Schumer Appalled by Trump Letter
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) expressed his disgust at "Trump's unpresidential response to my criticism of his failures. Rather than graciously acknowledge his deficiencies and resign from office, he defended his leadership during the COVID-19 crisis, corrected my so-called inaccuracies, and called me a bad senator."
Trump rebutted the Senator's criticisms by pointing out that "his demand that I appoint a 'czar' to lead us in this crisis conveniently ignores the fact that Vice-President Pence has already been appointed to head up our effort and that Rear Admiral John Polowczyk is in charge of purchasing and distributing medical supplies. His complaint that I have left the states to fend for themselves is demonstrably false. We have given lots of aid to his state of New York—much of it to make up for shortages resulting from prior poor decisions by Governor Cuomo."
Schumer jumped at the chance to disprove Trump's assertion that New York state officials were slow to take effective action against the virus, "why just yesterday, the legislature agreed to increase Gov. Cuomo's salary to $250,000 by 2021. This will make him the highest paid governor in the United States. Clearly, this shows that the Party appreciates Gov. Cuomo's earlier decision to save New York from having to pay $600 million for 16,000 ventilators that the federal government is now going to give us free of charge. He also lead a drive to shut down hospitals. Now the feds are giving us new hospitals, also free of charge. Gov. Cuomo is smarter than all the other governors who foolishly made their own taxpayers fund emergency medical supplies. That shows the kind of heads-up thinking that the country needs from our next president."
Biden to Take "Hands-on" Approach to Find Running Mate
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice-President Joe Biden renewed his pledge "to have a woman be my running mate" and vowed he will "take a hands-on approach to vetting the field of contenders."
One that has recently garnered Biden's attention is Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. "She looks like she has what it will take to serve under me when I'm president," he said. "That 180 degree turn she took on that malaria drug—first banning it in her state, then demanding the feds supply her with it—showed that she has moves. She also has some of the most alluring hair I've never touched."
"I'm not saying she's the one, though," the Veep added. "There are others I've got to feel out to see if they measure up to my expectations and needs as head-of-state. As I recall, there were a few women in some of those debates that might do, though I can't remember their names right now. And let's not forget the transgenders. Jill and I have always liked the transgenders. Having someone like Georgia Gov. Stacey Abrams as my vice-president would be historic."
Pelosi Calls for Investigation
This week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) announced the creation of the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif), leader of this year's unsuccessful attempt to remove Trump from office via impeachment, is expected to head up this ad hoc committee.
President Trump has questioned the timing of this announcement and suggested that "we win the war against this virus rather than wasting precious time and scarce resources trying to allocate blame now. After we've won this war we can assess what went wrong and what went right so we can be better prepared for future medical emergencies."
To bolster his suggestion, Trump recalled that "when Gov. Dewey—one of the great New York governors—was running against FDR in the 1944 election there were some urging him to support a congressional investigation of the Pearl Harbor disaster and why we were unprepared for the Japanese attack. While acknowledging that such an investigation might help him win the election, he declined to support it saying 'I'd rather lose an election than lose a war.' He put patriotism ahead of politics. Why can't we do that now?"
"Need I point out that Dewey lost that election?" Pelosi retorted. "Given that Trump is a far more serious threat to the country than the virus, I can assure you that we Democrats will not be using Dewey as a model for us to emulate. Despite our best efforts over the past three years to save the nation from the incompetence and evil intent manifested by Trump, the peril has only grown worse. We owe it to the American people to use any means and every opportunity to end the nightmare that began on November 8, 2016 as soon as possible. If our inquiry distracts Trump from carrying out his inept actions during the crisis, so much the better."
In other insane news, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass) are demanding that Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar compile statistics on the race of COVID-19 patients. "We need to know whether minorities are suffering in numbers disproportionate to their share of the total population," Warren said. "If they are that will be more evidence of the racist impacts of the Trump Administration's handling of this crisis."
New IG Report Reveals Rampant Corruption in FISA Program
While the news is inundated with stories about the COVID-19 pandemic, Inspector General of the Department of Justice Michael Horowitz issued a new report on the FISA program. His terse conclusion that "we do not have confidence in FBI policy compliance" grossly understated the gravity of the Agency's transgressions.
The most alarming finding in this report is that 96% of the FISA applications requesting permission to spy on American citizens contained serious errors or omissions. These included "unverified, inaccurate, and inadequately supported allegations" that were used to get the FISA court to authorize the spying.
