Beltway Insider: Biden, Trump, Stimulus, EU COVID, Vaccine, China IP, NYT Shamed, Epstein Pimp, Jim Carrey

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President-elect Biden continuing his transition, without an acknowledgement of defeat or concession from President Trump, has again made an historic choice naming former Democratic presidential challenger, South Bend, Indiana, mayor, Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation.

 

The President's job approval rating, according to the website fivethirtyeight.com, for the period ending December 20, 2020, remained constant at 43.5% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness increased by .02% percentage points to 52.6%. A slight 3% of the population polled have no opinion. Ratings are calculated weekly.


Beltway Insider: Biden, Trump, Stimulus, China, COVID, Vaccine, Journo Executed, Chuck Yeager


House, Senate Dedicated to Deal

After six months of stalled negotiations, both the House and Senate expect a deal to be reached today.

"Congressional leaders are working through the final details of an expected $900 billion pandemic aid proposal and could announce a deal in the coming hours. A compromise over a Republican-backed provision to limit the Federal Reserve's emergency lending powers, which held up a deal at the last minute, cleared the way for Congress to move toward an agreement," CNBC.com reported.

For struggling Americans, the pandemic relief bill will include an additional $300.00 per week in enhanced unemployment benefits, a $600 stimulus check, for each member of the household, along with additional reprieves from Eviction reprieve.

President Trump used his executive powers to extend the Student Loan amnesty program through December 31, 2020. It is unclear if the stimulus package, in flux currently, contains any additional provisions. The exact text of the bill has yet to be released, although it is expected to be voted on by both the House and Senate before 12:01am Monday to avert a government shutdown.

Trump Administration Continues To Address Chinese Threat

Over the past week, as the coronavirus has dominated the news with a increasing death toll and slow rollout of vaccines, few news agencies announced a major hack across multiple U.S. Government agencies, top tech companies and nearly 18,000 other "common" companies across the United States.

With Russian considered the source of disinformation campaigns and known to have a sophisticated hacking system, it was reported, and later retracted, that Russian was behind the massive breech.

The companies and agencies hacked included the "US Treasury, Energy Department, Department of Homeland Security, State Department, Microsoft. At least 18,000 corporations who downloaded SolarWinds updates. While 80% of the victim companies were based in the U.S., Microsoft said that targets were also hit in the U.K., Canada, Mexico, Belgium, Spain, Israel and the United Arab Emirates," The Street.com reported.

The ongoing Cold War with China, which has dominated the Trump Administration, has continued its effort against the United States to increase its in country spying of citizen's, leveraging information access through female associations, hacking the U.S. government, and perfecting a strategy for domination.


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Outgoing National Director John Ratcliffe published his beliefs on the China Threat in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, reported in the Associated Press, which in part read, "I call its approach of economic espionage 'rob, replicate and replace,'" Ratcliffe said. "China robs U.S. companies of their intellectual property, replicates the technology and then replaces the U.S. firms in the global marketplace."

While President Donald Trump has yet to publicly address the hack, President-elect Joe Biden issued a statement Thursday on "what appears to be a massive cybersecurity breach affecting potentially thousands of victims, including U.S. companies and federal government entities. "I want to be clear: My administration will make cybersecurity a top priority at every level of government -- and we will make dealing with this breach a top priority from the moment we take office," Biden said, pledging to impose "substantial costs on those responsible for such malicious attacks, " Bloomberg.com reported.

Coronavirus Totals

The infection rates of the coronavirus have alarmingly increased around the world. The weekly account confirms that a second wave is building with European nations enforcing shutdowns for, at minimum, one month. The importance of maintaining personal protective practices is imperative to controlling the spread.

For the week ending December 20, 2020, coronavirus cases increased globally by 5,351,600 confirmed cases, brings the total of confirmed cases worldwide to 76,279,600, with 1,685,000 deaths, an increase of 80,800 over the week.

Infections rates in the United States are also on the rise. For the week ending December 20, 2020, the total confirmed cases rose to 17,701,500 with new confirmed cases rising by 1,517,100 this week alone with an average by 216,728 cases per day. The coronavirus has claimed 316,300 total deaths, a weekly increase of 18,400 deaths. (Data from The New York Times).

EU Nations Face Hard Closures

A second generation COVID strain, a mutation of the original that crippled much of Western Europe and the world, has surfaced across EU nations forcing leaders to make unprecedented and hardline shutdown decisions for the safety of its citizens.

Germany, which holds the rotating presidency in the European Union, has called for an Emergency Meeting to address the mutation to coordinate a consistent response across its league of 27 member nations comprising the European Union.

Across the bloc, a varying degree of restriction is currently implemented, with nearly all banning Public Events and International travel with restriction. This week all EU nations have banned travel from flights originating from the United Kingdom due to the mutating strain.

"France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Italy all announced restrictions on U.K. travel, hours after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that Christmas shopping and gatherings in southern England must be canceled because of rapidly spreading infections blamed on the new coronavirus variant. Johnson immediately put those regions into a strict new Tier 4 restriction level, upending Christmas plans for millions," The Associated Press reported.

The current messaging from U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, does little to provide assurance to the American people as a fair assessment of the dangers of the mutation.

"Surgeon General Jerome Adams said it is too early to tell if a coronavirus mutation alarming public health officials in Europe is more dangerous than earlier variants, but noted that there were "no indications that it is going to hurt our ability to continue vaccinating people. Viruses mutate all the time, and that does not mean that this virus is any more dangerous," Adams said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "We don't even know if it's really more contagious yet or not, or if it just happened to be a strain that was involved in a super spreader event," CNBC.com reported.

COVID Scientist Dead

Russian COVID Scientist, Alexander "Sasha" Kagansky, 45, was found dead with stab wounds. Russian authorities indicated he fell from a high floor window and it appeared he had been engaged in a struggle.


