In The News: Congress Reaches Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal

In The News: Congress Reaches Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal

Joe Biden and Republicans in Congress have reached an agreement on a watered down infrastructure bill. It would provide 93 billion over five years – 1.2 trillion over eight years – and would be used for rebuilding roads, bridges, transit, and other infrastructure.

From the White House, Biden said, “The investments we’ll be making as a result of this deal are long over-due. They’ll put Americans to work in good paying jobs, repairing our roads, and our bridges. They’ll deliver high speed internet to every home, bringing down the price that people pay now for internet service. And they’ll close the American digital divide that has been driven home by every mother and father with a child at home during the COVID crisis, that is, thank God, abating, and kids not being able to be in school…

This deal makes key investments to put people to work all across the country, building transmission lines, upgrading the power grid to be more energy efficient and resilient in extreme weather, to be able to sustain extreme weather and the climate crisis. It also builds our natural infrastructure, our coastlines and our levees to be more resilient as well. American workers will be installing electric vehicle charging stations and undertaking critical environmental cleanups.”

The deal, reached Thursday, was led by Republican Rep. Rob Portman, and Democrat Rep. Kristen Sinema, including other lawmakers, some of whom are alleged of going against their party line.

Senators’ Joint statement & framework on bipartisan infrastructure deal:

“Today we’re proud to advance this bipartisan proposal to make a historic investment in America’s critical infrastructure needs, advance cleaner technologies, create jobs, and strengthen American competivness, without raising taxes. This agreement shows that the two parties can still come together, find common ground, and get things done that matter to everyday Americans. We are happy to have president Biden’s support, and will now get to work together enlisting the support of colleagues on both sides of the isle.”

“You know there are many who say bipartisanship is dead in Washington,” Sinema said. “We can use bipartisanship to solve these challenges.”

Republican Rep. Susan Collins said, “It sends an important message to the world as well that America can function, can get things done.”

Sources: The Week, Associated Press, the rev, Portman.senate.gov.

In The News: Mike Pence Heckled As A ‘Traitor’ During Speech At Republican Conference

In The News: Mike Pence Heckled As A ‘Traitor’ During Speech At Republican Conference

The Hill has reported that former vice president Mike Pence was heckled during a speech at the Faith And Freedom conference last Friday.

“It’s great to be back with so many patriots dedicated to faith and freedom,” Pence said, ironically unaware that many in the audience were anything but patriotic – “and the road to the majority. I’m a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican in that order.”

Then the cries of “traitor” began from the patriots in the audience, who obviously believed it would have been easier had Pence given in to the whim of Donald Trump, and just accepted the fact that Caspar The Friendly Ghost possessed Joe Biden and George Soros from beyond the grave to manipulate every voting apparatus in America. If he had, they never would have threatened to hang him outside the Capitol.

Pence claims both he and Trump have spoken since the embarrassing incident. “I don’t know if we’ll ever see eye to eye on that day, but I will always be proud of what we accomplished for the American people over the last four years.”

The two accomplished absolutely nothing – at least nothing to be proud of – in four years. Nothing but one scandal, and one national embarasment after another. Not to mention the fact that some of the so-called “patriots” who broke into the Capitol building couldn’t resist using it as a toilet.

Pence is rumored to be eyeing a run for the presidency in 2024. Should he do so, he just may find himself in a primary race with some bats**t crazy competition with Republican lawmakers – Josh Hawley, and Ted Cruz – who also objected to the electoral results because they too believe it was influenced by the evil spirit of Caspar The Friendly Ghost.

Source: The Hill.

In The News: President Biden Expected To Release Full Report On Coronavirus Origin

In The News: President Biden Expected To Release Full Report On Coronavirus Origin

Last Wednesday, the White House released a statement by the president, ordering an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus, which was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. alone.

Back in March, Biden had directed the National Security Advisor and the Intel Community to prepare a report on their analysis of the origin of the virus.

“I received that report earlier this month,” Biden said in the statement, “and asked for additional follow-up.”

The report, according Biden, was not clear on how the virus had originated, whether it was natural or man-made.

“As of today, the U.S. Intelligence Community has coalesced around two likely scenarios, but has not reached a definitive conclusion on this question. Here is their current position: “while two elements in the IC leans more toward the latter – each with low or moderate confidence – the majority do not believe there is sufficient information to access one to be more likely than the other.”

Last Thursday, Biden was asked by reporters if he was going to release the report. “Yes, unless there’s something I’m unaware of,” he said.

Via statement last Thursday, Amanda Schoch, spokesperson for the office of the Director of National Intelligence: “The U.S. intelligence community does not know exactly where , when, or how the COVID-19 virus was transmitted initially. The IC continues to examine all available evidence, consider different perspectives, and aggressively collect and analyse new information to identify the virus’s origins.”

