Month: February 2020

Leap Day proposals: The story behind the Irish tradition

Anyone looking to stay single should watch out for Leap Day. Every four years, February gets a 29th day — and while most celebrate by enjoying little more February in their lives, others take advantage of an old tradition to improve their love lives. This Irish tradition, which dates back to the 5th century, says it’s appropriate for women to propose to their romantic partners on leap day, rather than waiting for their suitors to pop the question. The custom was started to help women who felt that their significant others were waiting too long to get engaged, Irish Central reports. According to Irish legend, this tradition was started by St. Patrick after another of Ireland’s patron saints, St. Brigid of Kildare, complained that women were forced to wait too long for men to propose. (A researcher with the University College Dublin, however, once told The Irish Times she could not find evidence of the tradition’s origin in the institute’s National Folklore Collection.) The practice was eventually brought over to Scotland by the late 13th century by Irish monks. At the time, a law was actually passed that allowed women to propose marriage in a leap year, and if the man refused, he would be subjected to a fine (which could range from a kiss to purchasing an item of clothing for the woman). Fortunately, these days, women are allowed to propose marriage any day of any year in the United States. So if an unmarried girl misses her opportunity to take advantage of leap day, March 1st will work just as well. Of course, the man is allowed to say no without having to deal with any sort of fine.

Happy Leap Day!!    🙂

White House officials hope for coronavirus funding deal by next week

The White House and Congress are in “productive” talks on a package to fund the coronavirus response and hope to strike an agreement by early next week, the administration said Friday. “We know that the pace of conversation is accelerating into this weekend,” said Eric Ueland, the White House director for legislative affairs. President Trump told Congress this week he wants to spend $2.5 billion to combat the virus, which has sickened more than 80,000 people across the globe. Members of both parties say that number needs to be higher. White House officials didn’t say where they thought negotiators would land, but Mr. Trump says he’s willing to accept more than his requested amount. He wants to sign a deal not later than the week starting March 9, officials said. Mr. Ueland said he is pleased that Congress hasn’t tried to attach unrelated measures to the bill, saying it’s allowed negotiators to focus. Washington is racing to fund the U.S. response to the virus that’s devastated parts of China, rattle markets and stressed economies and health systems in Italy, South Korea and Iran. While younger, healthier people tend to recover from the illness known as COVID-19, it can lead to respiratory distress, organ failure and death, particularly in older persons or those with underlying health conditions. The U.S. has seen 62 cases on its soil — 47 of them were repatriated from China and Japan, while 14 were discovered among known travelers or their spouses in America. It’s unclear how a 15th patient, a woman hospitalized California, contracted the disease. Mr. Azar said Mr. Trump’s request focuses on boosting the nation’s ability to detect COVID-19, developing a vaccine and therapeutic drugs, providing protective gear to frontline workers and supporting state and local government. Mr. Azar said the administration is prepared to use the Defense Production Act to make sure companies turn out things like N95 respirator masks and protective gowns. “If we need to use it, we will use it,” Mr. Azar said. As nations like Japan close schools to deal with the virus, Mr. Azar said any contingencies in the U.S. will be on a continuum, starting with less intrusive measures to keep people apart before more intensive measures are taken. “Every option needs to be on the table,” Mr. Azar said, responding to a question about potential school closures. “It depends really on what circumstances we end up facing.” On funding, White House officials balked at the idea that Mr. Trump’s request for $2.5 billion lowballed the price tag of the response. They focused on the rest of the fiscal year through September instead of an open-ended, or “no-year,” request like Democratic Sen. Charles E. Schumer’s push for $8.5 billion. Russ Vought, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, also said he wanted to clear up misconceptions about Mr. Trump’s budget moves in office, saying the media has gotten it wrong. He said Mr. Trump’s fiscal 2021 budget includes a 3% increase for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to combat infectious diseases. The CDC faces an overall reduction due to cuts to things like climate-change research or occupational health research that universities are doing instead, according to Mr. Vought. “It is not true that we cut CDC infectious-disease fighting,” he said. He said additional funding from Congress will be vital, but the administration isn’t running on fumes. “We need a supplemental, we need it soon, there’s no doubt about that,” Mr. Vought said. “But we haven’t run out of money.” Also Friday, Mr. Azar said his agency is “fully investigating” a whistleblower complaint that says HHS employees didn’t take proper precautions in dealing with repatriated Americans who flew into a California military base from places in Asia battered by the coronavirus. “We will take remedial measures if needed,” Mr. Azar said. He said the Office for Children and Families, which was alleged to have broken protocol, will no longer be involved in the coronavirus response since the U.S. does not plan to conduct more repatriation flights.

Marine Commandant Orders Removal of Confederate Flags from All Bases

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger has ordered the removal of all Confederate paraphernalia from Marine bases across the globe. Gen. Berger sent a directive to senior staff outlining a list of initiatives he is “prioritizing for immediate execution,” Military.com reported. The commandant’s memo did not specify what types of Confederate paraphernalia he wanted to be removed and banned, nor did he issue a timeline to comply with the order. It is not exactly clear what Confederate items the commandant was referring to. For instance, there are no Marine bases named after Confederate generals. The U.S. Army has ten such facilities, but no other service, including the Marines, are named after former Confederates. “Last week, the Commandant of the Marine Corps directed specific tasks be reviewed or addressed by Headquarters Marine Corps staff,” Berger’s spokesman, Maj. Eric Flanagan said. “Many of the tasks were published on Twitter Friday. Other tasks not published previously are mostly administrative matters.” Flanagan added that details about the matter would come at a later date. The commandant also called for a series of other progressive policies, including finding more ways to include women in combat roles and ordered the Corps to look into instituting a yearlong maternity leave for female Marines. Berger also called for parental leave policies for same-sex partners. Military.com noted that several Marines have been punished or booted from the service over accusations of racist social media posts, and the Pentagon is pressing the services to track extremism in the ranks.

