Covid-19 Drive Thru testing in South Florida

The link below provides basic information on drive through testing in Miami, Broward and the Keys.

Drive Thru Testing in Miami

C.B. Smith Park site was closed after enormous lines.  A hotline for scheduling appointments has been activated.

CB Smith Park testing site closed for the day after long lines

It is  truly heart wrenching to know so many are in need of tests, and the delays in getting results can be a week or more.   There are faster ways to process the swabs,  but it takes time to get the equipment.

Start up home swabbing companies have stopped sending kits.   There are concerns of false negatives from home swabbing.

Things look bad.


Coronavirus drive thru testing

I am very focused on the drive thru testing.  How is it working?  Who qualifies and who doesn’t? How long does it takes to get the results?

I am focused on four counties in South Florida, with a combined population of 6.4 million people.   I will dispense with any political commentary.

A lot is going wrong.  Some things are going right.  Those working in the hospitals, clinics, and testing centers, thank you so much.

I just want facts.

Stay tuned,



Drive thru’s testing Covid-19

As a public service, I will attempt to list the names, addresses and phone numbers of any drive through Covid-19 facility, which is accepting new patients, which has recently opened in 4 Florida counties: Broward, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade  and Monroe Counties.    I will start with Miami, Florida where I have better access to information.  It is likely to be a daunting task, because drive thru’s open, get mobbed and then close.   They set up telephone numbers to screen out people.

Anyone who wants to get tested, may not qualify.    Community Health of South Florida says it will begin testing patients Wednesday at its Doris Ison Health Center, 10300 SW 216th St, in Miami, FL.  Their phone number is 305-252-4820.   This is the only drive-thru testing facility in Miami-Dade County.   A link from WSVN is provided below.   Testing will be done from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.   Do not call just to find out how testing is going, wait times or who qualifies or not.  

Testing will be done only for regular clients who have called ahead to make sure they meet certain criteria.  To be eligible for the test, patients must have recently traveled to any of the affected countries or have been in contact with someone who has the novel coronavirus. They must also be experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath. The nonprofit is asking those with severe symptoms to visit a hospital ER instead.

I assume this “regular clients” qualifier means a lot of people will not qualify.

Stay tuned,


Local News Link:

Community Health of South Florida begins drive-thru COVID-19 testing in SWMD

Coronavirus vaccine

Experts estimate it will take 12 to 18 months for a vaccine to be developed and deployed. There may be setbacks or unexpected successes, changing this estimate.   Please disregard any political noise on this issue.    Any vaccine will need animal testing trials.

I found the following link very interesting as why it takes so long:

From ferrets to mice and marmosets, labs scramble to find right animals for coronavirus studies

Here are the opening lines:

One lab is digging into its freezer to thaw out the archived sperm of SARS-susceptible mice. Another is anesthetizing ferrets so they don’t sneeze when the new coronavirus is squirted into their nostrils. Yet others are racing to infect macaques, marmosets, and African green monkeys.

One of the main points is that coronaviruses are not new to scientists. The SAR’s virus is a coronavirus.  But Covid-19 is a different one, coming with new complications.   Apparently,  the good guys in our body’s defense (the immune system) might end up making things worse as it can result in “a violent inflammatory response to a viral intruder.”  Scientists refer to this as the host immune response.  The critters used in experiments need a response as similar as possible to the ones in humans.

Science is supposed to build on prior knowledge, but can only do so if the past viruses are similar in their attack and host response.  In novel coronavirus, it looks like nature has thrown a curve ball.  For SARS –  the golden Syrian hamster “an excellent model” according to the above article.

Now we get to the crazy part.  Testing may be most effective using genetically altered mice.  “Give the rodents [mice]  human receptors, either inserting the molecules locally in the respiratory tract or breeding mice that have virus-susceptibility wired into the entire body’s DNA.”

These  special mice used for testing will likely come from two sources:  Jackson Laboratories in Bar Harbor, Maine (see link below) and University of North Carolina.    The best line of the article is:

Now, researchers are rushing to figure out which creatures work best, a task that could take months. “We’re at the ‘Uh oh, it’s complicated’ stage,” said Lisa Gralinski, a microbiologist and assistant professor of epidemiology who studies coronaviruses at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

It’s absolutely complicated and really all the stuff about receptors and the virus sneaking inside a cell is beyond my high school level of biology.  But I immensely appreciate the author’s help in breaking down these concepts.

