Task Force Concludes Cuomo’s Nursing Home Policy Did Lead To More Nursing Home Deaths

The NYSBA (New York State Bar Association) Task Force on Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care determined that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order policy forcing nursing homes to take on patients that had tested positive for COVID-19 led to more deaths.

The report is a devastating indictment on the Democrat governor’s policies and their effects on the elderly in the Empire State during the early stages of the pandemic.

The task force, according to the New York Post, defined Cuomo’s directive as “unreasonable” in both its “absoluteness” and the length of time it was left in effect.

While they were unable to put a particular number on that effect, the NYSBA was able to determine “there are credible reviews that suggest that the directive, for the approximately six weeks that it was in effect, did lead to some number of additional deaths.”

RELATED: Report: Cuomo Being Investigated For Retaliating Against Sexual Harassment Accusers

Task Force: Cuomo Nursing Home Policy Led To More Deaths

Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order on March 25th which forced nursing homes to take on patients that had tested positive for coronavirus.

The order prohibited nursing homes from requiring incoming patients “to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission.”

Cuomo’s directive remained in place for over six weeks while well over 15,000 senior citizens succumbed to the virus.

The New York Democrat and his top aides have also been accused of hiding the data on those nursing home deaths and stripping numbers from DOH (Department of Health) reports.

For months Cuomo touted a DOH report which contained an explicit quantifier that the order forcing the care facilities to take on COVID-positive patients was “not a driver of nursing home infections or fatalities.”

The NYSBA task force determined that was not accurate.

“The Department of Health issued a report in 2020 in which it argued unconvincingly that the admission of 6,326 COVID-positive residents during the period the Health directive was in effect had no impact,” the report states.

“That cannot be the case, and has now been shown not to be the case.”

RELATED: Fox News’ Janice Dean: My Family Didn’t Have To Die, Cuomo’s Policy Helped It Happen

Cuomo’s Order Cost Lives

The report that Governor Cuomo’s executive order for nursing homes did lead to more deaths is a small measure of vindication for Fox News meteorologist and author Janice Dean, who has argued for months that his policies led to the deaths of more seniors than in any other state.

She argued in an op-ed column for USA Today over the summer that very point.

Dean’s in-laws were the unfortunate victims of COVID-19, where nursing homes in New York played a significant part.

“At first we didn’t blame anyone for my in-laws’ deaths. This is a pandemic, after all,” she wrote. “Then we learned about a policy that put them in danger.”

Dean’s column featured a sub-heading arguing, “My family didn’t have to die.”

Governor Cuomo is under investigation and impeachment inquiry for a slew of scandals, not the least of which involves the nursing home executive order and subsequent effort to obstruct justice by hiding the numbers.

They include:

  • Numerous sexual misconduct allegations including a police report involving forcibly groping an aide.
  • Bullying and threatening fellow lawmakers and members of the media.
  • Under investigation for a $5.1 million book deal profiting off the pandemic by having aides write and edit portions using state resources.
  • Provided priority COVID-19 testing for his family and associates, also allegedly using state resources.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out admitting over 9,000 Covid patients into nursing homes for 46 days would increase the amount of deaths, but if a 242-page report from the NY State Bar association proves [Cuomo] lied and people died, so be it,” Dean tweeted.

The Fox News personality has suggested many people in the Cuomo administration belong in prison over the nursing home scandal.

“I really feel like he should go to jail,” Dean has said. “And all these people surrounding him that covered this up for so many months, they should go to jail.”

The NYSBA report relied in part on a study by the Empire Center for Public Policy that tied “several hundred and possibly more than 1,000” deaths of nursing home residents to Cuomo’s executive order.

There is now a straight-line correlation between his policies and the deaths of the elderly during the pandemic. The question is, will anybody in New York state do anything about it?

 

Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
The Political Insider ranks #16 on Feedspot’s “Top 70 Conservative Political Blogs, Websites & Influencers in 2021.”

 

The post Task Force Concludes Cuomo’s Nursing Home Policy Did Lead To More Nursing Home Deaths appeared first on The Political Insider.

Even federal judges are referencing far-right conspiracy theories to overturn our laws

It should be noted, yet again, that being an actual, bonafide judge in the United States of America requires no qualifications whatsoever. You either are appointed as a judge or win an election to become one, and the rest is filler to be worked out by whoever's been tasked with updating the webpages. They say anybody in America can grow up to be president, but that is obviously a lie. But anyone can grow up to be a judge in America. Louie Gohmert was a judge.

Being a judge is in fact one of the few occupations in America that does not require you to even have a head. Unfortunate roller coaster accident? Got too close to Dick Cheney during a hunting trip? No problem. You can still write opinions. Years before his untimely death, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia outsourced all his important opinions to a family of grumpy squirrels that had taken up residence in his attic and nobody noticed or said a damn thing about it.

In a Friday night news dump, a California judge issued a ruling announcing that the state's assault weapon ban, in place since 1989, was unconstitutional because reasons. It caused a stir primarily for using language that sounded conspicuously like what the National Rifle Association and American militia groups have long been spouting in their newsletters and pamphlets, and mostly for Judge Roger Benitez's comparison of weapons designed explicitly for mass murder to a "Swiss Army Knife." An AR-15 rifle "is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment," Benitez said in his ruling. Whether he had his pants on while writing that sentence is unknown; whether he cribbed it exactly from a gun manufacturer's ad is ... probably worth exploring.

