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Editor Daily Rundown: Maxine Waters Tells Protesters ‘To Get More Confrontational’

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MAXINE WATERS DOES IT AGAIN… DAILY MAIL: Maxine Waters tells Minnesota BLM protesters ‘to get more confrontational’ one day after violent anti-police clashes erupted across US

California Representative Maxine Waters joined protesters in Minnesota as demonstrations entered a seventh night on Saturday after the death of Daunte Wright.

Waters told the protesters at Brooklyn Center that she will fight for justice on their behalf and urged them to ‘to get more confrontational’ – just one day after protests descended into violence.

‘I am not happy that we have talked about police reform for so long,’ Waters said. ‘We’re looking for a guilty verdict,’ she added in regards to the Derek Chauvin trial. ‘If we don’t, we cannot go away.’

‘We gotta stay on the street,’ Waters was recorded saying, adding that protesters needed ‘to get more confrontational’ and they should ignore the curfew in place.

 

WATCH… Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) to BLM protesters in Brooklyn Center, MN: “[Protestors] got to stay on the street and get more active, more confrontational. They’ve got to know that we mean business.” (VIDEO)

 

RIOTERS LAUNCH FIREWORKS INTO DC COPS… EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Multiple Altercations Break Out Between Protesters And Police In Washington, DC (VIDEO)

Protesters gathered at BLM Plaza in Washington, D.C. late Friday evening to protest recent killings by police.

Multiple altercations broke out between police and protesters, who marched through outdoor diners.

The group dispersed when they reached the end of their march shortly after 11 p.m.

 

‘NO MORE HISTORY’ … ‘KILL COPS’ … MULTIPLE RIOT DECLARATIONS IN PORTLAND… JOHN SEXTON: The never-ending story: Rioting and arson in Portland

There was a fatal police shooting at a park in Portland Friday morning. It started when a call was placed to police reporting a white man pointing a gun in the park. Police arrived and, according to a witness who filmed the encounter, the man became irate. He was shirtless and didn’t appear to be armed at that point, though the witness said he’d seen him with a gun earlier. Police attempted to issue orders and locate then gun but when the man bent down to pick something off the ground, one of the officers shot him. The man died at the scene. As many as 250 protesters showed up at the park Friday morning while police created a line of officers to keep people out of the scene. […]

For some reason, Antifa once again targeted the Oregon Historical Society. What in the world does “No more history” mean? They also targeted a church […]

 

NO NEED TO RIOT IF THE SUSPECT IS WHITE? Oregon Newspaper Highlights Shooting Victim’s Race ‘In Light Of Social Unrest,’ Quickly Deletes

A man was shot and killed in Portland, Oregon after officers allegedly responded to reports of a person with a gun around 9:30 a.m. Friday morning.

The victim was a white man in his thirties, according to The Oregonian, which made sure to highlight the fact on social media.

The publication wrote “the man who was killed was a white male in his 30s, according to three sources with the knowledge of the situation,” in a since-deleted tweet. “The Oregonian/OregonLive is identifying the man’s race in light of social unrest prompted by police shootings of Black people.”

 

CHRIS CUOMO: We’ll have police reform when white kids are killed … JAZZ SHAW…

First, he listed off the names of some recently deceased Black or Hispanic suspects, mocking the voices of people who come up with excuses as to why the police failed to take them into custody without employing lethal force. Then he addressed the question of when such shootings would end. The answer, at least according to Cuomo, was when “your kids” are being shot, referring to white people. That, in the host’s opinion, is when some magical renaissance would take place. […]

Aside from the poor marketing value of mocking the huge segment of his audience that Cuomo tacitly admits is white, he clearly decided to launch into a lecture that was based on common misperceptions rather than hard data. Let’s start with the idea that things would change if “white people’s kids start getting killed.” For quite a few years now, the FBI and the DOJ have actually been compiling data on police shootings broken down by the race of the suspect. The numbers tell a consistent tale. Police officers in the United States routinely shoot and kill more white people than any other racial group, frequently at rates at least twice as numerous as Black suspects. Granted, Black suspects are still more likely to be killed in this fashion on a per capita basis calculated by their percentage of the overall population, but the totals tell a story.

