Tuesday News Executive Summary

Media Editors:  Above the Fold

OFF TO A SUPURB START: “It’s a total meltdown”: Confusion seizes Iowa as officials struggle to report Democrat caucus results (Politico)

SOTU AT 9 p.m.: President Donald Trump will use Tuesday’s State of the Union address to tout his record on the economy and — perhaps — take an early victory lap with the Senate impeachment trial expected to wrap up this week. (USA Today)

Government & Politics

FOR THE RECORD: Race relations have improved dramatically since Trump took office (PJ Media)

IMPEACHMENT CLOSING ARGUMENTS: Democrats claim “duty demands” a conviction, as Trump team decries “rush to judgment” (Fox News)

TIME FOR ANSWERS: Senate Intelligence Committee will call Ukraine whistleblower to testify, Lindsey Graham reveals (The Daily Wire)

IF IT HELPS THE NARRATIVE… Michael Bloomberg ad uses scumbag/liar-nObama-era footage of caged migrants to criticize Trump (The Daily Caller)GET WELL SOON: Rush Limbaugh announces he has “advanced lung cancer” (Fox News)

Culture & Heartland

EXPLOITING A VICTIM: Climate alarmists’ teenage puppet Greta Thunberg nominated for Nobel Peace Prize (The Daily Signal)

NOT JUST VIRGINIA: Hawaii gun owners face tidal wave of anti-Second Amendment bills (Bearing Arms)

THANKFULLY, MOST OF THE COUNTRY ISN’T LISTENING: Democrats who use Twitter are more ideological and less willing to compromise (National Review)

Closing Arguments

POLICY: Hopefully, Iowa has failed the nation for the last time (Washington Examiner)

POLICY: How Keynesian ideas weaken economic fundamentals (Mises Institute)

HUMOR: Trump to deliver State of the Union in scuba gear to avoid drowning in liberal tears (The Babylon Bee) 

~The Patriot Post


China Gut-Punched as 2nd Deadly Disease Breaks Out

By Jack Davis{westernjournal.com } ~ The Chinese province adjacent to the one where the coronavirus first appeared is facing an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu, according to news reports… What officials said was a highly pathogenic strain was reported in Hunan province, just south of Hunei province where the coronavirus-plagued city of Wuhan is located, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs announced Saturday, according to  Reuters. The government reported that the outbreak took place on a farm that had 7,850 chickens, 4,500 of which died due to the disease. More than 17,000 poultry were later killed to avoid the spread of the disease, the government reported. The World Health Organization said the bird flu causes severe respiratory disease in birds and is contagious to humans. “Human cases of H5N1 avian influenza occur occasionally, but it is difficult to transmit the infection from person to person. When people do become infected, the mortality rate is about 60 percent,” WHO reported on its website. Despite the high mortality rate, WHO cautioned against panic. “Almost all cases of H5N1 infection in people have been associated with close contact with infected live or dead birds, or H5N1-contaminated environments. The virus does not infect humans easily, and spread from person to person appears to be unusual. There is no evidence that the disease can be spread to people through properly prepared and thoroughly cooked food,” the WHO said. However, the organization said that if the virus were to mutate and become easily transmissible to humans, there could be a major health concern. “H5N1 infection in humans can cause severe disease and has a high mortality rate. If the H5N1 virus were to change and become easily transmissible from person to person while retaining its capacity to cause severe disease, the consequences for public health could be very serious,” it said. This is not the first report of bird flu in China. Last June, an outbreak of H5N6 flu was reported in western China, according to  Reuters, while in January another outbreak of H5N6 was reported there, according to another Reuters report. The bird flu outbreak comes as a gut-punch to a China already reeling from a coronavirus outbreak. As of Saturday, 259 Chinese had died from the virus and about 12,000 infections had been confirmed, according to The New York Times…  https://www.westernjournal.com/china-gut-punched-2nd-deadly-disease-breaks/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=patriotupdate&utm_campaign=dailyam&utm_content=libertyalliance    