That is not, however, the only bit of bizarre editorializing in the ruling. Judge HasAHead also took it upon himself to opine that assault weapons actually are far less dangerous than ... the COVID-19 vaccine. "The evidence described so far proves that the 'harm' of an assault rifle being used in a mass shooting is an infinitesimally rare event. More people have died from the Covid-19 vaccine than mass shootings in California."

If I were head dictator of judgeships this one would be off the bench in five seconds flat for putting the "harm" of assault-rifle-assisted mass shootings in scare quotes, but I ain't and he's not. The part that's getting more heat is that U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez appears to be flat-out lying in that second sentence, and that’s us saying it nicely.

The Washington Post fact-checks Benitez on this one, but to anyone who does not live entirely inside Tucker Carlson's inflamed colon the problem here should be obvious. The number of people who are believed to have died from the COVID-19 vaccine is, at this time, approximately zero. There has been some very public speculation as to whether some of the vaccines might cause an extremely rare form of blood clot, one that may have killed three people in this country after millions and millions of doses, but the data is not conclusive and the clots seem to appear in the unvaccinated general population at roughly similar rates.

Meanwhile, mass shootings continue to be a regular occurrence in California, just as they are elsewhere. Even if you presume all three deaths suspected of being vaccine linked were indeed caused by a vaccine, it's not even close.

All we can assume here is that this particular judge is referring to far-right conspiracy theories about the vaccine from the dark nether regions of the American political psyche. It's possible we can attribute the blatant factual error to Fox News and to Tucker Carlson's white nationalist conspiracy show, but the suggestion that lifesaving, normality-saving vaccines are killing people in greater numbers than AR-15s does feels more like something plucked more directly from the Q crowd, from frothing far-right militias, or both.

Unfortunately, there's no particular recourse for this sort of judicial conspiracy peddling. For particularly grotesque behavior on the bench, the House and Senate can remove a federal judge via impeachment, but that is reserved for only the most egregious of cases and "is factually wrong when issuing weirdly premised opinions" isn't it. This is why, in fact, the Republican-held Senate was so obsessive in filling as many judicial vacancies as possible with hard-right ideologues while blocking nominees from a Democratic administration: stuff the benches with hard-right conspiracy theorists, hard-right conspiracy theories become the stuff that governs us. The judge's ruling is absolutely certain to be appealed, but the Supreme Court is itching to undo a century of laws itself and will probably not let the unending goofiness of this written opinion stop it from writing a more dignified goofy version that scrubs out the most embarrassing parts.

So far, though, there's been no ruling from hard-right judges declaring that making fun of bad judicial opinions kills more people each year than AR-15 "freedom bringers" do, so we can at least point and shake our heads here. Maybe it's cathartic. Maybe it's whistling past the graveyard.

Bombshell Report Indicates Cuomo Aides Repeatedly Blocked Release Of Nursing Home Deaths

A bombshell report from the New York Times indicates top aides to Governor Andrew Cuomo overruled his own health experts, blocking the release of the pandemic’s true death toll numbers at nursing homes, and did so all while they were helping him write a book.

The crux of the Times column refers to the length of time aides spent in trying to cover up the number of deaths in nursing homes – five months – a particularly sore spot with the governor who had issued an executive order forcing care facilities to take in COVID-positive patients.

The order was not reversed for months.

Cuomo aides clearly sensed the fallout, doing their best to minimize the numbers by not counting seniors who were transported to hospitals and died there.

“By the time the policy was rescinded less than two months later, it had become clear that not all the deaths were being included in that tally: Those who died after being transferred to hospitals were not counted as nursing home deaths,” the Times writes.

When Cuomo’s own top health officials tried to get a more accurate count, his aides rebuffed them time and again. In fact, they fought release of the true numbers for five months, according to the report, a “far greater (effort) than previously known.”

RELATED: Cuomo Now Being Investigated Over $4 Million Book Deal Celebrating His Pandemic Leadership, Janice Dean Calls It ‘Disgusting’

Cuomo’s Unbelievable Nursing Home Scandal

While critics were noting the role of Governor Cuomo’s nursing home executive order in a large number of elderly deaths during the pandemic, the state Health Department was preparing a report on the matter in the spring of 2020.

Secretary to the Governor, Melissa DeRosa, according to an email reviewed by the New York Times, told health officials: “We are getting anxious over here on this report.”

That report was eventually published in July but contained an explicit quantifier that the order forcing the care facilities to take on COVID-positive patients was “not a driver of nursing home infections or fatalities.”

It also included a much lower number – not counting hospital deaths – in the report that the Times states was “rewritten several times by senior advisers to Mr. Cuomo.”

The department report listed just over 6,400 deaths. As of this month, more than 15,500 nursing home residents died from COVID-19.

In February, the New York Post revealed that DeRosa told leading Democrats that they tried to suppress the numbers because the administration feared the data could “be used against us” by the Justice Department saying, “basically, we froze.”

“We were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation,” she said.

The New York Times reported in January that attorney general Letitia James, a Democrat, accused Cuomo and his administration, particularly officials at the State Health Department, of undercounting COVID deaths at nursing homes by as much as 50%.

A subsequent report by the Wall Street Journal in early March accused the aides of a very explicit cover-up by the Cuomo administration in the nursing home scandal.

“Cuomo’s top advisers successfully pushed state health officials to strip a public report of data showing that more nursing-home residents had died of Covid-19 than the administration had acknowledged,” they detailed.

Much of the pressure by the Health Department to suppress the numbers on the nursing home deaths was being applied by the administration itself.

