Is Barr’s DOJ Targeting Sen Burr To Thwart His TrumpRussia Collusion Findings?

Senator Richard Burr(R-NC) and U.S. Attorney General William Barr (right)

On Thursday’s edition of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show (TRMS), host Maddow advanced a provocative theory as to the real reason Attorney General Barr’s Department of Justice (DOJ) may be going after senate intelligence committee chairman Richard Burr(R-NC) for possible covid-19 insider trading. According to Maddow, DOJ and by extension AG Barr’s pursuit of senator Burr may have very little to do with the serious covid-19 insider trading allegations, and more to do with the fact that senator Burr was getting ready to release the final installment of his committee’s findings on whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 election.

Host Rachel Maddow said, “As bad as the insider trading allegations are against Senator Burr, we also simultaneously have to worry whether the U.S. justice department under Attorney General William Barr might be targeting Senator Burr for reasons that are less about insider trading and more about convenience to the Trump administration. Sen Burr you will recall, has led the only functional bipartisan congressional investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. His committee’s findings have supported the intelligence community’s conclusions that for example, Russia interfered in the 2016 election to support Donald Trump’s candidacy. That is something President Trump continues to deny as recently as an interview that aired this morning. More to the point though, Senator Burr’s committee is set to release it’s final report on the Russia issue in the coming months and that last installment we are expecting is on ‘possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.’ That’s what Burr is working on right now, but he’s had to step down as chair of the committee.”

As Maddow correctly points out, given AG Barr’s demonstrable pattern of acting as president Trump’s personal defense attorney, it is not entirely implausible for one to conclude that the AG’s pursuit of senator Burr is also about defending Trump from a potentially damning senate intelligence committee finding that the Trump campaign did indeed collude with Russia in 2016. Maddow also correctly points out that an investigation into a sitting U.S. senator, especially one who chairs the powerful senate intelligence committee, must have been approved at the very highest levels of DOJ meaning AG Barr’s footprints are all over this.

Bottom line folks, AG Barr has so tarnished DOJ’s reputation that even when it undertakes a valid high profile criminal prosecution like senator Burr’s, the general perception among members of the public is that it must have something to do with helping president Trump politically. The very same thing happened during Jeffrey Epstein’s high profile criminal prosecution. I will say again what I have repeatedly stated before and that is, the only way DOJ can cure its tarnished reputation is for career officials within the DOJ to pressure AG Barr to step aside. Because it is highly unlikely that Trump will ever push aside his trusted defender, the onus is on career DOJ officers to begin demanding that AG Barr step down for the good of the department. Simply put, continued silence by career DOJ officials regarding AG Barr’s conduct at this juncture is tantamount to complicity.

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AG Barr, FBI’s Wray Sued Over Terrorist Watchlists

An interesting terrorist watch list lawsuit is currently playing out at the United States District Court for the District of Colorado (USDC-Colorado). The lawsuit, Coker v Barr (1:19-cv-02486, filed 08/30/19), names U.S. Attorney General William Barr, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Charles H. Kable, Director of the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) as defendants. The plaintiff James A. Coker, a military veteran and former law enforcement officer believes, as do many other innocent Americans, that he has been wrongfully placed on a terrorist watch list and is fighting to be accorded a court hearing where he can challenge the basis of his inclusion in the watch list(s). Below is a copy of the very well done complaint filed by the plaintiff’s attorney Patricia S. Bangert.

Terror Watch List Lawsuit by Emolclause on Scribd

According to the complaint, James Coker (plaintiff) who is a military veteran and decorated law enforcement officer(Georgia), began experiencing problems at airports on his air travels in 2016. He raised this issue with the Department of Homeland Security(DHS) using the procedure the department has set up for people who suspect they have been wrongfully placed on the no-fly list. DHS never took him off the no-fly list. In 2018 he applied for, and was offered a job by Veterans Affairs(VA) as a police officer. As a condition of the job, he was required to attend training at a VA police officers training center in Arkansas. Two weeks into his training, armed guards informed him that he was on a terrorist watch list and escorted him out of the training center–a totally humiliating experience. With this lawsuit, Coker seeks to find out among other things, how the hell he ended up on a terrorist watch list.

