CHAZ Thugs Exposed Doing EVERYTHING They Condemn America For

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzeiBeZYVtk

June 16, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . Antifa, Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, Police brutality, Police state, Social justice warriors, Violent crime. Leave a comment.

Here’s a detailed summary of Obama’s IRS scandal, explaining how his administration illegally used the IRS to harass conservative organizations.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

June 14, 2020

In May 2013, the Washington Post reported that the IRS had illegally targeted conservative groups for additional reviews. Organizations with the words “tea party” or “patriot” were singled out for harassment, such as requiring them to provide a list of donors, details about their internet postings on social networking websites, and information about their family members.

When this was first reported by the media in May 2013, Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that had conducted these illegal activities, claimed that only low level employees had known about it, and that no high level IRS officials had known about it. However, soon afterward, NPR reported that an Inspector General report showed that Lerner had been lying, and that she herself had actually been aware of it since June 29, 2011. Even worse, during March and April of 2012, Lerner herself had actually written such letters to fifteen different conservative groups. One of these letters can be read here.

While testifying in May 2013, Lerner said:

“I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations. And I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee.”

However, afterward, Lerner invoked her fifth amendment right to remain silent. The Washington Post reported that there was disagreement as to whether or not Lerner’s statement constituted a waiving of her fifth amendment right to remain silent. Soon afterward, she was placed on paid administrative leave. At a later hearing in March 2014, Lerner again invoked her fifth amendment right to remain silent.

In September 2013, a House committee released several of Lerner’s emails, which showed that she had targeted tea party groups, and that she had asked that their applications be delayed. In one of the emails from 2011, she had written “Tea Party Matter very dangerous.”

In September 2013, after having been on paid leave for four months, Lerner had still not been fired by Obama.

In September 2013, Lerner retired with a full pension.

In October 2013, it was reported that newly discovered emails proved that Lerner had violated federal law by giving the Federal Election Commission confidential tax information of several Tea party groups.

The Washington Post reported that IRS officials at the IRS headquarters in Washington D.C. had sent such letters to conservatives groups. Reuters reported that higher level IRS officials had taken part in discussions about it as early as August 2011. However, 21 months later, on May 10, 2013, the Washington Post reported that President Obama had not done anything to investigate or fire the IRS employees who had engaged in this illegal harassment. As of May 14, 2013, none of the IRS employees who engaged in any of this illegal behavior had been disciplined, despite the fact that higher level IRS officials had known about their illegal behavior at least since August 2011. Despite all of these media reports about the involvement of high level IRS officials, in February 2014, Obama said that these things had come from “a local office.”

On May 15, 2013, it was reported that Steven Miller, the acting IRS commissioner, had resigned. However, it was also reported that his assignment would have ended in early June anyway. He resigned – Obama did not fire him.

The IRS gave out confidential information about conservative groups. ProPublica wrote:

“The same IRS office that deliberately targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status in the run-up to the 2012 election released nine pending confidential applications of conservative groups to ProPublica late last year.”

“In response to a request for the applications for 67 different nonprofits last November, the Cincinnati office of the IRS sent ProPublica applications or documentation for 31 groups. Nine of those applications had not yet been approved—meaning they were not supposed to be made public.”

“No unapproved applications from liberal groups were sent to ProPublica.”

President Obama either lied about when he first knew about this – or was too busy playing golf and attending fundraisers to read the memos that were sent to him. The Daily Caller wrote:

“White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a press conference Tuesday that the White House was notified about the IRS targeting tea party groups ‘several weeks ago.’ This comes a day after President Obama said he found out about it from news reports on Friday of last week.”

“During a press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday, President Obama was asked about the IRS scandal. He responded, ‘I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this. I think it was on Friday.’

“However, Carney said Tuesday that first a report had to be compiled by the IRS’s inspector general and then when it was completed, it was passed on to the administration.”

“‘A notification is appropriate and routine and that is what happened and that happened several weeks ago,’ Carney said.”

When Media Trackers, a conservative organization, applied to the IRS for non-profit status, after waiting 16 months, it got no response. But when it reapplied with a liberal sounding name, it got approval in just three weeks. Yahoo wrote:

“In May 2011, Drew Ryun, a conservative activist and former Republican National Committee staffer, began filling out the Internal Revenue Service application to achieve nonprofit status for a new conservative watchdog group.”

“When September 2012 arrived with still no word from the IRS, Ryun determined that Media Trackers would likely never obtain standalone nonprofit status, and he tried a new approach: He applied for permanent nonprofit status for a separate group called Greenhouse Solutions, a pre-existing organization that was reaching the end of its determination period.”

“The IRS approved Greenhouse Solutions’ request for permanent nonprofit status in three weeks.”

Politico reported:

“The same Internal Revenue Service office that singled out Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny also challenged Israel-related organizations, at least one of which filed suit over the agency’s handling of its application for tax-exempt status.”

“The trouble for the Israel-focused groups seems to have had different origins than that experienced by conservative groups, but at times the effort seems to have been equally ham-handed.”

The IRS asked conservative groups what books they were reading.

Although the IRS went 18 months or longer without responding to conservative organizations’ applications, the IRS demanded that these same organizations answer the IRS’s intrusive questions within a few weeks.

After the Waco Tea Party sent an application to the IRS, the IRS waited 19 months to respond. In its response, the IRS asked for printouts of its web page and social networking sites, copies of all of its newsletters, bulletins and fliers, and copies of all stories written about it. The IRS also asked for transcripts of its radio interviews.

As one example of how the IRS treated conservative organizations differently from liberal ones, Politico reported:

“Chris Littleton, one of the co-founders of the Ohio Liberty Coalition, said the group got a grilling from the IRS when it submitted its application, in letters the group has posted on its website. The IRS also gave him so much grief when he tried to apply for tax-exempt status for another group, American Junto, that ‘we just gave up on it,’ he said.”

“But when he submitted an application for a third group — Ohioans for Health Care Freedom, now renamed Ohio Rising — ‘it went through just fine,’ Littleton said. ‘They never asked a single set of questions.’”

After the Greater Phoenix Tea Party Patriots sent in their application, it took two years for the IRS to respond. The IRS response included 35 questions. When the group’s cofounder called the IRS, the IRS agent claimed that he had their group’s file right in front of him. But when the group’s confounder asked the IRS agent a question, the IRS agent asked, “What’s your group’s name again?”

Tea Party groups who spoke with each other said they were all getting the same questions from the IRS.

The Washington Post reported that some IRS employees were “ignorant about tax laws, defiant of their supervisors, and blind to the appearance of impropriety.”

In 2012, the IRS leaked confidential information about Mitt Romney to the co-chairman of President Obama’s re-election committee.

For a 27 month period that began in February 2010, the IRS gave exactly zero approvals to Tea Party organizations that had sent in applications. During that same time period, numerous liberal organizations with names including words such as “progress” or “progressive” did get approval.

After True the Vote, a conservative organization which was founded by Catherine Engelbrecht, sent its application to the IRS, the IRS went three years without responding. During that three year period, Engelbrecht and her family’s small manufacturing business were audited by the IRS, and were investigated by OSHA, the ATF, and the FBI.

Democratic U.S. Senators pressured the IRS to target conservative groups. In May 2013, U.S. News & World Report wrote:

“Over the last three years, Democratic senators repeatedly and publicly pressured the IRS to engage in the very activities that they are only now condemning today. At the same time, Republicans repeatedly and publicly warned against this abuse of government power and pointed to a series of red flags that strongly suggested conservative political organizations were being targeted by the IRS. Those warnings were deliberately ignored by the Obama administration and Democratic leaders in Congress.”

“From Max Baucus to Chuck Schumer to Jeanne Shaheen, key Senate Democrats publicly pressured the IRS to target groups that held differing political views and who, in their view, had the temerity to engage in the political process. The IRS listened to them and acted.”

In order to get approval, the IRS required members of Coalition for Life of Iowa, a pro-life organization, to sign a promise to avoid protesting in front of Planned Parenthood.

The IRS asked Christian Voices for Life, a pro-life organization, questions about its prayer vigils.

According to the official White House visitor’s log, during Obama’s first four years as President, IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman made 157 visits to the White House. This is more visits to the White House – by a very large margin – than any other cabinet member during Obama’s first term. By comparison, during the four years that Mark Everson was IRS commissioner when Bush was president, Everson made only one visit to the White House.

Shulman donated $500 to the Democratic National Committee in October 2004.

During Congressional testimony that had taken place in March 2012, Shulman falsely said that the IRS had not targeted conservative groups.

Shulman’s wife, Susan L. Anderson, is the senior program advisor for Public Campaign, a liberal organization. The Dailer Caller wrote of this group:

“Public Campaign receives “major funding” from the pro-Obamacare alliance Health Care for America NOW!, which is comprised of the labor unions AFL-CIO, AFSCME, SEIU, and the progressive activist organization Move On, among others.”

“Public Campaign also receives funding from the liberal Ford Foundation, the Common Cause Education Fund, and Barbra Streisand’s The Streisand Foundation, among other foundations and private donors.”

Stephen Seok was one of the IRS agents who wrote threatening letters to conservative groups. After doing so, he was given a promotion.

In June 2013, it was reported that two IRS employees had violated government ethics rules at a 2010 conference when they received $1,100 in free food and other items. One of them was Fred Schindler, the director of implementation oversight at the IRS Affordable Care Act office. The other was Donald Toda, a California-based employee. Obama did not fire them. Instead, he gave both of them paid leave. By comparison, in 1981, President Reagan fired 11,359 air-traffic controllers who had been illegally striking.

In June 2013, it was reported that The National Organization for Marriage, a conservative organization, had forensic evidence which proved that its donors’ private information had been illegally leaked by the IRS. The IRS employees who illegally leaked this private information could get five years in prison. However, Obama refused to file any charges against these IRS criminals.

The IRS illegally leaked the private information of Christine O’Donnell the same day that she announced that she would run for U.S. Senate as a tea party candidate.

According to White House visitor logs, Obama met with Colleen Kelley, the president of the National Treasury Employees Union, on March 31, 2010. The very next day, IRS employees who belonged to that union union started to target tea party organizations.

In June 2013, Associated Press claimed that the IRS had targeted liberal groups, but refused to actually name any of those liberal groups.

In July 2013, it was reported that Obama had met with a key IRS official who was involved in the targeting just two days before the key official had told his colleagues how to target tea party groups. The Daily Caller reported:

“The Obama appointee implicated in congressional testimony in the IRS targeting scandal met with President Obama in the White House two days before offering his colleagues a new set of advice on how to scrutinize tea party and conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.”

“IRS chief counsel William Wilkins, who was named in House Oversight testimony by retiring IRS agent Carter Hull as one of his supervisors in the improper targeting of conservative groups, met with Obama in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on April 23, 2012. Wilkins’ boss, then-IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman, visited the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on April 24, 2012, according to White House visitor logs.”

“On April 25, 2012, Wilkins’ office sent the exempt organizations determinations unit “additional comments on the draft guidance” for approving or denying tea party tax-exempt applications, according to the IRS inspector general’s report.”

In May 2013, Jon Stewart said of the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups:

“Well, congratulations, President Barack Obama. Conspiracy theorists who generally can survive in anaerobic environments have just had an algae bloom dropped on their f***ing heads, thus removing the last arrow in your pro-governance quiver: skepticism about your opponents.”

In May 2013, Michael Macleod-Ball, chief of staff at the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office, said of the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups:

“Even the appearance of playing partisan politics with the tax code is about as constitutionally troubling as it gets. With the recent push to grant federal agencies broad new powers to mandate donor disclosure for advocacy groups on both the left and the right, there must be clear checks in place to prevent this from ever happening again.”

