Saturday, October 31, 2020

Historian who correctly predicted every election since 1984 makes his call

Marc Anthony

Doctors groups rip Trump for touting baseless conspiracy over COVID-19 death count

  Medical groups are slamming President Donald Trump for resurfacing a baseless conspiracy on campaign stops that doctors are inflating the number of COVID-19 deaths in the USA in order to drive up profits during the pandemic.



Trump uses Midwestern swing to launch false attacks on doctors while Covid cases rise

"Our doctors are very smart people. So what they do is they say, 'I'm sorry but everybody dies of Covid,' " Trump said at a rally in Waterford Township, Michigan, on Friday. Unearthing conspiracy theories from the bowels of the Internet, the President claimed with no evidence that doctors from other countries list underlying diseases as the cause of death, while US doctors choose coronavirus.

 "With us, when in doubt -- choose Covid," Trump said. "Now they'll say 'Oh that's terrible what he said,' but that's true. It's like $2,000 more, so you get more money."



White House aide says Trump's vaccine-by-Election Day promise was 'arbitrary' 

 A top White House adviser on Friday called President Donald Trump’s long-shot pledge to have a coronavirus vaccine by Nov. 3 “kind of an arbitrary deadline,” as Election Day prepares to come and go with no shot having even applied for approval yet.

“We’ve got nearly half a dozen vaccines that are in Phase Three clinical trials, which is record time to get it there for a novel virus like we’re dealing with,” White House strategic communications director Alyssa Farah told reporters. “We’re still highly confident we’ll have one by the end of the year and be prepared to deploy it to a hundred million Americans.” 

 In the Oct. 22 debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden, Trump claimed that “we have a vaccine” that is “ready” and would be announced “within weeks.”

 At a campaign rally in Arizona this week, Trump assured attendees that they would have a vaccine “momentarily,” a promise that came as the country has seen a surge in new cases nearly everywhere.

Twitter CEO suggests Holocaust denial not banned, in Senate grilling 

 Gardner specifically asked Dorsey: “If somebody denied the Holocaust happened, it’s not misinformation?”

“It’s misleading information,” Dorsey responded. “But we don’t have a policy against that type of misleading information.”

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Barr/Trump Lose Big in NY Court: Judge Rules DOJ Can't Protect Trump from E.Jean Carrol Lawsuit

White House informs Congress of plans to sell as many as 50 F-35s to UAE

  The Trump administration has updated Congress of its intent to sell F-35 advanced fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates, a ranking House Democrat announced on Thursday. The informal notification to the House Foreign Affairs Committee revealed that the White House plans to sell as many as 50 units of the Lockheed Martin-made jets for roughly $10.4 billion, a senior congressional staffer told The Times of Israel. Israel has ordered the same number of F-35s from the US, though not all of them have been transferred yet.

Donald Trump's secret sauce for not paying his debts

How do you get a bank to forgive almost $300 million in loans for a failed real estate project? You act like Donald Trump.

This, from The New York Times about a Chicago skyscraper built by Trump that led to him to incur $287 million in unpaid debt by 2010, is remarkable:
"When the project encountered problems, he tried to walk away from his huge debts. For most individuals or businesses, that would have been a recipe for ruin. But tax-return data, other records and interviews show that rather than warring with a notoriously litigious and headline-seeking client, lenders cut Mr. Trump slack — exactly what he seemed to have been counting on."

 Which means this: Donald Trump was such a public bully that the lenders preferred to work to eat the debt (or a large portion of it) rather than risk a fight with him because, well, they had made the calculation it simply wasn't worth it.



U.S. election result will shake up Israeli politics

 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's biggest domestic political asset is on the ballot on Nov. 3 — his relationship with President Trump.

Why it matters: The outcome of America's election could help determine whether Israel soon faces yet another election of its own.


trump ended pandemic


White House Touts Trump’s 5 Science Accomplishments, Including ‘Ending The Pandemic’

Well, here’s some amazing news. On Tuesday, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a press release of the Trump Administration’s science and technology accomplishments from President Donald Trump’s first term. The release accompanied the unveiling of a longer document from the Office and listed five highlights. Guess what the first one on the list was. “Ending the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The press release included a quote from Ivanka Trump, listed as an Advisor to the President. Because, after all, when you think of science and technology, you think of Ivanka Trump, right? This was the statement from Trump’s daughter: “Over the past four years, President Trump’s policies and investments in science and technology ensure America stands ready to solve today’s most pressing challenges and that our workforce is prepared for tomorrow’s innovations. For years to come, these achievements will guarantee the United States remains the world’s leader in research, discovery and the advancement of industries that will shape our future.”



Trump claims he ‘ended’ the pandemic as cases surge

 The deluge of early votes for Tuesday’s US presidential election has topped 70m – the equivalent of more than half of all votes cast in 2016 – as Donald Trump brazenly listed one of the highlights of his presidency as “ending the Covid-19 pandemic”.

Trump’s claim, delivered in a White House press release, came in a week that has seen days of record new infections, daily deaths running at almost 1,000 a day, and a 23% increase in cases.

 But it was the coronavirus pandemic that continued to dominate the agenda. Asked about Trump’s claim to have “ended it”, even the White House communications director, Alyssa Farah, struggled to defend the assertion.

“I think that was poorly worded,” Farah told Fox news. “The intent was to say that it is our goal to end the virus. But what I would say is this, because of the president’s leadership, we are rounding the corner on the virus.”