Coker’s lawsuit is very important in that it yet again reinforces one of the strongest arguments made against the terrorist watch list system and that is, it is very possible for innocent Americans to get caught up in these terrorist watch lists for reasons that have nothing to do with terrorism either through errors but also, quite commonly, through malice. In an unrelated terrorist watch list lawsuit for example, the plaintiff claimed that the FBI placed him in a watch list simply because he refused to be an informant against his fellow Muslim friends, a clear cut case of retaliation. This Just Security piece provides other examples of grave abuses of these terrorist watch lists but more importantly, the disastrous effects of the said abuses on the innocent targets’ lives.

The plaintiff in the instant case James Coker, doesn’t fit the profile of someone many Americans would expect to land on the terrorist watch list–a military veteran with a law enforcement background and zero criminal record. The fact that someone like James Coker can also get ensnared in the terrorist watch list dragnet should be reason enough for members of congress to finally crack down on this grotesquely unjust program.

Think about that folks. With all the hue and cry in the mainstream media about FISA surveillance abuses against Carter Page, it is shocking how since 2003, we have seemingly tolerated this grotesquely unjust terrorist watch list system where on any given day and for whatever reason, someone can arbitrarily decide that you pose a threat to national security, throw your name into some watch list turning your life upside down, without you ever getting a chance to challenge the basis of your inclusion in the said watch list. Anyone who claims to be concerned about surveillance abuses regarding Carter Page but is okay with this abuse-prone terrorist watch list system cannot be taken seriously. Simply put, any serious debate about surveillance reforms has to include these terrorist watch lists.

Why is Coker v Barr very important and potentially the ground zero for much anticipated push back against the surveillance state? The simple answer is timing. It is impossible to ignore the backdrop against which this lawsuit is playing out. A reasonable argument can be made that ever since the 9/11 terrorist attack in 2001, it is in 2020 that the anti-surveillance sentiment has finally reached fever pitch, and a lot of this has to do with the FISA surveillance abuses revealed in the Carter Page case. An investigation conducted by the Department of Justice Inspector General into 29 other FISA surveillance applications after the Carter Page revelations, found errors in all the 29 applications. Coker v Barr is therefore playing out at a time when there is tremendous appetite for surveillance reform and I suspect the USDC-Colorado district judge is fully aware of that.

It also bears pointing out that when a key surveillance law recently came up for reauthorization, it was “law and order” Republican Senators who temporarily held up its automatic renewal. Folks, if “law and order” Republican Senators holding up automatic renewal of a crucial surveillance law is not the ultimate signal that time has finally come for some serious surveillance reform, I don’t know what is.

Bottom line, Coker v Barr comes at a time when there is a great national appetite for a serious overhaul of the surveillance regime. There is a very good chance that USDC-Colorado may finally force the government (AG Barr and Co.) to explain how secretly throwing an individual in some list that upends their life and livelihood, without ever according them a chance to challenge such a placement does not on its face, grossly violate the 5th amendment’s due process requirements. Prior to the Carter Page and DOJ-IG findings of surveillance abuses, courts were reluctant to address the glaring due process concerns raised by the terrorist watch list program. I suspect with Coker v Barr, USDC-Colorado will be very eager to get an explanation from AG Barr and Co. as to how the secretive terrorist watch lists satisfy the 5th amendment’s due process requirements. Major kudos to attorney Patricia Bangert for this forceful legal challenge to the surveillance regime.

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GOP Sen Burr And His Brother-In-Law Suspected Of Covid-19 Insider Trading

Senator Richard Burr(R-NC), Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee

In case you missed it, there was a bombshell revelation on MSNBC’s AM Joy show by ProPublica’s Robert Faturechi, that the chairman of the senate intelligence committee Richard Burr(R-NC), may have fed his brother-in-law Gerald Fauth, who is Trump’s appointee to the national mediation board, with confidential covid-19 information, which Fauth then used to make profitable stock trades. Interestingly, Senator Burr’s brother-in-law made the questionable stock trades on the very same day Senator Burr dumped a significant portion of his stock, a strange coincidence that is sure to catch the attention of investigators, congressional and otherwise.