For example, in 2020, police shot and killed 457 white suspects as compared to 241 Black and 169 Hispanic suspects. That’s literally more than both of those minority categories combined. In 2017 the difference was even more stark. 457 white suspects were shot and killed, compared to 223 Black and 179 Hispanic suspects. (That’s literally more than twice as many white than Black.) So while the numbers may remain disproportionate based on the Black percentage of the population, it’s inaccurate to claim that the cops “aren’t shooting white kids.” […]

While the death of a child is always a tragedy by definition, there was a lot more to the story of the shooting of Adam Toledo than the headlines portrayed. He only drew the attention of the police because of a ShotSpotter alarm indicating gunfire on the streets in the middle of the night. Toledo was out and about with a 21-year-old gang member wearing red gloves that tested positive for gunshot residue. And even CNN was forced to admit that less than one second elapsed between the moment he finally dropped his handgun and the police officer firing the shot. Could the shooting have been avoided? Possibly, but that’s something to be determined during the ongoing investigation. The point is, Adam Toledo wasn’t out playing hopscotch with his schoolmates when some rogue cops showed up to suddenly gun him down. Cuomo’s criticism of society acts as if it’s the audience’s fault for suggesting otherwise.

 

BLM Co-Founder Says Owning 4 Homes Doesn’t Defy Marxist Principles Because Her Family Uses Them (VIDEO)

[… Marc Lamont] Hill also challenged Cullors directly on her property ownership, asking whether owning four homes was consistent with her claims of being a “trained Marxist.” Cullors appeared to argue that by using her money and property to support her family, she was putting her money back into the community.

“That is a critique that is wanting,” Cullors replied, adding, “The way that I live my life is in direct support to black people, including my black family members, first and foremost. And for so many black folks who are able to invest in themselves and their community, they choose to invest in their family and that’s what I have chosen to do.”

Hill went on to later note that, while Cullors did not take a direct salary from Black Lives Matter, every deal she got based on her name recognition was deeply connected to the fact that she had been a part of that organization.

Cullors responded by saying that she felt her responsibility — and that of BLM as a whole — was to build power for the marginalized — and that began with her own family and their personal experience with policing. She also brushed off criticisms that the organization was not directly funding the people on the ground by saying that it was important to differentiate between a power-building organization and a charity.

 

NOAM BLUM: I gotta hand it to Patrisse Cullors, “my aim is to help Black people, and I am Black, so I decided the person I’d focus on helping is myself” is an impressive defense of being a Marxist while getting rich off of BLM.

 

EARLIER… NY POST: Inside BLM co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors’ million-dollar real estate buying binge

As protests broke out across the country in the name of Black Lives Matter, the group’s co-founder went on a real estate buying binge, snagging four high-end homes for $3.2 million in the US alone, according to property records.

Patrisse Khan-Cullors, 37, also eyed property in the Bahamas at an ultra-exclusive resort where Justin Timberlake and Tiger Woods both have homes, The Post has learned. Luxury apartments and townhouses at the beachfront Albany resort outside Nassau are priced between $5 million and $20 million, according to a local agent.

The self-described Marxist last month purchased a $1.4 million home on a secluded road a short drive from Malibu in Los Angeles, according to a report. The 2,370-square-foot property features “soaring ceilings, skylights and plenty of windows” with canyon views. The Topanga Canyon homestead, which includes two houses on a quarter-acre, is just one of three homes Khan-Cullors owns in the Los Angeles area, public records show.

Some fellow activists were taken aback by the real estate revelations.

Hawk Newsome, the head of Black Lives Matter Greater New York City, which is not affiliated with Khan-Cullors’ Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, called for “an independent investigation” to find out how the global network spends its money.

 

‘I’m So Sick Of Some Of Y’all’: Breonna Taylor’s Mom Calls BLM Frauds

Breonna Taylor’s mother Tamika Palmer blasted Black Lives Matter (BLM) Louisville and Democratic Kentucky state Rep. Attica Scott, calling them “fraud” in a Facebook post from Wednesday.

“I have never personally dealt with BLM Louisville and personally have found them to be fraud, Attica Scott another fraud,” Palmer wrote.

Palmer called out the organizations that purport to help “Breonna’s family,” yet do not even know who her family is. “I think it’s crazy when people say they’ve been here since day 1,” Palmer wrote. “I could walk in a room full of people who claim to be here for Breonna’s family who don’t even know who I am.”

Palmer also went after the fundraisers that use her late daughter’s name to allegedly enrich themselves, saying that they “know who they are.”

“I’ve watched y’all raise money on behalf of Breonna’s family who has never done a damn thing for us nor have we needed it,” she wrote. “I’m so sick of some of y’all.”

