While being practically removed from the news cycle due to coverage of President Trump and COVID-19, behind the scenes, Joe Biden has been waging a campaign to boost his popularity with young progressives.
Apparently the Biden campaign sees that the lack of enthusiasm among the liberal base, particularly young voters, is the biggest weakness of his candidacy.
According to multiple sources familiar with the former VP’s campaign, since his landslide victories earlier this month, Biden’s advisers have engaged in talks with a range of top progressive groups, including some that endorsed his chief rival, Bernie Sanders.
The outreach to left-wing organizations and individuals — representing causes from climate change and immigrant rights to gun control and mobilizing underserved black and brown communities — is focused on young activists. Broadly speaking, that particular demographic has viewed Biden as one of the “least-inspiring” candidates in the sprawling Democratic primary field.
It’s a delicate dance for both sides. For one, Sanders is still in the race. Plus, the progressives recognize that their time and ability to influence Biden is limited since he’s all but wrapped up the nomination. Still, Biden needs to fix his enthusiasm deficit, which was partly masked by his wins this month, and it’s far from certain that animosity toward President Donald Trump alone will be enough to defeat the popular incumbent president.
“The dirty little secret is everyone’s talking to Biden’s campaign,” said Sean McElwee, co-founder of the liberal think tank Data for Progress. “There will be fights, but at the end of the day, progressives still hold votes in the Senate and increasingly Democratic voters stand behind our views. I expect we’ll see Biden embracing key planks of the ambitious agenda progressives have outlined on issues like climate and pharmaceutical policy.”
Biden aides are taking a two-pronged approach. They’re reaching out to what they see as traditional progressive groups with longer legacies such as Planned Parenthood, with which the campaign held a long call ahead of the most recent debate, and movement groups that came of age more recently, including liberal organization Indivisible and climate change-focused Sunrise Movement.
Biden has also backed proposals from Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in recent weeks on the issues of student debt and free college, respectively.
Progressives believe they have leverage because Biden has lost badly among young people to Sanders, and largely trailed among Latinos, too. They also argue that aggressive action on climate change action and Medicare for All, poll well among Democrats.
None of the groups that the Biden campaign is courting has threatened to sit out the election if Biden doesn’t embrace its positions. For instance, Justice Democrats, which made a name for itself backing primary left-wing challengers against more moderate Democratic incumbents — including several with ideological profiles similar to Biden — said in a statement it is “definitely going to support whoever the nominee is.”
But the fact that Biden’s campaign sees the need reach out to these groups, shows that while he may have the support of their leaders, he still has a long way to go to appeal to their memberships at large.
One of the sad stories of the Covid-19 outbreak is the death of a man in Arizona and the hospitalization of his wife. According to the story, they ingested chloroquine phosphate – one of the chemicals being looked at as treatment against the virus.
It should be noted that neither of them had any of the symptoms associated with the virus. They were hoping the chemical would be a preventative.
In the left-wing media world of Trump-can-do-nothing-right, the President was blamed for this death because he had mentioned chloroquine phosphate as one of the chemicals being looked at by the scientists. The man’s wife even said that they learned of the chemical from Trump at one of those White House briefings. They thought they would try it. I mean, what harm could there be?
The anti-Trump press jumped on the story as another reason why we should all hate Trump. He is killing people. But there is more to the story.
Apparently, the couple noticed that they had chloroquine phosphate in a household product – a fish tank cleaner. That’s right — a product designed to rid the home aquarium of all that mold, algae and what ever else begins to fog up the sides of the tank.
Any death can be viewed as a tragedy, but it is hard to render unqualified sympathy to someone who thinks a fish tank cleaner will made a good medicine. It is even more preposterous to blame the President of the United States – but there seems to be no event that cannot be turned into a criticism of Trump by the press.
It reminded me of a guy who seriously slashed his leg with a Sears lawnmower at a time when I was employed by the company. He sued. He did not win his case. Seems he was trying to trim the hedges by holding the lawnmower over them. It is called a LAWNmower.
There is only one person – maybe two – to blame for the tragic death of the man in Arizona. It is the couple who drank the poison. There is no cure for stupid.