In January 2014, it was reported that the Obama administration had chosen Barbara Kay Bosserman to head the investigation of the IRS’s targeting of tea party groups. Bosserman had donated more than $6,000 to Obama’s two presidential campaigns.

In January 2014, it was reported that since Sarah Palin had announced her candidacy for vice-President in 2008, the IRS had harassed her father six different times. Prior to that, the IRS had never contacted him during the 50 years that he had worked. The report did not specify how many of these six incidents happened under President Bush, or how many happened under President Obama.

In January 2014, it was reported that during the FBI’s so-called “investigation” of the IRS’s harassment of tea party groups, the FBI had not actually interviewed any tea party groups.

In January 2014, it was reported that the IRS had demanded that Friends of Abe (a conservative organization whose members work in the entertainment industry) give the IRS enhanced access to its security protected website (which included its secret membership list), even though such a demand was not standard IRS procedure. In addition, even though the organization had applied to the IRS for tax free status two years earlier, the IRS had still not made a decision regarding the application.

In February 2014, Obama said that there was “not even a smidgeon of corruption” in the IRS’s actions.

In February 2014, it was reported that during Obama’s presidency, 100% of the established 501(c)(4) groups that had been audited by the IRS were conservative.

In February 2014, when Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly asked Obama about the IRS harassment of tea party groups, Obama said “These kinds of things keep on surfacing, in part because you and your TV station will promote them.”

In May 2014, it was reported that tea party donors had been audited by the IRS at ten times the rate of the general population.

In May 2014, it was reported that the IRS had illegally ignored four Freedom of Information requests from Judicial Watch between May 2013 and October 2013. Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit in October 2013, and was finally able to get the information in May 2014. It showed that the orders for the IRS to harass tea party members had come from IRS headquarters in Washington D.C. It also showed that U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan) had pressured the IRS to shut down tea party organizations.

In June 2014, the IRS claimed that Lerner’s emails to outside agencies from January 2009 through April 2011 had been “lost” when her hard drive “crashed.” Also in June 2014, the IRS claimed to have “lost” the emails from six additional IRS employees who were relevant to this scandal when their hard drives “crashed.” One of these IRS employees was Nikole Flax, who had been chief of staff to former IRS commissioner Steven Miller. Flax had made 31 visits to the White House during the time that the IRS had been targeting tea party groups. However, a private company called Sonasoft had a contract with the IRS since 2005 to back up all of the IRS’s emails. The company keeps multiple and redundant backup copies of all the IRS’s emails. The company advertised itself by saying “If the IRS uses Sonasoft products to back up their servers why wouldn’t you choose them to protect your servers?” In addition, Norman Cillo, an Army veteran who had worked in intelligence, and who had also worked as a program manager at Microsoft, listed six reasons why the IRS’s claim about “losing” the emails must be false. Also, federal law requires the IRS to keep permanent, backup copies of all of its emails at an external location. And finally, the NSA has copies of all of the emails.

Although federal law requires the IRS to keep permanent, backup copies of all of its emails at an external location, in June 2014, it was reported that the IRS has canceled its email archiving contract with Sonasoft weeks after Lerner’s computer “crashed.”

In June 2014, it was reported that emails showed that Lerner had suggested that the IRS audit U.S. Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa).

In June 2014, the IRS admitted that it had illegally given out information about the conservative group National Organization for Marriage.

In July 2014, it was reported that Lerner had called Republicans “crazies” and “assholes” in her emails.

In July 2014, it was reported that after Lerner’s hard drive “crashed,” the IRS deliberately destroyed it, without making any attempt to recover her emails. Top IRS officials told Congressional investigators that the hard drive was irreparably damaged before they destroyed it. However, IRS technical experts who had examined the hard drive before the IRS destroyed it said that this was not true, and that the data could have been recovered. Bruce Webster, partner at Provo, Utah-based IT consulting and expert witness firm Ironwood Experts, who has served as a consulting and IT expert in more than 80 civil lawsuits, said of this:

“… the IRS has no excuses for having handled this so poorly… This happens all the time… There are little storefront companies in just about every major city that can do this and there are forensic companies that can restore files and even do higher end recovery of data.”

In August 2014, the IRS admitted in a court filing that it had deliberately destroyed Lerner’s Blackberry after her computer “crashed.” In addition, an IRS official admitted, under penalty of perjury, that Lerner’s Blackberry had contained the same emails that had been on her computer.

In August 2014, the IRS finally admitted, under penalty of perjury, that Lerner’s emails had never really been “lost.” The IRS said the “missing” emails had been on its backup system all along.

On November 5, 2014, it was reported that the IRS had admitted to the court that it had not even tried to find Lerner’s “missing” emails in its backup system.

On November 21, 2014, it was reported that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration had obtained as many as 30,000 of Lerner’s “missing” emails from IRS disaster recovery tapes.

In February 2015, it was reported that Lerner had received a total of $129,300 in bonuses between 2010 and 2013.

As of April 2015, no criminal charges had been filed against Lerner.

On June 12, 2015, when the IRS missed a court ordered deadline for releasing 6,400 newly found emails from Lerner’s hard drive, the IRS said it would not be able to release those emails for another three months because it needed those three months to remove any duplicates.

In June 2015, government investigators said the IRS had “mistakenly” erased 422 backup tapes of IRS emails.

In July 2015, the House Oversight Committee released information which showed that in 2011, when Lerner’s hard drive was examined by John Minsek, a senior investigative analyst with the IRS Criminal Investigations unit, it contained “well-defined scoring creating a concentric circle in the proximity of the center of the disk.”

In July 2015, the House Oversight Committee released information which showed that the IRS had avoided searching five of six possible sources of electronic media for Lerner’s emails.

In July 2015, the House Oversight Committee released information which showed that some IRS officials, including some who were supervised by Lerner, had used a “wholly separate” instant messaging system called “Office Communication Server” that automatically erased its messages. None of these messages were archived. In an email conversation, Lerner had asked if the Office Communication Server archived its messages, and when she was told that it did not archive its messages, she responded by saying “Perfect.”

In July 2015, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan threatened to hold IRS employees, including IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, in contempt because they had illegally ignored the judge’s orders to release some of Lerner’s emails and other IRS documents. These same IRS employees had previously illegally ignored Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits for those same emails and other documents.

In August 2015, a report by the Senate Finance Committee said that during the 40 month period from February 2009 through May 2012, only one conservative group had been granted non-profit status by the IRS. The Senate Finance Committee report stated:

“Due to the circuitous process implemented by Lerner, only one conservative political advocacy organization was granted tax-exempt status between February 2009 and May 2012. Lerner’s bias against these applicants unquestionably led to these delays, and is particularly evident when compared to the IRS’s treatment of other applications…”

“Although applications from the Tea Party and conservative organizations languished at the IRS, this was not the case for all groups that applied. In cases where the IRS wanted to act quickly, it did – particularly for other high-profile applications that attracted political attention…”

“The IRS’s treatment of these organizations was almost universally consistent with Lerner’s personal political views – this is, supporting Democratic candidates and opposing conservative tax-exempt organizations…”

The Senate Finance Committee report also said:

“We found evidence that Lerner’s personal political views directly resulted in disparate treatment for applicants affiliated with Tea Party and other conservative causes…”

“Her influence led not only to indefinite delays in the processing of these groups’ applications for tax-exempt status, but also to audits. During that same time, the IRS generally responded quickly and favorably to nonprofit organizations that were affiliated with progressive causes…”

In June 2016, the IRS released a list of names of 426 conservative organizations that it had targeted.

In June 2016, it was reported that in October 2010, at Lerner’s request, 1.25 million pages of confidential tax returns had been transferred from the IRS to the Department of Justice’s criminal division. The only way that this transfer could have been legal would be if the Justice Department had specifically requested it, and the only circumstances under which the Justice Department is legally allowed to make such a request is when the parties in question are under criminal investigation by the Justice Department. However, the Justice Department never requested these documents, and there was no criminal investigation of these organizations by the Justice Department. Therefore, Lerner’s action was illegal. Included in this transfer were the names and address of donors to these organizations – information which is supposed to be private and confidential. Of course, as always, Obama refused to file any charges against Lerner for her illegal activity.

On July 29, 2016, a Freedom of Information lawsuit by Judicial Watch resulted in more documents being released. These documents showed that top IRS officials in Washington D.C., including Lerner, had known as early as the summer of 2011 that the IRS was targeting conservative groups because of their ideology and political affiliation. Judicial Watch wrote of this:

“These documents show that the Obama FBI and Justice Department had plenty of evidence suggesting illegal targeting, perjury, and obstruction of justice. Both the FBI and Justice Department collaborated with the Lois Lerner and the IRS to try to prosecute and jail Barack Obama’s political opponents. These documents show the resulting compromised investigation looked the other way when it came to Obama’s IRS criminality.”

On August 1, 2016, Judicial Watch released additional documents, which showed that the IRS targeting of conservative groups had been happening since 2010, and that it had lasted though the November 2012 election. Multiple IRS employees said that applications from conservatives groups had been automatically denied approval, and were placed in a special “inventory” while IRS employees awaited further instructions from IRS headquarters in Washington D.C. Multiple IRS agents said that these IRS policies guaranteed that these applications from conservative groups would not be approved before the November 2012 election.

On August 2, 2016, Judicial Watch released more documents, which showed that Justice Department attorney Barbara Bosserman, who had spent more than 1,500 hours “investigating” the IRS targeting of conservative groups, had donated a total of $6,750 to Obama’s campaigns and the DNC between 2004 and 2012, including 12 separate donations to Obama for America between 2008 and 2012. In addition, it was Attorney General Eric Holder who had assigned Bosserman to oversee this “investigation.” No charges were filed as a result of this “investigation.”

In August 2016, it was reported that the Albuquerque Tea Party was still waiting for approval from the IRS more than six years after it had filed its first application.

In September 2016, Judicial Watch reported:

A 2013 study by scholars from the American Enterprise Institute and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University found that, “had the Tea Party groups continued to grow at the pace seen in 2009 and 2010, and had their effect on the 2012 vote been similar to that seen in 2010, they would have brought the Republican Party as many as 5 – 8.5 million votes compared to Obama’s victory margin of 5 million.”

In November 2016, U.S. District Judge Michael R. Barrett said that the IRS was still targeting tea party groups because the IRS was still not processing applications that the tea party groups had submitted several years earlier. He ordered the IRS to process an application that the Texas Patriots Tea Party had submitted four years earlier. He also ordered the IRS to stop targeting tea party groups. Judge Barrett said:

“The evidence strongly suggests that the IRS initiated the delay because TPTP’s application was perceived at the screening stage to be a Tea Party case.”

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

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Note from Daniel Alman: I’d like to recommend that you visit Whatfinger News. It’s a really awesome website.

June 14, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , . Barack Obama, IRS, Police state. 4 comments.

And here is still even more proof that the lockdown is a scam: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio does not understand math

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

May 21, 2020

Here’s another one that I’ll be adding the next time I update my list, which you can read here: Here are 70 reasons why I’m against the COVID-19 lockdowns

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio does not understand math.