“Aides overruled state health officials on releasing the figures over the span of at least five months, The Times reports,” according to The Hill.

“The effort included halting the publication of a scientific paper, which included the true tally, and the sending of two letters drafted by the Health Department and intended for state lawmakers.”

RELATED: Cuomo Admin Accused Of ‘Criminal Conspiracy’ Following Bombshell Report They ‘Stripped’ Data From Report On Nursing Home Deaths

‘They Should All Go To Jail’

The New York Times report notes that much of the effort to halt the release of the true figures in the Cuomo nursing home scandal revolved around the Governor’s efforts to write a book celebrating his ‘leadership’ during the pandemic.

“The actions coincided with the period in which Mr. Cuomo was pitching and then writing a book on the pandemic, with the assistance of his top aide, Melissa DeRosa, and others,” the report reads.

State Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, is currently conducting an investigation of allegations that the Governor used state resources and state employees to write his book on which he received a multimillion-dollar advance.

Fox News meteorologist and author Janice Dean, a leading voice on the nursing home scandal involving Governor Cuomo, expressed her optimism that justice may finally be served.

Dean’s in-laws were the unfortunate victims of COVID-19, where nursing homes in New York played a significant part.

“I feel like all of these months, close to a year now, it feels like it finally is happening, that all of the things we’ve been yelling about and trying to shine a light on, it’s finally happening,” Dean said.

Many of the things I’ve covered here at The Political Insider as well, things that should have been revealed much earlier if not for a complicit New York media that spent more time fawning over Cuomo than reporting on him.

On May 18th, nearly one full year ago, I labeled Cuomo’s executive order on nursing homes a “scandal” and noted at the time that the Governor seemed uninterested in accountability.

He even suggested it wasn’t his fault because “older people … are going to die.”

In an interview with Fox News, Dean didn’t hold back on what she felt should happen to the governor and those in his administration complicit in the nursing home cover-up.

“I really feel like he should go to jail,” she said. “And all these people surrounding him that covered this up for so many months, they should go to jail.”

The following is a list of scandals in which Cuomo is currently embroiled, most of which have resulted in investigations, calls for his resignation, and impeachment inquiries:

  • Forcing nursing homes to take on COVID-positive patients.
  • Obstructing justice by hiding the data on those deaths and stripping numbers from DOH reports.
  • Numerous sexual misconduct allegations including a police report involving forcibly groping an aide.
  • Bullying and threatening fellow lawmakers and members of the media.
  • Under investigation for a $4 million book deal profiting off the pandemic by having aides write and edit portions using state resources.

In an incredibly cold and callous comment last May, Cuomo snapped at a reporter for asking about grieving families of nursing home patients seeking justice.

“What is justice? Who can we prosecute for those deaths? Nobody. Nobody,” he rationalized. “Mother nature? God? Where did this virus come from? People are going to die by this virus.”

It’s time somebody from the administration is prosecuted, if not the governor himself. That would be justice.

 

Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
The Political Insider ranks #16 on Feedspot’s “Top 70 Conservative Political Blogs, Websites & Influencers in 2021.”

 

The post Bombshell Report Indicates Cuomo Aides Repeatedly Blocked Release Of Nursing Home Deaths appeared first on The Political Insider.

Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin Announces Gubernatorial Campaign To ‘Save New York’ From Andrew Cuomo

Republican Representative Lee Zeldin announced he is running for governor of New York, saying Andrew Cuomo must be ousted in order to “save our state.”

“I’m running for governor of New York in 2022,” Zeldin declared in an interview with ‘Fox & Friends.’ “We are going to win this race.”

In an accompanying statement, Zeldin vowed to “bring the kind of relentless, fighting spirit towards helping to save our state that Andrew Cuomo only reserves for multi-million dollar self-congratulatory book deals, cover-ups, abuse and self-dealing.”

And while he pointed out Cuomo’s “long line of scandals,” the Republican focused on what he has to offer the Empire State, including beating back the impacts of poor “tax policy,” “public safety,” and “attacks on our freedoms.”

Zeldin went on to suggest the current woes in New York are due to one-party Democrat rule in New York City and Albany.

RELATED: Cuomo Now Being Investigated Over $4 Million Book Deal Celebrating His Pandemic Leadership

Lee Zeldin Wants To Save New York From Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo has become vulnerable of late, currently plagued by several scandals including: 

  • Forcing nursing homes to take on COVID-positive patients.
  • Obstructing justice by hiding the data on those deaths and stripping numbers from DOH reports.
  • Numerous sexual misconduct allegations including a police report involving forcibly groping an aide.
  • Bullying and threatening fellow lawmakers and members of the media.
  • Under investigation for a $4 million book deal profiting off the pandemic by having aides write and edit portions using state resources.

“Cuomo has abused the power and trust granted to him and it is time for him to immediately exit stage left,” Lee Zeldin said.

He has actively called for Cuomo’s impeachment in the face of resistance to resigning over his many scandals.

But he smartly notes that it isn’t just the details of these salacious accusations that are the problem – it’s Cuomo’s inability to competently run the state.

“The New York that was once a magnet for the world’s best and brightest is now forcing its own to leave under the crushing weight of skyrocketing taxes, lost jobs, suffocating regulations, and rising crime resulting from dangerously liberal policies,” Zeldin accused.

“At the helm of New York’s downfall is Governor Andrew Cuomo.”

RELATED: Biden’s ATF Director Wants ‘Well Regulated’ Second Amendment

Cuomo’s Budget Includes Aid To Illegal Immigrants

Speaking of skyrocketing taxes and incentives to leave the state, the New York Times on Tuesday reported that Governor Cuomo and the New York legislature had reached an agreement on a $212 billion budget.

