in particular, and also money for schools and ensuring that the money for schools enables students to make school choices, like actually going to a physically open school. So, right now, that’s where the discussions lie at the moment.

Q    One other quick one very quickly: Drug pricing is so critical to America’s seniors.  Often, you hear terrible stories, frankly, about people having to ration drugs because of the incredible cost.  What exactly, practically, can the American public expect the President to do to lower the cost of prescription drugs?

[Two good questions in a row. This one allows the Press Secretary to preview her boss’s event without stepping on it.]

MS. MCENANY:   That’s a great question.  The President — today, at 3:00 p.m. — will be talking about drug pricing, and he’ll be announcing some actions he’s taking on that front, so I’ll leave it to him to announce those future actions.

But, you know, in 2018, he released a landmark blueprint to lower prescription drug prices.  It’s an issue he has been very passionate about, which is why he signed legislation ending the gag clauses that stop pharmacists from informing patients about lower drug prices.  And aver- — average basic premiums for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans have actually fallen by 13.5 percent since 2017.

So he’s done a lot already, but more to come this afternoon, actually.

Kaitlan.

Q    I have two questions for you.  This morning, Dr. Birx said that it is still an open question how rapidly children under 10 can actually spread COVID-19.  But the other day, the President said “they don’t bring it home [very] easily” and “they don’t transmit very easily.”  So shouldn’t we figure out which one of those it is before kids go back to school?

[Birx knows how her words will be used by now, so is responsible for their political use.]

MS. MCENANY:  So let me give you two answers to this.  You know, first, I would point you to CDC guidelines that said, based on current data, the rate of infection among younger schoolchildren and from students to teachers has been low, especially if proper precautions are followed.  There have also been few reports of children being the primary source of COVID-19 transmission among family members.  That’s where the data currently stands.

But that being said — even if there is transmission and later studies come out, let’s say — we believe that students should be going back to school because the effect on a child — we know, scientifically, they are not affected in the same way as an adult.

Again, I’d point you to CDC guidelines on this that says the best available evidence indicates if children become infected, they are far less likely to suffer severe symptoms. Death rates among school-aged children are much lower than among adults, and far lower than during the H1N1 pandemic, for instance, when schools remained open.

Q    Yeah.  And Dr. Birx noted that today — unless kids have an underlying condition.  But she said they do not know how rapidly they can spread it still for if they’re under 10.  And that’s one of the President’s top advisors.

[So now we get the rest of the story, which Birx and Fauci never acknowledge as real medical, real health issues.]

MS. MCENANY:  So on the transmission point, I’d point you again to the CDC.  But I would also say that it is our firm belief that the — that our schools are essential places of business, if you will; that our teachers are essential personnel.  You all here are considered essential workers, which is why you are coming into the briefing room every day during the pandemic.  Our meatpackers were meatpacking because they were essential workers.  Our doctors were out there treating because they’re essential workers.  And we believe our teachers are essential.

Particularly, I pour over the data on — on schools often.  And the one thing that really stuck out to me — I read through the entirety of the CDC guidelines — was that — I talk about child abuse often and one in five cases being reported in schools.  Well, the CDC guidelines went on to say, there has not just been “a sharp decline in reports of suspected maltreatment, but tragically a notable increase in evidence of child abuse when children are seen for services” during the pandemic.

For example, in Washington, D.C., Child and Family Service Services Agency recorded a 62 percent decrease in child abuse reporting calls between mid-March and April, compared to the same time period in 2019, but saw more severe presentation of child abuse cases in emergency rooms.  That’s a tragedy and our schools must reopen.

Yes.

Q    Okay.  My question was about transmission rates.

But anyway, my second question is also on the President’s call —

MS. MCENANY:   And I answered that.

Q    — with the Russian President yesterday.  Today, the nation’s top counterintelligence official said that Russia is one of three countries that is actively working to interfere in our election.  Did the President bring up election interference on the call with the Russian President yesterday?

[Another fake Russia question, insinuating Trump is a Russian asset and pretending to be concerned about the government Democrats long accommodated.]

MS. MCENANY:  Again, I wasn’t on the call.  But the President —

Q    But you get read up on those calls.

MS. MCENANY:  I was not on the call.  The Pres- —

Q    But you get read up on the calls.

MS. MCENANY:  The President has taken more actions for election security than his predecessor, who gave a stand down order when he learned about election interference.  Susan Rice gave that stand down order.  Obama’s intel chief even confirmed that stand down order was given.

By contrast, we’ve given innumer- — a ton of funding to election security.  We take our elections seriously —

Q    My question is did President Trump bring it —

MS. MCENANY:  — and we believe in election integrity.

Justin.

Q    My question is did President Trump —

MS. MCENANY:  Justin.

Q    — bring it up on the call yesterday?

MS. MCENANY:  Justin.

Q    You’re not answering.

MS. MCENANY:  I was not on the call, Kaitlan.  Stop filibustering.

Q    So yes or no?

MS. MCENANY:  Justin.

Let your colleagues ask questions

Q    That’s not filibustering.  You’re not answering my question.

MS. MCENANY:  Justin.

Q    Did he bring it up?

MS. MCENANY:  Okay, Justin no longer has a question.

Anyone else?

Q    Kayleigh —

MS. MCENANY:  Okay.

Q    Kayleigh, around 20 million Americans —

Q    It’s not answering.

[They are really desperate at this point.]

Q    — are receiving the expanded uninsurance benefits, and some are going to receive the last of those checks tomorrow. Have Senate Republicans in the White House settled on a plan yet to extend UI?  If so, can you explain what that plan is?  And if not, did you wait too long to try to sort this out?

[A tough, solid question.]

MS. MCENANY:  Those discussions are still ongoing, and I’m not going to get in the middle of the negotiation, other than to say: When I answered Kevin’s question up here, I said that our priority right now is we feel it’s very important to address extending on those unemployment insurances.  And how that looks, I’ll leave it to them.  But that is — unemployment insurance is a top priority for us right now.

Q    And then China ordered the closing of one of our diplomatic facilities there in retaliation for what happened in Texas.  We haven’t really heard from the White House, so if you could spell out specifically why you guys decided to close the Houston facility.  I know that there’s obviously broad complaints that you’ve raised for weeks with China, but why Houston specifically?

And secondly, if you had a reaction to the steps China took.

[This is a very solid question.]

MS. MCENANY:  Yes, our action to direct the closure of the PRC Consulate General in Houston was taken to protect American — and to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information.

For years, the CCP has undertaken a whole-of-society effort to steal American technology and intellectual property for commercial gain, and many of those activities are directed from PRC diplomatic facilities.  And we urge the CCP to cease these malign actions rather than engage in tit-for-tat retaliation.

That’s where we stand on that.

Jeff.

Q    Kayleigh, the President’s tone on the virus this week seems to have changed.  He’s advocated a few different times for Americans to wear masks.  He said that the virus would — or the pandemic would get worse before it gets better.  He cancelled most of the convention — or certainly the Florida part — yesterday.

All of these things were bad two months ago — even longer than that — and the science on masking has been clear for several months.  What changed this week?  Why did his tone change?

MS. MCENANY:  There has been no change.  The President said, on March 31st, before there was even a recommended but not required guidance given by the CDC on mask wearing — the President already said, if you want to wear a mask, wear a mask. It doesn’t harm anyone.  And that was before — that was when our scientists even were — some of them were saying don’t wear masks.

So the President has been consistent on this.  He wore a mask back at the Ford facility.  He carries it around in his pocket.  He showed it to you multiple times.  He hasn’t changed.  In fact — and just speaking on COVID, generally — the way I’ve heard him talk privately in the Oval Office is the way he’s talking out here.

The only thing that’s changed is the President taking dozens and dozens and dozens of your questions each and every day because he felt the best way to get information to the American people was for him to be out here, answering your questions and providing this directly.

Q    The other part of the question though wasn’t just about masking — although, I would argue that if you look back and see when he called it “politically correct,” for example, that wasn’t exactly agreeing with the science of wearing masks.

But setting that aside, he —

MS. MCENANY:  No, but let’s not set that aside.  Because in that incident, when he used the words “politically correct,” it was in reference — I believe you were asking him a question — was it?

Q    I was.

MS. MCENANY:   And — right.  And you were standing outside, and you’d been tested, and you were wearing a mask, and he couldn’t hear your questions, so he asked for you momentarily to pull down the mask.  So that was the specific context, and context does matter here.

Q    Okay, well, I didn’t mean to engage on that, but I was standing around other reporters and using the same mic that other people were using.  That’s why I left my mask on.

MS. MCENANY:  Right.  Well, he could not hear your question, and he asked for you temporarily to pull it down.  Everyone in the press pool is tested, so, scientifically, you were not in a compromising position.  But he — he hasn’t changed his tone.

But this President — the reason he wants to bring back these briefings is get information out there like: We’ve done 52.9 million tests nationwide, 187 emergency use authorations [sic] — use authorizations, excuse me, for test manufacturing, 20 million swabs per month, used the DPA over 20 times — all of these great successes of this administration, like distributing 31,000 cases of remdesivir, enough to treat nearly 200,000 patients.  None of this is getting covered.

And you’ve got the best messenger, the duly elected President of the United States, talking directly to the American people and getting extraordinary ratings as they tune in to get information from their leader.

Q    But my question wasn’t —

MS. MCENANY:  Yes, Jon.

Q    My question wasn’t about —

MS. MCENANY:  Jon.

Q    — that last piece.  I just want to clarify —

Q    Thank you, Kayleigh.

Q    — one thing, Kayleigh.

MS. MCENANY:  Okay, Jon no longer has a question.  Anyone else?

Q    No, I do, Kayleigh.  I do, Kayleigh.

Q    I just want to — I just want to clarify —

MS. MCENANY:  Jon.

Q    I don’t want to talk over, if — let me — if you don’t mind, Jeff, maybe we can come back to you?

Q    I would like to finish my question.

Q    Yes, well, let me — let me ask my question —

MS. MCENANY:  Yeah, but the — when everyone in the front rows get five questions, people in the back row don’t even get the opportunity to ask questions.

Q    It’s just that you’re not answering the questions, Kayleigh.

Q    Thanks, Kayleigh.  I want to ask about the Senate Defense Authorization bill, which passed by a veto-proof majority yesterday; and the House earlier this week also passed their version of the Defense bill also by a veto-proof majority.  And both of those bills contain mandates that the Pentagon rename these military bases, which are named in honor of Confederate generals.

[Republicans in Congress are complete cowards.]

I want to ask you: Does the President believe that his position — which we’re all familiar with — it’s helpful in terms of recruitment, specifically for African Americans?  Explain how that position will help recruit African Americans in an all-volunteer military force?

MS. MCENANY:  The President stands with the American people; 56 percent don’t want to see the bases’ names changed.  Where he stands is in a place where — many soldiers who have lost their lives overseas, the last ground that they saw were these bases.  And by changing their names, he believes that — that it is not appropriate that those soldiers who lost their lives, to be told that the ground that they left —

Q    I’m — I’m familiar with his position; I think you just restated it very well.  But I’m asking you, specifically: How is this helpful for an African American which — who wants to volunteer for our all-volunteer military forces to go to a base that’s named for a Confederate general that worked to still put and keep it in place slavery, which impacted their ancestors?

[Finally we get the best answer.]

MS. MCENANY:  Because the bases are not known for the generals they’re named after.  The bases are known for the heroes within it: the great Americans — black, white, Hispanic — of every race who have died on behalf of this great country.  And 56 percent of the nation agrees with the President.

Q    So it’s your position that —

MS. MCENANY:  (Pointing to a journalist.)  Yes.

Q    — that it won’t impact — it won’t impact then —

MS. MCENANY:  (Pointing to a journalist.)  Yes.

Q    — in any way recruitment, is what your position is?

MS. MCENANY:  Next question.

Q    Is that a yes or a no?

MS. MCENANY:  I already answered that one twice.

Q    It’s just a yes or a no.

Q    Kayleigh — Kayleigh, I want to circle back to school choice, which you mentioned a few minutes ago.  So, that means shifting — the potential for shifting federal funds away from schools that don’t open so that parents can use it — use those funds for homeschooling or for private schooling.

The President vehemently opposes defunding police.  Why — why is defunding public schools okay?

[Fake question gets slammed back across the net.]

MS. MCENANY:  So the President has never wanted to take money away from schools, take money away from education.  It is about keeping it with the child.  The purpose of school funding is to educate a child.  The child, if a school is closed, loses the opportunity to receive education and needed social services.

I put up the chart a few weeks ago from McKinsey & Co. that showed that the student most impacted is the low-income student who is in a low-income community and doesn’t have the resources of — as some other students.  So that student should not be deprived of an educational opportunity and forever never be able to recover.  The deficit that that child has had by being out of school for an entire year or more —

Q    The schools in those — in those underserved communities also are the ones that, generally, have terrible ventilation; they need the most money for upgrading.  If this money is shifted away from the schools, how will they ever get into a situation where they could, in the case of a pandemic, properly serve their populations?

[This stupid question just begs the smackdown.]

MS. MCENANY:  Well, your question is a bit befuddling because if the problem is ventilation in schools, and the schools close and you’re fixing the ventilation, the student isn’t even in the facility because the school isn’t even open.

The whole point is the student deserves an educational opportunity and a good educational opportunity, which is why the money must follow the student.

And I would also note, in the CDC guidelines, that they said — with regards to food, in particular — that there are 15 million children participating in the School Breakfast Program, 30 million in the School Lunch Program.  And they said, quote, “It is difficult to maintain this type of school nutrition program over the long term.”  And they were talking about how we’ve managed to get meal servants — meal services throughout the periods of school closures, but they went on to say it’s difficult to maintain this type of program over the long term.

There are severe consequences.  I’ve mentioned the child abuse, the loss in education, and also when it comes to nutrition services, as well.

Yes.

Q    Kayleigh, the payroll tax cut now at the table, is there anything that the White House considers a red line in negotiations with Democrats?  And then, also, I have another question.

[Solid question, but one designed to help Democrats and Republican’ts.]

MS. MCENANY:  Yeah, there are — I’m not going to get into red lines.  These negotiations are ongoing, and I’m not in the middle of them, so I’ll wait to find out what the conclusions of those negotiations are.  But I would just signal what I said at the top of this briefing about unemployment insurance being very important.

Q    And then, President Trump called off the convention in Florida, citing safety.  Does that give him pause for any of his future upcoming travel, like to Texas next week, which is a hotspot?

[They desperately want him trapped in the White House, so he is not contrasted with Biden.]

MS. MCENANY:  We take all necessary precautions, and we protect the President, his staff, and we make sure that we’re following the guidelines in social distancing.  And so we don’t have concern about future travel.

Yes.

Q    The accusations that China is stealing intellectual property are not new.  But why (inaudible) order to shut down the consulate in Houston now, roughly 100 days before the election?

[Chinese Communist and Biden supporting fake question.]

MS. MCENANY:  Yeah, I’m not going — I’m not going to give any further information about our intelligence from the briefing podium, other than to note some — what I told Justin earlier on that particular matter.

Yes.

Q    Thank you, Kayleigh.  On the question of reopening schools: Yesterday, just minutes after the President announced that he was going to cancel the Republican convention events in Jacksonville, he also made the case again for reopening schools.  So why is it not safe to hold the Republican convention, but it is safe to reopen schools?

[They are not this stupid. Surely. But, this gives Kayleigh the chance to remind Americans of the truth.]

MS. MCENANY:  Yeah, the — schools are a different situation, when you have children who, as the CDC guidelines clearly note, are not affected in the same way as adults.  We can make certain arrangements like social distancing in schools and follow the CDC guidelines that have been laid out and try to — they’re the best (inaudible) guidelines I referenced.  We can get our schools up to the — the best place we can get them in, especially if we’re given additional school funding — the $105 billion that was mentioned that we would — are keen to see in a phase four.

So it’s a different scenario when you have packed adults in the room versus these students that we can make precautions and take measures to protect.

Yes.

Q    Thank you Kayleigh.  I have a question about COVID, but first I want to ask about the use of federal officers.  Does the President believe he has the power to send DHS agents and officers anywhere in the country that he wants to?

[A weak start to a series of badgering assertions dressed as questions. Naturally, Kayleigh drops inconvenient truth all of it.]

MS. MCENANY:  The President believes that his authority is in — with regard to DHS, which is distinct from DOJ — there’s Operation LeGend, which is primarily led by DOJ, and that’s just providing extra FBI and ATF and DEA agents to already-existing places.  It’s just surging extra personnel in places that are out of control — like Chicago, for instance.  Separate and distinct from Portland, which is DHS, and his power pertains to 40 U.S. Code 1315.  And I — I read that statute for you in the last briefing, so I won’t bore you with reading it again, but that’s with protecting federal property.

So those are the two lanes that we’ve acted on and look at.

Q    But for those DHS — those officers and agents, does he believe he has the power to send them anywhere he wants (inaudible)?

MS. MCENANY:  He believes they’re there to protect federal property, so I’ll leave it to you to determine where is federal property.

Q    And just — just to follow up on that, I mean, has the President reminded those federal agents and officers that their constitutional obligation to not violate search and seizure rights and not take people into custody without probable cause?

MS. MCENANY:  Well, Chad Wolf is leading this operation over at DHS, and he has made clear that his officers are acting within the bounds of the law.  Of course, we encourage everyone to act within the bounds of the law and the Constitution.

Yes.

Q    The President said he loves the Constitution —

Q    Thank you.  Thank you, Kayleigh.

Q    We haven’t heard him speak about that particular part of the Constitution in this context.

MS. MCENANY:  (Pointing to a journalist.)  Yes.

Q    Yes.  Pres- — President Trump has repeatedly said that he wouldn’t watch sports or support sports if players continue to kneel.  So why has he agreed to throw out the first pitch at the Yankees game next month if the — considering that baseball players knelt at last night’s games?

[But did they kneel during the National Anthem? In at least one case, no. They did a little ceremony before the National Anthem.]

MS. MCENANY:  Yeah, I’ll leave it to him as to address the Yankees game.  And he’s very excited to throw out the first pitch.  And I was not a part of the discussions as to how that’s going to work, in terms of the first pitch.  I’ve learned about it when you guys did, and he’s very excited to throw it out.

Yes.

MS. MCENANY:  Thank you, Kayleigh.  Two questions: We understand that the governor of Florida is on campus today.  Can you confirm that he will talk about that visit?  Will he be meeting with the President?

MS. MCENANY:  Yes, Governor DeSantis is here.  He’s here to be a part of the drug pricing event, but he will be talking and meeting with the President further to discuss COVID and other matters.

Q    I have a question about building —

Q    But, Kayleigh, will they be discussing the convention?  I — I had two questions, if you mi- — if I may ask a second one.

MS. MCENANY:  Sure.  This is why I like to save time for you guys in the back.

Q    I appreciate it.

MS. MCENANY:  I don’t often get to.  Yeah.

Q    Yes.  Do you have any guidance on when the President will be signing that immigration order that he’s been talking about?

MS. MCENANY:  Yeah.

Q    — on DACA?

MS. MCENANY:  Yeah, so no guidance, other than to say I’ve — I laid out that he would have a merit-based EO.  And he really would like a legislative fix for DACA, and would like Democrats to come to the table.  But no guidance on timing just yet.

Chanel.

Q    Thank you, Kayleigh.  On federal law enforcement efforts, mainly Operation LeGend, we’re talking about funding for a lot of these programs.  Anytime we’re talking about federal anything, we should be talking about the money behind it.

So with Operation LeGend, it appears to be filling a law and order void in majority-Democrat cities.  So given this fact, in terms of the funding, would the citizen of, say, Springfield, Missouri, be called to pay for the security and the federal protections of the incompetence of Chicago, Illinois?  Is that something that has been discussed, as far as funding for Operation LeGend?

[An incredibly weak question from One America News Network.]

MS. MCENANY:  I’m not aware of that being discussed, in particular.  I think where the President’s head is at right now is — you know, you look across the country, and it is Democrat streets where you’re seeing a lot of this lawlessness.

In Minneapolis, murders have spiked 94 percent; Philadelphia, murders have spiked 27 percent.  Over a year ago, New York City, 277 percent increase in shootings.  Over a year ago, Chicago — the most egregious — 414 people killed, 50 percent increase over a year ago.

We saw with — under President Obama, violent crime started to tick up.  Started to come down under this President.  He restored law and order.  And then this Defund the Police movement has been an absolute travesty, and it’s why you have 67 percent of black Americans who worry that the criticism of police will cause police to pull back.

So this President is looking at this in a saving-lives lens.  “I want to save lives.  I’ll put federal money in,” as he did.  Fin- — financial assistance was announced with AG Barr, and also additional manpower.  He’s very keen on — on seeing the violence in our streets end.  He wants to protect the people of this country when derelict Democrat mayors and governors do not.  And he’s also appalled by cancel culture, and cancel culture specifically as it pertains to cops.

We saw, a few weeks ago, that “PAW Patrol,” a cartoon show about cops, was canceled.  The show “Cops” was cancelled.  “Live PD” was cancelled.  Lego halted the sales of their “Lego City Police Station.”  It’s really unfortunate because I stand with — and the President stands with — the 63 percent of Americans who think police officers are one of the most important jobs in this country.  That’s 63 percent.

And with that I — Karoline Leavitt, one of our great assistant press secretaries, today went to great pains to make contact with the Southold Police Department in Suffolk County.  We saw a very touching video that we loved, and she got the approval of the police department and the parent to show this video.  Because I think this is emblematic of where America stands with regard to our police.

So if you wouldn’t mind playing that video, that’d be great.

(A video clip is played.)

MS. MCENANY:  Thank you to our heroic police department around the country.  America stands with you.
END       2:05 P.M. EDT

Honoring Excellence: 

Remarks by President Trump at the Presentation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Jim Ryun
Issued on: July 24, 2020
Blue Room
11:24 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you very much.  Please.  Let’s enjoy ourselves.  This is a tremendous moment for Jim and your family, and let’s just enjoy ourselves for a little while.  We’ll ask Jim to say a few words.  I want to hear what he has to say about his great talent, his great running ability.  I find athletics to be extraordinary.  I love it.

Thank you for being here.  And today, it is my privilege to present our nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to a legendary athlete and a legendary runner, Olympian, and true American patriot: former Congressman Jim Ryun.  Jim, congratulations.  Fantastic.  (Applause.)

We’re joined today by Jim’s wife Anne — thank you, Anne, very much; congratulations — and various family members.  But his son –- where is Ned?  Ned, thank you very much.  Catharine, thank you very much.  And I’m going to ask you to come up and say a few words — the both you — so you better be prepared.  (Laughter.)  You got a lot of news back there.  See?  I’m being nice today.  I don’t use the other word in front the word “news.”

But Jim’s journey started with a prayer.  After being cut from his church baseball team — I can’t believe that; that must’ve been a bad day, huh? — (laughter) — and junior high school basketball team –- they probably made a mistake — he asked God for guidance.  Jim wanted to know God’s plan for him, and he only had one request: that it was something to do with sports.  You like sports.