 

FOX: Austin police identify former sheriff’s detective accused of rape as suspect behind massacre

A massive multi-agency manhunt including the FBI and U.S. Marshals continued Monday morning stemming from a shooting on Sunday in Austin and an armed former sheriff’s detective is wanted for killing at least three people near an apartment complex.

Austin police said the victims were adults, including two Hispanic females, and one Black male. The suspect was identified as Stephen Nicholas Broderick, a former Travis County Sheriff’s Office detective that was charged with raping a 16-year-old girl last summer, officials said.

Austin’s KXAN, citing an arrest affidavit, reported last June that the ex-detective was on administrative leave following an arrest for allegations of sexual assault.

U.S. Marshals arrested Broderick on June 6, three days after the teen accused him of assaulting her in a home in Elgin, Texas, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

Broderick reportedly spent 16 days in jail before he posted a reduced bail amount of $50,000. Court records reviewed by the paper indicate his wife filed for divorce and obtained an order of protection after his arrest which was a year after he received a promotion by the Travis County Sheriffs Law Enforcement Association.

 

BIDEN ADMITS ‘CRISIS,’ BOWS TO LEFT-WING SHOT CALLERS ON REFUGEE CAPS… Biden Breaks With His Own Admin And Calls Border Situation A ‘Crisis,’ Defends 180 On Refugees

President Joe Biden broke with his own administration Saturday, referring to the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border as a “crisis” for the first time.

Biden, after playing golf in Wilmington, Del., took a moment to address his position on refugee admissions — which he had reversed on Friday.

“We’re going to increase the number [of refugees allowed into the country]. The problem was that the refugee part was working on the crisis that ended up on the border with young people,” Biden said. “We couldn’t do two things at once. But now we are going to increase the number.” […]

Biden’s position on refugee admission has gone through a series of changes in recent weeks, beginning with his February promise to raise the cap to 125,000 for fiscal year 2022 that begins in October. In conjunction, Biden promised a “down payment” on that in the coming months.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken suggested raising the cap from 15,000 — the number set by former President Donald Trump — to 62,000, but Biden signed an emergency presidential determination Friday that kept the limit at 15,000 for the remainder of the current fiscal year.

Members of Biden’s own party were quick to voice their displeasure that he was keeping Trump’s refugee cap in place.

Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called the moved “utterly unacceptable,” noting that there were some who had voted for Biden because of his promise to allow more refugees into the country.

“Upholding the xenophobic and racist policies of the Trump admin, incl [sic] the historically low + plummeted refugee cap, is flat out wrong,” she said.

 

MORE… White House Backtracks After Top Dems Slam Biden’s Decision To Keep Trump’s Refugee Caps In Place

The White House quickly backtracked President Joe Biden’s Friday decision to maintain the Trump administration’s low refugee cap levels and now maintains that he will set a “final, increased” cap by May 15.

“The President’s directive today has been the subject of some confusion,” press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement distributed Friday afternoon. “Last week, he sent to Congress his budget for the fiscal year starting in October 2021, which honors his commitment. For the past few weeks, he has been consulting with his advisors to determine what number of refugees could realistically be admitted to the United States between now and October 1. Given the decimated refugee admissions program we inherited, and burdens on the Office of Refugee Resettlement, his initial goal of 62,500 seems unlikely.”

Psaki added that “while finalizing that determination, the President was urged to take immediate action to reverse the Trump policy that banned refugees from many key regions, to enable flights from those regions to begin within days; today’s order did that.”

“With that done,” she continued, “we expect the President to set a final, increased refugee cap for the remainder of this fiscal year by May 15.”

 

LAST WEEK… BIDEN WORLD BLAMES HHS SECRETARY FOR BORDER CRISIS… POLITICO: Border fiasco spurs a blame game inside Biden world

Top White House officials have grown increasingly frustrated with Health Secretary Xavier Becerra over his department’s sluggish effort to house thousands of unaccompanied minors, as the administration grapples with a record number of children crossing the southern border.

The dissatisfaction with Becerra centers on complaints he’s been slow to take charge of the response since his confirmation on March 18, according to eight current and former government officials and others familiar with the situation. The administration has scrambled to find new shelters and speed the vetting of adults to care for the children as thousands remain in packed detention facilities along the border.

Biden aides led by Domestic Policy chief Susan Rice and Amy Pope, a senior adviser on migration hired to help direct the administration’s border response, have pressed the health department in meetings over the past several weeks to pick up the pace, warning that the influx of unaccompanied children is only likely to accelerate into the spring and early summer.

