David Badash

'What's going on?' Mitch McConnell refuses to explain to voters why he's bruised and bandaged

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday was photographed with what appear to be disturbing bruises on his face and hands, and with bandages on his hands as well, but he is refusing to share with voters what health issues he is suffering from.

McConnell told CNN there are "no problems." When asked if he had any health problems the 78-year old said: "Of course not."

The Kentucky lawmaker "did not respond when asked if he was being treated by a doctor. An aide to McConnell also declined to provide any additional details when asked multiple times about the majority leader's health."

The Courier-Journal reports McConnell earlier this month "refused to say whether he had recently been tested" for coronavirus.

"Have I ever been tested? Yes," he said after reporters repeatedly asked him about that. "But I'm not going to answer questions about when."

McConnell, who has been blocking coronavirus legislation for months, is seeking re-election. He is challenged by Democrat Amy McGrath. He is nine points ahead of her according to a recent poll.

On social media, many are speculating about the Majority Leader's heath since he refuses to share with voters what has caused his appearance.

Some images and responses via Twitter:













Explosive report reveals Russian hacking that could presage electoral chaos to help Trump

The New York Times has just published a bombshell report, alleging Russian hackers "in recent days" were able to access state and local computer networks, in an effort to help President Donald Trump win re-election. These "breaches…could allow Moscow broader access to American voting infrastructure."

The revelation is in keeping with Russia's stated goal of undermining confidence in the U.S. elections system.

"The discovery of the hacks came as American intelligence agencies, infiltrating Russian networks themselves, have pieced together details of what they believe are Russia's plans to interfere in the presidential race in its final days or immediately after the election on Nov. 3," the Times reports.

"Officials did not make clear what Russia planned to do, but they said its operations would be intended to help President Trump, potentially by exacerbating disputes around the results, especially if the race is too close to call."

For months Trump has been sowing seeds to allow himself and his supporters to claim the election was not free or fair, repeatedly calling it "rigged."


The Times claims there is "no evidence that the Russians have changed any vote tallies or voter registration information."

But experts say this isn't over.

"This could be the reconnaissance for disruptive activity," says John Hultquist, the director of threat analysis at the security firm FireEye.

"American officials expect that if the presidential race is not called on election night, Russian groups could use their knowledge of the local computer systems to deface websites, release nonpublic information or take similar steps that could sow chaos and doubts about the integrity of the results, according to American officials briefed on the intelligence."

Bombshell study finds up to 210,000 Americans died of COVID because of Trump administration's ‘monumental screwup’

A bombshell Columbia University study finds President Donald Trump is responsible for the coronavirus deaths of 130,000 to 210,000 Americans.

"We believe that this was a monumental, lethal screwup by an administration that didn't want to deal with reality," Dr. Irwin Redlener, the lead author on the study and the founding director at Columbia's National Center for Disaster Preparedness told The Daily Beast.

The study calls Trump's response to the pandemic an "abject failure," citing "the staggering and disproportionate nature of COVID-19 fatalities in the United States."

"The inability of the U.S. to mitigate the pandemic is especially stark when contrasted with the response of high-income nations, such as South Korea, Japan, Australia, Germany, France, and Canada, as well as low- and middle-income countries as varied as Thailand, Pakistan, Honduras, and Malaysia. All of these nations have had greater success in protecting their populations from the impact of the coronavirus," researchers say in the report published Wednesday.

They note the U.S. per capita death rate is "more than fifty times that of Japan."

"If the U.S. had followed Canadian policies and protocols, there might have only been 85,192 U.S. deaths—making more than 132,500 American deaths 'avoidable.' If the U.S. response had mirrored that of Germany, the U.S. may have only had 38,457 deaths—leaving 179,260 avoidable deaths," according to the study.

The researchers say "Politicization, leadership vacuum, and the failure of top officials to model best practices" especially mask-wearing, have contributed to the disproportionately high U.S. death rate.

The report concludes the "two major deficiencies" of "inadequate testing and insufficient contact tracing, have blunted the United States' capacity to stop the exponential spread of COVID-19."

"According to Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), thousands of lives could have been saved if the White House had approved the distribution of over six million masks that were prepared for delivery in late February," the report notes.

Dr. Redlener does not mince words.

"Americans have a bad case of pandemic fatigue. We want to get back to some semblance of normalcy, but we never did what we had to do to achieve that state," Redlener told The Beast. "We've delayed the return of normalcy and fallen into this web of dishonesty and opposing science that was concocted by the president."

