Why Are So Many Americans Vaccine-Hesitant?

9/9/21 Knoxville News article lists all the last year seemingly authoritative reasons to not trust the vaccines, many of which boil down to Trump Derangement Syndrome. “This is Trump’s witchcraft so I’m against it.” The Left needs to introspect a little and stop assuming this is all ignorant deplorables.

Source: Why Are So Many Americans Vaccine-Hesitant?

Throughout the summer of 2020, President Donald Trump predicted that a COVID-19 vaccine would be ready by year-end. Trump’s expectation was met with a wall of skeptical political, medical, and media reaction. One wonders especially about the effect on Americans predisposed to vaccine hesitancy, regardless of race, age, gender, or political party.

For example, a Sept. 16, 2020 Associated Press story quotes then-candidate Joe Biden saying,  ’I trust vaccines. I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump, and at this moment, the American people can’t, either.” As Trump told Americans a vaccine would be ready by year-end, Biden was telling American to not believe him – and that’s what dominated the headlines.

The publication Scientific American weighed in with a June 22, 2020, commentary headlined, “The Risks of Rushing a COVID-19 Vaccine, Telescoping testing time lines and approvals may expose all of us to unnecessary dangers.”

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Speaking of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, his changing comments on masks and other subjects, including Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccines, did little to build confidence.

An August 2020 Newsweek article on EUAs for COVID-19 vaccine began: “Dr. Anthony Fauci has said experimental coronavirus vaccines should not be given emergency use authorization (EUA) — especially if their effectiveness has not been proven — as it could undermine the development of others.” In Dec. 2020, the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines were issued EUAs from the Food and Drug Administration.

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Every American can’t be expected to have turned on a dime when the trumpeted warnings of too-quickly created vaccines were replaced – particularly post-presidential election – with the trumpeted announcements that there was now a safe and effective vaccine.

Does this mean news outlets or officials should have self-censored any stories questioning vaccine development? No. People needed to hear the full story and its possibilities. But instead of demonization and condemnation, people reluctant to get the vaccine should be given a bit of grace. They have justifiable reasons to wonder what to believe, and when they should believe it. And the organizations that for so long warned them should spend an equivalent amount of time explaining how, and why, the stories proved inaccurate.

January 6 Hearings Get Under Way

(John Hinderaker) The House Select Committee that purports to investigate the “insurrection” of January 6, 2021, started holding hearings today. I don’t intend to write much about this farce, as I think it is one of the dumbest things we have seen in many years. This is true for many reasons:

  • We Republicans may have our faults, but if we were actually going to stage an insurrection, at least one of us would remember to bring a firearm.
  • Along the same lines, if we were to undertake an insurrection, we would not call on a “shaman” wearing horns and a fur hat to lead it.
  • An actual insurrection would result in casualties. Here, the only person who died, or was seriously injured, other than by natural causes, was Ashli Babbitt. Will Pelosi’s committee call the officer who shot her as a witness? Inquiring minds want to know.
  • If the committee wants to investigate violent riots in Washington, D.C., it is barking up the wrong tree. There was a real riot on the day when Donald Trump was inaugurated in 2017, with businesses looted, buildings and vehicles burned, and innocent passers-by assaulted. Likewise, in July 2016 there was another real riot, in which (going from memory) around 60 D.C. police officers were wounded, and much property was destroyed. Do you suppose the Democrats are interested in investigating those riots?
  • There actually is one aspect of the January 6 protest that deserves investigation: the performance of Capitol security. The fact that a small rabble of unarmed protesters was able to access the Capitol illegally is, or should be, shocking. Moreover, we have all seen the video of the Capitol entrance where guards opened the doors and waved the protesters into the building. The protesters entered in an orderly fashion, taking photos with their cell phones and carefully staying between the red velvet ropes. I suspect that most of those who entered the Capitol on January 6 were invited in by guards. I have never seen an explanation of how and why this happened. Will the committee investigate this bizarre breakdown in security?

Just kidding.

  • The committee is proceeding without meaningful participations by the Republicans. To their everlasting shame, two alleged Republicans responded to Pelosi’s summons as collaborators. But no one on the committee will be a voice of sanity.
  • This committee reminds me of the Select Committee on Assassinations that House Democrats appointed, as I recall, some time during the 1970s. That committee, staffed by the usual suspects, purported to investigate the John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinations. The committee wrote a report that concluded, if I remember correctly, that all three assassinations were fruits of conspiracies. If you don’t remember that bit of history, you are not alone. The committee’s report was generally viewed as an embarrassment and was quietly shelved. The current committee will, I think, be similarly forgotten.