I also know of Jackson Labs, one of the great non-profit organizations.  It recently celebrated its 90th anniversary.  They will likely not be discovering the right vaccine, but they will be providing one critical element – the transgenic mice to research groups around the world.

My impression is we’ve got excellent research organizations and laboratories who are working around the clock on coronavirus.  There is an immense knowledge sharing worldwide.

Unfortunately bottom line is testing  of the many possible vaccines is challenging.  Finding the right test animals and creating a sufficient stock is one of the challenges.

Stay tuned,



Jackson Labs – Coronavirus

Notice from Jackson Labs:  We are now accepting pre-orders for the K18-hACE2 transgenic mouse model for coronavirus research.

An air-locked lab at UNC is leading research on cures for the coronavirus

Coronavirus, the flu shot, etc.

I got my shot in September of last year.  It was given free at CVS.  I’ve read enough on legitimate websites to convince me to get the shot.  Every year a lot of people will get the flu and some will show up at hospitals and doctor offices wanting to be tested for Covid-19.   I don’t want to be in that group if I can help it.   The flu shot doesn’t help your resistance to Covid-19.   Fewer folks with the flu this year means more effective Covid-19 testing.

I will also not buy a mask.  The surgeon general says it doesn’t help keep you from getting Covid-19.  Sure, doctors, nurses and dentist use them.    But they are in intimate contact with a lot of ill people.

I will travel outside the US.  Travel to me is one of life’s pleasures.  Fortunately, cruises have never been a part of my plan.

Stay tuned,




Political rhetoric on Coronavirus

First, any spread of misinformation for political gain, from either party is really reprehensible.   Also, we will report on any politician who spreads misinformation, regardless of their political affiliation.    The worst offenders are the social media posts, particularly Facebook right now.

(1) Testing Confusion (Trump announcement, March 4):

“The Obama administration made a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we’re doing, and we undid that decision a few days ago so that the testing can take place at a much more accurate and rapid fashion,” Trump stated. “That was a decision we disagreed with. I don’t think we would have made it, but for some reason it was made. But we’ve undone that decision.”

The website, “Red State Poll” concluded: “An example of the unanticipated effects of over regulation, one of the many from the Obama administration.”  Commentators followed by noting that many lives could have been saved it Obama hadn’t decided to over regulate the drug industry, with unnecessary regulations.

Problem with Trump’s claim and all the subsequent comments, is that the claim is false.  Yes,  the Obama administration was proposing ways that state testing could be better standardized, but this regulation was never passed  as a rule.   Trump did not “undo” anything passed by the Obama administration.  Laboratory determined tests (LDT)  at variance with FDA approved testing is permitted under FDA regulations, without pre-approval in emergency situations.   See links from and politifact,com

Politifact:  Trump’s claim is FALSE.

Factcheck: Experts, however, told us no such formal regulation was ever implemented under the previous administration.

(2) “Bad”  Covid-19 Test Kits were distributed to health departments causing inconclusive results 

This  is true, according to the CDC website.  It has been called a glitch or snag in the testing.   The CDC confirmed this testing problem as follows:

After distribution of a CDC rRT-PCR test to diagnose COVID-19 to state and local public health labs started, performance issues were identified related to a problem in the manufacturing of one of the reagents. Laboratories were not able to verify the test performance.

There are two possible errors that can be made in testing, which are a false negative, when a patient is diagnosed as not having Covid-19 when in fact they do and a false positive, when a patient is diagnosed as having Covid-19 when they do not.  If the tests were inconclusive, then the health departments may have erroneously interpreted this as the patient was suffering from the flu or other illnesses.

Apparently, the problem was in the manufacturing of one of the reagents in the test kits.  The CDC website indicates that the faulty kits can still be used but with a new testing protocol.   Of course, they are trying to produce as many good test kits as possible.

(3) Trump’s “seasonality” tweet

“On Feb 7 following a conversation with China’s president about the outbreak, President Donald Trump tweeted that as the weather becomes warmer the virus will become weaker and die out.”

The claim is FALSE

When asked about Trump’s tweet, Messonnier said most respiratory viruses are indeed seasonal, but COVID-19 is a new disease that health officials have been observing for only 6 weeks, so it’s premature to make assumptions on whether it will continue to circulate into the spring and summer.  She added that the CDC, in its outbreak planning, isn’t counting on a drop in virus activity as the weather warms. [Note: Dr.  Nancy Messonnier  directs the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases].