Redlener adds, "this incredibly anti-science administration has caused an enormous tragedy in America."

Read: Graphic handwritten letter from Maryland man who threatened to kidnap and ‘execute’ Biden and Harris

James Dale Reed is under arrest after leaving a handwritten and graphic note at a Fredrick, Maryland home that threatens to kidnap and kill Democratic presidential and vice presidential nominees Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The house has Biden/Harris signs on its lawn.

The suspect's image was caught by a video doorbell camera.

"This is a warning to anyone reading this letter if you are a Biden/Harris supporter you will be targeted," the letter states, according to WUSA9 News.

The threats in the letter (image below) are graphic.

(Trigger warning:)

"When We capture Grandpa Biden We will all severely beat him to the point of death as for Mrs. Harris she will be bent over and Anally raped by my rifle barrel," it reads.

It also threatens Biden and Harris "both will be executed on National Television [sic]."

"We have a list of homes and addresses by your election signs," the letter claims.

"We are the ones with the scary guns, we are the ones your children have nightmares about."

"We will not let Biden/Harris turn are [sic] country into a Communist wasteland," it also says.

"If Biden/Harris Want A War [sic] then they will get one, of course that means Black lives matter and Antifa."

Brad Bell, Maryland Bureau Chief for ABC 7 News, posted a photo of Reed and an image of the letter:


Trump mocked for posting photo of a 'blank sheet of paper' touting ‘many things we’ve done for healthcare’

President Donald Trump is harping on his failed "60 Minutes" interview that he walked off from after veteran CBS News host Lesley Stahl began asking him questions about the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday.

CNN reports Trump has been pushing his chief of staff to release the White House's recording of the interview, and barely minutes after that segment aired the President tweeted out photos of him with Stahl.

President Donald Trump is harping on his failed "60 Minutes" interview that he walked off from after veteran CBS News host Lesley Stahl began asking him questions about the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday.

CNN reports Trump has been pushing his chief of staff to release the White House's recording of the interview, and barely minutes after that segment aired the President tweeted out photos of him with Stahl.



But as Vox journalist Aaron Rupar noted, the book appears to be filled with blank paper – or at least the page she happened to be looking at clearly is blank.


That observation was echoed by many, and others mocked the President for yet another empty plan.
























One of the photos shows White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany handing a huge book to Lesley Stahl.

"Kayleigh McEnany presenting Lesley Stahl (@60Minutes) with some of the many things we've done for Healthcare. Lesley had no idea!" Trump tweeted.

Judge shoots down DOJ push to delay Trump's rape case

The United States Department of Justice received a public rebuke from a federal judge on Wednesday.

At issue was a hearing about the DOJ's efforts to have taxpayer-funded lawyers defend President Donald Trump in a civil case over whether he defamed E. Jean Carroll after she accused him of sexual assault.

The DOJ attempted to delay the case after a government attorney was denied access to the courthouse due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The DOJ claimed that the new rules had started on Tuesday, even though Gov. Andrew Cuomo had announced the ban a week earlier.

The judge denied the motion and noted the hearing could be conducted by phone.

The judge added that "contrary to the government's suggestion, it appears that Virginia was added to the list of Restricted States over a week ago."

The order was posted to Twitter by Courthouse News reporter Adam Klasfeld:

'Pathetic' Trump called out for declaring there’s 'not much' he could have done differently on COVID

President Donald Trump is now saying there's "not much" he could have done differently in responding to the COVID-19 crisis, despite having more than 225,000 deaths and over 8.5 million cases on his record.

By almost every metric President Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic is the worst of any large nation. The United States has by far the most COVID-19 cases. In second place is India, with a population four times that of the U.S.

President Donald Trump is now saying there's "not much" he could have done differently in responding to the COVID-19 crisis, despite having more than 225,000 deaths and over 8.5 million cases on his record.

By almost every metric President Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic is the worst of any large nation. The United States has by far the most COVID-19 cases. In second place is India, with a population four times that of the U.S.

America has had the most coronavirus deaths. On a per-capita basis for number of deaths the U.S. comes in at number 12 out of 217 countries and other politically-recognized areas. That means there are 205 nations that have done a better job than the U.S. under President Donald Trump.

"With COVID," Sinclair Broadcasting's Eric Bolling asked Trump in a Rose Garden interview that will air this week, "is there anything that you think you could have done differently, if you had a mulligan or a do-over on one aspect of the way you handled it, what would it be?"

Trump's reply?

"Not much."

In other words, he thinks he did a great job.