ProPublica’s Robert Faturechi told host Joy Reid, “Senator Burr sold a significant portion of his stock holdings on February 13th. What we [ProPublica] discovered last week was that his brother in law Gerald Fauth who is on the National Mediation Board and therefore needs to disclose his securities trading as well, sold on the exact same day between $97,000 and $280,000 worth of stock. I gave Gerald Fauth a call…..I asked him if he and Senator Burr coordinated and he immediately hung up on me.”

You’ll remember recent media reports that Senators Burr, Kelly Loeffler and others may have traded stocks based on information they obtained from a senate covid-19 briefing. DOJ reportedly launched an insider trading investigation into this issue. This latest bombshell that Senator Burr’s brother-in-law made questionable stock trades on the very same day Senator Burr dumped a significant portion of his stock should be cause for some serious scrutiny by the said DOJ investigators. According to ProPublica’s Faturechi, Burr’s brother-in-law hung up on him when he inquired as to whether there was any coordination with Senator Burr regarding the stock trades. While hanging up on a reporter is not by itself sufficient proof of guilt, it certainly opens up both Sen Burr and Gerald Fauth to a perception by the public that they have something to hide.

Bottom line folks, coronavirus pandemic has dealt a serious blow to Americans whether that be through lost loved ones, lost livelihoods(businesses and jobs), disruption in their children’s education, drastic lifestyle changes in a covid-19 world (masks), just to mention but a few. The idea that as covid-19 was knocking millions of Americans to the ground, the chairman of the senate intelligence committee Richard Burr, Senator Kelly Loeffler and other U.S. Senators were using their privileged positions not to shield Americans from the fall, but to personally enrich themselves, should enrage all Americans regardless of their political affiliation. Simply put, if Senators Burr, Loeffler, et al cannot demonstrate conclusively to the public that they did not engage in covid-19 insider trading, then they need to step aside. The burden should be on them to demonstrate conclusively to public that they did nothing wrong, not for the public to chase them around, begging for transparency.

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Trump Repeatedly Praised China’s Covid-19 Response

Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping

If you’ve paid attention to President Trump’s covid-19 responses lately, then you’ve definitely noticed a common theme emerging and that is, him blaming everything related to coronavirus on China. This appears to be the new tactic adopted by Trump, his Republicans in Washington and their media surrogates. Trump’s chief media surrogate and in many ways his unofficial adviser Laura Ingraham, is one of the key proponents of this “blame it on China” strategy.

The problem with this “blame it on China” strategy is that Trump has previously gone on the record several times praising China’s response to covid-19.

Trump for example said on February 10 2020, “I spoke with President Xi and they[China] are working very very hard and I think it’s going to all work out fine.”

On February 17 2020 Trump said, “I spoke with President Xi of China and he’s working very hard on this. It’s a tremendous problem[covid-19] but they are very capable and they’ll get to it.”

One day after that on February 18 2020 Trump said, “I think he is doing it very professionally. I know this, President Xi loves the people of China, he loves his country, and he is doing a very good job with a very tough situation.”

No reasonable person presented with President Trump’s previous pronouncements about China’s response to covid-19 can take seriously the severe criticism and blame he now heaps at the nation and its leader Xi. Reasonable people will conclude that Trump’s new found criticism of China and its leader regarding covid-19 is nothing but a desperate effort to scapegoat the foreign nation for his own administration’s bungled response to the pandemic.

There’s also this Jan 24 2020 tweet from Trump which further proves that the “blame it on China” strategy has no legs to stand on.

Bottom line folks, the record is very clear that the Trump administration was fairly warned about the severe threat of covid-19 and instead of heeding the dire warnings, Trump and key members of his administration, with the help of their surrogates on Fox News, chose to downplay the threat . 2020 is an election year which means covid-19 response will be on the ballot. It is very important that Team Biden and indeed Democrats nationally make sure that the voting public knows the real covid-19 response story. Simply put, Democrats must reiterate to the voting public that China is not the reason so many Americans needlessly died of covid-19.

