Did The Lincoln Project Just Advertise Its Own Defamation Liability?

In this election, the Lincoln Project has been arguably the most prolific anti-Trump organization in running scathing and often personal attacks on Trump, his family, and his associates. The ads have ranged from the genuinely funny to the shockingly vicious. Now however, the Project may have added openly defamatory. The Project has erected a pair of billboards in Times Square that slam Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump as callous and mocking figures in the fast of the rising death toll from Covid-19. The Project has received a letter of intent to sue from the family’s lawyer and, while these actions by public official or public figures are extremely difficult to maintain, the claim could have merit. I have updated the column below to add the statement from the Lincoln Project.

The ads, announced Thursday by the Lincoln Project, feature images side by side. In one, a smiling Ivanka gestures approvingly toward the coronavirus death tolls for New Yorkers and Americans. In the other, Kushner is shown next to body bags with a quote “[New Yorkers] are going to suffer and that’s their problem.”

The Standard

Once again, these controversies must begin with a caveat on the difficult legal standard imposed on public officials and figures. (Both are technically public officials even though they are not paid an official salary. Yet, the standard for both categories is the same).

The standard for defamation for public figures and officials in the United States is the product of a decision decades ago in New York Times v. Sullivan. The Supreme Court ruled that tort law could not be used to overcome First Amendment protections for free speech or the free press. The Court sought to create “breathing space” for the media by articulating that standard that now applies to both public officials and public figures. In order to prevail, they must show actual knowledge or reckless disregard of the alleged falsity.  Obviously, truth remains a defense. Under Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323, 352 (1974) and its progeny of cases, the Supreme Court has held that public figure status applies when someone “thrust[s] himself into the vortex of [the] public issue [and] engage[s] the public’s attention in an attempt to influence its outcome.”

Truth is always a defense in defamation.  In a related false lights claim, however, the photo or quote can be true but presented falsely. Under the Restatement of Torts, this tort is defined as:

652E. Publicity Placing Person in False Light

One who gives publicity to a matter concerning another that places the other before the public in a false light is subject to liability to the other for invasion of his privacy, if

(a) the false light in which the other was placed would be highly offensive to a reasonable person, and
(b) the actor had knowledge of or acted in reckless disregard as to the falsity of the publicized matter and the false light in which the other would be placed.

Much of the underlying facts of the sources of the original photo and quote are known. There is a question about the reliability of the Kushner quote that could result in some interesting discovery demands.

Ivanka Trump’s Claim

Ivanka’s claim would be the most challenging to maintain in court. The image is taken from a selfie she tweeted in July  in which she gestured toward a can of Goya black beans to show support for the company. However, the use of the image could be defended as political commentary and parody.  Courts tend to avoid curtailing political speech, even when it is obnoxious or unfair.

Yet, the Supreme Court has shown that there are limits to opinion as a defense as in Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., 497 U.S. 1 (1990). In that case, there was another inflammatory allegation stemming from a public meeting.  An Ohio high school wrestling coach sued over an opinion column alleging that he had lied under oath at a public hearing, saying that it was tantamount to an allegation of perjury.  The trial judge granted summary judgment on the ground that the assertion in the newspaper column was opinion.  The Court however rejected the defense in the case in 7-2 opinion written by Chief Justice William Rehnquist. The Court noted that “expressions of ‘opinion’ may often imply an assertion of objective fact”  and may inflict “as much damage to reputation” as factual claims. Moreover, some opinions are based on assertions that are “sufficiently factual to be susceptible of being proved true or false.”

Trump family lawyer Marc Kasowitz objected in the letter that “Ms. Trump never made any such gesture.”  That is probably not enough in this circumstance. It is common for public officials to have their pictures used in different contexts.  Moreover, most people would not believe that Ivanka mocks the deaths of thousands of people and that this is political parody or speech.  The context of speech is also key as shown in  Ollman v. Evans 750 F.2d 970 (D.C. Cir. 1984). In that case, Novak and Evans wrote a scathing piece, including what Ollman stated were clear misrepresentations. The court acknowledges that “the most troublesome statement in the column . . . [is] an anonymous political science professor is quoted as saying: ‘Ollman has no status within the profession but is a pure and simple activist.’” Ollman sued but Judge Kenneth Starr wrote for the D.C. Circuit in finding no basis for defamation. This passage would seem relevant for secondary posters and activists using the article to criticize the family:

The reasonable reader who peruses an Evans and Novak column on the editorial or Op-Ed page is fully aware that the statements found there are not “hard” news like those printed on the front page or elsewhere in the news sections of the newspaper. Readers expect that columnists will make strong statements, sometimes phrased in a polemical manner that would hardly be considered balanced or fair elsewhere in the newspaper. National Rifle Association v. Dayton Newspaper, Inc., supra, 555 F.Supp. at 1309. That proposition is inherent in the very notion of an “Op-Ed page.” Because of obvious space limitations, it is also manifest that columnists or commentators will express themselves in condensed fashion without providing what might be considered the full picture. Columnists are, after all, writing a column, not a full-length scholarly article or a book. This broad understanding of the traditional function of a column like Evans and Novak will therefore predispose the average reader to regard what is found there to be opinion.

A reader of this particular Evans and Novak column would also have been influenced by the column’s express purpose. The columnists laid squarely before the reader their interest in ending what they deemed a “frivolous” debate among politicians over whether Mr. Ollman’s political beliefs should bar him from becoming head of the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland. Instead, the authors plainly intimated in the column’s lead paragraph that they wanted to spark a more appropriate debate within academia over whether Mr. Ollman’s purpose in teaching was to indoctrinate his students. Later in the column, they openly questioned the measure or method of Professor Ollman’s scholarship. Evans and Novak made it clear that they were not purporting to set forth definitive conclusions, but instead meant to ventilate what in their view constituted the central questions raised by Mr. Ollman’s prospective appointment.

