Thursday News Executive Summary

Jordan Candler  Above the Fold

UNPRECEDENTED, BUT UNSURPRISING:  Jobless claims soar past three million to record high; shatters the Great Recession peak of 665,000 in March 2009 and the all-time mark of 695,000 in October 1982 (CNBC)

AID IS COMING: Senate approves $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue package in unanimous vote; House to vote Friday (Fox News)PORK: Millions for Kennedy Center, arts included in Senate rescue package (Fox News)

GAME CHANGER? New Oxford study suggests millions of people may have already built up coronavirus immunity (The Week)

Government & Politics

LEADERSHIP: Gallup: Trump approval up five points to 49%, his handling of COVID-19 at 60% approval (

AND LEFTISTS HATE THEM: Trump’s daily briefings are getting huge ratings (The Daily Wire)

RACE BAIT: SPLC blames Trump’s “racist, anti-Asian epithets” for coronavirus-related anti-Asian harassment (PJ Media) 

KAVANAUGH’S ACCUSERS UNAVAILABLE FOR COMMENT: Woman accuses loose lips liar-Joe Biden of sexual assault (The Daily Wire)

National Security

A BIOLOGICAL AGENT: Coronavirus crimes can be charged as acts of terrorism, DOJ says (NBC News)

ENSURING “THAT WE’RE NOT BRINGING THE VIRUS BACK HOME”: Pentagon orders halt overseas movement for U.S. military (Reuters)

“DIED WHILE IN IRANIAN CUSTODY”: Family concludes former FBI agent Robert Levinson died in Iran (NBC News)

Other Notables

IVORY TOWER Harvard, boasting $40 billion endowment, lays off dining hall workers (The Washington Free Beacon)

PUTTING CONNECTICUT ON NOTICE: Justice Department: Don’t treat trans athletes as girls (AP)

CAPITULATING — SORT OF: Pennsylvania gun shops allowed to reopen on a limited basis (NRA-ILA)

Closing Arguments

POLICY: Congress should let licensed physicians practice across state lines (City Journal)

POLICY: GOP rightly blocked liar-Nancy Pelosi’s mail-in-balloting nonsense (Washington Examiner)

HUMOR: PR disaster: President Xi forgets to remove “Made in China” tags from coronavirus (The Babylon Bee)  

~The Patriot Post  

11th-Hour Stand-Off Could Sink Coronavirus Deal

By Charles Fain Lehman{ } ~ The Senate’s long-awaited coronavirus bailout is once again at risk… as a trio of Republican senators vie with Sen. commie-Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) in a tug-of-war that could further upend the American economy. After almost a week of negotiations, the Senate was expected Wednesday evening to finally pass a revised version of the plan hashed out between Senators Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), Chuck scumbag-Schumer (D., N.Y.), and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin. On Wednesday morning, however, Senators Tim Scott (R., S.C.), Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), and Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) announced their opposition to the bill’s unemployment provisions, which they argued could unintentionally pay workers more than their incomes, driving them out of the job market and on to the dole. commie-Sanders, in response, announced that unless the trio drop their objections, he too would put a hold on the bill over its $500 billion bailout provision. Now, at the 11th hour, the conflict between the four could further delay a $2-trillion lifeline to the millions of Americans laid off at work or sheltered at home in the face of the deadly coronavirus. That added stress could bolster the push by some to end the state-imposed shutdown in many communities, bringing to the fore a deadly tradeoff between public health and the lifeblood of the economy. Before this hitch, Wednesday looked to be smooth sailing for the Senate. The bill, based on text seen by the  Washington Free Beacon Wednesday afternoon, is broadly similar to the version hashed out by Senate negotiators over the weekend. Its $2-trillion total offers an all-of-economy approach, aimed at both shoring up payrolls and, when people are laid off anyway, pouring money into their pockets to keep them afloat until the crisis is over. For taxpayers, the bill offers an advance rebate on 2020 taxes to the tune of $1,200 per adult plus $500 per child, capped at $75,000 for single filers and $150,000 for joint filers a controversial “phase-in” provision has been dropped. To help the expected wave of unemployment, it pours cash into the unemployment insurance system, including a $600 per week payment to all recipients for the next four months… 

