Kevin Harvick won The Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway, as NASCAR returned to the track after a 10-week hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It was points leader Harvick’s second Cup Series win at Darlington and his first of the 2020 season.
The Stewart-Haas driver led 159 of the 292 laps and held off Alex Bowman and Kurt Busch for his 50th career Cup Series win, tying him with Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett for 12th on the all-time wins list.
After a first lap crash that eliminated Ricky Stenhouse Jr., the race settled in to a relatively uneventful affair that was held without practice or qualifying.
Jimmie Johnson wrecked while leading on lap 90, and his Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron did the same 19 laps later, but there were no major multi-car incidents during the race, which was held without fans in attendance.
The race also marked the return of Ryan Newman, who has been out of action since suffering a brain injury in a dramatic crash at the Daytona 500 in February. Newman finished 15th after starting in 21st position.
The restarted seres will be back at Darlington on Wednesday night for 500-kilometer race as it works to complete a planned 36-race schedule, despite skipping eight during the season suspension.
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.
A search by federal authorities uncovered a treasure-trove of contraband at the beleaguered federal prison where pedophile Jeffry Epstein allegedly hung himself.
The search which uncovered a troubling number of weapons, including a loaded gun that had somehow been smuggled into the compound, forced a week-long lockdown of the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
According to the NY Post, staff at the facility recovered homemade weapons, narcotics and cellphones while searching for the gun at the troubled jail, the Bureau of Prisons said in a statement.
“All of these items pose a significant threat to the safety and security of the facility as well as the public,” they said.
Staff found the loaded gun in a housing unit of the jail Thursday after freezing inmates’ legal and family visits for a week. The facility will remain on lockdown as staff conduct follow-up searches for additional contraband.
Federal authorities are now investigating the flow of contraband into the Lower Manhattan lockup, the Associated Press reported Thursday, citing officials familiar with the investigation.
The prison has been under scrutiny since Epstein hanged himself in his cell last August while two prison guards failed to check on him and allegedly slept just 15 feet from his cell. The guards then allegedly falsified reports to cover up their negligence and make it appear like they were doing their jobs the night of the suicide.
They’ve each been charged with conspiracy and filing false reports.
If you follow recent polls, you see that somewhere between 45 and 50 percent of Americans wanted President Trump impeached and removed from office. The anti-Trump media is touting those numbers as evidence that Trump cannot possibly win the 2020 election. And if you take those numbers at face value, you might be inclined to believe them.
But right now, the odds are in favor of Trump winning re-election – and the savvy Democrats know it. But how can that be with such terrible numbers. There are several reasons these polls will not be predictive.
First, historically polls have always favored the Democrats – and the further away from an election the greater the bias. No one knows why that is for sure, but one theory is that most of the polling companies are hired or run by … Democrats. It is just a bit of unavoidable bias that creeps into the building of the demographics and the framing of the questions.
The bias may also lead to another problem – one that can be seen when polling numbers are matched with actual results. Most polling models have been shown to overestimate Democrat turn-out and vote.
There is almost always a general shift toward Republican candidates as the election nears. One only need recall Hillary Clinton’s substantial lead over Trump just a month or so before the election. Even on the eve of the election, polls predicted a Clinton victory – closer, but a victory just the same.
There are also specific reasons why Trump is likely to do better in future polling – and he already is in some polls. He is coming out of the Impeachment process with a bit higher favorable rating – and the number of those clamoring for his impeachment and removal is declining. That is a problem for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats because they impeached Trump as their support among the general public was declining.
House Democrats orchestrated the impeachment process for maximum negative impact on Trump. They expected it and need it. Having gotten ahead of the public – and facing the certainty of an acquittal by the Republican-controlled Senate – the Democrat impeachment strategy is collapsing like a wooden tower stacking game.
But perhaps the most important reason for Trump optimism is who gets polled. Some polls cover the American public. Some registered voters. Some likely voters. The value and accuracy of these decline in descending order – with public polling and registered voter polling being utterly worthless.
Even likely voters will not indicate an election outcome. That is because of the Electoral College and the unique distribution of Democrat voters. They are highly concentrated in the big cities of the big very blue states.
To understand why polling can be so inaccurate, you have to look at the 2016 election, in which Trump won the all-important Electoral Collage while losing the popular vote. That was because Clinton racked up HUGE majorities in a few big Democrat states – including California, Illinois and New York. Her margin over Trump was achieved in California alone.
