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On Tuesday, Professor Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London, whose bleak projections of future deaths from COVID-19 influenced governments around the world to institute massive lockdowns, admitted of Sweden, which did not institute harsh lockdowns, “It is interesting that adopting a policy which is short of a full lockdown – they have closed secondary schools and universities and there is a significant amount of social distancing, but it’s not a full lockdown – they have got quite a long way to the same effect.”

Speaking before a House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, the man who half a million Britons could die from Covid-19 spoke of Sweden, whose 436 people per million mortality rate from the coronavirus is significantly lower than the UK’s 575 people per million. The Daily Mail noted, “As well as fewer deaths, Sweden’s GDP actually grew in the first quarter of 2020, suggesting it might avoid the worst of the economic fallout from the crisis

Ferguson admitted, “’There are differences in how science has influenced policies in different countries. I have the greatest respect for scientists there [in Sweden]. They came to a different policy conclusion but based really on quite similar science.” Asked why 4,000 people had died in Sweden instead of the 90,000 that had been forecast, he answered, “I think it’s an interesting question. It’s clear there have been significant social distancing in Sweden. Our best estimate is that that has led to a reduction in the reproduction number to around 1.” He cautioned, “It’s clear that when you look at their mortality, they are not seeing the rate of decline most European countries are seeing.”

He admitted, “But nevertheless it is interesting that adopting a policy which is short of a full lockdown… they’ve gone quite a long way to [achieving] the same effect,” while adding, “’Although there is no evidence of a rapid decline in the same way in other European countries. That is something we’re looking at very closely.” Then he acknowledged, “Lockdown is a very crude policy and what we’d like to do is have a much more targeted approach that does not have the same economic impacts.”

Ferguson added, “I suspect though, under any scenario that levels of transmission and numbers of cases will remain relatively flat between now and September, short of very big policy changes or behavior changes in the community. The real uncertainty then is if there are larger policy changes in September, of course we move into time of year when respiratory viruses tend to transmit slightly better, what will happen then. And that remains very unclear.”

The Imperial College London model headed by Ferguson surmised as many as 2.2 million Americans could have died from the virus if no action were taken. It also suggested 510,000 people would die in the U.K. without a lockdown and 250,000 if mitigating steps were taken.

Business Insider noted, “In 2009, one of Ferguson’s models predicted 65,000 people could die from the Swine Flu outbreak in the UK — the final figure was below 500.” Business Insider also noted, “Michael Thrusfield, a professor of veterinary epidemiology at Edinburgh University, told the paper he had ‘déjà vu’ after reading the Imperial paper, saying Ferguson was responsible for excessive animal culling during the 2001 Foot and Mouth outbreak. Ferguson warned the government that 150,000 people could die. Six million animals were slaughtered as a precaution, costing the country billions in farming revenue. In the end, 200 people died.”

Author: Hank Berrien

Source: Daily Wire: Epidemiologist Who Triggered Worldwide Lockdowns Admits: Without Instituting Full Lockdown, Sweden Essentially Getting Same Effect

On Friday afternoon, the city council in the small town of Atwater, California defied California Governor Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order and voted to declare itself a “sanctuary city” for businesses. The city council stated that its move “affirms the city’s commitment to fundamental constitutional rights,” ABC30 reported.

Atwater Mayor Paul Creighton exhorted, “This is America. You have the choice. It’s time for the government to stop dictating another month, another three months, six months. When is it going to end? When everyone is bankrupt?”

“At the Friday meeting, most people coming up to speak were for the sanctuary city reopening, not to mention members of the City Council and the Mayor voicing approval as well,” the California Globe reported.

Councilman Brian Raymond, who proposed the sanctuary city declaration, noted that some Californian cities, such as Coalinga, have simply declared that all businesses as being essential. But Raymond also noted that no city had declared itself a sanctuary city for businesses until Atwater.

Although the city, which is located in Merced County and has a population of roughly 28,000, is open for business, businesses that are regulated by the state could have their licenses revoked, which may inhibit them from opening. Creighton advised, “We’re not looking to jeopardize anyone’s business. That’s a license you hold with the state of California. So, we don’t want to cause any harm there, use your best judgment.”

