Commentary: Joe Biden’s China Syndrome Will Sink His Shaky Presidential Hopes

Mark Twain once famously said, “Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”*

Twain said and wrote a lot of quirky/funny things in his lifetime but this particular observation is one of his most relevant and quotable because its analogical truth fits just about any situation. And the wisdom certainly works these days when thinking about the hegemonic and totalitarian nation that is communist China. American politicians have been griping and moaning about Asia’s self-possessed and secretive Middle Kingdom for a generation, but none — except for President Donald Trump — ever seriously proposed backing up the rhetoric with actual policy gravitas.

Trump’s concentration and emphasis on trade has been a refreshing departure from previous presidents of both parties who waxed poetically about “fair trade” and “helping American producers” but then went about making sure global powers like China had much leeway to dictate their own terms for sending goods across the seas while maintaining barriers to United States-made products at home. In China’s case, the country has manipulated its currency for years so as to protect Chinese industries — a gigantic corporate welfare subsidy that makes consumer goods — and everything else — appear inexpensive to the world’s buying public.

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The Department of Justice Is Probing Senator Richard Burr’s Stock Trades: Report

The Justice Department is probing a series of stock trades that Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) made in the weeks after receiving briefings about the coronavirus pandemic, CNN reported.

The Justice Department is coordinating with the Securities and Exchange Commission on the matter, and the FBI has contacted Barr, a North Carolina Republican, according to CNN, which cited two people familiar with the matter.

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Tennessee Could Be Eligible for $2.65 Billion from Federal Coronavirus Relief Package

Tennessee could be eligible for up to $2.65 billion in federal aid to spend on state efforts designed to combat COVID-19 as part of the U.S. Senate-passed $2 trillion relief package, the Tax Foundation estimated.

“The government has temporarily shut down the economy because of this disease, and the government must help those who are hurt by it,” Tennessee U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander said in a news release.

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Commentary: Viral Prerequisites and Nationalist Lessons in a Time of Plague

President Donald Trump has courted endless controversies for promoting nonconventional policies and entertaining contrarian views. From the outset, he oddly seemed to have believed that having navigated the jungles of the Manhattan real estate market – crooked politicians, mercurial unions, neighborhood social activists, the green lobby, leery banks, cutthroat rivals – better prepared him for the job than did a 30-year tenure in the U.S. Senate.

Certainly, candidate and then President Trump’s strident distrust of China was annoying to the American establishment. The Left saw China in rosy terms as the “Other” that just did things like airports, high-speed rail, and solar panels better than did America’s establishment of geriatric white male has-beens. Many on the Right saw China as a cash cow that was going to take over anyway, so why not milk it before the deluge?

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FDA Issues Emergency Authorization Of Anti-Malaria Drugs As Doctors Herald Results For Coronavirus Patients

The United States Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for donated anti-malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate as doctors say the drugs are showing positive results for coronavirus patients.

The FDA issued the authorization to allow doctors to distribute and prescribe the anti-malaria drugs to hospitalized teen and adult patients who have coronavirus, the Department of Health and Human Services said in a press release. Doctors may distribute and prescribe the drugs “as appropriate, when a clinical trial is not available or feasible.”

The emergency authorization was issued to the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which is working with the National Institute of Health to plan clinical trials of the drugs.

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Background-Check Increase Suggests Spike in Tennessee Firearms Sales

The Tennessee background-check system for firearms has been backlogged because of a spike in requests from firearm dealers, suggesting an uptick in sales amid COVID-19 concerns.

Between March 12 and March 16, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation processed 14,657 background checks. In a comparable period from last month – Feb. 13 through Feb. 17  – TBI processed 7,901 checks.

Although the system only tracks background checks processed and not the total number of firearms sold, the increase suggests more firearms are being purchased.

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Trump Administration Includes Unaccompanied Minors in Border Closure Order

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed that underage minors who unlawfully enter the United States without any parents or guardians are subject to immediate deportation, the latest action in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Trump administration, under orders from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), earlier in March declared that the northern and southern borders would be sealed off to all non-essential traffic as a way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. While nearly all illegal aliens would be immediately repatriated under the order, CBP originally made an exception for unaccompanied minors.