Trump, on the other hand, won narrow victories in 30 states – giving him 304 electoral votes to Clinton’s 227. It does not matter how huge a candidate’s win is in a single state, they get the same number of electoral votes.
That is also true of national polling. Trump is actually losing ground in those very blue states, but it will not negatively impact on his Electoral Collage vote. By polling only on a state-by-state base – the only way to go – many analysts believe that were the election held today, Trump would again lose the popular vote – even by a wider margin — but still win re-election. One credible analysis even predicts that Trump would lose the popular vote by a greater margin today and still win even more electoral votes than he got in 2016.
Even the mere POSSIBILITY that Trump could be re-elected at the point of his impeachment is a huge red flag for the Democrats. A lot can happen between now and election day, but those who are firmly convinced that Trump will be trounced next November may wind-up reliving election day 2016.
So, there ‘tis.
According to his online biography, “Jonathan Lemire is a White House reporter for The Associated Press (AP) and a political analyst for MSNBC and NBC News.” He cannot – and is not – both a reporter and an analyst for NBC/MSNBC. His frequent appearances on the latter prove it.
As a reporter, you would expect Lemire to be objective and unbiased in his published accounts. He would get and present both sides of an issue. Get the facts and let his readers draw the conclusions.
Instead, Lemire writes from his conclusions. He feeds pre-digested press pablum to the world. Like most denizens of the east coast media cabal, Lemire writes from his left-wing perspective. He editorializes as he “reports.”
That is not an uncommon problem within the Fourth Estate. Media bias to the left in the studios and newsrooms is well known and well documented. The lopsided liberal bias results in one-sided partisanship in favor of Democrats. Studies have shown that between 70 and 80 percent of reporters, editors, columnists, producers, analysts, and commentators are Democrats of the liberal persuasion. In the east coast cabal that appears to be higher. Lemire personifies that truth.
It is Lemire’s paid services to MSNBC in which his extreme bias is best seen. He may carry the title of an analyst, but it is not the function he performs. In fact, he would not have that high-profile gig on MSNBC if he was an honest analyst.
One does not get a seat at the table on “Morning Joe” – or any other MSNBC program — unless you are willing to parrot the opinions and prejudicial narratives concocted or endorsed by the network’s management, scripted by the producers and voiced by the online personalities. Apostasy is not permitted.
Folks like Lemire are trading off their honor and integrity for fame and fortune in a Faustian agreement with the media barons. They are no longer journalists who subscribe to the standards and ethics of the profession, but propagandists devoted to convincing rather than informing their viewers and readers. As “Morning Joe’s” Mika Brzezinski once claimed. “It is our role to tell people what to think.”
The essence of propaganda is to develop narratives – true or not – and advance them repeatedly. It is the tactic of Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, who famously – or infamously – said that if you repeat a lie often enough, the public will come to believe it — no matter how big the lie.
If you watch Lemire over time – as I have – you will realize that he does not have an original thought – and most certainly never a counterpoint. He adds nothing new to the conversation. He is just another voice in the bass section. When asked to offer his opinion – his so-called analysis – Lemire retreats to echoing the sentiment he heard around the table. He knows the script and he follows it without a hint of improvisation.
Perhaps his narrow view is the result of the fact that he has never escaped the narrow east coast media bubble. He has never spent much time away from the hardcore liberal establishment that dominates the culture in that region. Lemire grew up in Massachusetts and graduated from Columbia University. He cut his reporting teeth in New York City, where he worked for the New York Daily News for ten years – before joining Associated Press.
According to most polls – which never seem to be the subject of media coverage – the news industry is held in very low regard by a majority of the American people. They do not believe what they see and read. The people of the press have lost their trust.
Some like to blame President Trump because of his attacks on what he calls “fake news,” but the public’s disrespect for the Fourth Estate was seen long before Trump. The gradual decline of trust in the news media parallels the industry’s abandoning old standards for what became known as “advocacy journalism” – and that has now devolved into propaganda-as-news.
Lemire is not the cause – and maybe he could not make much of an improvement on his own – but he is most certainly the creature of the corrupted culture. His value on MSNBC is his voice, not his brain.
So, there ‘tis.
One of the things that endangers our traditional freedoms in America is the growing influence, power and even claimed authority of unelected bureaucrats – mostly provided with essentially lifetime appointments from civil service laws. Bureaucratic decision-making is the infrastructure of authoritarians. America was founded on the ability of we the people to establish our own policies through the power of ELECTED officials.