Whether Biden’s decision to investigate the origin of the virus is influenced by the opinion of certain scientists or pressure from Trump allies, is unclear. Republicans have accused Biden and Democrats of refusing to take the conspiracy theory of its origin seriously.

“For over a year anyone asking questions about the Wuhan Institute of Virology has been branded as a conspiracy theorist, Josh Hawley said. “The world needs to know if this pandemic was the product of negligence at the Wuhan lab, but the C.C.P. has done everything it can to block a credible investigation.”

Hawley, who believed the election was rigged in favor of Biden, apparently didn’t feel it was necessary for an investigation into the origin of the virus while Trump held the White House and Republicans controlled the Senate, suddenly now wants an investigation. His priority was playing defense for Trump and the party, spreading conspiracies of a stolen election, and attacking the Democrats and the so-called leftist media for politicizing a virus Republicans and right-wing media downplayed from the beginning.

It should be noted that Hawley and a majority of Republicans have done everything they can to block an investigation into the January 06 insurrection which they incited through incendiary rhetoric, but support an investigation into whether the coronavirus was intentionally or accidentally released from a Wuhan lab, which is, obviously, what they’re hoping for.

Sources: The Week, The NY Times.

In The News: Senate Republicans Oppose Bipartisan Commission To Investigate Events Surrounding January 06

In The News: Senate Republicans Oppose Bipartisan Commission To Investigate Events Surrounding January 06

Since the January 06 insurrection at the Capitol, many Republicans have either downplayed the severity of it, or denied that Trump supporters were even involved. Depending on who you talk to, the whole thing was either a picnic, a peaceful tour of the building, or Antifa and BLM orchestrated the violence to make Donald Trump look bad because he’s been America’s most successful president.

Sadly, some gullible people have bought into it. Never mind that for weeks leading up to election day and far beyond, Trump had complained nearly non-stop of a stolen election – which his supporters repeated ad infinitum – and that rioters were seen carrying Trump and neo-Confederate flags.

Antifa masquerading as Trump supporters.

In what appears to be the first successful filibuster of Joe Biden’s presidency, Senate Republicans are stalling and delaying passage of legislation that would create a commission to investigate the insurrection. Even though it passed through the House earlier this month with many Republicans in support of it, some of them believe a commission would be used against them for political purposes, what Trump has allegedly referred to as a “Democrat trap.”

Mitch McConnell, who had previously said in a statement that he believed Trump had been responsible for inciting the mob, was initially open to the idea of an investigation into the events surrounding January 06. Now he opposes it, believing the panel’s investigative committee would not be partial despite a split among Republicans and Democrats.

“They’d like to continue to litigate the former president into the future,” McConnell said.

A handful of Republicans are expected to vote on the legislation. Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski supports the legislation.

“Truth is hard stuff,” she said to reporters last Thursday. “But we’ve got a responsibility to it. We just can’t pretend nothing bad happened, or that people just got too excitable. Something bad happened and it’s important to lay that out.”

Joe Manchin, who is not ready to abandon the filibuster, blasted McConnell and other Republicans who refused to vote on a commission.

“There is no excuse for any Republican to vote against this commission, since Democrats have agreed to everything they asked for,” he said. “McConnell has made this his political position, thinking it will help his 2022 election. They do not believe the truth will set you free, so they continue to live in fear.”

“We had a mob overtake the Capitol, and we can’t get the Republicans to join us in making historic record of that event?” Dick Durbin, Senator of Illinois wanted to know. “That’s sad. That tells you what’s wrong with the Senate and what’s wrong with the filibuster.”

Sources: The Week, AP News.

National Guard To Depart D.C. Capitol This Week

National Guard To Depart D.C. Capitol This Week

The Washington Post is reporting that the National Guard will withdraw all remaining troops from the U.S. Capitol in D.C. this week. According to N. Guard spokesperson, Chelsie Johnson, about 1,700 troops remain from various states, pending departures through much of the week.

The Guard has remained at the Capitol since January 06, the day thousands of crazed Trump-loving supporters, misled by his lies of a stolen election, attempted to overturn the results of that election, and made fools of themselves by breaking and entering, destroying property, and defecating all over the place – everything they have accused BLM “terrorists” of being guilty of.

“These airmen and soldiers protected not only the grounds , but the lawmakers working on those grounds, ensuring the people’s business could continue unabated,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said via statement. “They lived out in very tangible ways the oath they took to support and defend the Constitution.”

Had they been there to prevent the MAGA hordes from breaching the Capitol – at a time when election certifications were taking place – one could argue that would actually be defending the Constitution.

Sources: The Week, Washington Post.