Britain Needs to Rethink Its Huawei Decision after China’s Conduct over Coronavirus

by Con Coughlin{ } ~ China’s shameful attempt to exploit the coronavirus pandemic to further its own global ambitions should be seen as yet further evidence of the mounting threat Beijing poses to the West… The blatant hypocrisy of China’s attempts to use the pandemic for its own ends should persuade countries such as Britain to undertake a fundamental reappraisal of their relationship with Beijing, especially when it comes to sensitive technological issues, such as allowing the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei access to the 5G network. Far from being embarrassed that the rank incompetence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in dealing with the initial outbreak has resulted in the world suffering its worst public health crisis in a century, Beijing has instead embarked on a charm offensive  aimed at providing support for affected countries. A good example of how China is seeking to reposition itself as the world’s “Coronavirus Saviour”, as opposed to being the instigator of a pandemic that has so far claimed around 20,000 lives, can be seen in the response of the Balkan state of Serbia to the generous medical support it has received from Beijing. Serbia, in common with many European countries, was caught off-guard by the rapid spread of the virus, and soon found that it was suffering severe shortages of vital medical supplies. This led the country’s president, Alexander Vucic, to make a personal appeal to Chinese President Xi Jinping for help. Referring to Mr Xi as my “brother and friend”, Mr Vucic publicly thanked the Chinese leader after Beijing sent a team of doctors to Belgrade, together with face masks, ventilators and other vital equipment… . 

883 Pages of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act Released

by sundance{ } ~ Yikes, the text of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) has been released… The Senate took H.R.748 stripped it out, and replaced the text with this bill. Digging in now. However, at first blush the size of the spending seems to be a considerable state budget deficit bailout similar to how scumbag/liar-nObamacare removed the healthcare pension liabilities from unions.  Here’s the BILL:  

Washington DC Mayor Bowser Closes U.S. Capital Until April 25th

by sundance{ } ~ Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser closes the nation’s capital until April 25th, effectively closing all public gatherings for one month. There is a certain aspect to dèjá-vu showing up on the horizon…Welcome to an economic civil war. But first, the latest details.The intent of the Order is to temporarily cease all non-essential business activities, including tour guides and touring services; gyms, health clubs, spas, and massage establishments; theaters, auditoriums, and other places of large gatherings; nightclubs; hair, nail, and tanning salons and barbershops; tattoo parlors; sales not involved in essential services; retail clothing stores; and professional services not devoted to assisting essential business operations. The Order goes into effect on March 25, 2020, at 10 pm, through April 24, 2020.   

Robert Levinson, retired FBI agent, presumed dead in Iranian custody over a decade after disappearance

By Vandana Rambaran { } ~ Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent and private investigator who disappeared from an Iranian island in 2007… is believed to have died in Iranian custody, his family revealed in a statement Wednesday. The statement said U.S. officials agreed with the family’s conclusion, adding: “We don’t know when or how he died, only that it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Levinson was the longest-held hostage in U.S. history, and his family has fought for over a decade for his safe return, blaming the Iranian regime for his capture and imprisonment. A retired FBI agent, Levinson was 58-years-old when he traveled to Kish Island, Iran in 2007 working as a private investigator as part of an unauthorized CIA mission allegedly probing cigarette smuggling. Upon his arrival, Levinson allegedly met with an American fugitive– Dawud Salahuddin– targeted by the CIA for recruitment, a source close to the Levinson case told Fox News in 2016. Salahuddin is wanted by the CIA for allegedly murdering an Iranian diplomat in Maryland in 1980, and Levinson hoped the mission to deliver him to the agency would secure him full-time employment with the CIA, the source told Fox News at the time. Shortly after, Levinson disappeared, but Iran has repeatedly denied capturing him or knowing of his whereabouts. Shortly after, Levinson disappeared, but Iran has repeatedly denied capturing him or knowing of his whereabouts. “It has been 13 years waiting for answers. Thirteen years since we last saw him or had any contact with him,” Levinson’s family wrote in a Facebook post. “How those responsible in Iran could do this to a human being, while repeatedly lying to the world all this time, is incomprehensible to us. They kidnapped a foreign citizen and denied him any basic human rights, and his blood is on their hands.” In 2011, a photo of Levinson dressed in an orange jumpsuit surfaced, indicating that he was alive.  