The case of Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher is yet another example. Gallagher was accused by military prosecutors of murder and posing with an enemy corpse. He was acquitted of murder but convicted of violating military rules against such picture-taking.
Having lost the major charge, Navy officials decided to reduce Gallagher’s rank. When President Trump reversed that order, Navy officials sought to take away Gallagher’s Trident Pin – the badge of a Navy Seal.
Trump’s intervention was enormously popular with the rank-and-file members of then military, but apparently not with some in the more senior ranks – especially those who were pursuing punishment for Gallagher.
As could be expected the anti-Trump media sided against the Commander-in-Chief and the many soldiers in the field – and with the small cadre of senior officers seeking to punish Gallagher further. The claim was that Trump was violating military rules and policies.
As a result of the controversy, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer was fired by Defense Secretary Mark Esper for “lack of candor” in the Gallagher case – specifically proposing to the White House that Gallagher be allowed to keep his Trident Pin. This was contrary to Esper’s public position that the Trident Pin review should go forward internally.
In a logic that only makes sense in Washington, Esper advised the White House that Gallagher would most certainly be allowed to keep the pin after the review. So, Spencer wanted Gallagher to keep the pin. Esper wanted Gallagher to keep the Pin. Trump wanted Gallagher to keep the pin. So Esper fires Spencer and the press blames Trump for the entire mess.
The anti-Trump press jumped on the case as yet another indication that the President goes off on his own agenda rather than follow established (read that “establishment”) policies. Just as all those State Department employees placed their procedures over the rightful powers of a President, the press is proffering for the power of bureaucrats over a duly elected President. You will recall that the “regular procedures” in the Ukrainian case were bureaucratic policies and the “irregular procedures” were those established by the President.
To overly dramatize the Gallagher situation, the elitist establishment press grossly exaggerated the severity of Gallagher’s only offense – posing with a dead enemy. They call it a most serious charge and a grave (no pun intended) offense. I can see where it should be discouraged, but I personally would rank the offense as comparable to a speeding ticket.
The former spokesperson for the Washington establishment (first Department of Defense and then State), Admiral John Kirby showed up on morning television to claim that this is yet another example of an abuse of power by Trump – claiming, without a scintilla of evidence, that Trump made his decision to help himself politically. In the spirit that good policy is good politics, that may be true. But Kirby’s failure to respect the military chain-of-command – upon which Trump sits at the top – in favor of the supremacy of bureaucratic policies shows that the Admiral is one of those Washington establishment authoritarians.
Like it or not, Trump IS the Commander-in-Chief and it is his right and authority to set the policies and make specific decisions regarding the military. In fact, in the chain-of-command, it is common for a senior officer to countermand orders or decisions of junior officers. Trump violated NO rules or policies because the Constitution gives the President the power to set rules and make policies – and make ad hoc decisions based on his own policies. The Trump “policy” is to side with the boots on the ground rather than the brass in the Pentagon when the two come into conflict.
The idea that bureaucratic established policies and procedures take precedence over decision-making by elected officials is dangerous to the health of the Republic. The inalienable rights of we the people are being eroded across the federal government by an elitist authoritarian concept of governance. It is a political cancer that has been growing on the body politic – and if unchecked will end America’s great experiment in democracy.
So, there ‘tis.
On Tuesday, Former Secretary of State and failed 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton declared that she could beat President Trump ‘again’ in 2020 if she decided to make another run at the White House.
“Maybe there does need to be a rematch. I mean, obviously, I can beat him again,” Clinton told Judy Woodruff, the host of PBS News hour Judy, in an apparent reference to her winning the popular vote in 2016.
Clinton and her daughter Chelsea talked with Woodruff on topics ranging from the president, impeachment, and their new book, “Gutsy Women.”
“It truly is remarkable how obsessed he remains with me,” Clinton said, “But this latest tweet is so typical of him. Nothing has been more examined and looked at than my e-mails. We all know that. So he’s either lying or delusional or both … so maybe there does need to be a rematch. Obviously I can beat him again.”
Trump taunted “crooked Hillary” earlier in the day on Twitter, saying: “I think that crooked Hillary Clinton should try to enter the race to try and steal it away from uber-left Elizabeth Warren. Only one condition: The crooked one must explain all of her high crimes and misdemeanors, including how and why she deleted 33,000 e-mails AFTER getting ‘C’ subpoena.”