Keilar calls out Trump's 'tone- deaf' plea to suburban women

Covid-19: Antibody levels ‘waning quite rapidly’ after infection, new study finds


  • Antibodies appear to decrease rapidly after SARS-CoV-2 infection, a recent study found

  • Asymptomatic individuals involved in the study were also found to quickly lose antibodies 

  • The results stress the need for everyone to continue following preventative measures

Covid-19 May Cause 'Significant' Declines in Cognitive Function, According to Survey of Patients

A study of more than 84,500 people backs prior indications that surviving the novel coronavirus may be associated with potentially serious cognitive deficits, Reuters reported on Tuesday. While the new study, which is based on an online survey, has some major limitations, other research has found that covid-19 can cause neurological issues even in people with mild cases.

The research team, led by Imperial College London’s Adam Hampshire, reviewed data from the Great British Intelligence Test—a collaborative project with BBC2 Horizon that collects a broad array of cognitive test and questionnaire data. It was expanded to include questions about covid-19 infection in May; in the dataset of about 84,500 people, 9,201 reported infections without respiratory symptoms; 3,466 had respiratory difficulties but did not obtain medical assistance; 176 required medical attention at home; 147 were hospitalized; and another 60 had to go on a ventilator.



Some Covid Survivors Have Antibodies That Attack the Body, not Virus

 Some survivors of Covid-19 carry worrying signs that their immune system has turned on the body, reminiscent of potentially debilitating diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, a new study has found.

At some point, the body’s defense system in these patients shifted into attacking itself, rather than the virus, the study suggests. The patients are producing molecules called “autoantibodies” that target genetic material from human cells, instead of from the virus.

This misguided immune response may exacerbate severe Covid-19. It may also explain why so-called “long haulers” have lingering problems months after their initial illness has resolved and the virus is gone from their bodies.

Is Netanyahu dumping Trump? - opinion

 Netanyahu, who is more fluent in many more languages than Trump, including English, has no doubt seen the writing on the wall, and in both directions it says Joe Biden has a good chance of becoming the next US president.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been doing some of that writing on the wall himself, also took a slap at Trump this week when he exonerated the Bidens, declaring, “I don’t see anything criminal” about any business Hunter Biden might have done in Russia or Ukraine. Trump’s hysterical accusations of a Biden family criminal conspiracy, fed by a deranged Rudy Giuliani, have been crumbling.The US poll numbers Netanyahu has been reading show not only that Republicans could be in for a drubbing (I stopped making predictions after I said Hillary Clinton was a sure thing four years ago), but Jewish voters are once again expected to vote three-to-one Democratic.Trump and a Republican Congress were Netanyahu’s protection in the past. No foreign leader has embraced Trump and the GOP more tightly than this Israeli premier.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Jared Kushner bragged in April that Trump was taking the country 'back from the doctors'

The statement reflected a political strategy. Instead of following the health experts' advice, Trump and Kushner were focused on what would help the President on Election Day. By their calculations, Trump would be the "open-up president."

Why deaths aren't rising as fast in Covid-19's second wave, despite big spikes in new infections

The most obvious reason for the lower death toll is age.
The first wave of the pandemic hit Europe's elderly people particularly hard, spreading in hospitals and care homes, but this has changed over the summer, with the virus circulating more widely among younger people going to restaurants, bars and other public places.



10 Leaders Who Stuttered 

10. Joe Biden. Vice President Joe Biden came out very publicly a few years ago and said that he overcame a stutter after years of childhood teasing, including taunts from his seventh-grade teacher who mocked him in front of the whole class.

President Donald Trump’s Most Epic Gaffes of All Time

Jared Kushner has some thoughts on Black success and they’re definitely not the delusions of a spoiled white brat

 Jared Kushner is a privileged white man whose greatest accomplishments include being born into a privileged family and then marrying into an even more privileged one. Somehow, this makes him think he’s qualified to lecture Black people about how to make it in America. So much so that he effectively implied that Black Americans don't want to be successful on Fox News this morning.


Trump attacked Biden for warning against '4 more years of George,' but the Democrat was probably referring to moderator George Lopez

  • Trump seized on the apparent gaffe to attack Biden on Monday, tweeting: "Joe Biden called me George yesterday. Couldn't remember my name. Got some help from the anchor to get him through the interview."
  • The campaign event was being hosted by the comedian George Lopez.
  • Biden has been open about his stutter and previously described himself as a "gaffe machine."
  • Trump's campaign has long sought to portray Biden as mentally unfit for office. In a separate interview, Biden said he was happy to have his mental capabilities compared with Trump's.



Biden was speaking to George Lopez in widely shared video

 CLAIM: In an interview, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden confused President Donald Trump with former President George W. Bush.

  AP’S ASSESSMENT: Missing context. Biden and his wife, Jill, were being interviewed by actor and comedian George Lopez during the virtual “I Will Vote” concert Sunday.

 THE FACTS: Social media users are sharing a 27-second clip of Joe and Jill Biden to suggest that Biden is not mentally fit to run for office ahead of Election Day. But the clips being widely shared lack context.


Did Joe Biden confuse Donald Trump with George W. Bush?

 In the clip, Biden says "George" while discussing the significance of the upcoming election, which some viewers took as an allusion to former President George W. Bush.

The clip was shared on Twitter by Republican National Committee rapid response director Steve Guest, who used it to attack Biden’s mental acuity. The next day, media outlets including Fox News, Sky News, and the Today Show published stories on Biden’s comments, and Trump tweeted about it.