(4) The Obama administration “didn’t do anything about” swine flu. (Trump’s interview with Sean Hannity, March 4)

The claim is FALSE according to Politifact. Obama’s acting director of health and human services declared H1N1 a public health emergency on April 26, 2009. That was when the United States had only 20 confirmed cases of H1N1 and no deaths.

Trump said: “There were 60 million cases of swine flu” during the Obama administration “and they didn’t do anything about it.” His assessment on the nation’s response is incorrect. The Obama administration issued two emergency declarations, triggering billions of dollars in spending toward vaccines and other public health response measures. The statement is False.

(5) Mike Bloomberg  said  of President Donald Trump’s actions on the coronavirus: “No. 1, he fired the pandemic team two years ago. No. 2, he’s been defunding the Centers for Disease Control.”

Politifact rates this claim as HALF TRUE.

According to Politifact:   “Bloomberg had a point that the Trump administration ousted some of its officials dealing with global pandemics, but “defunding” the CDC is more complicated than he let on… It’s not accurate to say that Trump has been “defunding” the CDC, but he has tried to make cuts in key programs. It’s just that Congress didn’t listen.”

A graph on the Politifact website  shows that through the Obama and Trump administrations, Congress has appropriated consistently increased annual funding for emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

I would probably have labeled Bloomberg’s claims as false, because Trump did not fire his “pandemic team” nor were the important areas of the CDC budget cut.

(6) Mike Pence: “With regard to the cost, let me be very clear: HHS has designated the coronavirus test as an essential health benefit. That means, by definition, it’s covered in the private health insurance of every American, as well as covered by Medicare and Medicaid.”

Politifact labels this claim as HALF TRUE.  

Politifact concludes that simply labeling the Covid-19 testing as an essential health benefit (EHB) does not mean it is automatically covered. The requirements (as an EHB)  don’t apply to many workplace plans (including those provided by large businesses and self-insured plans), even though most Americans ― about 157 million ― who have health insurance get it through their job.  Most of these plans, though, do cover a wide range of benefits, including laboratory services, but they are not required by law to do so.

I will add that it makes a lot of good common sense for insurance companies to gain the goodwill of their customers, to pay for testing.   His statement that insurance companies will pay for testing will prove to be true but not because of any action by HHS.

I’d say Trump is still the winner in the most egregious and politically motivated lie on the rescinding of Obama era regulations for Covid-19 testing.  It is certainly a good contender in the Lie of the Year for 2020.

As I have blogged previously, the absolutely worst place to get information is social media.   Politifact website list 14 comments qualifying as “Pants on Fire”, which includes baseless and very reckless comments from social media, primarily Facebook.   Hopefully, Facebook will take action to force bloggers to remove these posts.

Stay tuned,



Politifact on testing regulations: 

Glitch delays COVID-19 tests for states as first evacuees cleared

CDC website which acknowledges testing problems

Factcheck on testing problems: 

Politifact:  Insurance coverage for testing

Politifact:  Coronavirus fact checking


North Korea – Enormous Problems for the Hermit Kingdom

We don’t know how many people are infected with Covid-19 in North Korea.     But, in  South Korea there are over 7,000 cases reported.   The problem in North Korea is there is also a tuberculosis epidemic and the quarantines are stopping vital medications to treat TB.    TB is curable and preventable.  This is from the World Health Organization website:

A total of 1.5 million people died from TB in 2018 (including 251 000 people with HIV). Worldwide, TB is one of the top 10 causes of death and the leading cause from a single infectious agent (above HIV/AIDS).
In 2018, an estimated 10 million people fell ill with tuberculosis(TB) worldwide. 5.7 million men, 3.2 million women and 1.1 million children. There were cases in all countries and age groups. But TB is curable and preventable.  In 2018, 1.1 million children fell ill with TB globally, and there were 205 000 child deaths due to TB (including among children with HIV). Child and adolescent TB is often overlooked by health providers and can be difficult to diagnose and treat.

There is a multiple drug resistant form, called MDR-TB which requires taking several drugs in combination.   See links below from Mayo Clinic.

I’ve said it before, that globalism v.  nationalism in many cases isn’t a choice, because global problems requires global solutions.    The old adage, “What goes around, comes around” is really true now.   The cases in the US are increasing, hitting a new high of 80 cases/day.

See links below.