On the bright side, I don’t believe the Democrats are fooling anyone. The current “investigation” is a joke, and I think everyone understands that. The New York Times et al. may pontificate about the “insurrection,” but the whole thing is a farce that will get the Dems nowhere.

It also is a reprise of the Dems’ unconstitutional–in my opinion–second impeachment of President Trump. That impeachment did nothing for the Dems, as far as I could see, and the current version is lamer, if only because of the lapse of time. If Joe Biden’s policies had not proved a comprehensive failure, the Democrats would not be trying to focus attention on an ex-president of the opposite party.

Source: January 6 Hearings Get Under Way

Trump must be extremely clean if this is all the NY prosecutors came up with

After years of prosecutors targeting Trump in search of a crime, Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg “surrendered early Thursday to New York authorities for arraignment in the first criminal indictment arising from a two-year investigation into the former president’s company,” according to the AP.

The charges relate to paying perks for executives without showing those perks on their W-2 forms and paying income taxes and payroll taxes on those perks.

I bet the WaPo, NYT, and other media outlets will have trouble finding those charges against other corporations, so I am sure they will advocate for going after all corporations and entities for this crime because they always want equal treatment under the law, don’t they?

All corporations, including the WaPo and the NYT, should now be investigated to make sure that no executives ever get free stuff, like country club dues or special transportation, without paying income and payroll taxes.

Jewish Voice

Donald Trump must be extremely clean because, after years of targeted investigations by the IRS, the FBI, the media, Congress, and N.Y. prosecutors, this is all they could come up with.  That is clearly evidence that this was a witch hunt in search of a crime instead of an investigation because there was evidence of a crime.

The DNC and Hillary campaign committees were having so much trouble finding dirt on Trump that they had to pay a foreign national over $10 million to create a fictional dossier to destroy him.  The media and other Democrats even had to create the lies about Russian collusion in their efforts to take Trump out.  There was never one piece of evidence of Russian collusion, but since Trump’s low-tax, smaller-government policies were very popular and were lifting people of all races and all education levels up, he had to be destroyed.  After all, the media and other Democrats care about power, not great results, so they had to intentionally mislead the public.

How Lawsuits against the Trump Organization Have Weakened the Presidency

Trump’s critics chopped down another tree in the forest of laws and legal norms to pursue their devil, but to the harm of future presidents and the country.

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And think of the future possibilities for political theater. If a state DA can subpoena presidents, he theoretically can arrest and fingerprint them, bring them before a court for arraignment, detain them until posting bail, and even place travel restrictions on them. He could even conduct a trial where the president would have to appear for all proceedings for weeks. A Republican DA not only could charge Hunter Biden for his sleazy business dealings, he could investigate President Biden himself as a co-conspirator.

It is not just the president who would suffer, but the American people. As Justice Thomas wrote in his dissent in Trump v. Vance: “The President has vast responsibilities both abroad and at home,” such as protecting the national security, conducting foreign policy, and executing federal law. In order to give the nation the benefit of “energy in the executive,” the Founders made the conscious choice to vest these many responsibilities in a single individual who could act with “decision, activity, secrecy, and dispatch,” as Alexander Hamilton argued in Federalist No. 70. The investigation will consume the time, energies, and resources that the president should devote to carrying out his constitutional and political duties and advancing the agenda upon which the American people elected him. As Thomas Jefferson had argued when served with a subpoena in the Aaron Burr treason trial, the president’s “duties as chief magistrate demand his whole time for national objects,” rather than racing from one end of the nation to the other to defend himself in court. Even if the president were not immune from state criminal investigation, the Supreme Court should have required — as Justices Thomas and Alito urged — that state proceedings wait on hold until Trump had finished his term in office.

 

Source: How Lawsuits against the Trump Organization Have Weakened the Presidency

20 Questions for Nancy Pelosi About January 6

Additionally, here are just a few questions Pelosi’s inquisition should answer:

1) Why were requests made by USCP, a federal agency under the purview of Congress, for extra security ahead of January 6 denied?

2) Why did law enforcement including USCP and D.C. Metro Police show up wearing full riot gear including gas masks and batons?

3) Who authorized police to attack the peaceful crowd with flashbangs, sting balls, and tear gas around 1:00 p.m.?

4) Have any police officers been charged with assault?

5) Who seeded the lie that Brian Sicknick was killed in the line of duty and who told the New York Times he was murdered by a Trump mob with a fire extinguisher?