Here the information was conveyed on a mocking and clearly political billboard. A court would most likely be skeptical of a defamation claim in such a circumstance.

Jared Kushner’s Claim

The claim by Kushner is stronger. Kasowitz objected that “Of course, Mr. Kushner never made any such statement.” The line does appear both edited and misleading. The Jared quote appears to be taken from a Sept. 17 Vanity Fair article about an alleged March 21 White House meeting between Kushner and an ad hoc private sector group about the nation’s coronavirus response. First, the quote is based on an anonymous source from a publication that is decidedly anti-Trump. That could be important since reckless disregard can be based on the reliance on an uncertain or unreliable source. Since the Lincoln Project had presumably no independent source, this could pull Vanity Fair into the mix.

Putting aside the source, the quote itself is misrepresented. The article was on a meeting of business figures with Kushner on PPE orders for the pandemic. Kushner is quoted as saying “Cuomo didn’t pound the phones hard enough to get PPE for his state…. His people are going to suffer and that’s their problem.” That is an entirely different meaning.  Unlike the Ivanka billboard, the Kushner billboard could be taken as a factual statement about dead New Yorkers.  It is designed to trigger anger and resentment against Kushner based on a statement that is falsely presented. As such, it could be a case for defamation and false light. 

The best argument for the Lincoln Project is that the quote still reflects a callous disregard for New Yorkers.  While Kushner can reasonably argue that he was referring to the political problem for Cuomo and Democrats, the Project could argue that this is within the very broad range given protected political statements since it still shows, if true, that Kushner was dismissive on the issue. If the jury or the court finds that a plausible interpretation, it would likely reject the claim.

The immediate concern for The Lincoln Project should be that the Kushner claim could make it beyond an early motion to dismiss and the project could find its internal discussions subject to depositions.  It would also mean that the project would be caught in lingering litigation beyond 2020.

Kushner still would face a considerable headwind from these cases but the claim is neither frivolous nor easily dismissible.

Update: The Project has now responded

The Lincoln Project’s responded defiantly:

“The level of indignant outrage Jared Kushner, and Ivanka Trump have shown towards the Lincoln Project for exposing their indifference for the more than 223,000 people who have lost their lives due to the reckless mismanagement of Covid-19 is comical,” a statement said.

“While we truly enjoy living rent-free in their heads, their empty threats will not be taken any more seriously than we take Ivanka and Jared. It is unsurprising that an administration that has never had any regard or understanding of our constitution would try to trample on our first amendment rights. But we fully intend on making this civics lesson as painful as possible.

“Jared and Ivanka have always been entitled, out-of-touch bullies, who have never given the slightest indication they have any regard for the American people. We plan on showing them the same level of respect. The billboards will stay up. We consider it important that in Times Square, the crossroads of the world, people are continuously reminded of the cruelty or density and staggering lack of empathy the Trumps and the Kushners have displayed towards the American people.”

In other words, game on.

142 thoughts on “Did The Lincoln Project Just Advertise Its Own Defamation Liability?”

  1. If you look at testing data for the rest of the world, most other countries have a much higher percent positive rate among those tested. This indicates they are testing those with symptoms.

    We have a very low positive rate of around 6%, but a great many cases. We are testing people without any symptoms, or with mild symptoms. Therefore, we are flagging more positives than other countries.

    That said, masks wouldn’t be necessary if people would just spread out. At least try not to get it. But they won’t. Most people I know, both Democrat and Republican, have resumed their normal lives. They don’t care if they get it. They fly to visit friends. Travel as much as possible. Hang out with each other. Then the Democrats blame Trump for the figures.

  2. Concerning the Lincoln Project. What I read here is an acceptance of any tactic as long as it attacks your sworn enemy. This acceptance of approach was succinctly written of by a man named Machiavelli. He said that it was necessary to control the populace by any means. The lack of any morality in his recommendations has been condemned by civilization since it’s writting. The Lincoln Project embrasses the Machiavellian principles along with many commenters on this thread. To falsly demonize presents a great danger to ones country and is by no means an act of patriotism.

  3. “Our health care system is at capacity, our health care providers are overwhelmed .. , our public health system is stressed. .. I’m really not trying to scare anyone, I’m just trying to inform you of what’s going on.” – Utah chief epidemiologist

        1. Yes it does and you have no credibility so everyone has to think twice even when you site outside sources. All too frequently YOUR outside source proves your responses wrong

    1. If only America had a Supreme Court which might read and comprehend the U.S. Constitution it is sworn to support.

      Please cite the Constitution wherein Congress obtains authority to claim or exercise dominion over any aspect or facet of the very private healthcare industry.

      Charitable activities may be conducted in the free markets of the private sector.

      Congress may not tax for “…general Welfare…” to address colds or influenza affecting one (1) or a very low percentage of the population.

      Doctors, hospitals and insurance companies are private property functioning in the free markets of the healthcare industry of the private sector, and without any interference by government.

      Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. are all irrefutably unconstitutional and they all antithetically, irrationally and illicitly skew and exacerbate benefits, markets, wages and prices.

      All citizens may purchase health care directly from providers or purchase insurance on the free and open markets to pay the cost of healthcare provision.

      Alternatively, citizens may petition friends, family members or charitable organizations for alms or, otherwise, benefaction.

  4. It was said that the Jews kidnapped children to use their blood for the passover bread. In referring to Ivanka and Jerad as the beast who don’t care about coronavirus victims by the Lincoln Project is the exact same tactic. Both are the most despicable lies. The tactic is called demonization. A tactic used by the lowest of the low.
    Pointing out differences on policy and how they might hurt the nation is to be expected. Saying that their opponents enjoy the suffering of others is a squirming in the mud.