Some reporters, however, pointed out that Biden could have been referring to his interviewer, comedian George Lopez. 


 Joe Biden: "Well, first of all, the reason they should vote is that there’s a lot on the ballot this year. I mean, this is the most consequential… Not because I’m running but because of who I’m running against. This is the most consequential election in a long, long, long time. And the character of the country in my view is literally on the ballot, what kind of country are we going to be. Four more years of George uh… George, we’re going to find ourselves in a position where if Trump gets elected, we are going to be in a different world. And so… The reason I think people should be voting is out of their own self-interest right now, because look, you know, everything is at stake from the environment to our health. You heard what his, his, his chief of staff —"



Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Obama blasts Kushner for suggesting that Black Americans need to 'want' to be successful

 Kushner made the comments during an interview on “Fox & Friends” on Monday morning during which he also referred to raising concerns about racial inequality as “complaining” and suggested that those who protested systemic racism over the summer were more interested in “virtue signaling” than solving those issues.

 "The thing we've seen in the Black community, which is mostly Democrat,” Kushner argued, “is that President Trump's policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they're complaining about, but he can't want them to be successful more than they want to be successful."

Jared Kushner Faces Backlash Over Comments Considered Racist | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Trump tries to distract Americans on pandemic in final election sprint

President Donald Trump launched a new attempt to mislead America over the state of the fast-worsening pandemic Tuesday, after his prime time televised celebration of Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation failed to distract from the mishandled emergency that is threatening his reelection hopes.

Coronavirus: Trump labels U.S. COVID-19 spike a media conspiracy

Haredim and Coronavirus: Policy Recommendations for Exit from Second Lockdown

 Large portions of the ultra-Orthodox community and their leadership have come to the conclusion that the risk posed by the virus is not as severe as claimed by the experts and professionals. This stems from their skepticism about the authorities but also from their dismissal of scientific and medical knowledge. The fact that the ultra-Orthodox sector in Israel is among the youngest communities in the world, has intensified this feeling, especially among the younger generation, that “It won't happen to me," and encouraged them to ignore the rules.


No matter who wins the US election, the world's 'fake news' problem is here to stay

But the specter of disinformation and foreign electoral interference, which has loomed large over the 2020 presidential race, is perhaps not as pernicious as the language now coming out of the White House itself. Less than two weeks out from the election, Trump has touted unfounded narratives and conspiracy theories casting doubt over mail-in voting and the November results -- which could leave Americans even more vulnerable to further manipulation, experts warn. 
"There is no question that the fact that the President of the United States is using this term to attack independent media gives an element of license to other politicians elsewhere, including some authoritarian leaders to dress up their own attacks on independent media and point to the example of the US," said Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

Third wave of coronavirus infections in the U.S.? More like 'wildfire,' epidemiologist says

“I look at it more as an elongated exacerbation of the original first wave,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Monday at an annual event for Yahoo Finance. “It’s kind of semantics. You want to call it the third wave or an extended first wave, no matter how you look at it, it's not good news.”

U.S. COVID-19 Cases Are Skyrocketing, But Deaths Are Flat—So Far. These 5 Charts Explain Why

But despite this rapid uptick in cases, the daily death count in the U.S. is not yet rising at the same rate, and remains at lower levels than in April. At face value, a lower case-to-fatality rate suggests that fewer people who test positive for the virus are dying from it. But the virus hasn’t necessarily become less lethal; it isn’t mutating quickly enough for that to be the case.

What’s happening now is not a result of how the virus treats humans, but rather how humans are treating the virus—that is, how we test for it, how we avoid it and how we combat it. The following five charts explain how human-driven factors are, at least for the moment, keeping deaths from spiking as high as they did early in the pandemic, even as cases rise dramatically.

The coronavirus poses a greater mortality risk to the elderly compared to younger people. Among all Americans who have tested positive for COVID-19, the CDC’s current best estimate is that 5.4% died and were 70 or older, 0.5% died and were between 50 and 69, and only 0.02% died and were 20-49 years old.

In the first weeks of the pandemic, the virus tore through assisted-living facilities and nursing homes, where lots of vulnerable elderly people lived. As a result, the death count skyrocketed. But over time, as the virus spread in places like bars and college campuses, the share of U.S. COVID-19 cases have skewed younger, meaning many of those becoming infected are less vulnerable to severe illness. The CDC reported last month that children and adults under 30 made up around 16% of COVID-19 cases in February through April, but by August, that group accounted for more than one in three cases.

The number of younger people contracting the virus continues to grow, contributing to the rise in overall cases. Yet because they are less vulnerable to the virus, they are not driving up the number of deaths in tandem. (While young people are less vulnerable to COVID-19 in general, they can and do die from the disease, and can spread it to other people.)

Lagging in the Polls, Trump Team Predicts Win Based on 'Enthusiasm'

 Eric Trump told a rally crowd in Michigan the following day that he predicts a bigger win for his father than in 2016 based on "enthusiasm."

"The enthusiasm is unlike anything that we've seen before," he told a crowd of hundreds of people. "I'm telling you the polls are wrong. I am telling you they're going to get it wrong again."


Jared Kushner's very revealing comment on Black Americans' desire for success

 "One thing we've seen in a lot of the Black community, which is mostly Democrat, is that President (Donald) Trump's policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they're complaining about," senior White House adviser Jared Kushner said Monday morning on Fox News. "But he can't want them to be successful more than they want to be successful."