That prayer was answered when Jim joined the high school track.  He joined it and had no experience whatsoever.  As he said, he didn’t really know what he was doing, and he didn’t know what he was doing there.

In his very first mile race, however, he came in a second — he came in second place to the reigning state champion and a real talented person.  Do you ever see him around, by the way?

MR. RYUN:  Occasionally.

THE PRESIDENT:  He still around?

MR. RYUN:  Yes, he is.

THE PRESIDENT:  Okay, that’s pretty good.  He’s still saying, “What happened?”  (Laughter.)

But Jim’s first time in running the mile was 4 minutes and 32.4 seconds.   So that tells you there’s something genetically that’s pretty good, right?  Because that doesn’t happen: 4 minutes 32.4 seconds, the first time he ever ran the mile.  That was the last time he ever came in second in a high school race.  And after that, Jim was always first.

The next year, Jim ran a 3:59 mile and became the first high school athlete in history to smash the 4-minute barrier.  That summer, he also competed in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics as the youngest middle distance runner in the world — by quite a bit, actually.

In Jim’s senior year of high school, he ran against three-time Olympic gold medal winner Pete Snell.  He was good, wasn’t he?  Huh?  But that was a bad day for Pete.  (Laughter.)

Before the event, Snell reportedly said that he didn’t think Jim would have much of a chance or be “much of a factor.”  Jim soon proved him wrong.  With 300 meters left in the race, Jim surged ahead of the pack and swept across the finish line in a fraction of he — his time — what was your time — 3 minutes and 55.3 seconds?  That’s not bad, right?

MR. RYUN:  It was okay, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  Not bad.  I don’t know.  What did Pete say?  Was he a gracious — was he gracious about it?

MR.  RYUN:  Very gracious, yeah.

THE PRESIDENT:  But he was a great runner.  I mean, he was a -– he was a great runner.  This was also a stand at high school — it right now stands in high school as a record for 35 years.   It took 35 years to break that record.

When ESPN ranked the greatest high school athletes — listen to this; this is incredible — when ESPN ranked the greatest high school athletes of all time, all sports, they listed Jim Ryun as number one.  That’s not bad for a guy who couldn’t make his baseball team, right?  Huh?  (Applause.)  That’s really — that’s really an amazing achievement.  That’s incredible.

Jim continued his extraordinary athletic career at the University of Kansas.  In 1966, he set his first world record in the mile time at a time of 3 minutes and 51.3 seconds, becoming the first American to do so in more than three decades.

After the race, a young fan ran up to him and asked for his autograph.  That fan would become his future wife.  That was a good autograph.  (Laughter.)  That was Anne.  Oh, you two are so lucky that happened, huh?  I wonder where you’d be, I guess.  That’s fantastic.  Great, Anne.

In 1967, Jim ran an incredible 3:51.1 mile, which would stand as the world-record mile for almost a decade.  Jim still describes it as “the easiest race he ever ran.”  Is that right?  It was just — it was magic.

MR. RYUN:  Amazing.

THE PRESIDENT:  It was magic.  To this day, it’s the last time an American set the world record in the mile.  So that was a while ago.  What is the world record right now?  So you’re at 3:51.

MR. RYUN:  3:43 or —

THE PRESIDENT:  3:43 or so, huh?  Okay.  That’s a long time, right?  They’ve — training and lots of other things, right?

MR. RYUN:  Well, yeah.  Some of the other things aren’t so good, but yes.  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Oh.  We have breaking news now.  (Laughter.)  This could be the big story today.  Forget about it.  That’s great.  But that is — that is some long period of time that he held the record.

In 1968, Jim proudly represented Team USA at the Mexico City Olympics and won the silver medal for the 1,500.  And he also competed in the 1972 Munich Olympics with great distinction.

A few years later, Jim retired from running.  He had been on the cover of Sports Illustrated seven times, was ranked Sportsman of the Year in 1966, was inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, and received the immortal nickname, “Master of the Mile.”  And he was.  I remember it.  I shouldn’t tell you that, but I remember a lot of your races.  They weren’t even close, actually.

In 1975, he founded the Jim Ryun Running Camps.  For the past 45 years, Jim has helped teach thousands of young people to reach their fullest and best athletic potential.  He has been a dedicated mentor to campers and shared in the critical importance of a Christian faith.  He’s very devoted to Christianity.

In 1996, Jim was elected to the House of Representatives, and he went on to serve five terms in Congress.  I wish we had him now.  We have some great people in there though, I’ll tell you.  We have some great, dedicated, hard workers, and they’ve done a terrific job, right?  Wouldn’t you say, Ned?  I think so.  Some really great ones.

But he served five terms from the Kansas Second District.  He was a principled, committed, very tough and beloved lawmaker.  That’s what they said: He was tough and yet beloved.  That’s a rare combination.

Jim has personified the greatness of our country throughout his life.  Whether he was running on a track race, or whether he was doing anything there was — running an office or running for office — he was always the top person.  People respected him more.  I’ve heard it for a long time.  I’d ask about him, and they’d say, when he was in Washington, he was just a respected person.

He’s a giant of American athletics, a dedicated public servant, and a man of charity, generosity, and faith.  He’s a great man, actually.

Jim, thank you for your unfailing devotion to our country, and congratulations on a lifetime of incredible success, not only athletically — that was obviously a big deal — but what you’ve done in life and even with you family has been just incredible.  So I’d like to congratulate you very much.

And before we present you with the incredible, beautiful metal, I’d like to ask maybe Catharine and Ned to come up and say a few words, if you’d like, and talk about your father. Please.  (Applause.)

MS. CATHARINE RYUN:  Well, thank you, first of all, for giving us a couple of minutes.

THE PRESIDENT:  Absolutely.

MS. CATHARINE RYUN:  Dad, thank you for being the man that you are.  I know that today is all about your accolades in the public eye, but you have been such an amazing dad, and wife [husband] of more than 50 years to mom, and just a man of character.  And this is a man who loves the Lord with all his heart and has been such an amazing father to all of us.

And so, thank you.  I’m proud to be your daughter.

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s great.

MS. CATHARINE RYUN:  And, Mr. President, thank you for having us here today.  I want to leave you with my favorite verses from Numbers.  It’s, “May the Lord bless you and keep you.  May He make His face to shine upon you and give you peace.”

Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  That’s so nice.  Thank you, Catharine.  (Applause.)

MR. NED RYUN:  Mr. President, thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

MR. NED RYUN:  This — this means a great deal to me.  I’m not going to get choked up.  I got choked up last night on “Tucker,” and I told myself I would not do that again.

But I just wanted to tell everybody: You know my dad as the “Miler,” as the “Master of the Mile,” as the world-record holder, as the three-time Olympian.  And I want to tell a story really quick of one of his former colleagues, J. Dickey, out of Arkansas.  And he pulled me aside one day, and he said, “Ned, there are a lot of people in Congress who think they’re all that.  They’re drunk on power.  They’re arrogant.”

He’s like, “Your dad walks the halls as one of the most humble, gracious people I know.  But the thing about your dad is, there are very few people in the world that can say they were ever the very, very best at what they did in all of the world — in a world full of billions of people, you were the absolute best at what you did — and your dad was.  But you would never know that because he’s so gracious, he’s so kind, and he’s so humble.”

And I tell people this all the time: The sacrifice, everything that went into being the very best in the world — and yet, you would — you would never know it.  You could have a conversation with my dad, and when he talks with his fans and he gives them autographs and he shares a few moments with them, he — the graciousness that is displayed is an example to me, as his son.

And I — and I tell people this all the time: The integrity and honesty, the nobility that he has shown in life — if I can be half the man that he is, it’ll be a triumph.

Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  You’re doing a good job.

MR. NED RYUN:  Thank you.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, both.

Jim, please.

MR. RYUN:  Mr. President, I learned a long time ago, when you have such great introduction — thank you for the comments — and you have your children saying wonderful things, it’s probably a good idea to find the exit while you’re ahead.  (Laughter.)  So I — and I am considering that.  However, I want to make some few remarks.

Mr. President, thank you on behalf of my family, which includes my wife of 51 years — and, yes, she did chase me down — (laughter) — our children and grandchildren, our dear friends who have traveled far and wide.  Thank you for bestowing on me this high honor of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  On behalf of them, I accept that, and I thank you for this privilege.

These achievements we’re — we are celebrating began with a simple prayer — you actually talked about that a moment ago — after being cut from the church baseball team, junior high basketball team, and the junior — well, I never made the junior high track team.  I began ending each day with this simple prayer — and, by the way, I’ll throw it out there for you that if you’re looking for something, this would be a good way to start:

“Dear God, I’d like my life to amount to something.  I believe you have a plan for my life.  I’d appreciate your help in figuring it out.  And if you could help me out and make a plan that would include sports of some kind, I’d really appreciate it.  Thank you, and goodnight.”  (Laughter.)

God did indeed show up in a huge way, answering my simple, heartfelt prayer.  I finally made my first athletic team, the Wichita East cross country team, my sophomore year in high school.  God gave me a former Marine, Bob Timmons, to coach me.  I wasn’t even supposed to be at East High School.  Southeast High was just down the street from where I live.  But as I didn’t have plans to go to college, I instead went across town to East High School to go to a vo-tech school to be a draftsman so I could follow my father and brother and work at Boeing.

But as we know, God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform — and in my first year of running, I became the national high school record holder.

Eighteen months after starting to run seriously in 1964, I became the first high school boy to run a mile under four minutes, a feat which many had thought impossible until Coach Timmons, who we affectionately called “Timmy,” had me sit with him on a bus ride from Kansas City back to Wichita in my sophomore year.  He told me, “Jim, I think you can be the first high schooler to break four minutes.”  Being perfectly honest, I thought, at the time, he might be just a little crazy.  (Laughter.)

Every reality begins with a dream, a seed of inspiration, and Timmy planted that seed.  And I wanted to believe him, that maybe, just maybe, it was possible.  I committed to it; took ownership; and in the blazing hot summer days and in the bitter cold winters of Kansas, began running 100 miles a week — week after week, month after month — many of them run in the dark, after school, all to compress those countless hours and thousands of miles into running four laps in less than four minutes.

Not only would I break the four-minute mile my junior year in high school, several months later, I would find myself pouring every ounce of strength down the homestretch of the 1964 Olympic trials, making the Olympic team at 1,500 meters, winning by mere feet at the age of 17.

It was the beginning of an amazing eight years.  I would set the American record in the mile at 18, and would follow Timmy to the University of Kansas — wearing the famous pink and blue colors — winning NCAA titles.  I can still hear our beloved Pat — Pat Timmons — cheering me on even today.  Pat — Pat Timmons and Timmy would become godparents to our children, and they would become — let me try that again — they were grandparents to our children, and Ned would be the god- — godfather — godfather’s son of our daughter.  Get that out.  (Laughter.)  Let me try that one more time: godparents to our son Ned.  (Laughter.)

I would make two more Olympic teams, the world record in the mile multiple times, the world record of the 1,500, the world record in the half mile, the indoor world record in the mile and half mile, the American record in two miles, and help set numerous world records with various relay teams.  And that’s after being cut from the church baseball team so.  (Laughter.)

This boy from Wichita, Kansas, would one day have written on his — his name on a piece of wood and buried it in hopes that, someday, someone might find it and remember him, would make the cover of Sports Illustrated seven times — all of that before the age of 25.

In a day and age when many think it’s appropriate to dishonor our flag, I will tell you it is one of the greatest honors and privileges of my life to represent this amazing country and to wear the stars and stripes on my chest while racing in the ’60s and ’70s.  There was such pride and love of country.  And I cannot tell you, Mr. President, how much I appreciate your full-throated championing of this great country.  (Applause.)

The accolades in my life have exceeded anything I could have imagined.  And now, Mr. President, with the Medal of Freedom bestowed on me by truly one of the greatest Republican Presidents is such a great honor.  Mr. President, you have big dreams for America — ones that echo, for me, my old coach — and still a dream — what could be and in pursuit of everything you have.

Your dream of keeping America and the American Republic great and then making her greater is an epic and noble pursuit.  My wife Anne; our daughter Catharine; our son Ned and Becca; and our four grandchildren; along with our dear friends present today join you in the pursuit of helping make this a reality.

Mr. President, it may surprise — it may surprise you: Time diminishes us all.  I no longer run four-minute miles.  In fact, I’m not sure I can run a four-minute half mile.  (Laughter.)  And while the applause and cheers of men fade, nothing can take away from me those moments when I was young in full flight down the final backstretch, the wind in my face, wings on my feet, pouring — powering away from my opponents.  There was a purity in those times when my mind overcame a tired body.  And for those few glorious moments, I would slip the bonds of the physical, and I was freed.  I had won.  And I look back now, realizing my running crew was a celebration.

There’s no doubt in my mind that we were all made for a purpose.  I was made to run.  I was also made to glorify God in all that I do.  So in my words and in my actions, I celebrate that purpose and will do that always to his glory.

What Anne and I cherish very much is having had the privilege of raising four beautiful children, who contribute to our nation daily.

In addition, we’ve been blessed with the opportunity to give back to the sport of running through the Jim Ryun Running Camps.  We’ve had thousands of young runners that attend the camp through the years, instilling in them this truth: God loves you and has a plan for your life.  And then we challenge them with the work to become balanced human beings — to become physically, mentally, and spiritually fit.

As I received this medal — and it’s incredible honor; thank you, Mr. President — I will close by saying this: To God be the glory.  Great things He has done.  This day, my life, and all of these achievements — this is the Lord’s doing, and it’s marvelous in His eyes.

Mr. President, thank you for your loving and serving this great republican country.  May God continue to bless you and your family with his peace.  Thank you again for this great honor.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.

MR. RYUN:  You’re very welcome.  (Applause.)

MILITARY AIDE:  Jim Ryun is a world class athlete and a highly respected former member of Congress.  As one of the best middle-distance runners of all time, he’s the last American to hold the world record in the mile run.  He proudly represented the United States in the 1968 Summer Olympics, earning a silver medal in the 1500-meter race.

Following his success on the track, Mr. Ryun channeled his patriotism into a noble career in public service, representing the second congressional district of Kansas for more than a decade, distinguishing himself as a principled conservative.  The United States proudly recognizes Jim Ryun for his meritorious contributions to our nation.

(The Medal of Freedom is presented.)  (Applause.)
END                     11:43 A.M. EDT

See the video and a partial transcript, by me, on the prescription drug price event at “President Trump Uses His Pen for the People.” The White House provided a short video of the Little League event with Mariano Rivera.

It seems appropriate to close out the week with Lee Greenwood’s remake of “God Bless the USA” with country a cappella group Home Free and The Singing Sergeants. Hat tip: Mark Davis. ‘Merica!

.

Bad Prediction

 

“The Court expects that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.” Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in the opinion for the Court in Grutter v Bollinger (June 23, 2003)

We are now 17 years down the road and not only are racial preferences not going away but racial preferences and even segregation appear to be the wave of the future. Looks more like Diversity Now! Diversity Forever! Oh, joy.

The Grutter decision upheld by 5-4 (with Scalia, Thomas, Rehnquist, and Kennedy dissenting) the official admissions policy of the University of Michigan Law School that sought to achieve student body diversity.

The concept of “diversity” in school admissions was first introduced at the Supreme Court by the concurring opinion of Justice Lewis Powell in Regents of Univ. of Cal. v Bakke (1978) in which Powell wrote that attaining a diverse student body was the only interest asserted by the university that survived scrutiny.  However, because no other justice joined Powell in his opinion the Courts, as O’Connor expressed it, “have struggled to discern whether Justice Powell’s diversity rationale is binding precedent.” O’Connor, joined by Justices Stevens, Souter, Ginsberg, and Breyer, stated “The Court endorses Justice Powell’s view that student body diversity is a compelling state interest that can justify using race in university admissions” rendered discussion of the precedential value of Powell’s opinion moot.

And with that we were off to the diversity races as academic institutions rapidly established Offices of Diversity and Inclusion to spread the new gospel of Critical Race Theory and suppress any dissenting voices as racists and heretics.

The Balkanization of America Continues Merrily Onward

 

Every few weeks I receive communications, from the universities that I received my undergraduate and graduate degrees, imploring me to make a donation. It seems to me that, in recent years, the requests have become more frequent and even more desperate in their tone. (They’re wasting their time; the only donations I make for education are to my old high school’s STEM scholarship fund.)

When I read stories like the three linked below (the first here and the two embedded links), I am only further convinced that I am making the correct decision.

When I read the three stories, I couldn’t help but wonder, “What sort of parent would want to spend their money sending their children to institutions that train their students to be failures?” And, I further wondered, “What sort of guidance counselor would advise a student to take on a financial burden that will affect his/her life for the rest of their (young) adulthood?”

Truthfully, I’ve been asking those questions for the last 20 or 30 years but I don’t believe academia is very interested in answers; they’re too busy hiking fees to pay for all their diversity counselors and the like. Think I’m exaggerating? Business Insider did a study comparing the rise in consumer items from 1980 to 2014 to the rise in college costs for the same period. The results? Consumer items rose nearly 120% during the period. College costs rose nearly 260%.

Now, economists can argue as to why there is such a difference in the two categories. However, the real question is: “Has the value of a college education (especially in the Liberal Arts) gone up by that amount?” I think that only a complete fool would argue that it has.

During the last few years of my working career, I managed a group of 40 IT employees ranging from Junior Programmers all the way up to Systems Analysts and Database Analysts. I was struck by how many of them could not communicate effectively; especially in the use of the written word, to me, their fellow employees, and customers. They were more than adequate in their technical duties; however, they would never be anything more than technicians. If they aspired to be anything more, they were simply out of luck.

Eventually, upper management picked up on the problem and footed the bill for an English Instructor to come in and provide instruction on the finer points of grammar; knowledge that they should have acquired in high school and certainly in college. The only personnel that did not need this instruction were the personnel from India who were in this country via H1B visas. Their English, both written and spoken, was impeccable; far superior to their American counterparts.

But, this gets us back to the above story from The College Fix and the two accompanying links. At Rutgers University (per year cost, around $32,000), they are (or will be) graduating students who have no idea how to express themselves in proper English. At Ball State (and, I suspect, several other colleges and universities) it is being taught that “grading is a great way to protect the white property of literacy in schools and maintain the white supremacist status quo without ever being white supremacist or mentioning race”. The same professor is also promulgating the belief that “students should be graded based on the ‘labor’ they put into their work, not the ‘quality’ of the finished product”. (Based on these standards, I now realize that I should have majored in Nuclear Physics.)

And, yes, some of our current “scholars” have gone on record as advocating a return to that laughable invention known as Ebonics. (Example: “You gots to git those Benjamins so you cin git dat bling-bling fo yo ride.”)

Perhaps it’s my own “whiteness” showing through but it’s truly difficult for me to understand any rationale behind it. Last night on “The Laura Ingraham Show,” one of her guests, discussing the situation at Rutgers, mentioned that it was setting students up for failure. It was hard to disagree with her.

When I read about the situation at Rutgers, I recalled the student protests at the University of Missouri in 2015-16. One account I read about it highlighted the fact that many of the protestors had originally enrolled as pre-med students as well as the fields of engineering and architecture. However, they quickly learned that their high schools had not prepared them for the intellectual rigors of these areas of study. What did they then do? Of course, they changed their majors to areas such as “African Studies” and other such fields that would leave them ill-prepared for jobs other than as “activists”. It seems to me that most of today’s universities are intent on doing the same thing.

It’s too late to save the last generation of college students. The damage is done. However, if we have the fortitude, we can still bring about change by cutting off all funding for universities (such as Rutgers) that persist in this type of idiocy to include every last dime of the student loan programs. There’s nothing that says taxpayers should be on the hook for these parasites pretending to be intellectuals.

And, if you disagree with me, I have only one thing to say to you:

“Yo G, you be frontin’ me?”

President Trump Uses His Pen for the People

 

Trump Drug Price AnnouncementPresident Trump signed a stunning set of executive orders on Friday. He fundamentally restructured drug pricing and availability. He used his pen, apparently after years of legal and administrative review, to do what the congressional Republican’ts and Democrats have only postured about for decades. The president spoke with commonsense and indignity on behalf of ordinary Americans against Washington and global elites. At the same time, he characterized the big drug companies as great innovators, key to beating the Chinese virus, who are just stuck in the system. This is a negotiating posture, as those CEOs have been part of the rigged game.

President Trump is massively driving down the outrageously inflated prices of insulin and EpiPens. He is ending the crooked practice of middlemen pocketing large manufacturer discounts, leaving the retail pharmacy and the consumer with much higher prices. Note the manufacturers had already given the discounts; the discounts just were not getting to the pharmacy counter.

Not only did the president speak, he had others drive home the points. An insulin-dependent senior citizen spoke powerfully. A dental hygienist, widowed years ago with twin 4-year olds, spoke of the “unaffordable care act.” She spoke of a 15-year-old EpiPen, which had gone from perhaps $20 copay to $750 per EpiPen. She spoke of $75,000 in medical debt and praised President Trump for saving a single mother hundreds of dollars a month.

Within this presentation, President Trump successfully blended solid scripting and emotionally connecting ad-lib, marked in italics in this excerpt, transcribed by me from the live event:

The four orders I am signing today will completely restructure the prescription drug market, in terms of pricing and everything else, to make these medications affordable and accessible for all Americans.

The first order will require the federal community health centers to pass the giant discounts they receive from drug companies, on insulin and EpiPens, directly to their patients. You know, insulin became so expensive people weren’t able to use it. They desperately needed it. We have it to a level that you’re not going to believe. EpiPens likewise. You’ve been reading horrible stories about EpiPens over the last . . . six, seven years. Horrible, horrible, horrible increases where they went from almost nothing to massive amounts of money. We’re changing that right now. These providers should not be receiving discounts themselves while charging their poorest patients massive full prices. Under this order, the price of insulin for affected patients will come down to just pennies a day, pennies a day from numbers that you weren’t even able to think about. It’s a massive cost savings.

The second executive order I’m signing this afternoon will allow states, wholesalers, and pharmacies to do something other politicians have promised for decades and decades, but never done. They never delivered. We will finally allow the safe and legal importation of prescription drugs from Canada, and other countries, where the price for the identical drug is incredibly lower — It is a difference like you wouldn’t believe. 70%, 80%, 90%, 30%. But massively lower. — than the identical drug, made in the same plant, the same factory, the same exact drug, the same everythingSame box. Same pill. And yet, it’s 50, 60, 70 percent lower. And this is something that [Florida Governor] Ron [De Santos] and I have been discussing from the time Ron got elected. And I’ve been wanting to do it, and it takes a long time from a legal standpoint. And, uh, we’ve got it all worked out. So, we are going to be getting massive drug savings in Florida and other states. And we’ve had numerous states that wanted to do it. Ron really was at the forefront, I will say that, but you have other states that have caught on, and it’s caught on very quicklyDidn’t take them long to figure that one out, Ron, it’s too obvious. We pay for all of the research and all of the development, and foreign countries pay absolutely nothing, and our consumer gets charged. This has been going on for decades. The American people pay an average of over three times more for medicine than the Canadians. Many people go to Canada. I see it all the time. They go to Canada to buy drugs and then they come back, prescription drugs, because they save so much money. The trip is well worth it. The Obama-Biden administration pledged to end this unfairness, and allow drug importation, but they never got it done. They were unable to det it done. They didn’t get a lot of things done. But under my administration, we’re standing up against the lobbiests and the special interests, and fighting back against a rigged system. Rigged system, you’ve heard that word before. I am unrigging the system, that is many decades old. We’re doing something that should have been done a long time ago.