Clinton continued, saying, “But just seriously, I don’t understand. I don’t think anybody understands what motivates him other than personal grievance, other than seeking adulation. I said during the campaign, there was no other Donald Trump. What you saw was what you were going to get, and I think a lot of Americans understandably thought, oh, no, that can’t possibly be the case. Once he’s in office, he will certainly moderate his behavior. Well, we see, no, he hasn’t.”
Although Clinton has said several times that she wouldn’t run for president for the third time in 2020, she has fueled rumors by making a ton of public appearances recently because of her book.
In recent tweets, she further intensified the idea of her running in 2020 when she responded to Trump’s taunts in a tweet, saying: “Don’t tempt me. Do your job.”
A new Rasmussen poll released earlier this week revealed that Trump and Clinton would be neck and neck in a 2020 rematch, with each candidate receiving 45 percent of the vote. The rest of the potential voters were ‘undecided’.
However, in the same poll, only 18 percent of respondents said that Clinton should enter the race.
An “unnamed Ukrainian official” has apparently shredded the “quid pro quo” claimed in the whistleblower account.
The compliant, which has caused a furor in Washington, has implied that President Trump froze nearly 5 million dollars in military aid to Ukraine, and did not release those funds until he got a pledge from the Ukrainian president to “look into” Joe Biden, and other matters of corruption.
However, Fox News is reporting that a Ukrainian official said that Kiev was not made aware that the U.S. had suspended those funds until a month after President Trump’s now infamous call with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, which calls into question the whistleblower’s account and Democrats’ arguments that there was a quid pro quo for the aid.
The official told The New York Times that Zelensky’s government was unaware about the aid issue until a month after Trump’s July 25 phone call in which he discussed Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
The whistleblower complaint – citing U.S. officials – claimed that officials in Kiev knew that the military aid could be in jeopardy in early August, but the whistleblower admitted to not knowing “how or when they learned of it.”
Zelensky said earlier this week that he “never felt pressured” by Trump to investigate the Bidens. Trump insisted that he wanted to make sure the country was weeding out corruption before providing the funds.
Democrats insist that Trump was wrong to bring up a political opponent to a foreign leader, and that even if he didn’t explicitly make a demand, the innuendo was there. Democrats also took issue with the complaint’s claim that Trump employed his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in the matter.
As allegations swirl surrounding the complaint, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has started an official inquiry into whether the House should pursue impeachment proceedings, but Democrats have refused to hold a roll call vote to authorize the effort.
“Impeaching a President means nullifying the results of a presidential election, which is the core act of American democratic legitimacy,” The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page wrote on Friday. “If Democrats are going to do this, they have an obligation to stand up and be counted in a way that the public can examine.”
Controversy over the complaint abounds. President Trump and fellow republicans point to the fact that the Whistleblower had no “firsthand” knowledge of the allegations he or she was making, and several other inconstancies in the complaint.
The New York Times has claimed to know that the whistleblower is a CIA official, and analyst, who had been assigned to the White House. There has been no corroboration of this claim.
I am old enough to remember the very first season of Saturday Night the Live. The original “Not Ready for Prime Time Players,” led by the likes of Chevy Chase and Gilda Radner, lived up to their name. The show was smart, edgy, and pushed the envelope of the NBC Censors to their limits, and often performed bits that would never, ever fly in today’s climate of “political correctness.”
I can say that with confidence, because newcomer to SNL, comedian Shane Gillis has been fired from one of the most coveted gigs in comedy for making “ethnic jokes” about Asians and gays on a podcast unrelated to SNL, that aired long before he started working on the show.
Gillis’s may be the shortest-lived gig for an SNL player. His departure comes just four days after the producers of SNL announced that Gillis was joining the cast for the show’s new season, set to start Sept. 28. “After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL,” a show spokesperson said on behalf of producer Lorne Michaels, in a statement.
“We want SNL to have a variety of voices and points of view within the show, and we hired Shane on the strength of his talent as comedian and his impressive audition for SNL. We were not aware of his prior remarks that have surfaced over the past few days. The language he used is offensive, hurtful and unacceptable. We are sorry that we did not see these clips earlier, and that our vetting process was not up to our standard.”
Gillis was fired despite issuing an apology last week.
“I’m a comedian who pushed boundaries. I sometimes miss,” Gillis said. “If you go through my 10 years of comedy, most of it bad, you’re going to find a lot of bad misses. I’m happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I’ve said. My intention is never to hurt anyone, but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks.”
The PC backlash against Gillis began almost immediately after Saturday Night Live announced that he was joining the cast. A video clip from Gillis’ Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast resurfaced in which the comedian is heard talking about New York’s Chinatown.