James Comey, FBI Director overseeing these defective requests to spy on Americans, insists that "these were all honest mistakes. Maybe we were a little sloppy in our zeal to prevent the unqualified Donald Trump from being elected president and exercising the powers entrusted to that office, but our intentions were good."
As proof of his own good intentions, Comey pointed out that former CIA director John Brennan and former director of national intelligence James Clapper "also spied on Americans and lied about it under oath when they testified before Congress. When all the top intelligence professionals are simultaneously breaking the law and lying about it you've got to figure they have darn good cause for doing it."
Petty Tyranny Pops Up Around the USA
Malibu, California: A man paddle-boarding in the Pacific Ocean off the coast was arrested and taken away in handcuffs for violating the state's social distancing rules. He now faces a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a jail stint of up to six months. Earlier in the week, a lone surfer was arrested fined $1,000. A spokesperson for Gov. Gavin Newsom explained that "while the fact that this perp was more than hundreds of feet from any other person might seem to be within the guidelines, it is not up to individuals to make this interpretation for themselves. Yes, being outdoors to exercise is one of the activities permitted under the stay-at-home order. However, if we are barring pick-up basketball games, which are very popular forms of exercise among African-American youths, it would be racist to allow options favored by whites. The deprivation and suffering must be racially balanced."
San Francisco: A lone protester praying outside a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic was arrested for violating Gov. Newsom's stay-at-home order. The arresting officer explained that "even though he was more than the specified ten feet from persons entering and leaving the facility, praying is not exercising. Neither is his contention that the Constitution's First Amendment right to freedom of religion and freedom of speech takes precedence over the Governor's order. During a health emergency individual rights must be put aside and everyone obey the orders they are given by their government."
Laredo, Texas: The city council passed an ordinance requiring all persons over the age of 5 to have their nose and mouth covered when entering public buildings, using public transportation, and pumping gas. Additionally, anyone who is outside his or her residence between the hours of 10 pm and 5 am must have a letter of permission from a recognized authority. Violators are subject to a $1,000 fine or 180 days imprisonment. Thus far, three persons have died with the COVID-19 virus out of a total city population of more than 260,000.
Vermont: The Agency of Commerce and Community Development has ordered Walmart and Target to stop selling nonessential items. Secretary Lindsay Kurrle explained that "even though it might be convenient for consumers to buy such items while they're shopping for groceries in these stores, it would be unfair to the clothing, housewares, and other stores that have been ordered closed by the governor."
New York City: Mayor Bill de Blasio threatened to "permanently shut down any church or synagogue that refuses to obey Governor Cuomo's 'stay-at-home' order. No one has the right to endanger the community by failing to comply with the directives of those in charge. Religion is the opiate of the masses. Praying to a non-existent God is a waste of time that can only be tolerated when it doesn't interfere with the needs of the state."
Washington, DC: Mayor Muriel Bowser has decreed that anyone who violates his "stay-at-home" order will be faced with a $5,000 fine and 90 days in jail. Mercedes Schlapp, an adviser to President Trump's re-election campaign, questioned the sanity of this order. "Locking up curfew violators with the kinds of violent criminals that inhabit the City's jails seems a cruel punishment for such a mild offense," she tweeted. "And the $5,000 fine seems excessive." Bowser replied "if you can't do the time, don't commit the crime" and added "the $5,000 fine is needed to cover the cost of the violator's incarceration."
Mayor Asks Criminals to Postpone Predatory Behavior
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner went on TV to try to persuade criminals "to wait until the COVID-19 pandemic eases up, before you go out to rob, rape, or murder someone. I know you have needs. I know you have scores to settle. But the risk to your own health at this time is too great. Prey on the wrong person and you could get sick and maybe die. I'm not asking you to give up your careers or stifle your passions. I'm just advising you to be patient so you can violate the law later without undue risk to yourself."
In related news, the ACLU has called for the release of all prisoners in the COVID-19 high-risk group. Spokesman Bertram Petty charged that "keeping these people confined in jails amounts to a death sentence. We also call for a moratorium on arrests for similar reasons. Putting more people behind bars during the pandemic will lead to more people coming down with the virus. This is an unacceptable violation of their human rights."
In response, California Gov. Gavin Newsom commuted the sentences of 14 murderers to "time-served" and authorized their immediate release. "We don't want these men's blood on our hands," he explained. "They were sentenced to life or lengthy prison terms, not death."