April 7, 2020

OPEN THREAD: For one more time, let your madness run with mine.

RIP: John Prine, One of America’s Greatest Songwriters, Dead at 73. “The cause was complications related to COVID-19. Prine’s family confirmed his death to Rolling Stone.”

GUESS WHAT’S BURIED WAY DOWN IN THIS STORY? “It was the worst 2 weeks of my life”: Woman recovers from coronavirus. Here it is:

It wasn’t until she was given hydroxychloroquine, a drug used to treat Malaria, that things started looking up.

“After I started taking the Malaria medicine, I started to feel a lot better,” she said. “Like, the next day.”

False hope.

ROGER SIMON: Is the White House Correspondents’ Association Enabling Communist Propaganda at Presidential Briefings?

Yes. Next question?

YOUR WARREN ZEVON LYRIC FOR OUR TIMES: “Everybody’s restless, and they’ve got no place to go.”

HERE’S A STORY ON THE EXECUTIVE ORDER I MENTIONED YESTERDAY: Trump signs executive order to support moon mining, tap asteroid resources.

THIS CAN’T HAPPEN AND IT’S CRAZY TO SUGGEST: Ezekiel Emanuel: U.S. Must Stay Locked Down For 12-18 Months Until There’s A Vaccine. Two more weeks and we’re going to have to start reopening stuff.

CHINA BARS CHURCHES FROM STREAMING SERVICES: Millions of Americans are holding church services and meetings via the Internet during the coronavirus pandemic. Not so in China, which has recently increased its already oppressive measures against Christians.


You can also get it for $1.99 on Nook.


PROGRESS: South Korea trial uses survivor blood plasma to treat coronavirus.

AT AMAZON, deals in Storage and Home Organization.

Plus, save on Vitamins and Dietary Supplements.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Time to put China on lockdown for its dishonesty amid coronavirus crisis. “China’s response was inept, dishonest and utterly inconsiderate of the world. We need to teach the Chinese government a lesson.”

SWEDEN: Some people are pointing to the contrast between Sweden and Norway as a useful model for our situation. Sweden is one of the few countries that has not shut things down drastically. Instead its leaders say that they are relying on people’s common sense. By contrast, the otherwise similarly situated Norway has taken an approach more like ours. Many people are thus pointing to the fact that while Sweden’s population (about 10 million) is twice Norway’s (about 5 million), Sweden has only about 30% more confirmed cases. That sounds good … at least at first blush.

But numbers can be deceiving. While Sweden’s population is twice Norway’s, its number of deaths from among confirmed cases is more than six times higher than Norway’s. The difference is unlikely to be the quality of Swedish health care. My initial thought was that it was much more likely that Norway has tested more symptomatic people in its population than Sweden has. Sweden therefore may have a higher proportion of unconfirmed but nevertheless very real cases.  They just aren’t being counted.

Testing kits remain in short supply. Most countries are able to test only a proportion of the individuals who are symptomatic. It may well be the case that to get the test in Sweden one needs to be sicker than one does in Norway.

I checked this against the data on Real Clear Politics and sure enough, Norway has given massively more tests (113,896) than Sweden has given (54,700), despite Sweden’s much larger population.

We need more analysis.

GOOD: N.Y. Virus Deaths Hit New High, but Hospitalizations Slow. “The number of patients on ventilators in intensive-care units increased, too, but at the smallest one-day rate in weeks, up 2 percent since Monday. As of Tuesday, there were nearly 4,600 patients on ventilators in New York, far fewer than pessimistic projections in recent weeks had said there might be. That has helped keep the state from exhausting its supply of ventilators.”

TAIWAN BANS GOVERNMENT USE OF ZOOM OVER CYBERSECURITY CONCERNS: “Zoom routed some data through servers based in China as well as using developers there, internet security think tank Citizen Lab said in a report last week. Any official data being routed through China poses a major risk for Taiwan. Beijing claims the self-ruled island as part of its territory, and threatens to invade if Taiwan moves to make its independence official. Taiwan’s government rejects China’s claim, viewing the island as a sovereign nation.”

Related: Let’s Zoom Xi. He has questions to answer, Niall Ferguson writes.

Update: BlackBerry uncovers China-backed hacking campaign.

Buried lede: BlackBerry is still around.

(Updated and bumped.)

