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OPINION

Trump to Get On-Camera ‘Medical Evaluation’ by Hydroxychloroquine-Pushing Fox News Doc

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There are many questions swirling around President Donald Trump and his current health status: When did he first test positive for coronavirus? When was his last negative test? Why is the White House using a rapid test to claim people are coronavirus-free when it’s designed only for those with coronavirus symptoms? What is Trump’s current viral load? Why won’t Trump or his doctors say if he has currently tested negative?

The list is long.

None of those questions are expected to be answered tonight, when a pro-Trump hydroxychloroquine-pushing Fox News doctor who has made questionable and just plain false coronavirus claims will examine President Trump on the conservative cable network’s show hosted by Tucker Carlson.

Fox News recently won a court case by arguing reasonable viewers should not believe what is said on Carlson’s show.

This morning, just 25 days before Election Day, the network announced “President Trump is scheduled to make his first on-camera interview appearance on Friday since he announced last week that he tested positive for the novel coronavirus.”

Notice even Fox doesn’t say “since he tested positive for the novel coronavirus.” It says “since he announced.”

Because the Trump administration refuses to level with the American people about the health of their president.

“The interview will take place on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ at 8 p.m. ET. Dr. Marc Siegel will conduct a medical evaluation and interview during the program.”

That is Fox News contributor Dr. Marc Siegel.

Media Matters reports that Siegel has appeared nearly 300 times on Fox News, as of Sept. 29, to discuss coronavirus, and says he “regularly pushes coronavirus misinformation, downplays the severity of the crisis, and discards science in favor of right-wing talking points.”

“In the past,” Bloomberg adds, Dr. Siegel “has speculated without evidence that [Joe] Biden is using speed and Adderall before debates, said it’s ‘almost impossible’ for people under 70 to die from Covid-19, and argued that Speaker Nancy Pelosi should ‘stop pontificating’ about Trump’s health.”

Siegel once even attributed a decline in coronavirus deaths to a coronavirus“vaccine on the horizon” that has not been released.

“Rather than reveal his medical records to reporters the traditional way in 2016, Trump dictated a letter to his doctor and shared it during a TV appearance with Dr. Oz,” Bloomberg reminds Americans.

As for the medical evaluation – not “medical examination,” well, why should Americans trust the word of a physician who “repeatedly compared COVID-19 to the flu and said concern about the pandemic was being exaggerated to attack President Donald Trump politically, then he became among the first Fox personalities to push hydroxychloroquine as a supposed miracle treatment,” as Media Matters reported last month.

What else has Dr. Siegel said about the deadly virus that to date has killed nearly 215,000 people in the United States? Some excerpts from Media Matters’ extensive report:

  • On February 17, Siegel said he “can’t believe how well” the Trump administration is handling the coronavirus response, adding: “The proof is in the pudding. We have 15 people in the United States with it. That’s it. No one has died.”
  • Three days later, Siegel described Trump’s leadership on the coronavirus as “tremendous” and said the administration is “spreading confidence.”
  • On March 6, Siegel said the “worst-case scenario” for coronavirus is “it could be the flu.”
  • On March 8, Siegel agreed with Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Pete Hegseth after he said, “I feel like the more I learn about this, the less there is to worry about.” Siegel responded, “I was about to say the same thing.”
  • On April 20, Siegel cited unreliable antibody testing data to claim: “The death rate is much, much lower than we’ve been talking about if you think about all these asymptomatic cases versus the tragic 600 that passed away. … We’re talking about a virus that for most cases is dramatically mild, we’re talking about a lower fatality rate than we thought.”
  • On July 7, he said schools need to reopen because “the risk to teachers is so much lower than it is to doctors.”
  • On the same day, Siegel said, “The spread among the young is not what is leading to the deaths or hospitalizations.” Recent research has shown this is false: During the time period Siegel made this remark, young people were catching and spreading the disease and may have later passed it on to older, more vulnerable populations.
  • Siegel pushed Trump campaign talking points falsely labeling Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris as “anti-vaxx,” ignoring that the Trump administration has been undermining scientists in the federal government while promising a viable vaccine by Election Day, which is fueling skepticism toward the president’s claims.
  • On August 6, Siegel spun Trump’s falsehoods on the risk of coronavirus to children on one of Fox’s “straight news” shows: “I can’t interpret” what Trump meant when he said children are “almost immune” from coronavirus.