Attacks On Gaza Continue Despite Hamas Support For A Cease Fire

Attacks On Gaza Continue Despite Hamas Support For A Cease Fire

Israel has shamelessly continued relentless bombardment of Gaza with missile strikes despite calls for a cease fire from Hamas, surrounding entities, and progressive leaders in the United States.

President Joe Biden, who says he cares about children dying on both sides of the “conflict” has failed to demand a cease fire from Israel’s corrupt Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been under criminal investigation.

The current violence was instigated by Israeli authorities after  threatening to remove Palestinian residents – like Samir Dajani – from their homes in the Israeli neighborhood of Sheik Jarrah. Israel authorities claims it is a private dispute that goes back decades, and that the Palestinian claim of Israel forcibly removing them is nothing more than a narrative to incite violence. These families could soon lose their homes under Jewish law.

Prime Minister Netanyahu appeared on Face The Nation Sunday where he lied repeatedly about the violence against the Palestinians, failing to admit what and/or who instigated the so-called conflict.

Asked when the violence would end, he said, “Well, we hope it doesn’t continue very long, but we were attacked by Hamas on our National Day, Jerusalem Day, attacked unprovoked – unprovoked attacks on Jerusalem and then thousands of rockets and missiles on our cities. And I think any country has  to defend itself. It has a natural right of self-defense. We’ll do whatever it takes to restore order and quiet and the security of our people and deterence. We’re trying to degrade Hamas terrorist abilities to do this again. So it’ll take some time. I hope it won’t take long, but it’s not immediate.”

When asked why Hamas had agreed to a cease fire but Israel had not, he said,”Well, that’s not what I know, and frankly if Hamas thought they could fire rockets and then sit back and enjoy immunity, that’s false. We are targeting a terrorist organization that is targeting our civilians and hiding behind their civilians, using them as human shields. We’re doing everything we can to hit the terrorists themselves, their rockets,  their caches of arms. But we’re not just going to let them get away with it. Neither would you. I mean, just imagine what would have happened if you had 2,900 rockets fired on Washington and New York and others. I think you would understand our position. I think you do, actually.”

Again it must be emphasized that Israel has all of the power, all of the military might, backed by the most powerful military in the world – the United States. Palestine- its people have no power, no military might, no powerful nations backing it with military and humanitarian aid.

I cannot imagine another nation firing thousands of missiles into America unprovoked. If it ever happened, perhaps it would be because the United States did something to provoke it, something similar to what Israel did to the Palestinian people, illegally annexing land and property that didn’t and does not belong to them, imprisoning thousands of Palestinians, and continuing to militarily occupy what little land the Palestinians are allowed to live on, continuing to carry out genocide, and then Israel’s Prime Minister continuing to play the victim on National television just as he always does every time he massacres Palestinian civilians.

No, I don’t understand Israel’s position. I don’t think I ever will. Israel is not the victim here. The Palestinian people are the victims of Israel’s transgressions.

Sources: AP News, CBS News transcripts.

In The News This Week: Biden Administration’s Effort To Vaccinate 70% Of Adults By Fourth Of July

In The News This Week: Biden Administration’s Effort To Vaccinate 70% Of Adults By Fourth Of July

The Biden administration’s goal is to get at least seventy percent of the adult population inoculated with their first shot of the vaccine by the Fourth of July holiday, when millions of Americans are looking forward to celebrating the country’s independence.

So far, approximately 56% of adults have received their first shot of the vaccine, and approximately 105 million have been fully-vaccinated. Pfizer has already previously applied for authorization to have it’s vaccine ready to administer to children between 02 and 06, and adolescents 12 to 15, within the coming weeks.

As we stand here today, almost 150 million Americans have gotten at least one shot,” Biden said Tuesday from the White House. “Over 105 million are fully-vaccinated and among our most vulnerable population, seniors, were nearing 85% of those who’ve gotten their first shot. 70% of seniors are now fully-vaccinated. It’s a dramatic turnaround from where we were in January when less than 2% of adults and less than 1% of seniors were fully-vaccinated…

“Our new phase will focus on three areas. First, kids, children between the ages of 12 to 15 years of age. They’re not yet available for the vaccine. The FDA scientists are currently reviewing the data to decide if and when to authorize that age range for vaccinations.

“I want to make it absolutely clear. You do need to get vaccinated. Getting vaccinated not only protects you. It also reduces the risk you give the virus to somebody else. It could save your life or the lives of those you love…”

Addressing those who haven’t yet received a shot of the vaccine, or have been hesitant to do so, he mentioned incentives that a certain segment of the population will find reason to criticize.

“We’re working with major businesses like grocery stores to provide special deals like discounts to shoppers who come to the stores to get vaccinated… further, we’re working with major sports leagues to launch special promotions with their fans…”

According to health officials, millions of more Americans need to be vaccinated before a positivity rate can be reached that is low enough for a return to normalcy as it was before 2020. Whether this goal can be achieved, remains to be seen.