According to the CDC, for children who contract COVID-19, the death rate is zero:

https://www.businessinsider.com/most-us-coronavirus-deaths-ages-65-older-cdc-report-2020-3

 

And here’s a recent news headline:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/risk-coronavirus-spreading-schools-extremely-194143983.html

Risk of coronavirus spreading in schools ‘extremely low’, study finds

 

Despite those two pieces of information, this is a recent tweet by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio:

https://twitter.com/NYCMayor/status/1262509072051470340

The text of de Blasio’s tweet says: (the bolding is mine)

“Earlier today the NYPD shut down a Yeshiva conducting classes with as many as 70 children. I can’t stress how dangerous this is for our young people. We’re issuing a Cease and Desist Order and will make sure we keep our communities and our kids safe.”

Clearly, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio does not understand math.

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

amazon logo

Note from Daniel Alman: I’d like to recommend that you visit Whatfinger News. It’s a really awesome website.

May 21, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Education, Math, Police state, Religion. 2 comments.

Who Are The REAL Fascists?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UQS9oUQ9I0

May 20, 2020. Tags: , , , . COVID-19, Police state. Leave a comment.

Totalitarian Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf just forced my dental hygienist to cancel my 6 month teeth cleaning!

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

May 18, 2020

I’m 49 years old. I’ve lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, my entire life. I’ve been getting my teeth cleaned at the same dental practice ever since I was a little kid in the 1970s.

My 6 month teeth cleaning had been scheduled for tomorrow.

But they just called to tell me that it has been canceled, because they are “not allowed” to do teeth cleaning at this point in time.

There are really only four people who should have any role in the decision making for this: my dentist, the dental hygienist who cleans my teeth, the receptionist who answers the phone and schedules appointments, and myself.

I don’t even have or want dental insurance. I pay out of my own pocket, and I prefer it that way, because I don’t want an insurance company telling me what I can or can’t do wit my teeth, or deciding which dental practice I can or can’t go to.

This is the United States of America.

This is supposed to be a free country.

The government is not supposed to be deciding when I can or can’t get my teeth cleaned.

It’s my body and my teeth, and getting my teeth cleaned should be my own choice.

I’m a libertarian. I think abortion should be legal. (I know that a lot of my Republican readers will disagree with me on this issue, and that’s fine.)

Although I do think abortion should be legal, I am very, very glad that my own mother did not abort me.

Furthermore,  I do not see how a healthy woman aborting a healthy baby constitutes “health care.”

Also, I think it’s extremely hypocritical that when Governor Wolf banned elective medical procedures, he gave an exemption to abortion.

Democrats who always say, “My body, my choice,” only make that claim when it comes to abortion.

Democrats think the rest of a person’s body should be controlled by the government.

These hypocrite Democrats won’t let me get my teeth cleaned.

But they will let me buy lottery tickets (which I never do, because I understand math).

And they will also let me buy cigarettes (which I also never do, because I think it’s gross and disgusting, and also because I don’t want to get lung cancer).

So these hypocrite Democrats will let me get my teeth all dirty and messed up with cigarettes, but they will not let me to go the dentist to have all that dirt and grime and filth removed from my teeth. What kind of logic is this?

Governor Wolf’s original lockdown order was for two weeks.

The alleged purpose of the lockdown was to flatten the curve, so that the hospitals would not be overwhelmed.

The curve has been flattened.

The hospitals have not been overwhelmed.

As of May 6, 2020, only 7% of Pennsylvania’s hospital beds were being used to treat COVID-19 patients.

However, Governor Wolf continues with the lockdown anyway.

This proves that the lockdown is a scam.

This lockdown has exposed who the true fascists are.

Members of Antifa are perfectly willing to prevent innocent, peaceful, law abiding conservatives from speaking on college campuses.

But when the real fascists (such as Governor Wolf, and Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer) come along, the Antifa protesters are nowhere to be found, heard, or seen.

If you want to read more examples of why the lockdown sucks, I encourage you to read this other blog post that I wrote: Here are 65 reasons why I’m against the COVID-19 lockdowns

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

amazon logo

Note from Daniel Alman: I’d like to recommend that you visit Whatfinger News. It’s a really awesome website.

May 18, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Abortion, Antifa, COVID-19, Police state. 3 comments.

Totalitarian Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered a barber named Karl Manke to stop cutting hair. Then she rejected his claim for unemployment compensation. In order to pay for food, he continued cutting hair. Then she suspended his license, without so much as even a hearing or due process. And she won’t let him grow his own food. Apparently, she wants him to starve to death.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

May 13, 2020

Now, on with my comments about a recent event in Michigan.

Karl Manke is a barber in Michigan. He’s been running his own barbershop since 1961.

Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered barbershops to close. Her alleged reason was that we had to flatten the curve, so hospitals would not be overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.

The curve has been flatted. The hospitals have not been overwhelmed.

Despite this, governor Whitmer will still not allow barbershops to open.

Manke applied for unemployment compensation, but was rejected.

In order to pay for food, Manke continues to operate his barbershop.

Governor Whitmer suspended Manke’s professional license and his license for his barbershop, without so much as even a hearing or due process.

Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer is a totalitarian who wants to force Karl Manke to starve to death.

Governor Whitmer’s intent to force Manke to starve to death is so strong that she won’t even let him grow his own food. She has ordered big box stores to prevent customers from having access to certain sections of the store, including gardening supplies.

Hers are the exact words of Governor Whitmer’s order from her official government website. The bolding is mine: (Original, archive)

“For stores of more than 50,000 square feet… Close areas of the store – by cordoning them off, placing signs in aisles, posting prominent signs, removing goods from shelves, or other appropriate means—that are dedicated to the following classes of goods: Carpet or flooring. Furniture. Garden centers and plant nurseries. Paint.”

Only a totalitarian would be in favor of such a government policy.

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

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And finally, I’d like to welcome my new readers from Whatfinger News. It’s a really awesome site. This is the link: https://www.whatfinger.com/

May 13, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Police state. 9 comments.

LA Mayor Garcetti encourages residents to report violators of stay-at-home order: ‘Snitches get rewards’

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/la-mayor-garcetti-residents-report-violators-stay-at-home-order

LA Mayor Garcetti encourages residents to report violators of stay-at-home order: ‘Snitches get rewards’

By Brooke Singman

April 9, 2020

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said this week that “snitches” in his city will get “rewards” if they tattle on neighbors who could be violating the stay-at-home order put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Garcetti last month implemented the “Safer at Home” order, like many cities and states across the nation, closing non-essential businesses and urging people to stay at home.

“If any non-essential businesses continue to operate in violation of the stay at home order, we’re going to act to enforce the safer at home order and ensure their compliance,” Garcetti said, according to CBS Los Angeles.

The mayor’s office said that city officials, with officers from the Los Angeles Police Department, had visited more than 500 businesses that had not complied with his order. His office said four businesses have already been referred for misdemeanor filings.

“You know the old expression about snitches,” Garcetti said this week. “Well, in this case, snitches get rewards.”

He added: “We want to thank you for turning folks in and making sure we are all safe,” he said.

“Your decision to stay home may mean that there’s one less person who needs a ventilator we do not have,” Garcetti added.

As of Friday morning, California had the third-highest number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the country, behind New Jersey and New York—which has become the epicenter of the virus in the U.S.

California reported more than 11,100 positive cases of the novel coronavirus and more than 240 deaths.

May 10, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . COVID-19, Police state. Leave a comment.

New York City, controlled by racist Democrats, is using COVID-19 as an excuse for the police to harass racial minorities

New York City is controlled by Democrats. It’s one of the bluest cities in the country. The mayor is a Democrat. Of the 51 members of the New York City Council, 48 are Democrats. In the 2016 election for U.S. president, 79% of the voters in New York City voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton. That makes New York City one of the bluest, most Democratic controlled cities in the country.

Democrats, as we know, are the party of slavery, the Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow, and school segregation.

After a Democratic U.S. Senator named Robert Byrd started his own chapter of the Ku Klux Klan and recruited 150 of his friends and family members to join it, Democrat Hillary Clinton referred to him as “my friend and mentor.” After Clinton praised the Ku Klux Klan leader, 79% of the voters in New York City voted for Clinton for U.S. President.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the racist, Democratic controlled city of New York is using COVID-19 as an excuse for police officers to harass racial minorities.

This recent article by NBC News it titled

Violent encounter in New York City prompts concerns about unequal policing of social distancing

The article’s first two paragraphs state:

A violent encounter between a New York City police officer and a bystander that police said began as an attempt to enforce social distancing rules has prompted concerns about unequal policing.

New York City’s public advocate Jumaane Williams posted pictures on Twitter on Sunday — one of swarms of white people sitting in parks and three images from what appeared to depict encounters between police and people of color.

This is the tweet that the article is referring to:

The same NBC News article also states:

Last week, de Blasio personally oversaw the dispersal of a crowd of mourners in the Williamsburg neighborhood at the funeral of a Hasidic rabbi, that he and the commissioner said drew thousands of people.

Clearly, the racist Democrats who control New York City don’t think the First Amendment’s protections of freedom of assembly and freedom of religion applies to minorities such as Jews.

It is very clear and obvious that New York City, controlled by racist Democrats, is using COVID-19 as an excuse to harass racial and religious minorities.

May 4, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Police brutality, Police state, Racism, Religion. 1 comment.

In St. Louis County, Missouri, this totalitarian woman reported the names of open businesses to the government. Then she hypocritically complained after her own name got published on the internet.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

May 4, 2020

The woman in this video says she has a medical condition that makes her vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus. I don’t blame her for having this medical condition. It’s not her fault that she has this medical condition.

What I do blame her for is reporting open businesses to the government. Apparently, she thinks that because she herself is sick, other people, who are healthy, should also be prevented from going to these businesses.

So, a really good, decent person published the name of this totalitarian on the internet.

And now the totalitarian who ratted out the open businesses is complaining that she herself has been ratted out. What a hypocrite!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYhvc_86HsI

 

https://www.ksdk.com/article/news/investigations/personal-information-from-900-st-louisan-tipsters-exposed-on-social-media/63-45c38fc8-5714-48f5-8de6-09c8ffdeff21

Personal information from 900+ St. Louisan tipsters exposed on social media

Documents with the names of people who reported stay-at-home violations are being shared online. One tipster said she won’t count on the county’s help again.

April 24, 2020

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — A spree of social media posts this week warn that St. Louis County released the information it got from people who reported businesses in violation of the stay-at-home order.

The document, released in response to a Sunshine Law request, included names and contact information of the people making the reports. In their messages, some asked for anonymity.

Posts and comments in response to the document invited retaliation against the people who utilized the county’s inbox for tips about non-essential businesses that stayed open.

The I-Team’s PJ Randhawa talked with a woman whose tip was among those released. Patricia asked that we not use her last name, because she fears what someone might do with the information in the document.

“We’re in a society where doing what’s right doesn’t always get rewarded,” she said.

Patricia has lupus. Two other people in her house have autoimmune issues.

“We have to be extra careful because we don’t have the strength to fight this,” she said. “I saw a lot of businesses that were non-essential that were open and had lines outside, parking lots filled as if the order didn’t matter to them. And that was kinda frustrating.”

Tips flood in after county asks for help

What Patricia did is exactly what St. Louis County intended when it established two ways for people to submit tips on non-compliant businesses. County government announced the creation of an online form and a dedicated email address for those tips in the last week of March.

In a little over a week, those channels received more than 900 tips from the public, the released documents show. Among the complaints are employees and their family members asking for anonymity because they feared backlash from employers.

The online form some of them used warned that the tips they submitted could become public records.

A disclaimer that form submitters had to acknowledge before sending says, “I have been advised that this form and any other communication may be considered an open record pursuant to the Sunshine Law, Chapter 610 RSMo. St. Louis County may be required to release this form as well as other communications as a matter of law upon request by any member of the public, including the media.”