“Let the fucking ch-nks live there,” Gillis said, adding that a restaurant was “full of fucking Chinee [sic] in there.”
The podcast series also featured Gillis using the words “retard” and “faggot.”
It didn’t matter to anyone that Gillis was playing a character that was supposed to be a bigoted, insensitive, asshole.
Despite numerous calls for him to be fired, Gillis found one surprising defender — Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang.
“For the record, I don’t think he should lose his job,” Yang tweeted. “We would benefit from being more forgiving than punitive. We are all human.”
People need to lighten up and stop being so sensitive. It seems to me, that in the days some 20, 30, 40 years ago, when we all laughed not only at each other, but with each other, to the likes of the original cast of SNL, and Don Rickles, Jackie Mason, Richard Pryor, Buddy Hackett and of course Archie Bunker… we all got along a lot better then, than we do now!
Rep. Ilhan Omar’s husband, Ahmed Hirsi, wants out and is ready to file for divorce from the controversial freshman congresswoman. This according to a longtime friend of the couple, who has been speaking to the New York Post.
The unnamed source told the New York tabloid that Hirsi is disgusted with Omar’s behavior and is poised to file for divorce after the revelation in a bombshell court filing that she allegedly had an affair with DC political consultant Tim Mynett.
The Minnesota congresswoman and her husband allegedly separated in March, and Omar asked Hirsi to divorce her around that time because she didn’t want to file the papers — but Hirsi refused, telling her if she wanted a divorce she should do it herself, said the source, who has known both parties for 20 years.
But now, the husband allegedly changed his mind after Tim Mynett’s wife last week filed bombshell divorce papers claiming her husband was having an affair with the Somali-born US representative. The source tells the Post that Hirsi is angry that he had been made to look the fool by the allegations of the extramarital affair.
“I’m surprised he hasn’t filed already,” the source told The Post, adding that Hirsi was “very confused” in the wake of the bombshell allegations, but that he claims that he still loved his wife and was reluctant to expose their three children to a public divorce battle.
The freshman congresswoman, 37, insisted she and Hirsi, 39, were still together and denied the charge she was dating Mynett in an interview with CBS affiliate WCCO, on the day back in August that Mynett’s wife filed for divorce.
However, the Post has confirmed that Omar and Hirsi have been living apart since March — around the same time she was spotted having dinner with Mynett at a California restaurant — with Omar moving into a luxury condo in downtown Minneapolis and their split an “open secret” in town.
The family home they shared in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood — nicknamed “Little Mogadishu” for its large Somali population — appears to be abandoned, with the curtains drawn and cobwebs growing over the front porch, when a Post reporter visited last week.
Hirsi, a senior policy aide to a Minneapolis city councilwoman, is reportedly bouncing between friends’ houses and stays at the luxury condo when Omar isn’t in town, with the kids also spending time with a grandfather, the source said.
Omar’s Marriage History a Tangled Web
Omar and Hirsi were first engaged in 2002. But the duo never legally married; instead, they wed in a traditional Muslim ceremony and had two children before splitting up in 2008, Omar has said.
The next year, she married Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, whom she described as a “British citizen,” records show. They split up in 2011 and Omar and Hirsi got back together and had a third child in 2012, records show.
In 2017, Omar finally officially divorced Elmi. She legally wed Hirsi the next year. But they began experiencing marital problems shortly after Omar assumed office, said the source.
However, public documents obtained by The Post raise discrepancies in the timeline of Omar’s marriages to Hirsi and Elmi.
Documents suggest Omar never stopped living with Hirsi — even after they ended their religious marriage and she was legally married to Elmi. In February 2009, when Omar legally married Elmi, she listed their marital address as a property in Columbia Heights, a suburb in Minneapolis.
However, just three months later, Hirsi used the same Columbia Heights property as his personal address on business filings for his One on One Cafe Lounge.
Two months later in August 2009, Omar began studying political science at North Dakota State University.
Omar and Hirsi moved to North Dakota together with their two children, according to a 2013 article in Twin Cities Daily Planet, even though she was supposed to be estranged from Hirsi and married to Elmi.
In traffic violations from 2008 to 2012 — the entire time Omar was married to Elmi — the congresswoman and Hirsi also listed their address as the family home in Cedar-Riverside, suggesting they never stopped living together.
The congresswoman has refused to comment on both the affair allegations and the discrepancies in her marriages — dodging questions from a Post reporter at an event in Minneapolis last week.