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Lara Trump’s Shocking Hypocrisy Over Tara Reade

Lara Lea Trump

In case you missed it, Trump’s daughter in law Lara, who’s also part of his 2020 campaign, appeared on Fox News’ Judge Jeanine show where she made the highly hypocritical assertion that for Joe Biden to prove his innocence regarding the sexual assault allegations by Tara Reade, he must make all relevant documents available for the public’s perusal. Lara’s assertion is highly hypocritical because her father in law is the poster child for hiding documents from the public, including documents related to sexual assault allegations.

Lara Trump told Judge Jeanine, “I would think if you are being accused of something and you were totally innocent, you would go to any length possible Judge, to try and clear your name including allowing people to open up files like that and make sure you turned over every single leaf to prove your innocence and make sure that people understood that these charges were false and that you did nothing wrong but it’s kind of curious that Joe Biden isn’t allowing that to happen…….it’s not a good defense for him and you know what, going forward, he has a lot of questions to answer. There’s a long time between now and November 3rd election day….”

It is the height of hypocrisy for Lara Trump to make such a demand of Biden when her own father in law has been accused of sexual assault by almost 20 women and has yet to make any document available to the public proving his innocence. Trump for example has been accused of making financial settlements to victims of his sexual abuse. Given Lara Trump’s rationale, her father in law could easily disprove these claims by providing financial records showing that he has never made any such payments/settlements. Why hasn’t he?

Bottom line folks, Democrats have to proceed very carefully with this bogus Tara Reade story which at every turn appears more and more like a Trump campaign operation. The Biden campaign should make every effort to respond fully to Tara Reade’s allegations while at the same time demanding that the Trump campaign do the same regarding the almost 20 sexual assault victims that have accused Trump. Simply put, the Biden campaign should resist any attempt at playing nice with Team Trump. If Biden is forced to answer sexual assault allegations, then the Biden campaign must force the mainstream media to demand answers from Trump too.

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Gov Reynolds Says Iowans Must Return To Work Or Lose Unemployment Benefits

Iowa Gov Kim Reynolds(R) with President Trump

As the push by Republican Governors to lift covid-19 stay-at-home orders and “reopen” America for business intensifies, an interesting theme is emerging as the reasoning behind their hasty and quite frankly, reckless move. There is no question that covid-19 testing rates in the U.S. are nowhere near the levels that would justify safely reopening the states for business at this juncture. Texas in particular, is notoriously lagged behind in testing yet Governor Greg Abbott has slated this Friday(May 1), as the day many businesses in the states are authorized to reopen.

So what is the reason behind this hasty “reopen America” move by Gov Abbott, Reynolds, and other Republican Governors across the U.S.? The answer to this question lies in the national embarrassment the unemployment programs in these states have subjected these Republican governors to. Florida’s unemployment program in particular has become such a national embarrassment following widespread media reports, that Governor Ron DeSantis was not only forced to confess that it is broken, but also issued an executive order relaxing some of the requirements for workers to qualify for benefits.

Unflattering media reports about the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) which handles unemployment claims in Texas have also been a constant source of embarrassment for Gov. Greg Abbott. The same story has played out in other Republican-controlled states including Iowa. Simply put, contrary to popular belief, covid-19 did not break these state unemployment programs. These programs have been broken for years, thanks to GOP’s anti-worker’s rights policies. Covid-19 simply exposed on a grand scale, the unemployment insurance sham in GOP-controlled states.

Well, it appears Republican Governors have settled on the “reopen America” push as a way of dealing with the unemployment insurance embarrassment. By hastily reopening businesses in their states, GOP Governors can technically force workers to return to work because refusal by the workers to do so will amount to quitting, which in turn disqualifies them from unemployment benefits. This is especially cruel and insensitive to minorities especially Blacks and Hispanics, who have a valid reason to fear returning to work before covid-19 testing rates are ramped up to a level that will reassure them that it is safe for them to do so. GOP Governors don’t seem to care about the plight of vulnerable minority populations validly fearful of covid-19 and appear hell bent instead, on blackmailing them back to work by threatening them with losing their unemployment benefits. This is precisely what Gov Kim Reynolds just did.