So, there ‘tis.
The entire world has been thrown into chaos and uncertainty because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. But don’t think that this going to slow down President Trump’s wall along the US-Mexico border one bit.
In mid-March, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that they would construct over 150 miles of the wall in Arizona, California, and New Mexico. This is in addition to work on the wall that is continuing at more than 15 other sites.
“Wall construction has not been affected [by the coronavirus],” a CBP spokesman said in a report that was published by The Guardian.
President Trump declared a national emergency in February 2019 after encountering resistance from House Democrats over his planned wall, which was his chief campaign promise in 2016. This allowed the administration to divert funds from the US Department of Defense to fund the project, which has been deemed essential for the protection of American workers and of its ordinary citizens from crime committed by illegal immigrants.
The funds, totaling approximately $18.5 billion, are being used to build 450 to 500 miles of the wall by the end of this year. The project is being overseen by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Construction workers involved in the project are staying at local hotels and motels, working together in teams and car-pooling on the way to work and back each day. Some of them are being paid higher salaries than usual so that they can work nights to ensure that the project is completed on time.
Border protection has now become more important than ever because of the coronavirus outbreak, with illegal immigrants feared to be bringing the virus with them when they cross into the US. In response, the border has been closed to all but essential traffic, and illegals who are caught trying to enter the US are being returned immediately to Mexico rather than being detained. This is to minimize the risk to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, as well as to the immigrants themselves, who would be forced to spend long periods of time in closed quarters together.
It is to be hoped that this level of concern with completing the wall will be maintained even after the coronavirus crisis has passed. American lives are at stake, being threatened both by the coronavirus as well as by illegal immigrants.
Some may say that humanity is on the clock. The time is nigh. We have been experiencing a strange new world over the past few months as if it was not crazy enough. Currently, we are in the midst of a global pandemic. Some may feel the entire calamity could have been avoided and was caused by man’s negligence. Others may feel that this outbreak is a plot to destroy President Trump’s re-election run. Or, some may feel that what we are going through has been written and prophesied about for millennia, biblical. Even if this situation that we are all in is biblical, on the stage of the world, actions need actors.
Technology would be one of a few perfect mediums that could be used to scar humanity with the mark of the beast. Drugs, food and social programming are other viable ways used by those that control the world to control and direct the minds of the people. It’s been told that in the last day’s Satan would stamp everyone with the mark which basically would mean that this individual follows the laws of and is ruled by Satan in the Bible. Without this mark, one would not be allowed to do any commerce or exist within this New World Order.
There is a little procedure these oligarchs use called PRS or Problem Reaction Solutions. What they do is cause a problem like a financial crisis for instance. Once the crisis is in full effect, they watch how the people, as well as markets, react. Once the reaction to the new reality is underway, they then come up with a solution to the problem making them appear as the hero. It is tantamount to home security system company, in order to boost sales in a specific area, started organizing home break-ins and robberies, increasing crime and henceforth increasing the need or so-called need for a home security system.
This coronavirus may well have been a PRS event. Many are not aware of the fact that Big Pharma and Microsoft have come together to work on something called the ID 2020 Alliance. This alliance will combine vaccinations with implantable microchips to create digital IDs of all individuals that take the vaccine. This was published on October 24, 2019, in Now The End Begins written by Geoffrey Grider. What a strange union. It gets worse. In 2018, the Pirbright Institute was granted a patent, for what, the coronavirus. The US patent application number is 20170216427. Pirbright is funded by Bill and Melinda Gates. On October 18, 2019, Bill and Melinda Gates hosts a pandemic exercise called Event 201 along with The World Economic Forum and John Hopkins Center for Health Security. This event was based on a mock pandemic exercise and the need for a vaccine. One month later China has a coronavirus outbreak. If these vaccines they crate have RFID microchips in them and everyone is moved to take the vaccine either by fear or force then they would have successfully chipped everyone. With that, they will be able to control and monitor the lives of everyone. If their intention is to get everyone chipped, an easy way to do that would be to put the chip in a vaccine that fights the virus causing the pandemic that they created.