BOJO UPDATE: “Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said he is ‘confident’ Boris Johnson will recover from coronavirus, describing the prime minister as a ‘fighter’. Speaking at the daily coronavirus briefing, Mr Raab said Mr Johnson remained in ‘good spirits’ and was breathing without assistance.”

Related: This Lefty Mayor’s Attack on Boris Johnson Was So Disgusting It Got Her Booted From Her Own Party.



AT AMAZON, save on Men’s Underwear.



Hey the Blackhawk War was a thing.


THIS IS CNN: CNN: People Of Color Should Not Wear Face Masks.

WELL, TO BE FAIR, TWITTER SUCKS: Is Twitter using the health emergency to settle political scores?

WORST RACIST AND/OR RUSSIAN STOOGE EVER: Trump administration designates White supremacist group in Russia as terrorists.

GREAT MOMENTS IN OBJECTIVITY: CNN’s Tapper ripped for retweeting post calling Trump ‘insane.’


Or to put it another way: China’s Long Tentacles Extend Deep Into American Media.

The companies that own the major news networks, NBC, ABC, and CBS, all do significant business in China. On the print side, top U.S. newspapers like the Washington Post and New York Times have been criticized for running paid China Daily inserts. What they were paid for these inserts is still unknown.

By contrast, conservative news companies are much less involved in China. Conservative radio giant Salem, whose attempt to buy Tribune several years ago provoked an enormous freakout from media reporters over consolidation, is all-American. And Fox, after several troubled attempts to break into the Chinese market—including sending a News Corp team to help build People’s Daily a website—has mostly given up, after selling its Asia-Pacific operations to Disney over the last two years.

Disney owns ABC and has a park in Shanghai. It also owns ESPN, which was criticized for its coverage of China’s retaliation against the NBA earlier this year over one team owner’s support of the Hong Kong protests. But other than ABC, Disney is relatively uninvolved in news.

Comcast, on the other hand, has a much larger footprint in the U.S. media landscape, between NBC News, CNBC, and MSNBC. The company’s role in fostering cultural exchange is truly historic: they’ve brought to millions of American homes a customer service experience akin to a utility provider in a communist country, and have invested billions to bring “Minion Land” and a Harry Potter village to Beijing, with the help of a state-owned investment vehicle.

What might the Chinese government do if it were displeased with something that ran on MSNBC? Perhaps they’d have a tense conversation with their partners at 30 Rockefeller Plaza about the forthcoming slate of movie releases in China. Or it might be worse, given their decision to cut off all NBA games to retaliate against one team owner.

But evidently China is pleased with their partnership so far, and no NBC journalists had their residency permits pulled earlier this month. A March 10 post on the New York consulate’s website touted a recent meeting with Comcast execs:

Comcast Corporation is not only the participator of the increasingly close cultural exchanges, but also the contributor and beneficiary of deeper economic exchanges between China and the US. The NBC and the Universal Studios Theme Park in Beijing are witnesses of the in-depth development of Sino-US economic and trade relations and increasingly close cultural exchanges.

Consul General Huang Ping made a point of discussing China’s response to the coronavirus, as well as news coverage in the U.S.: “China’s prevention and control practices have earned valuable time and experience for other countries. …We hope that the NBC and other U.S. media will objectively and fairly report China’s efforts to control the epidemic.”

Comcast’s masters in Beijing must be quite pleased with the coverage they’re receiving from NBC:

As Jim Geraghty wrote in October, when the CCP-NBA connection exposed for millions of Americans to see: We’re Not Exporting Our Values to China — We’re Importing Theirs.




MEMORY HOLE: What the Media Wants You to Forget About Their Biased Coronavirus Coverage.

LOGISTICS: Supply Chain Disruptions in the Firearms Industry.

MEGAN FOX ON THE RADIO: This is a little late getting to me, but Megan Fox is on the radio right now, on the Mark Griffith Show.

The Mark Griffith Show airs weekdays at 1 p.m. in the Denver Market on 560 KLZ on the AM dial. Online at www.klzradio.com. Folks can call the show at 303-477-5600.


And the usual response from the loyal opposition:

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Time to put China on lockdown for its dishonesty amid coronavirus crisis. “China’s response was inept, dishonest and utterly inconsiderate of the world. We need to teach the Chinese government a lesson.”

HEADS EXPLODE: Dem Lawmaker in Detroit Says Hydroxychloroquine and Trump Helped Save Her Life.