 On Monday, Democratic National Committee National press secretary Brandon Gassaway issued a sharp rebuke of Kushner and his ilk.

"This dismissive approach to the issues that Black voters care about is indicative of Trump's callousness and disregard for the lives of Black people," Gassaway said in a statement. "We cannot afford another four years of a White House that does not take our voices seriously and tells us to be grateful for whatever scraps are left over from the bargaining table."


FactChecking Trump’s Fox News Interview

 Trump said, “I’m bringing many of the troops home and most of the troops home.” But the number in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria is nearly the same as it was in the last month under President Barack Obama. The overall number of overseas troops is only slightly smaller.

Four years in, Trump has plenty of unfinished business

Trump has made only modest progress toward meeting his 2016 pledge to bring home all troops from what he calls America's "endless wars."

When Trump took over the White House, the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan stood at about 8,400, and there were about 6,800 troops in Iraq.

Within a year, the number of troops in Afghanistan climbed to about 15,000. Trump approved commanders' requests for additional troops to reverse setbacks in the training of Afghan forces, fight an increasingly dangerous Islamic State group and put enough pressure on the Taliban to force it to the peace table.

In February, the U.S. and the Taliban signed an agreement that calls for the eventual complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

With an eye toward the election, Trump has accelerated his push to bring troops home, teasing that all U.S. troops could be out of Afghanistan by the end of the year.

Trump's Twitter promises to bring U.S. troops home make headlines. Has he kept them?

  Consequently, in the closing weeks of his 2020 re-election campaign, it would seem appropriate to consider whether or not he has lived up to this promise, how he has attempted to do so and if this effort has made the nation safer.

 But as Americans vote this fall, Trump’s promise of a dramatic reduction in American troop presence abroad has not been achieved, nor has he dramatically shifted costs to U.S. allies. In fact, the Trump administration has increased U.S. defense spending in the last several years by nearly $140 billion, from $611 billion in 2016 to $750 billion in 2019, Foreign Affairs reported. When Trump settled into the Oval Office in January 2017, the United States had a little under 200,000 troops deployed overseas. Best estimates are that number has been reduced slightly, but this may largely reflect a difference in accounting. Since 2017, the Department of Defense has excluded troops deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria from its official reports, arguing that providing the number of troops in a combat theater violated operational security.

US election 2020: Has Trump kept his promises on the military?

 The chart shows military spending has steadily increased since President Trump took office in January 2017.However, this spending is still significantly lower than during the first term of the Obama administration, using figures adjusted for inflation

 The reduction of troops was much greater under President Obama, as both large-scale deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan ended during his years in charge.


Monday, October 26, 2020

Trump's '60 Minutes' tantrum told us everything

 The blessing in Trump's "60 Minutes" performance is that it did help make the voters' choice clear. Both men are, in a sense, offering more of the same. Trump assures more drama. Biden promises a return to the steady and familiar.

Rabbi Mosheh Lichtenstein condemns Trump

While a majority of Orthodox Jews are expected to vote for Donald Trump in next week’s U.S. presidential election, a major Israeli Orthodox rabbi who also has a large following in the United States strongly condemned the president in an interview this week.

Rabbi Mosheh Lichtenstein, one of the heads of Yeshivat Har Etzion, questioned Trump’s mental and moral fitness in an interview with the Israeli magazine Makor Rishon.

“This is a mentally disturbed person without any inhibition or judgement who controls the button of the the most powerful nuclear weapons in the world — and here people applaud him for opening an embassy in Jerusalem,” Lichtenstein said.

“They don’t stop for a moment to think about the moral damage that he inflicts on the United States, or even on the world. They don’t ask how it’s possible to abandon the fate of humanity to such an unbalanced man, who doesn’t recognize the concepts of truth and falsehood,” he said.

“All of this will harm us, even if there’s an embassy in Jerusalem,” he added.

Trump and his supporters have made a mockery of U.S. patriotism

Loving your country is not the same as loving Trump


Trump continues to falsely claim that spike in coronavirus cases is due to heightened testing

President Donald Trump has claimed over and over in the past week -- at campaign rallies, on Twitter and in an interview with "60 Minutes" -- that the US is only seeing so many coronavirus cases because the country is doing so much testing.

 Facts First: The spike in US coronavirus cases is not being caused by an increase in testing. The number of confirmed new cases is increasing at a faster rate than the number of new tests. And the number of hospitalizations and deaths is also rising, which shows that, contrary to Trump's repeated claims, the increase in the case numbers isn't merely being caused by tests capturing mild cases. Taken together, the numbers tell a consistent story: the situation in the US is genuinely getting worse.



Judge Sullivan Issues Two GOOD Court Orders, 1 in DeJoy/Mail Sorting Machines Case & 1 in Flynn Case

Trump White House Surrenders To The Coronavirus | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Tiffany Trump says her father 'has always supported' LGBTQ people

 "I know what my father believes in. Prior to politics, he supported gays, lesbians, the LGBQIA+ community," she said at the event Saturday in Tampa, Florida, which organizers said drew 150 people. "My father has always supported all of you. ... He's never done it for politics."

 At the Philadelphia event, Lara Trump, the president's daughter-in-law, called him "the most pro-gay president in history." In Tampa, Richard Grenell, the former acting director of national intelligence, said, "Mr. President, the gays love you."