The third revolutionary order I’m signing today will prevent middlemen — and women I guess, but you’ve heard about the middleman, right? The middleman that makes so much money. Nobody knows who they are. Nobody has any idea who they are. They make more money, perhaps than even the drug companies themselves. The drug companies, in all fairness to them, Big Pharma, they’re doing a great job on the vaccines, they’re doing a great job on therapeutics. I can tell you, because I deal with them a lot. But I thing the middlemen make more money than they do, and they don’t do much. Maybe they don’t do anything. Some people say they don’t do anything. Nobody even knows who they are. But the middlemen are making a fortune. — and pharmacy benefit managers, people are just bilking Medicare patients with these high drug prices, while they pocket gigantic discounts. Gigantic discounts. The amount of money they have made over the decades is too incredible even to speculate or say. It’s massive. Some very rich people are not going to like me today, I can tell you. {audience laughter} I probably know them well, I probably see them in Palm Beach. {laughter} But nobody ever talks about who they are. I hear “the middlemen” for years, “the middlemen,” right Alex [Azar]? And he doesn’t know who they are either. But he knows they are rich. {audience laughter} And they’re not going to be so rich any more, because the money is going down to reduce the price of prescription drugs. So, that’s a big thing, that’s a tremendous step. It should have been taken a long time ago, but they have a great deal of power. And I don’t have to tell you how many phone calls I’ve had in the last few days, when they heard I was going to be doing this. I’ve heard from people that I haven’t heard from in a long time. {audience laughter} Frequently drug companies give these middlemen discounts of up to 50 percent on the price of prescription drugs. But too often, those discounts are not passed on to the pharmacy counter. Meaning the people. This rule will pass those billions and billions of dollars a year, I mean many, many billions a year, in discounts on to patients, directly on to patients, saving Americans with high drug costs thousands of dollars a year. Individual people will save thousands of dollars a year. You’re not going to believe the impact that the things we are talking about today are going to have. Mark Meadows, our Chief of Staff . . .

The fourth and final order I am signing today, is the granddaddy of them all, will end global freeloading on the backs of American patients and American seniors. For decades, our citizens have paid the highest prices for drugs, prescription drugs, anywhere in the world. And it’s not even close. Foreign nations have paid vastly less for the exact same drug, and the exact same box, from the exact same plant, from the exact same company. They would pay 10 percent, 20 percent, 30 percent, what our people are paying. A pill that would sell for one dollar in certain countries — I won’t name them, they are all allies. They call them allies. I call them so-called allies. But a pill that would cost a dollar — could be seven, eight dollars in our country. Same exact pill. We pay 80 percent more than nations like Germany, Canada, and others, for some of the most expensive medicines, identical in all respects. This means that Americans are funding the enormous cost of drug research and development for the entire planet. We are bearing the entire cost, they pay none. They say this is what we are going to pay. In some cases it is a socialist country. So, we are paying to reduce drug prices in a socialist country. How does that work? How does that work? And these are things that should have been done a long time ago. And even from our standpoint, we would have done it more quickly, but we have to go through vast amounts of waiting periods, waiting times, and this is just an incredible day, I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. We incredibly and foolishly bear the full cost of all research and development. In all fairness to the drug companies, it can take 15 years to get something approved, billions of dollars for a simple drug. It also means that the U.S. taxpayers are effectively subsidizing the socialist healthcare systems of foreign welfare states and many other countries. We will end that abuse and restore the principles of free enterprise, but this does not even have to do with free enterprise. This has to do with commonsense and courage, to be honest, and courage. Under this transformative order, Medicare will be required to purchase drugs at the same price as other countries pay. So we would pay four, five times more for a drug, if somebody else pays one dollar, we now pay one dollar. Now, what’s going to happen is their number will go up and our number will come very substantially down, and we’ll all agree on two and a half or two, or whatever the final number is. But if some country is paying, wherever it may be in the world, because they had a better negotiator, because they had smarter people than we have, and that’s what it’s all about. Maybe more honest people, who knows? Could be a lot of things going. But we have, we get now the lowest price anywhere in the world. And no more will we have to suffer by saying “gee, why is it so much cheaper for some drug in another country?” We will determine what other medically advanced nations pay for the most expensive drugs, and instead of paying the highest price, Medicare will pay the lowest price, and so will lots of other U.S. buyers. Medicare is the largest purchaser of drugs anywhere in the world, by far. Medicare, largest purchaser of drugs in the world. And we’re finally going to use that incredible power to achieve a fairer and lower price for everyone. Everyone will get a fairer and much lower price. This is not talking about one-half of a percent. This is big stuff. Under our ridiculous system, which has been broken for decades, we aren’t even allowed to negotiate the price of drugs. Can you believe it? I said when are we going to negotiate? “We’re not allowed to negotiate. We’re restricted by Congress from negotiating the price of drugs.” Can you imagine? You say I want to get a better price. “I’m sorry, sir, you’re not allowed to that. That’s illegal.” What kind of system is that? You thing the world looks at us and said “Where the hell did these people come from?” {audience laughter} “But they treat us very nicely.” It’s going to end, OK? I see you’re a fan of what we’re saying. You must be a doctor, are you a doctor? Yes. Doctors know. You’ve known that for years. We’re not allowed to negotiate, can you believe it? We just have to take whatever it is. 

I’m pleased to announce that, as a result of the orders I’m signing today, the heads of the major drug companies have requested a meeting to discuss how we can quickly and significantly lower drug prices and out of pocket expenses for Americans. They want to do what is right. Look they’re going to do what is right. Look, I think it is so important what they are doing on therapeutics and vaccines, and we’re going to see them on Tuesday and see if we can do something here. But, this could have been done a long time ago. The drug company executives will be at the White House on Tuesday. And they have some ideas how to significantly drug prices. We’ve already given them to you. I don’t know if they can possibly do something to substitute for what is called “favored nations.” Favored nations, that means you get the lowest price anywhere in the world. Whoever gets the best price, congratulations. Thank you very much for being a good negotiator because we now get the lowest price, too. Should have been a long time ago. If these talks are successful, we may not need to implement the fourth executive order. Which is a very tough order for them, very tough, and I understand that. And we have a lot of respect for our great pharmaceutical companies, drug companies. So, we’ll see what they have to say on Tuesday. Maybe they have another idea that is good. But it’s got to be very substantial. They actually are in favor of the rebate rule, the roll-back, because they say that’s people getting money that aren’t even doing anything. If they are not, the order will be implemented. . . .

I will add the links to the executive orders, and the official transcript as they post. Three of four are up already. This Friday was a truly significant one for many Americans.

They Should Be Giants, Not Kneelers

 

For several decades the San Francisco Giants have been my favorite sports team. When I was a child growing up in Florida, my team was the LA Dodgers due to my birth connection to southern California and no professional sports team in the state of Florida. After childhood, I was more focused on the NFL. But when I moved to California in the late 1980s, I adopted the Giants. The rhythms of baseball were becoming more comforting to me in middle age. The notion that success was measured by the relatively few times you succeeded in a long season rather than running off a short streak of 12-14 games, seemed more reflective of real-life challenges. And so it was that I returned to baseball as a fan.

The Giants were softly “woke” before other teams. They celebrated the fight against AIDS, breast cancer, and various other public causes. While I have never been fond of corporate “virtue signaling” this level of wokeness was natural to the Bay Area and not noxious. I had already pretty much ignored the football 49ers by the time Colin Kaepernick started his pogrom on the flag/national anthem. And the Giants were not — at that time — in the same place.

But in the current insane moment, the Giants have succumbed. Not all the players kneel, but their Manager does. He is new this year having succeeded Bruce Bochy who managed the team for 13 consecutive seasons after managing San Diego for 12. For some reason (and something I cannot know) I don’t see Bochy, raised as an Army brat on many military bases, kneeling. But now the new (hip) Manager is.

And that kind of tears it for me. I wasn’t enthusiastic about the short season. I wasn’t that hopeful for the team’s prospects. I am glad that the team’s most high profile player, Buster Posey, chose to sit this season out for reasons of COVID and his family circumstances. I am not sure I could bear watching him kneel if it happened. I don’t know whether he saw the political conflict coming and decided not to “block the plate” (something as a catcher he was otherwise inclined to do). His decision avoids that issue, for now.

For G-d’s sake, the name of your team is Giants. Act like it. Stand tall.

Member Post

 

I guess by now everyone knows about Turkey converting the Hagia Sophia — the great Church of Eastern Orthodox Christianity in Istanbul — to a mosque. First, let me say that Turkey has every right to do what it wants with its holdings. If it wants to convert the great church to a mosque, they […]

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Member Post

 

Last week Arahant asked about the best love story. Songwriter was quick to snatch up The Princess Bride which had no trouble knocking out heavyweights like Casablanca, Dr. Zhivago, and even The Passion of the Christ. Two things happened as a result 1) we learned to never underestimate the might of The Princess Bride, and […]

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Rejecting Antiracism: Christian Conversations for Forgiveness and Reconciliation

 

I recently came upon the antiracism belief that individualism and merit are “racist.” Antiracists refer to them as “American white values.” The racializing of individualism and merit-based achievement seem to be exclusive to those who share the antiracist worldview. More and more people are eagerly embracing the tenets of critical race theory and antiracism as a public posture that exemplifies the noble pursuit of “racial justice.” I want to highlight what should be obvious– the fad of racializing everything, even a long-standing virtue as individual merit, is further eroding our already-fragile civic ties while trivializing real racism.

One of the problems with antiracism is its practice of condensing the complexity of unique individuality into shallow representations of “race.” This antiracist position refuses to see people– as people. There’s nothing distinctive about individuals in antiracism’s anthropological methodology. Antiracist ideological convictions demand advocates ignore the intrinsic worth of people in favor of a racialized preconception that divides people into two classes: oppressed, (blacks and other non-white “minorities”) and oppressors (white people). Shelby Steele called this reductionism a form of racial blindness. He wrote,

People who are in the grip of [racial blindness] … always miss the human being inside the black skin…Your color represents you in the mind of such people. They will have built a large part of their moral identity and, possibly, their politics around how they respond to your color. Thus, a part of them–the moral part–is invested not in you but in some idea of what your color means. And [if] they see you– the individual–they instantly call to mind this investment and determine, once again, to honor it. They are very likely proud of the way they have learned to relate to your color, proud of the moral magnanimity it gives them an opportunity to express.

Critical race theorists and antiracists are structuralists. They refer to people collectively, and persistently stress the influence of societal factors to explain the socio-economic failures of blacks and other minorities. This explains the preoccupation with “institutional racism,” “systemic racism,” and “structural racism.” Conversely, people who reject this idea tend to be more individualistic: they tend to emphasize personal responsibility, merit, work ethic, and intelligence – the very things antiracists reject as impediments to oppressed minorities. Racial structuralists believe the American social ‘system’ — or our societal institutions, patterns of relationships, and the organizational dynamics of status — provides some people with advantages while others with disadvantages. Blacks also suggest that social determinants lying outside of individual control—such as their race, gender, age, or the socioeconomic status of the family in which they were born — significantly influence whether they will thrive. This disposition continues to hold significant currency on black identity and in antiracist identity politics, dictating action – but more so inaction – in black communities.

Consequently, from a socialist critique, these external influences that obstruct black prosperity are forms of evil (sins). Various forms of inequality, for example, have permeated social systems and institutions that continue in lieu (or irrespective of) the consequences of human actors. It’s rarely acknowledged that these “systems” are almost entirely biological, meaning that they are created, staffed, cultivated, and reformed by people who can and do influence these systems, for better or worse. If people want “systems” changed, they should start by changing the hearts and minds of people who comprise these systems first.

From a Christian perspective, Marxism-inspired antiracism isn’t a valid framework of anthropology, soteriology (liberation), or economic critique. Essential to antiracism’s orthopraxy is the redistribution of goods, services, opportunities, wealth, and income from mainstream America to blacks. This reallocation is based on outcome inequity, stemming from what antiracists call the continuing effects of “historical injustices.” The intention to import, coerce, or manufacture “racial justice” where it’s believed to be absent for some – at the expense of others – is defined as the “virtue” of ‘justice’ within antiracism.

The continual focus on the structural “sins” of white people is contingent upon the repetitive emphasis of the proposition that blacks remain victims. If structural problems continue, then blacks will continue to be victims. This is why antiracists intentionally focus on structural influences and structural remediation rather than individual choices and behavior, which they see as misplaced responsibility and victim-blaming. On the individual level where antiracists don’t often venture, blacks – like others – are responsible for personal decision-making that lends itself to autonomy, not the nebulous “system” of discrimination as is redundantly claimed. Moreover, maintaining the belief that this obscure system is responsible for both black suffering and its cure is a contradiction that makes little sense. The “system” that is the source of black problems is also supposed to be the agent of black salvation (liberation)? Small chance. It also transfers the obligation of penance and absolution onto mainstream America rather than placing accountability onto black individuals where it should be – the necessity for proper, meaningful correction and improving self-esteem that overcomes feelings of inadequacy. Transferring the responsibility of problem-solving from blacks to America rigidly reinforces and petrifies helplessness – and ultimately worthlessness – in the very people antiracists claim to want to help.

Does this sympathetic form of “liberation” through socially engineered coercion and reparation create or improve black dignity? No. Does it contribute anything meaningful or substantial to black development? No. Though tempting, traditionally religious people, especially Christians, must reject this sort of guilt-based framework and interventionism outright. At its core, these policies constitute theft and black dependency. It nurtures resentment, perpetuates blame, even deliberately assigning it to people who are guiltless. It also contributes nothing to black maturation, progress, or Christian identity formation. Social policies that validate existential impotence through “redistribution” (stealing) from one group of people, however noble the cause is rationalized to be (“racial justice”) is still stealing and is by definition, unjust.

Additionally, this kind of intervention, preferential treatment, and entitlement based on race does not help its intended targets because it refuses to demand any contribution toward their own uplift and advancement, such as delayed gratification, individual initiative, moral or civic obligation, and a higher level of social expectation. Helplessness becomes a commodity. Antiracists would rather have blacks maintain their position of presumed helplessness, reinforcing social inferiority. Social intervention (structural remediation) requires blacks to conserve their helplessness. Black powerlessness, lowered expectations, social, and moral mediocrity are encouraged and rewarded. That’s not Christian at all. In fact, this antiracist position is a stumbling block for Christians (Rom. 16:17-19).

A constructive Christian conversation about discrimination always centers humanity and dignity in being created in the image of the trinitarian God, not race. Our race, or more specifically, our ethnic composition – a blessing from God – augments human dignity but isn’t conditional upon it. That stands in distinction to antiracism; a constructive, Christian conversation should maintain that important distinction throughout.

Part of this anthropology contains the consequences of the Fall, including the ministry of Jesus, in whose image we are renewed (Rom. 8:29-31, Rom: 12:1-2, 2 Cor. 3:18, 2 Cor. 5: 15-17; Gal. 2:20, Gal. 5:24, etc.). Having been renewed by Christ, our focus isn’t on the antiracism methodology that reinforces racial discord and partiality but is guided by the spirit of love, forgiveness, and reconciliation (Deut. 1: 16, Matt. 5:23, 43-48; Matt 18: 15-17, 21-22; Gal. 3:28, Eph. 2:13-16, James 2:1, 8-9, etc.). It’s to understand that in transcending artificial racial limitations, there’s no tiered structural methodology that separates people into belligerent factions – racializing values that reinforce separation, or that seeks to invert the traditional “power structures,” causing more strain and resentment. Antiracism and its cancel culture, doesn’t allow opportunities for repentance, forgiveness, grace, love or reconciliation, which taken together is actual justice– available within the Christian paradigm of redemption and brotherhood.

This is one of the areas in which constructive Christian conversations prevail – communicating, with respect to this binary, that blacks and whites are equal collaborators working toward biblical justice, a characteristic of the coming Kingdom. There’s no disproportionate responsibility placed on whites to labor toward justice while blacks wait helplessly but expectantly. It’s not an agenda-driven model in which whites, “shut up and listen” and forced into agreement as blacks berate and condescend to their brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ – assigning sin and guilt from generations past. The Christian values that achieve egalitarianism or brotherhood reject racial determinism, helplessness, stigmatization, racial partiality, and such. Christian conversations should communicate that in the body, blacks and whites engage in mutuality, and are both responsible live out redemptive truth in ways that challenge and overcome the secular orthopraxy of antiracism, which is just another form of racism.

Reconciliation has to be our first priority before we offer our gifts, including ourselves, to God. Unlike the modus operandi of antiracism “racial justice” programs, which manipulate and burden whites with the responsibility of working toward reconciliation, I would offer a different suggestion: that blacks take the first step in the process of racial unification in the Church via the redemptive process of forgiveness. Black identity has internalized and cultivated a significant amount of bitterness and racial resentment toward whites – some of it understandable, much of it not. Antiracism reinforces these feelings.

However, Jesus was very clear that the obligation of his followers is to upend the normal cycle of reciprocating anger, antipathy, and hostility. There is no denying that blacks have been hurt, some even damaged; there should be no disagreement about that. Slavery and segregation in America, though not unique, were considerable moral indiscretions and have been a civic and historical impediment to cultural unanimity. The residual of white racial chauvinism, though legally outlawed, continues to guide far too many hearts and minds. Black resentment and feelings of racial self-consciousness that precipitate an unearned moral authority (Voddie Baucham calls this ethic Gnosticism) and entitlement continue to dictate the theater of racial pretention. These issues must be addressed.

But, as disciples of Christ, particularly for black folk in the church, I think the obligation is on us to initiate reconciliation that begins with forgiveness, not through manipulation or coercion but with humility, courage, love, and grace. Of course, it is and will be a difficult and painful process. If it were easy blacks would’ve have done it already.

Mercifully, God cancels the debt caused by sin. When Christians pray the Lord’s Prayer they ask God to forgive their transgressions, as they in turn forgive those who have sinned against them (Matt. 6:12). This is intentionality, and the two are entwined. If God is merciful and forgives Christians for all manner of sins, there is a moral and religious obligation to extend to our brother and neighbor, despite their color, the same act of mercy, however difficult (Matt. 18:23-35). Despite any and all protestations against that fact, Christian blacks have no excuse. Forgiving those who cause (or caused) pain is difficult to do; there is very little argument against that. But as challenging as this is, this is what it means to be a Christian —to forgive, to turn the other cheek, and to seek reconciliation with others so that believers are careful not to trivialize the redemption and reconciliation paid for via the bloodstained cross of Jesus Christ.

Blacks are capable of this. In actuality, the capability of Christian blacks setting aside their racial pride, past hurts, and current frustrations to initiate the process of forgiveness and racial reconciliation in the Church is existentially empowering. Taking the first painful, humble step of forgiving past grievances, acknowledging pain and anger, and admitting self-doubt– in other words, confessing uncertainties and sins, is to live in the freedom from hatred that defines (Christian) self-determination and a renewed life in Christ. Deciding to reject the time dishonored practices of complaint, grievance, and holding white brothers and sisters in Christ accountable for acts of cruelty (real or imposed) in favor of forgiveness, and inaugurating the process of approaching the altar of God together– reconciled and in mutual edification – is to recapture a black anthropology firmly rooted in the dignity and equality of the imago Dei.

Part of engaging in the reconciliatory process means disallowing judgmentalism (Matt. 7:1-12). One valid application of the proscription on judging is that it provokes people to set aside what happened in the past as they contemplate what actions to take in the future. Further, Jesus urges his listeners to guard against faultfinding with whom one interacts or has a relationship, even if the person is culpable. This is to deliberately interrupt a blameworthy cycle that ensnares individuals and society, maintaining division. The moral and ethical foundation of Jesus’ nascent community then, but certainly now, is required to reject the emotionally satisfying temptation to belabor past indiscretions, injustices, and other offenses that would lead to cumulative judgment and rationalized condemnation of people and groups. This holding pattern of resentment, retribution, and recrimination is descriptive of the racialized mindset and practice with respect to racial discrimination – perceived and real – and the opinion that systemic racial discrimination continues by the sin-stained hands of white supremacy. It bears emphasizing – Jesus’ teaching does not deny that injustices have been committed nor does it advocate forgetting past injustices. Jesus is suggesting, however, to make these injustices, however painful, irrelevant to the obligation to move forward toward reconciliation. This is what Christian blacks need to do despite the emotional discomfort it produces if healing, reconciliation, and interracial relationships are to be redeemed in American churches (and American culture).

Self-examination is required prior to highlighting collective faults in others, which makes people defensive, resentful, and disinterested in reconciliation. Once we have removed that which distorts our vision, we will be able to see and judge with the spirit of sobriety (the golden rule) to approach our brother in helping mitigate or remove his faults rather than condemning him for them. Jesus’ subversive teachings undercut moral superiority and more specifically, an unearned moral authority of antiracists who use the flaws, indiscretions, and the past mistakes of others as an opportunity to improve collective self-worth of blacks by covering their insecurities and validating their self-esteem. Christian blacks and whites alike desperately need this.

But, if Christian blacks – individually and collectively, took the initial steps to make past histories (and history) of racial victimization immaterial to initiating this restoration, blacks could co-engineer a chasm-closing bridge of interracial, multiethnic relationships in the church. Specifically, this necessitates blacks letting go of the prospect of whites ever feeling guilty enough regarding racial injustices, historical or otherwise, and apologizing to the depth and breadth of black satisfaction or demand. It means coming to the realization that whites will never, under any circumstances, feel the kind of self-condemnation commensurate with black pain and frustration. Blacks initiating love-saturated forgiveness will end the need to seek retribution for past misdeeds. Habitually condemning or berating white people over racial indiscretions – supposed or real, does absolutely nothing to improve the quality of black lives. Neither does it advance interracial interactions and relationships – inside or outside of churches. In an attempt to demonstrate what racial/ethnic conciliation and forgiveness is and should be, Christian blacks should acknowledge, however painful, that what happened in the past is indeed the past, and for all intents and purposes should not be distinctively relevant to our contemporary time and our futures together in the church of Christ. This isn’t to minimize or excuse the past, it’s an attempt to overcome it.

Jesus makes clear that he envisions a community in which the desire for righteousness (as opposed to self-righteousness) and justice (as opposed to “social justice” or “racial justice”) is satisfied for everyone. This community is contingent on the cessation of oppression, persecution, guilt, manipulation, coercion, and all assertions of individual or group superiority that stifles the other’s desire for righteousness and justice. This has huge implications for blacks and whites in American churches, because it entails foregoing the paradigm that leverages black power and identity politics against white guilt and obligation. It also directly rejects any sanctimonious and compartmentalized notions of social and/or racial justice that defines, pursues, demands, and celebrates “fairness” at someone else’s expense, detriment, and inconvenience. Jesus exhorted, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matt. 5:9).