I DUNNO, JUDGING FROM THE PRESS COVERAGE IT KINDA IS: Whether Hydroxycholoroquine Works Is Not About Trump.

HISTORY: 500-year-old manuscript contains earliest known use of the ‘F-word.’

PROGRESS: New drug shows promise for pneumonia caused by COVID-19, study finds.

CHINA SYNDROME: The FDA just pulled popular heartburn drug Zantac due to cancer risk.

COLD WAR II: GOP sounds alarm after ‘quasi-official’ Chinese outlet gains access to coronavirus press briefing, promotes Beijing.

“Only last week, there were multiple flights coming from China full of medical supplies,” the reporter from Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV began during Monday’s briefing. “Companies like Huawei and Alibaba have been donating to the United States, like 1.5 million N95 masks and also a lot of medical gloves, and much more medical supplies.”

“Sounds like a statement more than a question,” Trump interjected.

The reporter then asked if Trump was willing to work “directly” with China; Trump responded that China should honor its trade deals with the United States.

“Are you cooperating with China?” she pressed. “Who are you working for, China?” Trump responded. “Who are you with?”

The reporter smiled. “Um, no, I’m working for — Hong Kong Phoenix TV.”

“Who owns that? China?” Trump asked.

“It’s based in Hong Kong. … It’s a privately owned company.”

But it turns out that Phoenix TV, which has aggressively sought to expand in the United States, has closer ties to the Chinese government than the reporter let on.

While we were enjoying our cheap consumer goods, Beijing was busy figuring out all-new attack vectors for Cold War II.

YOU’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BLOG: Five Civil Rights Americans Lost to the COVID-19 Panic.

SKYNET SMILES: A flexible microrobot that can survive almost any deformation.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Army Tanks on Trains Aren’t a Sign of Impending Martial Law.


What remains of Labour is not liberated from the taint of Corbynism. [Labour’s new leader, Keir Starmer], an avowed socialist, was a member of Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, and his opposition government is composed of the same odious lawmakers who once flanked Corbyn. As the Atlantic’s Tom McTague convincingly argued, Corbyn has left an indelible ideological stamp on the party he led for nearly half a decade. But it was unrealistic to expect an institution that was once so invested in the success of its leadership to tear out his legacy root and branch overnight. It will take time before the party or its most loyal members are willing to acknowledge and atone for the scale of their errors. But Starmer chose to mark his ascension with an explicit acknowledgment of the conditions that rendered the party toxic. Even if it’s only the first step, it’s in the right direction.

Faster, please.

SALENA ZITO: Truck drivers make it possible for everyone else to work from home.

Truckers have become a new wave of front line responders in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic — starting with Eby, who gets the piglet to the farm to be fattened, and the next driver who gets the fattened pig to the butcher, and the next one who gets the refrigerated meat to the store.

Before the realities of this pandemic, trucks were often ignored. Their impact on our daily lives was considered an annoyance, as they chugged slowly up the winding hills of our back roads on the way to that grocery store, hospital, department store, or Amazon distribution center.

Never mind that they are filled with those essential things we have to have or nonessential things we thought we had to have. Too often, people mindlessly assume what they buy at Target or Walmart or Whole Foods comes from the back room, not from a farm upstate, or a factory four states away.

“I’m glad that our industry is finally getting a little bit of a positive spin,” said Richards, “So many times, you run up and down the highways and all you see is plaintiff attorneys advertising, wanting to sue truckers.”

Read the whole thing.


SO LOOKING AT THIS MAP OF INFECTION DENSITY in the NYC metro area, I note that Manhattan looks considerably better than the surrounding area. I’m wondering if there’s a correlation between long subway or bus rides and higher rates of infection.


INDEED: Thank god for the internet. “I was 12 the first time I logged onto whatever was called the internet then. There were no websites to speak of, not really. No ecommerce, no banner ads, no data tracking, no spyware. iPhones hadn’t been invented yet; we called apps ‘programs’; and I had an EGA monitor on my PC (a whole 16 colors of range). But the first time I telnetted into a chatroom about raves, made new friends in Australia, or downloaded files to load into a music tracker, I felt the same elation that I feel now. This force, propelled by people, connected by copper and light, letting us make new connections. Connections we need now more than ever.”

JOHN FUND & JOEL HAY:  “Has Sweden Found the Right Solution to the Coronavirus?”

