Sen. Kennedy: Congress tried to hide ‘spending porn on pet projects’ in stimulus bill, but Americans noticed

In an effort to reach a compromise on the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package which President Trump signed last week, Republican lawmakers had to “swallow” the “spending porn on pet projects” in the bill, Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., said. Speaking on “Sunday Morning Futures,” Kennedy railed against what he called “all kinds of porn” that “some powerful members of Congress” included in the bill. He said those lawmakers “think the American people… are morons and won’t notice, but they did.” “It’s why so many Americans think there’s no intelligent life in Washington, D.C.,” he said. “This is what many Americans heard. Members of Congress say, ‘Oh, my God. We could run out of ventilators. Oh, my God, people could die quickly. Let’s give money to the Kennedy Center and the post office now.’ That tells the American people that common sense is dead. Nonetheless, those of us who are fiscal conservatives, we swallowed it. We had to, we passed the bill. I think it’s going to help the American people,” Kennedy told Maria Bartiromo. “But,” he added, “a pox on the house and houses of all those members of Congress who took advantage of this disaster, this tragedy, to take care of their pet projects.” Many Republican lawmakers criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., saying she used the crisis as leverage to try jamming through a political “wish list” of unrelated items. Kennedy said they included a provision to speed up the FDA review process of sunscreen products, funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and additional cash for the post office. “It’s not a priority right now,” Kennedy said. “I think once we drill down, we’re gonna find out that she’s [Pelosi] not the only one. I think some other people in powerful positions piled on, and I don’t like it, and it’s not fair to the American people.” “Now, look, I’m tight as a tick. I squeak when I walk. I’m so cheap with taxpayer money. But, I said, ‘look, this is necessary. I swallowed it and said, we’re gonna spend 2-trillion-plus dollars because the American people need it. But, when I pick up this bill and see this kind of spending porn where people were taking advantage of a catastrophe for the American people, it pi–es me off,” he continued. Pelosi, for her part, has pointed the finger at Trump, saying he downplayed the seriousness of the coronavirus and delayed ramping up the federal government’s response to it — claims the White House has denied. Kennedy’s state has been a “hot spot” of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., with over 3,300 reported cases to date. The Louisiana senator has been focussed on “saving lives” while “also trying to save livelihoods” and despite his criticisms, his people will rely heavily on the economic relief bill for help, he explained. “We are coping. We have about 3,300 cases, we’ve had around 130 deaths, we’re clearly a hot spot. It began in New Orleans and it’s kind of moving out through this, throughout the state,” Kennedy said. “We’re we’re trying to save lives and we’re also trying to save livelihoods because our economy shut down. The legislation we just passed will help. It’ll get money directly to people, to hospitals, to businesses. I will say that a lot of my people are very upset at the spending porn on pet projects that was slipped into the bill, but my people are also grateful for help from the American taxpayer.” Kennedy later said the coronavirus pandemic underscored the importance of securing America’s medical supply chain and ramping up production of life-saving medicines to end the country’s long-time reliance on the Chinese government. “Sometimes, the cheapest is not in your national interest, and right. We may be able to back components for pharmaceutical drugs cheaper in China, but we’ve learned through this experience that that may not be in the national interest,” he concluded. “And, after this is over, we beat the virus and we will, you’re going to see some change, though, long overdue.”

Gotta love Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA)!  He’s a good ol’ boy from the great state of Louisiana, and calls it as he sees it.  And, as usual, he is spot on right!  Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) screwed all of us in this bill with all sorts of irrelevant, liberal agenda “porn.”  For more, scroll down two articles and read the op/ed from Charles Hurt.