Chris Wallace CALLS OUT top Republican over phony Hunter Biden “scandal”

The Third Wave of COVID-19 in the U.S. Is Officially Worse Than the First Two

 There have been clear signs for weeks of a third wave of the pandemic in the U.S. as the weather gets colder and the virus has migrated from metropolitan regions to more rural settings. But it was far from certain, at the beginning of October, that the resurgence would surpass that of the summer, even though the figures were climbing far sooner than the timeline of the most promising vaccine trials, one of which was temporarily halted after a volunteer became ill but is set to resume soon.

 We know now that the third wave will be worse than the second, which was far worse than the first, when cases peaked at 9.7 per 100,000 on April 7.

US ultra-Orthodox rabbis lavish Trump with praise 10 days before election

With the US seeing record levels of COVID-19 cases, the grand rabbis of Satmar, Viznitz and Bobov, and leading non-hassidic rabbis praise Trump for calling for houses of worship to remain open.

 Among the rabbis who signed the letter were the Satmar Rebbe in Kiryas Joel, New York, Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum; the Satmar Rebbe in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, Rabbi Zalman Teitelbaum; the Vizhnitz Rebbe, Rabbi Yisroel Hager; the Bobov Rebbe, Rabbi Benzion Halberstam; and Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky, a senior member of Agudath Yisrael of America’s Council of Torah Sages.

 It was also signed by the Pupa Rebbe, the Munkacs Rebbe, the New Square Rebbe, the Rachmistrivka Rebbe and several ultra-Orthodox leaders.




New Hampshire newspaper backs Biden, first Democrat for president in 100 years

 “Joe Biden may not be the president we want, but in 2020 he is the president we desperately need. He will be a president to bring people together and right the ship of state,” it said. “Sadly, President Trump has proven himself to be the antithesis of thoughtful and pragmatic; he has failed to earn a second term.”


Florida is on the verge of a COVID-19 resurgence

Florida’s COVID-19 death rate since the pandemic began is ninth among states, tied with Illinois, at 76 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the CDC. That’s higher than Texas (60) and California (43). A rate for New York State including New York City is unavailable.

Over the past three months, Florida’s death rate per 100,000 people has tripled, CDC data show. It was 25.9 on July 25. California then had 20.3 deaths per 100,000 and Texas 15.8 deaths.

Trump falsifies Biden stance on fracking

Fact check: Biden falsely claims he never opposed fracking 

 Former Vice President Joe Biden claimed that he "never said I oppose fracking" when pressed by President Donald Trump on the issue during Thursday night's presidential debate.

"You said it on tape," Trump replied.
Facts First: It's false that Biden never said he opposed fracking. In two Democratic primary debates, Biden made confusing remarks over fracking that his campaign had to clarify. In 2019, Biden said "we would make sure it's eliminated" when asked about the future of coal and fracking; in 2020 he said he opposed "new fracking." Biden's written plan, conversely, never included a full ban on fracking or even on new fracking. Rather, it proposes "banning new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters" -- not ending all new fracking anywhere or ending all existing fracking on public lands and waters.


Sunday, October 25, 2020

Trump Says Virus Spikes Have Gone Away When They Haven't | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Former CDC Intelligence Officer Debunks Trump's Claims About Coronavirus | NowThis

Fact-Checking Trump's Claim That U.S. Is 'Rounding The Corner' On COVID-19 | Andrea Mitchell | MSNBC

How Trump abandoned his pledge to ‘drain the swamp’ 

 Trump’s rapid action after the Sept. 25 fundraiser — one of dozens of high-dollar donor events he has headlined while in office — emblemizes how much he has abandoned his 2016 pledge to “DRAIN THE SWAMP.”

In the closing weeks of that election, Trump led cheering supporters in chants of that slogan, promising that he would completely disrupt the culture of Washington. He warned of the power of lobbyists and political donors who he said effectively bought off elected officials. He told voters he was uniquely prepared to take on the issue, because he knew personally as a contributor how the system worked.

But during his four years in office, Trump has taken few steps to clean up Washington. He has instead presided over a norm-shattering expansion of private interests in government.

 Among the five pledges Trump made to “drain the swamp” and curtail the influence of lobbyists in a major campaign speech in October 2016, a Washington Post review found that he sought to address only two, through an executive order in January 2017 — which contained a major loophole.


NPR explained why it’s not covering the Hunter Biden laptop story — now Trump’s son wants to ‘defund’ it

 The tweet linked to further rationale. “The biggest reason you haven’t heard much on NPR about the Post story is that the assertions don’t amount to much,” NPR’s Kelly McBride wrote.


What is the Hunter Biden laptop scandal?

The New York Post published installments of the leaked emails, claiming they proved Joe Biden met with an adviser to Ukrainian energy company Burisma, where Hunter Biden was a board member. However, the emails alone do not prove that allegation. The emails use vague wording, and it is not clear whether the laptop actually belonged to Hunter Biden.

Currently, no one has been able to confirm the ownership of the laptop, the authenticity of the emails, or whether they had any effect on Joe Biden’s actions. If a verifiable source is found, News 10 will report it.


Saturday, October 24, 2020

Fareed Zakaria: This is why Trump will lose the 2020 election ...

The hidden factors that could produce a surprise Trump victory

By almost every measure that political operatives, academics and handicappers use to forecast elections, the likely outcome is that Joe Biden will win the White House.

Yet two weeks before Election Day, the unfolding reality of 2020 is that it’s harder than ever to be sure. And Democrats are scrambling to account for the hidden variables that could still sink their nominee — or what you might call the known unknowns.

