The widow of the man who Mary Trump alleges took the SAT test for Donald Trump says her husband didn’t meet Trump until he was already a student at the University of Pennsylvania – in other words, after Trump took the SAT

https://twitter.com/jonkarl/status/1280986561581121537

 

July 9, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Donald Trump. Leave a comment.

President Trump’s full speech at Mount Rushmore

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXD4zPY4Ai0

July 6, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . Donald Trump. Leave a comment.

Here are pictures of the “Kung Flu” poster and mailer that were used by the Obama administration

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

June 24, 2020

Liberals are upset that Trump just used the “racist” phrase “kung flu.”

Funny how none of those liberals got upset when the Obama administration used the exact same phrase in this poster, as well in as this flyer: (You can see bigger versions of both images at this link.)

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.

June 24, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Racism. Leave a comment.

More proof that the lockdown is a scam: U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders praised Black Lives Matter protestors, but said Trump’s proposed GOP convention was dangerous

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

June 12, 2020

My current list of reasons why the lockdown is a scam can be read at Here are 140 reasons why I’m against the COVID-19 lockdowns

Here’s something that I’ll be adding the next time I update my list.

On June 5, 2020, Bernie Sanders said the following of Black Lives Matter protestors:

“I’m very proud of the people standing up for justice and taking to the streets. When we study history we look at pivotal moments — the Civil War, the Great Depression, World War II. People will look back on this time as one of those moments.”

https://twitter.com/BernieSanders/status/1268992801963982853

However, on June 11, 2020, Sanders said the following of President Trump’s proposed GOP convention:

“Trump wants 15,000 delegates cheering him at his GOP convention in Florida. No social distancing. His rejection of medical advice endangers not only those there but those they come in contact with. Trump’s a threat to the health and well-being of the country. He must be defeated.”

https://twitter.com/BernieSanders/status/1271137203318595584

Make up your mind, Senator Sanders. Either the virus is too dangerous for people to be gathering in large groups, or it’s not. You can’t have it be safe for people that you agree with, but dangerous for people that you disagree with. Viruses don’t work that way. The virus doesn’t know or care why people are gathering together in large groups.

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.

June 12, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Black lives matter, COVID-19, Donald Trump. 1 comment.

Twitter banned Trump’s video tribute to George Floyd. Here’s the same video at YouTube.

President Trump put this four minute video tribute to George Floyd up at Twitter, but Twitter deleted it.

Here’s the same video at YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0P40rSPTRKI

June 5, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Donald Trump, Media bias, Racism. 2 comments.

Black men protected most by Trump reforms to Obama-Biden campus sexual assault rules, experts say

https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/education/black-men-hit-most-obama-biden-campus-assault-rules-denying-due-process

Black men protected most by Trump reforms to Obama-Biden campus sexual assault rules, experts say

Critics say there were ‘parallels between the treatment of black men accused of rape during the infamous Jim Crow period and the adjudication of sexual assault cases in the current [Obama] era.’

By Carrie Sheffield

May 12, 2020

Critics say black men were disproportionately hit by Obama-Biden campus sexual assault rules denying due process and are cheering the Trump administration’s reversal of those policies.

On Wednesday, the Department of Education released new Title IX regulations that codify the obligation of schools to investigate claims of sexual assault and harassment. Previous rules under the Obama administration laid the groundwork for what exists today on many campuses: byzantine sexual misconduct disciplinary systems that investigate and punish all manner of sex-related behavior — from sexually suggestive jokes to drunken couplings to forcible rape. Critics say these extra-judicial systems often abandon the presumption of innocence and stack the deck against accused students, denying them basic due process.

“Once again, the Trump administration is righting a wrong perpetrated by Joe Biden, who as Vice President spearheaded a Title IX initiative that attempted to overhaul the assumptions on which our legal system is built and undermined the ability of the accused, usually men and often men of color, to get a fair hearing,” Andrew Clark, Rapid Response Director for the Trump campaign, wrote in a press statement. “Black men were disproportionately hurt by Biden’s campus sexual assault policy.”

In his statement, Clark linked to a 2018 report from The College Fix titled, “Believe the survivor? Here’s 11 times young black men were railroaded by campus sexual assault claims.”

“Six years’ worth of dismal due process rights for the accused has led to hundreds of young men fighting sexual assault claim allegations in court,” wrote The College Fix’s Michael Jones. “Even more concerning, this lack of protection has rendered one group particularly vulnerable — young black men.”

Jones cited a report from Center for Prosecutor Integrity, a nonprofit group that fights the “over-criminalization” of sexual activities. The report argues there are “parallels between the treatment of Black men accused of rape during the infamous Jim Crow period, and the adjudication of sexual assault cases in the current era.”

Jones also referred to Harvard Law School Professor Janet Halley, who has helped represent both alleged victims and alleged perpetrators in campus sexual-misconduct investigations. Halley testified before Congress in 2015 that male students of color are accused and punished at “unreasonably high” rates.

In her written testimony to Congress, which was an article she’d written for The American Prospect Magazine, former federal judge Nancy Gertner, a retired Harvard Law professor, also pointed to “the racial implications of rape accusations, the complex intersection of bias, stereotyping, and sex in the prosecution of this crime.”

The Trump campaign noted that multiple journalists and political analysts have called attention to Biden’s politically selective standards for weighing guilt and innocence in sexual assault cases

“It’s despicable that Joe Biden lowered the standards for accusations on college campuses to basically install a presumption of guilt for the accused,” Paris Dennard, Black Voices for Trump Advisory Board member, told Just the News. “There is no doubt these policies disproportionally impacted students of color. Now that he is in the hot seat, Biden doesn’t want that same standard applied to him, and that is the height of hypocrisy. I am confident the black community will see the arrogance of Joe Biden for thinking the same rules don’t apply to him.”