Patricia said she never expected it to end up on Facebook, posted by someone whose motive seemed to be revenge.

Social media backlash

The Facebook post headline said, “Here ya go. The gallery of snitches, busybodies, and employees who rat out their own neighbors and employers over the Panic-demic.”

A person whose Facebook profile name is Jared Totsch told the I-Team that he posted the documents knowing that there might be consequences for the people named within.

“If they are worried about retaliation, they should have read the fine print which stated their tips would be open public record subject to a Sunshine request, and should not have submitted tips in that manner to begin with,” wrote Totsch. “I released the info in an attempt to discourage such behavior in the future.”

Totsch declined a phone or video interview. When asked how he felt about the possibility that someone who reported a business might lose their job, Totsch wrote, “I’d call it poetic justice, instant Karma, a dose of their own medicine. What goes around, comes around. They are now experiencing the same pain that they themselves helped to inflict on those they filed complaints against.”

That’s exactly the attitude that has Patricia concerned now.

“I’m not only worried about COVID, I’m worried about someone showing up at my door, showing up at my workplace or me getting fired for doing what is right,” she said.

How it got to your news feed

St. Louis County told the I-Team that it released the information to a “broadcast journalist” in response to a Sunshine Law request.

Jared Totsch wrote in his original Facebook post that he had filed a Sunshine Law request for the documents, but later stated that he re-posted them from a different group that published them first.

The Missouri Sunshine Law gives the public and media the right to request records made or received by any public agency, with some exceptions. Among those exceptions is a clause allowing tips to municipal hotlines about abuse and wrongdoing to be withheld. But the county’s review of the request found no reason to withhold information about who sent the tips.

The St. Louis County executive’s director of communications, Doug Moore, wrote, “In this particular instance, our county counselor’s office consulted with the [attorney general]’s office on releasing the list of those who had filed complaints against county businesses. We were told all the information was public and we should not redact (except for HIPAA information). Withholding information goes against what journalists push us to be – as transparent as possible.”

Moore also mentioned that the county is working to be more transparent following the consent order between the current county executive administration and the attorney general’s office regarding allegations of Sunshine Law violations in the previous administration.
The tips include claims against 29 of the businesses that were issued violation letters at the beginning of April.

Patricia believes there’s a reason to redact information like the senders’ names from messages like these. She also has a message for the people spreading the document around the internet.

“What did you get out of sharing the info on who did it?” she said. “It’s asinine and I have to question, whoever shared the list… what were your motives?”

In the end, she said, she’s learned a hard lesson.

“When there is something that happens next time, I’m not going to feel safe or protected enough to call the local authorities.”

May 4, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Police state. Leave a comment.

Mississippi police issue $500 tickets to drive-in church service attendees

https://fox8.com/news/coronavirus/mississippi-police-issue-500-tickets-to-drive-in-church-service-attendees/

Mississippi police issue $500 tickets to drive-in church service attendees

April 12, 2020

GREENVILLE, Miss. (WJW) — Police in Mississippi issued $500 tickets to parishioners attending drive-in church services on Wednesday.

In wake of the coronavirus outbreak, Temple Baptist Church began running its services using radio frequencies that can only be heard within a one-block radius of the church, WLBT reports.

On Wednesday, their drive-in church service was shut down by local police.

“The police started coming up and we said, well, we think we’re in our rights. And they started issuing tickets, $500 tickets, it may have been 50 — I mean 20 to 30 tickets. Everybody got one, it wasn’t per car. Me and my wife was both in the car together and both of us got tickets,” longtime parishioner Lee Gordon told the news outlet.

Greenville Mayor Erick Simmons claims the drive-in church services pose health violations.

“You’re there for a 2-hour-period of time, folks want to use the bathroom, or go potty, and the little girls want to go use it. Now folks are in and out and they are facing this invisible giant called COVID-19,” Mayor Simmons reportedly said. “What we’ve been asking for in the state is bold leadership from our state, and partnership. If we have clear direction, we wouldn’t have issues that have evolved across the state.”

Another church in the area, who experienced a similar situation, has filed a lawsuit against the mayor saying his order is ” unconstitutional, illegal and must be withdrawn.”

May 2, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Police state, Religion. Leave a comment.

Video: Wisconsin Deputies Threaten a Mother For Letting Her Daughter Play At a Neighbor’s Home During Shutdown

https://www.mrctv.org/blog/video-wisconsin-deputies-threaten-mother-letting-her-daughter-play-neighbors-home-during

Video: Wisconsin Deputies Threaten a Mother For Letting Her Daughter Play At a Neighbor’s Home During Shutdown

April 30, 2020

Two Wisconsin police officers were caught on video verbally accosting a mother for letting her daughter play at a neighbor’s home during the states COVID-19 shutdown, accusing her of “violating an order” by the state.

The incident, caught on video by the mom’s cell phone, shows the officers immediately – and aggressively – demanding to know if she’s aware of the state’s stay-at-home order.

The footage shows the first officer, a male, repeatedly interrupting the woman and sarcastically responding to her answers.

“Why are you here?” the mother asked in the video.

“Because your daughter is going to play at other people’s homes and you’re allowing it to happen,” the officer responded.

“Stop having your kid go by other people’s homes,” he then demanded.

The female police officer then repeatedly demanded the woman give her middle initial and last name so she could put it in an official record, which the mother refused to do.

“That’ll be documented too, that you’re uncooperative,” the female cop adds.

 

May 2, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . COVID-19, Police state. Leave a comment.

Tucker Carlson: Totalitarianism doesn’t shock us any more

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KACUbQjvrk

May 2, 2020. Tags: , , . COVID-19, Police state. Leave a comment.

It’s Not About Your Health – What’s Really Going On with the Economic Lockdowns?

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/04/must-read-not-health-really-going-economic-lockdowns/?fbclid=IwAR0Adrjc_Cna-Rx0lRXGpX2NNSBXPXXMiHwaKIXtJmVLez7AdOFocZCky5U

It’s Not About Your Health – What’s Really Going On with the Economic Lockdowns?

April 24, 2020

When the State tells you it’s safe to go to Home Depot to buy a sponge but dangerous to go and buy a flower, it’s not about your health.

When the State shuts down millions of private businesses but doesn’t lay off a single government employee, it’s not about your health.

When the State bans dentists because its unsafe, but deems an abortion visit is safe, it’s not about your health.

When the State prevents you from buying cucumber seeds because it’s dangerous, but allows personal lottery ticket sales, it’s not about your health.

When the State tells you it’s dangerous to go golf alone, fish alone or be in a motor boat alone, but the Governor can get his stage make-up done, and hair done for 5 TV appearances a week, it’s not about your health.

When the state puts you IN a jail cell for walking in a park with your child because it’s too dangerous but lets criminals OUT of jail cells for their health- It’s not about YOUR health!

When the state tells you it’s too dangerous to get treated by a doctor for chiropractic or physical therapy treatments yet deems a liquor store essential- It’s not about your health!

When the State lets you go to the grocery store or hardware store but is demanding mail-in voting, ITS NOT ABOUT YOUR HEALTH.

WAKE UP PEOPLE — If you think this is all about your health you’re mistaken! Please open your eyes! Stop being lead like blind sheep.

April 30, 2020. Tags: , , , . COVID-19, Police state. Leave a comment.

New Jersey Bans Looking At Flowers While Driving

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/04/20/new-jersey-bans-looking-at-flowers-while-driving-viewing-flowers-from-inside-a-vehicle-is-a-subversive-activity/

New Jersey Bans Looking At Flowers While Driving

Viewing Flowers from Inside a Vehicle is a Subversive Activity

April 20, 2020

Comrades, let this serve as a warning to like-minded subversives who would attempt to defy the lock-down orders of Commissar Phil Murphy. If wrong-thoughts continue to be expressed, it may become necessary for the Ministry of Coronavirus Compliance to deduct 500 credits from your social compliance score. Please do not put the Ministry in the position of having to make such decisions. Compliance is in your best interest.

In the latest example of Blue State enforcement of unilateral decrees by a state governor, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy bans driving through Tulip farms.   Yes, New Jersey, looking at flowers from inside your vehicle is a subversive activity against the interests of the state….  Non-compliance will not be tolerated.

Dalton Farms is a 99 acre family owned and run farm conveniently located in southern New Jersey just off of SR 322.  The farm was allowing residents to drive through their tulip fields to see the spring colors as the flowers bloom.  However, apparently fearing transmission of the Wuhan Virus from non-compliant vehicle operators; potentially permitting tire-to-tire transmission; the state has ordered the farm to shut down.

All rogue citizens must be controlled lest they put a compliant society at risk of infection. Flower viewers are some of the most dangerous elements within our new society. They may not just carry biologics they could possibly carry a more alarming virus of wrong-thought, potentially even perspectives on freedom, against the interests of the state.

During these stressful times thought, without regard for collective need, is an indication a citizen may be a subversive. Rogue citizens would be subversive to our new society and must be controlled.

The COVID Compliance Ministry appreciates good citizens who comply with the interests of the state. Good citizenship is rewarded with enhanced credits allowing access to a safe COVID Compliant Society. A safer society; where the odds will always be in your favor.

April 23, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . COVID-19, Police state. Leave a comment.

Michigan’s totalitarian governor Gretchen Whitmer orders big bog stores to “Close areas of the store – by cordoning them off, placing signs in aisles, posting prominent signs, removing goods from shelves, or other appropriate means—that are dedicated to the following classes of goods: Carpet or flooring. Furniture. Garden centers and plant nurseries. Paint.”

Michigan’s governor Gretchen Whitmer has ordered big box stores to prevent customers from having access to certain sections of the store.

Hers are the exact words of her order from her official government website: (Original, archive)

“For stores of more than 50,000 square feet… Close areas of the store – by cordoning them off, placing signs in aisles, posting prominent signs, removing goods from shelves, or other appropriate means—that are dedicated to the following classes of goods: Carpet or flooring. Furniture. Garden centers and plant nurseries. Paint.”

Only a totalitarian would be in favor of such a government policy.

April 23, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Police state. Leave a comment.

John Stossel: Coronavirus Overreach

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuzPrhnaiYE

April 21, 2020. Tags: , , , , . COVID-19, Police state. Leave a comment.

A Close Look At President Trump’s Assertion Of ‘Absolute’ Authority Over States

https://www.npr.org/2020/04/14/834460063/a-close-look-at-president-trumps-assertion-of-absolute-authority-over-states

A Close Look At President Trump’s Assertion Of ‘Absolute’ Authority Over States

April 14, 2020

NPR’s Ari Shapiro speaks with Elizabeth Goitein of the Brennan Center for Justice about presidential emergency powers, and President Trump’s assertions of authority amid the coronavirus crisis.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The president has certain powers in a national emergency like this pandemic. Yesterday, President Trump falsely said that his power is total.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The federal government has absolute power. It has the power. As to whether or not I’ll use that power, we’ll see.

SHAPIRO: Today, he moderated his message saying he’ll work with governors to determine when the country should reopen. Elizabeth Goitein studies presidential power at the Brennan Center. And she’s here to explain where the line is between state and federal authority in moments like this. Good to have you back on the program.

ELIZABETH GOITEIN: Thanks very much for having me.

SHAPIRO: There is always this kind of push-pull between the federal government and the states. In a national emergency like this, does the president have certain powers that he doesn’t ordinarily have?