The budget includes “tax increases” on the wealthy – or job creators – as well as “a $2.1 billion fund to provide one-time payments for undocumented workers who did not qualify for federal stimulus checks or unemployment benefits.”

New York Republican Committee Chairman Nick Langworthy released a statement blasting the budget proposal while indicating the only thing that can save New York is a new governor.

“The only thing this budget accomplishes is the accelerated decline of our state,” Langworthy said. “It’s a $212 billion dollar tax-and-spend boondoggle that will push New York’s mass exodus to the point of no return.”

“This budget makes clear that the only way to save New York is to elect a Republican governor who will stand up to this madness and return common sense to state government,” he added.

Will Lee Zeldin be the man to do that?

 

Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
The Political Insider ranks #16 on Feedspot’s “Top 70 Conservative Political Blogs, Websites & Influencers in 2021.”

 

The post Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin Announces Gubernatorial Campaign To ‘Save New York’ From Andrew Cuomo appeared first on The Political Insider.

Every Court Of Appeals Judge Who Would Vote In Cuomo Impeachment Trial Was Appointed By Him

Should the impeachment investigation involving Andrew Cuomo proceed to a vote, all 7 Court of Appeals judges involved will have been appointed by the New York Governor himself.

The New York state impeachment process is a bit unique in that following an impeachment vote in the Assembly, a court is formed consisting of members of the Senate as well as the seven members of the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court.

Those judges – Rowan Wilson, Jenny Rivera, Leslie Stein, Eugene Fahey, Michael Garcia, Paul Feinman and Chief Judge Janet DiFiore – were all appointed by Cuomo between 2013 and 2017.

In an interview with NewsMax, former Rep. John Faso (R-NY) said that the Cuomo appointees are “mostly liberal … very liberal” and “they are all Democrats except one.”

“The seven judges could be instrumental in determining the outcome of a potential impeachment trial as they would make up 10% of the 70-person impeachment court,” Fox News analyzes.

RELATED: Biden Says Cuomo Should Resign, Could Face Prosecution If Sexual Harassment Allegations Are True

Impeachment Judges Appointed By Cuomo

The specter of having judges appointed by Andrew Cuomo possibly deciding the outcome of an impeachment trial for the governor is raising concerns that the process may be a sham.

Speaker of the New York State Assembly Carl Heastie has said the probe would be “very broad,” possibly including more than just the numerous sexual harassment claims against Cuomo.

Heastie announced on Wednesday that the Assembly had hired one of the nation’s top-rated law firms, Davis Polk & Wardwell, to assist with the investigation.

The group includes a former Brooklyn federal prosecutor who worked as an assistant special counsel on Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Lindsey Boylan, a former Cuomo aide who was the first to accuse Cuomo of sexual misconduct, is not impressed with the investigation thus far, calling it a “sham,” “corrupt,” and “cynical” probe.

Boylan insisted she would not take part in the state-led impeachment probe.

“Do not trust [Heastie],” she tweeted. “His impeachment investigation is not designed to be transparent or to move fast, and there’s nothing [Cuomo] wants more than time.”

“Many of us have not put our whole lives on the line for this crap,” she added. “I certainly have not and will not.”

Boylan has claimed that Cuomo forcibly kissed her on the lips and suggested “let’s play strip poker.”

RELATED: NY Assembly Takes First Step Toward Impeachment Of Cuomo, Police Report Filed Over Groping Allegations

Nursing Home Whistleblower Says Staff Were ‘Petrified’ Of Cuomo’s Executive Order

The impeachment investigation is supposed to address the nursing home scandal as well, inarguably the bigger issue at hand for Cuomo.

That scandal involves an executive order by the governor forcing nursing homes to take in COVID-positive patients and the subsequent cover-up involving the number of deaths related to that order.

Cuomo, on March 25th of last year, issued an executive order prohibiting nursing homes from requiring incoming patients “to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission.”

Cuomo refused to reverse the directive for over six weeks while well over 15,000 senior citizens succumbed to the virus.

The Political Insider reported in August that what separated New York from other states with their own nursing home directives is that the staff at the facilities felt pressured by the Governor.

Politifact confirmed the notion saying Cuomo left executives at nursing homes feeling that “they had no choice but to accept these patients” despite the threat of spreading the virus.

Michael Kraus, a Staten Island nursing home administrator, has alleged he and other executives of long-term care facilities were “petrified” of the Cuomo order and that his concerns were “shot down” by state officials.

“Many facilities vocalized it,” Kraus said in an interview with Fox News.

“They were petrified, but they were more petrified of the Department of Health … once it [my concern] was shot down, I never spoke [about it] again.”

Secretary to the Governor, Melissa DeRosa, admitted on a conference call in February that the administration hid information on COVID nursing home deaths from federal investigators.

For months the administration reported around 8,500 deaths, nearly 50% less than the confirmed number.

 

Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
The Political Insider ranks #16 on Feedspot’s “Top 70 Conservative Political Blogs, Websites & Influencers in 2021.”

 

The post Every Court Of Appeals Judge Who Would Vote In Cuomo Impeachment Trial Was Appointed By Him appeared first on The Political Insider.

Award-Winning Reporter To Sue Gretchen Whitmer Over Nursing Home COVID Data

Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer got some bad news this week when a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist announced plans to sue her for the release of COVID-19 nursing home data.