John Burnett, a Republican strategist and African-American activist based in New York City, told Just the News that the Trump administration’s new campus rules dovetail with prior actions Trump has taken to reform the criminal justice system, including a law known as the First Step Act. A report by the U.S. Sentencing Commission found that 91% of the 1,051 people who received retroactive prison sentence reductions under the act were black.

“Biden is the liberal that Malcolm X warned black America about over 50 years ago,” Burnett said. “The Trump administration made criminal justice reform a priority by passing the First Step Act, and currently working on a Second Step Act, while undoing the Title IX campus initiative to curtail due process rights that disproportionately impacted black men. Hence, he is dismantling Biden’s legacy of mass incarceration.

The Biden campaign did not respond to a request for comment from Just the News. Biden has enjoyed strong support among black voters during the Democratic presidential primary, with key support from Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), a well-known black civil rights leader, playing a pivotal role in turning Biden’s political fortunes around after stinging defeats in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Supporters of the new Trump-era regulations, which carry the force of law, say they will help both alleged victims along with the accused.

“The new rules protect survivors by making college disciplinary decisions more likely to withstand legal scrutiny and by emphasizing the need for supportive measures for victims — even for those who choose not to file a formal complaint,” Jennifer C. Braceras, director of the Independent Women’s Law Center, said in a statement. “Only by addressing claims of sexual misconduct and providing due process can colleges begin to restore faith in the system.”

May 12, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Racism. Leave a comment.

This video shows two doctors stealing a Trump flag, as their young child begs them to stop and is terrified of them going to jail

The video below is from Gulf Breeze, Florida. It shows two doctors – who are married to each other – stealing a Trump flag from someone’s lawn. As the two doctors steal the flag, their young child begs them to stop, and expresses concern that they could go to jail.

And that’s exactly where they went. The Tampa Bay Times reported:

Theft of neighbor’s Trump flag lands Florida doctors in jail, deputies say

The two Gulf Breeze gynecologists are accused of using a ladder to take the flag while their two children watched.

April 16, 2020

GULF BREEZE — Deputies in Florida said two doctors stole a campaign flag supporting President Donald Trump from their neighbor’s property in this Panhandle city.

Geoffrey Michael Fraiche, 41, and Laura Ann Webb-Fraiche, 38, are accused of taking the flag on April 7 while their two children were with them, news outlets reported. A Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s report said they used a ladder to pull it down.

Both Fraiche and Webb-Fraiche are gynecologists working in different Pensacola hospitals, WKRG-TV reported. They were charged with several crimes, including trespassing and larceny, and released from the county jail.

It seems that their hatred of Trump is so big that it exceeds their concern for their own children.

I hope the children will be OK.

Here’s the video:

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

April 16, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Donald Trump, Parenting. 3 comments.

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.

I recently found these three hilarious images on the internet

I did not create these images.

I do not know who did create them, so I cannot give credit to their creators. I am including links to show where I got them from.

https://i.redd.it/9m5hi78dkyi41.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/FIhlEwh.jpg

https://i.redd.it/fiw5auk0jyi41.jpg

February 25, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Humor, Politics. 1 comment.

Karlyn Borysenko: After attending a Trump rally, I realized Democrats are not ready for 2020. I’ve been a Democrat for 20 years, but my experience made me realize just how out of touch my party is with the country at large

https://gen.medium.com/ive-been-a-democrat-for-20-years-here-s-what-i-experienced-at-trump-s-rally-in-new-hampshire-c69ddaaf6d07

After Attending a Trump Rally, I Realized Democrats Are Not Ready For 2020

I’ve been a Democrat for 20 years, but my experience made me realize just how out of touch my party is with the country at large

By Karlyn Borysenko

February 11, 2020

I think those of us on the left need to take a long look in the mirror and have an honest conversation about what’s going on.

If you had told me three years ago that I would ever attend a Donald Trump rally, I would have laughed and assured you that was never going to happen. Heck, if you had told me I would do it three months ago, I probably would have done the same thing. So, how did I find myself among 11,000-plus Trump supporters in Manchester, New Hampshire? Believe it or not, it all started with knitting.

You might not think of the knitting world as a particularly political community, but you’d be wrong. Many knitters are active in social justice communities and love to discuss the revolutionary role knitters have played in our culture. I started noticing this about a year ago, particularly on Instagram. I knit as a way to relax and escape the drama of real life, not to further engage with it. But it was impossible to ignore after roving gangs of online social justice warriors started going after anyone in the knitting community who was not lockstep in their ideology. Knitting stars on Instagram were bullied and mobbed by hundreds of people for seemingly innocuous offenses. One man got mobbed so badly that he had a nervous breakdown and was admitted to the hospital on suicide watch. Many things were not right about the hatred, and witnessing the vitriol coming from those I had aligned myself with politically was a massive wake-up call.

You see, I was one of those Democrats who considered anyone who voted for Trump a racist. I thought they were horrible (yes, even deplorable) and worked very hard to eliminate their voices from my spaces by unfriending or blocking people who spoke about their support of him, however minor their comments. I watched a lot of MSNBC, was convinced that everything he had done was horrible, that he hated anyone who wasn’t a straight white man, and that he had no redeeming qualities.

But when I witnessed the amount of hate coming from the left in this small, niche knitting community, I started to question everything. I started making a proactive effort to break my echo chamber by listening to voices I thought I would disagree with. I wanted to understand their perspective, believing it would confirm that they were filled with hate for anyone who wasn’t like them.

That turned out not to be the case. The more voices outside the left that I listened to, the more I realized that these were not bad people. They were not racists, nazis, or white supremacists. We had differences of opinions on social and economic issues, but a difference of opinion does not make your opponent inherently evil. And they could justify their opinions using arguments, rather than the shouting and ranting I saw coming from my side of the aisle.