But a month into Becerra’s tenure, officials working on the issue have privately questioned his preparedness for managing such a sprawling emergency — and his willingness to take ownership of a historically intractable and politically divisive problem.

“He did not fully appreciate the issue when he first came in,” said one senior administration official. “It’s been a steep learning curve for him.”

 

Gov. DeSantis Criticizes Vaccine Messaging: ‘If You Get A Vaccine … You’re Immune And So, Act Immune’ (VIDEO)

DeSantis criticized how public health officials handled pausing the vaccine as well as the public health messaging surrounding safety protocols for fully-vaccinated adults.

He said he felt it wasn’t helpful to ask people to get the vaccine while “people who have been vaccinated for months are wearing two masks.”

“My view is if you get a vaccine, the vaccines are effective,” DeSantis explained. “You’re immune and so, act immune. If you tell people the opposite, then gee, you know why, if it’s not effective for them and it’s not going to change anything then what’s the point of going through it?”

 

MAHER BLASTS CORPORATE MEDIA FOR COVID LIES… ‘How Did Your Audience Wind Up Believing Such A Bunch Of Crap?’: Bill Maher Rips Liberal Media For COVID ‘Panic Porn’ (VIDEO)

The U.S. media, Maher said, has consistently painted a more negative picture of the pandemic than other outlets around the world. While the coverage in other countries has mixed the positive news in with the negative, he noted that American media coverage has remained nearly 90% negative.

“When all of our sources for medical information have an agenda to spin us, yeah, you wind up with a badly misinformed population, including on the left,” Mahercontinued. “Liberals often mock the Republican misinformation bubble, which of course is very real … but what about liberals? You know, the high-information, by-the-science people?”

Maher then noted that, according to a Gallup survey on coronavirus, Democratshave been “wildly off” on the question asking how likely it was for someone who had COVID-19 to require hospitalization. Just 10% of Democrats gave the correct answer — 1 to 5% — while 41% of Democrats believed more than 50% of those infected would need to be hospitalized.

According to that same survey, Maher said that Democrats greatly exaggerated views of how dangerous COVID-19 was to children — which he said could be the reason that the majority of schools that have remained closed are in blue states.

“So if the right-wing media bubble has to own things like climate change denial, shouldn’t liberal media have to answer for ‘How did your audience wind up believing such a bunch of crap about COVID?’” Maher asked.

Maher even praised Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, adding, “And maybe that’s why he protected his most vulnerable population, the elderly, way better than did the governor of New York. Those are just facts, I know it’s irresponsible of me to say them.”

 

SLATE FINALLY BREAKS FROM THE PACK… SHANNON PALUS: I wrote about why it’s time to stop wearing masks *all the time* outside (LINK + DERANGED TWITTER REACTIONS…)

 

MORE… It’s About Time for Us to Stop Wearing Masks Outside

I am not suggesting this simply because I am very sick of wearing a mask at all times outside my home. When it comes to coronavirus spread, evidence shows that being outdoors is very, very safe. A paper published in Indoor Air looked at 1,245 cases in China and found just one instance of outdoor transmission, which involved people having a conversation, which means they had to be close to one another for some period of time and face to face. According to data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, shared earlier this month with the Irish Times, of 232,164 cases in Ireland, just 262 were associated with “locations which are primarily associated with outdoor activities.” That is, about 0.1 percent. A meta-analysis published online in November in the Journal of Infectious Diseases suggests it’s possible the upper bound of cases potentially contracted outdoors is higher; it estimates that the total is less than 10 percent. When I called Nooshin Razani, an author on that report and an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco, she emphasized that the real number of instances of outdoor transmission was “probably lower” than 10 percent, since the cases she and her team counted were sometimes murky: cases that occurred at construction sites, or summer camps where people were sharing bunks. That is, these scenarios likely involved some indoor time as well. They also tended to involve people who were spending time together over a period of days. “Most of the cases that happened outdoors had something about the circumstances you could point to and say, ‘That was a risk,’ ” says Razani. Just one case involved joggers—who were jogging together. […]

Zain Chagla, an infectious diseases physician with McMaster University, recently wrote an op-ed in the Toronto Star noting that last summer’s outdoor gatherings coincided with an all-time low of cases in the city. While it’s important to mask in outdoor crowds or if you’re hanging out close to someone in a park, Chagla explains, the main message should be that the outdoors is a safe place to be. He gave me a rough sense of how unlikely outdoor transmission is in the scenario where you’re walking unmasked on the sidewalk and briefly pass someone. First, you or the person you’re passing would have to happen to have an asymptomatic infection, he explained, and then everyone would have to be exhaling and inhaling at just the right moment, and also, exchanging enough particles to actually seed another infection: “You’re talking about a probability of getting hit by a car, and being struck by lightning.”