Stay tuned,



Science Mag: Coronavirus disruptions could hurt North Korea’s efforts to treat tuberculosis

World Health Organization:  Tuberculosis

Mayo Clinic Tuberculosis

Good sources of information on the Coronavirus

There is a lot of bad information being circulated.

These are all very good websites.

CDC: 2019 Novel Coronavirus Situation Summary

Excellent up-to-date information on many aspects of the Coronavirus.

Food and Drug Administration:  Coronavirus

World Health Organization: Coronavirus

New York Times:  Tracking every Coronavirus case in the US

The New York Times has done an excellent public service by providing free interactive maps of the known cases of Covid-19 as obtained by the information provided by the CDC and other health officials.   New cases seem to be growing exponentially.  As of March 6, 306 people have Covid-19.    China has approximately 80,600 known cases.  The same link has a map with a world wide cases.   Italy, Iran and Korea have cases in the thousands.

What I found interesting was in 107 cases, or approximate 1/3 of the cases, the possible origins are unknown.   In only 15 cases, there was travel to China.

Dr.  Anthony Fauci,  is the director of the NIAID (National Institute for Allergies and Infection Diseases) said we are probably a year away from a vaccine against Covid-19.

Contagion Live 

China and the other hard hit countries will likely be the places where new vaccines are tested.  I hope that scientists will find an effective vaccine in less than a year.

Stay tuned,


Mitt Romney’s Speech during the Senate

Some quotes:

Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine.

The results of this Senate court will, in fact, be appealed to a higher court, the judgment of the American people. Voters will make the final decision, just as the president’s lawyers have implored.

I will only be one name among many, no more, no less, to future generations of Americans who look at the record of this trial. They will note merely that I was among the senators who determined that what the president did was wrong, grievously wrong. We are all footnotes at best in the annals of history, but in the most powerful nation on Earth, the nation conceived in liberty and justice, that distinction is enough for any citizen.

I have included biographical summary of Mitt Romney from Wikipedia at the end of this blog.


SENATOR MITT ROMNEY, Republican of Utah:


The Constitution is at the foundation of our Republic’s success, and we each strive not to lose sight of our promise to defend it. The Constitution established the vehicle of impeachment that has occupied both houses of our Congress these many days. We have labored to faithfully execute our responsibilities to it. We have arrived at different judgments, but I hope we respect each other’s good faith.

The allegations made in the articles of impeachment are very serious. As a senator-juror, I swore an oath before God to exercise impartial justice. I am profoundly religious. My faith is at the heart of who I am. I take an oath before God as enormously consequential. I knew from the outset that being tasked with judging the president, the leader of my own party, would be the most difficult decision I have ever faced. I was not wrong.

The House managers presented evidence supporting their case, and the White House counsel disputed that case. In addition, the president’s team presented three defenses, first that there could be no impeachment without a statutory crime, second that the Bidens’ conduct justified the president’s actions, and third, that the judgment of the president’s actions should be left to the voters. Let me first address those three defenses.

The historic meaning of the words “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the writings of the founders and my own reasoned judgment convince me that a president can indeed commit acts against the public trust that are so egregious that while they’re not statutory crimes, they would demand removal from office. To maintain that the lack of a codified and comprehensive list of all the outrageous acts that a president might conceivably commit renders Congress powerless to remove such a president defies reason.

The president’s counsel also notes that Vice President Biden appeared to have a conflict of interest when he undertook an effort to remove the Ukrainian prosecutor general. If he knew of the exorbitant compensation his son was receiving from a company actually under investigation, the vice president should have recused himself. While ignoring a conflict of interest is not a crime, it is surely very wrong. With regards to Hunter Biden, taking excessive advantage of his father’s name is unsavory, but also not a crime. Given that in neither the case of the father nor the son was any evidence presented by the president’s counsel that a crime had been committed, the president’s insistence that they be investigated by the Ukrainians is hard to explain other than as a political pursuit. There’s no question in my mind that were their names not Biden, the president would never have done what he did.

The defense argues that the Senate should leave the impeachment decision to the voters. While that logic is appealing to our democratic instincts, it is inconsistent with the Constitution’s requirement that the Senate, not the voters, try the president.

Hamilton explained that the founders’ decision to invest senators with this obligation rather than leave it to the voters was intended to minimize, to the extent possible, the partisan sentiments of the public at large. So the verdict is ours to render under our Constitution. The people will judge us for how well and faithfully we fulfill our duty. The grave question the Constitution tasked senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a high crime and misdemeanor. Yes, he did.