What will Americans learn tonight about the health of their President? Probably whatever Trump says is the “truth.”

Here’s what MSNBC’s Chris Hayes said last night:

 

 

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OPINION

‘Jim Crow Joe’ Manchin Accused of Working to ‘Derail’ Biden’s Agenda – Some Now Accuse Him of Racism and Misogyny

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His net worth is reportedly more than $7 million. He makes $174,000 at his day job as the Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, but he also has financial ties to the family’s multi-million dollar coal company, which he used to run.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is a multi-millionaire living in one of America’s poorest states, and he’s on track to derail President Joe Biden’s agenda on multiple fronts.

Manchin has long been known as a conservative Democrat. His first act as a U.S. Senator was to be the only Democrat to vote against the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” He claimed that even after being the state’s governor and serving in public government roles for decades he wasn’t sure how his constituents wanted him to vote.

The West Virginia Democrat no longer is “confused” by which way he wants to vote.

Manchin has decided that tens of million of Americans working for minimum wage don’t deserve $15 an hour. He wants to cap the maximum increase to $11 an hour. He thinks $15 an hour, or about $31,000 a year, as a full-time minimum employee is just too much.

Manchin didn’t cite any studies, just his gut.

“I would amend it to $11,” Sen. Manchin said, according to CNN’s Manu Raju. “We can do $11 in two years and be in a better position than they’re going to be with $15 in five years.”

It’s unclear who would be in a “better position,” or who “we” and “they” are.

The $15 minimum wage is not the only important Biden agenda item Manchin wants to kill.

Last week he effectively killed any chance Biden’s pick to head the Office of Management and Budget had to be confirmed. Manchin announced late Friday afternoon Neera Tanden’s tweets were just too mean, and she therefore should not be confirmed.

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) followed on Monday morning, announcing she too found the mean tweets disturbing, and would vote against confirmation. Later Monday, Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) followed suit.

Tanden, a woman of color whose parents are immigrants from India, is eminently-qualified. She has been the president of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress for nearly a decade, and has also served in important roles in the Obama and Clinton White Houses.

Monday night MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow observed Manchin “has invented a whole new standard” for confirmation, which he has never applied to anyone else.

And now, Manchin has signaled he has it out for yet another Biden pick, who just coincidentally happens to be another woman, and another woman of color.

Senator Manchin has let it be known he’s uncomfortable with President Biden’s nominee to head the Dept. of the Interior. U.S. Congresswoman Deb Haaland, Democrat of New Mexico, just isn’t doing it for Manchin.

Like with Tanden (who technically is still in the running) Manchin hasn’t stated any issue with her qualifications.

NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent Leigh Ann Caldwell reports Manchin “is undecided” on Haaland.

If Haaland is confirmed she would become the first Native American to run Interior, and the first Native American Cabinet Secretary.

“Manchin and Haaland have met to discuss her nomination via zoom but Manchin has remaining questions,” Caldwell reports, noting Haaland appears before Manchin’s Energy Committee Tuesday.

Late Monday night Politico published a report titled, “‘A double standard going on’: Democrats accuse GOP and Manchin of bias on Biden nominations.”

Democrats are expressing anger at Manchin, and firing charges of misogyny and racism.

 

 

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OPINION

Watch: Ted Cruz Says Cancun Trip ‘Obviously a Mistake’ – but Claim He Did It to Appease His Daughters Falls Apart

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U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) offered up not an apology, and not even an honest explanation, Thursday evening upon returning home from a very short trip to Cancun, alone, after accompanying his wife and two young daughters to the Ritz-Carlton in Mexico for what was supposed to be a five-day get-away.