GOITEIN: He does. When the president declares a national emergency, it gives him access to more than 100 different statutory powers that Congress has granted over the decades. And those powers allow him to do some pretty remarkable things, some rather scary things I would argue. But none of them provides the authority to do what the president was threatening to do here. And that is to require the states to reopen businesses and to lift their stay-at-home orders. So the simple answer to that question is, no, a national emergency does not give him that authority.

SHAPIRO: But you’ve also written about secret emergency powers that the president has had for decades that we don’t actually know what’s in them. Can you explain what those are?

GOITEIN: Yeah. There’s something called a presidential emergency action document. And what that is is a draft order or executive proclamation that is prepared in advance in order to anticipate a wide variety of worst-case scenarios. And so these documents essentially take on hypothetical situations, very bad situations like, for example, the aftermath of a nuclear attack. And they try to anticipate what orders the president might need to order at that time. And those are kind of on standby. I mean, they are there in case the president feels that he needs them. And what’s extraordinary about these documents is their secrecy, their total secrecy. So even the most sensitive military operations or intelligence operations have to be reported to at least some members of Congress. But these documents apparently even Congress has never seen them. So you have to kind of wonder what’s in them.

SHAPIRO: That raises a whole bucket of questions. But I wonder just generally, you know, many people have compared the fight against this pandemic to a war. And legally, a president does get certain extraordinary powers in times of war. Does the analogy translate here? I mean, does he have those war powers in the fight against this disease?

GOITEIN: It’s a really interesting question. I mean, we have heard a lot of comparisons coming from the White House between the fight against COVID-19 and war. The president has said that he’s now a wartime president. But public health crises and war are not the same thing. Under the Constitution, Congress has the power to declare war and the president, as commander in chief, has the power to conduct military operations and to defend against attack. The Constitution doesn’t give either the president or Congress authority over public health. That is one of the powers that’s reserved to the states under the 10th Amendment. Now, Congress does have some ability to legislate on public health as a result of its – of other powers it has over taxing and spending and interstate commerce. So it does share some of these powers with the states, but that’s Congress. The president has no authority over public health beyond what Congress delegates to him. He is not commander in chief of the fight against COVID-19.

SHAPIRO: That’s really interesting. Just in our last minute, I wonder whether you find it odd to see, for the most part, liberals making a states’ rights argument here, which has traditionally been the more conservative position.

GOITEIN: It is really interesting. And I should mention that even though the states are doing the responsible thing here in a situation where the president is not, and so that’s something to be grateful for, there are some advantages to a coordinated response to a pandemic like this one. And ideally, the federal government, not just the CDC and the secretary of Health and Human Services, but the president would be providing the necessary leadership and could assist with interstate coordination. But what we’ve seen is that in the absence of this leadership, the states are doing this on their own. They’re entering into these agreements with one another, and that’s the next best thing.

SHAPIRO: Elizabeth Goitein is co-director of the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty & National Security Program.

Thank you for talking with us.

GOITEIN: My pleasure.

April 16, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Communism, COVID-19, Donald Trump, Police state. Leave a comment.

Trump says his ‘authority is total.’ Constitutional experts have ‘no idea’ where he got that.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/04/14/trump-power-constitution-coronavirus/

Trump says his ‘authority is total.’ Constitutional experts have ‘no idea’ where he got that.

April 14, 2020

When President Trump was asked during Monday’s news briefing what authority he has to reopen the country, he didn’t hesitate to answer. “I have the ultimate authority,” the president responded, cutting off the reporter who was speaking.

Trump later clarified his position further, telling reporters, “When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total and that’s the way it’s got to be. … It’s total. The governors know that.”

The local leaders, Trump said, “can’t do anything without the approval of the president of the United States.”

Trump’s eyebrow-raising assertions about the reach of his office during national emergencies, which were also echoed by Vice President Pence at the briefing, came on the same day governors on both coasts announced their own plans to begin working toward reopening their states amid the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.

While the president appears convinced he is the only one empowered to make the critical determination, his extraordinary assertions of authority over the states astounded legal scholars, leaving them wondering, as they have before about Trump’s broad claims, where on earth he got them.
“You won’t find that written in the Federalist Papers anywhere,” Robert Chesney, a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin, told The Washington Post.

Not only does the power Trump asserted have no basis in reality, experts said, but it’s also completely antithetical to the Constitution, the concept of federalism and separation of powers — whether during a time of emergency or not.

“This isn’t ancient Rome where there’s a special law that says in the event of an emergency all the regular rules are thrown out the window and one person, whom they called the dictator, gets to make the rules for the duration of the emergency or for a period of time,” Chesney said. “We don’t have a system like that.”

On Twitter, Steve Vladeck, another professor at the University of Texas School of Law, rebutted Trump’s “authority is total” remark.
“Nope,” Vladeck wrote. “That would be the literal definition of a *totalitarian* government.”
Trump: “When somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total.”

Nope.

https://twitter.com/steve_vladeck/status/1249835579153485825

Various Democrats and Republicans appeared to be in agreement on this basic democratic principle. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) tweeted the full text of the 10th Amendment, which says any powers not specifically delegated to the federal government in the Constitution are reserved to the states. The federal government, she said, “does not have absolute authority.”

Appearing on CNN, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) scoffed at that idea as well, telling host Erin Burnett, “You don’t become king because there’s a federal emergency.”

https://twitter.com/Liz_Cheney/status/1249845408127488000

Josh Blackman, a constitutional law professor at the South Texas College of Law Houston, told The Post that if Trump were to call up Cuomo tomorrow and order him to send everyone back to work, Cuomo could easily tell Trump to “get lost, and that would be his prerogative.”

It’s the most basic tenet of federalism, he said: “The federal government can’t give orders to governors. That’s a very simple fact of life.”
At least one former governor took Trump’s side: Vice President Pence, who offered a forthcoming legal brief on the subject at the news conference Monday.

“Make no mistake about it, in the long history of this country, the authority of the president of the United States during national emergencies is unquestionably plenary,” Pence said.

https://twitter.com/steve_vladeck/status/1249874928159121409

Blackman said he had “no idea” what law or legal precedent Trump believed granted him such sweeping authority, because none do. He said there is a long history of presidents using “creative arguments” to assert executive authority during wartime or emergencies — but contrary to Pence’s assertion, there is not a long history of presidents getting away with nearly unfettered authority. There is no “emergency clause” in the Constitution for presidential power, he said.

Case in point: During the Korean War, President Harry Truman declared a national emergency and seized private steel mills to preempt a steelworkers’ strike, arguing that the mills were essential to the national defense. The Supreme Court, in a case called Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer that continues to guide the courts today, stopped Truman in his tracks.

That was before the National Emergencies Act of 1976, which did give presidents authority to declare a national emergency without the prior approval of Congress. Still, Vladeck stressed in an email to The Post that while presidents “do and should have broad powers to respond to crises, broad is not the same as ‘total.’ ”

In this case, he said, it’s critical to remember that Trump never issued any kind of national lockdown order like other countries did. Trump thus cannot reopen something he never shut down. Vladeck said he does not believe that Trump would have had the authority to do that anyway. At most, he said, Trump might have been able to ban interstate travel under the Public Health Service Act.

“But for better or worse, the president has left most of the big decisions to local and state authorities. That makes it only that much harder for him to try to override them,” Vladeck said.

Blackman and Chesney said the president is free to issue “guidelines” urging states to go back to work, but the states are also free to ignore them.
Trump, if he were to act on his impulses, would probably discover that states and local governments “don’t work for him,” Chesney said, but he stressed that Trump’s sweeping assertions need to be kept in check before he gets to that point.

The federal system created by the framers of the Constitution divided power between the national and state governments. While the Constitution’s supremacy clause means acts of Congress can override the laws of states, the same does not apply to the president acting unilaterally.

As a result, various police powers, as well as authority over functions such as zoning and regulation of business, belong to the states because the Constitution does not grant them to the federal government. The states, in turn, are constrained by the constitutional grant of the power to regulate interstate commerce, for example, and the Bill of Rights.

The federal government has exerted its greatest power over the states by withholding or threatening to withhold money from recalcitrant states, though even that authority has been limited by the Supreme Court.

Trump has made many extreme claims of power, previously declaring that Article II of the Constitution, which vests executive power in the president, gives him “the right to do whatever I want.”

“On the one hand, we shouldn’t freak out over every blustering claim of power he asserts, but on the other hand, there’s something very harmful in failing to rebut those claims every time they happen,” Chesney said Monday. “There are plenty of people who will credit what he says, and if he repeatedly asserts he has such powers perhaps, that will help him get away with asserting powers he should not have.”
Ultimately, Vladeck said, the real problem only begins if Trump’s claims to nearly boundless power are left unchallenged through the system of checks and balances by the courts or Congress.

“It’s not a crisis when a president claims powers unfettered by those constraints, and unconfined by written law and settled precedent,” he said. “It’s a crisis when those other institutions don’t push back.”

April 16, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Communism, COVID-19, Donald Trump, Police state. Leave a comment.

Here’s what the Constitution’s 10th Amendment says about Trump’s claim to have total authority over states

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/04/14/trump-claim-total-authority-claim-10th-amendment/2988013001/

Here’s what the Constitution’s 10th Amendment says about Trump’s claim to have total authority over states

April 14, 2020

While discussing whether he or the nation’s governors have the power to lift restrictions states put in place to fight the spread of the coronavirus, President Donald Trump declared at a news briefing Monday, “When somebody’s president of the United States, the authority is total.”

The president’s unprecedented claim of total power met with immediate pushback from Democrats and Republicans, many of them arguing the U.S. Constitution explicitly refutes his claim to absolute authority.

“The federal government does not have absolute power,” said Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who went on to quote the text of the 10th Amendment in a tweet that went viral.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said changes to the social-distancing orders should be made by the governors. Federal guidelines “will be very influential. But the Constitution & common sense dictates these decisions be made at the state level,” he tweeted.

Jonathan Turley – a law professor at George Washington University who argued against Trump’s impeachment before the House Judiciary Committee and a USA TODAY contributor – said the framers wrote the Constitution precisely to bar presidents from claiming the type of authority asserted by Trump.

“Our constitutional system was forged during a period of grave unease over executive authority. After all, the nation had just broken away from the control of a tyrant,” Turley said. And if there is “one overriding principle” in the Constitution, it is to avoid the concentration of power, and it does so “in myriad ways,” he said.

The 10th Amendment was one instrument written to help ensure that the federal government would not be able to impose the kind of absolute authority the framers feared.

https://twitter.com/JonathanTurley/status/1249837933038837760

What the 10th Amendment says

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

What it means

Turley said federalism, in which states are granted a large degree of autonomy, was one of the ways the framers sought to avoid authoritarianism. The other was to limit the possibility of “constitutional drift” – in which individual officials or branches of the federal government slowly expand their authority – by creating “clear structural limitations” on the powers of the federal government.

He described the 10th Amendment as an “insurance policy” against such constitutional “mission creep.”

“It basically mandates that the default position” in conflicts between the states and the federal government “rests with the states,” he said, “So, when federal push comes to states’ shove, the states are supposed to prevail.”

“There is nothing particularly ambiguous about that.”

Kathleen Bergin, a law professor at Cornell University, agreed.

“It’s so plain and obvious it’s not even debatable,” Begin said. “Trump has no authority to ease social distancing, or to open schools or private businesses. These are matters for states to decide under their power to promote public health and welfare, a power guaranteed by the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.”

How it applies to the coronavirus outbreak

“Federalism was not designed to combat a contagion, it was designed to combat tyranny,” Turley said. But according to the principles of federalism, it is the “primary responsibility of the states to prepare for and to deal with pandemics” such as this, he added.