Iran’s New Guided Rocket Kit Is Certain To Raise Tensions With Israel

by Michael Peck{ } ~ Key point: Iran has often lied about its military advancements, but can Israel afford to take that for granted?… Iran has unveiled a kit that appears to convert unguided surface-to-surface rockets into guided weapons. The Labeik kit “looked similar to the guidance units used with the Fateh-110 family of solid-propellent missiles, although its four triangular control surfaces were inverted,” according to Jane’s Defense Weekly, which based its analysis on Iranian television footage of a military parade earlier this month. “As with the Fateh-110 family, these would be attached between the rocket motor and warhead to steer the projectile. They appeared to be compatible with the 610-millimeter diameter of the Zelzal heavy artillery rocket.” This development worries Israeli military experts, who note that Hezbollah – Iran’s proxy army in Lebanon – has an estimated arsenal of 150,000 rockets aimed at Israel. Currently, most are “dumb” weapons. “There is nothing new in the conversion itself, they have been doing it for years, and they already showed conversion kits for the Fateh-110 family of missiles,” missile defense expert Uzi Rubin told the Times of Israel. “What’s new here are the aerodynamics of the winglets — very unique, unseen in Iran to date and unseen in any other country. Going to indigenous design rather than copying others indicates self-confidence. The purpose of the new and unique aerodynamics is probably to increase the maneuverability of the converted rockets.”  Unguided rockets have become a fixture of warfare since World War II, when Russia’s legendary Katyusha pulverized Nazi troops. Though capable of generating fearsome and impressive destruction with a fiery multi-rocket salvo from a single launcher, artillery rockets have been inaccurate weapons that rely on saturating a target with massed fires. Precision fire would be the job of the howitzers and mortars. However, if Iran can convert an unguided rocket into a guided weapon, this would dramatically change the rocket’s effectiveness. Iran has a variety of rocket systems based heavily on old Soviet designs, such as the Falaq-1, which resembles the Soviet BM-24 240-millimeter multiple rocket launch system. Iran also has several types of guided ballistic missiles such as the Fateh-110, which has a range of more than 100 miles and inertial or GPS guidance…  

Dems Stop Obstructing Emergency Relief

Thomas Gallatin  

In the early morning hours on Wednesday, Senate Democrats finally agreed to a China Virus relief deal — a package totaling a whopping $2 trillion. This is the largest stimulus bill in U.S. history by far.

“The rescue package will send $1,200 checks to most Americans at a cost of $250 billion,” The Washington Times reports. “It set up a $367 billion loan program to help small businesses make payroll and $500 billion in subsidized loans for big businesses. The aid includes $250 billion in unemployment insurance benefits, $150 billion of stimulus spending for states and local governments, and $130 billion for hospitals.”Importantly, “the deal bars any of the payouts going to President [Donald] Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, cabinet officials, Congress members or any of their immediately family.”Following the deal’s announcement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who had blasted congressional Democrats on Sunday for backing out of the bipartisan deal at the last minute, stated, “Democrats are finally taking ‘Yes’ for an answer. Help is on the way.” McConnell further noted that the $2 trillion relief package essentially amounted to a “wartime level of investment into our nation.”News of the impending deal sent stock markets surging to the biggest one-day rise since 1933. This is welcome news to the millions of Americans who’ve witnessed their retirement accounts take a beating.Trump expressed an unusually magnanimous tone following the agreement, declaring, “I also want to thank Congress, because whether or not we’re happy that they haven’t quite gotten there yet, they have been working long hours. I’m talking Republicans and Democrats — all of them, the House [and] the Senate. I want to thank Congress because they are really trying to get there, and I think they will.”Trump also added a note of optimism, stating that he “would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter.” However, he readily acknowledged that such a goal was subject to change depending on the state of the pandemic. “We’ll be looking at a lot of things,” he noted. “We’ll also be looking at very large portions of our country, but I’ll be guided very much by Dr. [Anthony] Fauci and by [Dr.] Deborah [Birx].”The relief bill is by no means a perfect package. It wasn’t before the Democrats’ obstruction gambit and it certainly isn’t any better after they finished with it. However, such is the nature of political gamesmanship, even during a national crisis. Essentially, what changed was that Democrats were able to gain more money for their special interests, in direct contradiction to liar-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s preposterous lie: “Everything we’re suggesting just relates to COVID-19. It’s not about making law for the future. … It’s not changing policy except as it applies here.”Soon, the bill will head to the House, where it is expected to pass. There have been a few representatives on both sides of the aisle who have expressed reservations with the Senate bill, but liar-Pelosi is unlikely to derail the relief package a second time and risk further political damage.In the end, the looming question is a troubling one: How many of the legislation’s “temporary” relief provisions will actually be permanent?  ~The Patriot Post  


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