Churches will be permitted to reopen; Victory Baptist church pastor Richard Miller announced that on Sunday he would hold outdoor services, adding that having temporarily held service online had “actually helped us to be more educated on how to keep things clean and reach out to people who can’t make it out to church.”

“Counties that feel their area is ahead of California’s curve are required to meet certain guidelines to move further into Phase 2. Merced County is not one of the counties approved to do so,” ABC30 noted.

On May 5, as California moved to Stage 2 of reopening, Newsom stated, “We’re not going back to normal. It’s a new normal with adaptations and modifications, until we get to immunity and a vaccine.” The San Francisco Chronicle noted of Stage 2:

Schools, summer programs, childcare facilities and low-risk businesses will reopen with adaptations and modifications to promote social distancing … Dr. Sonia Angell Angel, director of the California Department of Public Health, said retail may be allowed to reopen with curbside pickup and non-essential manufacturing for products such as clothing and toys could restart.

The Chronicle reported on May 5, “The new Bay Area order prohibits most retail from opening through May 31. Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara have allowed essential businesses such as grocery stores to remain open during the pandemic and on Monday allowed outdoor retailers such as plant nurseries to welcome back customers.”

Author: Hank Berrien

Source: Daily Wire: CA City Defies Newsom, Declares Itself ‘Sanctuary City’ For Businesses

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who has decided to buck the trends around the country and refuse to implement stay-at-home orders in her state, prompted some of her grateful citizens to surprise her with something: a parade.

The parade included numerous vehicles including firetrucks blaring emergency sirens, a pickup hauling a stock trailer, a concrete truck, and even construction equipment, as The Blaze noted.

Noem tweeted, “I am so blessed to serve the people of the great State of South Dakota. You folks made my day!”

On Monday, Noem released the “Back to Normal Plan” for her state. She wrote:

Thanks to a strong commitment and respect for the principle of personal responsibility, South Dakotans have dramatically changed the trajectory of our initial COVID-19 projections. With our hospitalization capacity currently at a manageable level, South Dakotans are asked to the following steps as we look to get back to normal.

In the document, a FAQ answers various hypothetical questions, including, “Does this mean I no longer have to stay at home?” The document answers, “South Dakota never issued a ‘stay at home’ or ‘shelter in place’ order. South Dakotans are encouraged to use common sense and practice good hygiene and reasonable physical distancing.”

Another question: “Are businesses, including outdoor venues and events, allowed to reopen?” Answer: “No business was ever required to close. Businesses are encouraged to consider these guidelines as they resume normal operations, and also must adhere to any local restrictions.”

A third: “When can churches and other places of worship resume religious services?” Answer: “Churches were never required to close; as they resume services, they are encouraged to consider the guidelines for ‘public gatherings’ and to consider steps to maintain reasonable physical distancing.”

As The Daily Wire reported in early April, Noem stated:

Our constitution ensures that the citizen’s right is protected. I agree with the role of our government as set forth in our state and in our national constitution. I took an oath to uphold these constitutions. My role with respect to public safety is something I take very seriouslyThe people themselves are primarily responsible for their safety. They are the ones that are entrusted with expansive freedoms – they are free to exercise their rights to work, worship, and play – or to stay at home, or to conduct social distancing. The calls to apply a one-size-fits all approach to this problem in South Dakota is herd mentality, not leadership.

Last week Noem stated, “I think we’ve got maybe 60 people in the hospital right now. We have 2,500 beds set aside for COVID-19 patients, but we only have 63 in. We probably, from all of our projections and studying the science behind the virus, we won’t peak until the middle of June. But we already have done much better than what we had thought would have been hitting our state already,” as the Washington Examiner reported.

Author: Hank Berrien

Source: Daily Wire: South Dakota Governor Refused To Implement Stay-At-Home Orders. Her Citizens Throw Her A Parade.