Previously, Trump denied it was his responsibility to supply the states with the medicine and equipment needed to contain and treat the virus when asked about governors’ complaints that the federal government was not doing enough to help them. And when pressured to issue a nationwide stay-at-home order, Trump said he preferred to leave it up to each governor to impose such restrictions.

“What the president said directly contradicts his position of the last three weeks,” said Turley, who has written columns supporting Trump’s previous approach.

“One of his most unnerving statements was that governors imposed these orders simply because he let them do it and that he could have declared a national quarantine earlier,” Turley said. “That’s a direct contradiction of what he has previously stated, but, more importantly, what the Constitution states.”

Bergin said Trump was not “powerless,” however.

“He could lift international travel restrictions and issue directives to the military or federal agencies,” she said. “But he doesn’t get constitutional authority simply by claiming it. What he tries to do and what he’s authorized by the Constitution to do are two different things.”

No statutory power when it comes to social distancing
Charles Fried, who has taught at Harvard Law School since 1961, strongly disputed the idea that the 10th Amendment was relevant to Trump’s claim of total authority and said the real issue was that Congress had not passed any law granting Trump authority to order a national quarantine or stay-at-home directive.

Fried said the 10th Amendment was a “bogus concern” in this instance and anyone making that argument is “barking up the wrong tree” or is a “10th Amendment nut.”

“People like Cheney just want to bring federalism into everything, but it’s not a federalism problem,” Fried told USA TODAY.

Fried said the problem was really in the fact that Congress hadn’t given Trump the power that he claimed. But he said it theoretically could under its authority to regulate business as outlined in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.

“And that’s why I don’t like referring to the 10th Amendment. It’s not really a 10th Amendment issue. It’s a rule of law issue,” Fried said. “The president can’t just say, ‘I am the boss.'”

Fried pointed to the 1952 Supreme Court case of Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer in which the court ruled President Harry Truman did not have the power to take control of the nation’s steel mills despite a labor strike that threatened production during the Korean War.

“The President’s power, if any, to issue the order must stem either from an act of Congress or from the Constitution itself,” wrote Justice Hugo Black.

How would Trump enforce it?

David Cole, the national legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union, told USA TODAY that even if Congress passed a law granting the president the authority to implement a national curfew, quarantine or stay-at-home order, and it survived constitutional challenges, Trump would not be able to compel the states to enforce it.

Under what is known at the “anti-commandeering principle” the courts have ruled that states don’t have to use their resources or law enforcement officials to enact federal programs.

For example, in the 1997 case Printz v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled a provision of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which required background checks for handgun sales, was unconstitutional under the 10th Amendment because it required local law enforcement officers to carry out the background checks.

“He could not direct the mayor of New York, or the governor of New York to carry out that program,” Cole said. Trump could ask the National Guard to carry it out, or the FBI, but not state or local officials, Cole said.

So, despite the president’s claims, his authority is far from total, Cole and other legal experts agreed.

“He can only execute laws that Congress has passed, and Congress can only pass laws that are authorized by the Constitution,” Cole said.

April 16, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Communism, COVID-19, Donald Trump, Police state. Leave a comment.

Fact check: Trump falsely claims the president has ‘total’ authority over coronavirus restrictions

https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/14/politics/fact-check-trump-president-total-authority-coronavirus-states/index.html

Fact check: Trump falsely claims the president has ‘total’ authority over coronavirus restrictions

April 14, 2020

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump falsely claimed on Monday that, as President, he has “total” authority to decide to lift restrictions governors have imposed to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

“When somebody’s the President of the United States, the authority is total, and that’s the way it’s got to be,” Trump said at a bitter White House coronavirus briefing.

Trump then said: “The authority of the President of the United States having to do with the subject we’re talking about is total.” And after speaking about local governments, he said, “They can’t do anything without the approval of the President of the United States.”
It wasn’t clear if he was referring to state or local officials with that assertion. But he was wrong regardless.

Facts First: The President does not have “total” authority over coronavirus restrictions. Without seeking or requiring Trump’s permission, governors, mayors and school district officials imposed the restrictions that have kept citizens at home and shut down schools and businesses, and it’s those same officials who have the power to decide when to lift those restrictions. There is no legislation that explicitly gives the President the power to override states’ public health measures. In addition, Trump said last week that he prefers, because of the Constitution, to let governors make their own decisions on coronavirus restrictions.

We can’t say for sure that the courts would not side with Trump if he attempted to challenge state restrictions on some constitutional grounds he has not yet identified. However, many legal scholars believe Trump would lose.
James Hodge, a professor and director of the Center for Public Health Law and Policy at Arizona State University, said Trump is “wrong” to claim he has the power to lift the states’ coronavirus restrictions.

“He can strongly encourage, advise, or even litigate whether states’ authorities to restrict public movements re: shelter in place or stay home orders are warranted, but cannot tell sovereign governors to lift these orders all at once just because the federal government determines it is high time to do so,” Hodge said in an email.

Trump’s Monday evening comments at the briefing echoed tweets from earlier in the day in which he asserted that “it is the decision of the President,” not governors, on when to “open up the states.”

“This tweet is just false. The President has no formal legal authority to categorically override local or state shelter-in-place orders or to reopen schools and small businesses. No statute delegates to him such power; no constitutional provision invests him with such authority,” Stephen Vladeck, a University of Texas law professor and CNN legal analyst, said on Twitter on Monday.

Trump did not personally shut down the economy. Rather, he issued non-binding guidelines on how people should keep their distance from each other. The guidelines begin as follows: “Listen to and follow the directions of your STATE AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES.”

No legislation says the President has the power to overturn the public health decisions of these authorities, Vladeck and other legal scholars say.
Trump did not explain why he believes he has this power. When CNN’s Kaitlan Collins asked him who told him he has “total” authority, he did not answer directly, instead saying, “We’re going to write up papers on this.”

When another reporter explained that the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution grants to states the powers not delegated to the federal government, Trump did not contest this interpretation — and instead sidestepped the question, saying he did not believe a state official who refused to reopen the economy could win reelection.

Trump-friendly website Breitbart broached the possibility that Trump could try to use the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which gives Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce, to try to lift commercial restrictions.

Robert Barnes, a lawyer who supports Trump, argued to CNN on Monday that, “in the emergency context,” the President possesses these commerce powers the Constitution assigns to Congress.

Vladeck said Barnes’ claim is unfounded. While Vladeck said Congress might be able to pass a law authorizing the President to override some state and local restrictions — he emphasized the “might” — he said Trump does not have the power to override the restrictions on his own.

“Congress has delegated the President a bunch of powers for emergencies, but this isn’t among them,” Vladeck told CNN.

Hodge said states have a long-established authority to restrict some commerce for the protection of public health. And it is widely understood that state governments have the power to address public health emergencies within their states.

In a 2014 report, the Congressional Research Service, which provides nonpartisan research and analysis to Congress, looked at federal and state powers over quarantine and isolation. The report did not specifically address the question of a president wanting to override state public health measures, but it noted: “In general, courts appear to have declined to interfere with a state’s exercise of police powers with regard to public health matters ‘except where the regulations adopted for the protection of the public health are arbitrary, oppressive and unreasonable.'”

While both the Congressional Research Service report and the National Conference of State Legislatures say that the federal government can “take over” the management of a public health incident within a state “if the federal government determines local efforts are inadequate,” they do not specifically address a situation in which the federal government wants to take over because it believes the state is being too strict in trying to address the emergency.

Trump has some power

Trump himself has spoken as recently as last week about states’ constitutional powers during the pandemic, though he has asserted that he too has powers.

After he was asked on April 10 about the possibility of Florida’s governor opening up schools in May, the President said: “I like to allow governors to make decisions without overruling them, because from a constitutional standpoint, that’s the way it should be done. If I disagreed, I would overrule a governor, and I have that right to do it. But I’d rather have them — you can call it ‘federalist,’ you can call it ‘the Constitution,’ but I call it ‘the Constitution.’ I would rather have them make their decisions.”

Trump does have some clear, though limited, direct power. For example, he can order federal employees to return to their offices and reopen national parks and other federal property.

And he can, obviously, use his influence to try to persuade governors — and citizens — to do as he wishes.

It is also possible that Trump could try to leverage the “major disaster declaration” he has issued for each state — for example, attempting to require governors to take certain steps in exchange for federal assistance. Hodge, though, said it “could be unconstitutional” to try to impose new conditions for the receipt of federal funding after having already authorized the disaster declarations without such conditions.

Trump also asserted at the briefing that even Democratic governors would agree with his claim to total authority. New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, speaking shortly after the briefing to CNN’s Erin Burnett, said he disagreed: “We have a Constitution. We don’t have a king.”

April 16, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Communism, COVID-19, Donald Trump, Police state. 1 comment.

Trump’s Claim of Total Authority in Crisis Is Rejected Across Ideological Lines

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/14/us/politics/trump-total-authority-claim.html

Trump’s Claim of Total Authority in Crisis Is Rejected Across Ideological Lines

Trading barbs with governors about their powers over when to ease restrictions on society, the president made an assertion that lacks a basis in the Constitution or federal law.

By Charlie Savage

April 14, 2020

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s claim that he wielded “total” authority in the pandemic crisis prompted rebellion not just from governors. Legal scholars across the ideological spectrum on Tuesday rejected his declaration that ultimately he, not state leaders, will decide when to risk lifting social distancing limits in order to reopen businesses.

“When somebody’s the president of the United States, the authority is total,” Mr. Trump asserted at a raucous press briefing on Monday evening. “And that’s the way it’s got to be.”

But neither the Constitution nor any federal law bestows that power upon Mr. Trump, a range of legal scholars and government officials said.

“We don’t have a king in this country,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said on Tuesday, adding, “There are laws and facts — even in this wild political environment.” He rebutted Mr. Trump’s claim by citing a line from Alexander Hamilton, observing that presidential encroachment on powers that the Constitution reserved to the states would be “repugnant to every rule of political calculation.”

Mr. Cuomo is a Democrat, but even some of the most outspoken Republican supporters of a generally sweeping vision of presidential power agreed that Mr. Trump’s claim was empty.

John Yoo, a University of California, Berkeley, law professor known for writing much-disputed Justice Department memos after the Sept. 11 attacks claiming that President George W. Bush, as commander in chief, had the power to override legal limits on torture and surveillance for the war against Al Qaeda, said Mr. Trump could not force states to reopen.

“Only the states can impose quarantines, close institutions and businesses, and limit intrastate travel,” Mr. Yoo wrote in The National Review. “Democratic governors Gavin Newsom in California, Andrew Cuomo in New York, and J.B. Pritzker Illinois imposed their states’ lockdowns, and only they will decide when the draconian policies will end.”

Vice President Mike Pence — who styled himself as a strong proponent of states’ rights when Barack Obama was president — was a lonely voice backing Mr. Trump. “In the long history of this country,” he said on Monday, “the authority of the president of the United States during national emergencies is unquestionably plenary.”

The Constitution bestows specific powers on the federal government while reserving the rest to sovereign state governments. None of the enumerated powers given to the federal government directly address control over public health measures, although the Constitution does let Congress regulate interstate commerce.

Both a pandemic and social distancing measures that require the closure of businesses, to be sure, affect interstate commerce. But even if the federal government in theory could have more power in this area, it would take an act of Congress to bestow it on the presidency.

Lawmakers have created some executive powers relevant to the crisis — including enabling an administration to take steps to keep illness from spreading across state lines and to mobilize industry to ramp up production of needed goods in a public health crisis. But they have passed no statute purporting to give the presidency pre-eminence over governors on rescinding public health limits inside states.