Reporter Says He’s Preparing Lawsuit Against Whitmer

Seasoned reporter Charlie LeDuff revealed on Twitter that he is teaming up with Mackinac Center, a Michigan-based free market think tank, to file a lawsuit against Whitmer.

“We are preparing a lawsuit against Gov. Whitmer of Michigan,” LeDuff wrote. “She refuses to turn over COVID death data and accurate nursing home numbers to the public. All the way to the Supreme Court, Madam.”

 

“The public has a right to know,” LeDuff told Fox News. “Above all, the public has a need to know. We shut down the entire economy, we interrupted our children’s lives, all in the name of protecting the most vulnerable.”

“We now know this was the institutionalized elderly. If we could not protect them, at the very least we deserve an explanation from Madam Governor.”

“If there’s something more to it than that, let’s say gross incompetence or gross negligence or gross press conferences designed to cover the facts, then she needs to answer for it. As I’ve always said, the power lies with the people, not the political parties,” he continued.

Whitmer’s office declined to comment when contacted by Fox.

Related: Gretchen Whitmer Slips Up – Contradicts Message Of Support For Michigan Businesses By Sending Mailer Printed In Wisconsin

Republicans Demand Investigation Into Whitmer And Nursing Homes

This comes after multiple Republican state lawmakers sent a letter to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and acting U.S. Attorney General Monty Wilkinson calling for a “full investigation” into Whitmer’s handling of nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

These Republican legislators cited “discrepancies” in the data surrounding deaths and cases “in the state’s long-term care facilities.”

“It has now come to our attention that these reporting errors have likely not been resolved,” the Republicans claimed, adding that Whitmer’s “regional hub policy put patients with and without COVID-19 in the same facilities” and the decision to do so “may have exacerbated the death toll in those facilities.”

Related: Gretchen Whitmer Humiliated After Billboard Names Her As ‘Indiana Businessperson Of The Year’

Andrew Cuomo In Hot Water As Well

This comes as New York’s Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing calls of impeachment for his withholding of data on nursing home resident deaths. This is only one of the problems Cuomo is facing, as multiple former aides have accused him fo sexual harassment.

This piece was written by James Samson on March 2, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

Read more at LifeZette:
Fox News Back In The Fold
Rush Limbaugh Is Laid To Rest At Cemetery In St. Louis, Missouri
Prominent Baptist Pastor Says Evangelical Support For GOP Is Conditional

The post Award-Winning Reporter To Sue Gretchen Whitmer Over Nursing Home COVID Data appeared first on The Political Insider.

It’s amazing to see, but Republicans are really digging their own graves

Much has been written lately about the GQP’s unfathomable opposition to the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package (see here, here, here and here). In short, the Democrat’s proposal is incredibly popular, even among Republicans. A Morning Consult poll pegged support at 76% of voters, including 60% of Republicans. That’s bipartisanship. But Republicans in Congress want to play off the old destroy-Obama-at-all-costs playbook, and have put up a wall of opposition to the legislation. 

And not only are they rhetorically opposing it, but they’re actively whipping against it, forcing congressional Republicans to vote against it or else. Let’s hope they’re successful, because nothing will make the 2022 midterm messaging clearer than “those checks came from us, they didn’t want to help you at all.” 

Indeed, their current stances are so at odds with basic political common sense, it almost makes you suspicious, right? What do they know that we don’t? But no, they think the COVID-19 relief package is like the Affordable Care Act, where they could fearmonger about losing your doctor. Pandemic relief isn’t about taking anything away from you, it’s about giving you cold, hard cash. 

The current Republican response is hilariously stupid. It’s stuff like this: 

We’ve run the numbers and here’s your receipt, @SpeakerPelosi @SenSchumer. pic.twitter.com/e2cAG8st8W

— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) February 24, 2021

That “$$$”, of course, is checks for people. But even libraries and mass transit aren’t particularly unpopular items, so not sure what they think they’re getting from this kind of messaging. Here’s another one: 

Only 9% of the Biden Bailout Bill goes to #COVID relief. A few examples of where the money is actually going: ➡️$135 million for the National Endowment of the Arts ➡️$350 billion in blue state bailouts ➡️$1.5 million for the Seaway International Bridge ➡️$1.5 billion for Amtrak

— Ways and Means GOP (@WaysandMeansGOP) February 24, 2021

For a party that is losing ground with swing voters, not sure why they think that “blue state bailouts” kind of divisive rhetoric gets them anything beyond their old, white, rural, and literally dying off base. “$1.5 million” for something? In a $1.9 TRILLION dollar bill? Does anyone care? And Amtrak is a lifeline for many rural communities. And people like trains

Part of the GOP’s problem is that they no longer know how to message against an old white male. President Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren? Oh boy, they’d have a field day. But the old guy who doesn’t grandstand or showboat much, keeps his head down, stays professional? They’re at a loss. 

So much so that he is a far more popular politician than pretty much anyone else in this country. Some polling has shown positively gaudy numbers for Biden. 

New numbers from @MorningConsult show that @JoeBiden is the most popular national political leader in America https://t.co/EgQ7jtrlob pic.twitter.com/marUPs14FJ

— John Anzalone (@JohnAnzo) February 24, 2021

Civiqs, which does a great job of filtering out partisan non-response bias (in essence, demoralized partisans refusing to answer polls), has more measured numbers: 

For comparison’s sake, Donald Trump is at 42% favorable, 56% unfavorable. And just as important as the toppling, the trend is a good one. Republicans can’t touch him, which is maybe why they’re resorting to this kind of buffoonery: 

Newsmax guest attacks Biden's dogs for being dirty and "unlike a presidential dog" pic.twitter.com/6yitOlM765

— aliciasadowski (@aliciasadowski6) February 20, 2021

They’ve got nothing of real substance. 