But new details, including a leaked group text message confirmed by The New York Times expose the two-term Texas Senator as not being honest about the trip.

“Whether the decision to go was tone-deaf, look, it was obviously a mistake, and in hindsight I wouldn’t have done it,” Cruz told reporters in front of his house as protestors called for him to resign.

Tone-deaf, many noted, was being especially kind.

“I was trying to be a dad,” he insisted, not understanding that good parents teach children about responsibility, community, and taking care of those who put their trust in you by electing you, not running off to a foreign country when the going gets tough.

“All of us have made decisions, when you’ve got two girls who have been cold for two days, and haven’t had heat or power and they’re saying, ‘Hey look we don’t have school, why don’t we go, let’s get outta here.'”

That claim echoed one he made in a statement released after he decided to cut short the trip and head back to Texas, where millions are just getting power back, but suffering extreme cold weather and in many cases no water, and burst pipes, and other damage.

In his statement Cruz claimed: “With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends. Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon.”

But leaked group texts, The New York Times reports, show Senator Cruz’s wife Heidi initiated the offer and idea of the trip, telling friends their house, like millions of other Texans’ homes, was “FREEZING.”

“Ms. Cruz invited others to join them at the Ritz-Carlton in Cancún, where they had stayed ‘many times,’ noting the room price this week ($309 per night) and its good security,” The Times reports. “The text messages were provided to The New York Times and confirmed by a second person on the thread, who declined to be identified because of the private nature of the texts.”

Cruz in his statement also revealed a lack of understanding of what his job is, especially during a crisis.

“In a local emergency,” says Matt Glassman, a senior fellow from the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University, lawmakers “are conduit to tons of resources and a resource who can effectively coordinate certain sets of actors and lean on people to make things happen. Can very much turn into administrators.”

In other words, Cruz’s constituents needed his help, but he chose to leave them, revealing to Texans and his daughters he’s neither a good role model, lawmaker, or dad.

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OPINION

Right Wing Religious Extremists Rush to Defend Ted Cruz

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Two right wing religious extremists have rushed to defend Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and his trip to Cancun while the rest of Texas is in a state of emergency.  Texas is  currently sandwiched between two storms, the first dropped temperatures to single-digits earlier this week, knocking out the power grid for millions, the second is slated to hit Thursday, again bringing extreme low temperatures.

Senator Cruz opted to fly to Mexico rather than stay on the ground in his home state to help Texas residents.

Some of Cruz’s defenders, like religious right extremists Erick Erickson and Dinesh D’Souza, think there’s nothing a sitting U.S. Senator could do in a crisis.

They’re wrong.

First, here’s what they’re saying:

“You people.” As in, millions of Texans trying to not freeze or starve to death.

What they’re exposing is their ignorance about government.

Conservatives, at least Republicans in general, tend to think government serves little important function. They love to toss around the old Reagan joke: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.'”

In  times of crisis, often the government is the only entity that can effectively help.

And don’t forget – we are the government. Government is people, the people we choose to lead and represent us. We hope they do it well.

Because conservatives don’t believe in government they consistently abuse it, under-estimate it, and make it worse.

So here’s what a few experts are saying about what Cruz could have done instead of fleeing to sunny Mexico.

First, Indivisible co-founder Ezra Levin, who was the Deputy Policy Director for Texas Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett:

For a more in-depth explanation, here’s a senior fellow from the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University. Notice how he uses the same word “performative,” but explains why that’s not what good lawmakers do.

“In a local emergency,” Glassman says, lawmakers “are conduit to tons of resources and a resource who can effectively coordinate certain sets of actors and lean on people to make things happen. Can very much turn into administrators.”

Apparently, no one told Senator Cruz, or his religious right supporters.

 

Image by Matt Johnson via Flickr and a CC license

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