 

ROBBY SOAVE: Joy Reid Said Vaccinated People Who Refuse To Wear Masks Are ‘Irrational.’ Fauci Didn’t Correct Her.

On her show Friday night, MSNBC host Joy Reid interviewed Anthony Fauci, the White House’s top COVID-19 adviser. Reid made the following comment.

“I am one of the fully vaccinated,” she said. “I’m fully Fauci’d. The question I have is are we really going to get to the end of it? Because, Dr. Fauci, at this point it’s political. There are people who are paranoid about you. They’ve decided they don’t trust you, they think you’re trying to have the government take over their lives or put nanobots in them and Bill Gates is going to physically control them if they get the vaccine. It isn’t just hesitancy, it’s paranoia. You have Tucker Carlson basically saying that you’re not telling the truth, if you’re vaccinated there’s no reason to wear a mask anymore. You have people screaming at store clerks because they don’t want to wear masks. This is not rational at this point, Dr. Fauci. So I wonder, what do we do about the irrational resistance to doing the basics, getting vaccinated and wearing masks.”

Fauci responded by largely echoing her concerns. He eventually conceded that people who were vaccinated could have unmasked gatherings in their own homes under some limited conditions, but stressed continued mask wearing outside the home.

“I don’t understand why that freaks people out,” said Reid. “Get a cute mask and make it fashion. Just put a mask on.”

She has it exactly backward: It is Reid and Fauci who are being irrationally paranoid, not the people they are criticizing.

 

MEANWHILE, IN CANADA… ‘Should People Call Police On Their Neighbors?’: Officers Will Now Stop Citizens, Ask For Personal Information In Canada(VIDEO)

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced in a Friday press conference that Ontario’s four-week stay-at-home order will extend another two weeks and also include harsher punishments for failing to abide by the rules.

“We have implemented the strictest measures in all of North America, and the difficult truth is, every public health measure we have left comes with a massive cost to people in their lives,” Ford said. “But, we have never shied away from doing what is necessary.”

As of 12:01 a.m. Saturday, police officers will be able to interrogate citizens for their address and the purpose for not being at home. Not complying is considered breaking the law, which will empower police officers to issue tickets.

“We have made the deliberate decision to temporarily enhance police officers’ authority for the duration of the stay-at-home order,” Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said at the conference. “Moving forward, police will have the authority to require any individual who is not in a place of residence to first provide their purpose for not being at home, and provide their home address. Police will also have the authority to stop a vehicle to inquire about an individual’s reason for leaving their residence.”

One citizen asked the panel, “If someone sees their neighbors breaking these new regulations and having a party in their yard, that sort of thing, should people call the police on their neighbors?”

“I’m never going to encourage people to inundate the byline enforcement or police departments with calls,” Jones answered. “But if it means saving lives, then I think we have to think about what your social responsibilities are as an individual to make sure that you don’t empower other people and invite a whole bunch of individuals to your home.”

 

EDITOR’S NOTE… DOUG FORD IS THE BROTHER OF THE INFAMOUS, LATE TORONTO MAYOR ROB FORD…

 

GROUP BEHIND POSSIBLE COVID LAB LEAK RECEIVES MILLIONS IN BAILOUT CASH… Non-Profit That Funded Wuhan Lab Got Taxpayer Bailout Again In 2021

Non-profit EcoHealth Alliance, which funneled millions of dollars in National Institutes of Health grants to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, received a taxpayer-funded bailout in February 2021.

The bailout was the second received by EcoHealth since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. After receiving $738,861 in a bailout in May 2020, EcoHealth got an additional $719,570 in February of this year, according to a new report from watchdog group Whitecoat Waste.

The bailout funds were a part of federal COVID-19 relief packages passed under both the Trump and Biden administrations.

EcoHealth Alliance head Peter Daszak was the only American member of the China-led World Health Organization Team dispatched to China to search for the origin of COVID-19. Daszak has a past involving dangerous gain-of-function research on bat-based coronaviruses, which some have speculated could have played a role in a potential lab-leak origin of the pandemic.

