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5 Stories from this Week Reviewed, with Impeachment Trial Tedium & the Cuomo Cover-Up

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Topic #1: The U.S. Senate Impeachment Trial of former President Donald Trump began this week, much to the delight of Democrats and their media.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • The trial kicked off on Tuesday with a debate and vote over whether or not the trial itself is even constitutional, after a similar debate and vote last month. This time around, a total of six Republican Senators voted in favor of its constitutionality, one more than the five in January, with Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) changing his vote to a yes. There were compelling arguments made by both sides, but it doesn’t change the obvious truth on the matter: this trial is a political farce, and nothing more.
  • Trump lawyer David Schoen caught tremendous heat from Republican senators after his performance on Tuesday. Schoen appeared to be unprepared, and at moments it seemed as if he was a member of the prosecution instead of the defense, praising the work impeachment managers had done and the case they had made. Trump has seen so much turnover within his legal teams, perhaps his choices are limited, but there had to have been better options than Schoen. And attorney Bruce Castor wasn’t much better.
  • The mere fact that Sen. Patrick Leahy (I-VT) is adjudicating the trial underlines the absurdity of the whole affair. Leahy is officially an Independent, but he’s really a Democrat. He caucuses with Democrats, and almost always votes the same as his Democratic colleagues. We therefore have a partisan senator, who will be voting on whether or not to convict the former president, also presiding over the trial. He’s quite literally judge and jury. It’s a kangaroo court, plain and simple.
  • One Trump lawyer who performed exceptionally well was Michael Van Der Veen. On Friday, Van Der Veen took to laying out Trump’s defense, and called the trial an “unjust and blatantly unconstitutional act of political vengeance.” Spot on, Mr. Van Der Veen.
  •  Included in Van Der Veen’s defense were two videos. Democrats had shown a video earlier in the trial of Trump’ speech the day of the Capitol Riot, and they intentionally left out context. Van Der Veen’s video included the entire context of Trump’s rhetoric, including his request to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. “ It painted a much different picture than Democrats had tried to portray.
  • The second video was priceless. Democrats during the trial had been hammering away at the president’s use of the word “fight” during the speech, and Van Der Veen’s video showed numerous Democrats – including Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Stacey Abrams – using the same language. Well done.
  • It’s been clear for week’s what this impeachment is truly about, and there are two purposes. Democrats want to humiliate Trump, and they want to lump all Republicans in with the rioters who stormed the Capitol on January 6th. Virtually every Republican official has gone out of their way to condemn the riot, but the Democrats are working for guilt by association. Let’s hope Americans see through the charade.

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Topic #2:  Melissa DeRosa, a senior aide to Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, admitted this week that the Cuomo Administration knowingly and purposefully withheld information from DOJ investigators, the state legislature, and the public regarding the number of deaths and infections due to COVID in the state’s nursing homes.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • According to CNN (where Cuomo’s brother Fredo hosts a show on behalf of the Democratic Party), during a private call with Democratic state lawmakers DeRosa explained that the reason for the deception was “the state had been concerned about a Department of Justice preliminary inquiry into COVID deaths in New York nursing homes, as well as attention from former President Donald Trump.” In other words, the Cuomo Administration didn’t want to be held accountable for their incompetence.
  • DeRosa also told legislators that the administration “froze” because it was trying to determine what information to turn over to the DOJ. To summarize: there were thousands of New Yorkers dying due to their ineptitude, but the Cuomo Administration was fretting over what to hide from investigators. This story is one of the most outrageous examples of government corruption in decades.
  • The story itself has received very little attention and hype from the mainstream media. The New York Times itself, for example, didn’t even have the story on their front page yesterday, the day after the story broke; above or below the fold. They chose instead to feature the impeachment trial, of course, along with news of the COVID vaccine and a couple of human interest stories, including one criticizing Christian prophets. Is there any doubt that if this corruption had happened in Florida or another red state, this scandal would be the top story and headline on every mainstream news channel and newspaper in the country?
  • Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), a rising star in the GOP, called for the criminal prosecution of Cuomo and other administration officials, and she’s exactly right in doing so. This story isn’t going away, no matter how much the left and their media try to ignore it. This is a scandal of the highest magnitude regarding a pandemic that has been one of the most devastating events in human history.
  • Being incompetent isn’t criminal. Lying to voters and other constituents isn’t criminal; it’s immoral, but not criminal. Lying to investigators and conspiring to hide information and evidence from the DOJ is, however, clearly criminal. It’s called obstruction of justice; and the not the imaginary variety they tried to pin on President Trump. The only question remaining is whether or not the Biden DOJ will choose to investigate Cuomo and his gang.
  • Some questions for us to mull over: Based on the false assurances Cuomo had been giving to New Yorkers about the handling of nursing home residents, how many people chose to believe Cuomo and kept loved ones in nursing homes thinking they were safe? If told the truth, might they have taken those loved ones out of those nursing homes and saved their lives? And while it’s been a wildly overused phrase by the left in pointing fingers at Republicans, in those situations, wouldn’t Governor Cuomo truly have ‘blood on his hands?’