Jesus also said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matt. 5:6). Here, Jesus implies a sense of the universality of righteousness rather than secular or anti-Christian notions of righteousness and justice being truncated (intentionally or not) for some at the expense of others (social justice, racial justice, etc.). Jesus is indicating that the kind of righteousness that he is familiar with and the kind of righteousness his listeners must desire and pursue does not conflict with or mitigate another’s desire and pursuit of righteousness. Rather, it is one of mutual satisfaction. Tod Lindberg, in The Political Teachings of Jesus writes:

No individual’s satisfaction could come at the price of another individual’s failure to obtain satisfaction or the denial of satisfaction to the other. If someone’s desire for righteousness necessarily conflicted with another person’s desire for righteousness, then the generalization Jesus proffers, namely, that “those who hunger and thirst for righteousness . . . shall be satisfied,” would not work out. Jesus holds out the prospect of reconciliation of each individual’s desire for righteousness and universal fulfillment.

Black people possess the competency to retire their fixation with an identity composed of grievance and victimization. Consequently, blacks should aspire to embrace an identity centered in Jesus Christ for their own benefit, cultural change, and for the American Church’s advancement. But for this to happen, blacks must humbly admit that they are suffering from a moral and existential oversight. They know that they are children of God; they have forgotten that they must also be disciples of Jesus in view of covenantal theology. Blacks have ignored or have forgotten that to be Christian disciples entails being conscientious of the fact that they are part of the multiethnic brotherhood of Jesus Christ.

Christian blacks and whites must reject the orthodoxy and orthopraxy of antiracism. It doesn’t augment nor can it be synthesized with Christianity. It’s a false religion and gospel that distracts Christians from that which has the power to change minds, hearts, and systems – the redemptive gospel of Jesus Christ.

If You Vote Biden, You Endorse the FBI Spying on the President

 

You are voting for Biden. You need to admit that you are ok with the FBI spying on Trump. You are ok with them using security briefings to spy on the President. You are ok with the FBI talking to Flynn in a work capacity and turning that into an investigation. You are ok with the DOJ lying to the President about him being under investigation. You are ok with the FBI concluding Flynn was not lying, but then claiming that he was.

You are ok with all of that:

Newly declassified internal Federal Bureau of Investigation documents prove the top U.S. law enforcement agency used a so-called defensive briefing of the Trump campaign in 2016 to spy on and collect information about Donald Trump himself. The new documents, which are just the latest in a string of declassifications regarding the FBI operation to spy on the Trump campaign and later the Trump administration, detail the FBI’s attempts to use a briefing ostensibly meant to warn the Trump campaign about foreign intelligence threats to spy on the Trump campaign itself.

What I don’t understand, Biden voter, is how you can say you are for the Constitution and the Rule of Law when you support the man who was part of the administration that started all this. Either you just cannot believe the facts, in which case you are a fool, or you only believe in the Rule of Law when it supports the outcome you want, which is not believing in the rule of law at all.

Frankly, I tend to think the people at the Lincoln Project, Bulwark, etc., are in the latter camp, and most of their supporters are in the former.

Which are you, Biden supporter?

Thursday: The Melania and Donald Show [updated with transcript]

 

justice and COVID-19Thursday was different as First Lady Melania Trump was prominently featured separately from President Trump, who closed the day out with what is becoming a daily presidential press briefing. Thursday offered a rare view of First Lady Melania Trump leading a meeting, a meeting linking her Be Best initiative and the latest pandemic.

The Indian Health Service System (IHS) has long been criticized, like other government health services, and unlike the British reverential attitude towards the National Health Service. President Trump maintained his newfound discipline in another tight half-hour briefing, this time with a series of maps detailing the current Chinese virus outbreaks. On the same day, the White House quietly announced a key rollback of an Obama socialist policy, aimed at destroying the suburbs, subjugating them to central planners and Democrat party bosses.

So, in two days, President Trump addressed protecting Americans who live in suburbs, or who aspire to have their own home, from leftist federal bureaucrats and the Democrat Party, and also addressed making urban areas back into safe communities with focussed law enforcement disrupting gangs’ reign of terror, and so disrupting the corrupt alliance of convenience between Democrat politicians and crime bosses. He did this while sustaining a disciplined daily update direct to the American people on the Chinese virus. His update made real news on the Republican convention and his emphasis on children was reinforced by a talking points paper:

President Donald J. Trump Is Working to Give Students and Parents Flexibility and Schools the Support They Need to Reopen This Fall

Notice the words are “students,” “parents,” and “schools,” not “teachers [unions]” or “administrators.”

Pulling back the curtain:

Featured White House events are live-streamed, carried on Whitehouse.gov/live and on the White House YouTube channel. The YouTube video must be cleaned up later, as there is a very long portion before and after a live event with a placeholder title screen. Thursday’s event with the First Lady was promptly trimmed to the live portion. There was no transcript, rather a readout, so you may settle for the summary or watch the 27-minute video. The president’s remarks and the question-and-answer portion always result in a word-for-word transcript. Transcripts, readouts, and all other official written communications show up on the White House news page.

Caring for Native American Children:

In the First Lady’s briefing, where she was taking the briefing, we get to see her concern and empathy for underprivileged children, part of a population long subject to various forms of official neglect and poor service. Tellingly, not one member of the President’s Task Force on Protecting Native American Children in the Indian Health Service System (IHS) was from the IHS. Instead, the Department of Justice, FBI, HHS Inspector General, and the Navajo Nation were represented. Without listening to a word, you may reasonably conclude that there has been a problem in the IHS that requires external agency action.

To the extent that the problem is criminal conduct, forms of child abuse, then it is entirely appropriate that other agencies would be called to account and required to engage with tribal governments to extend the same protections as are expected in any town across the land. As the First Lady said: “strong Native American communities are strong American communities.”

Readout from First Lady Melania Trump’s Briefing on Protecting Native American Children
HEALTHCARE | Issued on: July 23, 2020

Today, First Lady Melania Trump was briefed by the President’s Task Force on Protecting Native American Children in the Indian Health Service System (IHS).

Mrs. Trump was joined by several members of the Task Force and others who had made important contributions to its report, which was released today. President Trump formed the Task Force in March 2019 to provide recommendations to deter, mitigate, and respond to any allegations of future child sexual abuse in the IHS.

The First Lady opened the session by welcoming participants and thanking them for their work on behalf of the well-being of children, and noted that “strong Native American communities are strong American communities.”

Task Force Co-Chair Trent Shores introduced the members of the Task Force and contributors, and provided an overview of the Task Force’s efforts and findings, including the importance of working hand in hand with tribal leaders throughout the process. Other members of the Task Force shared their input, and a discussion of the Task Force’s recommendations and next steps followed. The First Lady emphasized the need for children to feel safe speaking up about abuse, and about the importance of reducing the stigma around mental health so that children feel secure and know they will be heard.

The First Lady closed the briefing by thanking the Task Force for their important work. She also shared her gratitude for the Cherokee Nation’s invitation to travel to Tahlequah, Oklahoma, noting that she looks forward to visiting when it is feasible to do so.

The First Lady concluded by stating: “I know that this Administration inherited many of these problems, but I am very proud that you are still working to protect children to prevent such abuse from happening again, or if and when it does, to immediately mitigate it. I am sure that the men and women of the Indian Health Service share that goal, and I look forward to following up to ensure that they have the training and resources they need to provide the finest possible care to Native American communities.”

PARTICIPANTS

Trent Shores, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma and Task Force Co-Chair
Bo Leach, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Indian Affairs
Stephanie Knapp, Child/Adolescent Forensic Interviewer, Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Office for Victims Assistance, Child Victim Services Unit
Shannon Bears Cozzoni, Tribal Liaison and Assistant United States Attorney, US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma
Curt Muller, Special Agent, HHS Office of the Inspector General
Santee Lewis, Executive Director, Navajo Nation (Washington, DC office)
Stephanie Grisham, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff & Spokesperson to the First Lady
Emma Doyle, Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy to the First Lady
Kellyanne Conway, Assistant to the President and Senior Counselor

Caring for the American Dream in the Suburbs:

President Trump called out the issue of the suburbs last week in his Georgia speech announcing vast streamlining of infrastructure project approval. Now we see an announcement that another Obama rule is being repealed. Naturally, black-robed leftists will oppose this and use Bush partisan John Roberts’ recent proclamations from the bench as cover. However, this one, as it is held up to the light, splits the wine-drinking, college-educated women from their virtue-signaling vote preference. Here they are being shown that if they vote for Biden, or even fail to vote for Trump, they approve of the destruction of their own neighborhoods. Virtue-signaling “Orange Man Bad” is one thing, agreeing to apartments and Section 8 housing on their block is quite another. At the same time, President Trump is talking to the Trump voter base, the forgotten Americans of every ancestry who have been striving for their piece of the American dream. This is a beautifully crafted statement [emphasis added]:

President Donald J. Trump Is Protecting Our Suburbs and Preserving the American Dream for All Americans
ECONOMY & JOBS | Issued on: July 23, 2020

The suburb destruction will end with us.

President Donald J. Trump
PROTECTING AMERICAN COMMUNITIES: President Donald J. Trump is protecting American communities from excessive Federal overreach and preserving local decision-making.

The Trump Administration is releasing a new rule that will further fair housing, while respecting the role of State and local decision-making for their communities.This action will repeal the Obama Administration’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, which took away decision-making from local communities.

The new rule eliminates the excessive burden put on local communities and gets rid of the top-down approach that dictated zoning for communities.

The rule will help promote housing that is affordable, decent, safe, and free from discrimination.

Under the President’s new rule, localities will continue to certify that they will affirmatively further fair housing, as required by law.

SAVING OUR SUBURBS: This action ends the Federal encroachment on local communities that threatened our nation’s suburbs.

The Obama Administration’s original AFFH rule attempted to take local zoning decisions out of the hands of local communities.

AFFH would have imposed a massive regulatory burden on localities, required high density zoning, eliminated single family zoning, and destroyed our suburbs.

This overregulation of our suburbs would have harmed Americans’ abilities to work, buy homes, and build lives for their families, including many minority communities.Our suburbs are diverse and thriving communities where the majority of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans now live.

The suburbs represent a vital part of the American dream, as Americans work to build a better life for themselves and start a home for their families.Providing Americans with the opportunity for homeownership is key to expanding opportunity and helping all Americans prosper.

Homeownership offers the chance for all Americans to build wealth for their families.

UNLEASHING REGULATORY RELIEF: Through this action, President Trump is building upon his historic reversal of the Obama Administration’s disastrous regulatory policies.

President Trump is delivering on his promise to free Americans from Federal overreach, with Federal agencies taking over 7 deregulatory actions for each significant regulatory action.

The President reversed the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan, regulation that would have raised electricity prices and driven up costs for Americans.

President Trump stopped the egregious abuse of the Clean Water Act, which threatened American farmers, ranchers, and landowners with endless litigation.

The President did away with a ridiculous Obama-era rule that would have banned the incandescent lightbulb, restoring freedom for Americans to choose how they light their homes.

The President replaced Obama-era fuel standards with the much improved Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule, which is expected to lower the price of new vehicles by $2,200 and make cars cheaper for low-income Americans.

President Trump did well for a third day in a row, with a well-prepared briefing with large charts, followed by a brief question and answer period, ended cleanly in just under half an hour. He needs to sustain this through November 3 to win reelection. He needs to use “we” and be constantly verbally with the American people, leaving “I” out of it as much as possible. We hear that criticism of him, but perhaps forget that President Obama was incapable of singing any tune outside the key of “me.”

President Trump started with the announcement that a big in-person convention was out because it looks wrong with the flare-up of the Chinese virus across the country. He will shift to tele-rallies. The president announced more good economic news, despite the worst efforts of the radical left, Democrats, and cowardly Republican’ts. He spoke for about 20 minutes, with ten minutes of questions and answers. It seemed to me that the tone, the temper of the questions shifted to a slightly more professional one. This may have been a function of how President Trump called, or a matter of the reporters realizing that he was only going to give them about ten minutes, so they would not be able to bait him into a long session of off-the-cuff remarks.

Selective quotes from his prepared remarks:

I care deeply about the people of Florida and everywhere else.

I am always going to take care of you.

The life of every child is sacred and must be protected.

All families should be empowered to make the decision that is right for them [about school].

As we race towards the completion of a vaccine, and therapeutics, the responsible path is to shelter those at highest risk while allowing those at lower risk, much lower in the case of young children, to resume work at school as long as everyone practices vigilante hygiene and social distancing. We want that. A permanent shutdown was never the strategy, which would ultimately lead to greater mortality and irreversible harms. We don’t want to do that.

Remarks by President Trump in Press Briefing
Issued on: July 23, 2020
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

5:25 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thank you, everybody.
Thank you.

We’ve had a tremendous week uniting the country in our fight against the China virus. I have reminded people of the importance of masks when you can’t socially distance, in particular. A strong message has been sent out to young people to stop going to crowded bars and other crowded places.

Yesterday, we made the amazing announcement for our plans to protect nursing home residents. We’re working very hard on that. We’re doing very well all over the country. And also about contracting with Pfizer — we made a big, big, beautiful contract with Pfizer. We think they’re very close — but we have a lot of companies that are very close — to produce a vaccine.

And I wanted to come out again today to share some additional news with you: This afternoon, my political team came to me and laid out our plans for the convention in Jacksonville, Florida. It’s a place I love. I love that state. The drawings look absolutely beautiful. I never thought we could have something look so good, so fast with everything going on.  And everything was going well — a tremendous list of speakers; thousands of people wanting to be there — and I mean, in some cases, desperately be there. They wanted to attend. People making travel arrangements all over the country; they wanted to be there. The pageantry, the signs, the excitement were really, really top of the line.

But I looked at my team, and I said, “The timing for this event is not right. It’s just not right with what’s happened recently — the flare up in Florida — to have a big convention. It’s not the right time.”

It’s really something that, for me — I have to protect the American people. That’s what I’ve always done. That’s what I always will do. That’s what I’m about.

They said, “Sir, we can make this work very easily. We have great enthusiasm. Incredible enthusiasm. Even the polls say about the most enthusiasm they’ve seen. We can do this safely, and we can do it responsibly.”

And I said, “There’s nothing more important in our country than keeping our people safe, whether that’s from the China virus or the radical-left mob that you see in Portland” — where I want to thank Homeland Security and others in law enforcement for doing a fantastic job over the last few days. They went in, and people were out of control for 51 days — a long time. And Homeland Security and other law enforcement with us went in, and they’ve done a great job protecting our property — the federal courthouse and other property — and, most importantly, protecting our people. Or the senseless violence that you see in Chicago or New York or Detroit — a lot of other cities where so many people are shot, and so many people are killed. And people elected me to help and to protect.

So, I told my team, “It’s time to cancel the Jacksonville, Florida, component of the GOP Convention.” We’ll be starting in North Carolina for the Monday, as has always been planned. We were never taking that off. That’s remaining as it is. The delegates are going to get together. That’s where they do their nomination. So, the delegates are going to North Carolina, and they’ll be doing the nomination. And we’re going to do some other things with tele-rallies and online — the week that we’re discussing, which will be really good. I think we’re going to do it well. And I’ll still do a convention speech in a different form, but we won’t do a big, crowded convention per se. It’s just not the right time for that.

I care deeply about the people of Florida and everywhere else, frankly, in this country — and even in the world — who would be coming into the state, and I don’t want to do anything to upset it. They’ll be doing very well very shortly. We’re going to put some maps up of the country behind me, and you’ll see that the area that we’re talking about is a hotspot. You will also see a lot of the country is — has no problem whatsoever — most of the country, actually. So I’m always going to take care of you, so that that’s the way we’re going to do it.

I’ve spoken to Governor DeSantis and informed other political leaders. I want to thank the Jacksonville community, and its great mayor.  He’s a great — great guy. Really great guy. They wanted it so badly. And all of the other political representatives in Jacksonville and in Florida. And just very special people — a very special group. And they were there for us, 100 percent.

Today, I want to provide an update on the actions we’re taking to support the safe reopening of America’s schools. Parents around the world who have had their children home for the last few months have a greater appreciation for the fact that teachers are essential workers, that they’re essential to our children’s future. Our goal is to protect our teachers and students from the China virus while ensuring that families with high-risk factors can continue to participate from home. Very important.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has released guidance recommending that schools reopen. It said, quote:

“Lengthy time away from school and associated interruption of supportive services often results in [a] social isolation, making it difficult for schools to identify and address important learning deficits as well as child and adolescent physical [and] sexual abuse, substance use, depression, and suicidal ideation. This, in turn, places children and adolescents at considerable risk of morbidity and, in some cases, mortality. Beyond the educational impact and social impact of school closures, there has been [a] substantial impact on food security and physical activity for children and [for] families.”

So, that’s very important, and it goes both ways.

The National Education Association recently stated, “Despite the momentous efforts of educators during the pandemic, online learning has never been an effective replacement for in-person learning and support.”  Being at the school, being on the campus is very, very important.

One study estimates that, due to school closures last spring, the average student will begin the school year roughly 35 percent behind in reading compared to the typical year, and more than 50 percent behind in math. That’s a big statement.

According to McKinsey & Company, learning loss will probably be greatest among low-income black and Hispanic students. They’re the ones that are hit the hardest. We don’t want that happening.

Thirty million American students rely on schools for free and reduced meals. Over 70 percent of the students who receive mental health services do so through their schools. According to HHS, one in five reports allegedly, having to do with child abuse, they have neglect — and these are neglect and neglected cases are submitted by education personnel. So people in the education world, on the premises, will be the ones that report neglect and other problems when they see the children. They know if they’ve been neglected. They know if they’ve been hurt or harmed in any way, whether it’s at home or someplace else. But they see this at school. You don’t get to see that if you’re not going to school. It’s a big thing.

Fortunately, the data shows that children are lower risk from the China virus, very substantially. When children do contact the virus, they often have only very mild symptoms or none at all, and medical complications are exceedingly rare. Those that do face complications often have underlying medical conditions. Ninety-nine percent of all China virus hospitalizations are adults. And 99.96 percent of all fatalities are adults. That means that children are a tiny percentage — less than 1 percent, and even a small percentage of 1 percent.

In a typical year, the flu results in more deaths of those under 18 in the United States than have been lost thus far to the coronavirus. Many different times. Many, many different times.

The life of every child is sacred and must be protected. Our sole focus is the health and wellbeing of America’s children.

I have a very, very special person who loves children, who is — who is, I think, one of the greatest athletes of all time. A lot of people say “the greatest pitcher of all time.” Known as a “relief pitcher” who could have been whatever he wanted. Some people — he is the greatest reliever of all time, by far. Substantially more saves than anybody else. In fact, he got the Presidential Medal of Freedom recently.

And he — I’m reading off these stats. I knew he was the best. I knew he was great, but I didn’t know it was almost double anybody else. But he’s a man who loves children — has children, loves children, works hard with children. We’re going to go outside and be with some little leaguers. Mariano Rivera — you know, he’s the “Sandman,” right? My wife said, “Darling, why do they call him the ‘Sandman’?” I said, “You know, they play the song. He just puts the batters to sleep.” And that’s exactly what happened.

So, having Mariano here is a great honor. Thank you very much. He was talking about children in schools. And there’s nobody that’s done more than you have. Thank you very much, Mariano. Fantastic man.

Given these considerations, we believe many school districts can now reopen safely, provided they implement mitigation measures and health protocols to protect families, protect teachers, and to protect students. And we do have to protect the teachers and the families also; we have to remember that.

All families should be empowered to make the decision that is right for their own circumstance. This is especially important if a child has underlying health conditions or lives with a parent or grandparent who is at high risk.

In cities or states that are current hotspots — and you’ll see that in the map behind me — districts may need to delay reopening for a few weeks, and that’s possible. That’ll be up to governors. The decision should be made based on the data and the facts on the grounds in each community, but every district should be actively making preparations to open.

Again, the children obviously have a very strong immune system, maybe even as strong as yours. They seem to be able to fight it off and not have a problem. So, it’s pretty amazing actually. Great, great credit.

Our strategy to safely reopen schools mirrors our approach nationwide. As we race toward the completion of a vaccine and therapeutics, the responsible path is to shelter those at highest risk, while allowing those at lower risk — much lower, in the case of young children — to resume work and school and — as long as everyone practices vigilant hygiene and social distancing.  We want that.

A permanent shutdown was never the strategy, which would ultimately lead to greater mortality and irreversible harms. We don’t want to do that.

At the same time, we have to get our economy going. We had tremendous numbers issued yesterday. Housing prices — pricing of housing up 21 percent. It’s the highest in history. It’s the highest number in history. Real estate housing went up 21 percent.

Today, the CDC will provide additional guidance for how schools can reopen safely. I hope that local leaders put the full health and wellbeing of their students first and make the right decision for children, parents, teachers, and not make political decisions. This isn’t about politics; it’s about something very, very important. This is not about politics. I even think it’s bad politics if you do the wrong decision. Very bad politics.

We’re asking Congress to provide $105 billion to schools as part of the next coronavirus relief bill. This funding will support mitigation measures, such as smaller class sizes, more teachers and teacher aides, repurposing spaces to practice social distancing, and crucially, mask-wearing. This money is in addition to the $30 billion we secured for schools and universities earlier this year. That money we have; some is distributed, and some is not distributed.

If schools do not reopen, the funding should go to parents to send their child to public, private, charter, religious, or homeschool of their choice. The key word being “choice.” If the school is closed, the money should follow the student so the parents and families are in control of their own decisions. So we’d like the money to go to the parents of the student. This way, they can make the decision that’s best for them.

We cannot indefinitely stop 50 million American children from going to school — harming their mental, physical, and emotional development. Reopening our schools is also critical to ensuring that parents can go to work and provide for their families.

The Council of Economic Advisers estimates that 5.6 million parents will be unable to return to work if schools do not reopen this year. That’s a tremendous problem. It’s a tremendous problem. Schools have to open safely, but they have to open.

More than a dozen European countries — as well as South Korea, Taiwan, and many others — have already reopened schools, and cases have not risen. We can achieve the same goal if we unite together, follow the best medical practices, and apply common sense.

We’ll continue to support states and cities in the current hotspots in the South, Southwest, and West. The governors — I know them all. They’re all very, very capable. They’re doing a very good job. They’re working so hard. You wouldn’t even believe it.

We have nearly 30,000 federal personnel deployed in the states that need assistance. We’re helping with doctors and nurses — medical personnel of all kinds. As a PPE update, we’re in close communication with governors and states. We have supplies — everything they could possibly need.  We’re very strong on supplies. Remember I used to say the cupboards were bare? Well, now the cupboards are the opposite.