Gov Kim Reynolds specifically said, “If you are an employer and you offer to bring your employee back to work and they decide not to that’s a voluntary quit, and so therefore they will not be eligible for unemployment benefits.” Make no mistake about it folks, this is an “order” by Gov Reynolds and other GOP Governors to employers in their states to call back workers so as to forcibly take them off the unemployment rolls–essentially cruelly forcing people back to work regardless of their valid covid-19 fears. There is no effort being made by Gov Reynolds and others to fix the numerous problems covid-19 has exposed with the state unemployment programs. Forcing vulnerable people back to work appears to be the GOP Governors’ way out of the problem.

Bottom line folks, covid-19 has exposed some serious problems with the state unemployment programs, especially the ones in Florida and Texas. It is imperative that the mainstream media and members of Congress call for changes to these woefully broken state unemployment programs. Simply put, Governors Reynolds, Abbott, DeSantis and others must not be allowed to sweep these unemployment insurance problems under the rug simply by forcing their residents to go back to work. The GOP Governors must be forced to address the reasons why these programs are broken in the first place.

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Texas Dog Trainer Now Leads Covid-19 Task Force

Former Dallas Dog Breeder Brian Harrison now leading the nation’s covid-19 response

In case you missed it, there was a stunning revelation on MSNBC’s AM Joy show that the Trump administration has chosen a former Dallas area dog breeder Brian Harrison who has zero background in medicine or public health, to lead the nation’s coronavirus task force. The Trump administration apparently chose Harrison to replace outgoing Dr Rick Bright, a career vaccine expert who took a cautionary stance towards Trump’s favorite drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for covid-19. Because the vaccine expert refused to follow Trump’s blind push for hydroxychloroquine as covid-19 treatment, he was pushed aside and has been replaced by Harrison, a former dog breeder.

Host Joy Reid specifically said, “Dr Bright is a career vaccine expert and similar to an increasingly silent Dr Fauci, he insisted on sticking to the science and he seems to be the polar opposite of the guy now heading the administration’s coronavirus task force, Brian Harrison. He[Harrison] is a Health and Human Services[HHS] aide who for six years ran Dallas Labradoodles–no that is not code for some Texas antiviral operation meant to save lives–instead, it’s exactly what it sounds like. The new HHS leader of the covid-19 response does not have a formal background in medicine or public health but instead, was a dog trainer. This isn’t just cronyism over normal politics, this is cronyism over saving lives.”

Even the staunchest of President Trump’s supporters will agree that for a global pandemic that has already claimed 50,000 lives in the U.S., it is not a lot to ask that the person chosen to lead the administration’s response be someone with a background in medicine or public health. That person is definitely not Brian Harrison who appears to be per AM Joy’s reporting, a political crony.

It also bears pointing out that at a recent press conference in Austin, Texas, Governor Greg Abbott said a major reason why he decided to reopen the state for business despite the state’s lagging covid-19 testing numbers was because he had been assured by Trump’s coronavirus task force that Texas would be provided with all the testing supplies it needed. One can reasonably infer given this new development that the assurances the Texas Governor was referring to probably came from former Dallas dog breeder Brian Harrison.

Bottom line folks, incompetence has been a recurring theme surrounding Trump administration’s coronavirus response whether that be from the serious foot dragging we are witnessing with the testing, the numerous contradictory statements the administration issues to the public regarding safe practices, etc. Where, as here, the Trump administration settles on a dog trainer with zero background in medicine or public health to head the nation’s coronavirus task force, the public has every right to assume that the administration is not taking the threat posed by covid-19 seriously, even after it has claimed the lives of 50,000 Americans. As Joy Reid correctly stated, this is not just incompetence, this is deadly incompetence.