The president asked a foreign government to investigate his political rival. The president withheld vital military funds from that government to press it to do so. The president delayed funds for an American ally at war with Russian invaders. The president’s purpose was personal and political. Accordingly, the president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust.

What he did was not perfect. No, it was a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security and our fundamental values. Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine.

In the last several weeks, I’ve received numerous calls and texts. Many demanded, in their words, that I “stand with the team.” I can assure you that that thought has been very much on my mind: You see, I support a great deal of what the president has done. I voted with him 80 percent of the time.

But my promise before God to apply impartial justice required that I put my personal feelings and political biases aside. Were I to ignore the evidence that has been presented and disregard what I believe my oath and the Constitution demands of me for the sake of a partisan end, it would, I fear, expose my character to history’s rebuke and the censure of my own conscience.

I’m aware that there are people in my party and in my state who will strenuously disapprove of my decision, and in some quarters I will be vehemently denounced. I’m sure to hear abuse from the president and his supporters. Does anyone seriously believe that I would consent to these consequences other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded it of me?

I sought to hear testimony from John Bolton, not only because I believed he could add context to the charges, but also because I hoped that what he might say could raise reasonable doubt and thus remove from me the awful obligation to vote for impeachment.

Like each member of this deliberative body, I love our country. I believe that our Constitution was inspired by Providence. I’m convinced that freedom itself is dependent on the strength and vitality of our national character. As it is with each senator, my vote is an act of conviction. We’ve come to different conclusions fellow senators, but I trust we have all followed the dictates of our conscience.

I acknowledge that my verdict will not remove the president from office. The results of this Senate court will, in fact, be appealed to a higher court, the judgment of the American people. Voters will make the final decision, just as the president’s lawyers have implored. My vote will likely be in the minority in the Senate, but irrespective of these things, with my vote, I will tell my children and their children that I did my duty to the best of my ability believing that my country expected it of me.

I will only be one name among many, no more, no less, to future generations of Americans who look at the record of this trial. They will note merely that I was among the senators who determined that what the president did was wrong, grievously wrong. We are all footnotes at best in the annals of history, but in the most powerful nation on Earth, the nation conceived in liberty and justice, that distinction is enough for any citizen.

Thank you, Mr. President. I yield the floor.


I think this is a speech that should go down in history, as the choice between being loyal to a party verses loyal to the Constitution and obligations of a senator-juror.  Mitt Romney voted for the article of Abuse of Power and against the second article on obstructing the investigation.

Trump’s most recent attacks on his “perfect” phone call have been on House Representative Nancy Pelosi and  Mitt Romney.

Trump hit Romney at Prayer Breakfast

Note: Mitt Romney has been a deeply religious person his whole life, serving in the LDS Church. In the speech Romney declared, “I believe in my Mormon faith and endeavor to live by it. My faith is the faith of my fathers. I will be true to them and to my beliefs.”[14] Romney added that he should neither be elected nor rejected based upon his religion,[247] and echoed Senator John F. Kennedy‘s famous speech during his 1960 presidential campaign in saying, “I will put no doctrine of any church above the plain duties of the office and the sovereign authority of the law.”[246]    With Kennedy,  some voters were concerned that because he was Catholic,  he would be under the commands of the Pope.

Wikipedia:  Biography of Mitt Romney

Stay tuned,




Coronavirus – The Search for Solutions, Go Gilead and other big pharmacy companies!

It takes years for drugs to be approved.   Yet, through incredible international cooperation, Gilead will be testing their anti-virus drug Remdesivir at ground zero, in the central city of  Wuhan.  Other companies including Johnson and Johnson and GlaxoSmithkline are looking for solutions to the epidemic.   J+J is reportedly looking for a preventative vaccine – I hope they can find one.  These viruses which scientists believe come from animals,  seem to have a horrible habit of returning.     AbbieVie Inc HIV drug Katetra also holds promise.

Some victims have mild symptoms and are able to recuperate.   Taking a cocktail of various anti-viral medicines also has shown some promise in Thailand.

I don’t care who wins this race to find a solution.  The doctors who come from all over the world to China to conduct their tests are my heros.

Stay tuned,



Bloomberg: Can Coronavirus be cured?