I started to discover (or perhaps rediscover) the #WalkAway movement. I had heard about #WalkAway when MSNBC told me it was fake and a bunch of Russian bots. But then I started to meet real people who had been Democrats and made the decision to leave because they could not stand the way the left was behaving. I watched town halls they held with different minority communities (all available in their entirety on YouTube), and I saw sane, rational discussion from people of all different races, backgrounds, orientations, and experiences. I joined the Facebook group for the community and saw stories popping up daily of people sharing why they are leaving the Democratic Party. This wasn’t fake. These people are not Russian bots. Moreover, it felt like a breath of fresh air. There was not universal agreement in this group — some were Trump supporters, some weren’t — but they talked and shared their perspective without shouting or rage or trying to cancel each other.

I started to question everything. How many stories had I been sold that weren’t true? What if my perception of the other side is wrong? How is it possible that half the country is overtly racist? Is it possible that Trump derangement syndrome is a real thing, and had I been suffering from it for the past three years?

And the biggest question of all was this: Did I hate Trump so much that I wanted to see my country fail just to spite him and everyone who voted for him?

Fast-forward to the New Hampshire primary, and we have all the politicians running around the state making their case. I’ve seen almost every Democratic candidate in person and noticed that their messages were almost universally one of doom and gloom, not only focusing on the obvious disagreements with Donald Trump, but also making sure to emphasize that the country is a horribly racist place.

Now, I do believe there are very real issues when it comes to race that we as a society have yet to reckon with. I believe that everyone from every background of every gender should have equal access to opportunities, and that no one is inherently more or less valuable or worthy than anyone else. And while the 2017 protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, led to a tragedy precipitated by real racists and real nazis and real white supremacists, I started to see that those labels simply don’t apply to most people who support Trump.

But with all of this, I was still reticent to even consider attending a Trump event. I do not believe that Trump’s attitude is worthy of the highest office in the land. I abhor his Twitter. I am vehemently opposed to so many of his policies. But still, I wanted to see for myself.

I’m not going to lie, I was nervous, so I thought I would start my day in familiar territory: at an MSNBC live show that was taking place a few blocks away from the rally. I decided to wear my red hat that looks like a Trump hat but with one small difference — it says “Make Speech Free Again”—as my small protest against cancel culture. I even got a photo with MSNBC host Ari Melber while I was wearing it, just for kicks.

The funny thing about that hat is that it’s completely open to interpretation. When I wear it around left-leaning people, they think I’m talking about the right. When I wear it around right-leaning folks, they think I’m talking about the left. It’s a stark reminder of how much our own perspectives and biases play into how we view the world.

In chatting with the folks at the taping, I casually said that I was thinking about going over to the Trump rally. The first reaction they had was a genuine fear for my safety. I had never seen people I didn’t know so passionately urge me to avoid all those people. One woman told me that those people were the lowest of the low. Another man told me that he had gone to one of Trump’s rallies in the past and had been the target of harassment by large muscle-bound men. Another woman offered me her pepper spray. I assured them all that I thought I would be fine and that I would get the heck out of dodge if I got nervous.

What they didn’t know is that they weren’t the only ones I had heard from who were afraid. Some of my more right-leaning friends online expressed genuine fear at my going, but not because they were afraid of the attendees. They were afraid of people on the left violently attacking attendees. This was one day after a man had run his car through a Republican voter registration tent in Florida, and there was a genuine fear that there would be a repeat, or that antifa would bus people up from Boston for it. Just as I had assured those on the left, I told them I thought I would be fine, because we don’t really have antifa in New Hampshire.

But I’m not going to say it didn’t get to me a bit. When everyone around you is nervous for your safety, it’s hard not to question if they have a point. But it also made me more determined to see it through, because it was a stark reminder that both sides view each other exactly the same way. They are both afraid of the other side and what they are capable of. I couldn’t help but think that if they could just see the world through the lens of the other for a moment or two, it would be a stark revelation that they don’t know as much as they think they do.

So, I headed over an hour and a half before the doors were scheduled to open—which was four hours before Trump was set to take the stage—and the line already stretched a mile away from the entrance to the arena. As I waited, I chatted with the folks around me. And contrary to all the fears expressed, they were so nice. I was not harassed or intimidated, and I was never in fear of my safety even for a moment. These were average, everyday people. They were veterans, schoolteachers, and small business owners who had come from all over the place for the thrill of attending this rally. They were upbeat and excited. In chatting, I even let it slip that I was a Democrat. The reaction: “Good for you! Welcome!”

Once we got inside, the atmosphere was jubilant. It was more like attending a rock concert than a political rally. People were genuinely enjoying themselves. Some were even dancing to music being played over the loudspeakers. It was so different than any other political event I had ever attended. Even the energy around Barack Obama in 2008 didn’t feel like this.

I had attended an event with all the Democratic contenders just two days prior in exactly the same arena, and the contrast was stark. First, Trump completely filled the arena all the way up to the top. Even with every major Democratic candidate in attendance the other night, and the campaigns giving away free tickets, the Democrats did not do that. With Trump, every single person was unified around a singular goal. With the Democrats, the audience booed over candidates they didn’t like and got into literal shouting matches with each other. With Trump, there was a genuinely optimistic view of the future. With the Democrats, it was doom and gloom. With Trump, there was a genuine feeling of pride of being an American. With the Democrats, they emphasized that the country was a racist place from top to bottom.