    1. It’s disgraceful that the lincoln project created those billboards, but what’s worse is their response, it was made to be published, and gain attention so the lincoln project can raise millions more for themselves, greed is what drives their hate.

      1. Yes, it’s awful that they’re trying to raise money to defeat the worst president ever.

        You confuse greed with love of country.

      2. Well, the Lincoln Project certainly Isn’t driven by conservative principles. They were (and still are) completely comfortable with a a complete liberal agenda and 3 Hillary nominations to the SCOTUS

  5. There appears to be a coronavirus outbreak in the VP’s office. Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, has tested positive, as has one of Pence’s advisers, Marty Obst. Another Pence associate tested positive earlier this week.

    But Pence isn’t going to quarantine. Like Trump, he just doesn’t care about protecting others.

        1. Covid has been making the rounds of government. Many Congress people in both houses have had it, as well as hundreds of staffers.

          One of the changes that I hope is implemented is ensuring the government can continue running remotely in the event of a pandemic. This includes voting on the Senate Floor.

          Biden is ahead in the polls. There is some urgency to Pence’s activities, as many of us are concerned about what a Democrat hegemony would do to individual freedoms or the Constitution. Then there is the Amy Coney Barrett vote on Monday. Democrats have long spoken of expanding the Supreme Court in order to pack it with ideologues, which is why every originalist possible to appoint is so critical. This is probably why the White House medical team cleared Pence to continue his work, as long as he tests negative.

          However, he could well be incubating the virus at the worst possible time. I would prefer that he quarantine, but he apparently feels he cannot miss work.

          The last time a Democrat won, I lost my health insurance. Health care costs went from easily affordable, to costing as much as a car every year. I never did find a decent doctor that accepted it.

          You may have noticed the trend in articles about Democrats’ attacking free speech of conservatives. It’s frankly frightening to consider what would happen if Democrats swept the trifecta – White House, Senate, and House of Representatives.

      1. Trump was also tested daily, you twit. Or so he claimed. But he still exposed others to it while he was infected.

        Someone can contract the virus and still test negative for the first few days.

        1. But are they contagious when the virus is below detectible levels of the assay?

          People are confusing being pre-symptomatic with testing negative.

          People are thought to be most contagious the day before symptoms arrive, and then in the early stages of the illness.

          When an assay has a sensitive threshold, someone could continue to test positive, yet no longer have sufficient viral load to be contagious.

          The most critical question is if someone can be contagious and still test negative. That depends on the sensitivity and accuracy of the particular assay used.

    1. You relay the story about one right wing nut attacking a police station that was set on fire by a bunch of left wing nuts. What I get from your post is “see there are crazies on the right too”. Bill Barr was correct about the fire setters and you are correct about the shooter. However. I think your use of the example was for proving it was all done by one side. We know that a great preponderance of the deaths and rioting were done by ANTIFA and BLM. Don’t quite your day job to become a lawyer.

    2. Hey Joe ChiCom.

      You do realize that there are literally hundreds of videos of Antifa setting fire to occupied buildings and then attempting to block the exits to keep the occupants from escaping?

      How many videos can you produce showing the Boogaloo Boys doing the same?

      But it’s no surprise that you have no problem with violence, arson, assault, and killing, by Antifa. So much so, that yo’re here trying to provide cover for them.

    3. there is nothing “Right wing” about some booger boi gun nut anarchists. they are just anarchists no different from the antifa.

      that is just FBI posturing

      anarchists are the enemy of all governments, from Republican and Democrat all the way left to actual functioning Communist regimes. they are crazies and the enemy of all. they are against law and order as such. it is foolish to grace anarchism with any sort of political legitimacy at all.

      even a muslim jihaadist wants some form of government, albeit a benighted Sharia one. hence the ANTIFA should be rooted out even more aggressively than they., scrape the booger bois off the street too for all I care. of course these law enforcement activities should occur within the ambit of law itself or it plays into anarchist provocations. that is the art of counterinsurgency

  6. Who says the Lincoln Project is run by Republicans. Steve Schmnitt IS A POOR EXCUSE FOR A REPUBLICAN, AS WAS “NO NAME,” WHO SCHMITT USED TO WORK FOR. I HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO STAND SCHMITT–HE IS ABOUT THE BIGGEST PIECE OF GARBAGE THAT WAS EVER ON MSNBC, AND THAT IS SAYING A LOT, SINCE MIKA AND JOE ARE ON MSNBC, AND HE WAS ON WITH THEM AND MAY STILL BE ON WITH THEM–IT APPEARS THEY ARE SATANIC TO THE CORE!!! iF THEY ARE NOT, i WILL APOLOGIZE. DON’T THINK I WILL BE MAKING ANY APOLOGIES!!!

    RAHM EMANUEL (SIC) IS NOT A REPUBLICAN. HE IS A BOLD AND BRAZEN DEMOCRAT–I AM NOT SURE IF HE IS SATANIC, BUT IT WOULD NOT SURPRISE ME. PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT YOU RAHM, SO DON’T THINK YOU ARE FOOLING ANYBODY, EXCEPT MAYBE CUOMO, BUT WE DO HAVE AN IDEA YOU AND STINKY STEVE ARE WORKING ON MAKING NEW YORK CITY A “SMART” CITY. RAHM AND STEVE MUST KNOW THE DEVIL PERSONALLY!!!

    I DO NOT KNOW AT THIS TIME WHO ELSE MAKES UP THE LINCOLN PROJECT, BUT I CAN ASSURE ALL OF YOU THAT THEY ARE NOT GOOD PEOPLE IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM!!!