Stocks jump building on best week since 1938

U.S. equity markets locked in gains Monday as traders digested the news that social-distancing guidelines were extended until at least April 30 and as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reiterated details on how small businesses can obtain loans quickly in an interview on FOX Business. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 690 points or 3 percent. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite gained 3.3 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively. Last week, the Dow added 13 percent, making for its best week since 1938. The markets also absorbed news of worker furloughs in the retail sector. Macy’s plans to furlough the majority of its 130,000 employees and while The Container Store said it has furloughed some corporate staff. Shares of both companies fell on the news. Airlines slid as they awaited the release of tens of billions of dollars of aid from the federal government. Additionally, cruise operators remained under pressure after receiving a downgrade from Berenberg Research. General Motors was in focus after President Trump praised the automaker, saying it was doing a “fantastic job” ramping up ventilator production. Abbott Laboratories surged after the company’s five minute COVID-19 test received Food & Drug Administration approval. Johnson & Johnson announced testing for its COVID-19 vaccine would begin by September and that it could be available for emergency use authorization in early 2021. Regeneron and Sanofi said Monday that their rheumatoid arthritis drug Kevzara treated its first patient with severe COVID-19 in a global clinical trial. Elsewhere, Apple gained despite Reuters reporting iPhone demand was likely to be down 18 percent from a year ago. Jefferies CFO Peg Broadbent died over the weekend due to complications related to COVID-19. On the commodities front, West Texas Intermediate crude was trading down 6.6 percent at $20.09 per barrel, closing at its lowest level since February 2002. Meanwhile, gold futures for April delivery fell 0.2 percent to $1,622 an ounce. U.S. Treasurys gained, pushing the yield on the 10-year note down 7.7 basis points to 0.667 percent. In Europe, Germany’s DAX gained 1.9 percent while Britain’s FTSE and France’s CAC were up 1 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively. Asian markets fell, with Japan’s Nikkei falling 1.6 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng sliding 1.3 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite shedding 0.9 percent.

This is great news!  Let’s pray this trend continues.    🙂

Opinion/Analysis: Doddering Joe Biden Unfit to Lead in Time of Crisis

Whatever you think about President Trump and his response to this global pandemic that sparked from a Chinese “wet market” selling wildlife, you cannot exactly be heartened to behold the response offered by Democrats. The party’s presumed nominee, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, finally mounted the barricades this week to personally combat the Wuhan virus by — what else? — setting up a television studio in his Delaware home to offer “counterprogramming” to the president and his crisis team of doctors, public health officials, industry leaders, and economic experts. Watching Mr. Biden stumble, mumble and dodder through a simple speech in his living room while looking lost and lonely staring into a cold camera is physically painful for any human. For nearly five decades, Mr. Biden has been one of the great masters of Washington. Yet he is a blubbering disaster unfit for the national stage during a crisis. Unfit, really, for any stage at any time. He is Barack Obama — minus the fake Greek columns. Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress cannot help but reveal their true loyalties in the desperate throes of a global meltdown. More Americans have lost their jobs in the past several weeks than at any other point in history, and what is the first instinct of panicked Democrats in Washington? They race to lard up an emergency financial rescue package with treasonous smash-and-grab bags of obscene money for the greedy special interest groups that keep Democrats in power. From environmental wackos to self-serving union bosses to the suicidal open borders industry, the great puppeteers of Washington Democrats were the party’s first — and only — priority in this panic. Workers be damned! Taxpayers be screwed! Damn the greatest economic engine on the earth! This really should not be much of a surprise if you look back at their performance these past several years. Since the dawn of the Trump Dynasty, Democrats have manufactured ridiculous crisis after ridiculous crisis. Russian hookers peeing on a bed in a Moscow hotel room. Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh a serial gang rapist. Ukraine Kabuki impeachment. These people are fundamentally unserious. Totally untrustworthy. Genetically anti-American. And nothing reveals their unseriousness like an actual, true crisis. Perhaps the most obvious and cynical way Democrats in Washington exposed themselves during this pandemic was their nakedly partisan effort to expand — of all things — “voting from home” in the massive bailout bill. Also known as “ballot harvesting,” this scheme strips away every safeguard designed to ensure election integrity in America. After all, this is the same party that managed to lose an election to President Trump. The only way they have any hope of winning is to entirely rig the whole thing. There is also talk in Washington these days of doing something just as bad as ballot harvesting. Some people want to allow congressmen and senators to be allowed to cast ballots from anywhere. These people are bad enough being allowed to vote while in Washington. Why on earth would we want to encourage them by allowing them to vote from home, too? The whole point of establishing the nation’s capital in Washington was that it was a dismal swamp uninhabitable most of the year. The mosquitoes alone kept Congress out of session for long months at a time. This narrowed the amount of time each year that federal legislators could be in Washington wasting your money and destroying the country with their ridiculous ideas and votes. Then along came air conditioning, and that ruined everything. One of the rare bright spots in this whole pandemic has been that — finally — Mitt Romney found a job for which he is actually qualified: self-quarantine. It’s just too bad he didn’t think of that back in 2012 before Republicans nominated him to run against Mr. Obama. Maybe if he had, Republicans could have nominated a real leader — a real statesman — like Donald Trump.