Due to our historic efforts to increase both the National Stockpile and the state stockpiles, the vast majority of the states have 60 days’ worth of supplies on hand. And most importantly, they have ventilators — because the ventilators are very, very hard to come by, at least in the past. Now we’re making thousands of ventilators a month and supplying them, in many cases, to other countries.

For states that are making requests, we’re rapidly delivering. In the last 24 hours, FEMA has deployed more than 1.5 million masks upon request, 1.7 million gowns, and 600,000 — well, let me change that. We’ve created about 600,000 different supplies. [It looks like the president identified a problem in his written remarks at this point. He likely sees something that he knows does not match with something he was briefed earlier in the day. He is working off the cuff the rest of this paragraph to get back on track.] We have 600 ventilators to Arizona, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Idaho, and Washington. I think the number is 600. We’ll go check that, and we’ll give it you in a little while. But we’ve — we’ve got a stockpile of thousands of ventilators. I think we’ve sent out about 600 just recently.

The United States has now conducted more than 51 million tests, which is more than any other country in the world, by far. Roughly half of the tests are either the rapid, point-of- care tests, which, frankly, solves a lot of problem in delay — 5 to 15 minutes, instead of waiting for service both ways, in both directions, and then at the lab. But roughly half of them now, which is a tremendous increase, are 5- to 15-minute tests or tests done in a hospital where you get the results back in less than a day — in some cases, immediately.

We’re continuing to surge testing to current hotspots, such as Miami and Phoenix, to detect those with the virus and take steps to stop from spreading it further.

This is a copy of the map, and this is a — you have it right behind me. That’s really very much indicating where the problems are. You see from — from that, it’s in great shape — lots of it.  The Northeast has become very clean. The country is in very good shape, other than if you look South and West — some problems. That will all work out.

On therapies: We’ve worked with Florida to ensure that over 40,000 vials of remdesivir are arriving this week. That’s a lot. That’s a really — that’s a lot. They’re working around the clock to make it. It’s had a tremendous impact. We’ve also shipped thousands of vials to Arizona, California, and Texas over the past two weeks. Arizona is doing very well; it’s heading down. The numbers are heading down, I think, very quickly. The governor has done a great job. They’ve all done a great job. They’ve all done a great job. Working hard.

We’ll continue to monitor the areas rising and — with respect to cases. And we ask all Americans to exercise vigilance, practice social distancing, wear a mask, do whatever is necessary so we get rid of this horrible situation — this horrible disease that was sent to us by China.

It should not have been sent. They should have stopped it. They could have stopped it. They didn’t. And the entire world has gotten infected, and a lot of countries are going through a lot right now.

This morning, I spoke with President Putin of Russia, and they’re going through a very hard time with this — in Moscow, in particular. I spoke to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. They’re doing well, but they’re going through a lot. Everybody is going through a lot.

Yesterday, I spoke to the heads of four different countries. All four are going through a lot. They’re going through a hard time.

This could have been stopped. It could have been stopped quickly and easily. But for some reason, it wasn’t, and we’ll figure out what that reason was.

[So, the whole world is infected and many major countries are having problems because of the Communist Party in China.]

So, with that, if you have any questions — please.

[The questions seem to be responding to the president’s more disciplined and somber approach.]

Q On the convention, were you simply not convinced that you could keep people safe at the convention?

THE PRESIDENT: I just felt it was wrong, Steve, to have people going to what turned out to be a hotspot. You know, when we chose it, it was not at all hot; it was free. And all of a sudden, it happened quickly. It happens quickly. And it goes away, and it goes away quickly. The key is, we want it to go away without a lot of death, without a lot of problems.

And we’re learning so much about the disease. That’s why we’re — we’re very cognizant of nursing homes — we’re watching them very carefully — and people over a certain age, and especially people over a certain age with diabetes or — or heart disease, in particular — but with a problem.

So, we didn’t want to take any chances.  So we had a lot of people. We have — the delegates want to be there. We’re going to do a fairly reasonably quick meeting in North Carolina. The nomination will be produced. And then we’ll announce what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, whether it’s something that’s done online; I guess you could call it “online.” So, there can nothing — there can be nothing like our last convention, unfortunately. That was a great convention and in a great place, as you know. We had a — we had a great time — a great time in Cleveland.

But it’s a different world, and it will be for a little while. We want to get the world back to what it was, and I think we’ll have that, including great job numbers, including so many things that are happening so positive.

I have to say, the stock market is close to records. For Nasdaq, it is a record. It’s already exceeded its highest numbers. But we want to get our country back to what it was.

Q And so would your acceptance speech be from the White House? Are you worried that —

THE PRESIDENT: We haven’t set that yet, Steve. We’ll have that — we’ll probably announce that over the next few days.

Q Are you worried this might dampen enthusiasm for you?

THE PRESIDENT: Look, we’ve done a great job. We built the greatest economy in the world. Nobody close — not China, not anybody. We had to close it, we saved millions of lives, then we opened it. But we had the best numbers in history for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, every group you want to name — young people without a diploma; young people with a high school diploma, with a college diploma. Anything you want to name, we had the best numbers. Women doing incredibly. Never — never been a time like that.

And we had to turn it off because of what China did. We had to turn it off. And then, all of the sudden — now we turn it back on, and we’re doing very well. But it was very bad.

China — speaking about China, the trade deal means less to me now than it did when I made it. When I made it, it was a great deal. But they’re — they’re setting records. Yesterday was a record corn day. They purchased more corn than any order ever, and that went on for two or three days. And soy beans and all. But it just means much less to me. Can you understand that? It just means much less to me.

[So, instead of the supposed attention-based bounce generated by a large convention with media saturation coverage, he knows he has to continuously make the case on his record. He is also continuing to signal serious displeasure with the Chinese leadership. When he looks at the harm done by their deception and possible deliberate spread of the virus, he now considers the trade deal far less important to Americans’ lives.]

Please, go ahead.

Q Thank you. What was the one thing — if there was one thing — that changed your mind about the convention?  And did Florida officials ask you to cancel it?

THE PRESIDENT: No, they didn’t. We’re dealing with them, but they didn’t. I would just say safety. Just safety. I just — you know, I could see the media saying, “Oh this is very unsafe. This is…” I don’t want to be in that position. It’s safety — not because of the media, but that’s what they would say.

And we’ll have a very nice something; we’ll figure it out. It’ll be — it’ll be online, in some form. Maybe it’ll be something even a little bit different. We have time. You know, we’re talking about the end of August. But I think it’ll be something that will be exciting, but there can be nothing like having 25,000 people.

[Look, this is a successful reality TV star. He gets relatively low budget but high attention productions. Look for something that highlights all the reasons to vote for him and a slate of candidates, while making the case against Biden and the left.]

We had a tremendous thing planned in — and a tremendous convention planned in North Carolina. And it would have been very good, but a much smaller version in Florida. But then, we saw what was happening. Pretty quickly, we saw that — that the virus was coming up that coast.

Q Do you think it’s an acknowledgment of the severity of the situation in Florida?

THE PRESIDENT: No, I think it’s going to come and go. It will. I mean, you take a look at — some of these locations were heavily infected. I mean, to a point where — Deborah and I were talking that — you know, when you look at what happened in New York and what happened in New Jersey and other places. And now you’re looking, and it’s gone. I hope it stays gone. I think we — I think it will. But we had to be — we had to be — we have to be vigilant. We have to be careful.

And we also have to set an example. I think setting the example is very important. It’s hard for us to say we’re going to have a lot of people packed in a room, and then other people shouldn’t do it.

Don’t forget, we’re talking about schools. And we want them to be vigilant. And we’re saying, “Open.” And then we’re saying — here you have a big room. But I also — if you notice, I said, “Where bars are crowded, where other things are crowded…” Well, there’s nothing more crowded than a convention. A convention — I mean, you’ve seen them. And even though you try and keep people away from each other, it’s just not that kind of a thing. They probably can’t do that. It just doesn’t work for them. So it’s a very hard — so I think we’re setting an example by doing it. It’s very important.

Yeah, John.

Q Mr. President, if I can come back to school openings. You talked about money that Congress was looking at to help schools who want to reopen. If a school wants to reopen, but is concerned about testing, would you consider directing some of that money toward testing for either —

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.

Q — a school district or even individual schools if that’s what it took to open the schools?

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, I think so. I mean, I — a lot of people feel differently about testing. We talk about it a lot. When we have 50 million tests-plus, and — you know, we broke the 50 million-test mark.

Second in the world is India, which has 1.4 billion people, and they had 12 million tests. And other countries that are very big had 2 million tests. And some countries essentially only test if you’re sick and walk into a hospital or walk into a doctor’s office or you’re literally really sick. They essentially don’t do tests unless you’re sick, and I understand that, too.

So, yeah, if they feel that that’s what they want, it’s — that would be fine.

Q You would — you would tell Congress — you would encourage Congress to pay for testing for school districts?

THE PRESIDENT: I would if they want. Again, we’ve done 50 million tests. There’s nobody even close in the whole world. You look at our mortality rate. You look at our death rate. You look at different statistics. We’re doing very well. But one death is too many. This should never have happened. This should never have been allowed to happen from China.

Q Also — also, Mitch McConnell’s office just put out a statement, a moment ago, about the phase four relief package, CARES II, saying, quote, it’s “tailored precisely for this phase of the crisis.” Yet, it does not include your payroll tax cut.  So do you believe it’s perfectly tailored?

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, I’d like to see a payroll tax cut. I think it’s great for the workers. The Democrats would never have gone for it. They don’t want it. They’re not big into the workers, I guess. And based on that, I told them last night — I told the Republicans, who have been working very hard on this, I’ll tell you — and they want what’s right for the country, and hopefully the Democrats ultimately will.

But I said, “I think a payroll tax will be good, but you’re not going to get it from the Democrats.” We need their votes, as you know. It’s not like — you know, we have a majority, but it’s not enough that we — that’s why I guess we have an election coming up. So you still need Democrat votes, and we’re not going to get the Democratic votes on that.

So I’d like to see it. I think it would be very good for the workers. But if we’re not going to get their votes, I guess we have to go on to the next thing. A payroll tax cut would have been very good. And maybe — maybe something happens.

Yes, please.

Q You talk about setting an example on Jacksonville. But I — I just wonder: Some people are going to take away from this the lesson that you’re pushing too far, too fast.  It seemed, for a while, the numbers were going up in Jacksonville, and you were going to have a problem there.  This comes up at a time you’re pushing for schools to reopen, have the opening of the Major League Baseball season. Isn’t — isn’t the example of Jacksonville that we’re — we’re pushing too fast?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, baseball, as an example — we were discussing it a little while ago — you’re going to be at an empty stadium. I’ve agreed — Randy Levine is a great friend of mine from the Yankees, and he asked me to throw out the first pitch, and I think I’m doing that on August 15th at Yankee Stadium. And I say, “How’s the crowd going to be?” And, you know, it’s like you don’t have a crowd; there is no such thing.

It’s going to be interesting, Mariano. He’s not used to that. I’ve been at many games. He walks in; the place goes crazy. I think it’d be just as good without the crowd. You were just born with it, you know. Some people are born with it.

I don’t know if — this is only for the baseball players, but I’ve never seen a pitcher throw a ball where so many bats were broken as Mariano. He’s got the all-time record. I said, “How do you do that?” He said, “Parents.” Great parents, when you get right down to it. Right? “How do you do that?” It’s called parents.

Q (Inaudible) baseball, but the question —

THE PRESIDENT: But — but —

Q — the question really is —

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, I just — just to finish, I think — I think that we have to all set examples. I think Major League Baseball is setting the example by, you know, playing to empty stadiums, and so are other sports. You see that. Now, then they’ll allow a certain number in. I see golf is now — soon will be allowing people to come in, in percentages. And all of a sudden, we want to get back to normal.

The key is to get back to normal, because nobody wants to see this. But I think it’s really good that baseball is opening. It looks like football is opening. It looks like sports are opening. We — we have — it’s a tremendous thing, psychologically, for our country.

And we’re all — we’re all, whether we’re se- — we’re going to see right now some beautiful, young Little Leaguers outside with a great future ahead of them. They’re already practicing on the front lawn of the White House, and we’re going to go out and say hello to them, and it’ll be really great.

Okay, how about one more? Yeah, please. Go ahead.

Q President Trump, the Washington Post, earlier today, reported that one thing holding up the GOP coronavirus bill is the White House asking that it include language regarding the FBI building in downtown Washington, D.C. Is that true?

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t know that they’re putting it in this bill, but I know they want to have a new FBI building. This one is very old, and it’s really — it was never built to a very high standard, as you probably have heard. And it’s got a lot of danger involved and panels falling off the outside and pieces of concrete falling off the building.

And they want to build it at the site that they have it. They had options very far away from Washington. And I said to him, “Frankly, you have to be near the Justice Department.” There’s nothing better than the site. The site they have now is better. But they were looking in sites in Maryland and Virginia, in different places, but they would’ve been too far away.

So I am — I’ve been encouraging them to build it. And if you’re going to — you have a choice: You can renovate the existing building — but it’s not a good building — or you could take it down and build a great building for the FBI for 100 years and have it be incredible. Even with tracks on top, they’re talking about — you know, we have — because FBI people like to work out a lot. And you could have, literally, quarter-mile tracks on top. It’s a very big site, a very wide site.

So I think the idea — the best idea would be to build a new building. And that way, you have it for a long time. Renovation can never be as good as a new building, in that case. I know they’re talking about it, whether or not they put it in this bill or someplace else. But the FBI needs a new building, and we’ll get it done.

Thank you all very much. Thank you. Thank you very much.

END

5:56 P.M. EDT

The Washington Football Team?

 

The team formally known as the Washington Redskins has announced that they will be known as the Washington Football Team. I commented on someone’s post that “Washington” is no longer to be used. Washington owned slaves and is therefore cancelled. “DC” is out too; the “C” stands for Columbia, Columbia stands for Columbus, and Columbus was just some Italian leading expeditions that no Spaniard would lead.

But the place associated with the team can be anything whatsoever. You can call yourselves the Bethesda Bumblebees for all I care. Do what you’ve got to do. However, “football?” Really? Last year, you lost 31-15 to the Chicago Bears. You made Mitch Trubisky look good.

I repeat: you made Mitch Trubisky look good.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix had a great night too. Too bad he didn’t play for you anymore.

WSJ Pushes Back Against its Own Staff

 

For the past year, we have reluctantly continued to subscribe to the Wall Street Journal, even as we’ve watched its news section become increasingly progressive in its views. But we’ve always liked the Opinion page and appreciate the excellent journalism of Bill McGurn, Holman Jenkins, Dan Henninger, and especially Kimberley Strassel. I just learned, however, that 280 of the WSJ news staffers criticized the Opinion editors for not reflecting a “woke” mentality, and their letter was also “leaked.” The leaked letter is in the form of a tweet in this article, and difficult to read in this form, but you are welcome to try. Here is part of the editors’ response:

It was probably inevitable that the wave of progressive cancel culture would arrive at the Journal, as it has at nearly every other cultural, business, academic and journalistic institution. But we are not the New York Times. Most Journal reporters attempt to cover the news fairly and down the middle, and our opinion pages offer an alternative to the uniform progressive views that dominate nearly all of today’s media. [italics mine]

I haven’t actually analyzed the news sections of the WSJ to determine if most of their journalists try to cover the news fairly, because the exceptions are so glaring. But I was especially impressed with other things the Opinion editors said:

In the spirit of collegiality, we won’t respond in kind to the letter signers. Their anxieties aren’t our responsibility in any case. The signers report to the News editors or other parts of the business, and the News and Opinion departments operate with separate staffs and editors. [italics mine]

This is a low-key yet powerful statement. The editors essentially say they’re not going to be as unprofessional as their colleagues were. And the statement that they’re not going to worry about the “anxieties” of the staffers reinforces the point that it’s not their job to do so. In other words, we are not going to cave in to your “feelings.”

I am very pleased to see the editors push back at the “recommendations” of the leaked letter, and hope that the WSJ Opinion page will continue to reflect conservative ideas.

They’re the only large newspaper with the integrity to do it.

Who Pays with a Biden Victory?

 

I’ll tell you who’s the poster child for who doesn’t pay: J.K. Rowling. Despite being as rich as the Queen of England, the author isn’t going to pay when the “social democrats” take over. The lefty mob can’t touch her no matter how un-PC she is. Heck, she could buy her own island nation and unfairly restrict immigration exclusively to Harry Potter fans and other TERFs (build a wall!) and the woke SJWs still couldn’t touch her, no matter how massive the twitter hate-tsunami directed at her. She’s in the protected class.

Now, as a Christian, a liberty-loving conservative, and an American, I don’t begrudge her her wealth and status. She used her time and talent to write those beloved books, and the payoff was yuuuge! Good for her. But, when she and others in the protected class advocate for further consolidation of power in government to enact statist “solutions” that ultimately hurt the rest of us? I get a little resentful. Bitter, even. 

And that’s what this election is all about: who pays? Average Americans have had it pretty good for a while. I’m not discounting the despair economy under Bush and Obama and the unprecedented lowering of life expectancy that occurred with the opioid crisis, family dissolution, outsourcing of manufacturing jobs in the new global order, and the erosion of human dignity due to dependency. But, the middle class grew pretty big over several generations and we became comfortable in our lifestyles. Maybe too comfortable. 

Middle-class privilege made some of us believe the government could fix the remaining disparities in our society. Having a job, a nice home in the suburbs, a car in the garage under ten years old, 2.5 kids, and a dog allowed us the luxury of adopting ideas antithetical to the founding principles that brought us to our relatively elevated status in human history. We stopped dancing with the one who brung us and elected lefty Democrats and Decorum Republicans who had no intention of simply preserving our pre-political, natural rights when they could be our earthly saviors. They had work to do! Important work.

But, now the jig is up. Those with eyes to see can tell who will suffer the consequences of this godless, materialist, anti-human leftward lurch in our society: it will be the Normals, not those in the protected class. Not the Mitt Romneys, or the David Frenches, or the Bill Kristols, George Wills, and Jen Rubins. And certainly not any Democrat pols. AOC is set for life! The Nevers will find some patrons willing to support them for their Great Orange Hate. Pierre Omidyar has been very generous to date. Maybe things will get a little tougher for them when commie takeover is complete, and Mitt might even lose one of his lakeside dachas. But, as long as they swear fealty to the uniparty, they’ll be fine.

When President Joe Biden and his puppet masters destroy the energy sector, flood the country with people from failed socialist and Muslim states, nationalize medicine, and bend the knee to Xi, we older, established Americans who’ve worked and saved and paid down our debts might get to keep our property and get by. But, our kids won’t have a chance at the American dream. Even the ones who manage to climb the professional ladder (I’m thinking doctors, for example) will be working for the state in one manner or another. Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state. 

I suppose no one should take my predictions any more seriously than I take the prognostications of our political pundits (alliteration much?). Which is it? Polls indicate Trump has already lost the election, or voters don’t start paying attention until September? Historically, no candidate has won with numbers this low, or Trump’s 2016 win despite a 99 percent prediction of a Clinton victory was within historical norms? Nobody knows nuthin’. 

Except … the trend isn’t good. By which I mean, Americans seem to have lost the thread of liberty and are distracted by all manner of other, lesser pursuits relating to “justice” — as in, social-, economic-, climate-, and racial- “justice.” And you know what they say about asking God for justice? Better to ask for mercy, or you might just get what you deserve. 

In any case, it won’t be the ruling elites or other members of the protected class who bear the costs of foolish demands for “justice.” It never is. It’ll be the rest of us. 

Vote Trump/Pence 2020 as if you’re kids’ future depends upon it, because it does.

Sad Day for Conservatives: Mike Adams Dead

 

From the Port City Daily:

WILMINGTON — According to the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, Mike Adams was found dead at his residence today.

Deputies responded to a wellness check at Adams’ home address and found him deceased. NHCSO is investigating the death, but has not released any additional information, and could not confirm cause of death or if foul play was suspected.

The longtime professor of criminology and sociology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) was set to retire next week as part of a $500,000 settlement.

The settlement came as Adams was facing growing criticism for his social media posts and UNCW, in particular Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli, was under increasing pressure to terminate his employment. Several petitions with around 85,000 total signatures called for his termination, and letters from his colleagues and fellow criminologists denounced his actions and called for his firing.

Due to Adams’ tenured status, and his previous legal victory over UNCW (which cost the UNC system roughly $700,000), the university opted for a negotiated exit.

Adams had supporters as well as detractors, including those who saw his online behavior as an exercise of his first First Amendment rights. Adams’ classes were also popular with many of his students, earning him generally positive evaluations and several awards for teaching, according to his UNCW curriculum vitae.

My son went to UNCW in the History graduate program. Adams was well known on campus as one of the very few conservative voices, and he drove the Left and eventually the UNCW administration wild. He was set to retire Aug 1.

Member Post

 

I would assume that most parents would not allow a five-year old that has been told his/her internet game time has expired for the day would allow that child to invite a hundred of their friends over to spray paint the living room walls. Or allow them to smash the living room widows, or set […]

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Quantum Blip

 

‘What happened here?!’ He almost had to shout to make himself heard. ‘Did someone throw the switch on the next parallel universe or something?’

‘It’s fading.’ A hand grasped his. It was a nice hand. ‘It was worth a try,’ she said. Something sparkled around her eyes. ‘If we get separated again – remember me.’

‘I wouldn’t forget you.’

She looked at him as though her heart would break. ‘Believe me, it can happen. After the last time— Duck!’

‘What – where?’

‘No, duck, you moron!’ The nice hand grabbed his collar and pulled him down as quite a large tree was uprooted and flew past the ditch they were sheltering in.

‘Oh,’ he said. ‘Duck …’

The lights on the buildings opposite flickered, as lightning crisscrossed the sky. She shouted over the wind and the storm, ‘We’ve skipped through a thousand parallel universes, lived a thousand lives, and I keep hoping – that this one will be the right one, the one where it all works out right. I hate quantum blips,’ she added, as the rain-soaked them through – and pulled him into a hug as if she was afraid the wind would carry them both off. Which, to be fair, was looking like a real possibility.

He felt like there was a lump in his throat. It was going to be a long lifetime between now and whenever they next met, in whatever parallel universe, in whatever parallel lifetime.

She pulled back slightly and looked at him, wet hair flying in the breeze, as if something had just occurred to her – like it had been bugging her for a while and she wasn’t going to get another chance to say it where she remembered. ‘It just about figures,’ she called near to his ear, ‘you’d be doing something stupid out here, and we’re stuck in the middle of the biggest storm of the century!’ She paused to think about it, chewing her lip on one side in that way he remembered from another lifetime. ‘That kind of thing happens a lot!’

‘I’ll try and remember that next time!’ he called back, his voice almost lost in the storm.

She started going fuzzy and concentrated herself back into existence. ‘In some of the worlds we end up in, we’ve even met early on. The ones where I don’t find you, after they end it’s like – it’s like there’s a hole in my world.’

He stammered as he faded in and out, ‘In the universes where you aren’t there, there is no world. There’s only a black hole. I remember the other lifetimes, sometimes. In dreams.’