6) Did any FBI agents or informants infiltrate groups such as the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and Three Percenters before January 6?

7) Who were the officers caught on tape allowing protesters into the building?

8) Who opened the doors on the upper west terrace at approximately 2:30 p.m. at the direction of an unknown USCP officer?

9) How much damage did the building sustain? The architect of the Capitol originally claimed $30 million in damages. But in court filings, the government claims the building only sustained about $1.5 million in damages.

10) On January 7, Pelosi called the Capitol riot an “armed insurrection?” How many people have been charged with carrying a firearm into the building?

11) Why was Pelosi’s son-in-law reporting from the scene that day?

12) How many Americans have been charged with sedition?

13) How many Americans remain incarcerated under pre-trial detention orders awaiting delayed trials that won’t start until next year?

14) Who authorized the opening of the “pod” in the D.C. Correctional Treatment Facility jail to house January 6 defendants specifically?

15) Are there reports of mental and physical abuse of January 6 detainees by D.C. prison guards, including solitary confinement conditions for months on end and lack of access to defense lawyers?

16) How much money is being spent on the various investigations into January 6?

17) Should social media companies including Facebook and Twitter be criminally charged for allowing protesters to organize the “insurrection” on their platforms?

18) Who are the anonymous “proud members of the United State Capitol Police” threatening to withhold security from members of Congress who did not support a commission?

19) How many “white supremacists” have been identified by law enforcement?

20) Who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt?

It’s unlikely, of course, that Pelosi’s truth-seeking mission will result in anything more than reheated political spin, recriminations, and fuel for nonstop media attention. But Americans, and Republican leaders including Donald Trump, should keep asking legitimate questions and demanding truthful answers.

Source: 20 Questions for Nancy Pelosi About January 6

Indicting the Trump Organization

Democrats of all stripes have devoted years to investigating Donald Trump and finding very little. The latest example is Thursday’s indictment of the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer for classifying employee benefits as business expenses rather than compensation.

Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance Jr. and New York Attorney General Letitia James subpoenaed millions of documents and years of tax returns, and that’s all they’ve come up with. The indictment lists 15 criminal counts, including second degree grand larceny. But the evidence in the indictment boils down to misreporting compensation to the Internal Revenue Service and New York tax authorities.

Prosecutors allege that Allen Weisselberg, the 73-year-old accountant and CFO, received as much as $1.76 million in compensation over a 16-year-period—for cars, an apartment rental, and tuition for Mr. Weisselberg’s grandchildren at a private school—in a way that kept them off the books for tax purposes. The indictment says he avoided paying $901,112 he owed in taxes and collected federal and state tax refunds of $133,124 he wasn’t entitled to.

If true and willful, this is rotten behavior. But it isn’t Teapot Dome, and disguising compensation as expenses is far from unusual in corporate America. It’s typically handled as a civil matter and settled with the payment of back taxes, interest and fines. It is rarely the basis for a criminal indictment.

The prosecutors are throwing the book at Mr. Weisselberg to get him to turn state’s evidence against the former President. The same goes for the highly unusual decision to indict the Trump Organization, which is presumably intended to squeeze its business prospects. Notably, neither Mr. Trump nor his children who run the business were charged.

The political motives at work are transparent. Mr. Vance has pursued Mr. Trump and his tax records for years, even as street and violent crime proliferates in New York City. Ms. James campaigned on a promise to shine “a bright light into every dark corner of his real estate dealings, and every dealing, demanding truthfulness at every turn.” She all but promised a selective prosecution—that is, pick a target, then search for a crime to allege.

….

The expectation among Democrats is that the charges will finally diminish Mr. Trump’s political appeal, but will they? Like impeachments one and two, the case gives Mr. Trump another chance to portray himself as the populist knight taking on the corrupt powers that be. If the charges fail in court, and prosecutors have nothing else, Mr. Trump will claim blanket vindication.

Source: Indicting the Trump Organization

This week is why. Mr. Trump, who is not the fool some imagine, knew winning the presidency was a dangerous mishap from a personal legal standpoint. Mr. Trump, until then, mainly tussled with sharpies who wanted only some of his money, not his destruction. He also knew that in our overgrown regulatory state, prosecutors can find something on anybody, even those who conduct their affairs with a scrupulousness foreign to Mr. Trump.

It’s “political,” Mr. Trump says of this week’s charges. Yes, inevitably and partly. That’s why people with Mr. Trump’s deep pockets and checkered history are unwise to go into politics, however much it might benefit the nation to have a broadly welcoming presidential talent pool.