Now, as we look ahead to 2022, take a look at this question, which asks which party better represents you:

That 16-point gap (46% Democratic vs. 30% Republican) is quite dramatic, and is driven by crashing numbers among independents: only 22% think the GOP is concerned about people like them, down from 33% on Election Day. Meanwhile, 36% of independents say Democrats are concerned about them. Let’s keep an eye on this chart in the coming months, because it’s going to become extra clear which party cares about people, and which one is hell-bent on committing political suicide. The damage Republicans are doing to themselves is already extensive. Let’s compare the two parties: 

Republican Party favorability: 23% favorable, 65% unfavorable, with brutal trendiness.

Democratic Party favorability: 44% favorable, 49% unfavorable, with gradually improving trendiness. 

Republicans already lost the 2018 and 2020 elections, and demographic trends continue to move against them. Trump cost them the White House, the Senate, and the House, and there is zero guarantee his voters will ever turn out for an election without Trump on the ballot (they haven’t before). Yet the Republican Party isn’t just doubling down on Trumpism, it’s doubling down on opposing popular legislation.

Think about it, even a Q-addled Republican will have to think twice in 2022 if she or he has to vote between losing their monthly child credit check from the IRS, or a Republican promising to end any such help. Deliver help to people, and it’s a different playing field. It’s already happening, and the legislation hasn’t even passed into law. 

Democrats gifted Republicans the chance to rip out the Trump cancer from their party, but the GQP refused to convict in the impeachment trial. Now Republicans are gifting Democrats the chance to lock in popular support for their party and candidates. 

Perhaps it’s time to stop looking the gift horse in the mouth, and just run up the advantage. 

Republicans totally miscalculate the moment, think opposing COVID-19 relief is a winner for them

The House Budget Committee advanced the American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, on Monday. It combined bills from nine other committees into the budget reconciliation package that will get a final vote in the House at the end of this week, then go to the Senate where it can be passed with a simple majority vote. That part is key, and why lawmakers chose to use the budget reconciliation took for enacting the relief: because you can't count on any Republican to do the right thing. The right thing in this case is spending $2 trillion on helping everyone as opposed to giving it in tax cuts to the very rich.

Republicans are proving yet again how necessary choosing a path for relief that does not require them really is. Thus far, their only contribution has been to insist President Biden "unite" with them and accept one-third of a loaf with their "plan." Their toxicity was proved by Mitch McConnell's forcing Democrats to vote on noxious messaging amendments to get the process underway. Those tactics having failed in stopping the forward motion of the package, Republicans are now insisting their opposition to it is principled and won't harm them politically at all. It's almost as if the 2020 election, particularly the Georgia Senate races, didn't even happen.

Campaign Action

This tactic frankly has more of a vibe of leadership trying to convince individual Republicans that they'd damn well better not stray and end up helping Biden, but nevertheless, that's their plan. "It's clear Democrats have no interest in approaching COVID relief in a timely and targeted fashion and are instead using the reconciliation process to jam through their liberal wish list agenda," House Minority Whip Steve Scalise told Republican lawmakers in an email Friday, continuing to whip them into opposition.

Various Republican officials and hangers-on are keeping up the message. "House Democrats' $2 trillion socialist boondoggle puts partisan politics first and fails to address the most pressing needs facing Americans, like getting kids back in the classroom and reopening small businesses," Torunn Sinclair, a spokesperson for the National Republican Congressional Committee, told The Hill.

Republican strategist Ford O'Connell added "I don't see any risk to Republicans at all opposing this, especially as it relates to the 2022 election." A senior House Republican told CNN's John Harwood there would be no Republican votes for it. "Personally I expect zero. No effort to reach out to House R[epublicans] by majority or W[hite] H[ouse]. Why would any R[epublican] vote for this?" Certainly not because they have any concern for their constituents.

Other Republicans preview how they intend to run against Democrats on this in 2022 and beyond: revisionist history. "Democrats stalled on coronavirus relief for months in 2020 when American families desperately needed it," Mandi Merritt, a spokesperson for the Republican National Committee said. "And what was their first priority when they now control the White House and both Houses of Congress? A politically motivated impeachment—not relief for struggling families. […] We will be sure that voters don’t forget this." Never mind that the House passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act on May 15 and followed up by passing the compromise $2.2 trillion bill on October 1, 2020. Never mind that McConnell completely ignored these bills and refused to even talk to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about negotiations.

Republicans intent on opposing the bill because they are Republicans and can't do anything to help a Democratic president are insisting that despite the large bipartisan majority of support for the package, opposing it won't hurt them. That poll, from CBS News/YouGov shows 83% approval for the package, including a majority of Republicans. A total of 61% of Republicans in that poll said that the $1.9 trillion package was either about right (34%) or not big enough (27%). Another poll from the left-leaning firm Navigator Research last week found 73% support for the package, including 53% support from Republicans. A New York Times/SurveyMonkey survey in mid-February found 72% approval for it, with 43% of Republicans approving.

That's before the bill even passes. Before people get their $1,400 checks. Before they have more funding for their small businesses. Before they get their coronavirus vaccine. Before their family gets their brand-new monthly child tax credit payments. Once the benefits of this bill actually reach people, that support will solidify among all but the most hard-core Trumpist Republicans. Because the stuff in this bill is that good, and it really will help people.