Topic #3: Mark Cuban, the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, created a firestorm this week when he announced that his team would no longer play our national anthem prior to Mavericks’ home games, only to have his decision shot down by the NBA two days later as they ordered the team to resume playing the anthem.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • Cuban originally cited his concerns stemming from discussions with members of the community that the anthem “did not fully represent them.” If you live in the Dallas community – or any other community in this great country, for that matter – and you feel that our national anthem doesn’t represent you, why are you here? People emigrate from the United States all the time, why not join them and go to a country that does represent you? The greatest thing about being American is our freedom, and you are free to leave.
  • The decision by the NBA to squelch the controversy is noteworthy. They put their foot down on a wayward owner, and did what was best for their entire league. They did not hem-&-haw like the NFL did with their anthem-kneelers a few years ago, they acted almost immediately; and for good reason. Like the NFL, the ratings for the NBA have been tanking because of their wokeness. The NBA is just as worthy of our scorn as the NFL, but give them credit for decisiveness.
  • Mark Cuban, ironically enough, is not actually Cuban. He’s the ancestor of working class Eastern European Jews who came to America via Ellis Island, and were presumably very poor when they arrived. Cuban, like so many of us, is the grandchild of poor immigrants and has been able to realize the American dream. However, in Mark Cuban’s version of that dream, he’s enjoying a $4.3 billion fortune. Yet he wants to disrespect our country with such a vile idea. You, Mr. Cuban, are a disgrace.
  • Cuban has declared himself neither Democrat nor Republican, and has in fact flirted with the idea of one day running for president (heaven help us) as a Republican. Let’s hope Mr. Cuban ignores his immense ego and stays away from running for public office. But if he decides that showing off on Shark Tank no longer provides enough attention for that ego and wants to run for any office, we should pray he does so as a Democrat. Besides, he’ll fit right in with the America-hating leftists over there.
  • If Cuban does want to toss his hat in the ring for an elected office, he should set his sights very low. This announcement and backtracking was a huge misstep for Cuban, and Americans won’t soon forget it. If he were to throw $1 billion into a campaign for dogcatcher this year he might lose.

Topic #4: Samantha Vinograd became the latest CNN staff reporter to leave the leftist network to join the Biden Administration, it was announced this week. Vinograd will become a senior counselor within Biden’s Department of Homeland Security.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • Vinograd is the fifth such former CNN employee to jump to Biden’s team, joining Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby, Energy Secretary Nominee Jennifer Granholm and White House press secretary Jen Psaki. Notice a trend here?
  • To call Vinograd’s move a “jump” is probably a bad choice of words. It’s more like a sashay. Working for CNN and working for the Biden Administration is essentially the same thing, she’s just moving from the Communications Department to DHS. Her move is akin to a shortstop on a baseball team jogging to the dugout to change gloves and moving over to first base.
  • What’s truly disturbing about the phenomenon is the reluctance to even acknowledge it by virtually the entire Washington establishment; both Republicans and Democrats. All we get is a few politicians shrugging their shoulders, and a mention or two by some conservative news outlets. Otherwise, it’s utterly dismissed with, “nothing to see here, move along.”
  • While there’s not a lot that conservatives and Republicans can do to put a stop to this ridiculousness, they should at least be calling attention to it. It may not be illegal, but it’s not acceptable either. In spite of such obvious examples of this incestuous relationship between the media and the left, there are still millions of Americans who deny the mere existence of leftwing media bias. If the right is going to lose the communications battle within the culture war, we should at least go down swinging.
  • Moves from political operative to mainstream media contributor, and vice-versa, is nothing new. Chris Mathews, George Stephanopolous, and Chuck Todd are just a few mainstream media news personalities who previously worked for Democratic officials and now pretend to be legitimate, non-biased journalists. There’s nothing wrong with a person making a living for themselves, but there’s also nothing wrong with calling attention to the sham and rightfully casting doubt on their credibility.

Topic #5: PepsiCo, Inc. and Quaker Oats announced this week that the popular syrup and pancake brand Aunt Jemima is being rebranded as Pearl Milling Company. The move comes in response to criticisms that the previous branding and packaging promoted a “racist stereotype.”

 Thoughts and Observations:

  • At the risk of stating the obvious, this decision is absurd. What can possibly be racist about a picture of a smiling, happy lady who happens to be black? According to one expert, the “Aunt Jemima logo was an outgrowth of Old South plantation nostalgia and romance grounded in an idea about the ‘mammy,’ a devoted and submissive servant.” Because that’s what comes to mind, of course, when we see images of happy people – slaves on a plantation.
  • This decision is just the latest example of identity politics invading every aspect of society. The left must divide us by inherent traits as often as possible; logic be damned. Disparities in COVID deaths? Racist. Carbon emissions and global warming? Racist. Images of happy people while you eat your breakfast? That’s racist as well.
  • For years, millions of us have enjoyed Aunt Jemima pancakes and syrup without even giving a thought to its packaging. If anything, that smiling face of hers brightened our day. And for those of us who are white, if we were being subjected to any subliminal messaging, wouldn’t that messaging have been positive? If anything, wouldn’t any brainwashing ideas being planted in our brains have been “black folks have a place in your home” and “black ladies make really good pancakes?”
  • Anyone who shrugs their shoulders and is indifferent to resisting such efforts as part of the ongoing culture war needs to reevaluate their position. If someone had told us twenty years ago that Aunt Jemima would be a victim of ‘cancel culture’ for being a racist brand, we would have laughed in their face. If you think it’s no big deal when leftists try to control our language by changing the way we use pronouns and when they scold us for not “celebrating” diversity, ask yourself: Where will such efforts lead us twenty years from now?

PF Whalen

P.F. Whalen is a conservative blogger at  His work has appeared in multiple publications, including the Western Journal, Human Events, and American Thinker.  Follow him on Parler @PFWhalen.

Photo by Michael Johnson at Flickr.