Sources: The Week, NY Times, AP News.

In The News: India Experiencing Second Coronavirus Outbreak

In The News: India Experiencing Second Coronavirus Outbreak

India is currently experiencing it’s second wave of coronavirus. Thursday, its health authorities reported more than 379,000 cases of COVID, and up to 3,645 deaths from the virus. It has been reported that hospitals and morgues are in short supply as is oxygen and other related supplies in the world’s second most populous nation.

Gravediggers and volunteers have worked tirelessly to bury bodies, and many more have to be cremated, some in parking lots and others in various locations around the country.

“I’m not scared of COVID,” Mumbai gravedigger, Sayyed Munir Kamruddin told reporters. “I’ve worked with courage. It’s all about courage, not fear. This is our only job. Getting the body, removing it from the ambulance, and then burying it.”

India’s vaccination supply has experienced a shortage. Despite being a global leader in vaccine production, it allegedly didn’t obtain enough supplies of the vaccine to protect the population. 

According to India’s COVID tracker, at least 123,811,908 have received one dose of the vaccine, as of April 29, while 25,456,864 have been fully-vaccinated. The U.S is expected to send 100 million in aid, including oxygen supplies, medical-grade masks and supplies of Astra-Zeneca vaccine.

Sources: NY Times, Reuters, US.gov.

In The News: Health Officials Continue Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Distribution

In The News: Health Officials Continue Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Distribution

Several states have lifted the pause on the COVID-19 vaccine. Indiana, Virginia, Missouri, Michigan and New York , have resumed distributing doses of the Johnson and Johnson Vaccine on Saturday.

Health officials recommended redistribution of the controversial vaccine, which has been reported as being linked to blood clots. Fifteen cases out of approximately 8 million have been identified to have come down with blood clots after receiving the vaccine, and three are reported to have died.

According to health officials, the condition involves several forms of clots in various locations, including the brain, abdomen, and legs, and low levels of platelets that aid healing in wounds. The condition is known as thrombocytopenia syndrome.

The FDA and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention have determined that the benefits of the Johnson and Johnson Vaccine outweigh its risks.

“Both agencies have full confidence that this vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh it’s known and potential risks in individuals 18 and older,” says the FDA’s acting commissioner, Janet Woodcock.

“We are no longer recommending a pause to the Johnson and Johnson Vaccine,” said the CDCP’s director Rochelle Walenksy during Friday’s virtual panel. “I support the ACIP’s recommendation that the Johnson and Johnson COVID -19 vaccine be used for persons 18 years of age or older in the United States population under the FDA emergency use authorization, and I have signed this recommendation.”

According to Dr. Henry Bernstein, a panel member and a pediatrician at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New York, the pause was justified because of the safety concern, but it’s time to continue distribution of the vaccine.

“I hope the pause draws the public’s attention to the fact that the vaccine safety surveillance system works, that the vaccine’s incredibly safe and effective, and it’s immensely important for everyone to be vaccinated so we can put this pandemic behind us,” said Dr. Bernstein.

Sources: CNN, USA Today.

Lindsay Graham Says America Isn’t Racist Because Obama And Kamala Harris Were Elected

Lindsay Graham Says America Isn’t Racist Because Obama And Kamala Harris Were Elected

On Fox News yesterday with Chris Wallace, Lindsay Graham said it was his opinion that systemic racism doesn’t exist, that America is not a racist country because Obama was president for two terms, and Kamala Harris is now vice president.

After Wallace played a clip of Joe Biden’s remarks after Chauvin was convicted of murder, he asked Graham, “Is there systemic racism in the country in policing and in other institutions?”

“Not in my opinion,” Graham said. “We just elected an African American president to two terms, the vice president is of African-American and Indian descent. So our systems are not racist. America is not a racist country. Within every society you have bad actors. The Chauvin trial was just a result. What’s happening in Ohio where the police officer had to use deadly force to prevent a young girl from being stabbed to death is a different situation in my view. So, this attack on police and policing… reform the police, yes. Call them all racist, no. America is a work in progress, best place on the planet, and Joe Biden spends a lot of time running the place down. I wish he would stop it.”

So, it’s his opinion that systemic racism doesn’t exist; our institutions and systems are not racist; America isn’t a racist country ( probably never was, even when there was slavery and Jim Crow ), certainly not after a black president was elected; that in every society you have “bad actors” ( in other words, bad apples ); America is the best place on earth ( debatable at most ); asking and/or demanding law enforcement officers be held accountable for their crimes, is akin to “an attack on police and policing”; and Joe Biden spends way too much time criticizing America – something Republicans constantly said Obama did – and he just needs to shut up.

Sources: Fox News, Mediaite.