A reminder: the bill provides $1,400 for every individual—including dependents, both minor and adult—who makes up to $75,000, or $2,800 to couples making $150,000, after which it tapers off, ending at the $100,000/$200,000 cap. That's based on the most recent federal tax filing, so families who lost income in 2020 need to file right away to receive the maximum payment. The government will use 2019 filings otherwise.

The bill also provides direct aid to small business, including restaurants and bars which have been unable to use the Paycheck Protection Program funding. (Disclosure: Kos Media received a Paycheck Protection Program loan.) The child tax credits it is authorizing will be paid out monthly as opposed to annually, and raise the maximum credit from $2,000 to $3,000 for children between ages 6 and 17 and to $3,600 for children under 6. It includes a $400/week boost to unemployment benefits and continues their availability to gig and self-employed workers. It provides hundreds of billions in funding to state and local governments and to schools, and billions for both COVID-19 testing and vaccine distribution.

All of that will spur the nation into recovery, both in public health and economically. Republicans are using an outdated playbook in thinking they'll be able to skate—or even gain—politically by opposing it. They're looking back to 2009, when an inadequate stimulus package by the Obama administration led to a too-slow recovery. Biden isn't making that mistake again. Republicans are also looking back at their mostly successful opposition to the Affordable Care Act, when they made gains in House and Senate seats fighting the new law. Most of the benefits of Obamacare, however, weren't immediately available to people as the law wasn't fully implemented until 2014. Neither the 2009 stimulus nor Obamacare had the huge public support that this Biden package is now receiving.

The benefits of this package will be available immediately and to the majority of households in America, and that will make all the difference.

Caught vacationing in Cancun during a pandemic as Texas voters froze, Ted Cruz blames his kids

All right, we have to do it. We have to spend a few moments celebrating these new accomplishments by the forever hapless but somehow still-sociopathic Sen. Ted Cruz, a man who once had presidential aspirations but who now spends his days humiliating himself and those around him, chipping away at his own integrity in what appears to be a spirited game of Dog Turd Jenga.

Oh, Ted. What are you, even?

As we all now know, Ted Cruz was caught taking a flight to the resort town of Cancun, Mexico, during (1) a massive natural disaster in his home state that caused much of the state to lose power and is now resulting in citizens dying in their homes and (2) a global pandemic that has killed 500,000 Americans, closed schools, shuttered businesses, and prevented many Americans from seeing their friends or loved ones for something approaching a full year now.

When caught, Ted blamed his young children. "Like millions of Texans, our family lost heat and power too," says Ted. "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."

You've heard of the general edict between politicians and press to "leave the children out of it." This is the other edict: When in political danger, throw your youngest daughter at reporters and bolt.

Now, there are sev-er-al problems with Cruz's statement up there, and that's being generous. Cruz previously said that his home did not lose power, suggesting he was selflessly hosting the neighbor children who were not so fortunate. The airport pictures show Cruz with a rather significant amount of luggage for a supposed one-night stay, but we will be good sports and presume that he is merely moonlighting as a Texas drug mule or that he never, ever leaves the country without a two week supply of his favorite canned soups.

Fine. But then there's the rather bigger problem of Ted Cruz, a United States senator, willingly declaring that despite a deadly global pandemic, his kids got bored during a school break and insisted daddy spirit them off to Mexico for funsies, which he of course did, but of course he had to shepherd them there himself before, um, turning right around and coming back. Really now? Really? The rest of us are conducting half our lives over Zoom to keep ourselves and our neighbors safe during a plague while the senators ostensibly in charge of these things are letting their daughters organize their own international superspreader events? Outstanding. Just outstanding.

By far the biggest flaw with Ted's claims here, however—and it is a doozy—is that an airline-knowledgable reporter was quickly able to check with a source and reports that Cruz's original United Airlines tickets originally had him booked to return Saturday. Ted Cruz is, apparently, just brazenly lying his confederate beard off on this one.

I realize that does not really come as a surprise to anyone, given that the current crop of propaganda-spewing Republicans quite literally uses lying as means of governance and therefore lies about absolutely everything, all the time, but it still needs to be said that this yellowbellied Texas lungfish blamed a weekend Cancun vacation on his kids, then lied to everyone in his state about how Actually he was just tagging along to show them how to work the hotel vending machines.

Nope. It seems Cruz had, among senators, a very particular reason for being outraged at the notion that the Senate might have to hear evidence in the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump for longer than a few days. Cruz had an international beach trip planned for the Senate break, and didn't intend to let a probe of whether a former president attempted to have his vice president and a good chunk of the presidential line of succession killed in a coup attempt interfere with that.

Oh, and apparently he didn't even tell his staff where he was going, which was the reason his staff had no immediate response when pictures began flowing in of their boss leaving the damn country. The last time that happened we learned that a certain Republican governor had an Argentinian mistress, but not before his staff had piped up with a cover story claiming he was off hiking the Appalachian Trail on—shoulda done a little research on that one, kids—National Nude Hiking Day.

You may, at this point, be almost close to maybe having a microscopic bit of sympathy for Ted Cruz in the form of at least being embarrassed on his behalf for being such an amazingly craven little sea squirt. Don't bother. Once the Jan. 6 seditionist had been caught and had to book a quick flight back to Texas in order to pretend that he gave two biscuits about his voters freezing to death in their homes, one of the things his staff quickly made sure of was to contact the Houston Police Department to arrange for their "assistance" at the airport when he got back.