The coronavirus COVID-19 that originated in China may be the last straw that finally has triggered American companies to exit China. In the Global manufacturing consulting firm Kearney’s seventh annual Reshoring Index released on Tuesday, co-author Patrick Van den Bossche writes:

Three decades ago, U.S. producers began manufacturing and sourcing in China for one reason: costs. The trade war brought a second dimension more fully into the equation―risk―as tariffs and the threat of disrupted China imports prompted companies to weigh surety of supply more fully alongside costs. COVID-19 brings a third dimension more fully into the mix­, and arguably to the fore: resilience―the ability to foresee and adapt to unforeseen systemic shocks.

As Kenneth Rapoza writes in Forbes,the Kearnsey report revealed a “dramatic reversal” because domestic U.S. manufacturing in 2019 outdid 14 Asian exporters tracked in the study. Rapoza notes succinctly, “Manufacturing imports from China were the hardest hit.”

Rapoza opines that other nations in southeast Asia and Mexico may become primary target spots for American companies. He adds, “The new SARS coronavirus has literally closed the economies of the Western world and created a public relations nightmare for China.”

The Kearney report states that companies “will be compelled to go much further in rethinking their sourcing strategies, (and) their entire supply chains.”

In mid-March, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) told Fox News of an article in Xinhua, the Chinese state-run media agency, that stated: “If China retaliates against the United States at this time, in addition to announcing a travel ban on the United States, it will also announce strategic control over medical products and ban exports to the United States. Then the United States will be caught in the ocean of new coronaviruses … Also according to the U.S. CDC officials, most of the drugs in the United States are imported…If China banned exports, the United States will fall into the hell of a new coronavirus pneumonia epidemic … We should say righteously that the U.S. owes China an apology, the world owes China a ‘thank you.’”

Rubio warned “they can threaten to cut us off from our pharmaceutical supplies, they could trigger a domestic problem here that would make it difficult or us to confront them. It’s a tremendous amount of leverage.”

Senator Tom Cotton, who introduced a bill to protect the United States from dependence on China for pharmaceuticals, stated, “The Chinese Communist Party has threatened to cut off America’s access to vital drugs in the midst of a pandemic caused by its own failures. It’s time to pull America’s supply chains for life-saving medicine out of China and make the CCP pay for contributing to this global emergency.”

Cotton’s Senate website noted how dependent the United States is on the supply of pharmaceuticals from China:

Today, most active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) used for drugs in the United States are made in China, including 95% of U.S. imports of ibuprofen, 70% of acetaminophen, and 40-45% of Penicillin. This vulnerable state of affairs is due to the Chinese Communist Party having spent a generation cornering this strategic market.

Rapoza concludes in Forbes, “China is the go-to source for ibuprofen, hazmat suits, rubber gloves, surgical masks, ventilators … companies will want to hedge their supply chain strategy by spreading their risks. That doesn’t mean a full abandonment of China. It does mean China’s days as the go-to manufacturing hub for the Western world are over.”

Author: Hank Berrien

Source: Daily Wire: Report: American Companies Are Leaving China

On Monday, President Trump lauded various executives who have changed their companies’ agenda to help produce items in the battle against the coronavirus ravaging the United States. One of those executives was Mike Lindell of My Pillow, who has pledged to use his factories to make 50,000 N95 masks a day for healthcare professions to use.

But to the leftist media, the occasion of Trump giving honor to a man repurposing his factories to help in a time of crisis was an opportunity for them to continue their sniping at the president.

Some examples included Vox’s Aaron Rupar, who tweeted, “The My Pillow guy Mike Lindell says this: ‘God gave us grace on November 8, 2016, to change the course we were on. God had been taken out of our schools & lives, a nation had turned its back on God. I encourage you to use this time at home to get back in the word. Read our Bible.’”

CNN executive editor Ram Ramgopal was offended by the idea that Lindell spoke of the Bible; Ramgopal acted as though that was all Lindell was doing, snapping, “In case you were wondering what My Pillow is doing in a time of coronavirus.”

Ali Velshi of MSNBC: “Trump just called the ‘My Pillow’ guy up to the podium in the Rose Garden. You cannot make this stuff up.”