Now, Trump is always going to present the best case he can. And yes, he lies. This is provable. But the strength of this rally wasn’t about the facts and figures. It was a group of people who felt like they had someone in their corner, who would fight for them. Some people say, “Well, obviously they’re having a great time. They’re in a cult.” I don’t think that’s true. The reality is that many people I spoke to do disagree with Trump on things. They don’t always like his attitude. They wish he wouldn’t tweet so much. People who are in cults don’t question their leaders. The people I spoke with did, but the pros in their eyes far outweighed the cons. They don’t love him because they think he’s perfect. They love him despite his flaws, because they believe he has their back.

As I left the rally—walking past thousands of people who were watching it on a giant monitor outside the arena because they couldn’t get in—I knew there was no way Trump would lose in November. Absolutely no way. I truly believe that it doesn’t matter who the Democrats nominate: Trump is going to trounce them. If you don’t believe me, attend one of his rallies and see for yourself. Don’t worry, they really won’t hurt you.

Today, I voted in the New Hampshire Democratic Primary for Pete Buttigieg. I genuinely feel that Pete would be great for this country, and maybe he’ll have his opportunity in the future. But tomorrow, I’ll be changing my voter registration from Democrat to Independent and walking away from the party I’ve spent the past 20 years in to sit in the middle for a while. There are extremes in both parties that I am uncomfortable with, but I also fundamentally believe that most people on both sides are good, decent human beings who want the best for the country and have dramatic disagreements on how to get there. But until we start seeing each other as human beings, there will be no bridging the divide. I refuse to be a part of the divisiveness any longer. I refuse to hate people I don’t know simply because they choose to vote for someone else. If we’re going to heal the country, we have to start taking steps toward one another rather than away.

I think the Democrats have an ass-kicking coming to them in November, and I think most of them will be utterly shocked when it happens, because they’re existing in an echo chamber that is not reflective of the broader reality. I hope it’s a wake-up call that causes them to take a long look in the mirror and really ask themselves how they got here. Maybe then they’ll start listening. I tend to doubt it, but I can hope.

February 14, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Donald Trump. Leave a comment.

Wayne Allyn Root: My 2020 New Year’s Gift to the Democratic Party

https://townhall.com/columnists/wayneallynroot/2020/01/05/my-2020-new-years-gift-to-the-democratic-party-n2558939

My 2020 New Year’s Gift to the Democratic Party

By Wayne Allyn Root

January 5, 2020

Here’s my 2020 New Year’s gift to the Democratic Party. This is a teachable moment. I’m going to teach Democrats how real Americans think.

Democrats live in a bubble. They believe the lies, fraud and “fake news” spouted by Democratic politicians, CNN, MSNBC, PBS and the mainstream media. They are never exposed to anything else, so they have no idea what real Americans think.

Look at the makeup of the Democratic Party. To me, “real Americans” are those born in the United States or those who came here legally who actually earn a living and pay into the system. These are the American voters who have earned the right to decide the direction of America. I call them the Silent Majority.

There were two teachable moments in the past week. Liberals have no clue how the Silent Majority thinks. The liberal reaction to both incidents is nothing short of a disaster for the Democratic Party. So let me explain to Democrats how real Americans think about these two life-and-death events.

First, we have the Texas church shooting. A hero shot the perp dead in seconds with one shot through the head. Bravo. Standing ovation. But if he had missed, six more churchgoers were already armed and ready to run toward the evildoer.

This is exactly how we must stop acts of evil and terrorism. The Second Amendment is there to protect good people. The way to protect churches and synagogues is with armed security, trained and armed volunteers, and parishioners in the audience legally allowed to carry guns.

Government can’t save you. Police can’t save you. If it is to be, it is up to me. We all need to take personal responsibility and learn to protect ourselves. The citizens are the true first responders. We must all understand that, now more than ever. This is the clear lesson real Americans learned from this incident.

Second was President Donald Trump’s decision to kill Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani with a missile strike. Soleimani was evil personified. The second most powerful man in Iraq, Soleimani coordinated the murder of hundreds of American soldiers. He was planning many attacks against American interests in Iraq. President Trump blew him to hell.

The mullahs of Iran and bad guys across the world (think Kim Jong Un of North Korea) are now on notice. America is no longer a paper tiger. We will fight back. There is a new sheriff in town. If you attack America or Americans, we will hunt you down, and you will die.

Real Americans support President Trump’s decision 100%. We are high-fiving — and we think any Democrat or Hollywood celebrity who defends evil Iran is a traitor to America.

Are you listening, Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? Are you listening, Rose McGowan and John Cusack?

So liberals, please accept this New Year’s gift. Proceed with caution on the topics of good citizens with guns defending themselves from bad guys and America defending itself from evil, murdering terrorist regimes. Real Americans believe in peace through strength.

Get this wrong and your Democratic Party will cease to exist as a viable political party. You’re welcome.

January 5, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . Donald Trump. Leave a comment.

Dershowitz: Trump Had Even More Legal Justification Eliminating Soleimani than Obama Had with Osama Bin Laden

https://www.breitbart.com/radio/2020/01/03/exclusive-alan-dershowitz-president-trump-had-even-more-legal-justification-in-taking-out-iran-soleimani-than-obama-had-with-osama-bin-laden/

Dershowitz: Trump Had Even More Legal Justification Eliminating Soleimani than Obama Had with Osama Bin Laden

January 3, 2020

Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz said Thursday evening that President Donald Trump had even more legal authority to eliminate Qassem Soleimani than former President Barack Obama had to take out Osama bin Laden in 2011.

Dershowitz, speaking with host Joel Pollak and guest host John Hayward on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight, dismissed arguments that Trump lacked constitutional authority to act against General Soleimani, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force.

Presidents have lawful authority to direct the killing of enemy combatants, explained Dershowitz.

“[Soleimani] was a combatant,” explained Dershowitz. “There’s no doubt that he fit the description of ‘combatant.’ He [was] a uniformed member of an enemy military who was actively planning to kill Americans; American soldiers and probably, as well, American civilians.”