Importing Socialism

by ERIC PETERS{spectator.org } ~ One of the first things President Trump did after being elected was to take a pair of pliers to the teeth of socialized medicine — scumbag/liar-nObamacare — and rescind the “shared responsibility payment”… the massive fine applied to Americans who wanted nothing to do with socialized medicine and the costs it imposed. By getting rid of the “shared responsibility payment,” the president effectively got rid of scumbag/liar-nObamacare’s “individual mandate” to buy into socialized medicine, undermining the whole thing. So it’s ironic — and tragic — that the president who worked to get rid of homegrown medical socialism is importing socialized medicine from abroad. To be fair, it may not be the president who’s working to import medical socialism. It’s the permanent bureaucracy — aka the swamp. Which the president famously promised to drain. But it’s filling back up, courtesy of the bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services, which wants to tie the prices of drugs sold in the United States to the price-suppression of drugs in socialized countries. This is styled International Price Indexing — and it’s being presented to the public using the same superficially appealing but economically fraudulent arguments used to peddle scumbag/liar-nObamacare — which promised lower health care costs and more health care choices. But what did Americans end up with? The cost of health care coverage has increased massively since passage of the not-so-Affordable Care Act. Even the relentlessly pro-ACA New York Times admits — while trying not to — that the average cost of the lowest-tier and most meager coverage “silver” scumbag/liar-nObamacare plan for a family of four is currently $1,520 per month — more than the average family’s monthly mortgage costs and equivalent to about a third of the average family’s annual pre-tax income. Part of the reason mandated coverage costs as much as it does is precisely because it is mandated. When you can’t say no to something, the price of that something tends to be higher — and lower quality. For example, it has become almost impossible to buy just a high-deductible/low premium catastrophic coverage plan. Single men without children are required to buy maternity coverage; people who don’t drink are forced to “bundle” substance abuse counseling — and pay for it, too. Another cost takes the form of absence. Fewer — or no — choices. The things which people don’t notice they haven’t got — because they were never produced…  https://spectator.org/importing-socialism/?utm_source=American%20Spectator%20Emails&utm_campaign=841e4eeeb8-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_02_03_02_31&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_797a38d487-841e4eeeb8-104608113   

Europe Cowers in Front of Iran and Hezbollah

by Soeren Kern{gatestoneinstitute.org } ~ The British finance ministry has added the entirety of the Iran-backed Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah — Arabic for “The Party of Allah”… to its sanctions list and has ordered a freeze on any assets it may have in the United Kingdom. The move, aimed at cracking down on Hezbollah’s fundraising activities in Britain, adds increased enforcement teeth to the British government’s February 2019 decision no longer to distinguish between Hezbollah’s military and political wings and to classify the entire organization as a terrorist group. With the exception of the Netherlands, which outlawed all of Hezbollah in 2004, the UK now has the most comprehensive set of sanctions against the terrorist group in Europe. Being a member of, or providing support for, Hezbollah is a crime in Britain punishable by up to ten years in prison. In a so-called General Notice of Final Designation dated January 17, 2020, the Office of Financial Sanctions of the British Treasury  ordered financial institutions in the UK to check whether they hold any accounts, funds or economic resources for, or provide financial services to, Hezbollah; freeze such accounts, and other funds or economic resources; suspend the provision of any financial services to Hezbollah; and report any findings to the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), in compliance with the Terrorist Asset-Freezing Act 2010 (TAFA). The British Treasury noted: “Hezbollah itself has publicly denied a distinction between its military and political wings. The group in its entirety is assessed to be concerned in terrorism and was proscribed as a terrorist organization in the UK in March 2019. This listing includes the Military Wing, the Jihad Council and all units reporting to it, including the External Security Organization.” Britain joins the Netherlands, Canada, the United States, Israel, the 22-member Arab League, the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council as well as Argentina, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras and Paraguay in making no distinction between Hezbollah’s military and civilian wings. In all, more than 30 countries have banned the group in its entirety… https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/15510/europe-iran-hezbollah  

Millions Of People Are Still Slaves Across The World, Including In The United States

By Christina Villegas and Vicki Alger{thefederalist.com } ~ National Freedom Day commemorates the joint resolution submitting the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery to the states, signed by President Lincoln on February 1, 1865… Today, slavery has been outlawed in every country, and we frequently treat it as a relic of the past. “Slavery is like polio,” as The Economist once noted. “Most westerners associate it with earlier, darker times in human history. Its eradication is a sign of human progress.” If only.Despite the strides made over the last 155 years, slavery is alive and well. Slavery—the subjection of human beings to absolute, uninhibited, and unaccountable power—remains, in the words of former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, “the most abject, the most terrible bondage every imposed on any portion of mankind.” As in centuries past, its “grand aim…always and everywhere, is to reduce man to a level with the brute.” Over the past two decades, efforts to combat a wider array of forms of modern slavery have intensified. In October 2000 Congress passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), which has been reauthorized several times since, most recently in January 2019. In November 2000, the United Nations adopted the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, often referred to as the Palermo Protocol, to supplement the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. While these measures are intended to promote international cooperation in combatting modern slavery, the term “trafficking” suggests that it is largely a transnational problem involving organized crime networks in far-away places. Most Americans, for example, think human trafficking requires movement across state or international borders. In reality, more than three-fourths of all modern slavery victims worldwide are exploited in their countries of residence—this is particularly true of victims of non-sexual forced labor. Still, quantifying the extent of human trafficking remains challenging and controversial. The International Labour Office and Walk Free Foundation estimate that at least 40 million individuals worldwide were believed to be victims of forced labor and forced marriage in 2016, including more than 400,000 victims in the United States. Such figures have been criticized for being too high. Estimates from various American government agencies are far lower, but those estimates are also plagued by inconsistent definitions and methodological weaknesses, raising concerns that the number of modern slavery victims in the Unites States may be under-reported… https://thefederalist.com/2020/02/03/millions-of-people-are-still-slaves-across-the-world-including-in-the-united-states/?utm_source=The+Federalist+List&utm_campaign=577e605db4-RSS_The_Federalist_Daily_Updates_w_Transom&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cfcb868ceb-577e605db4-83771801  