Newsweek columnist Seth Abramson: “Dear Trumpists, *this* is why media doesn’t want to cover your God-Emperor’s coronavirus rallies: because the g*ddamned My Pillow CEO was holding forth from the lectern on a day that 500+ Americans died and 20,000+ got sick from the virus the briefing was *intended* to focus on.”

Scott Dworkin, Deputy Director for the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee and the 2012 Democratic National Convention: : “Now Trump is having the My Pillow guy speak. This is absurd. #StopAiring Trump.”

MSNBC’s Joy Reid: “Not a prank. Ok perfect. Everything is fine.”

Sam Stein of the Daily Beast and MSNBC: “I’m a proponent of TV carrying Trump’s presser. But allowing corporations to use them as advertising platforms seems like the exact opposite of news.”

Victoria Brownworth, an author who has also blogged for Huffington Post: “The #my Pillow guy is virulently anti-#LGBTQ and trump just gave him a platform and millions of free advertising from the rose garden at a briefing on the #CoronavirusPandemic. At least @CNN cut away as soon as he took the podium.”

Historian Kevin Kruse: “And now the My Pillow guy is urging us all to return to God and read our Bibles at home, as we realize how amazing Trump’s glorious leadership has been, and no, I am absolutely not kidding, and my God, we are all going to die.”

The critics were promptly bombarded online:

Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro: “If you’re angry at the guy shifting over his factory to produce 50,000 facemasks a day for medical professionals, you’re doing being human wrong. #MyPillow.”

Co-founder of the Federalist Sean Davis: “Media: WHY WON’T TRUMP GIVE MASKS AND VENTILATORS TO DOCTORS AND NURSES!? Trump: This company is now making masks and ventilators. CEO: Here’s what we’re doing to make more masks and ventilators. MEDIA: OMG WHY ARE TRUMP AND THESE EVIL CEOS TALKING ABOUT MASKS AND VENTILATORS!?”

Pundit and author Erick Erickson: “An American small businessman gets invited to the White House to talk about how his company is stepping up to help the crisis and the blue check mark brigade savages him online.”

Erickson added, “Having an Executive Editor of CNN belittling a small businessman whose company is shifting gears to make masks for nurses and doing the belittling by retweeting a partisan hack from Vox is everything wrong with the media right now.”

Author and commentator Dana Loesch: “Right here. Proving these people do not care about those on the front lines of this. This is the point where my patience is gone.” She added, “The same press that bashes American citizens when they dare criticize overtly biased reporting turn to bashing American companies for having the audacity to shift production and make supplies desperately needed by doctors and nurses. WTH with the hate?”

The Hudson Institute’s Rebeccah Heinrichs: “50,000 masks per day for healthcare workers. 75% of his company’s production has been repurposed to help the country.”

Author: Hank Berrien

Source: Daily Wire: Trump Honors My Pillow Exec For Shifting Production To Facemasks. Media Whine That He Praises Trump, God.

While his opponent Amy McGrath has been reportedly attacking him in political ads as the coronavirus plagues their constituency, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign suspended its voter contact program in order to query voters if the campaign can provide meals to at-risk constituents.

As The Daily Caller reported, McConnell Senate Committee campaign manager Kevin Golden stated:

As Senator McConnell leads bipartisan efforts to help Kentuckians and all Americans cope with the impact of the coronavirus, Amy McGrath continues to run millions of dollars in false, negative political advertising designed to tear us apart. A candidate whose partisanship and ideology is so extreme that she cannot understand what people need in times of crisis is one that should not represent her political party, let alone the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Team Mitch has suspended its voter contact program and is asking Kentuckians if we can be a resource to provide meals for those who are at-risk and cannot get a meal on their own during this difficult time.

A McConnell campaign official informed the Daily Caller, “We paused our entire voter contact program and turned it into an outreach effort for at-risk Kentuckians. Phone bank volunteers are now standing by as operators for folks who need help. Staff and volunteers who, under normal circumstances, would be fanning out across the state to canvass and distribute campaign literature have been now tasked with assisting the needy during this difficult time.”

The Lexington Herald Leader reported that Golden stated, “Amy McGrath’s decision to blanket the airwaves with deceitful ads during the coronavirus outbreak is tasteless and shameful. As Kentuckians adjust their daily lives and schedules to help stem the outbreak, the last thing they need to see on TV is negative political advertising. The McGrath campaign must stop airing all of their advertisements.”