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Pro-Trump Super PAC Files FEC Complaint Alleging Bloomberg’s $18 Million DNC Donation Was Illegal

A political action committee  supporting President Donald Trump filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission saying former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s donation to the Democratic Party was illegal.

Bloomberg’s $18 million donation to the Democratic National Committee is an attempt to circumvent contribution limits and violate campaign finance laws, Great America PAC said in the March 26 complaint. The FEC is reviewing the complaint and will determine later if it will investigate.

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Leahy and Carmichael Discuss Coronavirus Induced Economic Trends and Speculate the Recovery Timeline and Numbers

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast live from Music Row on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Leahy was joined on the newsmakers line by the all-star panelist Crom Carmichael.

During the second hour, Leahy and Carmichael discussed the recent announcement made by Dr. Fauci where he referenced models and how they expect to see a sharp decline on the V graph by end of the second quarter and then a gradual increase by third quarters end.

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U.S. Rep. Phil Roe Lays Out Likely Timelines for a COVID-19 Recovery, Vaccine

U.S. Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN-01) said Monday that people are working, “at an unprecedented speed,” to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, although the public might not have it for a while.

But for right now, and before the market can offer that vaccine, Roe, a physician, said different regions of the United States won’t likely recover from the virus all at once.

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Steve Cohen Uses COVID-19 Emergency to Call Nancy Pelosi One of the Greatest Politicians in American History

Democratic U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is “the greatest female politician in American history,”  according to U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN-09).

Cohen used his Twitter account Sunday to put Pelosi on a moral pedestal. He did this while also bashing U.S. Republican President Donald Trump — in the midst of a potentially cataclysmic national emergency.

The congressman then revered Pelosi as “one of, if not the greatest Speakers in our history.”

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DeWine Thanks President Trump for Approving Plan for Battelle to Sterilize Hundreds of Thousands of Protective Masks

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted on Sunday thanked President Trump and Dr. Stephen Hahn of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approving a plan to sterilize N95 masks to fight the coronavirus.

Earlier Sunday, DeWine called an emergency press conference to express his “deep disappointment” with the FDA for limiting the use of the new technology, The Ohio Star reported.

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CARES Act Extends Michigan’s Unemployment Benefits to Self-Employed, Independent Contractors, and More

The state and the U.S. Department of Labor agreed to expand unemployment benefits to Michigan workers who previously didn’t qualify.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the agreement Monday. The benefits extension will be funded by the $2 trillion federal CARES Act President Donald Trump signed into law on Friday.

The extension includes self-employed, 1099-independent contractors, gig, and low-wage workers who can no longer work because of temporary business closures to slow the spread of COVID-19.

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Michigan Has Third-Highest Rate of Infection in Country at 35.3 Percent

Michigan is keeping pace with some of the most-infected states in the country, with more than 35 percent of tests coming back with confirmed positive cases of the coronavirus, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

As of Monday evening, Michigan has 6,498 confirmed positive cases out of 18,391 total tested — an infection rate of 35.3 percent. By comparison, New Jersey has an infection rate of 39.7 percent with 16,636 confirmed cases and New York has an infection rate of 35.7 percent with 66,497 confirmed cases. New York and New Jersey are the top two most-infected states in the country, followed by Michigan. California is currently the fourth most-infected state with 6,447 confirmed cases and an infection rate of 21.5 percent.

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Minnesota Group Wants Unemployment Insurance for Illegal Immigrants

A progressive group in Minnesota wants state and national lawmakers to pass a “stronger unemployment insurance package” that includes benefits for illegal immigrants.

TakeAction Minnesota, a progressive community organizing group, released a list of policy proposals that it would like to see included in any stimulus package passed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Two Michigan Counties, Detroit Have More Than 70 Percent of All Michigan Cases

Two Michigan counties and the City of Detroit carry more than 70 percent of all cases in Michigan, with more than 4,500 cases between them.