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Ivana Trump Recruited Schoolgirls For Epstein?

Jeffrey Epstein and Ivana Trump

Whitney Webb, an independent journalist best known for her work trying to expose Jeffrey Epstein’s child sex enterprise, recently made some very explosive allegations in a YouTube interview chief among them, that Trump’s ex wife Ivana trump (Ivanka’s mother) worked with Ghislaine Maxwell to recruit underage school girls in the New York area into Epstein’s child sex operation. This and other explosive allegations in the YouTube interview are based on a phone call Whitney Webb recently had with Maria Farmer, one of Epstein’s victims in the 1990s.

Webb specifically said regarding Ivana Trump(video at 4:40); “When she[Maria Farmer] told the FBI in 1996, she said the Clintons were part of it. She also said Donald Trump was part of it. One of the reasons she said that is because Ivana Trump, she said, was with Ghislaine Maxwell when she would go out to recruit girls for Epstein. It was her[Ghislaine] and Ivana Trump, Trump’s ex wife. They would go out together all the time and pick up these 12 year old girls in school uniforms and braces, exchange information with them and the next day they would be in Epstein’s office. She[Farmer] saw between 5 and 10 different girls every day go into Epstein’s office the whole two years she was there. Every day. This is in the 90s. So much of what we know from the other victims is after 2000. The FBI knew this then and they didn’t act and that’s why all those other victims exist. It’s just disgusting.”

Some of the bombshell allegations Whitney Webb makes in this interview are already fairly well circulated among the general public so Yours Truly will just mention them in passing while focusing more on the “new” and frankly more interesting bombshells (Ivana Trump being one of them). Whitney Webb for example says the Clintons were implicated and that the FBI covered up Epstein’s illicit conduct in the 1990s, claims that have been made repeatedly ever since the Epstein scandal broke.

Another interesting bombshell Whitney Webb dropped on the interview is that Victoria’s Secret’s Leslie Wexner and his wife Abigail were the masterminds behind Epstein’s child sex trafficking operation(see video at 8:00). According to Webb, young school girls would be lured into Epstein’s operation under the guise that they were being groomed to be Victoria’s Secret Models. If true, the billionaire Wexners could face very serious criminal conspiracy charges.

As for Vicky Ward, the journalist much celebrated for her Epstein pieces most notably her 2003 Vanity Fair piece, Whitney Webb says not so fast(see video at 12:00). According to Webb, Maria Farmer gave Vicky Ward details about Epstein’s child sex trafficking operation but Ward left them out of her bombshell Vanity Fair piece. As if that was not enough, Ward who was apparently an acquaintance of Ghislaine Maxwell, told Ghislaine that Maria Farmer talked to the FBI about her—essentially ratted out her source. Vicky Ward endangered Maria Farmer’s life so much that she went into hiding. Farmer apparently referred to Vicky Ward as a “monster”, according to Whitney Webb.

Farmer also told Whitney Webb that she fears some of the children involved in Epstein’s Florida operation may have been killed because out of some 500 children only about 30 of them came forward and the rest cannot be found(video at 21:30). She added that some of these children were really young(pre-teen). Importantly, Farmer said that Epstein’s legal team which included Alan Dershowitz, knew all the names of the missing children .

Whitney Webb also talked about a January 2001 article on the Evening Standard (U.K) that has since been scrapped from the internet, which said Epstein’s money came from his business links to three people–Leslie Wexner, Donald Trump and Bill Gates. Webb argues that nobody pushed back on this article(by one Nigel Russert) because back then(2001), Epstein was not a controversial figure(see video at 35:30). Webb also slammed as a total lie New York Times’ recent reporting that Bill Gates first met Epstein in 2011.

Farmer also told Webb that Epstein and people in his circle were extreme White Supremacists and she regularly overheard them speaking about other races, especially Blacks, in the most disgusting way(see video at 37:25). She said Epstein and his pals refused to go anywhere they thought there would be too many people of African descent.