Exactly!!!  Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) was total disaster as a presidential nominee.  And now the Dems are seeing the handwriting on the wall about former VP Joe Biden (D).  Thanks to Charles Hurt for that outstanding op/ed.  Charles can be reached at churt@washingtontimes.com or @charleshurt on Twitter.  Excellent!!!     🙂

Dr. Anthony Fauci: CDC’s coronavirus ‘travel advisory’ will ultimately ‘help stop the virus’

Coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s travel advisory that was implemented on Saturday “ultimately will help stop” the spread of the novel coronavirus. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, made the comment on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. President Trump on Saturday night said the administration would not be issuing a quarantine on New York, parts of New Jersey and some of Connecticut as part of the efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Trump noted that instead, the CDC issued a Domestic Travel Advisory urging against “non-essential domestic travel” in the tri-state area for 14 days. “Due to extensive community transmission of COVID -19 in the area, CDC urges residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately,” the CDC said, noting that the advisory doesn’t apply to “employees of critical infrastructure industries, including but not limited to trucking, public health professionals, financial services, and food supply.” Fauci said on Sunday that the task force has had “very intensive discussions” at the White House with the president this weekend. “As you know, the original proposal was to consider seriously an enforceable quarantine,” he said. “After discussions with the president, we made it clear, and he agreed, that it would be better to do what’s called a strong advisory.” Fauci explained the reasoning behind the decision saying, “you don’t want to get to the point that you’re enforcing things that would create a bigger difficulty, morale and otherwise when you could probably accomplish the same goal.” Fauci went on to say that one issue is that “about 56 percent of all of the new infections in the country are coming from” New York City. “So what was trying to be done is to get people, unless there’s necessary travel, so all nonessential travel, to just hold off because what you don’t want is people traveling from that area to other areas of the country and inadvertently and innocently infecting other individuals,” Fauci explained. “We felt the better way to do this would be an advisory as opposed to a very strict quarantine and the president agreed, and that’s why he made that determination last night,” he continued. New York is now the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, with more than 52,000 positive tests for the illness and more than 700 deaths. About 7,300 people were in New York hospitals Saturday, including about 1,800 in intensive care. “So we want to strongly do mitigation in those areas like New York City and the surrounding metropolitan area,” Fauci said on Sunday, adding that at the same time the admiration does not want to “neglect other areas of the country where it looks like there are just relatively few infections.” He explained that “if we do testing, identification, isolation, getting people out of circulation who are infected, and contact tracing, we might be able to prevent those areas from getting to that stage where we would have to do mitigation, which is much more difficult and much more frustrating than trying to contain.” When asked if the guidelines will be lifted early this week when the president’s 15-day plan to beat the virus is expected to reach that time frame Fauci said, “I want to see is a flattening and a turning down of the curve.” He noted that the administration will not be pulling back measures on the hot spots including New York. “When we start to see a daily number of cases instead of increasing and escalating, they start to flatten out, turn the corner and then start coming down, when we see that, then you can start doing the modification of the intensity of your mitigation,” Fauci said. “The virus itself determines that timetable,” he added. Fauci went on to say that at the end of the 15 days members of the Coronavirus Task Force will discuss what to do next. “My own opinion, looking at the way things are, I doubt if that would be the case, but we’re a group, we’re a task force, we’re going to sit down and we’re going to be talking about it,” he said. He added, “Obviously what you see me describe, it’s a little iffy there so we’ll take it as it comes, we’ll look at it and if we need to push the date forward, we will push the date forward.”