“It was the right thing to do,” he added. “It was legally justified, and I think we should applaud the president for his decision. We send a very powerful message to the Iranian government that we will not stand by as the American embassy is attacked — which is an act of war — and we will not stand by as plans are being made to attack and kill American soldiers.

Dershowitz continued, “I think every president who had any degree of courage would do the same thing, and I applaud our president for doing it, and the members of the military who carried it out, risking their own lives and safety. I think this is an action that will have saved lives in the end.”

“President Obama would have done the same thing if the shoe were on the other foot, if he could prevent the killing of American soldiers by killing a combatant,” estimated Dershowitz. “[The president doesn’t] need congressional authorization, or any legal authorization … The president, as the commander-in-chief of the army is entitled to take preventative actions to save the lives of the American military. [Donald Trump] didn’t threaten a war. He didn’t start a war.”

Asked to respond to criticism of the attack by the likes of former Obama national security aide Ben Rhodes, Dershowitz said, “This is very similar to what Barack Obama did with Ben Rhodes’s authorization and approval — without Congress’s authorization — in killing Osama bin Laden.

“In fact, that was worse, in some ways, because that was a revenge act. There was no real threat that Osama bin Laden would carry out any future terrorist acts. Moreover, he was not a member of an official armed forces in uniform, so it’s a fortiori from what [Barack Obama] did and Ben Rhodes did that President Trump has complete legal authority in a much more compelling way to have taken the military action that was taken today.”

January 5, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . Donald Trump, Islamic terrorism, Military. Leave a comment.

So Obama knew all along about the FBI bid to spy on his rival

https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/12/so_obama_knew_all_along_about_the_fbi_bid_to_spy_on_his_rival.html

So Obama knew all along about the FBI bid to spy on his rival

December 10, 2019

Up until now, President Obama has said he knew nothing about the FBI bid to destroy his political rival, Donald J.Trump, as evidenced in the newly released and mighty critical Inspector General, report.

Back in August 2016, Obama said:

“I do not talk to the attorney general about pending investigations. I do not talk to FBI directors about pending investigations,” he insisted.

“I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department or the FBI — not just in this case, but in any case. FULL STOP. PERIOD. Guaranteed. Nobody gets treated differently when it comes to the Justice Department,” he said.

Today, Obama’s claim is in tatters. Julie Kelly of the Federalist, found references within the new IG report that Obama was briefed on the gamy investigation, and knew all about it all along.

Former FBI Director James Comey briefed President Barack Obama about the investigation into Donald Trump’s campaign before the 2016 election, according to a report released today by the Justice Department’s inspector general.

When we asked Comey about meetings with the White House concerning Crossfire Hurricane, he said that although he did not brief the White House about the investigation, he did mention to President Obama and others at a meeting in the Situation Room that the FBI was trying to determine whether any U.S. person had worked with the Russians in their efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election. Comey said he thought it was important that the President know the nature of the FBI’s efforts without providing any specifics. Comey said although he did not recall exactly what he said, he may have said there were four individuals with ‘some association or connection to the Trump campaign.’ Comey stated that after he provided this information, no one at the meeting responded or followed up with any questions. Comey did not recall specifically when this meeting took place, but believed it may have been in August 2016.

The White House meeting also included then-National Security Advisor Susan Rice, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and then-CIA Director John Brennan, the inspector general found.

So Obama knew, quite contrary to his claims, that this now-criticized rat-king of an investigation on his rival, was happening as he watched.

It’s not a big surprise, actually. As Kelly notes, FBI officials Peter Strzok’s and Lisa Page’s emails suggested that that was going on:

One text causing raised eyebrows today seems to implicate the president: “potus wants to know everything we’re doing,” former FBI lawyer Lisa Page texted to her paramour, then-FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, on Sept. 2, 2016.  She said that she had just been in a meeting to discuss “TPs for D” (talking points for the director, i.e. FBI Director James Comey) to brief the president on their investigation.

Yet President Trump, who tried to resolve this matter by asking the Ukrainians to cooperate with investigators over the Obama-linked Biden tentacle of this octopus, is now being impeached today for taking actions “against his rivals.”

Obama did it earlier, and he sure as heck wasn’t impeached. Yet his string of crimes against his political rival was incredibly long, and there seems to have been a groupthink element to it, the way a group of crooks gets together and commits crimes together, except that their presence of one another seems to propel them along to do much worse than they would be capable of alone.

It wasn’t just the FBI investigation he knew about – it was also the ‘unmaskings’ that followed from the FBI bid to pin something on Trump – the timelines show that around the time of that Coomey briefing, the “unmaskings” of Americans caught up in intelligence dragnets, looking to see if any of them were Trump officials, were stepped up, ending only when Obama administration officials packed up and left the White House.

It’s apparently a whole slew of things he did to spy on and undercut his rivals. Had he used that formidable energy on America’s actual enemies, he might not have been such a failure as president. For now, Obama stands exposed.

December 10, 2019. Tags: , , . Barack Obama, Donald Trump. 2 comments.

Maria Ana Carrola Flores, the UC San Diego student who got hit by a car at 1:30 a.m. during an anti-Trump protest, actually sued her college because it “failed to warn students of the danger of walking onto the freeway”

You may remember this video, which I have posted before. It shows an anti-Trump protest near UC San Diego that took place at 1:30 a.m. a few days after Trump was elected President. One of the protestors, a UC San Diego student named Maria Ana Carrola Flores, gets hit by a car:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GtM-debHD8

Maria Ana Carrola Flores chose to stand in the middle of a busy highway at 1:30 a.m.

And after she got hit by a car, she actually sued the driver who hit her.