Similarly, while Mr. Trump declared a national emergency over the pandemic, that did not mean he was tapping into some reservoir of limitless constitutional power. Rather, he was activating specific statutes that Congress has enacted creating particular standby powers, none of which include letting a president overturn state-imposed public health safety measures.

In a 1952 case involving President Harry S. Truman’s seizure of steel mills to avert a strike during the Korean War, the Supreme Court rejected his effort to invoke purported “inherent” constitutional power to resolve the crisis using different tools than Congress had provided.

And even if Congress were to now enact a law giving Mr. Trump that power — which is unlikely, with the House in the hands of Democrats — there would still be legal obstacles. The Supreme Court over the last generation has pushed back when Congress has enacted laws that the court sees as federal commandeering of states’ authority.

“The federal government may neither issue directives requiring the states to address particular problems, nor command the states’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in a 1997 Supreme Court ruling.

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump appeared to seek a face-saving way out, saying he was “authorizing” governors to decide for themselves when to reopen their states. He offered no explanation for the implication that his permission was necessary before they could lift their own orders.

For Mr. Trump, the legal emptiness of his assertion fits with a larger pattern in his handling of the pandemic and more. Where President Theodore Roosevelt liked to invoke an African proverb to describe his approach to wielding executive power — “speak softly and carry a big stick” — Mr. Trump sometimes talks as if he has a big stick but with little to back it up.

Despite his “extreme, proud rhetoric about how he can do whatever he wants,” said Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor and senior Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration, the story of the Trump presidency has been, with few exceptions, “talking a big game, but not in fact exercising executive power successfully.”

Mr. Trump has made greater use of a softer power of the presidency: using his pre-eminent position and the attention he commands for public persuasion, which Roosevelt called the bully pulpit. But Mr. Trump used it at first to play down the crisis, rather than issuing a call to action to galvanize the country to more swiftly take steps like ramping up testing capacity and consider imposing social distancing measures.

Some legal experts theorized that Mr. Trump could try to use the federal government’s control over disaster relief funds and equipment to punish states whose governors reject a hypothetical future White House declaration that it is time to open up.

He could, for example, try to allocate more equipment to states whose governors acquiesce to his desires, which would inevitably lead to litigation. Even so, as Mr. Yoo wrote, such punitive measures are politically unlikely to move Democratic governors in hard-hit areas to reopen their economies before public health experts say it is safe.

Mr. Trump demurred when pressed to say who told him he wielded “total” authority, and his administration has put forward no legal theory.

Some White House officials expressed uncertainty about what the president was relying on. But others pointed to Article II of the Constitution, which creates the presidency and which Mr. Trump has often invoked, and several statutes creating certain public health powers. None of those statutes they cited say a president has total authority to force governors to lift pandemic restrictions.

Indeed, numerous legal scholars rejected Mr. Trump’s claim as baseless, including Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor who testified in the president’s favor during the impeachment inquiry.

“The Constitution was written precisely the deny that particular claim,” Mr. Turley wrote on Twitter.

Complicating the task of parsing the president’s intentions, he often appears to float striking and self-aggrandizing ideas off the cuff, causing consternation before he drops them.

On March 28, for example, he abruptly suggested that he might impose a federal quarantine on the New York City area before reversing course hours later.

It was never clear what he was talking about. While Congress has granted the federal government some power to take steps to prevent the transmission of illness into the country or between states, the virus was already everywhere by then, so sealing state borders would not have kept it contained. And a quarantine that would confine large populations to their homes within a state is widely understood to be a state-level decision.

Yet despite punctuating his performance with claims of his own might, Mr. Trump has repeatedly made less-than-aggressive use of undisputed authorities at his disposal to combat the pandemic.

For example, he has repeatedly boasted about shutting down travel from China in February, using the power that Congress granted to the presidency to control the international border in a public health emergency.

But despite Mr. Trump’s claims that he was the first to take that action, 38 other countries had already put in place such a travel ban. And the American version was limited and porous.

And as it became clear in March that hospitals were hindered by shortages of masks and other equipment, Mr. Trump resisted growing calls to make use of another power Congress gave the presidency for use in a national emergency: to coerce factory owners to change what they are manufacturing under the Defense Production Act.

In late March, Mr. Trump finally declared that he was invoking the law — but he had merely delegated to Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, the ability to invoke that law in theory. No company had been ordered to do anything.

As criticism over Mr. Trump’s inaction swelled, he signed an order telling Mr. Azar to use the law to push General Motors to make ventilators. But G.M. said it had already decided by then to make ventilators in partnership with Ventec, developed plans to source the necessary parts and started preparing a factory in Kokomo, Ind., for production.

Mr. Trump has a history of making head-turning claims about his powers in other contexts. During the Russia investigation, for example, his lawyers argued that he could not be guilty of obstruction of justice because his power over the Justice Department was absolute, and Mr. Trump repeatedly claimed he could fire the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, if he wanted — even directly.

“Article II allows me to do whatever I want,” he said.

Yet as the eventual report by Mr. Mueller showed, in practice Mr. Trump’s power was weak. He pushed subordinates to oust the special counsel, but they would not go along.

Mr. Goldsmith said that Mr. Trump’s approach to the pandemic crisis and more had reflected a general pattern of loud words but incompetently executed action on policies that were more complex than basic tasks like issuing pardons and firing people, bogging down his efforts in court battles and dysfunction rather than clear accomplishment.

“Trump wants it to seem like he is this really powerful guy being really aggressive with executive power, but he’s not,” Mr. Goldsmith said. “There has been a huge mismatch between his rhetoric and his actions. He clearly seems to enjoy how people’s heads explode when he says this stuff, even though it’s not matched by reality.”

April 16, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Communism, COVID-19, Donald Trump, Police state. 1 comment.

The state that sent Bernie Sanders to the U.S. Senate has ordered Target, Wal-Mart, and other stores to stop selling “non-essential” vegetable seeds because “the ability to browse for seeds and purchase them in person doesn’t outweigh the risk of spreading the virus”

Vermont is the state that sent Bernie Sanders to the U.S. Senate.

Sanders once said that it was a “good thing” when people have to wait in line for food.

These are Sanders’s exact words:

“It’s funny, sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is, cause people are lining up for food. That’s a good thing! In other countries people don’t line up for food: the rich get the food and the poor starve to death.”

You can see and hear Sanders saying those words in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJBjjP8WSbc

Sanders also once said the following:

“You don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different pairs of sneakers”

Now, allegedly in response to COVID-19, Vermont has ordered Target, Wal-Mart, and other stores to stop selling “non-essential” items.

And Vermont considers vegetable seeds to be among these “non-essential” items.

The website from the government of Vermont states: (original link, archived link)

“the ability to browse for seeds and purchase them in person doesn’t outweigh the risk of spreading the virus”

So the same state that elected a U.S. Senator who said that it’s a “good thing” when people have to wait in line for food, is now ordering stores to stop selling vegetable seeds because they are “non-essential.”

In addition, Vermont has also declared clothing to be “non-essential,” and has ordered Target, Wal-Mart, and other stores to stop selling it.

So the same state that elected a U.S. Senator who said that Americans have too many choices when it comes to shoes, has also banned the sale of all types of clothing.

April 10, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Bernie Sanders, COVID-19, Police state. Leave a comment.

A Pennsylvania school called police after a 6-year-old girl with Down Syndrome pointed her finger like a gun, her mother says

https://www.yahoo.com/news/pennsylvania-school-called-police-6-025708501.html

A Pennsylvania school called police after a 6-year-old girl with Down Syndrome pointed her finger like a gun, her mother says

February 11, 2020

* A 6-year-old with Down Syndrome pointed her fingers like a gun at her teacher, prompting officials to call the police, her mother said.

* Maggie Gaines said in a statement to the school board that the call was unnecessary, as her daughter clearly did not understand the gesture and was not a threat.

* The school district said in a statement it had agreed to review its policy requiring school officials to call police in such situations.

A Pennsylvania family is pleading with their school board to reconsider its policy on “threat assessments” for students, after their 6-year-old daughter with Down Syndrome was reported to police for pointing her finger like a gun.

Margot Gaines, a kindergartener at the Valley Forge Elementary School in Tredyffrin, Pennsylvania, made the gesture in November and told her teacher, “I shoot you,” according to her mother, Maggie.

Maggie said her daughter made the comment when her teacher asked her to do something she didn’t want to do, but had no idea what the words or the gesture meant.

“I imagine the utterance was not unlike the instances when I’ve told her it’s time for bed and she says, ‘I hate bed. I hate mommy,'” Maggie said in a statement last month to the school district.

Maggie said the teacher perceived the response as a “threat” and brought Margot to the principal, who realized that Margot was no danger to the teacher or her classmates.

But instead of dropping the incident, the principal followed a school district policy requiring a “threat assessment” team to be convened and decide whether disciplinary action was warranted.

Maggie said in her statement she was fine with that process, which concluded that Margot didn’t intend to harm anyone. But then the school called the police.

“I think most people would agree that this is where the issue should have ended. And yet it did not,” she said.

Maggie said school officials called the police department and provided authorities with the Gaines’ personal information, as well as information on the incident. Maggie said in her statement that an officer told her the information would be entered into the department’s database and would be publicly available.

“Because the school staff and administration chose to blindly follow this policy, an incident that resulted in no disciplinary action … is part of her permanent school record,” she said. “What’s more, her personal information has also been recorded at our local police department, where it is noted, without any context to the situation or her disability that she ‘threatened’ her teacher. How or if this information will be used against her in the future, I can’t say for certain.”

The Tredyffrin Police Department told the website SAVVY Main Line that an incident report was filed containing Margot’s name, address, age, and disability, but that it is “not releasable” and not a criminal record.

The Tredyffrin-Easttown School District told CBS Philly in a statement it would review its policy in the wake of the Gaines’ complaint.

“When developing the current practice, the District worked collaboratively with parents, law enforcement and private safety/mental health agencies and legal consultants to ensure our safety measures reflected considerable input from both our local community and experts in the field of school safety,” the statement said.

February 14, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . Education, Police state, Zero tolerance. Leave a comment.

2 white UConn students arrested after video showed them shouting racial slurs

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/2-white-uconn-students-arrested-after-video-showed-them-shouting-n1069891?cid=referral_taboolafeed

2 white UConn students arrested after video showed them shouting racial slurs

Students on campus demanded action after video of the incident surfaced, saying it is indicative of broader issues of racism at the school.

October 22, 2019

Two white students at the University of Connecticut were arrested Monday after video that showed them shouting racial slurs prompted campus protests, university police told NBC News.

Jarred Mitchell Karal, 21, and Ryan Gilman Mucaj, 21, face charges of ridicule on account of race, color, or creed. They were released with a court date set for Oct. 30 at Rockville Superior Court in Vernon, Connecticut.

Karal and Mucaj’s charges could result in a $50 fine or up to 30 days in jail.

NBC sent emails to the two men Tuesday morning requesting comment but did not immediately hear back.

Campus police learned of the incident from social media footage showing Karal and Mucaj shouting epithets in an apartment complex parking lot, a university spokesperson told NBC News. The men were playing a game that involved yelling vulgar words, university police said, and then started shouting epithets. Karal and Mucaj were walking with a third man, whom police said did not shout epithets and was not charged.

The Oct. 11 incident sparked an outcry on campus, particularly from some black students who said it was indicative of broader issues of racism at the university.

“To just experience that on a daily basis and then having something that gets out to the public that everybody can see and understand, it’s really impactful for the rest of us,” freshman Mason Holland told NBC Connecticut.