Is the Coronavirus Outbreak China’s Chernobyl?

By Dexter Wright{americanthinker.com } ~ To refresh our memories, it was in 1986 when the No. 4 nuclear reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded and was burning as the solid fuel rods of Uranium melted down… The smoke and steam from the fire and firefighting spread across Northern Europe and the Russian steppes. The number of deaths attributed to this disaster could be as high as 100,000 but accepted estimates are closer to 27,000. It was the failure of the Soviet system in dealing with a coordinated response that shook the faith of the people. They began to question whether the Soviet government had abandoned the interests of the people in favor of propaganda. The conclusion was that it certainly was not the health and welfare of the people which was first and foremost in Soviet governmental policy. Gorbachev himself wrote in 2006: “The nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl… was perhaps the true cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union.” It is clear that Gorbachev could not bring himself to admit that it was Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy which was the underlying cause. Regardless of the causes of the collapse, it seems history is about to repeat itself. The outbreak in People’s Republic of China (PRC) has led to a declaration of a global public health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO). In the 2019 WHO report of the ten most likely threats to global health, an influenza pandemic was in the top three. In light if recent events, it seems that it should have been listed as the number one threat. Just as with the Chernobyl cover-up, there are indications that the outbreak of the corona virus is much more severe than has been admitted by the communist government. There are reports that the PRC is digging mass graves and burning bodies to deal with the death toll. If true, then the actual death toll is well above the 170 officially stated by President Xi Jinping’s government. Unlike the trade war or the Hong Kong protest, Xi cannot blame this outbreak on foreign powers. This was also the case with the Chernobyl meltdown. The questions about the official statements concerning the epicenter of the outbreak being a wild game market are being raised. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) issued this statement:   “I would note that Wuhan has China’s only biosafety level-four super laboratory that works with the world’s most deadly pathogens to include, yes, coronavirus,” Some scientists now speculate that the government of the PRC was using this lab to devise a biowarfare pathogen… https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/02/is_the_coronavirus_outbreak_chinas_chernobyl.html 


by Paul Mirengoff{powerlineblog.com } ~ So now it’s John Bolton who, in the name of defending President Trump, is to be demonized by conservatives. Some conservatives will find the task an easy one… Bolton is a foreign policy/national security hawk. Many conservatives have become rather dovish.  But many other conservatives have continued to admire, or at least respect, Bolton. We like his hard line stance against America’s worst enemies, especially Iran. Bolton has plenty of company under the Trump bus. Some of it is good company. Jeff Sessions was a conservative hero of longstanding. But he fell out of favor for the sin of meeting his ethical obligations as Attorney General and declining, in his capacity as AG, to act as Trump’s consigliere. After his dismissal, Sessions declined to say anything adverse to Trump’s interests. Sessions is a gracious man and he wanted to return to the Senate. Bolton, by most accounts, isn’t gracious and he has no intention of running for office. Thus, he felt no need to hold back when writing about the Trump administration. But that doesn’t mean he deserves to be demonized. He does deserve to be demonized if he has written falsely about Trump. However, there is no reason to believe that what he has written about Trump’s Ukraine policy, or what Trump told him about it, is false. Anyone who has taken the trouble to review the record with even a half-open mind should conclude that Trump’s policy was, as Bolton says Trump told him, to withhold aid to Ukraine for the purpose of inducing that country’s government to investigate the loose lips liar-Bidens or at least announce that it would do so. Nor is there any reason to believe that Bolton was okay with Trump’s policy until Trump fired him — though even if this were the case, it wouldn’t show that the policy was other than what Bolton described. Fiona Hill, who worked closely with Bolton at the White House, testified that Bolton analogized the effort to induce Ukraine to investigate the loose lips liar-Bidens to a “drug deal.” Obviously, he was disgusted by it before Trump sacked him. Bolton’s August statement that Trump and Ukraine’s president had cordial phone conversations is not at all inconsistent with Bolton’s account of what Trump told him about his Ukraine policy…  https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2020/02/its-john-boltons-turn.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+powerlineblog%2Flivefeed+%28Power+Line%29  

