MAJOR AMERICAN COMPANIES FIGHT TO EVADE PUNISHMENT FOR USING CHINESE SLAVE LABOR… NYT: Nike and Coca-Cola Lobby Against Xinjiang Forced Labor Bill
WASHINGTON — Nike and Coca-Cola are among the major companies and business groups lobbying Congress to weaken a bill that would ban imported goods made with forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region, according to congressional staff members and other people familiar with the matter, as well as lobbying records that show vast spending on the legislation.
The bill, which would prohibit broad categories of certain goods made by persecuted Muslim minorities in an effort to crack down on human rights abuses, has gained bipartisan support, passing the House in September by a margin of 406 to 3. Congressional aides say it has the backing to pass the Senate, and could be signed into law by either the Trump administration or the incoming Biden administration.
But the legislation, called the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, has become the target of multinational companies including Apple whose supply chains touch the far western Xinjiang region, as well as of business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Lobbyists have fought to water down some of its provisions, arguing that while they strongly condemn forced labor and current atrocities in Xinjiang, the act’s ambitious requirements could wreak havoc on supply chains that are deeply embedded in China. […]
Reportedly China has moved some Uighurs around the country to work in factories outside Xinjiang in order to solve the problem of a corporate “boycott” of that particular region. The issue, in other words, isn’t so much that American companies are knowingly using slave labor, it’s that there’s *so much* slave labor in China that they can’t be sure that there isn’t any somewhere in their supply chain. If the bill passes they might find themselves in violation of federal law at a moment’s notice after some international agency or major newspaper uncovers Uighur slaves working at a plant somewhere that provides materials to them.
VACCINE DISTRO COULD START NEXT WEEK… BUT FOR WHOM?… CDC COMMITTEE MEETS TUESDAY TO DECIDE… STATNEWS: Divisions emerge among U.S. officials over when first Covid-19 vaccine doses will be available — and for whom
Divisions are emerging among top U.S. officials over when the country’s first Covid-19 vaccine will be authorized — and who should be at the front of the line to get vaccinated.
Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, and others have suggested vaccination of Americans could begin by the end of next week. In their scenario, the Food and Drug Administration will authorize emergency use of a vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech almost immediately after a Dec. 10 meeting of an advisory committee, which is expected to recommend authorization. […]
Separately, STAT has learned that senior leaders in the Trump administration’s coronavirus response are pressing for adults 65 years old and older to be given first access to the vaccine. That approach contradicts the position of a committee that advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on vaccine policy; the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has signaled for months that it will recommend health care providers be at the front of the vaccination line.
Dr. Scott Atlas, President Trump’s special adviser on the coronavirus pandemic, formally resigned from his post on Monday, Fox News has learned.
Atlas, who spoke with the president on Monday, joined the administration in August, and was considered a Special Government Employee (SGE), serving a 130-day detail. Atlas’ role is set to expire this week.
Fox News exclusively obtained Atlas’s resignation letter Monday, which was dated Dec. 1. In it, Atlas touted the Trump administration’s work on the coronavirus pandemic, while wishing “all the best” to the incoming Biden administration.
“I am writing to resign from my position as Special Advisor to the President of the United States,” Atlas said, thanking him for “the honor and privilege to serve on behalf of the American people.”
WAPO: Lawmakers request new GAO studies on pandemic’s effect on the aviation industry
Two top Democrats on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure have requested that the Government Accountability Office conduct studies examining the risk of air travel during a public health crisis.
Reps. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.), chairman of the committee, and Rick Larsen (Wash.), chairman of the aviation subcommittee, said the work is needed to better understand how the coronavirus can spread through air travel and what strategies can be put in place to control that spread.
THE DATA SHOW AIR TRAVEL HAS BEEN PRETTY SAFE, ACTUALLY… FLASHBACK, SEPTEMBER… KAISER HEALTH: What Is the Risk of Catching the Coronavirus on a Plane?
According to experts, the risk of catching the coronavirus on a plane is relatively low if the airline is following the procedures laid out by public health experts: enforcing mask compliance, spacing out available seats and screening for sick passengers.
“If you look at the science across all diseases, you see few outbreaks” on planes, Allen said. “It’s not the hotbed of infectivity that people think it is.”
Airlines frequently note that commercial planes are equipped with HEPA filters, the Centers for Disease Control-recommended air filters used in hospital isolation rooms. HEPA filters capture 99.97% of airborne particles and substantially reduce the risk of viral spread. In addition, the air in plane cabins is completely changed over 10 to 12 times per hour, raising the air quality above that of a normal building.
MANUEL BOJORQUEZ: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says public schools will remain open, with a virtual option. He called closing schools for virus mitigation the biggest public health blunder in US history and labeled those who believe schools should close due to COVID surges “today’s flat-earthers.”