BRYAN PRESTON: Trump Breaks CNN, Smokes Out Pro-Beijing Reporter in One Press Conference.

“I THINK I’LL TROLL TRUMP BY BRINGING IN A PRC REPORTER.” I guess that sounded better at the time. Trump Breaks CNN, Smokes Out Pro-Beijing Reporter in One Press Conference.

Related: “For the record, ABC News anti-Trump huckster Jonathan Karl is currently in charge of assigning seats for the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefings. In other words, it was no accident.”

Big Picture: Don Surber: Anti-Trump reporters trapped themselves on COVID-19. “Having watched the impeachment backfire on them, the Washington press corps moved on and opened the next package from Acme.”

HMM: Is the Coronavirus Curve Already Flat?

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Time to put China on lockdown for its dishonesty amid coronavirus crisis. “China’s response was inept, dishonest and utterly inconsiderate of the world. We need to teach the Chinese government a lesson.”

THIS IS INTERESTING: Massachusetts General Hospital among first to test nitric oxide on pandemic patients: Nitric oxide has been considered a miracle drug for helping oxygen-starved newborns. “We have tremendous confidence this therapy will alter the devastating effects of COVID-19 but we must test it. If results show promise, and since this gas is already FDA approved, widespread use could begin immediately.”

Somebody told me the other day that people are using nitric-oxide boosters like Viagra and Cialis as a treatment, too, but I haven’t seen any stories on that. Here’s a clinical trial listing, though.

WITCH FIGHT! The naked hypocrisy of Alyssa Milano:

McGowan, despite being at the center of the Ronan Farrow New Yorker story that helped kick off the massive #MeToo movement, was quickly cast aside for the more media-friendly Milano. As it turns out, McGowan is the only one with her credibility left intact, as she insists the problem isn’t alleged wrongdoers like Brett Kavanaugh or Joe Biden, but the institutional system that covers for them.

By belatedly discovering the importance of due process when it was politically expedient, Alyssa Milano has signed her movement’s death warrant. RIP, #MeToo.

Related: Milano’s Biden Defense Is More Pathetic Than You Can Imagine.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Nikon’s Online Photography Classes Are Free Through April.

You don’t have to use their gear to take their classes.

ALSO: Through June the US Naval Insitute has opened up the complete archives of Proceedings, which has published some very good reads going all the way back to 1874. Naval History, too, although I’m much less familiar with it.

IT’S WEIRD HOW COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT SEEMS TO BE RESERVED FOR SPORTS TEAMS AND FRATERNITIES: School suspends entire lacrosse team over alleged racist ‘incident’ involving three members.

I’d like to see an entire university administration suspended over sexist remarks by one of its members. Just to be fair.

FLASHBACK: Lawmakers Demand Investigation Into Chinese Propaganda Published in NYT, WaPo.

RIP: Remembering Bobby Mitchell. “Mitchell broke the Redskins’ color barrier, but said he wanted to be remembered first and foremost as a great player, rather than an historically significant one. In this post, I will honor that wish.”


CYBERSECURITY: NYC schools pull the plug on Zoom following FBI warning. “Schools aren’t the only ones banning Zoom, either. On March 28, Elon Musk’s SpaceX banned the program, instructing employees to use email, text, or phone calls as alternative methods for communication. Additionally, the Australian Ministry of Defense has also banned any use of the software.”

As of this writing, Zoom is still available on Apple’s App Store and on Google Play, but I wonder how much longer that will last.

THEY’RE CRITICAL-THINKING ACADEMICS. THEY DON’T NEED FACTS WHEN THEY HAVE FEELINGS AND A NARRATIVE: Professors accuse Fox News of downplaying coronavirus. These clips suggest otherwise.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Time to put China on lockdown for its dishonesty amid coronavirus crisis. “China’s response was inept, dishonest and utterly inconsiderate of the world. We need to teach the Chinese government a lesson.”

UPDATE: This piece has only been up for a little while and my work email is getting a steady stream of suspiciously-similar emails defending the Chinese government. I’m not going to respond, of course, but if I did I’d send Tim Blair’s response.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Dems Are Suddenly Fans of Due Process Now That Crazy Joe the Wonder Veep Has Been Accused. “One merely has to look at Biden’s history of creepy public touching to find any allegation against him worth looking into. But he gets a pass because he’s a Dem and they’re desperate to pretend he’s not all of the things that those of us who are sane can plainly see that he is: a drooling moron and a full-on creeper.”