She tried to blink back the blurriness that was coming over her vision. And then her glasses disappeared with a pop! into the realms of quantum instability. Or had she just made that last part up? She was going to have to write a paper about this when she got back to – oh, that was right, wasn’t it? She eyed the nearing, now-blurring funnel of air on the horizon. Maybe they’d fade before it got to them. ‘We found each other in the end in this one, though,’ she said, her voice going all crackly.

‘Whatever happens next time, I—’

He faded – disappeared in a sparkle of hazy lines. His eyes remained looking into hers in outlines of electrostatic blue for a moment, like the Cheshire Cat had heard of weird physics and wanted to give it a try. The teardrop that fell from them burst in the air as her other hand reached out to catch it.

Even as she disintegrated into a thousand motes of light, she found herself murmuring what was by now an old refrain: ‘Remember me …’

‘Rules? In a Knife Fight?’: Examining Lawyer’s Claims of Police ‘Assault’ in Portland

 

Many years ago I watched Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I remember a scene where Paul Newman, as Butch, faced down a hulk of a man who wanted a knife fight. Butch said there had to be rules. “Rules? In a knife fight?” The other man was incredulous.

At which point Butch kicked him in that tenderest of places and said “Okay, you don’t want rules, no rules.” He convinced the man he was wrong in a painful lesson regarding rules. I often think about that because rules are a good thing. Which leads me to my topic today, which concerns an attorney in Oregon arrested at the federal courthouse riots and who claimed to be sexually assaulted.

Here’s the story about the lawyer. Arrested for misdemeanor assault on a federal officer, and failure to obey a lawful order, Jennifer Kristiansen will get her day in court. She is, of course, presumed innocent until proved guilty. But some things should be obvious upfront. Lawyers know and understand their duty to obey a lawful order by a law enforcement officer. They know it’s a crime to disobey. They also understand what an assault is, and that there are penalties for assault on a federal officer. As lawyers, they know that they are required to tell the truth, even when it hurts their case, and that if they choose to speak, they must speak truthfully. They also know there is a rule to prohibits statements that are intended to influence a jury before trial.

The lawyer claims she was in fear of being raped (baloney!) and that the arresting officer “pushe[d] me up against the wall, facing the wall, and use[d] his left hand to cup my right breast,” She then said he used “his right hand to flip up my skirt and grab my right butt cheek.” If you’re following along, apparently, in violation of every tenet regarding searching a prisoner, this officer put himself in physical danger of being bitten or kicked by reaching all the way around her chest. No competent DHS agent would do that. More importantly, given her booking photo, I doubt there was anything about a screaming woman that aroused this officer, who likely just wanted to go home that night without eye damage.

Keep in mind, these were not folks carrying signs and singing hymns. They were people encouraging and participating in violence against federal officers. They set fires. They smashed windows. They even went after the mayor when that fool showed up to offer them support. In the article the woman confesses to her assault on the officer noting that she pushed herself between a federal officer and another protester, essentially asking to be arrested. She got what she asked for. You cannot push a federal officer while he is engaged with another person. That’s assault. She claims she was bruised by rough treatment. I would note that it takes two to tango, and the video demonstrates her actions were not passive resistance. As author Kurt Schlichter has pointed out numerous times, this is more of an information operation than a kinetic one. The Antifa crowd seeks an overreaction and they are not getting one. So they invent one.

Let’s unpack her statement about being groped, however. Normally, when a woman is detained for some suspected criminal act, a female officer is requested to do the physical search. That’s because it is just the right thing to do, respect a person’s bodily privacy by taking away any claim that some sexual component to the search might have existed. But the middle of a riot, where officers are attacked by three and four people when they try to arrest someone, it is not a time for niceties. The fact that officers had suffered laser-based eye damage and injuries from other impact weapons during this 50-plus-day fiasco certainly justifies a quick, if cursory search to locate weapons that could be concealed. And where would a woman hide things she didn’t want to be discovered? Think about that and you’ll have the answer to the cupping and groping allegations. What the woman suffered was not a groping. It was not a sexual assault. She got what every other arrested person gets: a physical search of her person for weapons. And with damned good reason, too.

If she doesn’t plead guilty there is a fair chance she will make those sexual assault claims in court. That would be decidedly unwise.

Being a lawyer is not like being your average citizen. There are rules, even though it isn’t a knife fight. There are rules about what you can say, and what you can do. Even in places like Oregon, there are rules. One of those rules is Rule 3.5 which states in applicable part:

A lawyer shall not:

(d) engage in conduct intended to disrupt a tribunal; or

Call me crazy, but I see efforts to burn and destroy a federal courthouse to be efforts that are intended to disrupt a tribunal. If only there were an individual willing to go research this lawyer, learn her bar number, and file the appropriate request of the disciplinary counsel to pursue an investigation. Kristiansen, who should know better, has admitted to the press (a) that she was there; (b) that she was participating in the riot; and (c) that her intent was to get between an officer and a woman he was trying to encourage to disperse. And while her statements to the press would seem to indicate that they were walking backward slowly, that isn’t what she was ordered to do. She was ordered to leave the area and it took tear gas to get compliance. The fact that she brought a respirator to avoid the tear gas and pepper spray is likewise indicative of criminal intent. In other words, she planned to engage in conduct that she knew would result in federal officers using chemical agents.

Oregon’s rules also state what constitutes misconduct. Rule 8.4 says:

(a) It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:

(1) violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another;

(2) commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects;

(3) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s fitness to practice law;

(4) engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice; or…

It would appear that Kristiansen has scored a quadfecta. By engaging in conduct designed to disrupt a tribunal she has clearly violated the rules of professional misconduct. So (a)(1) seems satisified by her participating in the riot which for nights has attempted to burn down the courthouse. She wasn’t out there trying to argue against it (what an actual concerned attorney might do).

Lawyers are officers of the court. They cannot disobey an order by a law enforcement officer or court marshal while practicing law. If this woman were to say and do the things she did on this night or act in that manner in a federal courtroom she knows well she’d get a disciplinary charge out of it. The fact that she was arrested for assault on a federal officer should result in her being sanctioned by the Bar if she is convicted. As a lawyer, she could potentially work out a diversion agreement, but if I were the US Attorney I would make an example out of her. She could plead guilty, or she could go to trial. If she went to trial I would push for a maximum penalty (three years in prison and a $5,000 fine). It would be federal time, so she would do all but six months of it in a prison. And since she’s attacking a federal courthouse, a place where federal judges should be able to work in peace, it is doubtful in the extreme that she would get a warm fuzzy feeling from the judge who likely now has to ride to work in an armored car.

Equally troubling, however, is what I believe to be a false statement – and I believe it’s false since every DHS officer in Oregon knows his actions are being filmed by 900 morons with cell phones (view the video in the linked article). I believe it is false that she was “groped” by the federal officers. She knows she was searched. If she were being honest, she would simply admit it. But she couldn’t get media sympathy that way, so a search becomes a defacto sexual assault. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it. The video posted by Heavy shows nothing of the kind. It shows her being hauled away by two officers and her resisting. It’s a shame they didn’t charge her for resisting. If video later documents a search and not a sexual assault, she could certainly be liable under subsection 3, above.

Finally, a lawyer trying to tear down a federal courthouse or assisting those who do is likely to be defined as conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. It is hard to administer justice in a courthouse that is nothing but glowing embers.

Citizens can petition the Oregon bar and its disciplinary authorities for an investigation. Perhaps one might occur, and sanctions might ensue. Perhaps it’s time for the cancel culture tactics of the left to come home to roost.

Sometimes people need to be taught really tough lessons in order to appreciate the freedom they have and the jobs they went to school for seven years to get.

Twofer Tuesday: President Trump and Kayleigh McEnany Speak

 

Trump and McEnanyIt was a twofer Tuesday at the White House. Early in the day, Kayleigh McEnany delivered her usual elegant evisceration of the press pool jackals. President Trump then tagged and rolled in with a solo performance in a tight and disciplined 26 minutes. Off-camera, he took consequential action with his pen, signing an executive order on the Census. I extensively annotated and selectively bolded the official transcripts, presented below for your consideration. Tuesday’s performance by the president was markedly better, tighter, more disciplined, than many in the past. Or that is my view. I especially welcome feedback from those who have been supportive of his policies but off-put by his presentation manner in press conferences.

[Author’s note: Ricochet members and readers are perfectly able to index and regularly scan official sources, but most of us do not have that interest. I hope that this occasional series of official video and transcripts adds value to Ricochet, as good, factual reporting does elsewhere. Yes, I add my opinion and analysis in and around the official facts of what was spoken. And. This injection of opinion within long transcripts is clearly set off in brackets. You read, you decide. Why transcripts? Because text is so much faster than the spoken word. You can read closely or just skim for highlights so much faster than comprehensible speech. Why video? Because important parts of our communication are tone and physical gesture.]

Kayleigh McEnany opened with law and order, framing the administration’s response in Portland, Oregon. She closed with a defense of Dr. Birx, as a woman who is a true medical expert, who rose to the rank of colonel, and who fought HIV/AIDS. McEnany waved the 400-page notebook full of medical data Dr. Birx delivers to every governor weekly and denounced the New York Times for smearing her. President Trump briefed exclusively on COVID-19 for 14 minutes, then took questions for 12 minutes. The net result was good communication on both major issues the left intends to use to win in November. In his office, the President signed an executive order, and issued a statement, directing the Secretary of Commerce to exclude illegal aliens from the electoral apportionment report, a commonsense action. I leave aside all the actions being taken by the Vice President, First Lady, and Second Lady, cited with links at the end of this post.

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany [emphasis added, comments in square brackets]
Issued on: July 21, 2020
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
11:16 A.M. EDT

MS. MCENANY: Good morning, everyone. By any objective standard, the violence, chaos, and anarchy in Portland is unacceptable, yet Democrats continue to put politics above peace while this President seeks to restore law and order.

Governor Kate Brown, a Democrat — Governor of Oregon — said that the President should, quote, “stop playing politics,” called law enforcement officers “secret police,” and likened it to, quote, a “dictatorship.” The governor also called on the president to get his officers off the streets.

Democrat mayor of Portland, Todd Wheeler, said the President is “trying to look strong for his base” while you had Democrats on the Hill, Nancy Pelosi, calling these officers stormtroopers and Jim Clyburn calling them the Gestapo.

This rhetoric is unhelpful and gives the violence we have seen a pass. But President Trump will not give the violence a pass. He will restore order where the Democrat governor and the Democrat mayor are unwilling to admit that they have lost control of their city.

The well-organized mob in Portland has become increasingly aggressive, especially against law enforcement officers. Individuals have thrown bricks, chunks of concrete, glass bottles, feces, balloons filled with paint, pig’s feet, slingshots to hurl ball bearings and batteries at federal agents and the courthouse. Multiple attempts to barricade officers in the Hatfield Courthouse have occurred; attempts to start the structure on fire as well. Use of eyesight-damaging laser devices have been used, and strobe lights against federal agents as well. But according to Speaker Pelosi, when asked about the violent removal of statues, “people will do what they do.”

The Trump administration urges state and local officials to work cooperatively to restore law and order. Operation LeGend is a great example of this. At the governor’s request, we went into Kansas City and surged the area with federal assets — FBI, DEA, ATF, and U.S. Marshals. This was named after LeGend Taliferro, a 4-year-old young boy who lost his life and was shot in his bed tragically.

This has been a successful operation that has been waged in his name, including the arrest of wanted fugitives. Similarly, President Trump is taking action in Portland, even though you have a Democrat mayor and Democrat governor unwilling to work with us in this situation. We are surging resources, along with Secretary Wolf at DHS, and augmenting the Federal Protective Service to safeguard federal property.

The bottom line is that this President stands with law and order, which leads to peace. And we will not allow Portland to become the new CHOP, like what we saw in Seattle.
And with that, I’ll take questions.

Jon.

Q Kayleigh, two questions on Portland. One, the case of Navy veteran Christopher David, who went down because he said he wanted to talk to the law enforcement officers and ask them about the oath of office that they took. He was — as people saw on videotape, he was beaten with a baton. He had pepper spray sprayed on his face. He now has two broken bones in his hand. Is the President aware of what happened to this Navy veteran graduate of the Naval Academy? And does he condone that kind of action by these law enforcement officers?

[There are plenty of leftists who serve for a time, or even for a full career in our military. McEnany chooses her words carefully, and it is encouraging that she was fully prepared with the background.]

MS. MCENANY: Yeah, I’m aware of the details of that situation. I haven’t heard the audio of the video, though I’ve seen it. And I’d refer you to DHS about the extenuating details. We always encourage the appropriate use of force, and we always also encourage those in the area to remain peaceful towards our law enforcement officers.

Q And my second question is: Where in the Constitution does the President derive the authority to send federal law enforcement officers to the streets of American cities against the will of the elected officials in those cities?

[Really, dude, you don’t know this Harvard trained lawyer has the exact answer?]

MS. MCENANY: Yes, well, what you’re referring to is Portland. And 40 U.S. Code 1315 gives DHS the ability to deputize officers in any department or agency, like ICE, Customs and Border Patrol, and Secret Service. Quote, “As officers and agents,” they can be deputized for the duty of — “in connection with the protection of property owned or occupied by the federal government and persons on that property.” And when a federal courthouse is being lit on fire, commercial fireworks being shot at it, being shot at the officers, I think that that falls pretty well within the limits of 40 U.S. Code 1315.

[Look how she took the opening to introduce bad facts he and his pack do not want the American voters to know. A federal court in the Ninth Circuit is hardly hostile to the Democrats. So, here you have the Trump administration defending the independent and often hostile third branch of government against leftist violence.]

Q So that’s a matter of protecting federal property, like a federal courthouse, in the case of Portland. Does he see limitations to that power? How much — how far does that power extend into the streets of the city of Portland? How — you know, what — are their limitations on that —

[Now the reporter is helpfully recapping the bad facts for his party.]

MS. MCENANY: So, under the —

Q — that authority to protect a federal property?

MS. MCENANY: Under the law, we believe that agents can conduct investigations of crimes committed against federal property or federal officers. And in the case where you have someone shooting off a commercial-grade firework and then running across the street, we don’t believe that that extends past our jurisdiction.

Yes.

[So, there is nowhere your leftist punks can run where we can’t reach.]

Q Kayleigh, thank you. Yesterday, the President tweeted out an image of himself wearing a mask. He said that wearing a mask is an act of patriotism; no one is more patriotic than him. Then, just hours later, he was spotted at the Trump Hotel not wearing a mask. Why did it take him so long, first of all, to be seen wearing a mask in public? And why the mixed messaging on this critical health issue that his own top health officials have said is critical to fighting this pandemic?

MS. MCENANY: The President has always been consistent on this: that masks, according to the CDC, are recommended but not required. He has said that he would wear one in the case he couldn’t appropriately socially distance. And he wore one and put up the picture on Twitter, as you saw.

[This turns out to be a good set-up for the President’s comments later in the day.]

Q Does he think that it’s important to lead by example on this issue?

MS. MCENANY: Well, the President has led. He’s been consistent, even going back to March 31st, when he said then, “My feeling is, if people want to do it, there’s certainly no harm to it.”

Q But he hasn’t done it, Kayleigh. He hasn’t worn a mask. And so it’s sending — is it not mixed signals?

MS. MCENANY: The President wore a mask in May. The president wore a mask at Walter Reed, out of an abundance of caution. But as I’ve made clear from this podium, the President is the most tested man in America. He’s tested more than anyone, multiple times a day. And we believe that he’s acting appropriately.

[Here she made a minor error. The president said he is tested usually every two days. The point is about acting credibly, not virtue signaling contrary to real science.]

Q Let me ask you about the federal stimulus, if I might. Negotiations are ongoing. Why is the White House blocking Republicans’ requests for more funding for testing and contact tracing? Senator Roy Blunt saying, “It just doesn’t make sense. I think that’s just wrong.”

[Yup, the Republican’t Senate wants a massive slush fund, not actual medical results. The attempt to set this up as even Republicans opposing the president lets McEnany talk about accountability and results.]

MS. MCENANY: So, no one is blocking any money from testing. One of the things I would add is that this is an ongoing negotiation. We’re just in the early days of that. Currently, in federal coffers, we have $10 billion — that’s with a “B” — unspent, that is allocated for testing. And we want to ensure that in phase four there is money that is targeted for testing in the way that makes most sense.

Q But Republican says they need that money. Is the President willing to come to the table (inaudible)?

MS. MCENANY: We’re willing to put in money for targeted testing that makes sense, not just dumping money into a pot that already contains $10 billion.

Yes.

Q Kayleigh, there’s very little support in Congress for a payroll tax cut, but the President keeps pushing for it. Why is that so important to him?  How does a payroll tax cut help the 25 million Americans out of work when they’re not getting a paycheck?

[Now they are admitting their preferred policies are crushing American workers.]

MS. MCENANY: Well, there are a number of things we’re looking at for phase four, and one of those things is unemployment benefits, where as Secretary Mnuchin said, we want this to be completed before July 31st, the date that that runs out. We don’t want something to be an incentive where someone gets overpaid and has a disincentive from going back to work, or they get paid more on unemployment benefits than at work. So we want to be cautious about that while making sure that those unemployed are taken care of.

But the payroll tax in particular goes to some of our hardest-working Americans. The people that it benefits, if you look at the tax structure, are middle-income and low-income workers. And not only that: There’s an incentive on the employer side with a payroll tax holiday that encourages them to hire more too because it reduces their burden. So it’s a very smart policy.

Q But those are people who still have jobs. So wouldn’t it be more important to focus on the people who don’t, if you’re worried about the overall cost of this stimulus?

MS. MCENANY: We can focus on a number of things at once, and part of that is a payroll tax for middle and income — low-income Americans who are out there working each and every day and making their way through as best they can. It also means unemployment benefits; it also means direct payments to Americans. So we’re looking at all of that, and we would like to see all of that.

[So the questions let Kayleigh McEnany show President Trump as both responsible, sensitive to waste, and caring for all workers, employed or unemployed.]

Q Just a second question on the briefing today at 5 o’clock: Should we expect to see members of the Coronavirus Task Force? Will Dr. Fauci, will Dr. Birx be there?

MS. MCENANY: You’ll have to tune in to see.

Yes.

[Suckers. Dr. Fauci is being slowly undone by his own actions and Dr. Birx is about to get a really big defense at the end here.]

Q Thank you. On Portland — on sending agents to Portland, as well as plans for Chicago: Why are these the right people to send? It’s my understanding these agents often work on human smuggling, drug trafficking, things like that. Do they have the right skillset, whether it’s gun violence in Chicago or quelling unrest in Portland?

[Why thanks for letting Kayleigh unleash more inconvenient truth.]

MS. MCENANY: Well, first let me add, they haven’t been sent to Chicago. These DHS officials are currently in Portland protecting a courthouse. We do believe they’re the right individuals for that, as does 40 U.S.C. 1315, the United States Code. It’s egregious what’s happening: the frequency jammers, the pellet and air rifles in Portland. It’s being depicted as this peaceful scene. I can assure you it’s anything but that, where you’ve had barricades, trying to keep officers in the Hartfield — Hatfield, excuse me, Courthouse; injury to a Border Patrol team member’s leg; injuries to the head, shoulder, and back of a deputy U.S. Marshal; U.S. Marshal impaled his right hand on a board filled with nails set out by the protesters.

This is not a peaceful scene. And I’m very thankful to our U.S. Marshals and ATF and others who are acting in accordance with a statute in protecting a federal building, and doing so at great cost to themselves.

Yes.

Q Thanks, Kayleigh. I have two questions for you on the stimulus. First, since you guys are committed to the payroll tax cut, that seems to be driving up the price tag of the whole package. So does the White House view the $1 trillion figure that’s been cited by GOP leaders as a hard cap? Are you willing to sign something that would spend more than that?

[This is supposed to set President Trump against people who pretend to care about federal debt. She takes the opportunity to talk about what President Trump wants the Congress to do for Americans, including “safely” reopening schools.]

MS. MCENANY: These are all preliminary discussions. So, you know, I’ll leave it to the negotiators to decide. The trillion-dollar number was cited by Secretary Mnuchin yesterday.

But, look, this is the beginning stages. We’re looking at a number of things. But the President was very clear that he would like to see a payroll tax in there, along with liability protections, tax credits for businesses to bring people back to work and to have safe work environments, and of course, the $70 billion for schools to reopen safely — at least $70 billion.

Q And then on the testing piece: What did the wait time — the long wait times that we’re seeing for tests around the country suggest that we do need a massive influx of testing beyond what’s unspent, and that the federal government should take more control of the federal — of the country’s testing program?

[As if the federal bureaucracies make any process more efficient, especially the medical bureaucracies.]

MS. MCENANY: So we do want to see more testing funding, but we want it to be targeted in a way that it gets to the right people who need testing at the right time, not just dumping money into a bucket. So we want more money, and we want it to be targeted.

But I’m glad you brought up the timing of the testing. I talked to Dr. Birx, and she’s very encouraged by the pool testing that’s being worked on. You can run four to five times as many tests in the same period of time by decreasing turnaround times at a minimum of two thirds. So if you took three days to get a test result, it goes down to less than one. If it took six days, it goes down to less than two. And it’s more labor intensive, so they would need to hire additional personnel. But CMS is funding the test at about four times the actual test cost to ensure technicians and PPE requirements can be met. So we are seeing encouraging signs on that front.

Yes.

[This sets up a question and great answer from President Trump later in the day.]

Q Thank you, Kayleigh. Just going back to the Portland situation: What is, sort of, the policy justification for federal officers not identifying their agency and their arrest authority when they take a protester into custody?

[Did you really want her to burst that narrative bubble?]

MS. MCENANY: So I’ve been told by DHS that there is insignia indicating that they’re law enforcement. They, in the case you’re referencing, did identify themselves to the individual being obtained, but that they don’t identify themselves to crowds because it would put them at great risk, and I think you can see that, as I noted, when they’re sticking their hands into boards left out by some of the rioters.

Yes.

Q Hey, Kayleigh. You know, on June 16th — so a little more than a month ago — the White House, via the Vice President, published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. The op-ed said that “the media has tried to scare the American people” about the coronavirus. It talked about low positivity rates and declining case numbers in half of the states. There have been 25,000 additional deaths since that was published. Does the White House still stand by that op-ed?

And then, just more generally, what happened here at the White House and the administration in the last month when the message was that this was a problem that was on the mend and being addressed, until now, with the exploding cases we’ve seen and 141,000 deaths?

[This is a fair and tough question. President Trump should absolutely have kept a form of the briefing on camera once a week, likely mid-week, mostly with Dr. Birx, advocates for other kinds of patients, advocates for children, and advocates for liberty. The optics are not good going from daily to no public briefing, then reacting after two months.]

MS. MCENANY: Well, the White House has always been very clear-eyed that as we reopened, we would see embers and, in some cases, fires. We’ve been very aggressive in addressing that; sent out 19 teams to go to emerging hotspots. Dr. Birx has been to nine states. She does a lot of extraordinary work on that front.