FLORIDA CASE NUMBERS SHOW SUNSHINE STATE IS FARING MUCH BETTER THAN LOCKDOWN STATES… IAN MILLER: It’s amazing that Florida can remove capacity limits, keep restaurants, bars, schools, theme parks & sporting events open, have no statewide mask mandate and have BETTER results than other areas and be singled out for criticism instead of seen as a positive example of what to do
WKYT: Ky. Attorney General Daniel Cameron takes school mandate to U.S. Supreme Court
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) – An appellate court sided with the governor in saying private, religious schools should not have in-person learning. That was the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th circuit.
It was a defeat for at least nine schools wanting to keep their in-person classes going after the governor said all schools needed to go back to virtual or distance learning.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron filed an emergency application with the nation’s highest court in the case of Danville Christian Academy v. Beshear. He says it’s important to do everything possible to stand up for parents who want their kids in the classroom.
PARDON OUR FRENCH… Los Angeles Restaurant Refuses To Close, Takes Jab At Governor Newsom With ‘The French Laundry’ Sign
A Los Angeles County restaurant is flouting coronavirus-related restrictions in an effort to help keep its employees financially afloat before Christmas, while also taking a jab at the state’s governor, numerous sources reported.
Eat at Joe’s, located in Redondo Beach Bay, is defying the orders by remaining open for outdoor dining. The owner, Alex Jordan, is sending a message with a sign placed on the restaurant that says “The French Laundry” — the name of the upscale restaurant where Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom was attending an indoor dinner party in early November.
Jordan told KTLA that his business has followed all of the rules that came along with allowing restaurants to open, and he wasn’t comfortable with putting his employees out of work weeks before Christmas with no financial stimulus aid. […]
Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger investigating 250 cases connected to election
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Monday said his office is investigating more than 250 claims of voting irregularities connected with the November election.
Speaking to reporters from the state Capitol Monday, Raffensperger said his office is investigating any credible claims that groups are working to register ineligible people to vote ahead of a high-profile runoff election for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats. He said his office’s 23 investigators are also continuing to look into allegations of problems with absentee ballots, as well as claims of people who voted twice, people who cast a ballot in a dead person’s name, and non-residents who voted in Georgia.
Gabriel Sterling, a top official in Raffensperger’s office, said more than 250 cases have been opened, but there has been nothing so far that jumps out as being likely to change the outcome of the election.
Republican Georgia Secretary Of State Slams ‘Dishonest Actors’ For ‘Misleading’ POTUS On Dominion
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger held a press conference Monday in which he tore into “dishonest actors” who he said are misleading President Donald Trump and his supporters on allegations of fraud in the 2020 election.
Raffensperger gave an update on Georgia’s recount process and said the results should be announced Wednesday. He further stated that voters should have “confidence that the outcomes are correct” even with what he described as the “massive amounts of disinformation being spread” by some of the president’s closest supporters.
Trump presses ‘hapless’ Georgia governor to overrule secretary of state on signature matching
President Trump called on Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to override Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on matching signatures during the state’s recount, in a tweet Monday.
Raffensperger has said that matching the signature on the outer envelope to the absentee ballot on the inside is impossible, because the ballots are separated from the envelopes when they are opened to protect voter privacy.
The Trump campaign, which formally asked for a recount Nov. 22, says that “without signature-matching, this recount would be a sham and again allow for illegal votes to be counted.” Georgia certified President-elect Joe Biden as the winner on Nov. 20.
District judge halts 3 Georgia counties from erasing Dominion voting machine data
A district judge on Sunday night blocked three Georgia counties from altering or erasing data on Dominion voting machines after Republican nominees to the Electoral College filed an emergency motion.
Judge Timothy C. Batten Sr.’s order applies to Dominion voting machines in Cobb, Gwinnett and Cherokee counties, which are clustered in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The order does not apply to Georgia’s other 156 counties.
“After a general election and hand recount audit, Vice President [Joe] Biden was declared the winner of Georgia’s General Election for President by a margin of 12,670 votes on November 20, 2020,” the plaintiffs wrote on Friday. “But the vote count certified by the Defendants on November 20 is wrong. Tens of thousands of votes counted toward Vice President Biden’s final tally were the product of illegality, and physical and computer-based fraud leading to ‘outright ballot stuffing.'” […]
JOHN ROBERTS: TRUMP PLANNING 2024 RUN…
[…]behind closed doors, Trump has told advisors that he wants to run again in four years, and could potentially announce his bid before or even during Biden’s Inauguration on Jan. 20, according to Fox News’ chief White House correspondent John Roberts, who confirmed a report from The Daily Beast.
Such an announcement, or even Trump’s flirtation with a third White House run, would definitely put a damper on what was thought to be a wide open battle for the GOP 2024 presidential nomination. And it could potentially freeze out early moves by other Republicans with national aspirations.