The charges brought by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and New York Attorney General Letitia James are over the top for what amount to tax violations related to employee compensation. Larceny? Who stole what from whom? Mr. Trump’s company and its major-domo, Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg —though not Mr. Trump himself so far—are accused of doling out perks as normal business expenses, thereby avoiding personal income and payroll taxes.

Mr. Trump’s lawyer said, probably accurately, that such complaints usually are settled as a civil matter with the Internal Revenue Service for the reasons alluded to above. The IRS cares mainly about getting maximum money at least cost for its enforcement efforts. Not so elected officials such as Mr. Vance and Ms. James. If the prosecution is a giant net loser financially for the state of New York, that’s fine with them.

If the charges are right, among the expenses Mr. Trump picked up for his employees to maximize the bang for his compensation buck were school tuition, a company Mercedes, and free apartments for employees and their family members.

The Trump Organization’s Political Prosecution

Cy Vance’s Trump case is straight from a banana republic

WELL, BIDEN’S AMERICA IS A BANANA REPUBLIC: Cy Vance’s Trump case is straight from a banana republic — punish your political enemies. “Corporations almost never get criminally prosecuted for this sort of thing, but Vance wanted the name ‘Trump’ in his indictment. You can bet that he would have indicted The Donald if he had the goods. The feds — who’ve been auditing Trump’s taxes forever — haven’t filed charges.”

Related: Trump Organization indictments are a travesty of justice. “Vance acquired years of Trump Organization tax records, yet all he’s found is an alleged failure to pay proper taxes on corporate perks like cars, tuition and apartments. Any other company and it’s a civil suit, an audit, perhaps a hefty fine. If Vance had any evidence suggesting serious fraud (as press leaks long suggested), he’d have included them already. . . . All that Vance & Co. really have is partisan hate, not evidence.”

Source: WELL, BIDEN’S AMERICA IS A BANANA REPUBLIC: Cy Vance’s Trump case is straight from a banana repub…

Trump Organization, CFO Allen Weisselberg Plead Not Guilty to Tax, Fraud Charges

The Manhattan District Attorney Office indicted the Trump Organization and its CFO Allen Weisselberg with 15 felony counts of fraud and tax evasion:

Carey Dunne, the general counsel of the Manhattan district attorney’s office, told state court Justice Juan Merchan that the charges encompassed a 15-year-long tax-fraud scheme [2005 to 2021] involving off-the-books payments at the Trump Organization. He said Mr. Weisselberg had illegally avoided paying taxes on $1.7 million in income.

“There’s no clearer example of a company that should be held to account,” Mr. Dunne said. “It’s not about politics.”

“The scheme was intended to allow certain employees to substantially understate their compensation from the Trump Organization, so that they could and did pay federal, state, and local taxes in amounts that were significantly less than the amounts that should have been paid,” states the indictment. “The scheme also enabled Weisselberg to obtain tax refunds of amounts previously withheld and remitted to federal and state tax authorities.”

It’s not about politics, but the investigation did not start until Donald Trump became president. Okay, bro. Whatever you say. The case details do not help Dunne’s declaration either:

A case solely focused on fringe benefits is unusual, former prosecutors said. Charging an individual or company for failure to pay taxes on employee benefits alone is rare, though such charges are used as part of larger cases.

Weisselberg and the Trump Organization pleaded not guilty.

Image

Source: Trump Organization, CFO Allen Weisselberg Plead Not Guilty to Tax, Fraud Charges

The charges against the Trump organization

For example, the story I reported on four days ago – that the charges New York state is preparing against Trump aren’t going to be what the left has long hoped would drive a stake through his heart – appears to be going forward as previously stated:

They investigated the Trump organization for three years and the best they could come up with is unpaid taxes on fringe benefits? This is the kind of thing you normally handle as a civil matter. In fact, as my prior write-up noted, the Times literally could not find a previous example of a prosecutor filing criminal charges in a similar case. That’s how much of a politicized witch-hunt this entire thing is.

These marginal charges come days after it was leaked that Trump himself would not be charged for anything, and you know that wasn’t from lack of trying. Per RedState’s report on that, there isn’t some other shoe waiting to drop either. This is literally all there is.

Given that, the disappointment on the left is palpable. Here a few comments from the Journal’s breaking post…”Evading taxes on fringe benefits and perks doesn’t sound like the hammer I was hoping for. Surely there’s more.”

Source: The charges against the Trump organization