We can well be living in Orwellian times for sure. Control is ensuing and propaganda seems to be the way of the world. Technology is good but it can be bad as well. RFID chips may well be the mark of the beast. Time will tell. What is done in the dark shall be revealed in the light.
Just before midnight on Wednesday, by a vote of 96-0, the Senate passed a massive $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus compromise package, ending days of deadlock. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said will soon take up the historic measure to bring relief to individuals, small businesses, and larger corporations “with strong bipartisan support.”
The historic measure mostly earned praise from lawmakers in both parties and their leaders, who said the sweeping bill will address the most serious of the economic and health consequences of the coronavirus outbreak with a huge injection of federal dollars and lending capacity.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, told lawmakers late Wednesday that the House would pass the measure by voice vote on Friday, which means they would not have to return to Washington.
Republicans have apparently lined up their rank and file to agree to the terms. “Members who want to come to the House Floor to debate this bill will be able to do so. In addition, we are working to ensure that those who are unable to return to Washington may express their views on this legislation remotely. My office will send out information tomorrow with those details,” Hoyer said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said massive layoffs caused by “shelter-in-place” orders had brought the economy to a standstill.
“This strange new reality has forced our nation onto something like a wartime footing,” McConnell said. “A fight has arrived on our shores. We did not seek it. We did not want it. But now, we are going to win it.”
McConnell, in his closing speech before the vote, announced the Senate would shutter until April 20, with only pro forma sessions taking place, unless there is a need for lawmakers to return sooner.
The 880-page legislation is the largest economic relief bill in U.S. history.
The package would provide one-time direct payments to Americans of $1,200 per adult making up to $75,000 a year, and $2,400 to married couples making up to $150,000, with $500 payments per child. After a $75,000 threshold for individuals, the benefit would be reduced by $5 for each $100 the taxpayer makes. A similar $150,000 threshold applies to couples, and a $112,500 threshold for heads of households.
The legislation passed by the Senate will use 2019 tax returns, if available, or 2018 tax returns to assess income for determining how much direct financial aid individuals receive. Those who did not file tax returns can use a Form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement or Form RRB-1099, a Social Security Equivalent Benefit Statement.
Further, the bill allocates $250 billion to extend unemployment insurance to more workers, and lengthen the duration to 39 weeks, up from the normal 26 weeks. $600 extra a week would be provided for four months.
The final package would additionally provide $349 billion in loans to small businesses — and money spent on rent, payroll and utilities becomes grants that don’t need to be paid back. Many hotels would qualify as small businesses under the plan.
The bill omits many — though not all – of the items from Pelosi’s version of the legislation that Republicans had called wasteful or irrelevant, including climate-change-related emissions restrictions for airlines and various diversity-related provisions.
No sooner did former Vice President Joe Biden all but secure his nomination as the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate than did the Coronavirus shove him in the shadow of public attention. Contrary to intuitive thinking, it may not be a bad thing for his candidacy.
We must remember that Biden was not exactly hitting the campaign trail with full vigor in those early Democrat primaries. In addition to his lack of fundraising, he was staying home as much as possible. His strategy of laying in the weeds until South Carolina was obviously a good one.
Even after vanquishing the Democrat presidential field on Super Tuesday, Biden was not out on the hustings as much as traditional presidential candidates – not even as much as the older post-heart attack Senator Bernie Sanders.
Biden, his handlers and most Democrats realized that the former Vice President’s public image is best left to virtual crafting by public relations consultants and communication techies. For too often – when Biden presented himself to the public, it resulted in another gaffe.
Apart from those embarrassing misstatements that have marked Biden’s long, long political career, he is starting to show his age. His current gaffes are not like those past misstatements but more like “senior moments.” It is those pauses on stage, when he looks like he is searching for the rest of the sentence. Even the older Bernie Sanders, appears to have greater mental acuity than Biden.
In that it allows Biden to keep himself out of the spotlight, the Coronavirus may have been beneficial to the Biden campaign. It gives him an excuse to stay out of the public eye – except for short structured appearances on friendly news shows. He is not being vetted.