 

MORE JOINT RESEARCH BETWEEN US & CHINA… THIS TIME, MAKING HUMAN-MONKEY HYBRIDS… AXIOS: Scientists create embryos with human and monkey cells

Researchers for the first time have created embryos in the lab that contain both human and monkey cells.

Why it matters: So-called chimeric embryos could help scientists produce organs for people desperately in need of transplants, but the very act of mixing human and animal cells raises major ethical questions. […]

What’s new: In a study published Thursday, researchers in the U.S. and China injected 25 induced pluripotent stem cells from humans into embryos from macaque monkeys.

After a single day, the researchers could detect human cells growing in 132 of the embryos, known as chimeras because they are a mix of species.

The embryos survived for 19 days. […]

Some fear that a rogue scientist might use these tools to make a baby out of chimeric embryo, which could result in a nightmare scenario of a living monkey spiked with human cells — including in its brain. […]

“I do think it’s an appropriate time for us to start thinking about, ‘Should we ever let these go beyond a petri dish?'” Hank Greely, a Stanford bioethicist, told NPR.

 

DOJ TARGETS MAN WHO REVEALED AGENCY MISCONDUCT… DOJ Is Reportedly Investigating Ex-Trump Official Who Debunked The Russia Collusion Narrative

Kash Patel, the former GOP congressional aide who uncovered the FBI’s surveillance abuse against the Trump campaign, is the target of a federal leak investigation, according to a report from The Washington Post.

David Ignatius, a columnist for the Post, reported Friday that two sources familiar with the probe said that Patel is being investigated for unauthorized disclosures of classified information.

The investigation was sparked by a complaint made by an intelligence agency, according to Ignatius.

By his own admission, Patel has ruffled feathers in the intelligence community, FBI and Justice Department due to his aggressive efforts to unlock details of the counterintelligence investigation against the 2016 Trump campaign.

Patel served as an investigator for Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee before joining the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the Defense Department during the Trump administration.

While working on Capitol Hill, Patel played a central role in the investigation that uncovered details about the infamous Steele dossier, as well as the FBI’s use of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

At ODNI, Patel helped push through the declassification of a trove of documents related to the dossier and the FISA warrants which have proved embarrassing for the FBI.

Patel did not respond to a request for comment about the Post report. But one of Patel’s former colleagues speculated that if he is under investigation, it is likely because of his role debunking the narrative that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

“Kash embarrassed intelligence officials by getting documents declassified showing the Russia collusion investigation was a fraud,” the former Patel colleague told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

 

CHUCK ROSS: Reminder of Chuck Schumer’s remark from Jan. 2017: “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”

 

MEANWHILE… Biden Nominee Skates Through Confirmation Hearing Without Facing Questions About Her Handling Of Steele Dossier

State Department nominee Victoria Nuland coasted through her Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday without facing any questions about her role disseminating information from former British spy Christopher Steele during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Nuland, who is nominated for undersecretary of state of political affairs, authorized two meetings during a previous stint at the State Department between government officials and Steele, a former British spy who compiled a dossier alleging collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.

She also pressed the FBI in the weeks before the 2016 election to investigate Steele’s allegations, according to government documents released last year.

House and Senate Republicans who investigated the origins of the Trump-Russia probe have since 2017 asked questions about the State Department and Nuland’s contacts with Steele, who investigated Donald Trump on behalf of the Clinton campaign and DNC.

The topic did not come up during a drama-free hearing for her confirmation before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday. Not even Republicans who took part in the hearing — Sens. Jim Risch, Ted Cruz and Bill Haggerty — asked Nuland about her knowledge of Steele or the dossier.

 

REUTERS: Oscars show reinvented as a movie — with masks, longer speeches

The Oscars ceremony next week will have the look and feel of a movie, giving winners more time for speeches, while coronavirus masks will play a major role, producers of the show said on Saturday.

The coronavirus pandemic and a trio of new producers have led to a reinvention of the traditional show where the world’s highest movie honors are handed out before a seated theater audience of more than 4,000 A-list stars and industry executives.

Much of the April 25 ceremony will instead be held at the Art Deco Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, where a stage is being built and where presenters will be doing more than opening an envelope with the winner’s name.

“It’s not going to be like anything that’s been done before,” director Steven Soderbergh, who is producing the show with Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins, told a news conference.

 

KC JOHNSON: “One recent producer of the Oscars, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential metrics, said minute-by-minute post-show ratings analysis indicated that ‘vast swaths’ of people turned off their televisions when celebrities started to opine on politics.”