So we’ve been clear-eyed that as we reopened, we would see embers and sometimes fires. But we’re encouraged that when you look at case fatality, for instance, we’re below the European Union, we’re below the average of the world, and I think that that speaks to our incredible work with therapeutics and our incredible work with testing: 46 million tests. The number two in testing in the world is India at 13.79 million.

Q Do you still see the main problem, as the op-ed pointed out, as the “media trying to scare the American people” over coronavirus?

[The reporter thinks this is working. It goes badly for the Democrat propagandists quickly.]

MS. MCENANY: I think, in many cases, the media has tried to scare the American people. I think there’s been a deficit in reporting about the cost of staying shut down, for instance.

When you have the fact that the American Cancer Society saying that, during the pandemic, we saw an 80 percent drop in cancer cases being identified, there are real costs to a draconian extended shutdown. And you never heard the other side of the health equation. You never heard that mammograms were down by 87 percent and colonoscopies down by 90 percent and drug overdoses going up month after month through the lockdown.

So it was the right decision to make. The President saved 3 to 4 million lives, but it’s important to note the other side of the health equation about what extended lockdowns do to the American people.

Yes.

Q Yeah, the President says he wants to send these forces to other cities like Chicago, cities where the federal property isn’t necessarily under attack. What are they going to do when they get to Chicago and these other cities with higher crime rates, higher shooting rates, higher murder rates, if the President is worried about that? What are they going to do? What are they going to arrest people of -– with?

MS. MCENANY: I think you’re getting ahead of the President here. He’s —

Q What federal charges?

[The leftist jackals think lawless cities are working for them and are very worried about what President Trump might do to protect the poor and working class people the Democrats keep under a reign of terror. This gives McEnany the opportunity to roll out the list of horrible things done by gangs and leftist thugs in major cities controlled by Democrats who refuse to impose peace on their streets.]

MS. MCENANY: He’s made no announcements as to who’s going where. He’s very discouraged by the violence that he’s seen in Chicago. It’s why he sent a very strong letter to Mayor Lightfoot offering help, because she’s clearly unable to control her streets, and the governor as well, unable to control that area.

When you see the fact that there were 49 officers who were injured in this egregious video of them being lambasted with rioters with umbrellas shielding from view that they were throwing projectiles, and 49 officers injured. Not only that: The poor citizenry of Chicago where 12 were murdered this weekend, 70 shot alone.

It’s incredible what we’re seeing in Chicago. He’s offered his help, and we encourage the mayor to take it and to be forthright about the situation in her state, much like the governor of Missouri was in working with us on Operation LeGend to protect the people of Missouri.

Q But the leaders of these cities don’t necessarily want unmarked police officers patrolling their streets the way we’ve seen in Portland, with the premise that they’re protecting federal property there. The leaders in these cities don’t want this, sort of, paramilitary police force.

MS. MCENANY: They’re offered the assistance of DOJ, as was done, where you’ve had FBI surge in the case of Operation LeGend. So when you have, each weekend, more than a dozen people getting shot in your city, perhaps it’s time — more than a dozen killed, I should say, and children — perhaps it’s time to say, “I need the help of the federal government because what I’m doing is simply not working.” When more people are dying on the streets of Chicago than Afghanistan and Iraq, it’s a tragedy.

Q What if they don’t say that, though?

MS. MCENANY: Yes, Steven.

Q Thank you. Well, I have a question about New York on a similar topic. Yesterday, President Trump mentioned the spike in violent crime in New York and said, quote, “If the governor is not going to do something about it, we’ll do something about it.” And I’m curious if you could explain why he is saying that the governors should do something about it rather than the mayor, and if you could also elaborate on what President Trump would be willing to do.

[Thanks for letting Kayleigh talk about federalism and the Constitution, while laying out the dereliction of duty by Democrats from city councils to state houses.]

MS. MCENANY: Well, he thinks the mayor and the governors should work together to take control of the streets of New York City where, in some places, we’ve seen 600 percent surge in violence over last year. So he thinks they should work together.

It’s ultimately the power of the mayor to enforce and the governor to enforce the police power of their states. That power rests with them, but they can partner with the federal government in the event that they’re unable to control the violence in their cities. And that’s certainly what we’ve seen from Mayor de Blasio, who seems to have not a hard time criticizing police officers but an awfully hard time controlling the streets of New York City.

Yes.

Q Thanks so much. I have two questions. I’m the print pooler for today. One for myself and one for a colleague who cannot be here because of the social distancing.  Governor Gavin Newsom was one of the few Democratic governors to bring in the National Guard and arm them after the riots and moving in early June, as compared to Seattle, where they didn’t arm the National Guard. The Guard was posted at Los Angeles City Hall as a show of force, and within days, the violence had quelled. Why not just invoke the Insurrection Act and have a big show of force rather than these more secretive operations?

[This is a really good question, minus the dishonest twist at the very end. Again, Kayleigh reinforces federalism and President Trump’s support of the Constitution. Yet, there is a real tension here. If he lets cities continue to suffer, those are voters he had counted on picking off from the Democrats at the margins.]

MS. MCENANY: So I’ll leave that to the President. We don’t have secretive operations going on. It’s very clear what’s going on in Portland. It’s very clear what’s happening in Kansas City.

But with regard to the Insurrection Act, look, we believe that it should be governors and mayors doing what they have the constitutional power to do. The police power rests with them. So it’s up to this President whether he ever decides to invoke that, but governors and mayors really need to step it up, particularly in Democrat cities where Democrat streets are out of control.

[Now we get an easy one.]

Q And then the one from my colleague.  John Gizzi at Newsmax is asking: What are the President’s thoughts on John Kasich supporting Joe Biden and his plans to appear at the convention in Florida?

MS. MCENANY: What was that? I didn’t hear the last part.

Q John Kasich is supporting Joe Biden, and he plans to attend the convention and support the Democratic Convention.

MS. MCENANY: So that would be a question for the campaign. But this President is quite proud of his record in the Republican Party and quite proud to have the support of 96 percent of the party — more than any predecessor in the history of the Republican Party.

Yes.

Q Thanks, Kayleigh. You said earlier that the President was tested multiple times a day. We knew he was tested daily, but can you elaborate on that? How many times a day is he tested?

MS. MCENANY: He’s tested often. I’m not going to read out exactly how many times he’s tested a day, but sometimes it is more than one time a day.

[She must have some fact about some day stuck in her memory. The president will say he has no such recollection, just that he is tested more than anyone else.]

Yes.

Q Yesterday, the President said that when he was previously doing briefings, we had a lot of people watching — record numbers watching in the history of cable television. And I was wondering if ratings are factoring into his decision to restart the briefing and if he is the best person to get accurate information about the virus out to the public, given previous statements at briefings, like the speculation that disinfectants inside the body could work as a treatment, which medical experts say is not the case, and claims that the virus will just disappear.

[The usual sloppy try.]

MS. MCENANY: Well, the President is the right person to give information to the American people. He was elected by the American people. He’s been a leader on this. The fact that we’ve outproduced on ventilators so much so that we have an extraordinary number in our stockpile, and we’re giving ventilators out to the rest of the world; that we lead the world in testing: 46 million tests — more than that.

At this point, the fact that he’s broken down bureaucracy to get a vaccine into a phase three clinical trial, that because of him, we have remdesivir and convalescent plasma and dexamethasone and other therapeutics, he’s the right person to give the information to the American people. And, boy, does he get the information to a lot of the American people during his briefings, as noted by the ratings, as he himself pointed out.

Yes.

Q The U.S. Trade Representative is planning an additional set of tariffs against Europe in the old dispute about aerospace subsidies. Has the President committed to impose additional sanctions, considering that Europe would answer with additional sanctions — tariffs, as well?

MS. MCENANY: So, since that’s pre-decisional, I won’t get ahead of — on any administration announcements on that front.

Yes.

Q Kayleigh, I have a couple of questions. The first one is: The President, in the last few hours, tweeted about the concerns about mail-in voting. So he’s obviously concerned about the integrity of the U.S. election and certainly internal sabotage. But why are we not hearing from the President about fears about external sabotage?

For example, coming out of the UK today, there is a Parliamentary Committee report that says that Russia influenced the Scottish referendum; there are questions about Brexit. But we’ve really not heard the President put the Kremlin on notice with respect to the U.S. election. Will we hear from him today on that?

MS. MCENANY: The President today has put the world on notice that our election systems must be secure. This is — under this President, in 2018, he articulated the first full cyber strategy for the United States since 2003. In 2019, he extended the National Emergency Declaration on Foreign Election Interference. He routinely engages with Congress on election security, particularly in at least 26 —

Q Right. But we had fresh reports.

MS. MCENANY: — elections, security-specific hearings. He signed legislation — $71 million — and so on and so forth. And that’s quite a contrast to the O Biden [sic] — the Obama-Biden administration, who when told of meddling in 2016, did nothing. And, in fact, Susan Rice told the White House cyber team to stand down and, quote, “knock it off” when they floated — when they floated options to combat Russian cyberattacks. And even Obama’s cyber chief, Michael Daniel, has confirmed the stand-down order.

Q The President has been in office now more than three years. I’m asking what has been done now. And given these fresh concerns, when are we going to hear from the President on that?

MS. MCENANY: So what’s been done now — I just listed off three or four things for you, and I’m happy to go through more. We can talk about the $71 million —

Q You know, actually, I have follow-up question with respect to Russia.

MS. MCENANY: — in legislation on election security. We can talk about the $15 million for election reform activities. We can talk about legislation making more than $805 million available to states. And —

Q So, Joe Biden put the Kremlin and others on notice.

MS. MCENANY: And when it comes to mail-in voting, I would point you to the fact that there’s a Wall Street Journal article just out today, and it talks about the dark omen for November and the absolute catastrophe in New York City that we are a month into the election after the voting, and we still don’t know who the winners are of some of those races.

And Governor Cuomo decided that he would pre-pay postage for the ballots. And what that meant was that the Post Office didn’t put a postage stamp noting the date of the ballots. So as they’re collecting these ballots in — for a month —

Q I think this is getting off track. Let’s —

[Whoa! Stop telling the inconvenient truth! Bad facts! Bad facts! What did this fool think she was going to do with that extended opening. Give her your arm and she’s going to break it in an arm bar. What follows is stunning.]

MS. MCENANY: You asked me about this, so I’m going to answer. So, for a month, they’ve collecting ballots with no postmark date. And, in fact, what they found is 19 percent of ballots have been rejected in Queens, 28 percent rejected in Brooklyn.

There are questions about mail — mass mail-out [sic] voting.

Q Yeah, that’s one of (inaudible). I’m asking about foreign interference.

MS. MCENANY: And I know you don’t want to hear them, which is why you talk over me.

Q Okay.

MS. MCENANY: But I encourage you to read the op-ed.

Yes.

Q Okay, let me just redirect on the China vaccine research. Russia has interfered —

MS. MCENANY: Yes, you’ve gotten two questions, which is more than some of your colleagues.

Yes.

Q Okay, you don’t want to engage.

[Whaaaaa!]

Q Thank you, Kayleigh. In St. Louis, the McCloskeys have been charged with felonies for waving guns at protesters. The Missouri Attorney General is vowing to dismiss these charges. Where does the President stand on this?

[This was a straight question and let Kayleigh give an answer most Americans support, followed by closing with support for two senior women in the Trump administration.]

MS. MCENANY: Yeah, the President — I asked him about that this morning, and he said it is absolutely absurd what is happening to the McCloskeys. He noted that this is an extreme abuse of power by the prosecutor and noteworthy that the prosecutor — there have been many cases brought to her attention of violent rioters that she’s failed to charge, but instead she’s charging the individuals who were defending themselves from violent protesters. You have 300 to 500 protesters who stormed the gates, tore down the gates, and trespassed on their property.

And you have Patricia McCloskey who said that they were telling her they were going to kill them, these protesters, at the moment they were waving their guns to protect themselves. “They were going to come in here,” she said. “They were going to burn down the house. They were going to be living in our house after I was dead and they were pointing to different rooms of the house saying, ‘That’s going to be my bedroom.’ ‘That’s going to be my living room.’ And ‘I’m going to be taking a shower in that room.’” So they were completely within their right.  And it’s an egregious abuse of power on the part of the McCloskeys.

Turning to a different note: I just wanted to highlight some — some great work being done by senior advisor Ivanka Trump. There are nearly 40 million boxes that have been put together by the Farmers to Family Food Box Program, a great partnership to help families in need in this country.  And yesterday, you had Ivanka Trump visiting the D.C. Dream Center and personally distributing a number of food boxes. The distribution resulted in 1,000 boxes delivered to the D.C. community. And we thank Ivanka for the great work that she has done there.

And finally, I just wanted to note something on COVID. Dr. Birx is an extraordinary doctor who has served this country, dedicated her time to serving our country as an Army colonel. She has served as an ambassador to PEPFAR where she spent her life fighting AIDS and HIV abroad. And it is appalling the attack that I saw on her in the New York Times, based on no facts.

[Handed a massive three-ring binder which she holds up.]

And Dr. Birx, for weeks, has been sending out this data to governors — 400 pages of data to our governors — so that they have the best information to make the best decisions for their people in their respective states. I’ve not seen anyone pouring over data the way Dr. Birx has, and the attack on her was, frankly, appalling and egregious, and the New York Times should be very ashamed of themselves.

[No one could possibly dispute that Dr. Birx is a data geek. Well, maybe there is a geek/nerd dispute, but data is obviously something she eats, sleeps, and breathes.]

END 11:42 A.M. EDT

This was a disciplined briefing with President Trump working with several very clear charts that supported his narrative. I was struck by his caution about things getting worse before they get better. His comments about mask wearing were a decent explanation of his view over time. The questions were a mixed bag, but he praised good ones and did not take the bait to go down ego rabbit holes.

Remarks by President Trump in Press Briefing

HEALTHCARE | Issued on: July 21, 2020
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

5:10 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much, and good afternoon. Today, I want to provide an update on our response to the China virus and what my administration is doing to get the outbreak in the Sun Belt under control. It seems largely in Sun Belt but could be spreading.

My team is also working night and day with Capitol Hill to advance the next economic relief package. We’re working very hard on it. We’re making a lot of progress. I also know that both sides want to get it done. We’ll call it “phase four.” I think we’re going to get it done. We’ll protect our workers, our schools, and our families, and protect them very strongly.

As one family, we mourn every precious life that’s been lost. I pledge in their honor that we will develop a vaccine and we will defeat the virus. We’re doing very well with vaccine development and therapeutic development. But I want to thank our brave doctors and nurses and frontline responders. The job they do is incredible, and they are truly brave.

My administration will stop at nothing to save lives and shield the vulnerable, which is so important. We’ve learned so much about this disease. And we know who the vulnerable are, and we are going to indeed shield them.

And again, the vaccines are coming, and they’re coming a lot sooner than anyone thought possible, by years. If you look at the old system and look at the new system, I think by years.

The China virus is a vicious and dangerous illness, but we’ve learned a great deal about it and who it targets. We are in the process of developing a strategy that’s going to be very, very powerful.  We’ve developed them as we go along. Some areas of our country are doing very well; others are doing less well. It will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better — something I don’t like saying about things, but that’s the way it is. It’s the way — it’s what we have. If you look over the world, it’s all over the world, and it tends to do that.

The governors are working very, very hard, and we are supporting them 100 percent. Everything they need, they get. And we are taking good care. We have tremendous supplies and a great supply chain, whether it’s ventilators or gowns or just about anything they need. So that’s a big difference from inheriting very, very empty cupboards.

The median age of those who succumb to the China virus is 78 years old. Roughly half of all deaths have been individuals in nursing homes or in long-term care. In one study, 90 percent of those hospitalized had underlying medical conditions, whether it’s heart or diabetes, but usually it’s some kind of a condition. It seems that people have that. And if they do, it’s a problem — no question about it.

Young adults may often have mild or even no symptoms. They won’t even know they’re sick. They won’t have any idea that they have a virus. They won’t have any idea at all.

America’s youth will act responsibly, and we’re asking everybody that when you are not able to socially distance, wear a mask, get a mask. Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact. They’ll have an effect. And we need everything we can get.

Data shows children have the lowest fatality risk. 99.96 percent of all virus fatalities are in adults. Think of that. So that’s much, much, much less than 1 percent for children, young people.

By understanding these risk profiles and learning how to treat the disease, we’ve been able to greatly reduce mortality in the United States. In fact, we’ll show you a chart and how well we do compared to the rest of the world. We have several treatments already available that significantly reduce the severity and duration of the disease, including remdesivir, which has been very successful and a widely available steroid treatment. And we have many more happening and coming out.

We’ve learned best practices for treatment of the virus at every stage and have shared these findings with medical providers, and we’ve shared them all over the world. The relationship with other countries has been very strong. We’re all working together. This includes ensuring all hospitals are aware of the importance of different approaches to oxygen treatment, including high-flow oxygen, the importance of steroid treatment for those on ventilators.

And when you’re on a ventilator, we’ve learned a tremendous about the use of the ventilator. And at the beginning, people never had an experience like this, where we needed so many ventilators so fast, and even the use of the ventilators. But the doctors have become incredibly — and nurses and helpers have become incredibly good at the use of a ventilator, which is actually a very complicated procedure.

And allocating remdesivir to hospitals based on new admission since it works best early in hospitalization. And that’s something that they’ve really started. They’re using it much earlier. Fatalities nationwide have fallen 75 percent since mid-April. It’s a great number.

As cases and fatalities rise in certain hard-hit states, which you’re looking at right now, we’re surging personnel, supplies, and therapeutics. We again have tremendous amounts of supplies. We are in very good shape, and we can move them quickly.

Our case fatality rate has continued to decline and is lower than the European Union and almost everywhere else in the world. If you watch American television, you’d think that the United States was the only country involved with and suffering from the China virus. Well, the world is suffering very badly. But the fact is that many countries are suffering very, very, very badly, and they’ve been suffering from this virus for a long time.

We’ve done much better than most. And with the fatality rate at a lower rate than most, it’s something that we can talk about, but we’re working, again, with them because we’re helping a lot of countries that people don’t even know about. I get calls all the time asking for help, especially as it pertains to the ventilators. They need help with ventilators; they have to get them. They’re very hard to get. We’re making thousands now a month — thousands of ventilators a month. It’s been quite amazing.

We keep doing the good job, and things will get better and better. We’ll be putting up charts behind me showing different statistics and different rates of success and, I guess you could say also, things that we can do better on. But you’ll see them. There’ll be put up as we go.

In April, the average age of individuals who tested positive for the virus was over 50 years old. Today, the average age is significantly younger. Hospital lengths of stay are almost half of what they were in April. So the stays are about half. The rate of cases requiring hospitalization has been reduced. And mortality among those admitted to the hospital is nearly one half of what it was in April.

We’ve learned a lot. We’ve learned a lot about this disease, how to handle it. The doctors have learned a lot, not only in the use of the ventilators but in many other things. And things are happening too, like the remdesivir and other elements, steroids, et cetera.

But these trends could change without our continued and relentless focus. And that’s what we have — we have a relentless focus. And it’s been that way from the beginning. But we have learned so much.

As you know, in recent weeks we’ve seen a concerning rise in the cases in many parts of our south — if you look at South, Southwest, and West. This growth in cases first began to appear in mid-June, primarily among 18- to 35-year-olds, many of whom were asymptomatic.

We’re also facing the challenge of a significant spice[spike] in virus cases across the rest of the Western Hemisphere, including Mexico. Mexico has been hit very, very, very hard. As you know, the president, a great gentleman, was here two weeks ago. And they have really been hit hard.

Because we’ve achieved a nearly fourfold increase in testing capacity in two months, we’re successfully identifying more asymptomatic and mild cases. Some cases so mild that you really don’t even treat them. Some cases with children, where they don’t even know that they’re ill. And I guess they’re not very ill because they recover almost immediately.

Per capita, the U.S. is conducting 50 percent more tests than Europe, and we’ve conducted nearly three times as many tests as all of the other countries in the Western Hemisphere combined. We’ll be over 50 million tests. This allows us to isolate those who are infected, even those without symptoms. So we know exactly where it’s going and when it’s going to be there.

We’re also working to reduce turnaround time. My administration has been aggressively responding to case growth in the Sun Belt, and we continue to do so, working very close with all governors, but right now, in particular, those governors.

We’re coordinating closely with hospitals and governors. In the last three weeks, I’ve sent senior officials into nine states to meet with governors and provide recommendations to the various leaders of the state, including hospital administrators, et cetera.

My administration currently has zero unfilled requests for — unfulfilled requests for equipment or anything else that they need from the governors. No governor needs anything right now, and we think we’ll have it that way until the end, because, frankly, we are stocked up and ready to go wherever we have to go.

We have nearly 7,000 National Guard and military medical personnel in Texas, California, Florida, and Arizona that’s helping us greatly. I want to thank them very much. The military has been fantastic.

[What follows is a key portion, foreshadowed by Kayleigh McEnany. The full medical equation is far more than COVID-19.]

We’re closely monitoring hospital capacity in these states. Hospitals are open for elective surgeries and other procedures. So hospitals are open for elective surgeries.

We want Americans to get the medical treatments they need. All of the governors we’ve spoken with say they have enough bed capacity. That’s a great thing. Our initial shutdown was to prevent the overflow of our hospitals and to allow us to meet the demands caused by this global pandemic, including the ventilators.

And a permanent shutdown was really never an option. In terms of what we’re doing right now, this would be completely unsustainable, produce debilitating economic fallback, and lead to catastrophic public health consequences. There are consequences to shutdowns.

And we’ve saved, potentially, millions of lives by doing the initial shutdown, but now we’re very aware of this disease. We understand the disease, to a large extent. Nobody is going to maybe ever fully understand it, but we’ll end up with a cure, we’ll end up with therapeutics, we’ll end up with a vaccine very soon — all three.

We’re instead asking Americans to use masks, socially distance, and employ vigorous hygiene — wash your hands every chance you get — while sheltering high-risk populations. We are imploring young Americans to avoid packed bars and other crowded indoor gatherings. Be safe and be smart.

We’re surging testing capacity to identify and isolate cases. This includes a newly approved testing platform to nursing homes across the South. We’re being very, very vigilant with respect to nursing homes, because you know all of the problems that we’ve had with so many people — so sadly, they were infected — so that all of the staff and residents can be routinely tested and isolated to ensure our elderly are even more strongly protected than anybody else. That’s really the high-risk people — the high-risk, wonderful people.

[The president breaks news here about a test so rapid that people will finally be able to go to visit their loved ones in long term care facilities, which will be good for the mental and physical health of the elderly in care.]

Once this current surge in cases declines, the same testing platform will enable people to visit their loved ones after taking a test, which is a big difference. Ultimately, our goal is not merely to manage the pandemic but to end it. We want to get rid of it as soon as we can. That is why getting a vaccine remains a top priority.

Two vaccine candidates are entering the final stage of clinical trials this month. This was achieved in record time. It used to be years before you were in a position like we are right now. Four other vaccines will enter final trials in the following weeks, and we’re mass producing all of the top candidates so that the first approved vaccine will be available immediately.