    IVANKA AND JARED: SUE THE BUTTS OFF THE PEOPLE IN THE LINCOLN PROJECT, AND THEN SUE SOME MORE!!! AND IT STILL WON’T BE ENOUGH. THESE PEOPLE IN THE LINCOLN PROJECT NEED TO BE EXPOSED TO THE CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    AS GHW BUSH SAID A LONG TIME AGO, IF PEOPLE KNEW THE THINGS THEY HAD DONE, PEOPLE WOULD CHASE THEM DOWN THE STREET AND HANG THEM, AND THAT IS JUST WHAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE PEOPLE THAT ARE IN THE LINCOLN PROJECT. WE NEED TO GO AFTER EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THE PEOPLE IN THE LINCOLN PROJECT, IF THAT HAS NOT BEEN DONE YET. I CAN ASSURE,YOU ALL THAT IF IT HASN’T BEEN DONE YET, THE RIGHT PEOPLE ARE GOING AFTER THE LINCOLN PROJECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    GOOD LUCK TO IVANKA AND JARET AND YOU WILL WIN!!!

  7. Frank Luntz tweeted:

    “257,720 voters aged 18-29 have cast ballots already in Florida, nearly 6x the number who had voted by this time in 2016.

    In North Carolina, young people voting early jumped from 25,150 to 204,986; in Michigan, from 7,572 to 145,201; and in Arizona, from 18,550 to 99,049.”

    Gee, I wonder who young voters favor?

    1. Gee, don’t assume they are voting Democrat.

      Trump 2020 rallies are getting bigger than they were in 2016. Just today Trump did rallies in NC, Ohio and Wisconsin. Where’s Joe? At home in his basement, of course.

      Meanwhile, Barack Obama is out doing a rally for Joe. And Kamala is out campaigning. But Joe is at home? What message does that send? Joe is not up to the job.

      Trump supporters are organizing and holding their own parades in the streets and boat parades on the water all over the country. It’s crazy how much support there is for President Trump. Never seen before.

      There is literally no enthusiasm for Joe and Kamala.

      1. Trump’s had less than 50% approval for his entire presidency. There is a lot of enthusiasm for voting him out of office.

        1. That’s called negative motivation, not enthusiasm. All the enthusiasm and positive energy is with Trump. Biden’s angry shouting, insults, and nonstop lies is all he offer in his very negative campaign. He is talking about the ‘Dark Winter’ we have coming. Trump says we have to open up and move forward and ‘learn to live with it.’ Biden says ‘oh no’ to that because, as Biden puts it, “death is coming” and we are ‘dying with it.’ Not true. Not accurate. No context. Biden is running a completely negative campaign full of lies that the corrupt media will not correct or fact check him on. Biden coughs every time he gives a 20 minute speech. He is looking older, weaker and more grandfatherly than ever. He is avoiding the press. Kamala is an unlikeable drag on his ticket. If he wins, it will because the corrupt press and big tech censorship saved his corrupt a$$.

          1. Biden is mediocre. But hopefully Biden will win because Trump is the worst president we’ve ever had, and our country cannot survive another 4 years with him in office.

            Who cares whether you call it negative motivation or enthusiasm? It’s the same feeling that helped us beat the Nazis.

            1. I completely disagree. But whatever you need to tell yourself to get you thru the ‘Dark Winter of Death’ that Biden says is coming.

              So….I’m voting for 4 more years of Trump! Peace breaking out all over the Middle East, US energy independence, low gas prices, lower home heating bills, lower taxes, fewer regulations, growing businesses, growing retirement funds and 401k’s, robust stock market, yes to 2nd Amendment, yes to success and winning for all!

              Yes to TRUMP 2020!

            2. Biden isn’t ‘mediocre.’ He is a disaster.

              He is old. He is feeble minded. He is dishonest. He is grotesquely corrupt. Jim Biden, Robert Biden, Hunter Biden….all of the Biden Family Crime Syndicate is finally being exposed after decades of graft and selling out….and there is more ugliness to come. There is nothing ‘decent’ nor ‘honest’ about how Joe Biden and his family have cashed in on and abused his public office for decades.

              Joe Biden is compromised. The Biden Family corruption racket and Hunter’s ‘laptop from hell’…are all being investigated. What an ugly mess.

              Joe Biden will fundamentally change our economy and our institutions.

              Joe Biden has dodged answering where he stands on court packing or abolishing the filibuster.

              Joe Biden is on record contradicting himself on banning fracking and natural gas and lying to voters about it.

              Joe Biden said he would put Beto O’Rourke in charge of gun confiscation policies.

              Joe Biden is on record saying he will raise taxes!!!

              Joe Biden has said he will embrace the Green New Deal…which means higher taxes, higher gas prices, higher home heating bills, massive regulation strangulation…radical fundamental changes to our economy….and on it goes.

              Biden is trying to win back Cuban support in Miami by sending Barack Obama to campaign for him there? when it was Obama himself who opened up the doors to embrace the Castro brothers in Cuba? Not going to fly.

              Biden is angry, vitriolic, flailing about, running a very negative campaign, avoiding the press, and lying through his teeth to the voters.

              Just say No! to Joe and the God-awful, highly unlikeable Kamala who they plan to “install” as POTUS sooner than you may think….do not be deceived!

              Trump 2020! The BEST is yet to come! Yes!

                1. Well, here’s the thing…Trump is traveling the country doing 3 and 4 rallies a day. Trump talks to the media daily; he doesn’t hide from them or avoid tough questions. Trump talks to and connects with voters. We know who Trump is. We know where Trump stands on the issues. We know what Trump has done…and what Trump will do if re-elected. We know Trump loves this country. We know Trump wants success and winning for all.