On Monday, the Courier-Journal ran an op-ed by McGrath in which she attacked McConnell, writing, “Instead of acting immediately to include provisions in an emergency bill to control the costs of vaccines and treatments being developed in response to this outbreak, he held up coronavirus funding in order to make sure Big Pharma would still be able to gouge prices.”

On Tuesday night, McGrath tweeted, “Mitch McConnell doesn’t care about our commonwealth or our country. He showed that last weekend to the country, and he’s shown that to Kentucky for the past 35 years.” She cited Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post asserting, “Finally, the Republican-led Senate is fiddling while Rome burns. The failure to take an immediate vote on the house’s relief package last week was emblematic of the sloth and irresponsibility of Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.”

One problem, as NRSC Senior Advisor Matt Whitlock pointed out: “This is a stunning and embarrassing display of ignorance — the House bill made it to the Senate this morning. You want to pretend you’re running a credible challenge to the *Senate Majority Leader* and you get this stuff wrong? Come on.”

McConnell’s official account noted that The Washington Post corrected the Rubin assertion. The account quoted the Post admitting, “An earlier version of this article incorrectly said that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) delayed a vote on the House’s coronavirus relief package.” The account added, “Why does Amy McGrath keep lying during a public health crisis?”

Author: Hank Berrien

Source: Daily Wire: While McConnell’s Opponent Attacks Him, McConnell’s Campaign Reaches Out To Provide Meals To Constituents

Speaking with Fox News on Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell laid down the law with a tough, forceful statement asserting that he will not permit the Democrats to turn America into a socialist country, making it doubly clear by gleefully reiterating that he is the “Grim Reaper.”

McConnell stated:

Whether it’s Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, the nominee for president on the Democratic side is going to be on a path to try to turn America into a socialist country. We’re not going to let that happen. Donald Trump is still in the White House, and as long as I am Majority Leader of the Senate I get to set the agenda. That’s why I call myself the Grim Reaper. We will not have the Green New Deal and we will not have Medicare-For-None as long as I am Majority Leader of the Senate.

In 2019, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stated, “Leader McConnell, the Grim Reaper, is creating this graveyard.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi echoed, “Leader McConnell seems to take great pride in calling himself the Grim Reaper … it’s part of the pride he takes as leader of the Senate.”

McConnell replied, “She’s got it right. For the first time in my memory, I’m going to agree with Nancy Pelosi. I am indeed the grim reaper when it comes to the socialist agenda that they’ve been ginning up over in the House with overwhelming Democratic support and sending it over to America, things that would turn us into a country we’ve never been.”

McConnell did relish the nickname; he even sold T-shirts on his campaign website with the moniker. The T-shirts were emblazoned, “So think of me as the Grim Reaper, the guy who is going to make sure that socialism doesn’t land on the president’s desk.” The website stated, “Get Your Official Grim Reaper for $35 and join Team Mitch today!”

In April 2019, during his reelection campaign, McConnell told an audience in Kentucky, “Are we still gonna be a competitive place? Are we still gonna be the kind of place where you realize your ambitions and your energy but if you aren’t able to do that there are still ways to lead a rewarding life? Or are we going to turn this into a socialist country? Don’t assume it cannot happen. It’ll all be in the hands, I think, of the voters of this country next year. If you share my view, and I hope you do, that that’s not what we want America to be like in the future, let me tell you this: If I’m still the Majority Leader of the Senate, think of me as the Grim Reaper. None of that stuff is gonna pass. None of it.”

He continued, “So, we have a big job to do next year. Obviously if we get the House back that takes care of it; if the president gets reelected that takes care of it; but I guarantee you: if I’m the last man standing and I’m still the Majority Leader; it ain’t happening. I promise you it ain’t happening.”

Author: Hank Berrien

Source: Daily Wire: WATCH: McConnell Lays Down The Law On Stopping Socialism: ‘That’s Why I Call Myself The Grim Reaper’

A top Mitt Romney adviser in 2011, Joseph Cofer Black, joined Burisma’s board of directors while Hunter Biden was serving on Burisma’s board.