GLENN GREENWALD: Biden Appointee Neera Tanden Spread the Conspiracy That Russian Hackers Changed Hillary’s 2016 Votes to Trump
But beyond things like wanting to steal Libya’s oil after bombing it into oblivion, outing sexual harassment complainants, and physically assaulting and censoring her own employees, there is one uniquely abominable feature of Neera Tanden. She is one of the most deranged conspiracy theorists in the United States, and has done more than almost any other Washington functionary to contaminate Democrats’ mental health, capacity to reason, and faith in the legitimacy of U.S. elections. […]
In the weeks after Trump’s victory, Tanden joined numerous Democrats in encouraging electors of the Electoral College to ignore their states’ votes and refuse to elect Trump as President (many rationale were invoked for this: Tanden’s was a CAP article promoting #Resistance fanatic Richard Painter’s argument that Trump’s violations of the Emolument Clause precluded an Electoral College win). She insisted that Hillary lost because of Russia, claiming the “Russians did enough damage to affect more than 70k votes in 3 states.” And she was not only one of the first to push the Steele Dossier’s claim that Russia held blackmail power over Trump but also one of the last to do so — insisting in 2018 that “the dossier been mostly proven to be true” and claiming as late as 2019 that nothing in this discredited junk report had been disproven.
But what really distinguished Tanden when it came to unhinged and toxic behavior was her repeated (and obviously baseless) claims that Hillary only lost because Russian hackers invaded the U.S. voting system and clandestinely changed Hillary’s votes to Trump’s, costing the real winner — Hillary — her rightful place on the throne, behind the Resolute Desk.
Biden pick privately trashed him in 2015, said he would make Clinton look better by comparison
Neera Tanden is President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for director of the Office of Management and Budget, but a leaked email from 2015 indicates that Tanden may not have always believed Biden was the best Democratic presidential candidate for the job.
Tanden is CEO of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress and the former policy director for Hillary Clinton’s first presidential campaign. In an email sent to John Podesta, former chief of staff for Bill Clinton, on Oct. 20, 2015, Tanden clearly stated that she had more confidence in Hillary Clinton than Biden.
“The good thing about a Biden run is that he would make Hillary look so much better,” Tanden said. “What a mess today. Thanks for today and last night.”
A Second Amendment case decided last week by the federal appeals court in Philadelphia is a promising candidate for Supreme Court review, not least because it presents an issue on which Justice Barrett has already taken a stand.
It concerns Lisa M. Folajtar, who would like to buy a gun. But she is a felon, having pleaded guilty to tax evasion, which means under federal law she may not possess firearms.
She sued, arguing that the law violated her Second Amendment rights. A divided three-judge panel of appeals court rejected her challenge, saying that committing a serious crime has consequences. It can lead to losing the right to vote, to serve on a jury — or to have a gun. […]
BLACK LIVES MATTER LOCALS CHAPTER LAUNCH OPEN CIVIL WAR AGAINST NATIONAL ORGANIZATION… BLM DC: For years, Black Lives Matter Global Network (@Blklivesmatter) has undermined the work & integrity of local chapters — including BLM DC. Today we went public. Read our statement here: https://blmchapterstatement.
MORE… BLM CHAPTER STATEMENT…
It is Time for Accountability
It was recently declared that Patrisse Cullors was appointed the Executive Director to the Black Lives Matter Global Network (BLMGN) Foundation. Since then, two new Black Lives Matter formations have been announced to the public: a Black Lives Matter Political Action Committee, and BLM Grassroots. BLM Grassroots was allegedly created to support the organizational needs of chapters, separate from the financial functions of BLMGN. We, the undersigned chapters, believe that all of these events occurred without democracy, and assert that it was without the knowledge of the majority of Black Lives Matters chapters across the country and world. […]
We remain committed to collectively building an organization of BLM chapters that is democratic, accountable, and functions in a way that is aligned with our ideological values and commitment to liberation. We will move forward with transparency and expound on our collective efforts to seek transparency and organizational unity in a fuller statement in the near future. As we collectively determine next steps, we encourage our supporters to donate directly to chapters, who represent the frontline of Black Lives Matter.
The national arm of Black Lives Matter spent millions on consultants, travel and compensation for its own staff between July 2017 and June 2019, according to audited financial statements prepared by its fiscal sponsor, Thousand Currents.
BLM Global Network spent $899,000 on travel, $1.6 million on consulting and $2.1 million on personnel costs during its 2017, 2018 and 2019 fiscal years, the financial statements show, together comprising 83.3% of its total spending during the three year period. BLM Global Network granted $328,000 to outside organizations, which include local BLM chapters, during that same time frame, a figure that represents about 6% of its total spending.
WAPO: PEOPLE ONLY DEFEND MELANIA’S CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS BECAUSE THEY’RE RACIST… MONICA HESSE…
But there were darker undercurrents to the Melania Christmas debate, too: the defenders of Melania have always insisted on comparing her to her predecessor, Michelle Obama, and it became hard to believe that “elegant” was a code word for anything other than “White.” Melania is “elegant” because she represented a very specific kind of White femininity: silent, lovely, delicately fingering the ornaments that her staff had assembled.
Calling All Patriots: 2021 is rapidly approaching, and several major issues are facing the nation. The economy is still suffering under the coronavirus pandemic, and cases have surged during November. So Patriots, what is the biggest issue facing the country in 2021? Let us know in the form.