                  Joe Biden is at home, hiding out, avoiding answering questions….except ‘what flavor did you get Mr. Vice President?’…..and Biden is counting on the corrupt, dishonest media and Big Tech censorship to continue to run cover for him by suppressing any negative stories for Biden while they amplify all things harmful to Trump.

                  There is No fact-checking of the outrageous lies repeated over and over by Biden….and his negative ads blanketing the airwaves that are completely dishonest character assassinations and full of easily provable lies.

                  Joe Biden thought he would be the candidate to come riding in on his white horse to save the country from Trump. But guess what? Biden has been knocked off that white horse and he is down in the mud, even dirtier than we can imagine.

                  Trump and his family have been investigated up the wazoo for over four years now, and they have yet to do the same to Joe Biden and his Family Crime Syndicate. Not to mention the compromised mess that is Hunter Biden as we now see his crack-smoking sex tapes being released all over the internet by China and others. What a stinky mess the Biden Family Corruption Racket truly is.

                  At this point, voters know all there is to know about Trump. As for Biden, they are only getting started exposing him and his family. And it won’t be pretty.

                  1. Trump doesn’t love anything except himself. He’s traveling the country and endangering the people who attend his rallies because he wants the attention.

                    You are lying to yourself when you say that voters know all there is to know about Trump. Biden has made 22 years’ worth of tax returns public, while Trump is still fighting in court to keep his private and lying to you that he cannot release them because he’s being audited, when absolutely nothing prevents him from choosing to make them public. Trump is fighting in court to not give a DNA sample as part of a defamation suit linked to whether he raped E. Jean Carroll, fighting in court to avoid depositions. Trump regularly refuses to answer questions from the press.

                    There’s a lot we don’t know, but we know enough to know that Trump is dangerous.
                    Columbia University study released this week: “We estimate that at least 130,000 deaths and perhaps as many as 210,000 could have been avoided with earlier policy interventions and more robust federal coordination and leadership.”
                    https://ncdp.columbia.edu/custom-content/uploads/2020/10/Avoidable-COVID-19-Deaths-US-NCDP.pdf

                    1. “Columbia University study released this week:”

                      This was not a study rather an op-ed pretending to be a study. It failed as a study due to the use of improper selection and improper comparisons all based on convenient assumptions. Not worth the paper it was written on.

                      Some of the writers had M.D. written after their names, but perhaps campaign slogans after the names would better describe them.

                    2. I guess your ability to think is more impaired than understood earlier. I brought up the failures of the study, selection and improper (international) comparisons. Based on that and some other things I called the article more of an op-ed than any legitimate study.

                      You offered nothing in response but more stupidity.

                    3. No, Allan, what you did was make claims without providing a shred of proof.

                      Go ahead, prove that it used improper selection and prove that it used improper comparisons.

                    4. What a foolish response. Take selection. If it was a study there would have been an attempt to deal with the variables that lead to the outcome. They didn’t bother explaining their selection process because they didn’t deal with the variables.

                    5. “Biden has made 22 years’ worth of tax returns public” Nearly meaningless. Are you saying, well, there you have it, now we know everything there is to know about Joe Biden’s transparent family finances? Sorry, but, no. Not even close.

                    6. Anon. @ 11:41AM, no, I’m not saying that now we know everything there is to know about Joe Biden’s family finances. I’m saying that Biden released 22 years of tax returns, and Trump released 0, so you’re lying to yourself when you say that voters know all there is to know about Trump. Both of them are hiding things, but Trump is hiding a lot more than Biden is.

                    7. “Trump doesn’t love anything except himself.” And that is why he has put himself in the political ring? to be continually attacked, his family viciously smeared and attacked? Sorry, but, no. Voters see who Trump is. They also see who Joe Biden is. And who Joe Biden is NOT.

                      Joe Biden is a pathological liar and a serial plagiarist. He can’t help himself. He doesn’t know what’s true and what’s a lie anymore.

                      Joe Biden is not the decent, honest, honorable, hardworking Middle Class Joe he keeps trying to sell us. It’s all a lie. He is as corrupt and dirty as they come. Selling out to China? Because of greed? It’s treasonous and disqualifying.

                      You know what Joe Biden loves? Being a politician. He loves his “political office” more than his country. He’s a sell-out. He and his family figured out how to monetize his office and cash in, big time, making them all extremely lavishly, flithy rich in the process. Jim Biden, Robert Biden, Hunter Biden, who else?? all selling the biggest commodity they have: the Biden name. Biden, Inc has been for sale, all around the world, for decades. It is grotesque, shameless, influence peddling of the worst kind.

                      Oh but the media will continue to do all it can to hide this Biden corruption from the voters. If this was found out about Trump, or Don Jr. or anyone in the Trump family? It would be wall-to-wall nonstop coverage all over the media. But because it is Joe Biden’s family? Sshhhhhhhh. Nothing to see here. Look over there! It’s Russian disinformation!!! Spare us. America isn’t as stupid as Joe Biden thinks.

                      Joe Biden is a shamelss corrupt sellout. He has disqualified himself.

                    8. Allan offers more bloviating instead of proof. Allan likely doesn’t even understand what kind of proof he’d need to present.

                    9. Anonymous, I take it that you think selection is what flavor ice cream to put on top of the cone. That is a type of selection as is if you want sprinkles, nuts, chocolate sauce or anything else on top. All of those are variables and the variables used are impacted by the selection process so change the selection process and the results come out differently. Those in the higher range of 60-110 can understand a bit of what I am talking about. If one is doing a study on calorie counts it certainly makes a difference as to what variables are included.