Trump Is Trailing So Far in Polls That Hunter Biden 'Scandal' Has Little Impact: GOP Pollster

 Republican pollster Frank Luntz thinks former Vice President Joe Biden will win the presidential election on November 3 and it's too late for President Donald Trump to turn things around.

Luntz has criticized the Trump campaign for focusing on Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and his alleged financial dealings in Ukraine and China. The veteran Republican consultant thinks most people just don't care.

Rav Moshe Feinstein and need to vote


See the uncomfortable question Trump asked Netanyahu

Trump Sycophant Lou Dobbs Attacks Lindsey Graham | The 11th Hour | MSNBC

Friday, October 23, 2020

WSJ Newsroom Found No Joe Biden Role in Hunter Deals After Reviewing Bobulinski's Records

 The Wall Street Journal newsroom has found that texts and emails recently given to the publication by Tony Bobulinski, a former business partner of Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, provide no evidence that Joe ever used his political standing as a former vice president to aid Hunter's business dealings in China.

 Following the publication of the opinion article, Wall Street Journal reporters Andrew Duehren and James T. Areddy wrote a news article stating, "The venture—set up in 2017 after Mr. Biden left the vice presidency and before his presidential campaign—never received proposed funds from the Chinese company or completed any deals, according to people familiar with the matter. Corporate records reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show no role for Joe Biden."

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

'Mistake' for Trump to focus so much on Hunter Biden allegations, says Mike Huckabee

"Yeah, it is a mistake because the average person doesn't understand it, it is too complicated, and, frankly, it doesn't matter to them," Huckabee said in response to "Fox & Friends" host Brian Kilmeade, who asked whether Trump should emphasize the story in the campaign's closing days.

"They care about their health care costs, they care about their taxes, they care about safety and their neighborhood on their block and in their yard. Focus on that and he wins the election by a landslide," Huckabee suggested.


Misconceptions about marriage - a wife is not a shtender

 Steipler The Steipler told fathers to look for 3 qualities in a son in law1 intelligence, diligence (hasmoda) and character (midos)One father objected saying there was no need for the third since all talmidei chachomim have midos.The Steipler responded “A wife is not a shtender!” after many years in yeshiva a bachor learns to relate properly to his shtender and gemora but not to a request to take out the garbage or who needs attention d character to put up with a sick wife a sick child to sleep. For that you need good character

Trump maintains bank account in China, says NY Times

 US President Donald Trump has a Chinese bank account and spent years pursuing business projects in the country, the New York Times has reported.

The account is controlled by Trump International Hotels Management and paid local taxes between 2013 and 2015.

It was set up "to explore the potential for hotel deals in Asia", according to a Trump spokesman.

Mr Trump has been critical of US firms doing business in China and sparked a trade war between the two countries.

The NY Times revealed the account after obtaining Mr Trump's tax records, which included both personal and company financial details.


Fearing a loss, GOP senators keep distance from Trump and begin to ponder party's future

 For four years, Republican senators have shrugged off President Donald Trump's constant string of controversies and scandals. They've ignored his Twitter outbursts and endless grievances. And they've avoided confronting him, while voting mostly in lockstep for his agenda and protecting him during his impeachment trial.

But two weeks until Election Day, GOP senators are beginning to come to grips that Trump's reign in Washington could soon come to an end.
Publicly and privately, Republicans are now beginning to distance themselves from the President. And the debate over the post-Trump Republican Party is already taking shape, with some eager to emulate his populist style of America-first, slash-and-burn politics -- and others pushing to return to a more moderate, pro-business message to woo disaffected younger voters and women who have been put off by Trump.

Nearly 350 Prominent Republicans Voting for Joe Biden

 With two weeks until Election Day, former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has endorsed Democratic nominee Joe Biden for president, joining 347 other prominent Republicans who are voting blue come November 3.

These Republicans have broken party lines to speak out against President Donald Trump and publicly endorse Biden. One of the most notable GOP groups is the Lincoln Project, whose ads have severely attacked the president. The anti-Trump group is led by several high-profile Republicans, including John Weaver, Rick Wilson, George Conway, Reed Galen and Jennifer Horn.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Trump demands Barr investigate Hunter Biden

President Trump early Tuesday pressured Attorney General William Barr to investigate the son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and demanded that information be released before Election Day.

“We have got to get the attorney general to act. He’s got to act and he’s got to act fast," Trump said on “Fox & Friends,” citing a New York Post report about Hunter Biden’s business dealings. Trump called on Barr to “appoint somebody” to handle the matter.

"This is major corruption and this has to be known about before the election,” Trump said.

Trump’s remarks represented an extraordinary effort by the president to push a member of his Cabinet to investigate the family of his political opponent, as he explicitly invoked the election as reason to do so. They came after a group of House Republicans asked Barr to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the allegations about Hunter Biden made in the Post last week.



Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say

Public Statement on the Hunter Biden Emails October 19, 2020 We are all individuals who devoted significant por<ons of our lives to na<onal security. Some of us served in senior posi<ons in policy departments and agencies, and some of us served in senior posi<ons in the Intelligence Community. Some of us were poli<cal appointees, and some were career officials. Many of us worked for presidents of both poli<cal par<es. We are all also individuals who see Russia as one of our na<on’s primary adversaries. All of us have an understanding of the wide range of Russian overt and covert ac<vi<es that undermine US na<onal security, with some of us knowing Russian behavior in<mately, as we worked to defend our na<on against it for a career. A few of us worked against Russian informa<on opera<ons in the United States in the last several years. Perhaps most important, each of us believes deeply that American ci8zens should determine the outcome of elec8ons, not foreign governments. All of us agree with the founding fathers’ concern about the damage that foreign interference in our poli8cs can do to our democracy. It is for all these reasons that we write to say that the arrival on the US poli<cal scene of emails purportedly belonging to Vice President Biden’s son Hunter, much of it related to his <me serving on the Board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, has all the classic earmarks of a Russian informa<on opera<on. We want to emphasize that we do not know if the emails, provided to the New York Post by President Trump’s personal aSorney Rudy Giuliani, are genuine or not and that we do not have evidence of Russian involvement -- just that our experience makes us deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case.If we are right, this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this elec8on, and we believe strongly that Americans need to be aware of this. There are a number of factors that make us suspicious of Russian involvement. Such an opera<on would be consistent with Russian objec<ves, as outlined publicly and recently by the Intelligence Community, to create poli<cal chaos in the United States and to deepen poli<cal divisions here but also to undermine the candidacy of former Vice President Biden and thereby help the candidacy of President Trump. For the Russians at this point, with Trump down in the polls, there is incen<ve for Moscow to pull out the stops to do anything possible to help Trump win and/or to weaken Biden should he win. A “laptop op” fits the bill, as the publica<on of the emails are clearly designed to discredit Biden. Such an opera<on would be consistent with some of the key methods Russia has used in its now mul<-year opera<on to interfere in our democracy – the hacking (via cyber opera<ons) and the dumping of accurate informa<on or the distribu<on of inaccurate or misinforma<on. Russia did both of these during the 2016 presiden<al elec<on – judgments shared by the US Intelligence Community, the inves<ga<on into Russian ac<vi<es by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and the en<rety (all Republicans and Democrats) on the current Senate Intelligence CommiSee. Such an opera<on is also consistent with several data points. The Russians, according to media reports and cybersecurity experts, targeted Burisma late last year for cyber collec<on and gained access to its emails. And Ukrainian poli<cian and businessman Adriy Derkach, iden<fied and sanc<oned by the US Treasury Department for being a 10-year Russian agent interfering in the 2020 elec<on, passed purported materials on Burisma and Hunter Biden to Giuliani. Our view that the Russians are involved in the Hunter Biden email issue is consistent with two other significant data points as well. According to the Washington Post, ci<ng four sources, U.S. intelligence agencies warned the White House last year that Giuliani was the target of an influence opera<on by Russian intelligence.”In addi<on, media reports say that the FBI has now opened an inves<ga<on into Russian involvement in this case. According to USA Today, “...federal authori<es are inves<ga<ng whether the material supplied to the New York Post by Rudy part of a smoke bomb of disinforma<on pushed by Russia.” We do not know whether these press reports are accurate, but they do suggest concern within Execu8ve Branch departments and agencies that mirrors ours. It is high 8me that Russia stops interfering in our democracy. Signed by, Jim Clapper Former Director of Na<onal Intelligence Former Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Former Director of the Na<onal Geospa<al Intelligence Agency Former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Mike Hayden Former Director, Central Intelligence Agency Former Director, Na<onal Security Agency Former Principal Deputy Director of Na<onal Intelligence Leon PaneSa


Why marriages succeed — or fail

 We have goals, we have aspirations. We're reasonably proud of who we are, but we can think of ways that we can be better, more ambitious, more energetic, or maybe better at relaxing. We're trying to achieve those goals, and the reality is that humans aren't individual, isolated goal-pursuers. Our social relationships have profound influence on the extent to which we get closer to versus further from our ideal self.

The best marriages these days take that seriously. They take the responsibility for trying to help each other grow and live authentic lives to an extent that would have seemed bizarre in 1950.

From 'Child Porn on Hunter Biden's Laptop' to QAnon, Conspiracy Theories Pollute 2020 Election's Final Weeks

With just 15 days until the presidential election on November 3, conspiracy theories have played a major part in the campaign and they are likely to stay on the radar as the 2020 contest nears its end.

As President Donald Trump trails former Vice President Joe Biden in national polls, the Republican and some of his prominent allies have shared unfounded conspiracy theories about the Democrat.

What’s Really Going on With Hunter Biden’s Hard Drive? Here’s Everything We Know.

 For the next two weeks until Election Day, expect allies of Donald Trump to repeat the same refrain: But his emails! So far, though, the revelation of Hunter Biden’s private messages and photographs has been a dud of an October surprise, largely because the story’s credibility is so evidently flimsy. It’s also confusing—both to Trump supporters who’d like to make hay out of it and to anyone else trying to understand how this whole saga came to be. How did a laptop supposedly belonging to the former vice president’s son end up in a Delaware computer-repair shop, then get to Rudy Giuliani, then arrive at the New York Post? What does Steve Bannon have to do with it? Why did it make the entire right wing mad at Facebook (again)? Read on.

Rabbi Mutzafi: 'Not wearing a mask? Your prayers are an abomination'

 A leading Sephardic haredi rabbi ruled Monday that prayer groups must exclude worshippers who aren’t wearing face masks, calling their prayers “an abomination”.

Rabbi Ben Zion Mutzafi said during his weekly lecture at the Musayof synagogue in Jerusalem that it is “forbidden” to pray with people who don’t have masks on during prayer.

“There are people outside who don’t have masks. You can’t include these people in prayer quorums [minyanim], it is forbidden to pray with them.”