She also sued the city and county of San Diego, UC San Diego, and the UC Board of Regents.

The Washington Free Beacon explained the reason for her lawsuit with the following: (the bolding is mine)

Flores’s attorney, Jerold Sullivan, argued that while his client accepted her responsibility for the accident, others shared blame as well. Sullivan claimed that according to Flores, campus officials had encouraged the protest, did not control it, and failed to warn students of the danger of walking onto the freeway.

So she sued her college because it didn’t teach her that it was dangerous to stand in the middle of a busy highway at 1:30 a.m.

That’s insane.

Fortunately, a judge dismissed her lawsuit.

And besides, since she did insist on filing a lawsuit because someone didn’t teach her that standing in the middle of a busy highway at 1:30 a.m. was dangerous, then she should have filed the lawsuit against her parents, not her college.

October 11, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Donald Trump, Dumb lawsuits, Idiots blocking traffic. 3 comments.

Candace Owens gives speech at White House, explaining how Democrats hurt black people

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LObY49p3MDQ

October 6, 2019. Tags: , , . Donald Trump. Leave a comment.

CNN removed 540 words from the transcript of Trump’s phone call to frame him for something that he didn’t do

You can read about it at this link:

https://thefederalist.com/2019/09/25/cnn-just-yadda-yadda-yaddad-540-words-to-frame-trump-for-favor-he-never-requested/#.XYvr6bd00yo.twitter

 

September 26, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , . Donald Trump, Media bias. Leave a comment.

Ann Coulter Suggests Donald Trump Should Be Charged for Employing Undocumented Migrant Workers

https://www.newsweek.com/ann-coulter-suggests-trump-charged-employing-undocumented-migrant-workers-1453864?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app

Ann Coulter Suggests Donald Trump Should Be Charged for Employing Undocumented Migrant Workers

August 12, 2019

Right-wing commentator and former avid supporter of President Donald Trump Ann Coulter has asked why the president and other employers have not been charged with a crime for hiring undocumented migrants.

“Yes, why WON’T authorities charge the employers using all the illegal alien workers?” Coulter wrote on Twitter, sharing an op-ed from The Washington Post calling out Trump’s double standard of allegedly employing undocumented migrants while his administration raids other companies and deports working immigrants without legal status.

“ANSWER: BOTH REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS SUCK UP TO EMPLOYERS FOR THEIR CAMPAIGN DONATIONS,” Coulter answered her own question.

Coulter previously wrote a book entitled In Trump We Trust back in 2016, but has since soured on the president. The major political issue for the right-wing commentator was cracking down on undocumented immigration and building a wall at the southern border of the U.S. with Mexico. As time has passed without immigration policies that are hardline enough in her opinion, Coulter has steadily lashed out at Trump, predicting that he will be beat by a Democratic opponent in 2020.

The article re-tweeted by Coulter was titled “Another Trump double standard hurting the poor and minorities.” In the op-ed, thePost’s opinion editor James Downie detailed how the Trump administration has neglected to go after employers for hiring undocumented workers, choosing instead to largely just punish the migrants. Downie also pointed out that reporting by the Post has shown that the president’s company, The Trump Organization, has employed undocumented individuals at several of its properties.

“It’s worth noting that this discrepancy in enforcement is a policy change under the Trump administration. Before President Barack Obama’s first term was over, his administration had already accumulated more audits and penalties on employers than were imposed during both terms of of the George W. Bush administration,” Downie wrote.

“Funny how employer audits almost completely dried up after a president whose companies employ undocumented immigrants entered office,” he pointed out.

Last week, The Post reported that at least at least eight Trump properties have hired a number of undocumented workers. The newspaper and other media outlets have repeatedly reported on the president’s company employing migrants without legal status in the past, despite Trump’s hardline immigration policies and routine criticism of individuals attempting to immigrate to the U.S.

On Sunday, CNN anchor Jake Tapper questioned acting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Mark Morgan, who previously served as acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), why none of Trump’s personal businesses had been raided.

August 13, 2019. Tags: , , , . Donald Trump, Immigration. Leave a comment.

Trump gives early release to violent criminals and sex offenders

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/dozens-of-violent-criminals-have-been-released-under-first-step-act-data-shows

Violent criminals and sex offenders released early due to ‘First Step Act’ legislation

July 23, 2019

More than a hundred violent criminals and sex offenders have been released under the First Step Act, President Trump’s signature bipartisan criminal justice reform package, according to data from an administration official provided to Fox News on Monday.

The data, first obtained exclusively by “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” seemingly contradicted promises from lawmakers and the White House that the legislation would largely affect only prisoners sentenced for minor drug-related offenses. Of 2,243 inmates released under the First Step Act, only 960 were incarcerated for drug-related offenses.

On the other hand, 496 were in prison for weapons/explosives-related crimes, 239 for sex offenses, 178 for fraud/bribery/extortion, 118 for burglary/larceny and 106 for robbery, according to the data.

Another 59 were imprisoned over homicide/aggravated assault, 46 for immigration-related offenses, nine for counterfeiting/embezzlement and two for national security reasons.

In all, 2,023 of the inmates were male, while only 211 inmates were female. 1,017 of the 2,243 inmates are black, while 1,129 are white, 62 American Indian and 35 Asian/Pacific Islander.

The Justice Department announced last Friday that 3,100 federal inmates were being released as part of the First Step Act, which has been heralded by Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., as a start to righting a “broken” criminal justice system that has “disproportionately harmed communities of color.”

Nevertheless, on Tuesday, special assistant to the president Ja’Ron Smith told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that many of the violent inmates would shortly have been released regardless of the First Step Act.

WHAT ARE THE PROVISIONS OF THE FIRST STEP ACT?