At this stage in a presidential campaign – and despite the suffocating effect of the Coronavirus — Biden should be communicating to the public as much as possible – holding press conferences, rallies and townhall meetings. Despite the situation, he could be holding virtual townhall meetings and responding to unstructured press questions. But instead, Biden is hunkering down at home under the theory that the less you see of him, the better off he will be.
It may work for a while, but eventually he will have to stop being the marionette of his handlers and present himself in public – at least occasionally. When the presidential campaign season revs up after the Republican Convention, Biden will be facing the guy with the bully pulpit – and a guy who knows how to use it. Biden cannot continue to slump in the far corner of the back pew hoping that the grossly biased media will cast and protect his virtual image.
So, there ‘tis.
NOTE: The statistics reported in this commentary were the official numbers as of March 22.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio can go on his favorite cable news networks and point the finger of blame in all directions – especially at President Trump – but that does not explain what is happening in New York – City and State. It would seem that the greatest failure in America to anticipate and be prepared for an epidemic crisis are the Empire State’s political leaders and public healthcare community.
Why should one city – albeit America’s largest – account for nearly one-third of the victims of the Coronavirus in the entire United states. At the time of this writing there are approximately 41,000 cases of Coronavirus in the United states. There are more than 20,000 cases in the State of New York – with 16,000 of them in New York City (5% of the world). Size alone cannot account for that.
Just across the Hudson River from New York is New Jersey, which has just over 2,000 cases – and it is the state with the second most. That’s right. New York has approximately ten times the number of cases as the second-place state – and is not only an adjacent state, but literally a suburb for a lot of Manhattan workers.
Looking at the statistic another way, New York City – with approximately 16,000 cases — has nine times more cases of the Coronavirus than the entire State of California (1,800 cases). Washington State – where it all seemed to start for America – holds third place – behind New Jersey and ahead of California. New York has about eight times more cases than Washington.
With so many of the initial cases coming from China and Asia, in general, one might think that California and Washington would be two of the hardest hit states. But they do not even come close to New York City, alone. Even folks coming from Coronavirus-ravaged Italy cannot explain New York’s extraordinarily high number. However, it has been reported that the first recorded case came from a woman returning from Iran despite Trump’s efforts to ban travel from there.
With its usual political bias, the elitist east coast (New York) media is very kind to de Blasio. They give him airtime to whine and complain – and point the finger at the Trump administration. They do not ask him the tough questions. They do not wonder if closing the schools too late is a contributing factor. Was he too slow to quarantine? Was his own health department behind the curve? Was there a lack of effective emergency planning?
Rather than perform their journalistic function in a fair and honest way, the press attacks Florida’s Republican governor for not acting quickly enough. The Miami Herald editorialized on what the described as Governor Ron DeSantis egregious failure to act in a timely manner – then and now. It was consistent with the general practice of praising Democrat governors and mayors and criticizing Republicans in those positions – despite the facts.
The media focus on Florida – which is in eighth place in terms of the number of cases (1171) – demonstrates a political agenda. New York under Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo has 17 times that number – and the City of New York under Mayor de Blasio has 14 times that number. To pick out Florida, the press must skip over seven states – all with Democrat governors.
While we can all see the bias in the coverage – if we care to look – but that still does not explain why New York is so far in the lead in terms of cases and deaths. The public – especially New Yorkers – might be better served if Cuomo and de Blasio did more explaining and less accusing.
So, there ‘tis.
Former Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. Amy Klobuchar has announced that her husband has been hospitalized due to complications of being infected with COVID-19.
My husband has coronavirus. I love him & not being able to be by his side is one of the hardest things about this disease,” Klobuchar tweeted. “So many are going through this & much worse. I pray for him & you & meanwhile I will do all I can to get help to the American people.”
In a longer statement on the site, Medium.com, Klobuchar said that she and her husband, John Bessler, had been in “different places for the last two weeks” and that because she was “outside the 14-day period for getting sick,” doctors advised her that she did not need to be tested.
Klobuchar, a former 2020 presidential candidate who has since dropped out of the race and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden, said her husband had grown quite ill.
After a persistent temperature and a “bad, bad” cough, Bessler began coughing up blood, Klobuchar said, prompting him to get a coronavirus test and a chest X-ray.