                    10. Anonymous:

                      One of the ways that other countries helped decrease their cases was shutting their border up tight. For instance, my relative returned to Canada, where she had to undergo a 14 day quarantine.

                      Which party vehemently fought against closing the border in early days?

                      Think real hard…

                      Also, the US has conducted more Covid-19 tests than any other country. Hence, the accuracy of other countries’ figures are in question.

                      In any case, there are two drivers of the spread of Covid-19:
                      1. Crowded cities. NYC drove most of the death rate in the US. This was due to the extremely crowded conditions, more than most other major cities in the world, the reliance on mass transit, and the unfortunate mistake of Cuomo in mandating Covid-positive patients be released to nursing homes unable to deal with the contagion.
                      2. People interacting. Most new cases are among the low risk group of young people. Young people of all political affiliation are out there partying, getting together, making out, protesting, rioting, going to rallies, or otherwise feeding hosts to the virus as fast as possible.

                      This isn’t a police state. There is a constitutional limit to what we can do. We can’t require people to install tracing apps that monitor their movements and report it to the government. In the UK and New Zealand, for example, you have to check in with the apps everywhere you go. That’s not legal here. We also can’t go out and drag all the young people partying into concentration camps like they did in China. People were dragged screaming by police from their homes.

                      Our freedoms limit what the government is able to do.

                      In Asia, the moment someone feels sick, they put on a mask when they go out. It’s a mask culture. In Nordic countries, most people live alone. Many countries have a more strong sense of personal responsibility. In some of these countries, they aren’t even wearing masks, except on a train. People just spread out, act responsibly. Businesses were able to remain open, and cases were low.

                      It’s a different culture here, in some ways better, in others, worse.

                  2. Biden won’t ban fracking. Yes, he will ban fracking. No he won’t ban fracking, come on man! Of course he’s going to phase out fracking and other fossil fuels. It will just go away.

                    Biden supports the Green New Deal. It’s on his website. Of course he doesn’t support the Green New Deal. Of course he does. Of course he doesn’t.

                    His position changes daily. He just wants to get elected, and then who cares what he promised.

                2. With nine days until Election Day, Joe Biden has no in-person events today (Sunday) and his campaign has called a lid, per pool reporter @katieglueck.

                  Imagine that? Nine days until a presidential election and Joe Biden takes yet another ‘rest day’ at home. Disqualifying.

                  1. Kamala Harris is out campaigning while Joe stays home, taking yet another day off. Why? Because Joe is not up to the job of president.
                    Because Kamala is the ‘real’ candidate. Democrats and the DNC are absolutely lying to and intentionally deceiving voters. It is unquestionably disqualifying.

            3. Biden is PROMISING to be infinitely worse.

              Trump is a “bad” President only to those who want the country destroyed.

            4. Anonymous:

              The worst president we’ve ever had, as you call him, created an economy with the lowest black unemployment ever recorded, 3 Middle East peace deals, 2 Nobel prize nominations, the First Step Act which sought to undo the unfair sentencing disparity for crimes most often committed by blacks, no new wars, the release of hostages, Religious Liberty Executive Order, provided relief to nuns who didn’t want to provide abortion or contraceptive care, protected health care providers who objected to performing abortions from retaliation or discrimination, fulfilled Congress’ long ignored promise to move the embassy to Jerusalem, Veterans Mental Healthcare Improvement Act, Created the 988 emergency suicide hotline number to go into effect in 2022, increased the amount of grants to businesses owned by veterans disabled during service, Operation Warp Speed to clear the way for a vaccine and treatment.

              If Biden wins the White House in 2020, there will be a vaccine ready to come out, treatment ready to be approved, multiple Middle East peace deals. It’s like turnkey, but he’ll screw it all up.

              The divisiveness isn’t Trump’s fault. The Left are the ones who keep claiming all conservatives are evil, that black people can’t succeed because of white people, and who are constantly pitting Americans against each other. It’s been going on for many years now.

            5. ‘Biden is mediocre’….No….Biden is subpar….Biden has not earned a single vote.

              Just to compare who is out on the trail “working” for your vote just 9 days before an election: (Hint: it is NOT Joe Biden)

              President Trump’s Weekend —–>>

              Florida
              North Carolina
              Ohio
              Wisconsin
              New Hampshire
              Maine

              Joe Biden’s Weekend ——>

              Pennsylvania
              His Basement

              1. Biden corruption all but confirmed with Hunter emails…

                https://nypost.com/2020/10/24/biden-corruption-claims-all-but-confirmed-with-hunter-emails/

                ‘When the issue reemerged during the campaign, Team Biden continued to call it a “conspiracy theory” but this time, Joe Biden firmly put himself on record. “I have never discussed with my son or my brother or anyone else anything having to do with their businesses — period,” he told reporters in August 2019.

                “I never talk with my son or my brother or anyone else in the distant family about their business interests, period.” He repeated similar blanket denials on numerous occasions.

                These denials all proved to be untruthful. Period.

                We now know that Joe Biden met directly with his son’s Chinese business partner, Jonathan Li, in a Chinese hotel lobby on a fateful trip in 2013 (a trip that allowed Hunter to spend hours with his father, the vice president, on a transoceanic flight to Beijing aboard Air Force Two). Ten days later, Hunter landed an unprecedented $1 billion private equity deal, bankrolled by the Chinese government.

                But this was not the only meeting Joe Biden had with Biden family business partners….’

                1. Joe Biden is a pathological liar. He not only knew about Hunter’s dealings, he was a part of them.

                  Joe Biden is disqualified from ever holding public office.