Sure, it's not like anyone in Texas has anything better to do right now. Surely there're some spare officers available to guide Cruz through an airport terminal and fend off anyone who wants to ask for more details about his international pandemic superspreader sleepover.

Cruz has managed to be a truly amazing human being these last few years, and that should not be taken as praise. He has managed to throw every member of his family, from his father to his wife to his children, under ye olde tour bus in his various attempts to slither through a political career. He has both Trump's sociopathic unwillingness to stick to the truth and a personality so magnificently awful that he could save 10 orphans from a burning orphanage and still somehow come out of it more hated than he was when he went inside. Above all, he somehow managed to maneuver himself into playing a central role in the biggest seditious anti-government conspiracy since the actual Civil War, all in service to an incompetent blowhard and gasbag, under the apparent impression that what the nation really needs these days is to just nix elections outright and put tax-dodging rapists in charge.

Did he support the nullification of an election because his kids and their friends were bored and wanted to play insurrection, or was that one on him? If any of us could still stomach even hearing this mulletfaced Gulf treasonfish bubble at us any longer it might make for a fascinating story, but if Texas voters still have a drop of dignity left maybe they'll run Ted out of town—the roads are slick, so a pair of skates and a little push is probably all it would take—and appoint a particularly irritable rat snake to fill out his term.

Walls Closing In? Cuomo Administration Under Investigation Nursing Home Cover-Up

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is under investigation by the FBI and a United States attorney in Brooklyn for his administration’s possible cover-up of a COVID-related nursing home scandal.

The Times Union in Albany is reporting that an investigation has been launched “examining, at least in part, the actions of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s coronavirus task force in its handling of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities during the pandemic.”

The newspaper notes that there have been no allegations of wrongdoing and that the investigation “is in its early stages.”

Focus appears to be on Governor Cuomo’s coronavirus task force whose more prominent members include New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker and Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa.

DeRosa has been the subject of much consternation after she admitted in a conference call that the administration hid information on COVID nursing home deaths from federal investigators.

RELATED: Cuomo Threatens Democrat State Legislators Over COVID Nursing Home Scandal

Cuomo Under Investigation For Nursing Home Scandal

The New York Times reported that attorney general Letitia James, a Democrat, accused Cuomo and his administration, particularly officials at the State Health Department, of undercounting COVID deaths at nursing homes by as much as 50%.

The New York Post followed that up with a revelation that DeRosa told leading Democrats in a conference call that they did so because the administration feared the data could “be used against us” by the Justice Department saying, “basically, we froze.”

“We were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation,” DeRosa added.

State officials had originally given a figure of about 8,677, and media frequently reported around 6,000 because that was all that could be confirmed based on the scant data already released.

WWNY News reports that the number was actually well over 15,000 seniors who died in nursing homes.

Why the cover-up? Most likely because there was a direct link between those deaths and the actions of the Governor.

Cuomo famously issued an executive order in March forcing nursing homes to take on patients that had tested positive for coronavirus.

RELATED: NY Democrats Accuse Cuomo Of Lying As He Tries To Defend Handling Of Nursing Home Scandal

The Cover-up Continues

Multiple New York state Democrats – that’s Democrats – have accused the administration of criminal conduct in the nursing home scandal cover-up.

Fox News reports that nine Democratic New York State Assembly members signed a letter accusing Cuomo of obstruction of justice.

“We implore you to set aside any concerns of loyalty or disloyalty to this Governor, or that this matter is politicized,” the letter from earlier this week reads.

“We must absolutely consider above all the sanctity of the democratic institution that we call the Legislature of the State of New York, and resolutely pursue justice in the face of an executive who we can say without hesitation has engaged in intentional criminal wrongdoing.”

The obstruction continues though, unabated.

Rich Azzopardi, a spokesman for the governor, told the Times Union, “We have been cooperating with them (the DOJ) and we will continue to.”

The Associated Press, however, reports that officials with knowledge of the DOJ investigation “said the Cuomo administration had not been cooperative with prosecutors … and for months had not produced documents and other data the Justice Department had requested.”

And when obstruction doesn’t seem to be working, Team Cuomo shifts to intimidation.

The governor has been accused of threatening political retaliation against several New York state lawmakers who have criticized him for his handling of the nursing home scandal.

State Assemblyman Ron Kim claims that Cuomo called him and tried to talk Kim into issuing a statement covering for DeRosa. And when that didn’t work, he vowed to ruin Kim’s career.

Kim reported that the Democrat governor stated “we’re in this business together and we don’t cross certain lines,” adding that he “hadn’t seen his wrath” and that “I can destroy you.”

Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean, one of the few voices to continually hound Governor Cuomo over the nursing home scandal for months on end, said “people should go to jail” over the cover-up.

Dean used Cuomo’s own words about former President Donald Trump and turned them around on the Democrat.

Dean’s in-laws were victims of COVID-19, where nursing homes in New York played a part.

She has, at times, described Cuomo as a “criminal.”

While an investigation by the FBI and a U.S. attorney, along with fellow Democrats piling on seems to indicate the walls are closing in on Cuomo, we wouldn’t hold our breath just yet.

This is the same FBI whose highest-ranking officials tried to destroy the country by subverting the will of the people when they dared elect Trump to office in 2016.

The same FBI that failed to prosecute Hillary Clinton for a crime many people have been thrown in jail for.

Will their ongoing left-leaning agenda interfere in another investigation?

The post Walls Closing In? Cuomo Administration Under Investigation Nursing Home Cover-Up appeared first on The Political Insider.