Webb concluded by tying the entire Epstein scandal into a global intelligence operation involving Israel which Yours Truly will deliberately ignore because we will never get to the bottom of it(managing expectations). There are however some bombshell allegations that we could easily get answers to for example, whether Ivana Trump really helped Ghislaine Maxwell recruit young girls for Epstein, the missing 500 children who Dershowitz allegedly knows about, whether Vicky Ward(now at CNN) really ratted out Maria Farmer to Ghislaine Maxwell, whether Bill Gates knew Epstein in 2001 as opposed to 2011, whether Trump financed Epstein(another excuse for his tax returns), the Wexners’ involvement with Epstein, why the mainstream media refuses to act on stories by Maria Farmer and others, just to mention but a few.

Bottom line folks, as Yours Truly has repeatedly stated regarding Epstein’s stories, sunlight is the best disinfectant. It appears the more efforts are made to cover up Epstein’s child sex trafficking operation, the more bombshell revelations come up, the latest clearly being Ivana Trump. It will be interesting to hear what Ivana Trump says regarding these troubling allegations, assuming the mainstream media will be courageous enough to ask her. What will CNN do with Vicky Ward given the troubling revelations about her? Hmm–as Trump famously says, “We’ll see what happens.”

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Betsy Devos’ Aide Behind Reopen America Protests

In case you missed it, there was a bombshell revelation on MSNBC’s AM Joy show that prominent republican operatives are behind the reopen America protests that are springing up across the country in opposition to stay-at-home orders issued to prevent the spread of covid-19. One of those prominent republicans, per AM Joy, is Greg McNeilly, a longtime political aide to the Devos family. McNeily was apparently behind the recent reopen America protests in Michigan which were highly promoted by Fox News and it’s number one customer President Trump.

AM Joy’s host Joy Reid perfectly nailed down what these so-called protests boil down to–rich people getting regular folk out on the streets to advocate for what they(rich people) want and that is, a return to making profits, the human cost be damned! Joy Reid specifically said, “You do have very very wealthy people who see their own interests as getting as many people back on the cog in the wheel as possible for themselves who are then creating these supposed grassroots movements, sort of astroturf movements…..The Devos family…. is one of the groups promoting this group the MIchigan Freedom Front. It’s run by Greg McNeilly the longtime political adviser to the Devos family, who are prolific Republican donors and have funded Conservative causes for decades. McNeilly was campaign manager for Dick Devos the husband of current U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos..”

It is vitally important for the public to understand the point Joy Reid is making and that is, these so-called protests we are witnessing across the country in opposition to covd-19 stay-at-home orders are not organic grassroots protests from regular folk clamoring for their freedoms. Instead they are well organized and financed campaigns led by rich republicans like the Devos family, who are desperate to get the economy back up and running regardless of how many human lives are expended in the process.

It cannot also be left unsaid that President Trump who for all practical purposes leads the coronavirus task force, has also shockingly encouraged such protests–essentially urging the public to disobey the recommendations of his own task force that people continue to stay at home to curb the spread of the disease. Of the many reckless actions President Trump has undertaken while in office, encouraging the public to protest reasonable stay-at-home orders in the face of a pandemic certainly ranks at the very top.

Bottom line folks, it is important that we remember who is really behind these so-called protests. As Joy Reid perfectly put it, it is rich folk looking out for their own financial interests. Your duty, especially if you are a person of color and thus more susceptible to death from covid-19, is to exercise due diligence and make sure your local officials are basing their “reopening” decisions on scientific data as opposed to going along with Trump’s/Republican party politics. The best way to do that is to ensure covid-19 testing numbers and results at your locality support the conclusion that it is safe for you or your family member to go back to work. Simply put folks, look out for yourself and your family when making covid-19 related decisions and be very skeptical of the reopen America “protests” that are designed to deceptively suggest that the public is raring to go back to work. You don’t have to take Yours Truly’s word for it, NFL star Malcolm Jenkins gives the same prudent advice.

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Trump’s Coronavirus Statements-A Timeline

As the coronavirus(covid-19) pandemic plays out in the United States, Americans are beginning to do what they’ve always done when faced with a national emergency and that is, questioning the government’s handling of the said emergency.