Business Insider: Thai doctors have been using a cocktail of flu and HIV drugs to treat coronavirus cases


Bolton’s Book “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir”

Former National Security Advisor John Bolton has written his third book, entitled, “The Room Where It Happened” which according to will be published in hard copy and on Kindle on March 17, 2020.   Amazon is accepting pre-publication orders.  I bought a copy from Amazon.     It isn’t my normal reading.  I disagree with his basic philosophy of using the threat of  military power in every way possible to promote US interests.   In one editorial in the New York Times,  he was aptly described as the least diplomatic diplomat.   I have posted his biography from Wikipedia under links.

Thanks to the impeachment hearings, John Bolton has now gotten heaps of criticism from the party he has always supported – the Republicans.   It has guaranteed that his hawkish views will be heard – either in his book or on social media. He appeared very often on Fox News during the Obama era.   It seemed he was critical of almost every initiative undertook by Obama with respect to international policy and cooperation.   At every turn, he would fall back to the idea that America would be better off going it alone.

But, I bought the book, because I am certain he will corroborate the testimony of others in the impeachment trial.  I’m sure Bolton feels a sense of betrayal from Trump, who could not separate his role as president, setting incredibly important policy decisions  from that of a candidate for re-election.

The current controversy is whether the manuscript can be published without changes.    A restraining order, preventing Simon and Schuster from publishing the book is possible, but likely to be ineffective, as I am certain  excepts will appear in the press.   A restraining order will only make the book more popular.

The Supreme Court case, “The New York Times v.  United States” was decided 38 years ago (I remember it, wow am I that old!) in favor of the New York Times publishing excerpts from the Pentagon Papers, a leaked government document reviewing the history of the Vietnam War, as prepared by the Department of Defense.   Three conservative judges (Burger, Harlan and Blackmun) dissented.  See links.

The lead story in today’s New York Times is: “Attacking Bolton, Republicans Push to Swiftly Acquit. Confident they can block witnesses.   The White House and Senate Republicans worked aggressively on Wednesday to discount damaging revelations from John R, Bolton and line up the votes to block new witnesses from testifying in President Trump’s impeachment trial, in a push to bring the proceeding to a swift close.”  A vote on witnesses may occur tomorrow, Friday January 31.  Without witnesses, the trial could end next week, before the State of the Union address.

Stay tuned,



Amazon, The Room Where it Happened: A White House Memoir, accepting pre-publication orders, available March 17, 2020

Wikipedia:  John Bolton

Wikipedia:  New York Times v.  United States (1971)

(yes- I know the actual case name is a bit longer and includes the case against the Washington Post.   The case was part of the C-Span series on Landmark Supreme Court cases. See

C-Span Landmark Supreme Court Decisions:  New York Times v United States

At issue was whether our First Amendment rights of a free speech could be limited by the government’s claim of harming to national security, because it relied on confidential information.  I believe after publication, it became clear that Pentagon Papers were an excellent historical account of events leading to our involvement in the Vietnam war.




A tie vote on witnesses? Republican witnesses? A few Q+A.

If the Senate votes are a 50-50 split on witnesses,  Chief Justice Roberts could decide.  I agree with commentators who say he will simply rule that with neither party having a majority, the motion to call witnesses fails.  So it takes 4 Republicans to jump the fence.

Ok, who would testify for the Republicans? It’s a good question.  In a real courtroom trial, the defense does not have to call witnesses.   The defense can simply rest its case, saying the prosecution has failed to prove its case beyond “a reasonable doubt” or a “shadow of a doubt”  depending on the crime.

Calling House Manager Adam Schiff,  Hunter Biden or  Joe Biden would be a disaster for Republicans.   I will explain why:

Adam Schiff 

Adam Schiff will be asked about his comment that there was no contact between the whistle blower and his committee, when in fact there was contact.   He has already explained this many times,   When the whistle blower decided there was sufficient reason to reveal inappropriate demands on the Ukraine as a condition for military assistance, this individual did not know how to go about an official complaint.   A staff member on Schiff’s committee recommended to him to get a lawyer and the lawyer would explain to him the proper means of filing a complaint.  The complaint would not be immediately turned over to the House Intelligence Committee, but had to be first reviewed by the National Security Council,  to be deemed sufficiently urgent and important for the Committee to examine.

Despite Trump’s tweets that Schiff probably wrote the whistle blower’s complaint,  the bottom line is that the Intelligence Committee acted properly in telling the whistle blower to get a lawyer.