"Look, it's all over the world, you have a lot of great leaders, a lot of smart people, it's all over the world. I came out of China, they should have stopped it."

The President is being excoriated for his laissez faire attitude toward the deadly disease.




















Pope Francis says same-sex couples should be ‘legally’ protected by civil unions

Pope Francis is calling for same-sex couples to be "legally" protected by civil union laws.

"Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family," the Pope says in a new documentary, Catholic News Agency reports. "They're children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it."

Later, Pope Francis defended his remarks in the film, saying, "What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered."

"I stood up for that," he added.

The Pope said nothing about the morality of same-sex relationships, which the Catholic Church still vehemently opposes.

The Vatican leader's remarks, while a step forward, show the Roman Catholic Church continues to treat LGBTQ people unequally.

Some are calling the Pope's remarks a "major shift," and a "long overdue moment." Others have noted to Catholics in countries where same-sex relationships or marriages are banned it is a welcome sign.

Pope Francis continues to oppose marriage for same-sex couples. He has a lengthy record of vacillating between making compassionate statements about same-sex couples and gay people, while denouncing in the strongest possible terms affording them the same rights and responsibilities as those in different-sex marriages.

In 2014, for example, Pope Francis called same-sex marriage "anthropological regression."

One year later he said same-sex marriage threatened to "disfigure God's plan." He later called marriages of same-sex couples "disfigured." Also in 2015 he announced support for constitutional bans on marriage and adoption by same-sex couples.

The following year Francis said the Catholic Church and Christians "must ask forgiveness" and "apologize" to gay people. In 2018 the Pope reportedly told a gay man, "God made you like this. God loves you like this. The Pope loves you like this and you should love yourself and not worry about what people say."

New report reveals Trump's hidden bank account in China

President Donald Trump has a bank account in China which until now has been hidden from the public. The account, as first reported by The New York Times Tuesday evening, does not appear anywhere on the president's financial disclosure forms.

Trump for years attempted to claim he and President Xi of China were good friends.

"Mr. Trump's own business history is filled with overseas financial deals, and some have involved the Chinese state," the Times reveals. "He spent a decade unsuccessfully pursuing projects in China, operating an office there during his first run for president and forging a partnership with a major government-controlled company."

Trump operates his business empire as a "pass-through," which means that ultimately all profits makes their way to the president and his family.

"And it turns out that China is one of only three foreign nations — the others are Britain and Ireland — where Mr. Trump maintains a bank account, according to an analysis of the president's tax records, which were obtained by The New York Times. The foreign accounts do not show up on Mr. Trump's public financial disclosures, where he must list personal assets, because they are held under corporate names. The identities of the financial institutions are not clear."

The Times goes on to report Trump paid China in taxes from 2013 to 2015 far more than the zero taxes he paid to the U.S. government during the same years.

One of Trump's companies in China "reported an unusually large spike in revenue — some $17.5 million, more than the previous five years' combined. It was accompanied by a $15.1 million withdrawal by Mr. Trump from the company's capital account."

"Until last year, China's biggest state-controlled bank rented three floors in Trump Tower, a lucrative lease that drew accusations of a conflict of interest for the president," the Times adds.

Read the entire report at The New York Times.

Tiffany Trump burned over disastrous LGBTQ pride campaign event: ‘Beyond pathetic'

Tiffany Trump, the First Family's youngest daughter, is being highly criticized after headlining a disastrous and offensive "LGBTQ pride" campaign event for her father, in which she left out the "T" – for the transgender community – upon hitting the stage and garbling what should have been a simple "LGBTQIA."

Tiffany also immediately told the presumably LGBTQ Republicans at the sparsely-attended event her father used to support them, but stopped after entering politics.

"Prior to politics, he supported gays, lesbians, the LGBQI – IA plus community, OK?" Tiffany Trump admitted.

Unsurprisingly, the announcement didn't even mention it was an LGBTQ event.


President Donald Trump is the most anti-LGBTQ president in modern American history. Directly and indirectly he has attacked the LGBTQ community, through rescinding President Barack Obama's executive orders protecting LGBTQ people, by banning transgender Americans from serving in the U.S. Military, by attacking ObamaCare, by installing far right wing anti-LGBTQ judges at every level of the federal judiciary, by empowering the religious right, by creating anti-LGBTQ offices within federal agencies, by enabling and supporting white supremacists, white nationalists, and other domestic terrorists, and more.

On social media Tiffany Trump was roundly excoriated – take a look:
















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