Neanderthals ate dolphins and seals, researchers reveal

More than 80,000 years ago, Neanderthals were eating a wide range of food from the sea, according to the latest research, even hunting dolphins and seals. The study, which was led by the University of Gottingen in Germany, sheds new light on our extinct relatives. Excavation of a cave at Figueira Brava in Portugal provided evidence that Neanderthals looked to the sea for their food, as well as the land. “Their diet included mussels, crustaceans and fish as well as waterfowl and marine mammals such as dolphins and seals,” the researchers explain in a statement. A paper on the research has been published in the journal Science. Scientists were able to study deposits of calcite, a mineral, during the excavation of the cave, nearly 19 miles south of Lisbon. This meant that experts were able to date the excavated layers of the Figueira Brava cave to between 86,000 and 106,000 years, during the Neanderthal era. “The use of the sea as a source of food at that time has so far only been attributed to anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens) in Africa,” the researchers explain. “Food from the sea is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other fatty acids that promote the development of brain tissue.” The findings increase our knowledge of Neanderthals. “The recent results of the excavation of Figueira Brava now confirm that if the habitual consumption of marine life played an important role in the development of cognitive abilities, this is as true for Neanderthals as it is for anatomically modern humans,” the researchers explained. The scientists have also noted that, more than 65,000 years ago, Neanderthals made paintings in three caves in the Iberian Peninsula. They also said that perforated and decorated seashells can be attributed to Neanderthals. In another recent study, experts analyzed seashells fashioned into tools that were discovered in Italy in 1949 to reveal how some Neanderthals had a much closer connection to the sea than was previously thought. In a separate study released last year, a team led by anthropologist Erik Trinkaus of Washington University reported that many Neanderthals suffered from “swimmer’s ear,” bony growths that form in the ear canal through regular exposure to cold water or chilly air. Experts have been gaining new insight into Neanderthals in recent years. In 2018, for example, archaeologists in Poland identified the prehistoric bones of a Neanderthal child eaten by a large bird. In another study released in 2018, scientists suggested that climate change played a larger part in Neanderthals’ extinction than previously thought. Last year researchers in France reported that climate change drove some Neanderthals to cannibalism. The closest human species to homo sapiens, Neanderthals lived in Eurasia for around 350,000 years. Scientists in Poland report that Neanderthals in Europe mostly became extinct 35,000 years ago. However, there are a number of theories on the timing of Neanderthals’ extinction, with experts saying that it could have occurred 40,000, 27,000 or 24,000 years ago.

Fascinating!!  …until they just had to throw in the climate change part, without explaining how, or backing it up.  Typical..

Afghan peace deal on verge of collapse after Pompeo’s intervention fails

One of President Trump’s top foreign policy priorities appeared on the verge of collapse Monday after the U.S. announced it was slashing aid to the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan as a feud between its leaders threatens to undermine a delicate peace deal inked last month between the Trump administration and Taliban. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the announcement in an unusually blunt statement after a whirlwind day of diplomacy in which he made an unannounced trip to Kabul. The half-day visit evidently failed to resolve a bitter power battle between Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and chief rival Abdullah Abdullah, both of whom claim to have won the country’s disputed September presidential election. Despite separate and joint talks with the visiting American diplomat Monday, the two men “have been unable to agree on an inclusive government that can meet the challenges of governance, peace and security, and provide for the health and welfare of Afghan citizens,” the State Department said Monday evening. Mr. Pompeo said the U.S. was “disappointed” in both men and their conduct, which he said had “harmed U.S.-Afghan relations and, sadly, dishonors those Afghan, American and coalition partners who have sacrificed their lives and treasure in the struggle to build a new future for this country.” The State Department said aid this year would be slashed by $1 billion, and a similar amount could be cut in 2021. Other aid programs will also be reviewed for “additional reductions.” The impasse puts in doubt Mr. Trump’s plans to withdraw the bulk of U.S. forces from Afghanistan in the coming months, ending the combat role in what is now the country’s longest war

State Department: U.S. ‘leading the world’ in coronavirus fight while China takes credit

The State Department is touting a nearly $300 million American aid package for dozens of countries battling coronavirus at a moment when China seeks to portray itself as the global leader in responding to the pandemic. A department fact sheet circulated in recent days asserted outright that the “U.S. Government is leading the world’s humanitarian and health assistance response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Department officials issued the document Friday after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the freeing up of $274 million in new American humanitarian aid. Mr. Pompeo said the money “will provide resources to 64 of the world’s most at-risk countries to better combat the pandemic and enable the UN High Commissioner on Refugees to assist some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.” The funds include some $50 million allocated to 19 different nations in Africa for a range of initiatives — from bolstering public information campaigns about coronavirus to beefing up funding for health officials tracking its spread. Nigeria, which is by far the continent’s most populous nation with more than 200 million people, will receive some $7 million in health-focused aid, according to the State Department fact sheet. The aid allocation reaches far beyond Africa as well, with roughly $15 million to be spread among 12 Eastern European and Eurasian nations. That includes Ukraine, which will receive more than $1.2 million to “help prepare laboratory systems” aimed at bolstering the country’s ability to identify and track coronavirus patients. The fact sheet noted that U.S. government aid has provided long-term health investments in Ukraine over the past 20 years totaling nearly $362 million — on top of the some $5 billion in security and other U.S. assistance provided to Kiev over the same period.