The university last week organized a meeting at the apartment complex where the slurs were heard to discuss the incident.

On campus Monday, students marched to demand further action from the university, and they met at a gathering hosted by the campus NAACP chapter to discuss the climate for students of color on campus.

In a letter published in the student paper Monday, the NAACP also demanded that the university take action after the parking lot incident and another that allegedly occurred at a fraternity.

“If the university does not adequately address and handle these occurrences of racism appropriately, it will create a culture in which racism is tolerated and normalized,” the organization wrote, adding a list of demands aimed at making the campus safer and more welcoming to black students.

In a statement, University President Thomas C. Katsouleas said it was important to hold Karal and Mucaj accountable for their actions.

“It is supportive of our core values to pursue accountability, through due process, for an egregious assault on our community that has caused considerable harm,” he said. “I’m grateful for the university’s collective effort in responding to this incident, especially the hard work of the UConn Police Department, which has been investigating the case since it was reported.”

October 23, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Police state, Political correctness, Racism, Social justice warriors. 2 comments.

San Francisco progressives wage war against women’s right to earn a living

According to this new article from the San Francisco Examiner, the progressives who control San Francisco’s government have ordered strip clubs to treat strippers as employees instead of as independent contractors.

Supporters of this new policy claim that it makes the strippers better off.

However, the strippers themselves say that it has actually made them worse off – so much so, in fact, that many of them have quit their jobs in San Francisco, and sought employment as strippers in other cities that do not have this same policy.

The article cites the following three reasons for how the new policy makes the strippers worse off:

1) The strippers get paid far less. For example, the article states:

A dancer at the Gold Club, who asked to be called Mary, said it had been common for dancers on average to sell around $1,000 in dances a shift and keep $750.

Under the new commission structure at the Gold Club, however, dancers said they keep none of the first $150 they sell in private dances, 40 percent of the next $250 they sell, and 60 percent of sales beyond that.

Some dancers said they must also pay a $100 fee for renting the private room.

Dancers at the Gold Club said they now walk away with only $60 on the first half-hour private dance they sell.

“When I make a customer pay $400 and I see $60 of it, it isn’t computing for me,” Mary said. “We want to do our job, and previously our business was to sell dances. And we still need to make living. But at the same time, where is the incentive?”

2) The strippers no longer get to decide how many days or which days they work each week.

3) When the strippers were independent contractors, they could choose to reject any potential client that they did not want. Now that they are employees, they no longer have this option.

The article also states:

He estimated that 200 dancers have quit their jobs since the change came down at BSC clubs, including Penthouse and Gold Club and said that the change has “dramatically affected the business and the profitability,” costing the clubs “several million dollars” a year.

and

The drastic pay cuts and availability of cheap flights have pushed some dancers to seek work outside of San Francisco, traveling as far as Las Vegas and Reno one or two nights a week while continuing to live in The City.

So there you have it. The elitist progressives, who think they know what’s best for everyone, claim that this new policy makes the strippers better off. However, the strippers themselves claim that this new policy makes them worse off.

 

http://www.sfexaminer.com/208300-2/

New rules for contractors have unexpected consequences for The City’s strip clubs

January 2, 2019

As some 30 dancers were handed the first employee paychecks ever issued to them by the Penthouse Club one evening in early November, a wave of panic swept the popular North Beach strip club.

“I opened mine in the locker room, and I was shocked,” said a former Penthouse dancer who asked to be identified as Jane. “All the other girls were also freaking out. Me and my friends decided right then that we were done. That was the final straw.”

Historically classified as independent contractors, the dancers were used to walking out of the club’s doors with cash each night — often hundreds of dollars — after their shifts ended. That changed suddenly when clubs across The City began enforcing a California Supreme Court ruling from April in an unrelated industry that set new standards for determining whether or not workers should be classified as employees.

The decision has shaken up the gig economy, but is also having an effect in unexpected places, such as in the hair salons and the adult entertainment industry, where workers have traditionally not been considered employees.

At local clubs, the move to convert dancers to employee status is causing an exodus, with many of them leaving San Francisco establishments.

“This whole business will be completely ruined. The whole point about being a stripper is you go in, get fast cash, no one knows how you’re getting it, it’s not documented and it’s not taken from you,” said a single mother who gave her name as Darla, who also recently cut ties with Penthouse Club. Like other dancers The San Francisco Examiner spoke with for this story, she asked to maintain anonymity for fear of retaliation.

Club owners say the changes are costing them as well.

A sign posted mid-October in the dancers’ dressing room at the Gold Club in the South of Market neighborhood said the club “felt that it was protecting your right and freedom to be an independent contractor.”

“However, as a result of the lawsuits and ongoing demands by the suing dancers and their attorneys, the club is now being compelled by Court order to eliminate the independent contractor option and require all dancers to become the club’s employees,” the sign read.

Axel Sang, marketing director of BSC, confirmed in an email to the Examiner that the dancers were formerly contractors but are now “club employees being paid an hourly wage and commission on dance sales.”

“The BSC-managed clubs now have matching payroll taxes, unemployment compensation, workman’s compensation, Healthy San Francisco costs, Affordable Care Insurance costs, and SF sick leave pay for several hundred new employee entertainers in addition to the hourly wage,” he wrote.

He estimated that 200 dancers have quit their jobs since the change came down at BSC clubs, including Penthouse and Gold Club and said that the change has “dramatically affected the business and the profitability,” costing the clubs “several million dollars” a year.

“A substantial reduction in the number of entertainers performing as well as the substantial increased payroll and other costs makes it very difficult to generate profits,” Sang said.

The California Supreme Court decision pushing the changes in the business came out of a lawsuit brought by two drivers for Dynamex, a same-day delivery and logistics company that converted its drivers to independent contractors in 2004. Under the ruling, workers may now be considered employees if they perform work within the usual course of the company’s business, said David Peer, a labor attorney in Carlsbad who has written about the Dynamex ruling.

“If you are running a strip club, you would think that the dancers are performing work within the usual course,” Peer said. “If the club owners want to play it safe, they should certainly be paying minimum wage and following the wage and hour rules that most organizations follow when they hire an employee.”

Lawsuits alleging improper classification of exotic dancers predate the Dynamex ruling, according to Harold Lichten of Lichten & Liss-Riordan, a Boston law firm representing Uber drivers who claim the rideshare company misclassified them.

“When you improperly characterize someone as an independent contractor you don’t have to pay social security tax, unemployment tax, minimum wage or overtime,” Lichten said, adding that the incentives were “incredibly great” for companies to “misclassify people because they were saving so much money at the workers’ expense.”

Lichten said the Dynamex ruling became leverage in ongoing litigation against Uber, and noted that it should also come as a benefit to the dancers, who now are now eligible for the protections afforded to all employees.

“The concern is that some companies may lower the amount they pay them to make up their losses,” Lichten said. “That would be unfortunate. But on balance, it’s much better to be an employee because you have legal protections.”

However the dancers interviewed by the Examiner said that while they are now entitled to minimum wage, benefits and the option to unionize, the reclassification has done more harm than good.

“Not one of those girls had a check for two weeks over $300. There was a lot of upset. A lot of girls packed up to leave that night. I was one of those girls,” Darla said.

“I can go work at McDonald’s for $15 an hour, and not take off my clothes, and not put up with the crap I put up with as a dancer,” Darla added, noting that all of the Penthouse dancers “have considered leaving.”

The vast majority of the strip clubs in San Francisco — 10 out of 12 — are owned or managed by BSC Management. The only exceptions are the Mitchell Brothers O’Farrell Theatre and The Crazy Horse.

Sang said the company is not paying dancers more than minimum wage because they “are paid commissions on dance sales which in most cases far exceed the hourly wage.”

But dancers said the commission structure for private dances has also been significantly cut.

Policies can vary for each club, but before the reclassification, dancers said if they arrived to their shift early enough they would keep 75 percent of their dance sales — which is where they made the majority of their money.

A dancer at the Gold Club, who asked to be called Mary, said it had been common for dancers on average to sell around $1,000 in dances a shift and keep $750.

Under the new commission structure at the Gold Club, however, dancers said they keep none of the first $150 they sell in private dances, 40 percent of the next $250 they sell, and 60 percent of sales beyond that.

Some dancers said they must also pay a $100 fee for renting the private room.

Dancers at the Gold Club said they now walk away with only $60 on the first half-hour private dance they sell.

“When I make a customer pay $400 and I see $60 of it, it isn’t computing for me,” Mary said. “We want to do our job, and previously our business was to sell dances. And we still need to make living. But at the same time, where is the incentive?”

Some dancers also feared being classified as employees would mean not being able to pick and choose which customers to serve.

Joe Carouba, an owner of BSC, declined to speak with the Examiner for this story because of pending litigation. But in a deposition he gave in October in connection with a lawsuit filed by Olivia Doe, he said he “firmly believed” dancers should be independent contractors so they can assert more control over which customers they will and won’t serve.

“I think they should control their own sexuality, they should control their own bodies,” he said. “The difference there being, of course, if you’re an employee, you don’t have a choice who you perform for, as an independent contractor you get to choose how you perform, whom you perform for, and what level you’re comfortable at.”

Dancers said many of them were poorly informed and caught unaware when the new contracts were rolled out.

Jane said she was one of the first Penthouse dancers to sign the new contract amid confusion, and wasn’t given a copy or time to review it.

At the Gold Club, Mary said management called dancers into the office in the middle of their shifts, still dressed in bikinis and eight-inch heels, and told them to look at a new contract on a computer screen and immediately sign it. Some dancers had been drinking during their shift, she said.

“We were given no opportunity to look at the contracts or have paper copies beforehand,” Mary said. “There’s really been no communication, no transparency.”

Sang denied the allegations, and said cameras were installed to protect the clubs from legal challenges over the new contracts.

“Signs were posted clearly that the areas were under video and audio surveillance. Each contract signing on video and audio clearly shows each entertainer was required to fully read the contract before signing,” Sang wrote in an email. “On camera, each entertainer was clearly given a copy of the contracts that they signed.”

Dancers said morale has plummeted at clubs across The City. Many are unhappy with how management announced and rolled out the change, but fear losing their jobs if they complain.

Because BSC has a virtual monopoly on San Francisco strip clubs, dancers said if they are blacklisted at one club, they are afraid they won’t be able to work anywhere else in The City.

While dancers across the country have sued clubs saying they should have been classified as employees instead of independent contractors, those who spoke with the Examiner said not everyone wants to be an employee. There are advantages to being independent contractors — so long as they are actually treated as contractors.

Mary said being treated as a contractor would mean being able to negotiate dance fees with clients directly rather than have the club set prices, and to pick which dates and times to work. Previously, as contractors, dancers could pick which days to work, but not which hours.

“Contractors should have autonomy,” she said.

An often-touted perk of being an employee is access to benefits, such as health insurance. But to qualify, employees must work enough hours to be considered full-time — which isn’t practical for most people dancing at a strip club. Dancers said even working three days a week is physically exhausting.

“You do what you need to do to maintain your boundary while making sure they have a good time. It takes a lot of emotional labor to do that,” Mary said. “I don’t think people realize that’s the most difficult part of our job. It’s not really talked about in the public perception of stripping.”

The drastic pay cuts and availability of cheap flights have pushed some dancers to seek work outside of San Francisco, traveling as far as Las Vegas and Reno one or two nights a week while continuing to live in The City.

“Girls are scrambling to find a job to fit their lifestyle or even make ends meet,” Jane said.

 

January 2, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , . Economics, Police state, Politics. 1 comment.

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