As Erielle Davidson of The Federalist notes:

According to The New Yorker, Hunter joined Burisma’s board in April of 2014 and remained on it until he declined to renew his position this past May. Meanwhile, according to Burisma’s website, Black was appointed in February of 2017 and continues to serve on its board. The timelines would indicate that Black and Biden worked together at Burisma.

Additionally, as Davidson points out, web archives from late 2017 picture Black and Biden as directors on Burisma’s board.

Black’s resume includes serving as director of the National Counterterrorism Center. George W. Bush later appointed him ambassador at large and coordinator for counterterrorism, then Black served as a “special adviser” on Romney’s Foreign Policy and National Security Advisory Team in October of 2011.

When it was announced that Black had joined Burisma’s board, he stated, according to Ukrainian News:

I was impressed to learn that Burisma Group is the fastest-growing private gas producer in Central Europe. International projects where the Group is involved require a more thorough analysis and risk assessment, not only in terms of conventional risks – financial or political but also in terms of security. Additionally, in view of rapidly developing digital and information technologies, the Group needs to effectively deal with potential cyber-attacks and informational risks that may come about as a result of its work. My role will be to advise the Group with respect to its security practices and protocols, including on the most effective protections and programs to guard against cyber-attacks. Unfortunately, today many international companies are subject to data and other cyber-attacks that result in exposing and manipulating information; in particular false information that brings harm to global companies. I also believe my international experience in numerous countries around the world will be of use in shaping the Group’s international expansion strategy.

Ukrainian News asked, “In Ukraine, there have been some rumors surrounding Burisma Group, due to the comments from certain politicians and activists. What can you say? How do you plan to deal with this?”

Black replied:

Ukraine remains the Burisma Group’s strategic market and is a key element of its business strategy. It is here in Ukraine where Burisma plans to deepen its investment bringing more jobs, increased economic strength and more revenue to the state. I believe Burisma’s economic expansion will help Ukraine’s economy and improve Ukraine’s energy security. I will do all that I can to work with leaders and decision-makers and those trying to influence them of the positive impact a privately held energy company like Burisma can have on Ukraine.

In the U.S., privately held energy companies play an important and positive role in economic development in key states like Louisiana, Texas, and North and South Dakota. While elements of civil society may question the growth of some energy companies, I believe they should do so in a lawful manner and ensuring accusations are based on facts and evidence rather than rumor or innuendo.

Author: Hank Berrien

Source: Daily Wire: FLASHBACK: Top Romney Advisor Served On Burisma’s Board With Hunter Biden

On Wednesday’s “Morning Joe,” Democrat West Virginia senator Joe Manchin broke with the rest of his party, which has been stonewalling the possibility of the Senate calling Hunter Biden as a witness in the impeachment trial of President Trump. Asked by host Willie Geist if Hunter Biden was a “relevant witness,” Manchin answered “I think so. I really do. I don’t have a problem there because this is why we are where we are.” He continued, “Now I think he can clear himself, what I know and what I’ve heard, but being afraid to put anybody that might have pertinent information is wrong, no matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, and not go home and say ‘Well, I protected one who was afraid—’ No. If it’s relevant, then it should be there,” as The Hill reported.

When Kasie Hunt followed by asking him if he would call Hunter Biden as a witness, Manchin reportedly answered, “If the judge or whoever rules that it is pertinent, absolutely.”

Washington Post reporter Robert Costa contacted Manchin to ask if he stood by his comments; Coast reported that Manchin said he did, but when Costa asked if Manchin would consider calling former Vice President Joe Biden as a witness, Manchin replied he was against the idea, calling it a “bridge too far.”

As The Hill reported last week, Democrats have been adamantly opposed to calling Hunter Biden as a witness:

Senate Democrats are dismissing chatter about attempts at an agreement that would guarantee former national security adviser John Bolton testifies in President Trump’s impeachment trial in exchange for former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden also testifying … Charles Schumer (D-NY) asked about a potential swap, argued that “witnesses should have something to do with and direct knowledge of the charges against the president. You know, we don’t need to have witnesses that have nothing to do with this that are trying to distract Americans from the truth,” Schumer said.