“Their prayers are an abomination, since they are hurting others, God help us. They may have a beard, sidelocks, a long jacket, a gartel [prayer belt] and who knows what else – they can put on a shtreimel too even on a weekday, it won’t help.”

Fact-checking Trump's dishonest weekend: The President made at least 66 false or misleading claims in three days

 President Donald Trump's dishonesty is getting worse.

Trump has been reliably deceptive for his entire presidency, filling his speeches and tweets with lies and other false statements.
The frequency and magnitude of his deception tends to accelerate, however, during campaign season -- when he complements his usual ad-libbed inaccuracy with a barrage of inaccurate statements that are written into his speech scripts.

Most U.S. ultra-Orthodox Jews support Trump - Haredi poll shows

 According to a survey by Ami Magazine - a Haredi publication, some 83 percent of the respondents said they were going to vote for Trump in the November 3 vote.

Respectfully disagreeing with earlier authorities

 These are selections of sources from my Daas Torah 2nd edition

Rav Chaim Voloshner (Ruach Chaim 1:4): … It is prohibited for a student to accept the words of his teacher if he has questions about them. Furthermore sometimes the truth is with the student and not the teacher.” Avos (1:4) says, One should sit in the dust at the feet of one’s teachers and drink with unquenchable thirst what they say. “The word for sitting - avek - can also mean struggle or warfare. That is because this is an obligatory struggle. The holy rabbis who have composed the books we study have in fact given us permission to struggle and to fight over their words and to answer the difficulties they raise. Therefore, we have the right to question what they say and not to blindly accept their words - but one must love the truth…. Since ascertaining the truth is the prime concern - we must be very careful not to be conceited and egotistical in the discussions and to imagine that we are as great as the teacher or author with whom we are disagreeing. We should be aware in our hearts that we might simply be misunderstanding their words. Therefore we must always be very humble. We must have the attitude, ‘I am not worthy to argue but this is Torah and I must know the correct answer’. Furthermore, the Mishna states that the struggle is conditional on being ‘in the dust at their feet’ which means we must be humble and submissive and figuratively sit on the ground before them in these discussions.

Seridei Aish (1:113): I frequently comment on the apparent contradiction found in Avos (6:5) concerning those factors involved in acquiring Torah i.e. analysis of the students and faith in our Sages. Furthermore, what does faith in our Sages have to do with acquiring Torah? However, the explanation is that if one doesn’t believe in the truth of the words of the sages then one readily dismisses them for the slightest reason. With an attitude of condescension, one proclaims that they didn’t know what they were talking about. Consequently, one makes no effort to investigate and try to validate what they said. However, in the end we find that in fact we are the ones who have erred. … Therefore it is characteristic of the truly wise to presume that the sages have not erred, G d forbid! In fact we, with our limited perspective and limited understanding, have erred. On the other hand to blindly believe and not struggle to comprehend with our intellect the apparent difficulties, saying simply that they knew and we need merely to mindlessly rely on them, that is also not correct. We need to wrestle mightily with the apparent contradictions and doubts as if they are people like us. With this approach, we will come to a much profounder and sharper comprehension. Thus, we see that both factors - emunas chachomim (faith in our sages) and pilpul (intellectual evaluation) - work together to the purpose of the acquisition of Torah.

Michtav M'Eliyahu (4:269): Why was Miriam punished with leprosy - indicating the sin of lashon harah - when all she did was inquire about her brother’s conduct? G d Himself answered this question by stating (Bamidbar 12:8): Why weren’t you afraid to speak against My servant Moshe? It is permitted to question the teacher’s conduct if he knows in his heart that his teacher is right and he only wants a clarification. In other words, he wants to understand but is not challenging or criticizing his teacher. In such circumstances, it is not only permitted but is required as we see in Berachos (62a). However when the student’s attitude is, “I also know what to do and to judge the validity of my teacher and I am convinced he is wrong” - then there is problem with his faith in scholars and such a challenge is a manifestation of lashon harah…. An example of an appropriate question is when Rabbi Akiva Eiger, one of the greatest scholars in the last several hundred years, raised a difficult question about the words of Tosfos. He concluded his words by stating:” I have not merited to understand the holy words of Tosfos.” [G d forbid to think he was just being polite. In fact, he, despite all his greatness, understood that Tosfos was superior and he was nothing in relation to them. A great person is upset that he doesn’t understand while a little person in his arrogance readily accuses his superiors of error.]

Maharal (Introduction to Be’er HaGolah): The precondition for achieving perfection, through knowledge and comprehension of reality, is accurate self evaluation. However self knowledge is not easily achieved and in fact it is rare to find someone who has an objective understanding of whom he is. Paradoxically this should be the easiest thing to know - he needs to simply open his eyes. He is not far away and is not in Heaven - in fact, there is nothing closer! However, the majority of people perceive themselves inaccurately. In particular, they mistakenly think that they are the equal of the early sages and say, “I also have a brain and that the early days were not better than now.” They insist the intellect of man is identical in all ages. True sages, however, know their own value. They do not distort justice concerning their money and surely concerning themselves. An example of this accurate self-evaluation is found in Eiruvin (53a): “The hearts of the early generations were as open as the 20 amos wide door of the Ulam of the Temple, while that of recent generations is like that of the 10 amos wide door of the Heichal of the Temple while our heart is like that of the eye of a needle….” We see that they are not embarrassed to admit their inferiority relative to earlier generations and describe how they differ….