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FDA Approves Moderna Vaccine, Pfizer Allergic Reactions

With the initial rollout of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine beginning over the past week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted to endorse Moderna's coronavirus vaccine for emergency use.

Providing the same criteria as the Pfizer vaccine, which approves emergency usage but is not a formal FDA approval, which will be readdressed after the Coronavirus is under control.

"The Moderna vaccine can be distributed more widely because it can be stored at normal freezer temperatures and, unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, does not require ultracold storage. It also comes in much smaller batches, making it easier for hospitals in less populated areas to use quickly," The New York Times reported.

Coronavirus Vaccine Roll Out Hits Snag

After the first week of Coronavirus vaccinations in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control has become aware of several cases of allergic reactions to the Pfizer's BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, of those reported the reaction ranged from mild to serious.

"The CDC said that people who have severe allergic reactions after the first dose should not get the second shot. Those who have had severe allergic reactions to a component in a COVID-19 vaccine should not get that specific vaccine. The agency also advises that those who have had severe allergic reactions to other vaccines or therapies consult their doctor before getting inoculated. However, people with a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medicines may still get vaccinated, the CDC said," The Hill reported.

It was noted prior to roll out that any person with known allergic reactions to food or medicine or those who carry an EpiPen should not take the vaccine.


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Epstein Pimp Arrested

The ongoing case surrounding Billionaire Financier Jeffrey Epstein, who died in New York's Riker's Island of an alleged suicide after his high-profile arrest, and his global network of accomplices in an underage sex-trafficking ring catering to the ultra-rich and famous has snagged another collaborator.

Jean-Luc Brunel, a French modeling agent and close ally and alleged pimp to late sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein, is in custody in Paris after attempting to board a flight to Dakar in Senegal. Paris prosecutors say he was taken into custody for rape, sexual assault against minors, sexual harassment, criminal conspiracy, and trafficking in human beings, according to Le Parisien newspaper," Yahoo.com reported.

Ghislaine Maxwell, also named as an accomplice, has been sitting in a Brooklyn jail cell since her July 2020 arrest in Bradford, New Hampshire by the FBI. Through her lawyers she has asked to be released on a $28.5 million dollar bond. The request is likely to be denied.

NY Times Returns 2018 Peabody – Paper defrauded by Podcast Caliphate

The fabled New York Times has once again been duped by internal leadership hoping, with false documentation and slicked up impersonators, to modernize the Gray Lady by creating a solid, hard charging, investigative digital footprint.

"Caliphate represents the modern New York Times," Sam Dolnick, an assistant managing editor, said in unveiling the project. "It's ambitious, rigorous, hard-nosed reporting combined with first-rate digital storytelling. We're taking our audience to dangerous places they have never been, and we're doing it with more transparency than we ever have before," NPR reported.

Two years later, the paper has retracted the story and returned the Peabody Award they received on the groundbreaking story of an ISIS Insider, a radicalized Canadian who moved to Syria to take up arms and became an executioner, a Jihad John, willing to talk.

The FBI followed up and exposed the man as a con artist and a liar. Even with The Times' best and brightest, the wild stories of intrigue, crime, terrorist training camps and other intimate details were enough to convince the New York times leadership of the authenticity of the work. Unfortunately, it appeared the basic rule of journalism three reputable sources and irrefutable documentation didn't meet the standard. But, at the time it was just too salacious not to move on it.

"We fell in love with the fact that we had gotten a member of ISIS who would describe his life in the caliphate and would describe his crimes," New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet tells NPR in an interview on Thursday. "I think we were so in love with it that when we saw evidence that maybe he was a fabulist, when we saw evidence that he was making some of it up, we didn't listen hard enough," NPR reported.

This isn't the first time The New York Times has had to address plagiarism. Former New York Times reporter Jayson Blair, who resigned in 2003, had committed multiple acts of journalistic fraud and plagiarism while on assignment. He eventually published "Burning Down My Master's House."

The New York Times isn't the only high profile and storied Newspaper to fail to recognize those who are hoping to find fame in the story, a ticket to the glamourous literati life.

In 1981, The Washington Post received a Pulitzer Prize for Jimmy's World, the story of an eight-year-old drug dealer in inner-city streets of Washington, D.C. Janet Cooke, a promising reporter later admitted to fabricating the entirety of the story.

Massive Blizzards Hit US and Japan

The Eastern United States received a whopper snowstorm this week, with many cities including Manhattan receiving more snow than they had throughout the entire 2019 snow season. The 40inches, or 3.5 feet stranded motorist, downed powerlines, and generally wreaked havoc on an already stre4ssed and exhausted populations.

And on the bright side, Northeasterners could be living in Fujiwara, Japan where they also experienced a whopper of a snowstorm this week leaving the city and motorists stranded under more than 7ft of snow. Small consolation for quarantined Manhattanites. For those looking for the sunny side of the street there is also a possibility of a White Christmas.

Funny Guy Jim Carrey Depart SNL

Funny guy Jim Carrey, who had been deadpanning President-elect Joe Biden, beginning in October, has announced, via twitter his departure from the role.

The comedic master said "Though my term was only meant to be 6 weeks, I was thrilled to be elected as your SNL President...comedy's highest call of duty. I would love to go forward knowing that Biden was the victor because I nailed that shit. But I am just one in a long line of proud, fighting SNL Bidens!"

Saturday Night Live, now in its 46th season, has named Alex Moffet as the new Joe Biden. No word on whether fan favorite Alec Baldwin will return for any episodes as the disgruntled former president Donald Trump.

For more information on President Donald Trump www.whitehouse.gov.

Sources: Various © Articles covered by Copyright protection.

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