        2. It’s difficult to fight propaganda on such a massive scale.

          The claim that Trump called racists “very fine people” is demonstrably false. It’s been thoroughly debunked. There are videos and transcripts to prove he didn’t. However, when the news media excised out the bit where he said, “and I’m not talking about the Neo Nazis and white supremacists, who should be condemned totally” and explained he referred to good people who disagreed about statues, the lie spread. It’s become part of the psyche. People will watch the video of his speech, or read the transcript, and still won’t admit they’ve been disproven.

          They just have this feeling he’s a racist because of the tsunami of political activists on the news who have told them that he is.

          So there’s a high percentage of people who think Trump called racists fine people, but that percentage doesn’t mean it’s true.

          The media doesn’t inform public opinion anymore; it shapes it.

          1. It is difficult to fight propaganda and a corrupt media that will never call out Democrat lies. But we can keep on trying and fighting the fight.

            https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/10/25/fact-check-kamala-harris-lies-4-times-about-trump-and-racism-on-60-minutes/

            ‘During the Democratic presidential primary, Harris attacked former Vice President Joe Biden for his past racial insensitivity. 60 Minutes did not ask her about Biden’s statements on race.’

            Is anyone surprised?

    2. We know that more people in general are voting early. How many voters over 29 have voted early compared to four years ago. If we have to be six feet apart at the poling stations the lines will be very long. Grasping at straws to try to show that early voters are voting for one candidate or the other in a pandemic year is a fools errand.

      1. The lines ARE here. Hundreds upon hundreds of people in line every day, and mine is a mid-size city of less than a million. Seriously, lines around the block down the street. I highly doubt those braving the virus to vote are Biden’s crowd, either. I did, and I was happy to watch my vote be tallied and counted in real time. As I’m an Independent it was partially in protest, but straight red ticket! I am never voting for the DNC again. Their ‘good’ candidates need to join or create another organization if they want my support.

    1. Sigh. That could be ‘faves’ of any disease. You are trite and puerile at best. Yawn. Though I appreciate all views receiving equal treatment on this site, yours sure are tedious to scroll through.

  8. Perhaps it shouldn’t be permitted for photos to be edited out of context, that licence only extended to cartoons which everyone treats with a wheelbarrow of salt.

  9. We left at sunrise to Blue Ridge Pkwy in western region of Virginia to catch the autumn leaves. Gorgeous. From Charlottesville to Staunton, Waynesboro, to Lynchburg and outside Richmond…all Trump / Pence signs. Few few Biden / Harris signs with Lexington being the outlier. I would be very surprised if the Electoral College elected Biden

  10. DEAD UPDATED:

    New York – 33,000
    New Jersey – 16,000
    ________________

    24 FECKLESS DEMOCRAT GOVERNORS
    __________________________________

    COVID-19 death rates reveal the states that failed the test: New York and New Jersey
    By Betsy McCaughey

    It’s hard to know what’s worse — the dying or the lying. More than 32,000 New Yorkers have died from the coronavirus, a toll higher than any other state. New York also ranks second to the worst out of all 50 states, in deaths per million residents. Only New Jersey did worse. You wouldn’t know it, listening to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who brags that his administration “tamed the beast.” Or the media that praise him and chide states with much, much lower death rates. Cuomo is doing everything he can to cover up the errors. He’s stonewalling bipartisan efforts in Albany to investigate the deaths of thousands of elderly in nursing homes ravaged by the virus. Legislators need to persevere, and in fact broaden their investigation to include the poor performance of many hospitals in the state. On March 2, one day after the first coronavirus case in New York was disclosed, Cuomo told New Yorkers not to worry because “we have the best health care system on the planet.” That’s a whopper. Patients treated for COVID-19 in hospitals here died at more than twice the national average. California has had more cases of coronavirus than New York, but less than a third as many deaths. The press rarely puts the numbers in perspective, talking about positive cases but not fatality rates, increases but not totals. Looking at deaths-per-million shows the biggest impact — the biggest failure — was the Northeast. New Jersey: 1,797 deaths per million residents. New York: 1,689. Florida, target of any number of alarmist headlines, is down at 408 per million residents. But Gov. Ron DeSantis is a Republican and unlucky enough not to have a CNN anchor as a brother. Cuomo is praised even after he and the department of health spent years stripping New York City’s outer boroughs of sufficient hospital beds and equipment. There are five hospital beds for every 1,000 residents in Manhattan, but only 1.8 beds for every 1,000 Queens and Brooklyn residents. The result? When the pandemic struck, those hospitals were overwhelmed fast. The death rate for COVID-19 patients at Mount Sinai hospital in Manhattan was 17%. At Coney Island Hospital, 41% of COVID-19 patients didn’t make it. You might as well be in a Third World country. New York state stacks up even worse in protecting elderly nursing home residents from COVID-19. Florida and Texas, both more populous states, have had only one quarter of the number of nursing home fatalities. Numbers don’t lie. New York didn’t crush the coronavirus. The virus took thousands of New York lives needlessly, because of the Cuomo administration’s mistakes.

    1. That op-ed really doesn’t age well. New York was hit hard because it’s an international port, and New York City is densely populated. But it’s turned a terrible situation around: it’s not even in the top ten of new cases in raw numbers despite being the third largest state. Florida, California, and Texas are fairing far worse.

      1. New York and New Jersey were also hit hard because they insisted coronavirus patients be discharged to nursing homes and set off wretched epidemics in those places. Deaths per million in the 19 counties around Manhattan are still in excess of 3x those in every other part of the country.

        And, no, Florida and Texas are not faring ‘far worse’. They were hit in the spring as people moved indoors to take advantage of air conditioning. Their fatalities peaked in August and have been declining since.

        Note that October and November temperatures in Paris are similar to what they are in Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Paris is in an emergency situation right now and Pittsburgh and Cleveland are not.