Schumer was asked again about the possibility of calling Hunter Biden; he answered, “That’s off the table.” Lead impeachment manager Adam Schiff echoed that Hunter Biden was “irrelevant and immaterial,” adding, “This isn’t like some fantasy football trade. … This isn’t we’ll offer you this, if you give us that.”

Democratic Maryland senator Chris Van Hollen chimed in, calling a Bolton for Hunter Biden swap a “total sideshow … Focusing on Hunter Biden just furthers the entire scheme … Trump put forward.”

Democratic Delaware senator Chris Coons told CNN’s “New Day” that such a deal “would mean trading a relevant witness who should be testifying for a witness who has nothing to do with the charges against the president. There was some mistake in reporting in another news outlet that suggested somehow, I was part of a group that was trying to cut some deal … I’m not involved in a conversation like that,” adding later on Twitter, that witnesses “have to be relevant to the case … It isn’t complicated. The President is on trial here, not anyone with the last name Biden. VP Biden and Hunter Biden are not relevant witnesses.”

Author: Hank Berrien

Source: Daily Wire: BREAKING: Dem Senator Breaks With Party: Says He’d Consider Calling Hunter Biden

On Wednesday, the Trump administration approved a right-of-way permitting the $8 billion Keystone XL oil sands pipeline to be built across 46 miles of land controlled by the federal government, taking a giant step toward completing the full construction of the pipeline.

As the Associated Press noted, the 1,200 mile pipeline had already garnered the requisite permits from states and localities to be built, but until Wednesday the section in Montana controlled by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had been off-limits.

Casey Hammond, assistant secretary of the Interior Department, confirmed that Interior Secretary David Bernhardt had signed off on the agreement.

The Keystone pipeline had already been built in June 2010 traveling over 2,100 miles from Hardisty, Alberta in Canada through Steele City, Nebraska to Wood River Refinery in Roxana, Illinois and Patoka Oil Terminal just north of Patoka, Illinois. In 2011, the Keystone-Cushing extension (Phase II) was completed, running almost 300 miles Steele City to Cushing, Oklahoma. In January 2014, Phase III was completed, running roughly 500 miles from Cushing to refineries in Port Arthur, Texas. In 2016, a lateral pipeline was added traveling to Houston, Texas.

The Keystone XL pipeline connects Hardisty to Steel City using the shorter route running through Montana and uses a larger diameter pipe, running through Baker, Montana.

The Senate passed a bill approving the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline in January 2015; the House followed suit in February 2015. President Obama vetoed the bill on February 24, 2015, stating that it “attempts to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest.”

The Senate was unable to gain the requisite number of votes to override the veto by a two-thirds majority, with a 62–37 vote. In January 2017, President Trump signed a presidential memorandum to revive the Keystone XL pipeline; in March 2017 he signed a presidential permit to allowing it to be built.

But in November 2018, U.S. District Judge Brian Morris vacated the presidential permit. In March 2019 Trump revoked the prior permit and issued a new permit for the pipeline, writing, “I hereby grant permission, subject to the conditions herein set forth, to TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P. … to construct, connect, operate, and maintain pipeline facilities at the international border of the United States and Canada at Phillips County, Montana, for the import of oil from Canada to the United States.”

Project sponsor TC Energy has stated it would like to begin construction on the U.S.-Canada border crossing in Montana in April. Environmentalists and Native Americans have protested the Keystone XL pipeline with a number of lawsuits; Steve Volker, representing the Indigenous Environmental Network, stated, “We have every confidence that the federal courts will set aside these approvals.”

Phillips County, Montana, county commissioner John Carnahan, aware that the pipeline will bring the county tax revenue of $1 million annually, stated, “It’s a no-brainer for us as far as how the community feels. We’d go out there and help them if we could. It’s not only good for the county, it’s good for America.”

Author: Hank Berrien

Source: Daily Wire: Trump Administration Approves Big Step Toward Completing Keystone XL Pipeline

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