WHEN IS A CORONAVIRUS DEATH ACTUALLY A CORONAVIRUS DEATH? Good question, raised by Julie Kelly of American Greatness. The answers are about as clear as a gallon of Mississippi River mud flats water.

WHAT A NASTY BUG: Latest Coronavirus Science: Heart and Brain Damage May Be More Common Than We Thought.

I GUESS HER CRONIES AREN’T RUNNING THINGS THERE ANYMORE: State Department refuses to back Hillary Clinton attempt to avoid deposition.

SUCCESS: Trump approval solid at 51%, ‘producing results’ in virus war.

HE’S LOSING IT: Joe Biden Produces a Word Salad So Bad That It’ll Make You Question Everything. “We cannot let this, we’ve never allowed any crisis from the Civil War straight through to the pandemic of 17, all the way around, 16, we have never, never let our democracy sakes second fiddle, way they, we can both have a democracy and … correct the public health.”


A LOSS FOR THE MACHINE: Wisconsin Supreme Court overturns governor, orders Tuesday elections to proceed.

WORLD ENDS TONIGHT, WOMEN AND MINORITIES HARDEST HIT:  “Pandemic Could Jeopardize Law Firm Diversity Efforts.”

BUREAUCRACY KILLS: They Want to Make Masks in America, But Regulators Can’t Let Them.

One of my former students, now a very successful entrepreneur, brought a planeload of masks into the country for distribution in Knoxville and remarked that he can see why there’s a shortage, because getting permission to bring them into the USA was like pulling teeth.

AT AMAZON, Timberland Men’s White Ledge Mid Waterproof Ankle Boot.

GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY DEEMED ‘NON-ESSENTIAL’ BY CHICAGO: Don’t bother submitting Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the local authorities in The Windy City. Mayor Lori Lightfoot claimed not to know this automated response is now going to all FOIA requests: “Freedom of Information Act responses have been deemed a non-essential city operation and are being temporarily suspended until further notice,” according to Governing.

GIVING IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS: China forces Italy to buy same coronavirus supplies it had donated to Beijing a few weeks ago.

DEMOCRATS WANT BALLOT HARVESTING BECAUSE IT FACILITATES FRAUD: Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers postpones statewide election until June 9, GOP leaders promise to challenge the order.

THE GHOST OF WALTER DURANTY SMILES: In Which the New York Times Morphs Into a Total Propaganda Tool for China’s Communist Government.

ACT OF JOURNALISM COMMITTED ON CAPITOL HILL: Which of these presidents disbanded the National Security Council’s anti-pandemic section, Donald Trump, Barack Obama or George W. Bush? How about all three of them!

Credit Roll Call’s Rachel Oswald with doing the research, interviewing key players, asking them pointed questions, and then presenting the results in a straightforward, no-nonsense fashion. Here’s the summary paragraph:

“But a variety of longtime experts in disaster response who spoke to CQ Roll Call warn that the country risks missing some of the lessons from what is the largest public health crisis in a century if opprobrium is heaped solely at Trump’s feet. Rather, they say, there is blame to be shared, going back decades through multiple presidencies and on both sides of the political aisle.”

Other than a perfunctory paean to Pelosi’s pandemic commission near the end, Oswald keeps it balanced and informative. It’s called “journalism” and the nation needs a huge revival of it. I just hope Oswald’s career doesn’t suffer for having done this excellent piece.

Compare Oswald’s work with this Establishment agit-prop from The Washington Post, pushing the Trump-pushing-risky-drug and Trump-White House-divisions-widen narratives.

LIKE SO MANY OF HIS COLLEAGUES, HE’S NOT ACTUALLY VERY GOOD AT HIS JOB: CNN’s Jim Acosta: Great at Making a Scene, Not So Great at Actual Reporting. This is pretty funny.

April 6, 2020

HOT, HOT, HOT!!: The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has finally released its report on “Stand Your Ground” laws. My fellow commissioners were disappointed that the staff’s independent empirical research didn’t support their preconceived beliefs … so they buried it. Read my dissenting opinion here.  

AT AMAZON, save in Arts Crafts and Sewing.

Plus, stock up on Pet Food and Supplies.

OH, DARN, CHINA IS PISSED: China outraged after Brazil minister suggests Covid-19 is part of ‘plan for world domination.’

InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.