        You look at the numbers, and what it suggests is that lockdowns work to move the case load around from one time period to another, but are ineffective at reducing the caseload over a whole circuit of seasons. Redistributing the caseload intertemporally may have some utility, but it has to be weighed against the economic damage of doing so.

        Did you catch the one European country that is not suffering right now? It is Sweden, which opted for the most laissez-faire policy last spring. We need to be working to isolate people over 60 and people over 50 with a high BMI. Let the younger people get on with their lives.

      2. Jesse, It’s a respiratory virus with a high R0. That means we flatten the curve and increase the time or let the curve climb and reduce the time. We need treatment and a vaccine. Success, however, doesn’t mean the virus disappears. We could still be with this virus or one of its mutations for years.

        NY is a particular case. The governor mismanaged the state’s stockpiles of supplies even though this was known years before. The mayor is at fault as well. Both have responsibility for the overcrowded hospitals that are overcrowded during regular flu seasons. Both are responsible for the transportation system which wasn’t cleaned or managed appropriately. Most of all the governor ordered the placement of Covid positive people into the nursing homes which directly killed many seniors. Doubly stupid because he could have temporarily placed those Covid positive people on the hospital ship or in the Kravis.

        A bunch of democrat states did some incredibly stupid things.

        1. The Ro isn’t that high. It’s not measles. Herd immunity appears to set in when about 60% of the population has been exposed.

          1. DSS, The R0 is high enough that we can’t contain it presently. Natural immunity and vaccination can lower the R0 as can mitigation. If it gets to less than 1 it will eventually disappear, but that is not happening now so we are going to see it in 2021 and might even see it in 2022. If the vaccination isn’t effective enough and natural immunity has a limited immunity time span they it can continue. Mutations can make the viaccine ineffective.

            Putting everything together I am not sure of what your point was.

              1. DSS was that the point of your initial comment? I still don’t get it.

                “It’s a cold virus, not a flu virus. It doesn’t mutate that quickly.”

                Corona viruses do mutate and that is an important factor. Though mutations seem to occur slower in corona than influenza they are mutating quite regularly.

              2. well this coronavirus mutated so quickly it was able to combine DNA sectors from bats and pangolins and certain other high infectiousness protein segments such that some people like the former Nobel Prize winning virologist Jean Luc Montaigner say it was super unlikely to have “naturally emerged” the way it was claimed to have in Lancet, and that statistically the level of evolution is almost statistically impossible, and hence it necessarily was cooked up in a lab, “somewhere”

                but hey, what does he know. he only won the Nobel prize in virology for identifying the HIV genome

            1. Allan, I tend to agree with you. I am not sure what Art was getting at when he said ” R0 isn’t that high”.

              True, it isn’t measles or smallpox, but, as you said, the R0 is high enough that we can’t contain it and that is the real world problem we have. It spreads rapidly and often kills. Saying that it isn’t measles or smallpox offers no reassurance. It is the Wuhan virus and that is quite enough to stagger the world economy and kill millions.

              I agree that mutations can make vaccines less effective. Art says “it doesn’t mutate that quickly.” Maybe, but a new mutation of the virus is already sweeping through Europe so not “that quickly” was fast enough. Too fast, in fact.

              I don’t think Art’s points are so much wrong as irrelevant.

              As an aside, have you noticed that there has been little mention of China in connection with this Chinese disease? Like Hunter’s laptop it seems that some important things are not allowed to be ‘news’. Some of these interlocked media giants are begging to be broken up.

              1. Yes, we have a party supported by the mediate bureaucracy and academia and that party doesn’t care that its leader is a crook and has been dealing with our most dangerous adversary.

                I take note every posting that the left doesn’t talk about China as an adversary while blaming Russia. I hope you heard Tucker’s interview of Bobulinski which makes it clear that Joe Biden lied. It is essential to listen to Bobulinski along with the hard data he has much of which is also on Hunter’s computer.

                IF Biden wins we will have gone over the tipping point where the state has taken complete power where law doesn’t count.

              2. “I don’t think Art’s points are so much wrong as irrelevant.”

                Thanks Young, I’ll take that as an answer as to what the DSS (Art) comment was all about.

              3. It spreads rapidly and often kills.

                It kills people over 60 and people over 50 with a high BMI. The Diamond Princess data suggest about 6% of those over 60 with a symptomatic infection died from it (roughly half the people infected don’t have symptoms). We’ve improved treatment protocols since then. Three quarters of the population is not in mortal danger from this infection. We should be planning ways of isolating the elderly and some others during the next wave of it, and allow the rest of the population to go about its business. Infections among the young are our friend (though they suffer during the infection).

                France has gone into lockdown again. NB, the one European country which is not suffering right now is Sweden, which had the most relaxed rules last spring.

                1. Art: “We should be planning ways of isolating the elderly and some others during the next wave of it, and allow the rest of the population to go about its business.”
                  *****
                  Yes. It adapts and we adapt. Possibly the damage to the economy and the growth of executive fiat is putting the world at greater risk than the actual disease.

                  I generally check the stats every morning and it is evident that mortality is continuing to decline even while infections increase. Increasing the number of tests likely is a factor in the reported rise in new cases, but that is not all of it. A family member works in a hospital and she told me that after the decline in admissions the last several weeks have seen an increase. I doubt that is true of only her hospital. The decline in mortality is likely due in part to better informed treatment but I suspect that many new cases are among young people who have had enough of lock down and are going about their business while older people are exercising greater care. I imagine all of us are closely acquainted with several people who have contracted the disease. Fewer know of one who has died, I hope, but one close friend of ours, a physician who treated Covid patients, died recently. When the Hong Kong flu came round I caught it and was very sick, as were many others, but I didn’t know anyone who died from it. Covid to me personally is more serious.

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