How disappointing..  While nobody should ever condone hate and bigotry, this whole attack on southern heritage by the Marine Corps commandant is ridiculous.  It’s just more political correctness in our military.  The stars and bars are still part of some southern state flags, for crying out loud.  How is he gonna reconcile that?  What a moron..  This commandant is just bending over and grabbing his ankles to please the pc police.  Hopefully Trump will fire him..  Unreal…

Opinion: Gutfeld on the media reaction to the coronavirus

So let’s review the media reaction to President Trump’s coronavirus presser. CNN’s ball of hysteria, Brian Stelter, tweeted: “Since the dawn of the Trump era, countless experts have warned that the president’s lack of credibility would imperil the country in the event of an emergency. As the coronavirus outbreak worsens, those fears may be coming true.” That one tweet defines the media’s dark desires for something bad to happen so that all of their previous hate for Trump is validated. “The fears may be coming true,” Brian wish-tweets, relying on the word all CNN’s false fantasies bank on: “may.” Every story that collapses hinges on “may.” Trump may resign. Trump may not leave office. Michael Avenatti may run for president! It’s a word that provides cover for the media’s delusional dreams. Today, that dream is a disease. This time people will surely die! But it will be Trump’s fault, and then finally I’ll be right and CNN President Jeff Zucker will give me a lollipop! It’s a diabolical deal, welcoming a grim hell just to say, “I told you so.” Meanwhile, Gail Collins wrote in The New York Times that we should call the disease “Trumpvirus.” I say, let’s rename “dementia” and call it “The New York Times.” Because only a truly mindless paper would still run Gail’s laughable drivel. It’s an example of how they’d rather politicize than actually help. Members of the press claim to champion credibility, but their own credibility is a joke. The Times and CNN can’t be trusted on any topic, because their deranged filter spits out the same answer on everything. “Orange man bad!” I would call it a “plague,” otherwise known as “Gail Collins Disease.”

As usual, Greg Gutfeld from “The Five” absolutely nails it.  Brian Stelter and Gail Collins are an embarrassment to journalism.  I suspect if an asteroid hit the earth, they’d somehow blame Trump for that too.  And, if Trump found the cure to cancer, they’d probably say he didn’t do it fast enough.  Trump Derangement Syndrome is on full display now with this coronavirus scare that’s negatively impacting the market, among other things.  Thanks to Greg for this outstanding piece!  Excellent!!     🙂

National Chili Day: 5 things you didn’t know about the spicy dish

Is there anything better than a piping-hot bowl of chili? The spicy dish has a surprisingly storied history, from its mysterious Tex-Mex origins to one American president’s obsession. In honor of National Chili Day — celebrated on the fourth Thursday of every February — dig in as we spill the beans on everything you need to know about chili con carne. Just click here!

Actually,  National Chili Day was yesterday, Feb. 27th.  Our apologizes for being a day late.  Cheers!!    🙂

Group threatens lawsuits over ‘suspiciously high’ voter registration rates in swing states

Voters in Florida, Michigan and Colorado are threatening to sue their states after an independent organization discovered that each has counties with unusually high voter registration rates — in some cases, they found more registered voters than actual people eligible to vote. The data was compiled by the Honest Elections Project, a new nonprofit organization that blames the seemingly implausible statistics on a failure of states to properly update voter rolls to account for people moving, dying or being incarcerated. The group examined publicly available registration records and compared it with citizen voting-age data from the U.S. Census Bureau, describing the figures as “suspiciously high.” “All three states have multiple counties where voter registration rates exceed 90 percent, in some cases they exceed 100 percent. In the last election in 2018, the nationwide registration rate according to the U.S. Census Bureau was 66.9 percent. That disparity is a clear sign these states aren’t maintaining accurate voter rolls,” said Jason Snead, executive director of the Honest Elections Project.

Thanks to the Honest Elections Project for their efforts.  Voter fraud is a HUGE problem that needs to be addressed now, before our next presidential election in about 8 months.  Click on the text above for more.

AP fact check dings Democrats for false coronavirus claims

The Associated Press is calling out two leading Democratic presidential candidates for what the outlet says were inaccurate comments about the government’s ability to address diseases like the coronavirus. Former Vice President Joe Biden and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg were “both wrong” to say critical health agencies faced funding cuts. While discussing the coronavirus during Tuesday’s debate, those candidates blamed President Trump for restricting resources for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH). “There’s nobody here to figure out what the hell we should be doing. And he’s defunded — he’s defunded Centers for Disease Control, CDC, so we don’t have the organization we need. This is a very serious thing,” Bloomberg said. Biden similarly indicated Trump reversed the Obama-Biden administration’s budget increases to those agencies. “We increased the budget of the CDC. We increased the NIH budget. … He’s wiped all that out. … He cut the funding for the entire effort,” he said. But according to the AP, Trump’s proposed budget cuts never went into effect. Funding to fight the latest outbreak also came from a congressional fund created for health emergencies. Some public health experts say a bigger concern than White House budgets is the steady erosion of a CDC grant program for state and local public health emergency preparedness — the front lines in detecting and battling new disease. But that decline was set in motion by a congressional budget measure that predates Trump. The broader point about there being “nobody here” to coordinate the response sells short what’s in place to handle an outbreak.

Indeed…  So, to be clear..  Joe and Mike lied about Trump and his administration’s efforts to combat this coronavirus.  Gee..  what a shocker.  Hopefully, the media will call them out on camera and ask, “why did you lie about that?”  Yeah..  Don’t hold your breath..