Oakland and Wayne counties, combined with the City of Detroit, have 4,560 confirmed cases out of the 6,498 in Michigan, according to data from Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Detroit, which the DHHS said is tracked separately from its home of Wayne County, has 1,801 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Monday night. This makes up 27.7 percent of all Michigan confirmed cases and makes it the area in Michigan which has the most confirmed cases of the coronavirus. It also has 54 of the 184 deaths from the virus in the state, or 28.3 percent — the highest in Michigan.

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Austin Peay University Moves this Year’s Summer Classes Online

Officials at the Clarksville-based Austin Peay State University announced they will move all of this year’s face-to-face summer classes online, or to other forms of non-face-to-face instruction.

“We appreciate everyone’s hard work and flexibility as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic,” APSU President Dr. Alisa White wrote in an email to students, faculty and staff.

“In order to continue to do what we can to mitigate the spread of the virus and ‘flatten the curve,’ we have decided to move all face-to-face Summer 2020 classes to non-face-to-face instruction.”

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Governor Bill Lee Orders Tennessee Residents to Stay Home, Except for Essential Business

To limit the spread of COVID-19, Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee on Monday issued an executive order telling state residents to stay home unless they are engaging in essential activities.

According to the order, businesses or organizations that do not perform essential services cannot remain open for public access. Lee’s order encourages those businesses to provide delivery, including curbside delivery, to the greatest extent possible. Lee also ordered that Tennesseans limit their essential activity to the greatest extent possible.

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ICE Is Using Its Deportation Flights to Bring Home Americans Stuck Abroad

ICE Air Operations, the air transportation arm of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), has so far rescued 466 U.S. citizens stranded in the Northern Triangle region of Central America amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Following orders of final removal, ICE deported Salvadoran and Honduran nationals back to their home countries on Friday. On the return leg of these flights, the agency took aboard U.S. citizens who were stranded due to COVID-19 lockdowns, according to an ICE press release.

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Plummeting Oil Prices Are Not Reflected in California’s Price at the Pump

Tennessee Star

Gas prices are falling all over the country as oil prices tumble, yet prices are still relatively high in California, where environmental polices are restricting how oil refineries can produce gasoline.

The price of a gallon of gas has plummeted in Ohio to around $1 in part because Americans are self-isolating to avoid spreading the novel coronavirus. The average price dropped 35.1 cents over the past month, according to data from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

A BP station in Kentucky, for instance, posted a price below $1 a gallon, The Washington Post reported Thursday. Four other stations in Oklahoma City followed suit, along with another in Paris, Tennessee. The national average for gas on Thursday was $2.03, down from $2.41 at the beginning of March.

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Commentary: Remembering Senator Tom Coburn – He Stood Tall for Taxpayers

Former Sen. Tom Coburn was a hero among fiscal conservatives and endless source of inspiration and courage. The Oklahoma Republican embodied financial stewardship, always showing great respect for the hard-earned tax dollars of working Americans.

Coburn, who died late Friday at 72, helped the American people better understand the size and scope of Washington’s spending problem by highlighting government waste.

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Fauci Says US Could Potentially Have 200,000 Coronavirus Deaths but Cautions Projections Are A Moving Target And Could Easily Mislead People

by Chuck Ross   Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top expert on infectious diseases, predicted Sunday that the United States will end up with “millions” of cases of coronavirus and up to 200,000 deaths by the time the pandemic ends, though he cautioned that any projection of mortality statistics could…

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Dutch Government Recalls More than a Half-Million Faulty Chinese-Made N95 Masks for Treating COVID-19 Patients

Hundreds  of thousands of Chinese-made KN95 protective masks distributed to hospitals treating the COVID-19 Chinese coronavirus in the Netherlands have proven to be unreliable and are being recalled, according to a report.

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Commentary: The Reach of Nancy Pelosi Goes Far Beyond the Halls of Congress

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi turned 80 on Thursday. In the runup to that milestone, Pelosi launched impeachment proceedings against President Trump, who was duly acquitted. By way of follow-up, she decided to block the Senate’s coronavirus response package earlier this week, and on Monday offered a 1,200-page version of her own chock full of goodies meant to keep the Ocasio-Cortez-Tlaib-Omar squad in line.

And behind the scenes, Pelosi is pulling the strings on the Golden State.

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Commentary: What Price Should China Pay for Causing the Coronavirus Pandemic?