.Actual vs. Counterfeit Intolerance

 David Limbaugh

One of the most revealing things about the leftist mindset is the usual leftist’s lack of self-awareness about his own intolerance, hatefulness and inclusiveness — unless you distort all those terms to whitewash the reality.

I will never forget reading (and writing about) the unfortunate experience of Professor Janice Price, an education instructor at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. The school suspended Price and cut her salary for subjecting her students to a “hostile environment.” Her sin was placing issues of Teachers in Focus magazine on the table in the back of her classroom that contained articles written from a Christian viewpoint. One of the articles offered suggestions on how teachers should approach the issue of homosexuality in public schools.Price told the students they could read the magazines if they wanted to but were not required to and would not be given assignments on them. The article on homosexuality offended one student, who filed a complaint with the administration. The vice president of academic affairs sent Price a letter of reprimand, saying her “reprehensible” action of providing students with “intolerant” material “served to create a hostile environment” in violation of school policy. This administrator said that the university “cannot tolerate the intolerable.” Savor that!Price’s fellow professor and friend Dr. Mary English aptly described the university’s attitude. “We have to be tolerant and politically correct in all other areas except Christianity,” said English. “So it’s okay to be intolerant of Christians as long as Christians are tolerant of everybody else.” Interestingly, DePauw was — and still is — affiliated with the United Methodist Church. And, no, I’m not kidding.In the nearly 20 years since this unfortunate incident, the double standard and intolerance against Christians has only intensified. Leftists have grown increasingly intolerant of an expanding universe of things they find intolerable. They are just as lacking in self-awareness as they were then, and even less capable of self-reflection. Their intolerance has, in many cases, turned to hostility and, in some cases, hate.Now turn with me, if you will, to present-day America, where Sen. Elizabeth Warren seeks the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. Warren tweeted a link to a HuffPost article about a U.S. Supreme Court case involving a challenge to a Montana law that provides tax credits for donations to school scholarship organizations that use those donations to fund private schools, both religious and secular. A provision of Montana’s constitution (the Blaine Amendment) prohibits the expenditure of public funds for religious purposes, and the Montana Supreme Court struck down the tax credit program, even though the use of these funds isn’t technically an expenditure of public funds and even though secular schools benefit along with religious schools.The U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether the Montana Supreme Court infringed on the people’s free exercise of religion under the First Amendment by invalidating the program. The court is being asked to follow its precedent that states can’t discriminate against religious organizations by allowing secular organizations to benefit and not religious ones.dinky/liar-Warren, of course, stands with the Montana Supreme Court. She is against school choice programs and doesn’t want any private schools to benefit. But she’s especially against Christian schools benefitting, because in her view, they teach hate.“States should focus on funding public schools, not private ones — especially not ones that maintain anti-LGBTQ+ policies,” Warren tweeted. “We must ensure every kid — especially LGBTQ+ kids — can get a high-quality education.”How does allowing people tax credits for donations to private Christian and secular schools jeopardize LGBTQ+ kids’ education? Warren knows that’s nonsense. Her complaint is that some of the Christian schools that will benefit from the donations use a Christian-based curriculum. She’s upset that their student handbooks teach that God created each person as male or female, and that He created marriage to be between one man and one woman. She’s distressed that some of the schools require students and visitors to use restrooms and locker rooms that conform to their biological sex.To have a snowball’s chance at the Democratic presidential nomination today, you have to push all the politically correct buttons and pander to the party’s leftist base. Sometimes this means you at least have to pretend that you believe certain scriptural passages constitute hate speech. It means you shouldn’t tolerate the opinions of those who follow these biblical teachings.Sadly, there is a growing hostility from the left toward certain biblical teachings and those who subscribe to them — an insistence on demonizing them for their beliefs. Pretending this isn’t true won’t make it go away. Calling your attention to it should not be controversial. Pointing out intolerance and hate is not exhibiting intolerance and hate. Rolling over and surrendering one’s principles to conform to society’s ever-changing norms is not courageous. Pray for wisdom, understanding, peace and harmony.  ~The Patriot Post



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