He checked into a hospital in Virginia and “now has pneumonia and is on oxygen but not a ventilator,” Klobuchar said.
Xuehua Peng, also known as Edward Peng, a naturalized American citizen originally from China, was sentenced for conducting espionage on behalf of the Chinese government, the US Department of Justice announced on Tuesday.
Peng was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment and fined $30,000 by a US District Court judge in California on Monday.
Prior to his arrest, Peng, 56, had been working as a tour guide for Chinese tourists in the San Francisco Bay Area. But when he wasn’t showing his beloved countrymen the Frisco sites, he acted as a courier for classified US national security documents and money on behalf of the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS), China’s equivalent of the CIA.
According to the DOJ, in 2015 Peng was approached by an MSS agent during a trip back home to China. The agent told Peng that he could make use of his American citizenship to help the Chinese government.
Between 2015 and 2018, Peng would leave MSS money and instructions for Chinese spies at five “dead drops” in hotel rooms in San Francisco and Columbus, Georgia. He would then depart for several hours, during which time a Chinese spy would come, retrieve the MSS’ money and communiques, and leave documents behind. Peng would then return and retrieve the documents. In this way, he never had to meet with any of the spies face to face, and thus hoped to evade detection.
Peng would then take the documents with him on trips to Beijing and deliver them to the MSS.
The FBI, which grew suspicious of Peng’s activities, set up hidden cameras in the hotel rooms and filmed him picking up the documents, and also monitored his phone calls with MSS agents.
During the course of his trial, Peng pleaded guilty, confessing to voluntarily working for the MSS.
It seems ironic that for the past several years, the United States has been obsessed with Russia as the government that is supposedly intent on sabotaging the American political system from within. While actual evidence of Russian interference has been hard to come by, here we have actual proof of Chinese efforts to undermine US national security – and yet you won’t be hearing much about that in the mainstream media.
I have come to the conclusion that the news media should follow the advice of the medical professionals and self-quarantine – especially the folks on the cable networks. There are several reasons for my recommendation.
That would obviously keep them from travelling back and forth, and exposing themselves to the Coronavirus – or spreading it if they are among the asymptomatic carriers. And remember, the vast majority of the mainstream media is in New York City – the location of the worst outbreak in America.
More importantly, they would not be on air spreading inaccurate information — with political biases – and gossip. Everyone seems to agree that we should not politicize the crisis, but they seem to be incapable of stopping themselves.
Since they stoke the passions of our partisan divide, the nation might better be able to unify without their constantly driving the wedges of social and political discord. It would be nice to focus on the ISSUES rather than the political implications.
Also, their omnipresent reports are needlessly sensationalized — with nothing but bad-to-worse news that spreads panic faster than the Coronavirus – even as they say we should not panic.
As you can tell from the points I raise, I am not in favor of having them report from home or from other remote locations – as some are already doing. No. No. No. I mean limiting the news to a periodic five-minute report – audio and graphics only. And none of those panels of parroting pundits who tell us what to think. They could cut in every day for the updates from the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Most of the newsies are not professionals and their analyses run between worthless to damaging.
Not only do we hear every little development in the Coronavirus crisis, but to fill time, they are now reporting about the deleterious emotional and mental effects of fear and anxiety – hyping it beyond reality. Since they are the primary purveyors of fear and anxiety, we might adjust to our temporary condition more easily without them telling us how crazy it is making us. It does not seem to have occurred to them that perhaps they are the ones making us crazy.
I do believe that the news outlets would do a far greater public service if they were to show old movies and other shows to entertain all of us trapped in our homes.
If they do not heed this advice, at least we can switch over to the movie channel or that channel that is peddling the ancient alien theories. There is no reason for the average American to be inundated with minute-by-minute updates on the number of infected and dead. And giving us the instructions to wash our hands and separate in public is unnecessary. We get it.
So, there ‘tis.
NOTICE: This commentary is designed to make a point through satire. I do not really see any chance of the news networks shutting down. So please, spare me the comments stating all the reasons the networks will not – and should not – shut down from those of you without a sense of humor.