The coronavirus pandemic thus far has spread to more than 145 countries, causing high levels of infection and thousands of deaths. The worldwide costs of combating COVID-19, including efforts to overcome severe economic hardships for millions of people and organizations, undoubtedly will amount to many trillions of dollars.

There is widespread agreement and indisputable proof that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its leaders are directly responsible for the worldwide spread of COVID-19.

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President Trump Extends COVID-19 distancing and other guidelines to April 30, Predicts Death Peak in Two Weeks

  President Donald Trump on Sunday said the federal government is extending to April 30 its guidelines on social distancing and other measures to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus that has killed more than 2,300 Americans. “The better you do, the faster this whole nightmare will end,” Trump…

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FDA Allows Ohio Company to Make Unlimited Use of Face Mask Sterilizer After Trump, DeWine Intervene

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine called an emergency press conference Sunday to express his “deep disappointment” with the Food and Drug Administration for limiting the use of a new technology to sterilize face masks.

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Gov. Whitmer Suspends Michigan Water Shut-Offs

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order to reconnect residents’ water services that had been shut off.

The governor signed the $2 million Water Restart Grant Program on Saturday. The suspension of the public utility shut-offs were mandated effective immediately.

“This is a critical step both for the health of families living without a reliable water source, and for slowing the spread of the Coronavirus,” Whitmer said in a statement. “We continue to work to provide all Michiganders – regardless of their geography or income level – the tools they need to keep themselves and their communities protected.”

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Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison Wages War on Price Gouging During Coronavirus Pandemic: ‘My Office and I Are Coming After You’

Attorney General Keith Ellison said his office received more than 500 complaints about price gouging in Minnesota last week alone.

The influx of complaints is part of Ellison’s effort to stop companies from hiking their prices on essential products during the coronavirus pandemic. Doing so is now illegal under an executive order issued by Gov. Tim Walz, which will remain in effect for the duration of Minnesota’s peacetime emergency.

Ellison’s office announced a statewide crackdown on businesses engaged in “pandemic profiteering” last week and encouraged Minnesotans to report instances of price gouging to his office.

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Commentary: The Private Sector Will Play a Key Role in Combating Coronavirus in Ohio

President Trump’s emphasis on collaborating with U.S. businesses will go a long way toward allowing us to curb the coronavirus outbreak in Ohio and across the country. 

The President has been hard at work implementing a bold and innovative strategy to address the evolving global health crisis. In addition to restrictions on international travel, which limited the early spread of the disease in our communities, President Trump has also negotiated deals with some of America’s largest businesses, which are eager to do their part to stop the coronavirus pandemic.

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Tennessee Medical Association Asks All Mayors to Issue Shelter in Place Orders

The Tennessee Medical Association (TMA) sent a letter to every mayor in the state Friday asking them to request authority from Gov. Bill Lee to issue shelter-in-place orders for their communities.

Lee has thus far declined to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order, which prompted more than 2,000 health care workers to sign a petition asking him to change course, The Tennessee Star reported. As of Sunday, 26 states had issued stay-at-home orders, including the neighboring states of North Carolina and Kentucky.

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Commentary: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in the Coronavirus Stimulus

The House of Representatives on Friday passed the Senate’s $2 trillion coronavirus relief package and sent it to the president. What initially began as a bill designed to help the workers and families hurt by job loss or disruption caused by government measures to fight coronavirus morphed into an 880-page behemoth.

Here are the highlights: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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Gov. DeWine’s Claim Ohio Will Reach Peak of 10,000 Coronavirus Cases Per Day Based on Modeling Sleight of Hand, Questionable Evidence, and Unidentified Researchers

  Gov. Mike DeWine claimed in a Friday press conference that projections based on a controversial model introduced earlier this month by Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton show hospitals in Ohio will be hit hard by the coronavirus in the upcoming weeks. While the daily increase of confirmed…

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Republican Lawmakers Blast Minnesota’s Coronavirus Omnibus Bill: ‘Zero Transparency’

The Minnesota Legislature passed a $330 million omnibus bill this week to address the coronavirus pandemic, but some Republican lawmakers were frustrated with the unprecedented lack of transparency in the process.

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