And logistically, we have the military ready to go. We have great people — logistic, military people. A wonderful general who’s waiting for the vaccine so they can distribute it in record time. That’s what’s going to happen. So our military is all set to go. We will deliver a vaccine, therapeutics, whatever it is that’s necessary, and defeat the virus once and for all.

And I’ll take a few questions if you’d like.

I will say this: I want to thank all of the staff — the White House staff, all of the doctors that we’ve been working with so closely. And just a lot of very positive things are happening. It’s a nasty, horrible disease that should’ve never been allowed to escape China, but it did. And it infected the world, and the world is suffering. But we’re going to get it taken care of, and we’re helping lots of other countries.

[Q&A]

Jon.

Q Mr. President, first, I just wanted to get a clarification. Your Press Secretary said today that you sometimes take more than one test a day. Why is that? And how often is that?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I didn’t know about more than one. I do take probably, on average, a test every two days, three days. And I don’t know of any time I’ve taken two tests in one day, but I could see that happening.

Q So Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill have both said they want to see more money for testing. They want to send billions of dollars to the states so they can do more testing. And you probably saw Mick Mulvaney the other day said that his kids — it took them a week to get test results back. He said this is “simply inexcusable” given where we are in the pandemic. Do you think we have a problem with testing in this country right now? And are you in favor of more money for testing?

THE PRESIDENT: We’ve done more testing, by far, than anybody. Some of the tests — because it is massive volume — it takes longer. Others of the tests, as you know, are very quick; they’re 5 minutes and 15-minute tests. And those are, frankly, the ones that I prefer.

But we’re doing massive numbers, and the numbers are coming down. And as we go, as an example, there are thousands and thousands of kits being made right now which give you a 15-minute and a 5-minute test. So we’ll be able to get those numbers down.

Those numbers are similar in other places. They’re also doing massive numbers — numbers like nobody thought possible. But those numbers will be coming down. I agree. I think it’s a good thing if we can do that.

Q Are you in favor of more money for testing? That if Republicans want —

THE PRESIDENT: Well, they’re going to make a presentation to me tonight and tomorrow on that. And again, we’re leading the world. And I think the second country at 12 million. We’re — we’re going to be over 50 million tests. Second country is India with 12 million. Then you have 7 million, 6 million, and 4 million. I think that we are doing a tremendous amount of testing. But if the — if the doctors and the professionals feel that even though we’re at a level that nobody ever dreamt possible, that they would like to do more, I’m okay with it.

Q Why aren’t your doctors not with you here today? Where’s Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx?

[Why can’t we get him to give us more pandemic panic porn?]

THE PRESIDENT: Well, Dr. Birx is right outside.

[I understand the data and can give the facts to the American voters myself, suckers. I knew you wouldn’t cover it if you didn’t see a shot at Dr. Fauci tooting his horn and talking the country into lockdown until November 4.]

Yes, please.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. I have got two questions for you, if that’s all right. Number one, I just wanted to know, in November, do you want the American people to judge you —

THE PRESIDENT: Could you speak up, please?

Q Do you want the American people to judge you on the ballot in November by how you’ve handled this pandemic so far?

[This is a very good question. The president answers it directly, pointing out that there is far more at stake then just the latest respiratory disease. They asked and he answered with the core campaign messages.]

THE PRESIDENT: This, among other things. I think the American people will judge us on this, but they’ll judge us on the economy that I created and that already we’re creating. We’re setting record job numbers, as you know. I think we’re going to have a very strong year next year. I think we’re going to have a very strong third quarter, a very good fourth quarter. But I think next year is going to be a record year, and I think they’re going to judge me on that.

I think they’re going to judge me on the tax cutting and the regulation cutting, which nobody has ever done to the extent that we’ve been able to do it.

On rebuilding the military, on how we’ve handled the VA: On the VA, we got Veterans Choice. Nobody thought that would be possible. That’s been many decades. They’ve been trying to get Veterans Choice. It’s called “Choice,” where they can go get a doctor if they have to wait on line for two weeks or five weeks or two days. And frankly, that’s been a great thing. Veterans Accountability — I think they’ll judge me on that. They’ll judge me on all of the things we’ve done.

I don’t think — and I think we can say this with surety, and it’s never ever been even challenged. In three and a half years, the first three and a half years — the first years of a presidency — I don’t think any administration, any President has accomplished so much as we’ve accomplished, from energy to health to so many other things.

And then this came in, and the plague — I call it the “plague” — the plague came in. A terrible thing. Should’ve been stopped. Wasn’t stopped. It came in. We had to shut things down to save potentially millions of lives. We did that, and now we’ve started them up. And I think we’ve really started it up very successfully.

Yeah, please.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. You’ve been saying for months the virus would simply disappear, and now you’re saying that it’s likely to get worse before it gets better. If it does keep getting worse, if Americans keep dying, are you responsible for them?

[This is a tough question, fair, and was designed to get President Trump to defend himself by denying and saying he was always right. Instead, you get both credit-taking and acknowledge that the buck stops with him in this country.]

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the virus will disappear. It will disappear. I think that — I always like to say, as — you know, either way, when you look at it, the governors are working with me. I’m working with the governors. We’re working hand in hand. I think we’re all responsible. I view it as a team. Very good relationships with the governors. Very, very good relationships.

I could say I’m fully responsible. But, you know, one day, we had a virus come in, and I closed the borders, did a lot of things that were very good. In fact, Dr. Fauci said we saved tens of thousands of lives when I closed the border. And nobody wanted to do it. I wanted to do it. We closed the border to China. We put on the ban. We didn’t want people coming in from heavily infected China.

Fairly shortly thereafter, I closed the borders from Europe — coming in from Europe. Those were tremendous moves. We would have — if it’s one person, it’s too much. But we’re at, let’s say, 140,000; we could have double, triple, quadruple that number if we didn’t.

So we did a lot of things right. We did a lot of things right, including with equipment. So it’s a shame that it happened. It shouldn’t have happened. China should have stopped it.

Please. Yes, go ahead. Please.

Q Thank you, President Trump. If I could, two questions. My first question is: We have a very quick testing platform here at the White House.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

Q It’s great. You get tested, you know, very quickly. Do you think that it would be easier to reopen and restart businesses if we could produce more of those machines for people?

[This is a substantive question without spin. The president praises and then answers.]

THE PRESIDENT: We’re trying to do that. That’s a great question. We’re trying very much to do that. So rather than sending your tests in — and, you know, it goes through the mail one day, comes back another day, no matter how they send them. It’s a day and a day, so that’s two days already wasted. And then, if it spends — by the time you get it back, it’s three or four days, if they do an efficient job. We’re trying to get the testing on site. I like it the best.

Q And my follow-up — my second question; it’s a little bit different topic, but it’s one that a lot of people are talking about. Ghislaine Maxwell is in prison, and so a lot of people want to know if she’s going to turn in powerful people. And I know you’ve talked in the past about Prince Andrew, and you’ve criticized Bill Clinton’s behavior. I’m wondering, do you feel that she’s going to turn in powerful men? How do you see that working out?

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t know. I haven’t really been following it too much. I just wish her well, frankly. I’ve met her numerous times over the years, especially since I lived in Palm Beach and I guess they lived in Palm Beach. But I wish her well, whatever it is. I don’t know the situation with Prince Andrew. I just don’t know. I’m not aware of it.

[This was an interesting question and answer. What you should know is that then Mr. Donald Trump was praised by a lawyer of one of the victims as the only big shot to help, to answer questions instead of hiding behind lawyers. Plus, he banned Epstein from his golf resort after getting a report of inappropriate behavior towards staff or a guest. The “wish her well” in the context of what has happened sounds like “hope she doesn’t end up like Epstein.” He is being very careful not to step on the prosecution.]

Yeah, please. Go ahead.

Q On unemployment insurance, how much below $600 are you willing to go? And you’ve said that the economy is bouncing back strong, so why do we need to even cut it at all?

[Why won’t you let the Democrats and Republican’ts keep sabotaging the economy until November 4?}

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the economy is getting stronger, and I think we have a chance to have a very strong economy, especially if some of the things that I just spoke about work.

We want to have people go back and want to go back to work as opposed to be, sort of, forced into a position where they’re making more money than they expected to make. And the employers are having a hard time getting them back to work.

So that was a decision that was made. I was against that original decision, but they did that. It still worked out well because it gave people a lifeline, a real lifeline. Now we’re doing it again. They’re thinking about doing 70 percent of the amount. The amount would be the same, but doing it in a little bit smaller initial amounts so that people are going to want to go back to work, as opposed to making so much money that they really don’t have to.

But we were very generous with them. I think that it’s been a tremendously successful program. The whole thing has been successful, if you look. I mean, we have — we’re in a pandemic, and yet we’re producing tremendous number of jobs. That was something that nobody thought possible. Okay?

[So the president avoids blaming workers and expresses sympathy for both workers and employers.]

Please.

Q Mr. President, thank you very much. Yesterday, you said that wearing a mask was an act of patriotism. If that is the case, why don’t you do it more frequently?

[Here is the mask question, and President Trump now has a fuller answer, trying to make some sense of the shifting narratives from experts since the beginning.]

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I do. I actually do it when I need. I mean, I carry the mask when I have to go — I went into Walter Reed Hospital the other day. I have the mask right here, and I carry it. And I will use it gladly. No problem with it. And I’ve said that.

[Pulls out folded mask with presidential seal on side.]

And I say: If you can, use the mask. When you can, use the mask. If you’re close to each other, if you’re in a group, I would put it on. When I’m in a group — if I’m in an elevator and there are other people with me, including, like, security people, it’s not their fault. They have to be in the elevator; I want to protect them also. I put on a mask.

I will have — I have no problem with the masks. I view it this way: Anything that potentially can help — and that certainly can potentially help — is a good thing. I have no problem. I carry it. I wear it. You saw me wearing it a number of times, and I’ll continue.

Please.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you —

Q A quick follow-up. Can I ask you a quick follow-up?

THE PRESIDENT: Go ahead, please.

Q Are you sending mixed messages, though? Yesterday, you tweeted out an image wearing a mask. And then, last evening, we saw you not wearing a mask at your hotel.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I don’t know. The hotel — I was pretty far away from people, but I would say this: I’ve explained it, I think, very well. If you’re close together, I would put on the mask, and if you’re not — I would say that if you’re — for instance, I’ll see — like, here, you’ve been all tested; I’ve been tested. Oftentimes, I’ll be with people that are fully tested; I’ve been tested. In theory, you don’t need the mask. I’m getting used to the mask, and the reason is — think about patriotism. Maybe it is. It helps. It helps.

Now, we have experts that have said, in the recent past, that masks aren’t necessarily good to wear. You know that. But now they’ve changed their mind. If they change their mind, that’s good enough for me. So I wear it when appropriate.

[So, the president reminds us all that the “experts” have been all over the map on masks, among other things.]

Please.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, sir. A lot of Americans, though, may be surprised at your change of tone over all of this — a more, perhaps, realistic tone. Some would look at it that way. The sudden embrace of masks, social distancing, the —

[President Trump does not let this turn into an unanswered sound byte bill of particulars. He chops the hostile accusation with a quick answer.]

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I’ve always agreed with that. I mean, I’ve never fought either one. But certainly, social distancing, I want to — it’s — that’s common sense.

Q The idea that things —

THE PRESIDENT: Six feet, to me, is common sense. I’d like to say maybe make it a little bit further.

Q The idea that things will get worse perhaps before they get better here, and perhaps the realization that this resurgence, if you will, is for real — when you used to talk about it in terms of little fires being put out here and there. Would you respond that?

[Yes. He will, but not the way you want. Thanks for opening the window for more inconvenient facts that contradict pandemic panic propaganda.]

THE PRESIDENT: We have them too. No, we have embers and fires, and we have big fires. And, unfortunately, now Florida is in a little, tough — or in a big, tough position. You have a great governor there. You have a great governor in Texas. You have people that are very, very skilled people, and I think they’re going to handle it very well.

Their hospital capacities are holding up, but Texas is a big state and it’s very well run, and so is Florida, and I think they’ll do a very good job.

Q Are you changing your tone, though, sir?

Q Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, go ahead.

Q I just wanted to ask you about the issue of vaccines, which you already mentioned. Yesterday, a study by a Chinese company showed some promising results for its coronavirus vaccine candidate. If China were first in developing the vaccine, or even if it weren’t, would the administration be willing to work with China to bring a successful Chinese vaccine to the U.S.?

[This may be a Chinese communist or just DNC or Chamber of Commerce Republican question. The president gets to be the diplomat and pragmatist. Whatever works to help the American people, he is for it. He then turns to touting the great progress only possible under his leadership, acting against red tape and bureaucratic inertia unlike any prior Republican or Democrat. Actually, it is fair to say that George W. Bush’s Pentagon was eventually put in the position of shortcutting the procurement system as the Congress and the generals were beaten bloody by the public over their abject failure to protect our troops with the right equipment.]

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, we’re willing to work with anybody that’s going to get us a good result. We’re very close to the vaccine. I think we’re going to have some very good results. We’re already in testing; nobody thought that would be possible. Under the old system, it would be a year to two years before you can even think about using the word “testing.”

So I think we’ve had a lot of — and the reason we’re testing: They’ve had good results. So now we have to see — and the testing also for safety because they have to make sure it’s safe. And I think you’re going to see something over the next fairly short period of time, maybe very short period of time, having to do with therapeutics and vaccines that are very good.

[Here the president wraps up and points to future briefings. This was markedly different, better I think, than some past performances.]

So we’ll be doing these quite often. We’re going to keep you abreast of this, and we’ll also talk about some of the other topics like our economy, which is doing well. The stock market had another good day. I think they have a good day because they see a lot of positive things happening on this front too.

Thank you very much. Thank you.

END

5:37 P.M. EDT

The president, before his press conference, rolled out an executive order of great consequence for our future elections and representation. He did not say a word about it, nor did Kayleigh McEnany. This was message discipline, and it was telling that the media did not say a word on it. Here is the brief written statement, followed by an excerpt from the executive order itself:

Statement from the President Regarding Apportionment
IMMIGRATION | Issued on: July 21, 2020

Last summer in the Rose Garden, I told the American people that I would not back down in my effort to determine the citizenship status of the United States population. Today, I am following through on that commitment by directing the Secretary of Commerce to exclude illegal aliens from the apportionment base following the 2020 census.

There used to be a time when you could proudly declare, “I am a citizen of the United States.” But now, the radical left is trying to erase the existence of this concept and conceal the number of illegal aliens in our country. This is all part of a broader left-wing effort to erode the rights of Americans citizens, and I will not stand for it.

Today’s action to exclude illegal aliens from the apportionment base reflects a better understanding of the Constitution and is consistent with the principles of our representative democracy. My Administration will not support giving congressional representation to aliens who enter or remain in the country unlawfully, because doing so would create perverse incentives and undermine our system of government. Just as we do not give political power to people who are here temporarily, we should not give political power to people who should not be here at all.

Under an Executive Order I signed last year, Federal departments and agencies have been collecting the information needed to conduct an accurate census and inform responsible decisions about public policy, voting rights, and representation in Congress. Today’s action further advances this effort and is another example of my Administration’s commitment to faithfully representing the citizens of the United States and putting their interests first.

Look for the Democrats to shriek and rush into court. Look for the president to proudly bash the anti-American left and the Democrat Party it now controls. Look for him to ramp up rhetoric against lawless judges seeking to subvert the Constitution.

Memorandum on Excluding Illegal Aliens From the Apportionment Base Following the 2020 Census
IMMIGRATION | Issued on: July 21, 2020

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

SUBJECT: Excluding Illegal Aliens From the Apportionment Base Following the 2020 Census

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Background. In order to apportion Representatives among the States, the Constitution requires the enumeration of the population of the United States every 10 years and grants the Congress the power and discretion to direct the manner in which this decennial census is conducted (U.S. Const. art. I, sec. 2, cl. 3). The Congress has charged the Secretary of Commerce (the Secretary) with directing the conduct of the decennial census in such form and content as the Secretary may determine (13 U.S.C. 141(a)). By the direction of the Congress, the Secretary then transmits to the President the report of his tabulation of total population for the apportionment of Representatives in the Congress (13 U.S.C. 141(b)). The President, by law, makes the final determination regarding the “whole number of persons in each State,” which determines the number of Representatives to be apportioned to each State, and transmits these determinations and accompanying census data to the Congress (2 U.S.C. 2a(a)). The Congress has provided that it is “the President’s personal transmittal of the report to Congress” that “settles the apportionment” of Representatives among the States, and the President’s discretion to settle the apportionment is more than “ceremonial or ministerial” and is essential “to the integrity of the process” (Franklin v. Massachusetts, 505 U.S. 788, 799, and 800 (1992)).

The Constitution does not specifically define which persons must be included in the apportionment base. Although the Constitution requires the “persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed,” to be enumerated in the census, that requirement has never been understood to include in the apportionment base every individual physically present within a State’s boundaries at the time of the census. Instead, the term “persons in each State” has been interpreted to mean that only the “inhabitants” of each State should be included. Determining which persons should be considered “inhabitants” for the purpose of apportionment requires the exercise of judgment. For example, aliens who are only temporarily in the United States, such as for business or tourism, and certain foreign diplomatic personnel are “persons” who have been excluded from the apportionment base in past censuses. Conversely, the Constitution also has never been understood to exclude every person who is not physically “in” a State at the time of the census. For example, overseas Federal personnel have, at various times, been included in and excluded from the populations of the States in which they maintained their homes of record. The discretion delegated to the executive branch to determine who qualifies as an “inhabitant” includes authority to exclude from the apportionment base aliens who are not in a lawful immigration status.

In Executive Order 13880 of July 11, 2019 (Collecting Information About Citizenship Status in Connection With the Decennial Census), I instructed executive departments and agencies to share information with the Department of Commerce, to the extent permissible and consistent with law, to allow the Secretary to obtain accurate data on the number of citizens, non-citizens, and illegal aliens in the country.  As the Attorney General and I explained at the time that order was signed, data on illegal aliens could be relevant for the purpose of conducting the apportionment, and we intended to examine that issue.

Sec. 2. Policy. For the purpose of the reapportionment of Representatives following the 2020 census, it is the policy of the United States to exclude from the apportionment base aliens who are not in a lawful immigration status under the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.), to the maximum extent feasible and consistent with the discretion delegated to the executive branch. Excluding these illegal aliens from the apportionment base is more consonant with the principles of representative democracy underpinning our system of Government. Affording congressional representation, and therefore formal political influence, to States on account of the presence within their borders of aliens who have not followed the steps to secure a lawful immigration status under our laws undermines those principles. Many of these aliens entered the country illegally in the first place. Increasing congressional representation based on the presence of aliens who are not in a lawful immigration status would also create perverse incentives encouraging violations of Federal law. States adopting policies that encourage illegal aliens to enter this country and that hobble Federal efforts to enforce the immigration laws passed by the Congress should not be rewarded with greater representation in the House of Representatives. Current estimates suggest that one State is home to more than 2.2 million illegal aliens, constituting more than 6 percent of the State’s entire population. Including these illegal aliens in the population of the State for the purpose of apportionment could result in the allocation of two or three more congressional seats than would otherwise be allocated.

I have accordingly determined that respect for the law and protection of the integrity of the democratic process warrant the exclusion of illegal aliens from the apportionment base, to the extent feasible and to the maximum extent of the President’s discretion under the law.

Actions taken by the Vice President, First Lady, and Second Lady on Tuesday:

Note also the official videos of the First Lady with a white cloth covering for her nose and mouth. She still looks elegant and sends a positive signal that her husband reinforced from the press room podium this Tuesday.

Be Best, indeed!

.

Biden Calls Trump “First Racist President”

 

Joe Biden

Twelve American presidents owned slaves at some point in their life.  Teddy Roosevelt was a big believer in eugenics and the benefits of weeding out the inferior races.  Woodrow Wilson was almost certainly the most vicious racist ever to hold the presidency.  And then Joe Biden, at a recent town hall meeting hosted by the SEIU, said the following about President Trump:

“The way he deals with people based on the color of their skin, their national origin, where they’re from, is absolutely sickening,” Biden said.  “No sitting president has ever done this.  Never, never, never. No Republican president has done this. No Democratic president. We’ve had racists, and they’ve existed, that tried to get elected president; he’s the first one that has.”

Symone Sanders

Now, Biden saying something stupid is not worth writing a post about.  Nobody on either side of the aisle considers him to be a deep thinker.  Or any other kind of thinker, come to think of it.  And we’ll skip, for the moment, the astounding lack of historical perspective that allows a Democrat politician to accuse a Republican of racism.

But what amazes me about all this is the response of Mr. Biden’s colleagues in the Democrat party.  Probably the best effort to smooth this overcame from Symone Sanders who, at the age of 26, was the national press secretary for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (no relation) in 2016.  Ms. Sanders responded to Mr. Biden’s statement with the following:

“There have been a number of racist American presidents, but Trump stands out — especially in modern history — because he made running on racism and division his calling card and won. He deliberately foments both, intentionally causing indescribable pain because he thinks it advantages him politically,” Sanders said. “The George Wallaces of our country’s history who have run on these hate-filled themes have lost.”

Right.  Mr. Trump ran on a platform of economic revitalization, regulatory roll-backs, and racism.  Ok.  How, exactly, did he promote this platform to the American people?  I don’t recall that part about racism.  Of course, she’s a professional political strategist.  So she would know, obviously.

But beyond the insights provided by Ms. Sanders, no Democrat politicians have had much to say.  You would think that anyone saying that no Republican president in history had ever been racist would provoke some outrage from modern Democrats.  Every news show and website would lead with this dangerous alteration of history.

Go to CNN’s website, the main page, try to find this.  I had to Google the story that I linked to.  I had to go look for it myself.

Obama, Biden, and Biden, LLC

Democrats and the media hope that Joe Biden can hold things together long enough to win this election.  They’re not letting him speak much.  They’re doing their best to cover for him when he does.  And they’re hoping that Biden’s long-standing reputation for, well, for stupidity will reduce the impact of any of his quotes which somehow manage to see the light of day.

Perhaps Republicans will spend more time highlighting Biden’s decades of corruption and inappropriate sexual behavior than they will his lack of brainpower.  I think that would probably be better for Republicans, and possibly better for Joe Biden.  Hard to say.

But the Democrats have got their hands full.  They’re in a tough spot.  Donald Trump is sharp, clever, and vicious.  He hasn’t really even started going after Biden yet.  But he will.  It will be nasty, and I just can’t imagine Joe Biden standing up to him.  Men smarter and more aware of their surroundings than Mr. Biden have tried and failed.  Trump can be very clever with this sort of thing.

So the Democrats are going to try to insulate Biden from Trump, the American public, and reality in general.  For months.  During a media-crazed presidential campaign.  They’ll be hiding the guy they’re trying to promote.  Tricky.

Good luck.  I almost feel bad for them.

Almost.