Several hundred of the 3,100 released inmates were transferred into Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody or state prisons, which accounts for the discrepancy from the 2,243 figure provided by the administration official.

Speaking on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Louisiana Republican John Sen. Kennedy, who was one of a handful of lawmakers to oppose the bill, said the numbers were predictable.

“Good intentions sometimes have nothing to do with actual consequences,” Kennedy told Carlson. “We were told that this would only allow low-level, nonviolent criminals to go free. I didn’t believe it, and I didn’t believe it because I read the bill. And now we find out that in the first traunch of prisoners let free, 500 committed weapons or explosive crimes, 250 committed sex crimes, I think there were 60 or 70 that were guilty of homicide or aggravated assault. And those are not low-level, nonviolent criminals.”

Kennedy went on to describe the leadup to the bill as a “complete lie.” He said he had offered an amendment that would have required victims to be notified about inmates’ release, but that it was vetoed.

“To me, this is pretty simple,” Kennedy said. “I believe in the Kantean definition of justice. C.S. Lewis talked about it. Saint Augustine talked about it. Justice exists when people get what they deserve. Justice is not necessarily deterrence, or rehabilitation, though that can be a byproduct.”

Kennedy added: “And I don’t know why it is, Tucker — if I make it to heaven, I’m going to ask — but there are some people in this world, they’re not mixed up, they’re not confused, they’re not sick, it’s not a question that their mama or daddy didn’t love them enough.

“They’re just bad. And when they commit criminal acts, justice required they be punished.”

At the State of the Union address earlier this year, Trump touted the First Step Act as a major breakthrough focusing on nonviolent offenders.

“This legislation reformed sentencing laws that have wrongly and disproportionately harmed the African-American community,” Trump said. “The First Step Act gives nonviolent offenders the chance to reenter society as productive, law-abiding citizens. Now, states across the country are following our lead. America is a nation that believes in redemption.”

Last week, the DOJ published new standards to identify other inmates who may be eligible for “good time” releases under the law.

“Starting today at prisons around the country, nearly 3,100 inmates are being released from BOP (Bureau of Prisons) custody due to the increase in good-conduct time applied to reduce their sentences under the First Step Act,” Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen told reporters.

The move marked the largest group to be freed so far under a clause in the First Step Act that reduces more sentences due to “earned good time.”

In addition to reuniting with their families, the formerly incarcerated citizens could obtain employment opportunities announced by Trump last month at the White House as part of the “Second Chance” hiring program.

The department said last week it would move $75 million in existing resources to fund the bill in the 2019 fiscal year, and launch a new “risk and needs assessment system designed to assess inmates’ risks of recidivism and to identify their individualized needs to reduce their risks of re-offending.”

Meanwhile, the bill’s retroactive application of the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act has so far resulted in 1,691 sentence reductions, the department said in a press release. The 2010 Act reduced the difference between sentences for crack cocaine and powder cocaine possession at the federal level, in a bid to reduce the racial disparity in resulting incarcerations.

Other provisions in the First Step Act ease mandatory minimum sentences under federal law. For example, the legislation reduces the “stacking” of drug offenses to drive up sentences, and prescribes 25-year terms, rather than life terms, for many “third strike” crimes.

August 12, 2019. Tags: , , , . Donald Trump, Violent crime. Leave a comment.

Hypocrites who voted for Obama falsely blame Trump for the high cost of Obamacare

The Los Angeles Times recently published this article, which is called, “Rising health insurance deductibles fuel middle-class anger and resentment.”

The article cites numerous examples of middle class people who are having trouble paying their health care bills, despite the fact that they have the Obamacare mandated health insurance that became law in 2010.

The article states:

“Half of Democrats struggling with the costs of their job-based health coverage blame the Trump administration for the cost pressures.”

This belief is completely irrational. The health insurance that these Obama voters are complaining about is based on Obamacare, which was passed in 2010.

For these Obama voters to blame Trump for the high cost of Obamacare does not make any sense.

And for those of you who have never seen it, or haven’t seen it in a long time, I’d like to draw your attention to this previous blog post of mine, which is called, “Here are 341 reasons why Democrats and unions that support Obamacare want exemptions for themselves.”

Republicans and Libertarians have been consistently opposed to Obamacare – both before and after it was passed.

Democrats, on the other hand, loved Obamacare before it was passed. But now that it’s actually taking effect in the real world, many of them are now against it.

Perhaps these Democrats should have paid attention to the specifics of Obamacare before it was passed, instead of being blindly obedient to it.

July 20, 2019. Tags: , , , , , . Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Health care. Leave a comment.

Obama Built The ‘Cages’ for Illegals, Not Trump, Says Obama ICE Chief

https://pjmedia.com/trending/obama-built-the-cages-for-illegals-not-trump-says-obama-ice-chief/

Obama Built The ‘Cages’ for Illegals, Not Trump, Says Obama ICE Chief

June 27, 2019

It was only a few months ago that Democrats were dismissing the crisis at the border as manufactured by Trump, and now they’re comparing migrant detention centers to concentration camps and blaming Trump for “putting kids in cages.”

But for those still trying to blame President Trump, Barack Obama’s former ICE chief, Thomas Homan, has a reality check for them. Speaking at a conference hosted by the Center for Immigration Studies, Homan explained that the “cages” Democrats are blaming on Trump were the product of the Obama administration:

“I’ve been to that facility, where they talk about cages. That facility was built under President Obama under (Homeland Security) Secretary Jeh Johnson. I was there because I was there when it was built,” said Thomas Homan, who was Obama’s executive associate director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for nearly four years. 

At an immigration conference today, Homan, under consideration for a new position of “border czar” in the Trump administration, grew visibly angry answering a question about “cages” often cited by Democratic critics of the president.