If Adam Schiff is asked to divulge the name of the whistle blower, he would simply respond that the identity of the whistle blower is protected by law.

Hunter Biden + Joe Biden

Democrats would immediately object to calling Hunter Biden on the basis of foundation and relevance.   There has been zero evidence introduced to support the  allegation that Hunter Biden did anything wrong by serving on the board of Burisma.  However, Trump has pushed a false allegation that Joe Biden was involved in a scheme to benefit his son  as follows: Vice President Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to dismiss their General Prosecutor Shokin  so that the corrupt practices of Burisma could continue, hence his son could continue his lucrative position on the Board.

Just the opposite is true and the facts are all on Joe Biden’s side.  The firing of Shokin made it more likely that Burisma’s investigation would continue.    It is part of the testimony record of witnesses that the Shokin was not reforming the corrupt system in the Ukraine and numerous organizations including the International Monetary Fund  and the leaders of the  European Union wanted him out.  Any claims of wrongdoing  by Joe Biden are really limited to a barrage of tweets and Fox News commentary.

Calling Hunter Biden to testify would backfire.    No one is sure of the exact payments he received, and any revelation would be immediately objected to as irrelevant.    It is very common for a corporation to bring in individuals from outside the company  who can help the company establish its image and reputation.  President Ford was on dozens of corporate boards, making a lot of money in director fees.  He did nothing wrong and neither did Hunter Biden.

Republicans, I think, like more of talking about Hunter Biden than actually calling him to testify.   His past drug problems and infidelity are irrelevant to the Senate hearing, but great for the tabloids.

So,  I’ve yet to hear of a witness that Republicans seriously could call to testify.

Stay tuned,



Zeroing in on John Bolton

Chuck Schumer has no real say in the impeachment trial.  Same goes with Adam Schiff.  Senate rules according to the majority.   The Senate has 53 Republicans and 47 Democrats.

The trial is actually just beginning.  However, everyone  knows exactly how this trial will end – 53 for acquital, and 47 for guilty. There is no chance in hell to convict the president.  It is not a matter of the evidence not being strong enough; it is a matter that the Republicans control the Senate and it takes a two-thirds majority to convict a President.  Never been done in our history, and this will be the third time impeachment has ended in acquittal.

It takes 4 Republican Senators to leap over the fence and join Democrats in calling for witnesses.   There’s a ton of speculation out there, and personally I don’t think it will happen.   I can see very well why Democrats are pushing for witnesses.  Adam Schiff provided a history of impeachment trials against federal judges and two presidents (Clinton and Andrew Johnson), and every trial had witnesses.  I think the average was around 20 witnesses.  I think Schumer recognized  he had to cut back his list so Mulvaney, Blair and Duffey (see last post)  no longer seem front and center.  If called to testify, Mulvaney would have to walk back his  press conference comment admitting to a quid pro quo when asked, making it even worse with “We do it all the time.”  Mulvaney is Trump’s right hand man,  getting Michael Duffey to alert the Defense Department of the hold on Ukrainian aid and for them to keep the hold secret  immediately following Trump’s call.

Bolton’s testimony will be a lot more straight forward.   Every conversation that Bolton had with Trump and his staff including Fiona Hill, Tim Morrison,  Marie Yovanavitch, David Holmes, Bill Taylor  and Ambassador Sondland would be collaborated.   His testimony would  further corroborates Rudy Giuliani involvement.   Both Mulvaney and Bolton were in the room with Trump, but only John Bolton appears to willingly testify.   The hold was orchestrated by Mulvaney despite being  opposed by John Bolton.

Schumer and Schiff are using cable TV broadcasts to argue for the necessity of witnesses, most notably CNN and MSNBC.   Meanwhile,  Republicans Senators and the White House Legal Counsel generally goes on Fox News and OAN (One American News) to blast Democrats on this issue.   One argument is that the Democrats failed in the House to get all witnesses, so now they are trying to get them in the Senate.  Of course, they tried to have many more witnesses in the House, but the invited witnesses, such as Bolton,  declined the invitation or subpoenas.

Schumer is under pressure also to conclude the trial because Sanders, Klobuchar and Warren must attend the trial and cannot campaign in Iowa.   I believe this is the real motivation right now to zero in on getting  Bolton to testify in one short explosive session.  Four hours of Bolton beats 12 hours of Schiff on cable TV.

Stay tuned,