Seasoned politicos will agree that beyond any policy proposals any U.S. administration and /or President instututes, the legacy of most U.S. Presidents is ultimately shaped by how they handle a major crisis that happens under their watch.

President John F Kennedy for example is best remenbered for the way he handled the Cuban missile crisis(averted a nuclear war with the Soviets), and President George W. Bush for the bullhorn moment right after September 11, 2001 where he declared standing next to a first responder, “I can hear you!…The rest of the world hears you! And the people – and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.”

There is no question that the coronavirus pandemic is one of the biggest crisis this country has ever faced. This therefore means when Americans in the future will look back at Trump’s presidency, his handling of the coronavirus pandemic will tower above everything else in his presidency–unless of course a crisis bigger than coronavirus pandemic happens under his watch–let’s pray that it doesn’t.

Trump’s public statements about the pandemic are already paintng a picture of a confused/ bungled/ incompetent response to the crisis. Don’t take Yours Truly’s word for it, here’s a timeline of some the things President Trump has said publicly about covid-19–not exhaustive of course, but damning nonetheless.(source: mostly CNBC)

Jan. 22:“It’s going to be just fine. We have it totally under control.”

Jan. 24:“It will all work out well.”

Jan. 30:“We think we have it very well under control.”

Feb. 7 (tweet): “… as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then gone.”

Feb. 10: “I think the virus is going to be — it’s going to be fine.”

Feb. 14: “We have a very small number of people in the country, right now, with it. It’s like around 12. Many of them are getting better. Some are fully recovered already. So we’re in very good shape.”

Feb. 19: “I think it’s going to work out fine. I think when we get into April, in the warmer weather, that has a very negative effect on that and that type of a virus. So let’s see what happens, but I think it’s going to work out fine.”

Feb. 24 (tweet): “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. … Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”

Feb. 25: “You may ask about the coronavirus, which is very well under control in our country. We have very few people with it, and the people that have it are … getting better. They’re all getting better. … As far as what we’re doing with the new virus, I think that we’re doing a great job.”

Feb. 26: “Because of all we’ve done, the risk to the American people remains very low. … When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero. That’s a pretty good job we’ve done.”

Feb. 28: “I think it’s really going well. … We’re prepared for the worst, but we think we’re going to be very fortunate.”

Feb. 28: “It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”–This is by far, Trump’s most damning covid-19 statement.

Feb. 28: “This is their new hoax.”

March 4: “Some people will have this at a very light level and won’t even go to a doctor or hospital, and they’ll get better. There are many people like that.”

March 9 (tweet): “So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!”
 
March 10: “And it hit the world. And we’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.”

March 11: “I think we’re going to get through it very well.”

March 12: “It’s going to go away. … The United States, because of what I did and what the administration did with China, we have 32 deaths at this point … when you look at the kind of numbers that you’re seeing coming out of other countries, it’s pretty amazing when you think of it.”

March 15: “This is a very contagious virus. It’s incredible. But it’s something that we have tremendous control over.”

March 16: “If you’re talking about the virus, no, that’s not under control for any place in the world.”

March 17: “I’ve always known this is a, this is a real, this is a pandemic … I’ve felt that it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.”

March 31:“This is going to be a painful two weeks….Our strength will be tested, our endurance will be tried.”

Bottom line folks, the jury is still out on how Trump handles covid-19, which is still ravaging this country and many others. But if the timeline of Trump’s public statements about covid-19 are anything to go by, history will judge him very harshly for his response. No reasonable person can ever conclude that a President is a handling a pandemic well after he he goes on live TV and says the pandemic is “totally under control” and will miraculously “go away”, only for it to turn around and kill thousands of Americans(and counting). The only way Trump can salvage his legacy re covid-19 will be for him to step aside and let his very capable health professionals handle the crisis from here on out. This also means letting the said health professionals be the primary sources of covid-19 related information as opposed to Trump himself.

For those of you very happy with @Emolclause’s activism don’t shy away from the “tip jar” below on your way out.

You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com