Homan, who ran Obama’s successful deportation operation, ripped Democrats who question Trump immigration officials on the Obama-era idea.

He cited one Democratic chairman who asked a Trump official, “You still keeping kids in cages?”

Homan, at the conference hosted by the Center for Immigration Studies, said, “I would answer the question, ‘The kids are being housed  in the same facility built under the Obama administration.’ If you want to call them cages, call them cages. But if the left wants to call them cages and the Democrats want to call them cages then they have to accept the fact that they were built and funded in FY 2015.”

Homan explained that the fencing that separates kids from adults is done for safety reasons. “It’s chain link dividers that keep children separate from unrelated adults. It’s about protecting children,” he said. He also added it’s only temporary accommodations until they are moved elsewhere by the Department of Health and Human Services. According to a Google News search, only conservative media seems to be talking about Homan’s comments. Gee, I wonder why.

July 2, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , . Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Immigration. Leave a comment.

Trump’s Tariffs Have Already Wiped Out Tax Bill Savings for Average Americans

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/trump-tariffs-wiped-most-families-080000425.html

Trump’s Tariffs Have Already Wiped Out Tax Bill Savings for Average Americans

June 7, 2019

(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump’s trade wars have already wiped out all but $100 of the average American household’s windfall from Trump’s 2017 tax law. And that’s just the beginning.

That last $100 in tax-cut gains could soon completely disappear — and then some — because of additional tariffs Trump has announced. If the president makes good on his threats to impose levies on virtually all imports from China and Mexico, those middle-earning households could pay nearly $4,000 more.

Subtract the tax cut, and the average household will effectively be paying about $3,000 more in taxes through additional levies on the products they consume.

“It’s giving with one hand and taking with the other,” said Kim Clausing, an economics professor at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, who has written a book promoting free trade.

Here’s how the math works. Middle earners got an average tax cut of $930, according to the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. The tariffs already in effect cost the average household about $831, according to research from the New York Federal Reserve.

China Goods

Add in the additional tariffs on another $300 billion in Chinese goods that Trump proposed in May and that increases the cost for the average family of four to about $2,294 annually, according to research from Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a coalition of business groups that oppose tariffs.

Trump has also threatened to levy tariffs on all imports from Mexico, starting with a 5% tax beginning as soon as Monday that would increase monthly to 25% by October. If the tariffs reach their highest level, that would increase costs for households by $1,700 annually, according to Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the centrist Peterson Institute for International Economics.

The full force of the Chinese and Mexican tariffs and subsequent retaliation would mean that consumers are paying an additional $3,994 because of tariffs, more than four times the $930 tax cut for middle earners that the Republican Party touts as its signature legislative achievement.

The tariffs are “clearly demolishing” the benefits of the tax cuts for both businesses and consumers, said Daniel Ikenson, who directs trade policy at the libertarian Cato Institute. “Many households and consumers have been spared so far, but the next round of tariffs will be more problematic.”

In the beginning of the trade dispute, Trump and his advisers sought to put tariffs on imports that consumers don’t directly buy, such as steel and aluminum. But as the trade feud with China has escalated, they ran out of non-consumer goods on which to put levies. The most recent round of announced tariffs includes consumer products, such as apparel, sporting goods and kitchen ware.

Trump’s most recent threat on all imports from Mexico would increase prices on cars and auto parts, televisions, phones and air conditioners, as well as produce, such as avocados, citrus and pineapples.

Only the top 5% of earners would continue to see a net tax cut of more than 1%, according to the right-leaning Tax Foundation. Tariffs would also depress wages by about 0.5% and result in the loss of nearly 610,000 full-time jobs, according to the foundation.

That creates political problems for Republicans in Congress who have continued to back Trump even as they disagreed with his trade policies. Republicans have cited the passage of the tax-cut law, low unemployment rates and wage increases as signs that Trump’s policies have buoyed the economy. But there are signs that support is beginning to fracture.

The tax cuts “vaulted America back into the most competitive economy,” said Representative Kevin Brady, a Texas Republican who led the passage of the tax cut legislation in the House. “Higher tariffs and the uncertainty that comes with trade disputes” hurt the economy, he said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged the administration this week to delay imposing the tariffs until Republicans in Congress could plead their case to Trump. Most Senate Republicans have objected to Trump’s use of tariffs to force tougher border enforcement by Mexico. Lawmakers are weighing moves to block the levies.

“This is a man-made disaster, because Donald Trump is not focused in any way on advancing a well-thought-out doctrine,” said Representative Hakeem Jeffries, a top Democrat from New York. “He seems to be carrying out at times personal vendettas, at other times political objectives and sometimes an effort to distract from the news of the day.”

Little Noticed

The effects of tariffs have yet to become noticeable to average consumers. That could soon change. The tariffs on goods from Mexico are slated to go into effect Monday, barring a last-minute deal between Mexican and U.S. negotiators. The Chinese tariffs hitting consumer goods could go into effect in the coming months.

Negotiators met for a second day Thursday to try to come to some agreement that would avert the tariffs. Mexico pushed for more time, but Vice President Mike Pence said the U.S. plans to impose tariffs on Monday.

“It’s not like all of sudden prices will jump 25%, but they could increase 10% or 11%,” said Brian Yarbrough, a senior equity analyst at Edward Jones, said of tariffs of 25% or more. “At some point, price increases will choke off demand, resulting in fewer sales.”

Republicans are hoping to campaign in 2020 on the message of a strong economy buoyed by their tax reductions and deregulation, which began two years ago. But the fresh sting of tariffs risk erasing any economic goodwill those policies generated.

“For the average household it will be a net loss, no doubt,” the Peterson Institutes’s Hufbauer said. “It will be painful.”

June 7, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , . Donald Trump, Economics. 2 comments.

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